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Theology - Specialisation in the History of Christianity

This Masters offers a comprehensive overview of the evolution of Christian thought and practice over two millennia and explores the general principles necessary for understanding the history of the Christian Church, and their application, with particular reference to Britain and Ireland.

Students will be introduced to the practice of writing church history, a critical approach to primary source documents, and the use of historical archives. There are also modules on the literary and theological culture of early medieval Ireland, the writing of Church History from the Reformation to the present day, and the Renewal of Theology in the 20th century.

This course consists of eight modules delivered over four semesters (two academic years) and the submission of a thesis of 15,000 words on an agreed topic. Modules are delivered on Wednesday evenings.

In the first year, candidates take the following modules: History of Christian Thought (10 credits); Research Methodologies & Reading and Interpreting Primary Source Texts I (5 credits); "Isle of Saints and Scholars"? The Literary Culture of Early Medieval Ireland (10 credits); and History of Christian Practice: Medieval to Modern (5 credits).

In the second year candidates take: Theology and Renewal in the Twentieth Century (10 credits); Research Methodologies & Reading and Interpreting Primary Source Texts II (5 credits); The Writing of Church History from the Reformation to the 20th century (10 credits); and History of Christian Practice: Medieval Ireland (5 credits).

During this course, students will have the opportunity to visit, view and research relevant texts from the rich and unique collections of holdings housed in the John Paul II and Russell Libraries on campus, some of which date from as early as the eleventh century. These collections will form an integrated element in most of the taught modules, affording students ample opportunity to explore potentially rich areas for original research in their end-of-year dissertations. This Masters explores the general principles necessary for understanding the history of the Christian Church (first semester) and their application in the context of Britain and Ireland (second semester). It offers a comprehensive critical overview of the evolution of Christian thought and practice over two millennia.

Entry requirements

Applicants should normally possess a recognized primary degree in Theology or a related discipline (for example, History) and have obtained at least a Second Class Honours, Grade I. In exceptional cases, applicants who can satisfactorily demonstrate a long-standing interest in the subject, coupled with proven relevant experience, will also be considered. An interview will form part of the selection procedure. Students whose first language is not English will be required to satisfy the relevant English language requirements.

Duration

2 years part-time
Lectures: Wednesday evenings, 6.00pm -9.00pm

Careers or further progression

Master's Degree in Theology (specialisation in the History of Christianity) A Masters course such as this one is chosen for a variety of reasons by students: for some, it arises out of a passion for the subject itself (sometimes a person has had a life-long interest in the area and only now has acquired the time and leisure to formalise this in an academic course of study).

Others regard it as offering a range of transferable skills which are highly valued in the marketplace: skills such as the ability to research and present one's findings in a clear, concise and professional manner; the development of one's critical thinking and analytical skills; organisational skills such as those which are required when dealing with large amounts of data across a range of sources. These are skills which serve a student well in applying for a range of positions including professions such as the civil service, journalism and the media, the teaching profession, adult education, and across the social sciences.

A solid background in religious history is also important in the area of ecumenism, peace-building initiatives and work with a range of NGOs, not to mention the areas of tourism and heritage. Some students will, at the end of their Masters studies, consider further progression towards acquiring a PhD in a chosen area.

Further enquiries

St. Patrick's College
Maynooth
Co. Kildare
W23 TW77
+353 (0)1 708 3600
admissions@spcm.ie

Subjects taught

This course consists of eight modules delivered over four semesters (two academic years) and the submission of a thesis of 15,000 words on an agreed topic. Modules are delivered on Wednesday evenings. Cycle A is the first year of the programme in 2018-2019. Cycle B is the second year of the programme in 2019-2020 for students who began the course in 2018-2019. Cycle B will also be the first year of the programme for new entrants in 2019-2020.

Cycle B 2019-2020

Theology and Renewal in the Twentieth Century (10 credits)
(2019-2020)

PG 306: Research Methodologies & Reading and Interpreting Primary Source Texts II (5 credits)
(2019-2020)

The Writing of Church History from the Reformation to the 20th century (10 credits)
(2019-2020)

PG304: History of Christian Practice: Medieval Ireland (5 credits).
(2019-2020)

Application date

Application Deadline: 14th June 2019

Late applications considered on a case by case basis

Enrolment and start dates

Course Start Date: September 2019

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