Research course

History of Church and Theology (specialisation)

Radboud University · Philosophy, Theology and Religious Studies
MA by research

Entry requirements

Please find all the relevant information about admission requirements on our website.

Months of entry

September, February

Course content

Analysing historical developments of Christian traditions and discipline, to better understand Christian belief in contemporary society.

How have Christians through the ages given meaning and expression to their ideas and expectations? How have they explained the meaning of Jesus Christ’s life both within their own community and to outsiders? Students of the Master’s specialisation in Church History are trained to investigate historical developments with a critical and analytical eye. A historical analysis is important as it can also expose the “roots” of current issues and situations. That knowledge in turn can help us understand the present better and even help find solutions to problems contemporary societies face today.

Radboud University’s Master’s specialisation in History of Church and Theology is unique in that it combines the study of the history of Christianity with the study of the juridical system of the Roman Catholic Church. What happens when people do not comply with the general norms? Students are trained in systematic historical research. They will learn how to interpret historical sources of all ages, by analysing them with knowledge of the culture and values of the era in which they were produced.

Graduates of this Master’s specialisation can become researchers, policy makers, educators or spiritual caregivers. Careers as journalists, museum curators, librarians and archivists are also possible.

Why study History of Church and Theology at Radboud University?

  • Radboud University’s specialisation in History of Church and Theology distinguishes itself by combining the study of the history of Christianity with Canon Law. Thereby creating a unique outlook on the interrelatedness of the development of Canon Law and both formal and informal practices.
  • This programme is not just geared towards Europe but also places developments in a global perspective.
  • Thanks to electives, students have plenty of room to choose a direction that meets their professional and academic interests. Taking a few seminars from the other theology disciplines of choice (Church History, Literary Theology or Practical Theology) is mandatory to broaden students general knowledge on Theology.
  • The third year is aimed at training students for a specific profession. Students can choose research (English), education (Dutch), religion and policy (Dutch) or spiritual care (Dutch).
  • Teaching takes place in a stimulating, collegial setting with small groups, allowing for ample opportunity for questions and discussion.
  • Radboud University and its Theology department are Roman Catholic in origin, but its Master’s programme in Theology is open to all students. Our students have very diverse religious and cultural backgrounds.

Change perspective

History is not a fixed entity. Re-examining long-existing sources could lead to new insights on the course of events. Students are made to understand what we now consider an axiom was not always so and students are given the tools to discover axioms of the past so they can better understand sources of the past. Students will learn to make sound and historical analyses by taking familiar sources but asking new questions, by finding and analysing long forgotten sources and by re-examining sources but taking into account the cultural context of the time it was produced. Their analyses could give new light on historical events that in turn could give us new insights on current societal and cultural issues.

*This is a specialisation of the Master's in Theology

Fees and funding

UK students
£1.515,00 (€ 1,984)
International students
£ 6.682 (€ 9,232)

Qualification and course duration

MA by research

full time
36 months

Course contact details

Admission Office