Naropa University’s Religious Studies master’s degree program is one of personal and intellectual transformation. As a Religious Studies graduate student, you will cultivate insights, knowledge, and meditative methods (such as mindfulness, yoga, and compassion practices) that will empower you to serve the inner and outer needs of the world, whether in the classroom, your community, through inter-religious dialog, or the larger society.
At Naropa, you can remain broadly focused in your studies by choosing a Contemplative Religions concentration, or you can specialize through the in-depth study of Indo-Tibetan Buddhism or Contemplative Judaism. We also offer a Master of Arts with Language, which allows you to add two years of Sanskrit and/or Tibetan language to your degree program.
Whatever path you choose, you will study the great masters and their works, ancient and modern, that are important to each tradition, while also delving into their profundities through contemplative methods.
Alumni from Naropa’s Master of Arts in Religious Studies program have been accepted to doctoral programs around the world, including Harvard University, Oxford University, University of Chicago, University of California—Santa Barbara, University of Virginia, Rice University, University of the West, and the California Institute of Integral Studies.
Our Religious Studies graduates have also created compelling careers for themselves as professors, translators, teachers, social service professionals, ministers, experts in humanities computing, librarians, lawyers, and activists.
Enhance your MA in Religious Studies degree with an optional two-year study of Sanskrit or Tibetan language, in order to become a translator, in preparation for a doctoral program, and/or to enrich your personal understanding of the related traditions.
Complete a 28-day group practice retreat in the religious tradition(s) of your choice, all at one time or in two to four shorter retreats, for an in-depth contemplative experience, living in a community context.
The Master of Arts program in Religious Studies (45 credit hours) and the Master of Arts program in Religious Studies with Language (61 credit hours) offer both academic and contemplative experiences that encompass the beautiful plurality of global religious expression. This program will prepare you for doctoral-level graduate study, research, translation services, or other careers that require strong analytic and writing skills.
“I have the job I have today because of Naropa. Although I have a separate degree in Library and Information Science, the main reason I am working at ATLA today is because I have intimate knowledge of Buddhism and Hinduism. I specialize in these fields in my current job and use my education daily. My knowledge of Sanskrit has come into play, as well as by having the ability to read and understand Buddhist terms in Sanskrit.”
— Roger Morales, MA 2013
Theological Librarian for the American Theological Library Association
“Our students share a common aspiration to be personally transformed by their education at Naropa, however they aspire to apply their training after they graduate, be that to acquire language skills and a breadth of knowledge of the Buddhist tradition, or a grounding in a range of religious traditions, or develop chaplaincy skills to serve others.”
— Phil Stanley, PhDAll Religious Studies Faculty
Associate Professor & Core Faculty