Graduate and Seminary Programs in Interfaith Studies

Interfaith Leadership Certificate at Andover Newton Theological School and Hebrew College

The Interfaith Leadership Certificate is for students interested in interfaith engagement and religious leadership informed by interfaith insights. The focus of this certificate is on solidifying the student’s own religious identity while also exploring the faith of others. Beyond the classroom, this program includes cultivation of personal relationships across religious lines, with an emphasis on collaboration with faculty and students at Hebrew College.

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• Prerequisites to enroll: Bachelors degree or enrolled in an Andover Newton degree program 

• Required*: completion of five interfaith courses such as:

  •  Encountering Jews and Judaism: A Primer for Future Ministers
  •  Abraham Joshua Heschel and Martin Luther King
  •  Views of the Messianic Age in Judaism and Christianity
  •  The Book of Job and the Problem of Evil in Jewish and Christian Thought
  •  Introduction to the Interfaith Movement in the United States
  •  Hinduism, Buddhism and Islam

• Many courses co-taught with faculty from both Andover Newton and Hebrew College
• Faculty advising: provided Interfaith Leadership Certificate

How to Apply
As a Special Student through the Admissions Office:
• Complete a Special Student application either online or on paper
• Submit official transcripts from schools you have previously attended
• Submit one letter of recommendation 

As a current student through the Registrar’s Office:
• Discuss your interest with your academic advisor
• Submit an Intent to Graduate Form when you have completed the required 15 credits

As a BTI student through the Admissions Office:
• Complete a Special Student application either online or on paper
• Submit official transcripts from schools you have previously attended
• Submit one letter of recommendation

NOTE: You must be enrolled as a student at Andover Newton to earn a certificate. Courses taken at Andover Newton for credit as a non-matriculated E-Learner or as an exchange student from another seminary may count towards a certificate only after you are admitted as a student and receive approval from your Andover Newton advisor.

Cost: Approximately $2,000 per course including tuition and fees.

*Please refer to the Andover Newton on-line

Doctor of Ministry in a Multifaith Context at Auburn Seminary

The Doctor of Ministry in a Multifaith Context at Auburn Seminary is a professional degree for religious leaders who serve across faith boundaries.

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Increasingly, faith communities in America need religious leaders who can reach across lines of faith. Yet historically, institutions that train religious leaders have given little attention to teaching about other faiths or to giving future religious leaders the practical skills necessary to work effectively in a multifaith context. The Doctor of Ministry in a Multifaith Context fills this gap.

This degree program is designed for working religious leaders from diverse faith backgrounds.  Candidates examine in depth the professional and theological issues that arise when religious leaders reach across lines of faith to carry out their ministry.  The program is not designed as a world religions survey course.  Rather, the program challenges candidates to gain the skills and knowledge necessary to work effectively in a multifaith context.  Candidates engage each other in four major seminars and then carry out a demonstration project - the professional equivalent of a thesis - in an area of ministry about which they are passionate. 

The Doctor of Ministry in a Multifaith Context was launched in 2005 as a partnership between New York Theological Seminary and the Center for Multifaith Education at Auburn Theological Seminary.  The degree is overseen and granted by New York Theological Seminary.  Auburn faculty assist in the design of the program and teach one of the core seminars.

Three-Year Curriculum
The Doctor of Ministry in a Multifaith Context program is designed to be completed over the course of three years.  Year 1 features three seminars:

The Critical Interpretation Seminar develops, enhances, expands, and strengthens the capacity for close reading, analysis, and reflection (individually and as a group), which is thoroughly informed by multifaith awareness. Using a broad range of sources, students consider their approach to sacred texts and the encounter of their own worldview with those of others, especially in relation to the structures and processes of racism, sexism, classism, and ecological unsustainability - the goal being a hermeneutics adequate to the present-day ministerial context.

The Religious Leadership in a Mulitfaith World Seminar recognizes that many clergy begin to build their multifaith knowledge base and learn multifaith skills in the field. This seminar is designed to enhance and accelerate that learning by pushing candidates to learn more about what is going on 'out there,' to analyze and reflect on those experiences, and to assist candidates to imagine how their religious leadership could be shaped by a multifaith lens.

The Mentor and Research Development Seminar assists students to develop and work with their respective site teams, which advise candidates as they carry out their demonstration project. The site team assesses the ministry needs and possibilities and the competencies of the student. Out of these assessments will emerge the proposal for action and research that will further the mission and strengthen selected competencies of the student.

In Year 2, candidates complete a final seminar (a continuation of Mentor and Research Development) and carry out their demonstration project in the field.  In Year 3, candidates complete the written review of their demonstration project.

Intensive Format
The format of the program is designed to accommodate the busy schedules of religious leaders who are working full time.  The residential requirements of the program include four one-week-long seminars, three of which take place in the first year (October, February and June) and one of which takes place in the fall of the second year.  In addition, during the first year, the four seminars require significant academic and field work in between the intensive in-class seminars.  A substantial online educational system supports all aspects of learning.  

After the fall week-long intensive in year two, the second and third year are largely taken up by independent work on the demonstration project and do not have further residential requirements.  Candidates do not need to be based in the New York region in order to complete the degree if they can commit to the four one-week-long residential seminars and complete the substantial academic and field work of the required seminars.  Affordable housing options are available to candidates.

The Doctor of Ministry in a Multifaith Context degree program is open to ordained clergy and other religious leaders.  Candidates should have a minimum of three years of post-graduate experience in religious leadership.  

Core Faculty
Rabbi Justus N. Baird, Director, Center for Multifaith Education, Auburn Theological Seminary
The Rev. Dr. Dale Irvin, President, New York Theological Seminary
The Rev. Dr. Wanda Lundy, New York Theological Seminary

Demonstration Project
A major component of the Doctor of Ministry in a Multifaith Context degree is a demonstration project (field equivalent of a thesis) that is designed, carried out and written about by the candidate.  Candidates are encouraged to work on projects about which they are passionate.  Projects by candidates are wide-ranging and have included spiritual direction in an interfaith setting, exploring the connections between African traditional religions and the American Black church, building a media-based outreach ministry, and end-of-life care in a multfaith context.

Diverse Participants
Candidates have included religious leaders from a wide range of faith communities, including evangelical and liberal Christians from the widest array of denominations and contexts, rabbis, Muslim and Buddhist religious leaders.

About the Sponsoring Institutions
New York Theological Seminary was founded in 1901 as an interdenominational center for biblical and pastoral training.  Since 1970, New York Theological Seminary has been recognized as a leader in theological education for urban ministry, and increasingly in world Christianity.  The formal accreditation for the Doctor of Ministry in a Multifaith Context degree is granted through New York Theological Seminary.  For more information, visit the New York Theological Seminary Web site.

Auburn Theological Seminary, founded in 1818, was one of the first institutions in the United States to focus on continuing education for clergy and other religious leaders.  Auburn's Center for Multifaith Education, established in 2000, has become a leader in the field of multifaith education and interreligious studies.  The Center for Multifaith Education runs educational programs for seminary faculty, religious leaders, seminary students, professionals, and teenagers.  See the Center's educational programs for more information.

For Additional Information
Contact Dr. Wanda Lundy, Director of Doctor of Ministry Programs, New York Theological Seminary at (212) 870-1239 or at

Ph.D. in Comparative Theology at Boston College

The Ph.D. in Comparative Theology at Boston College prepares students for careful theological reflection, usually from a Christian perspective, on non-Christian religions in their particularity and on their significance for theology. Comparative Theology entails the study of one or more religious traditions in addition to one's own, as well as critical reflection on one's own tradition in light of that other tradition or other traditions. Students are expected to acquire a significant understanding of a major non-Christian religion as well as a critical method used in the study of religions; for example, philosophy of religion, comparative religion, or history of religions.

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Like all other areas of theology, Comparative Theology's ultimate horizon is knowledge of God, the transcendent, or the nature of ultimate reality; it aims to be constructive theology. The practitioner, while rooted in one tradition (in this program, normally Christianity), becomes deeply affected by systematic, consistent attention to the details of one or more other religious and theological traditions, thereby informing continuing theological reflection upon his or her own tradition. It is this focused attention to the distinctive details of different traditions that distinguishes Comparative Theology from the Theology of Religions, but also opens the possibility of a newly and more deeply informed Theology of Religions.

In turn, this study is brought into dialogue with some particular theme or topic of study in Christian Theology (usually, as studied in one of the other areas of specialization, Bible, History of Christian Life and Thought, Systematic Theology, Theological Ethics, or Pastoral Theology), and articulated in light of a Theology of Religions. Students in this area are thus prepared to take up a wide range of research projects, and also to teach one or more religious traditions in addition to chosen areas of Christian Theology.

Applicants for admission to Comparative Theology should already have a master's-level background in Christian theology and have studied in an academic context the second religious tradition that they intend to compare with Christianity. So, too, students must have completed at least one year of language study relevant to the non-Christian tradition they will be studying. It is strongly recommended that, before applying to this Ph.D. program, applicants contact the faculty at BC with whom they intend to work to discuss their plans and to ask any questions.

For more information, please see the Comparative Theology web site.

Claremont Lincoln University

Claremont Lincoln University is a degree-granting institution at the center of a new consortium of professional graduate schools for religious education. Under this historic new model, Claremont School of Theology; the Academy for Jewish Religion, California; and the Islamic Center of Southern California will offer professional religious education in their respective traditions.

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Six masters degrees are currently offered through Claremont Lincoln University:

A number of other masters degrees are offered through affiliate schools in the consortium:

Academy for Jewish Religion, California

Claremont School of Theology

Claremont Graduate University

The School of Religion at Claremont Graduate University offers several masters degrees in areas and approaches that are distinct from those offered by Claremont Lincoln University.


The Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) degree prepares students for professional academic scholarship, teaching, and/or advanced leadership. Claremont’s long-standing doctoral programs are known around the world for their prestigious faculty, leading edge inquiry, and trend-setting scholarship in religious and theological studies. Today, the programs are again pushing scholarship and practice, taking seriously the challenges and opportunities of interreligious scholarship for a multi-religious world.

Claremont Lincoln University offers two Ph.D. degrees in six primary areas:

Ph.D. in Practical Theology

  • Education and Formation
    • Interreligious Education
    • Religious Education
    • Spiritual Formation
  • Spiritual Care and Counseling
    • ACPE Supervision
    • Clinical Spiritual Care
    • Spiritually-Integrative Psychotherapy

Ph.D. in Religion

  • Comparative Theology & Philosophy
  • Hebrew Bible
  • New Testament
  • Process Studies
  • Religion, Ethics, and Society 

Claremont Graduate University

The School of Religion at Claremont Graduate University offers several Ph.D. programs in areas and approaches that are distinct from those offered by Claremont Lincoln University. 

Claremont School of Theology

In the 1960s, Claremont School of Theology developed the first professional doctorate (Rel.D.) in ministerial education. Today, it continues to offer the Doctor of Ministry degree for those seeking advanced education in professional ministerial practice.

Graduate Certificate in Chaplaincy in Multifaith Contexts at Hartford Seminary

The Graduate Certificate in Chaplaincy in Multifaith Contexts at Hartford Seminary is designed to provide persons who already are chaplains, or wish to become chaplains, the breadth of understanding of religious diversity and skills in pastoral care, practices of religious leadership, theology and ethics, dialogue and interreligious relations needed for service in multifaith contexts. Because enrollees in this program come from a variety of religious backgrounds, most class time will be inherently an experience of interreligious dialogue. 

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Learn more about this program.

Understanding and Engaging Religious Diversity (DI-641) 3 credits
Chaplaincy Models and Methods (AM-602) 3 credits
Four elective courses
(Exploring the following themes: Theology or Sacred Texts, Transitions, Institutional Settings, Dialogue and Conflict Resolution)
12 credits
Clinical Pastoral Education 3 credits
Chaplaincy Practicum (GC-610) 3 credits

Clinical Pastoral Education: All students are required to take one unit of Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE). When the student has completed the unit of CPE, he/she must submit an Advanced Standing petition to the Academic Policy Committee which requests three credits and include a copy of his/her CPE certificate. No tuition is charged by the Seminary for CPE.

Chaplaincy Practicum: Qualified students may be granted up to three Chaplaincy Practicum credits for previous relevant religious leadership experiences by petitioning for Advanced Standing in accordance with the Advanced Standing Guidelines of Hartford Seminary. Such requests must be acted upon by the Academic Policy Committee in consultation with the program director. Students for whom Chaplaincy Practicum is waived will still be required to participate in an exit interview with the Certificate Program Director. Note: A student for whom board certification is the goal may petition the Academic Policy Committee to substitute a second unit of CPE for the Chaplaincy Practicum requirement.

Transfer Credit: Students are allowed to count up to three graduate level credits taken at another accredited institution toward the elective requirements for the Graduate Certificate in Chaplaincy in Multifaith Contexts. These credits may be from a course taken within 10 years prior to enrolling at Hartford Seminary or can be taken during the course of a student’s program. However, a course taken at another institution while a student is enrolled at Hartford Seminary must be pre-approved by the student’s advisor and the Dean (students must complete the Transfer Credit Pre-Approval Form). A student may petition the Academic Policy Committee to take an additional 3 credits at another institution and transfer them toward elective credits for this Graduate Certificate. However, a convincing case must be made that a second non-Hartford Seminary course is critical to this particular student’s successful preparation for chaplaincy.

M.A. in Christianity and Interreligious Relations at Heythrop College, University of London

Engage with the many questions and challenges faced by Christian faith as it confronts the phenomenon of religious pluralism. Faith and faith communities figures largely in contemporary public discourse, but the issues are complex and interdisciplinary. London, one of the most cosmopolitan cities on earth, offers a unique setting for reflection on these issues.

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Course length
  • 1 years full-time
  • 2 years part-time
  • An honours degree (normally 2.1 or above) or equivalent in theology or in another appropriate subject
  • PGCert Christianity & Interreligious Relations
  • PGDip Christianity & Interreligious Relations

Engage with the many questions and challenges faced by Christian faith as it confronts the phenomenon of religious pluralism. 
Faith and faith communities figures largely in contemporary public discourse, but the issues are complex and interdisciplinary. London, one of the most cosmopolitan cities on earth, offers a unique setting for reflection on these issues.


Jewish-Christian Relations
Muslim-Christian Relations
Christian Relations with Buddhism and Hinduism
Christianity in Dialogue