Intercultural Theology and Interreligious Studies Courses

By Mariza Halliday - Last update

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What is Intercultural Theology and Interreligious Studies?

Intercultural Theology is the study of Theology across cultures and how it brings people and cultures closer together and reduces the risks of misunderstanding, tension and conflict. It has prompted a search for common values and reference points for social cohesion.

Interreligious Studies focuses on issues and subjects from the humanities, social and cultural sciences. Alongside basic knowledge relating to different religious traditions and movements, students also gain an understanding of important theological approaches.

What 3rd level courses are available?

Universities and colleges in Ireland are offering courses in Intercultural Theology and Interreligious Studies in the following subject areas:

  • Intercultural Theology and Interreligious Studies (M.Phil. / P.Grad.Dip.) – Intercultural Theology and Interreligious Studies integrates a variety of theological and other disciplines in order to explore significant and complex relationships within and between religious communities and their traditions.
  • Intercultural Theology and Interreligious Studies – An interdisciplinary course that explores some of the complex relationships within and between faith communities and their traditions
  • MA in Theology and World Religions – This programme offers a foundational basis in the Christian traditions, exploring key historical, thematic, and textual aspects of both the Catholic and Protestant traditions.
  • An Introduction to Theology Course – This Theology course is suitable for those interested in world religions, their origin and their place in contemporary society.

Studying Intercultural Theology and Interreligious Studies

There are many courses in Intercultural Theology and Interreligious Studies that may take place over a few days, weeks or even 1 year to 4 years depending on the course and modules selected. There are also part-time courses and night courses available so you can be sure to fit in your studies no matter what your schedule is like.

Courses will cover theory work through lectures, assignments, tutorials and taught modules. Assessments will take place on a continuous basis with written examinations and practical assignments combined in order to achieve a qualification.

You could also consider work experience or a work shadow in the industry. Try to get involved in voluntary work as a student, in local community projects, youth groups, tenants’ associations or women’s groups. Relevant work experience is a good way of demonstrating a genuine interest in the field and is regarded favorably by employers.

Work Experience will not only give you the opportunity to obtain a deeper knowledge and understanding of the industry, it will also give you a chance to do some essential networking with other industry professionals and gain valuable contacts for the future.

Career options

After completing an Intercultural Theology and Interreligious Studies course you will be able to get started in a career that uses specific knowledge of Theology, Religions and different cultures.

As an Intercultural Theology and Interreligious Studies graduate it is likely that you will go into a profession that helps communities bring about social change and improve the quality of life in their local area through their community religious organizations and faiths.

You may work with individuals, families or whole communities, empowering them to identify their assets, needs, opportunities, rights and responsibilities, plan what they want to achieve and take appropriate action and develop activities and services to generate aspiration and confidence.

You’ll do this by acting as a link between communities and a range of other local authorities and voluntary sector providers, such as the police, social workers and teachers.

Some of your responsibilities may include work on projects tackling specific issues (e.g. mental health, public transport and drug abuse) – with groups such as the homeless, the long-term unemployed, families with young children or ethnic minorities.

You may seek to actively engage communities in making sense of the issues which affect their lives through faith.

Working hours will depend on whether you are self-employed, employed by a company with set business hours or if you are contracted to various businesses or companies. Each working day will vary depending on your scheduled activities for that week. You need to be accessible to the communities you serve. This means the work will often include unsocial hours, such as evenings and weekends, so considerable flexibility is required.

Related jobs include:

  • Chaplain
  • Higher education lecturer
  • Primary school teacher
  • Secondary school teacher
  • Advice worker
  • Archivist
  • Charity fundraiser
  • Counsellor
  • Civil Service administrator
  • Community development worker
  • International aid/development worker
  • Mediator
  • Newspaper journalist
  • Police officer
  • Youth worker

Further study

After completing a course in Intercultural Theology and Interreligious Studies you may choose to pursue further study in a specialist field to increase your knowledge base and skill set. Postgraduate study can also be used as a means to change career focus or to gain professional qualifications required to practice in certain career areas such as Business and community studies, Legal studies, Public health or community health, Social services management, Voluntary sector studies, Education, Environment, Health sector, Social work and Youth work.


What is the importance of Intercultural Theology and Interreligious Studies?

Interreligious Studies addresses the increasing societal and economic need for interreligious competence.

Interfaith dialogue is an increasingly popular response to religious conflict and religious nationalism. The underlying purpose of all interfaith dialogue projects is to enhance religious tolerance and promote peaceful coexistence.

Where can I study Intercultural Theology and Interreligious Studies?

Explore your options here

 Did You Know?

  • In 2015, 40% of countries had high or very high levels of restrictions on religion.
  • Latin America is home to more than 425 million Catholics – nearly 40% of the world’s total Catholic population.
  • An estimated 83.4% of women around the world identify with a faith group, compared with 79.9% of men.
  • Christianity is the largest religion in the world, with more than 2.4 billion followers. Rastafari is the smallest religion in the world, with 600,000 followers.
  • One of the less-known religious facts is that Hinduism is not actually a single religion. It is a collection of beliefs and philosophies sharing a common set of gods and concepts. The most significant of these common gods include Vishnu, Shiva, and Brahma. Shared concepts include karma, reincarnation, and the Vedas’ guidance.

Mariza Halliday

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