The Religious Studies Program

Stonehenge 203 Cockefair Hall
5121 Rockhill Road
Kansas City,MO 64110
ph:(816) 235-5704

The Religious Studies Program offers an interdisciplinary, cross-cultural, and socio-historical approach to the study of religion. Founded in 1996, Religious Studies is the administrative and academic home of the Religious Studies discipline in UMKC’s interdisciplinary Ph.D. program and is governed by the regulations and requirements of that program.

Students in religious studies are introduced to the many dimensions of religious belief, practice, and expression found in human cultures. In addition to core courses designed for doctoral-level students with Religious Studies as either their Coordinating or Co-Discipline, the Program offers graduate and undergraduate courses. Cognate courses relevant to the study of religion can be found under the listings of other departments and programs.

Participating consortium members are the University of Missouri-Kansas City, Nazarene Theological Seminary, Central Baptist Theological Seminary, Park University, Rockhurst University, and William Jewell College. Representatives from each institution serve on a steering committee that, together with the core faculty, determines curriculum, sets academic standards, screens applications, and oversees other administrative matters related to the Ph.D. program.

Students must complete requirements in at least two approved doctoral disciplines in order to receive the Ph.D. degree. Students may select Religious Studies as either their coordinating discipline or co-discipline. The coordinating discipline is the principal field of study, while the co-discipline is the secondary complementary field. Compatible co-disciplines for Religious Studies include, but are not limited to, History, Education, Sociology/Anthropology, Political Science, Psychology, Philosophy, History of Art, and English.

Applicants applying to the Ph.D. program should have an M.A. in a cognate field or an MTS. Applications are reviewed in the early spring for fall admission. Applicants are eligible to apply for all UMKC fellowships and financial aid.

UMKC's Master of Arts in Liberal Studies (MALS) degree program offers students the opportunity to pursue religious studies at the graduate level. Students may select the Religious Studies focus area, which provides an interdisciplinary curriculum that emphasizes the study of comparative religion.  Please visit the MALS website for more information.