Traditional Master of Arts in Religious Studies
Follow your passion at Missouri State
With twelve faculty members specializing in a wide range of fields within religious studies, our program has one of the largest faculties in the Midwest. We offer exceptional preparation for doctoral studies or seminary, as well as an education that will contribute to a richer understanding of human life and complement careers in counseling, social work, law, business, elementary and secondary education, and many other fields.
In its traditional format, the religious studies Master of Arts is a 30-hour program that can be completed in two years if full-time student status is maintained.
As a graduate student in religious studies at Missouri State University, you will:
- have the opportunity to study a range of topics in religious studies, including biblical studies, religions of Europe and the Middle East, religions of Asia, and religion and culture
- be challenged to expand your critical thinking and research-based writing skills
- learn from a caring, supportive faculty nationally and internationally recognized as experts in their fields
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 programs across the University. Since 2005, the annual award has gone to the following M.A. students from Religious Studies:
2022-2023, Riley Brown (advisor, Dr. John Schmalzbauer), A NATION OF PRIESTS: AUTHORITY, EXPERTISE, AND THE RELIGIOUS NONES
2019-2020, Daniel R. Jones (advisor, Dr. Martha Finch), HOW GOD WRITES HISTORY: A GRAMSCIAN ANALYSIS OF RELIGION AND NATURE IN THE WRITINGS, LIFE, AND LEGACY OF JOHN MUIR
2018-2019, David Armstrong (advisor, Dr. Leslie Baynes), A KINGDOM OF PRIESTS AND GODS: ANGELIC AND PARTICIPATORY DEIFICATION IN JOHN'S APOCALYPSE
2015-2016, Harrison King (advisor, Dr. John Schmalzbauer), RELIGION AND ANTHROPOGENESIS: OTHER ANIMAL PRESENCES IN THE SCIENCE-FICTION OF URSULA K. LE GUIN
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.