Bachelor of Theology and Religious Studies (Leuven)

General

Read more about this program on the school's website

Program Description

Interested in the study of theology and religion? KU Leuven’s internationally renowned 3-year Bachelor of Theology and Religious Studies will initiate you in all areas that together constitute Christian theology. Particular attention is given to a deeper understanding of the Christian tradition and the history of the Church, the improvement of the knowledge of modern and Biblical languages, philosophy and other human sciences, and the stimulation of interest in the mutual relationships between the various Christian churches and between Christianity and other world religions.

What is the program all about?

There is no doubt that those who enroll for a Bachelor’s from Leuven will be profoundly introduced into the study of Christianity and the world religions. This solid basis will be laid with the aid of challenging lectures, interactive seminars in small groups, and personal guidance in the writing of papers and essays. The program can be followed on a full-time or part-time basis.

This bachelor program prepares for a more specialized study in the Research Master or the Master of Theology and Religious Studies.

The Faculty also offers a reduced program: the Abridged Bachelor of Theology and Religious Studies (between 45 to 120 ECTS). This reduced program varies from candidate to candidate and takes into account each candidate’s previous academic formation.

International

The research master’s program attracts students from all over the world, which adds a valuable intercultural element to your experience. All of the Faculty’s programs are taught in both Dutch and English and are open to students of every nationality. The Faculty currently has students from more than sixty countries and thus from virtually every part of the globe. We also encourage students to participate in exchange programs that allow them to spend a semester abroad. The Faculty of Theology and Religious Studies has 89 agreements in 26 different countries.

Strengths

  • Study at a faculty with a rich history and a tradition of excellence going back to its founding in 1432.
  • Receive instruction engendering a reflective, scientifically-based, methodological application of theology and religious studies.
  • Be part of a diverse and knowledgeable student body.

Is this the right program for me?

In addition to meeting the general and faculty-specific admission requirements, applicants should have:

  • An awareness of history; the ability to relate pieces of concrete historical information with one another and locate them along a temporal line;
  • Interest in religious attitudes, customs, and traditions;
  • Awareness of the public role of religion, rituals, and manifestations within and outside one's own environment;
  • An initial familiarity with the Christian tradition and the history of the church; familiarity with the basic vocabulary of the Christian tradition, including terms such as 'prophet', 'Bible', Jesus of Nazareth, etc.;
  • The capacity to summarise and apply abstract insights and schematic presentations; the ability to distinguish between doctrines, rituals, and practices.

Concerning certificate proving proficiency in English:

Prospective students who obtained an English bachelor's degree at the faculty or who are citizens of Australia, English-speaking Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, the UK or the United States of America, speaking English as their mother tongue, are not required to submit a certificate demonstrating their English knowledge.

All prospective students (regardless of their background) are allowed to submit an application file without including a TOEFL/IELTS test. However, prospective students must submit an English motivation letter, CV and sample of work. The Faculty’s admissions committee will assess the application file without TOEFL/IELTS test and decide whether the student will be admitted based on the submitted file or whether the student has to present a TOEFL/IELTS certificate after all. The Faculty of Theology and Religious Studies requires a minimum score of 79-80 for the Internet-based TOEFL test, 550 for the paper version of the TOEFL test, 213 for the computer version of the TOEFL test or an IELTS score of 6.5-7.

Concerning the translation of your diploma and official transcripts:

If your documents are not in English, Dutch, French, German, Italian or Spanish, please arrange for these documents to be translated by a registered translator. These documents must be also be certified by the educational institution that issued them or by a Belgian diplomatic office.

Objectives

The Theology and Religious Studies curriculum is aimed at the interdisciplinary and scientific study of the Catholic faith tradition in the context of a multicultural and multi-religious society and world. Academic formation intended to prepare men and women to judge and act maturely in matters related to theology and religious studies ought not only to pass on the broad lines of the tradition of research in these domains but also to focus closely on developments in the various fields of study that contribute thereto. It is for this reason that the teaching programs offered by the Faculty of Theology and Religious Studies endeavor to make a contribution to the overall formation and development of the students and to prepare them to engage in independent theological and interdisciplinary reflection on the Catholic faith tradition. At the same time, the programs also intend to stimulate interest in the mutual relationships between the various Christian churches and between Christianity and the other world religions.

This includes:

  • The development of an integrated reference framework via introductions to the primary disciplines of theology and religious studies and the philosophical and social sciences that facilitate reflection in theology and religious studies.
  • The development of basic capacities specific to the academic formation in theology and religious studies, including the combination of broad scientific interest and a critical disposition with respect to the various ways in which the phenomenon of religion is presented and evaluated in the academy, in society at large and in culture.
  • Preparation for more specialized study in the Master's Program in Theology and Religious Studies following the successful completion of the Bachelor's Program.

Final attainment levels with respect to the Program of Bachelor of Arts in Theology and Religious Studies as a whole:

  1. Knowledge of and insight into the fundamental concepts and methods of theology in relation to its distinct methodological perspectives (literary-historical: biblical sciences, history of church and theology; systematic-theological: dogmatic theology, theological ethics; pastoral-theological).
  2. Knowledge of and insight into the fundamental concepts and methods of religious studies, inter-religious dialogue and the study of the major world religions.
  3. Knowledge of and insight into the fundamental concepts and methods of canon law.
  4. Knowledge of and insight into the fundamental concepts and methods of philosophy, social sciences and psychology with specific attention to the manner in which these disciplines endeavor to clarify and explain the phenomenon of religion.
  5. The capacity to apply the insights acquired in the theological and non-theological disciplines to problems, questions, and statements related to religion, fundamental life options and society.
  6. The capacity to analyze matters related to church and religion and locate them within a broader framework.
  7. The capacity to enter into discussion on matters related to theology and religion in a broader social context and to adopt a reasonable and responsible standpoint in such discussions.
  8. The capacity to independently and adequately assimilate literature (including foreign language literature) in the field of theology and religious studies.
  9. The independent composition of an annual paper under the guidance of a promoter. This implies the careful formulation of a well-defined research topic, the assimilation, and analysis of the relevant literature, the provision of a coherent synthesis, articulation, and evaluation of the insights contained therein and the adoption of an initial, critical perspective with respect to the acquired insights.
  10. The capacity to apply acquired knowledge and competences in an elementary fashion in the contexts of teaching, liturgy, and pastoral work.
  11. The capacity to apply acquired knowledge and competences in an elementary fashion to social issues.
  12. Able to work autonomously and to collaborate.

Career Opportunities

After graduation, most bachelor students decide to continue with their studies at the Faculty of Theology and Religious Studies going on to obtain a Research Master and often even a Doctoral Degree. Studies at the Faculty of Theology and Religious Studies prepare students for a variety of careers in sectors such as education, business, publishing, the media, and the pastoral and socio-cultural sector.

Start your career, during your studies

During your bachelor's and master's program you can already shape your own profile by choosing a certain specialization, studying abroad (Erasmus), doing a work placement, or starting your own business.

The Student Career Center is happy to put you on the right track towards your first work experience. The center also coaches you in the search for an interesting job and helps you with job interviews. For students wanting to start their own business KU Leuven also has Lcie, the KU Leuven community that encourages students with innovative and entrepreneurial ideas.

Don’t know where to start? The Student Career Center's databases contain offers for jobs, volunteer work, innovation projects, and student jobs. You can also visit one of the events organized by the Career Center.

Last updated Mar 2020

About the School

KU Leuven is an institution for research and education with international appeal. All programmes at this University are based on the innovative research of its scientists and professors and are ranked ... Read More

KU Leuven is an institution for research and education with international appeal. All programmes at this University are based on the innovative research of its scientists and professors and are ranked among the top 100 in the world. Read less
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