Master of Arts in Interreligious Dialogue

Science, Philosophy and Theology of Religions

The Master in Interreligious Dialogue:

  • is entirely available online with recorded lectures
  • has a clear focus on the world’s main religions and their fundamentals
  • prepares its students for in-depth knowledge of the interrelations between different cultural and religious contexts
  • gives the opportunity to dialogue with people of diverse religious beliefs
  • stands out for the international stature of its Professors
  • guarantees personal tutors, who provide regular feedback on written work and guidance about the Master’s projects
  • offers the opportunity to apply for scholarships

Years of experience online

After a long developmental process, which has also seen the success of the MOOC (massive open online course) Religions from the Inside: Improving Interreligious Dialogue on FutureLearn website, the Re.Te. Institute (“Religions and Theology”) now offers an English-language master’s degree dedicated to promoting interreligious dialogue, completely available online. The Master of Arts in Interreligious Dialogue: Science, Philosophy and Theology of Religions will now be offered alongside the existing Italian-language degree, Master of Arts in “Scienza, Filosofia e Teologia delle religioni”, celebrating over ten years online.

Classes officially start on September 2023.

(For any other information about it, please contact the Tutor of the Master’s course: beatrice.granaroli@usi.ch)

Purpose of Master’s Degree

The purpose of the new English-language master’s degree is to deepen the knowledge of the world’s main religions and, above all, to shape and stimulate the conduct of interreligious dialogue. To achieve this goal, the Re.Te. Institute offers top-level teachers from around the world and representatives from the world’s main religions. Details about the program can be found below.

Structure and contents

The degree is divided into four semesters, fully available on the Institute’s Moodle Platform. The first semester features the lessons of the MOOC Religions from the Inside: Improving Interreligious Dialogue. In these lessons, representatives of the world’s main religions (Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Buddhism, and Hinduism) present the foundations of their respective faith. They demonstrate how their religion, when seen from the inside and considered fundamental principles, allows the religious human being to be open peacefully and lovingly to other humans, to the world, and to the sphere of the divine. These videos are introduced by a presentation that shows that interreligious dialogue, in the contemporary context, is not only possible but necessary, something that has to be pursued from an ethical point of view. The first semester concludes with a series of in-depth studies conducted from the Jewish, Christian, and Islamic perspectives about violence in religion and how it can arise.

The remaining three semesters, each containing 5 lesson modules, respectively deepen the themes of Religious Experience in the History and in the Contemporary World, discuss Main Questions in World Religions, and offer concrete examples to go Towards an Interreligious Dialogue. All the video lessons are presented by internationally known teachers and they are all recorded; none of them will be synchronous or live-streamed so that students from all over the world can follow the classes.

With the successful completion of all exams, a research portfolio and a final thesis, students will obtain a total of 120 ECTS and achieve the title of Master of Arts in Interreligious Dialogue: Science, Philosophy and Theology of Religions. 

Study program 2023-25

You can find the two-year Master’s degree program below:

First-year program

Semester        CourseProfessorECTS
FirstInterreligious dialogue from the insideAdriano Fabris1
Jewish Tradition and the Interreligious dialogueEphraim Meir1
Christian Tradition and the Interreligious dialogueRené Roux1
Muslim Tradition and the Interreligious DialogueYahya Sergio Yahe Pallavicini1
Buddhist Tradition and the Interreligious DialogueSeung Chul Kim1
Hindu Tradition and the Interreligious DialogueSvanimi Hansananda Giri1
Religions and Violence IRaffaella Di Castro3
Religions and Violence IIGianmaria Zamagni3
Religions and Violence IIIYahya Sergio Yahe Pallavicini3
SecondMain Trends in Judaism Rocco Bernasconi5
Main Trends in Christianity Stefano Simiz5
Main Trends in Islam Paolo Branca5
Main Trends in Buddhism Seung Chul Kim5
Christianity and Eastern religionsHans-Christian Schmidbaur5
                   

Second-year program

Semester  CourseProfessorECTS
FirstReligions and Geo-politicsLuca Steinmann5
Religions and LawGabriela Eisenring5
Religions and Human NatureJorge Martínez Barrera5
Women and ReligionsSuzanne M. Mulligan5
Religions and PhilosophyAdriano Fabris5
SecondTheology of ReligionsRoux René5
Ethics and ReligionsAntonio Autiero5
Silence and Dialogue in Judaism, Christianity, IslamSamuele Sangalli5
Intercultural DialoguePaolo Gomarasca5
Theory and Practice of the Interreligious DialogueFlavia Monceri5

Exams

Each course concludes with an exam taken online and based on the bibliography recommended by the Professors. The exams consist of 5 open questions on the course’s topics; answers should be around 3’000 characters space-included for each one. The exam papers can be uploaded during the Winter and Spring sessions (2 weeks per semester).

Furthermore, during the first year of the master’s degree, students will develop an ePortfolio of their experiences and their research on the field of interreligious dialogue. It will be designed under the direction of a proper tutor, who will also follow the students throughout their master’s studies.

During the fourth semester, moreover, once all exams have been taken, students are required to work on a final thesis. Every student will have a Supervisor for working on some topics related to the subjects of philosophy and religion.

Career Prospects

This program is designed for all those who are interested in the subject of interreligious dialogue and would like to operate in this field.

The Master’s program offers the possibility of an academic career, providing the option of starting a research project on the issues of interfaith relations. On the other hand, it assigns the required knowledge to anyone who wishes to actively take part in the dialogue of religious actors; this means all those who are engaged in the field of communication and cultural mediation.

Admission

The formal requirement for admission is a Bachelor’s degree from a recognized academic Institution in Humanities.

However, enrollment is also open to those who do not have a background in Humanities but are interested in the topic of intercultural dialogue. In this case, a Special Admission (Curriculum Evaluation) is available. Admissions will be treated case by case. The procedure for applying, in this case, involves a motivation letter sent by the applicant with the rest of the required documents for the application. Please see the ‘admission procedure’ section below.

Applications for the new academic year (2023/24) open from the 1st of February 2023.

Fee and Grants

Tuition fees for the Master’s degrees amount to CHF 1,100 per semester.

Tuition fees must be paid at the beginning of each semester; fee payment is an essential condition for officially confirming or renewing the enrollment.

Scholarships are available for the online Master of Arts in Interreligious DialogueScience, Philosophy and Theology of Religions. To apply, please include in the required documents the motivation letter and explain the reasons why you are applying for a grant and why you decided to enroll in our MA.

Scholarships amount to a maximum of 1,100 CHF, so the half-price of an entire semester. Even the students who will be awarded the scholarship have to pay the first academic fee (1,100 CHF) to officially confirm their enrollment. The first academic fee can be split into 2 installments, but not less than 500 CHF.

Applications for the academic year 2023/24 (enrollments and scholarships) open from the 1st of February 2023.

Application Procedure

Required documentation:

The following pieces of documentation have to be sent with the Application Form (that you can find below) to rete@usi.ch and to beatrice.granaroli@usi.ch.

Required documentation for those who have Bachelor’s Degree/Diploma in Humanities

  • Copy of past diplomas (Bachelor, licentiate, four-year degree, maturity)
  • Curriculum vitae (resume) – in the language of the Master’s program
  • Copy of an identity card or passport
  • Copy of residence permit for foreign nationals (if you live in Switzerland)
  • Digital photo
  • Application Form (signed on the bottom by pen and then scanned)

Required documentation for those who have not Bachelor’s Degree/Diploma in Humanities – Special Admission (Curriculum Evaluation)

  • Copy of past diplomas (Bachelor, licentiate, four-year degree, maturity)
  • Curriculum vitae (resume) – in the language of the Master’s program
  • Copy of an identity card or passport
  • Copy of residence permit for foreign nationals (if you live in Switzerland)
  • Digital photo
  • Application Form (signed on the bottom by pen and then scanned)
  • Motivation Letter explaining the reason why you would like to enroll

Following the official Application Form of the Lugano Faculty of Theology – USI:

Please download the Application Form here:

Please note: where a signature is required in the application form, sign with a pen below
(a digital signature is not sufficient), then scan the document and send it to us.

Contact us

For any doubts or requests, do not hesitate to contact us:

Ms. Lisa Costa (Faculty Dean’s Office – Faculty of Theology of Lugano) rete@usi.ch

  • Personal details of the database (e.g. name, address, phone number) 

Ms. Beatrice Granaroli (Master’s Tutor  – Faculty of Theology of Lugano) beatrice.granaroli@usi.ch

  • Enrollment
  • Exams (exam schedule, exam registrations, exam results, online grades, validation of a grade, registration of elective courses, etc.)
  • Doubts or requests about lectures, courses, programs, forms, etc.
  • Tuition fee (invoice, payment, bank details for USI scholarship, installments, etc.)

Secretariat of the Institute of Religions and Theology (ReTe) rete@usi.ch

Università della Svizzera italiana (USI) – Faculty of Theology of Lugano Via Buffi 13,  P.O. Box 4663, 6900 Lugano, Switzerland

Contacts

Istituto ReTe
via Giuseppe Buffi 13, casella postale 4663
6904 Lugano (Svizzera)

Direttore Istituto ReTe: Adriano Fabris
Collaboratore scientifico: Alberto Palese
Tel: +41 (0)58 / 666 45 55 (centralino)
E-mail: rete@usi.ch

via Giuseppe Buffi 13, PO box 4663
6904 Lugano (Switzerland)
Director of the ReTe Institute: Adriano Fabris

Secretary’s office
E-mail: rete@usi.ch

Master
Scienza, Filosofia e Teologia delle Religioni             
(Master in italiano online)
Tutor: Rocco Bernasconi
Tel: +41(0)91/2247570

Master of Arts in Interreligious Dialogue
Science, Philosophy and Theology of Religions         
(English Master online)
Tutor: Beatrice Granaroli
beatrice.granaroli@usi.ch