Birks Reading Room

Explore the world’s religions

Cultivating a thorough understanding of the world’s religions and their roles in constituting historical and contemporary cultures is at the heart of the School of Religious Studies’ teaching. In studying the world’s religious traditions, we emphasize the ways in which religious expression and practices are embedded in culture, politics, aesthetics, and social change. 

School of Religious Studies

The School of Religious Studies offers six degrees within the Faculty of Arts, providing a wide range of programs, including B.A. programs, theological programs, and several specialized graduate degree programs. 


Bachelor of Arts (B.A.)

Bachelor of Arts programs in the School of Religious Studies explore the many cultural, historical and political issues related to both Eastern and Western religions, and to religion in comparative perspective. Majors and Minors in World Religions are available, as well as a Minor in Religion and Globalization and Honours and Joint Honours programs in Religious Studies.

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Bachelor of Theology (B.Th.)

The Bachelor of Theology (B.Th.) offers academic instruction in the disciplines of theology and a more intensive study of Christianity. The B.Th. degree can be pursued independently or in preparation for ordained ministry and other careers in pastoral settings such as hospitals and schools.

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Master of Arts (M.A.)

The School of Religious Studies offers programs leading to the degrees of: Master of Arts (Thesis and Non-Thesis), Master of Arts (Thesis) with specialization in Bioethics, Master of Arts (Thesis) with option in Gender and Women’s Studies.

The purpose of the M.A. (Thesis) degree is to encourage advanced study and research in one of the disciplines of Religious Studies for those who wish to become scholars or teachers, or will be engaged in some field of religious or public service. The M.A. (Thesis) program in Religious Studies offers a specialization in Bioethics and an option in Gender and Women's Studies.

The M.A. without thesis is intended to ensure a student's well-rounded exposure to several religions and to several of the disciplinary approaches currently used in their academic study.

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Master of Sacred Theology (S.T.M)

The Master of Sacred Theology (S.T.M.) is an advanced degree for students with a previous undergraduate degree in theology or a related subject. The S.T.M. program is fully accredited by the Association of Theological Schools in the U.S. and Canada.
The normal requirement is two years (of two terms each) of full-time study, but the degree may, by permission, be taken on a part-time basis.

The S.T.M. is meant for those who intend to enter the ministry of the Christian Church or another religious institution, or proceed to a teaching career or to some form of social work. This degree enables students to specialize in one area or discipline of theological study before or after the third year of the M.Div. and is unique in Canada. The S.T.M. program is fully accredited by the Association of Theological Schools in the U.S. and Canada.

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Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)

The purpose of the Ph.D. program is to engage students in advanced academic studies normally in preparation for an academic career. The community of graduate scholars in this program is engaged in a broad spectrum of critical research involving any number of interdisciplinary approaches conducted on a number of different religious traditions. The faculty members are committed to the training of teaching scholars, making the School of Religious Studies one of few schools that prioritizes offering graduate students opportunities under faculty supervision to teach/lecture during their time in the program.

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Director's message

With humility before the sustained excellence of the Faculty of Religious Studies’ history, and with real excitement before the School of Religious Studies’ most promising future, I am pleased to serve as the first Director of the School of Religious Studies.


We are home to the Centre for Research on Religion (CREOR) and McGill’s Initiative in Globalization and the World’s Religions. In 2013, a landmark gift from the Barbara and Patrick Keenan Foundation launched a series of major new developments.

Interfaith Studies

Read about Professor Armando Salvatore and the Future of Interfaith Studies.


Learn more about the Professors in the School of Religious Studies.

Visiting Professors

Learn about the School's visiting professors in 2018.

Support the School

Our ability to bring our students the most diverse, ground-breaking information and experiences depends upon the incredible generosity of our alumni, friends and partners.