Missouri State University

Department of Religious Studies

Religious Studies Graduate Program

Dr. Schmalzbauer teaches class


Why pursue a Master of Arts in religious studies at Missouri State?

You will gain sound knowledge and professional skills in the discipline of religious studies, as well as in the broader context of related disciplines in the humanities. You may choose one of these areas to emphasize:

  • South Asian Religions
  • History of Judaism and Christianity
  • Biblical Studies
  • Religion, Self and Society

Download a PDF of the Religious Studies M.A. Program flyer!

Gain a broader perspective

Your foundation of skills will help you work in vocations where you need to negotiate among various religious faiths and ideologies. You will also gain a perspective that helps you have greater understanding and respect for individual differences in religion.

Our program also offers exceptional preparation for doctoral studies or seminary, as well as for professional careers in fields such as counseling, non-profits, publishing, and law.

In addition, MSU’s graduate religious studies programs offer the following:

  • The expertise of the oldest and largest religious studies master’s degree in a state university in Missouri.
  • One of the largest faculties in the Midwest. Faculty members have specialties in everything from biblical studies to religion in America to Buddhism.
  • Solid training in critical thinking and graduate-level writing.

Excellence in Research!

Several theses from Religious Studies have been awarded the "Distinguished Thesis Award" by the MSU Graduate Council for distinguished scholarship at the master's level. 

Each year the Missouri State University Distinguished Thesis Award is awarded to one thesis selected from those produced by the over seventy Master's program across the University. Since 2005, the annual award has gone to the following M.A. students from Religious Studies:

2012-2013, Matthew Hartman (advisor, Dr. Julia Watts Belser), BETWEEN OTHERS, BETWEEN ETHICS: RESISTING DOMINATION THROUGH POSTCOLONIALISM, ENVIRONMENTALISM, AND ECOCRITICISM

2011-2012, Linda Covey (advisor, Dr. Martha Finch), DINÉ BECOMING BAHA’Í: THROUGH THE LENS OF ANCIENT PROPHECIES

2007-2008, David Rice (advisor, Dr. Martha Finch), HOW THE MISSOURI BAPTIST CONVENTION SHIFTED THEIR IDENTITY TO THE SOUTHERN BAPTIST CONVENTION’S NEW HEGEMONY

2004-2005, Brian Doak (advisor, Dr. Victor Matthews), PATRIARCH AS TRICKSTER: THE SOCIAL AND LITERARY FUNCTION OF THE JACOB CYCLE IN GENESIS 25-33

Visit the Graduate College Distinguished Thesis Award webpage for more information.