Master in Theology and Religious Studies
The Master's programme at FPTR is an academic track combining independent academic research with the acquisition of competences for a specific practice. The theoretical 'substructure' laid during the Bachelor's programme is now further developed in the 'superstructure' with a choice between three majors: pastoral care, teaching and research.
The Master's programme aims to deepen and broaden, through the further elaboration of the three subject areas whose theory was seen in the Bachelor's programme, complemented by interdisciplinarity. This means that biblical-scientific as well as practical-historical and religious-scientific components are brought together during the Master's programme. It also means that the student conducts independent research, both in terms of traditional theology and contemporary hermeneutical developments and in terms of current issues of integrity, identity, meaning and religion.
The specificity of the Master's programme at FPTR is the interdisciplinary Bible approach. A text from the Hebrew Bible or the New Testament is analysed from the root text. After the translation and exegetical vetting, the student enters into seminar-style debate with other disciplines rich in the field of Biblical Studies and Religious Studies.
Besides exegesis, the Master's programme also offers the opportunity to devote attention to comparative text study. Texts are usually in a line of development and are often found in other cultures in slightly modified forms. It is an enriching and deepening knowledge that arises when the student compares the same text in different traditions.
Interdisciplinarity also characterises the main subject study and the Master's thesis. Here, one can opt to enter into a more in-depth study of ancient languages or, for example, practically-oriented study of the relationship between modern media and church. Other options include special pastoral care, Christian art, mysticism or oriental studies.
Students taking the Master's programme at FPTR are given extensive opportunities to hone their communication skills. Theology and religion in the Master have everything to do with transmission. Our cultural development proceeded along the tones of words. Meaning shaped tradition.
That is why the Master's programme pays attention to dialogue and transmission. This not only looks at classical forms of religious communication, such as liturgy and homiletics, but also includes modern platforms and networks. These didactic and communicative skills are taught in seminars, public classes, colloquia and on the online platform.
The Master's degree also pays attention to practical experience. The pastoral graduate programme offers a wide range of internship opportunities. Students who choose to serve in the church or in a special ministry, such as prison or airport pastor, have the opportunity to learn the specific skills to do so in practice. As a modest institution, the FPTR is very flexible and allows students to request internships and make arrangements by mutual agreement and within the network of Protestant churches in Belgium.
In the field of academic research, specific academic skills are honed and the student learns how to conduct and report on sound research in the form of writing academic articles. This is also where the growing online learning offerings come in, where the pedagogical skills of a scientifically sound online module are discussed and tested.
These skills will be tested in a complementary pastoral Master's thesis, containing the application of the previously created Master's thesis, or cast in an outline for a doctoral thesis.