Faculty of TheologyInterreligious Studies – Master

Interreligious Studies addresses the increasing societal and economic need for interreligious competence. Courses provide students with a comprehensive appreciation of issues which impact or inhibit the peaceful co-existence of varied religions, and equip them with an understanding of how interreligious understanding might be achieved. As an interdisciplinary subject, Interreligious Studies touches upon issues and subjects from the humanities, social and cultural sciences.

Facts & Formalities

DegreeMaster of Arts, Joint Degree
Type of programmeConsecutive
Start of programmeWinter and summer semester
Language(s) of instructionGerman, partially French and English
Fees and contributions151.05 € / Semester
Application procedureConsecutive master’s programmes with access restriction
Application deadlinesInformation about deadlines can be obtained after you have put together a degree program.
Part-time optionYes

Course Content

The Master of Arts in Interreligious Studies equips students with the knowledge and skills they require in order to interpret theological texts and issues from a range of different religions. Students gain theological, historical, social, and cultural knowledge, as well as critical hermeneutic skills. Students are also able to specialise in specific topics within theology and are encouraged to consider alternative religious convictions and practices.

The Master’s degree programme in Interreligious Studies is a joint programme which is offered by Heidelberg University in collaboration with the universities of Basel and Strasbourg, and the Heidelberg College for Jewish Studies. Students who begin their course of study at Heidelberg University must gain a minimum of 30 credits at this institution, and a minimum of 30 credits at one of the partner institutions. The Master’s thesis must be submitted to Heidelberg University at the end of the academic programme.

Prospective students must have successfully completed a Bachelor’s degree programme in a subject of theological or religious relevance, or in linguistics, cultural, or social studies.

Course Structure

The course of study consists in five modules which are offered in collaboration between the partner institutions. Students must also complete an academic term paper and an interdisciplinary module, which must be chosen from modules available in humanities, cultural studies, linguistics, or social studies. Alternatively, students may complete language courses which have relevance for their research.
All modules:

  • Module 1: Interreligious relations: foundations and history
  • Module 2: Essential texts: exegetical and hermeneutic perspectives
  • Module 3: Religious convictions in the past and present
  • Module 4: Religion, society, and the state
  • Module 5: Religious philosophy and religious studies

Lectures and courses which are completed at partner institutions as part of these modules will be accredited in Heidelberg. Typically, students will spend the second or third academic semester at one of the partner institutions, whilst the fourth and final semesters are primarily spent completing the Master’s thesis.

Following successful completion of the degree programme, graduates will receive a Master’s certificate from Heidelberg University. In addition, they will receive a diploma supplement which will explain the content of the degree programme and feature the logos of all partner institutions.