RELIGIOUS STUDIES 2010–2011 Admission Requirements
Why pursue an advanced degree in religious studies at the
University of Denver? Application Process
An advanced degree in religious studies offers a wide range of thought-provoking courses in an
atmosphere of diverse and balanced inquiry. The University of Denver’s department of religious
studies, and certain faculty in other schools and departments, has strong academic expertise Degree Requirements
in many traditions, disciplines and methodologies. Studying at the University of Denver enables 4
students to pursue both broad and specific academic goals with a significant range of course
and study options, including certificate programs, dual-degrees, independent study and study
Other advantages include:
• Small classes
• The option to take a limited number of courses in cognate fields such as philosophy and 5
• Opportunities to study and conduct research in original texts
• Various financial aid options
• Metro Denver’s diverse cultures and faiths
What qualities does a religious studies graduate student possess?
• Academically prepared for the intensive study of religion at the graduate level, and an
appropriate background in the humanities that will equip them for intensive study
• Prepared to develop scholarship that emphasizes engagement with local and global
• Motivated to work collegially with faculty and other students in a community of learning
Department of Religious Studies
2000 E. Asbury Avenue, Room 166
Denver, CO 80208
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The department of religious studies offers an M.A. and participates in a joint Ph.D. program with the Iliff School of Theology.
The M.A. degree in religious studies prepares students for Ph.D. work or for teaching and careers in journalism, government and
nonprofit organizations in which cross-cultural analytical skills are important. The program emphasizes breadth of knowledge in several
religious traditions, theoretical perspectives on religion, and room for specialization in select areas of faculty expertise.
Religious studies faculty members are well published and have won several distinguished teaching awards. Several have served in
leadership roles in national learned societies and have received grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the American
Council of Learned Societies and the Guggenheim Foundation.
The joint Ph.D. program, offered with the Iliff School of Theology, is taught by distinguished faculty from the University of Denver
and Iliff. The program enrolls students from across the nation and around the world. The facilities and libraries of both institutions
are open to all students, offering considerable research and academic resources. The joint Ph.D. program offers specialization in four
concentrations: Biblical interpretation; religion and psychological studies; religion and social change; theology, philosophy and cultural
theory. For more details, please consult the joint Ph.D. Web site at http://www.du.edu/duiliffjoint/.
Various forms of financial aid are available, including scholarships at the University of Denver and graduate teaching assistantships,
which are available at the doctoral levels.
Prospective students, who do not have the required master’s degree for admission to the doctoral program, may satisfy that
requirement by taking the University of Denver’s M.A. in religious studies.
Program Requirements and Deadlines
Program Degrees Offered Number of Credits Full Time/Part Time Tests Required—Min.Score
Religious Studies M.A. 45 GRE—500 on verbal
Three letters of recommendation
Students must have an appropriate undergraduate background in relevant arts, humanities or social science disciplines with a minimum
3.0 grade average and a minimum verbal GRE score of 500. Meeting these minimum standards by no means guarantees the student
admission, but no application will be seriously considered if such standards are not met.
www.du.edu/grad UNIVERSITY OF DENVER RELIGIOUS STUDIES 2010–2011 2
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Online Application Graduate Record Exam (GRE)
Submit an online application by accessing myWeb. Click Apply Applicants must request that Educational Testing Services
for Admission, log in, and select your degree, college, major and forward results to the University of Denver, Office of Graduate
concentration (if applicable). A printable confirmation page will Studies. The institution code for the University of Denver is 4842.
appear after your application has been submitted successfully. A departmental code is not required. For information concerning
You can check your application status by logging back into the GRE registration, please visit www.gre.org or contact:
application. Graduate Record Examination
Educational Testing Service
P.O. Box 6000
Application Fees Princeton, NJ 08541-6000
There is a $60 nonrefundable application fee that covers the 609-771-7670
cost of processing application materials. The application fee Applicants should take the GRE well in advance of their intended
can be paid online with a credit card at the time of application application date. Please allow at least 14 business days for your
submission, which is the preferred method, or by selecting general test scores and six weeks for your subject test scores
“Mail Payment” when submitting the application, in which case to be received. If you take the exam under a name other than
a bank draft or personal check drawn from a U.S. bank must be the name used on your application, please notify the Office of
submitted to the address listed below. After an application has Graduate Studies. Several departments and schools will not
been submitted, credit card payment is not available. Applications process applications until scores have been received. GRE scores
will not be considered for admission until this fee is paid. No older than five years from the date of the application may not be
waivers or deferrals are allowed, with the exception of McNair acceptable for admission.
and CORE scholars. A letter of scholar verification must be
included with application materials.
You should submit a short personal statement describing your
Transcripts interest in religious studies and career goals. Please upload and
Applicants are required to submit one official transcript from each submit the essay with your online application.
post-secondary institution they have attended or are presently
attending where two quarter hours (or one semester hour) or
Letters of Recommendation
more were completed. This includes transcripts for credit earned
as transfer work or study abroad and college credit earned in high Three letters of recommendation are required. Submit the names
school. and accurate e-mail addresses of the people who will write
your recommendations with your online application. Within one
An official transcript must include the original signature of the business day of receiving your application, we will send e-mail
registrar and/or the seal of the issuing institution, and it must requests for your letters. To ensure that your recommenders
be enclosed in an envelope with the stamp or signature of the have time to meet any application deadlines, we suggest that
registrar across the sealed flap. Transcripts received in unsealed you let them know in advance that our request will be coming. If
envelopes will not be accepted. Proof of a bachelor’s and/ evaluation forms will also be required, we will include instructions
or master’s degree (if applicable) is required from a regionally in the e-mail requests.
accredited college or university.
Applications will not be forwarded to the department for review
until all official transcripts have been received. The University of Mailing Address
Denver is not responsible for obtaining an applicant’s transcripts. Mail official transcripts and any supplemental admission materials
not submitted with the online application to:
All submitted credentials become property of the University of
Denver and cannot be copied or returned to the applicant or any University of Denver
person(s). Office of Graduate Studies
Mary Reed Building, Room 5
2199 S. University Blvd.
Denver, CO 80208-4802
For complete international applicant information, please visit the
Office of Graduate Studies’ International Student Application
Information. International applicants are strongly encouraged to
submit a complete admission packet at least eight weeks prior
to the program’s application deadline.
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DEGREE REQUIREMENTS FACULTY
The master’s degree requires a minimum of 45 hours, including Sandra L. Dixon
The Study of Religion (RLGS 4000) or its equivalent, one course Associate professor
devoted to the theoretical study of religion (e.g., Psychology of Ph.D., University of Chicago
Religion), and one course devoted to the study of religious texts
(e.g., The Dead Sea Scrolls). The remaining courses should be Ginette Ishimatsu
selected in consultation with a faculty adviser in such a way as Associate professor and Chair
to demonstrate familiarity with Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Ph.D., University of California, Berkeley
Islam and Judaism. Students are also encouraged to examine
other cultural forms of religion. Luís D. León
In order to complete the degree, students must pass a Associate professor
comprehensive examination, write a thesis or complete a Ph.D., University of California, Santa Barbara
translation of a previously untranslated religious text into English.
The comprehensive examination will consist of three exams Carl A. Raschke
over two successive days. Exam questions will deal respectively Professor
with two of the five major religious traditions and the theory Ph.D., Harvard University
of religion. General bibliographies for the exams, on which the
student will be tested, must be worked out with the instructor Gregory A. Robbins
administering the exam. Associate professor
Ph.D., Duke University
Up to 10 hours of previous graduate course work may be
transferred from another institution or another department at the Alison Schofield
university during the first quarter of the student’s admission to Assistant professor
the program. The transfer must be approved by the department Ph.D., University of Notre Dame
as well as by the graduate school.
Students may also take up to 15 hours in course work or
independent study that is not part of the regular course listings
of the department. These hours may include courses outside the
department as well.
The minimum grade for any specific course necessary to fulfill
degree requirements is a B-. The minimum grade for any course
taken for the degree is a C.
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RLGS 3001 Judaism RLGS 3300 Psychology of Religion
Basic concepts, documents, movements and practices of classic Beliefs, feelings, actions representing human religious response
Judaism as manifested in literature and festivals of Jewish people or experience; function of religion in individual life. 4 qtr. hrs.
from antiquity to present. Survey of basic texts and methods of
rabbinic Judaism. 4 qtr. hrs. RLGS 3315 Religion and Moral Psychology
Philosophical foundations and research strategies of psychological
RLGS 3050 Islam studies of moral thought, including Aristotelian, Kantian and
The history, development, concepts and practices of Islam in utilitarian thought; religious dimensions of morality. 4 qtr. hrs.
broad perspective. 4 qtr. hrs.
RLGS 3318 Jesus on the Silver Screen
RLGS 3062 Israel in the Ancient World Cinematic transformations of the Jesus myth, viewed in light of
Social, political, economic, religious history of Jews in biblical historical and technical perspectives. 4 qtr. hrs.
times and their relations with contemporary states, empires and
religions. 4 qtr. hrs. RLGS 3350 Culture, Psyche and Religion
4 qtr. hrs.
RLGS 3101 Bible History and Archeology
4 qtr. hrs. RLGS 3381 Religion and Psychobiography
A variety of psychological interpretations of lives of famous
RLGS 3114 Women in the Bible religious leaders; systematic investigation of subjects’ lives
The place of women in biblical narratives, legal position of women through psychological analysis of their writings. 4 qtr. hrs.
in Israelite society, use of feminine imagery in the Bible. 2 qtr. hrs.
RLGS 3400 Great Religious Thinkers
RLGS 3130 Prophets of Israel Inquiries into nature of religion, religious experience, language,
Survey of development of prophecy in ancient Israel, beginning methods of thinking. 4 qtr. hrs.
with early forms of mantic divination and continuing to classical
prophecy within Israel and its role in Israelite thought. 4 qtr. hrs. RLGS 3405 God
Exploration of the symbol and concept of God in a variety of
RLGS 3151 Dead Sea Scrolls cultural and theoretical contexts. 4 qtr. hrs.
The Dead Sea Scrolls in their historical, literary, religious context
in English translation, together with relevant scholarly research. RLGS 3460 Nietzsche and the Death of God
4 qtr. hrs. Exegesis of the philosophy of Nietzsche, Hegel and Heidegger in
relation to “God’s death;” responses in modern philosophical and
RLGS 3192 Christian Classics religious thought. 4 qtr. hrs.
Reading and discussion of early and medieval books pertaining to
Christian life and devotion. 4 qtr. hrs. RLGS 3465 Derrida and Postmodernism
The origin and development of “postmodernism” with special
RLGS 3203 Christianity attention to the writings of the French philosopher Jacques
4 qtr. hrs. Derrida. 4 qtr. hrs.
RLGS 3204 Christianity in the British Isles RLGS 3475 Deleuze and Semiotics
A study of Christianity in the British Isles — its origins, earliest 4 qtr. hrs.
forms of expression, reformation, and subsequent development
— approached as a distinct chapter in the history of religion. RLGS 3565 Religious Ethics
4 qtr. hrs. 4 qtr. hrs.
RLGS 3212 Development of the New Testament RLGS 3570 Religion and Morality in the American Public
Using a variety of critical methods, this course explores the social, Square
political, and religious influences that shaped the New Testament 4 qtr. hrs.
as it was written, copied, edited, canonized and translated into
its current forms. Students will perform a variety of exercises RLGS 3604 Faith and Ethics in Religious Biography
in class to illustrate the complicated process by which the New Modes of reconciling private faith and public ethic in thought and
Testament was formed. 4 qtr. hrs. careers of selected individuals. 4 qtr. hrs.
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COURSE DESCRIPTIONS (continued)
RLGS 3641 Religion and Race in America RLGS 3885 Islamic Mysticism
Explores the relationship between racism and religious activism The origins and development of Islamic mysticism, including
by focusing on the biographies of activists. 4 qtr. hrs. asceticism and the Sufi orders. 4 qtr. hrs.
RLGS 3680 American Religious Experience RLGS 3887 Qur’an and Hadith
Explores the development of American religious pluralism with a An examination of major themes of the Qur’an, the origins and
focus on “experiential” religion. Examines how American cultural development of the tafsir (commentary) and the canonization of
trends shape the forms of American religious identity and vice Islamic hadith literature. Also discusses how different groups
versa. 4 qtr. hrs. sought to impose their interpretive voices on the Qur’anic
exegetical literature. 4 qtr. hrs.
RLGS 3701 Topics in Religious Studies
Selected topics covered in different quarters. 4 qtr. hrs. RLGS 4000 Theory and Methods in the Study of Religion
4 qtr. hrs.
RLGS 3740 Bodies and Souls
4 qtr. hrs. RLGS 4100 Hebrew Bible Backgrounds
This course is designed to train the student in the method and
RLGS 3760 Globalization and Religion: Theory and Methods means of engaging in archeo-historical study of the Hebrew Bible.
This course explores how religious movements around the world The content of this course focuses on ancient Israelite religion in
both affect, and are affected by, the process of globalization. A Iron Age Palestine, particularly on emergent ideas about God (‘El)
major segment of the course is devoted to various theories of and the development and evolution of the priesthood. 4 qtr. hrs.
globalization and how they account for the increasingly important
role of religion. Focus is largely on the relationship between RLGS 4676 Latino Religious Cultures
Christianity, Judaism and Islam. 4 qtr. hrs. A survey of the freshest texts, methods, and theories for the
study of religiosity among Latinos in the United States. 4 qtr. hrs.
RLGS 3770 Religion and Violence
4 qtr. hrs. RLGS 4991 Independent Study
1–5 qtr. hrs.
RLGS 3750 Food and Religion
Examination of the relationship between food and religion from RLGS 4995 Thesis Research
various religious and theoretical perspectives. 4 qtr. hrs. 1–5 qtr. hrs.
RLGS 3813 Ritual
Nature and function of ritual and its relationship to religion,
analyzed from various scholarly perspectives. 4 qtr. hrs.
RLGS 3814 Modern Hinduism
Doctrines and practices of Hindu traditions in modern India, with
an emphasis on contemporary ritual practice. 4 qtr. hrs.
RLGS 3816 Hinduism Through Texts
History of ancient and medieval Hindu traditions, viewed through
the lens of religious texts. 4 qtr. hrs.
RLGS 3820 Buddhism
Buddhist life and thought from origins to present in India, Tibet,
China and Japan. 4 qtr. hrs.
For Updated Information
The department of religious studies’ Web site offers the most current information on courses, requirements, faculty and student news.
Go to http://www.du.edu/ahss/schools/rlgs for updated information on the program.
The University of Denver is an Equal Opportunity institution. We admit students of any race, color, national and ethnic origin to all the rights, privileges, programs and activities generally accorded or
made available to students at the university. The University of Denver does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national and ethnic origin in administration of our educational policies, admission
policies, scholarship and loan programs, and athletic and other university-administered programs. University policy likewise prohibits discrimination on the basis of age, religion, disability, sex, sexual
orientation, gender identity, gender expression, marital status or veteran status. Inquiries concerning allegations of discrimination based on any of the above factors may be referred to the University of
Denver, Office of Diversity and Equal Opportunity.
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