Research course

Practical 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

Searching for traces of meaning in everyday practices, and looking beyond traditional shapes of religiosity.

Have God and religion disappeared in society? According to some scholars of religion there is a global resurgence of religion, yet, secularisation in most European societies continues. How can theology understand the transformation of the Christian religion in society? We need fresh expressions of theological concepts and new methods of research which will enable us to understand lived religion beyond traditional shapes of religiosity.

In the Master’s specialisation in Practical Theology, students are introduced in theological theory-building to understand the dynamics and meaning of lived religion at four different levels: the personal, inter-group relations, organisational and societal level. Students learn to use empirical research methods, which are needed to build new theological theory on lived religion. Graduates of this Master’s specialisation in Practical Theology can become researchers, policy makers, educators or spiritual caregivers.

Why study Practical Theology at Radboud University?

  • The new theoretical approach of Practical Theology at Radboud University manifests itself in the search for theological concepts that match the changing shape of the Christian religion in the life of individuals as well as fresh expressions of religious institutions.
  • Our department has constructed new, unique methodologies that focus on a qualitative study of narratives, communication, and ritual (liturgy). We have expertise in spiritual biographical research, practice-oriented research and discourse analysis.
  • We have a long-standing expertise in survey research, with a specialisation in cross-religious surveys in which Christian believers are compared with believers of other religions (Islam, Hinduism).
  • 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

Graduates of Practical Theology will be able to pinpoint how certain people or groups of people view spirituality today, how they give meaning to lives and how this, sometimes, is at odds with traditional religious conventions. You will get insight in the different forms that religion takes in contemporary society and will be able to take that on board when participating in debates in the public arena. You will change the perspective of others by conveying to them how religion has transformed.

*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