Master of Arts in Religious Studies


James B. Tubbs, Jr.
Chair, Department of Religious Studies
Briggs 347

The Master of Arts in Religious Studies at UDM has been designed to meet the need for advanced studies of religion in the Detroit / Southeast Michigan area. The program welcomes students from various traditions and backgrounds and with differing career goals. It offers graduate education that requires and develops personal insight, scholarly research and critical analysis in areas of religious and theological inquiry. The program offers four major areas of concentration:

  • Biblical Studies
  • Theology and Spirituality
  • Comparative Religions
  • Religion and Culture/Ethics

Each student is assigned a faculty advisor to help design a program which best meets his/her professional and intellectual interests and needs. The program must include an area of concentration as well as representative courses from each of the other three areas. In consultation with an advisor, the student may take graduate courses in other disciplines (e.g. Psychology, Liberal Studies) which will meet particular academic needs and interests.


Our Students are as diverse as the field of Religious Studies is broad:

  • Some of our students intend to pursue further studies at the Ph.D. level in one of the various fields that comprise Religious Studies;
  • Some students are already in professional ministry and are up-dating their knowledge and skills;
  • Some students are following a personal interest to learn more about their own tradition, or about the human religious response generally.

Our students typically work full-time in a variety of occupations which may or may not be related to religious studies. They are medical doctors, lawyers, business owners, factory workers, system analysts, teachers, priests, ministers, parents, claims processors, and so forth.

Learning Goals:

1. We anticipate that our students will achieve advanced knowledge (and the skills related to such knowledge) in the following areas:

  • The study of religious texts
  • The study of the historical development of religious traditions
  • The study of Christian theology, its historical development and current issues
  • The study of the relationship between religion and its social and cultural contexts
  • The study of the relationship between religion and the individual's search for meaning
  • The study of the moral teachings of religious traditions as they influence their followers and interact with other moral systems
  • The study of the contemporary global religious context of interconnection and interdependence
  • The study of various theories, methodologies, perspectives, and issues related to the study of religion

2. We expect that our students will develop the following skills:

  • Critical thinking - analysis, comparison, reflection, evaluation, synthesis
  • Research and writing competence - working knowledge of resources, including electronic
  • Oral communication - clear presentation of ideas, skillful listening
  • Effective independent and collaborative work habits