To gain a full scope of religious study, rather than a single faith, there are master's degrees in religious studies or related topics. Several schools offer fully online programs that could take students two years to complete; find out more about these programs below.
Universities Offering Online Master's Programs in Religious Studies
Fuller Seminary is a Christian institution for graduate students, and offers online master's degrees focused on global arts and world religions. The school offers a Master of Arts (MA) in Global Leadership as well as a Master of Arts in Intercultural Studies. Topics of study can include art and symbols related to world religions, interfaith dialogue, and worship in world religions. The MA in Intercultural Studies consists of 80 units and usually takes about two years of full-time study to complete.
Western Michigan University
Western Michigan University offers an online Master of Arts in Spirituality, Culture, and Health. This program is housed under the Department of Comparative Religion, and the coursework is designed with healthcare professionals in mind. It is 30 credit hours in length and can be done entirely online. Course topics can include the therapeutic process in worship, health studies in religion, how different cultures view death, and even traditional Chinese medicine.
Harvard Extension School
Harvard Extension School's master's degree in religion is not completely online. Students must take three courses on campus before completing the rest of the coursework online. Students graduate with a Master of Liberal Arts in Religion and attend commencement at Harvard University. Students can study Virginia Woolf's concept of religion, world religion, and religion in the modern Middle East.
Liberty University's Master of Arts in Religion - Global Studies has a completely online curriculum. Students graduate with a Master of Arts in Religion. It takes students an average of two and a half years to complete the 60 credit hours in the program. The curriculum is broken up into 8-week online courses. Some courses include cultural anthropology, introductions to various religious faiths, and intercultural dialogues. The program is housed in the Rawlings School of Divinity.
Program Admittance Requirements for a Master's in Religious Studies
When applying to a master's program in religious studies, applicants should have undergraduate transcripts and resumes handy. Religious studies admissions can sometimes be unique in the nature of the letters of recommendations and personal essays. Some schools request a letter of recommendation from a person of faith. Personal statements center around the applicant's reasons for wanting to study world religions. Applicants should be aware of the relative religious backing of the institutions for which they are applying, or in some cases, lack thereof. Some schools may even require several years of work experience.
There are several schools offering fully online master's degree programs in areas related to religious studies. Program requirements can vary between 30 to 80 credit hours, and some programs may benefit those in the healthcare field wanting to understand cultural and religious beliefs.