Master of Arts in Religion

Stained glass windowM.A.R. students in the ISM prepare themselves for a variety of careers: teaching, work in arts-related organizations, or other kinds of lay ministries. Many also go on for further doctoral work in music, art history, literature, or liturgy. 

Master’s degree students may pursue the broad-based Comprehensive M.A.R. in religion and the arts. Alternatively, they may be admitted to a concentration in either

  • liturgical studies
  • religion and literature
  • religion and music, or
  • religion and the visual arts & material culture.

Students declare their concentration at the time of application. Courses in these areas are taken principally from faculty in the Divinity School and Institute of Sacred Music; electives are taken elsewhere in the University: in the Graduate School (e.g., the departments of English, Comparative Literature, Music, American Studies, History of Art) or in the schools of Art and Architecture.

The program in Religion and the Arts provides enrichment to all students in YDS and ISM. The faculty teach courses ranging from introductions to Christian art and architecture and the history of sacred music to digital media, liturgy, and theology; and advanced seminars in religious iconography and writing workshops in poetry or fiction.

In addition, students study the traditional curriculum of divinity: Bible, theology, history of Christianity, liturgics. Students are encouraged to attain reading proficiency in a second language relevant to their field of study.