Master of Arts in Interreligious Dialogue

Science, Philosophy and Theology of Religions

The Master in Interreligious Dialogue:

  • is entirely available online
  • 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 a personal tutor, who provides regular feedback on written work, and guidance about the Master’s programs
  • offers the opportunity to receive scholarships and join projects promoted by the Master’s Professor

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 will officially start on the 25th of October 2021. Enrolment will be open until the 4th of October 2021.

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, Hinduism) present the foundations of their respective faith.  They demonstrate how their religion, when seen from the inside and considered on fundamental principles, allows the religious human being to be open peacefully and lovingly to other humans, to the world and 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 programme 2021-23

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

First-year programme

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 programme

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


Each course concludes with an exam taken online and based on the bibliography indicated by teachers. Materials for exam preparation are made available on the MOODLE platform. The exams are in written form, essay format, with questions proposed by professors.

Furthermore, during the two years of the master’s degree, students will develop a portfolio of their experiences and their research on the themes of interreligious dialogue. This portfolio will be developed under the guidance of a tutor, who will also follow the students throughout their master’s studies.

At the end of the four semesters, once all exams have been taken, students are required to prepare a thesis written under the guidance of a professor, on topics related to interreligious dialogue.

Career Prospects

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

On the one hand, the Master’s programme offers the possibility of an academic career, providing the option of starting a research project on the issues of interreligious cooperation. 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 international relations, communications and cultural mediation.


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

However, registration 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 on a case by case basis. The procedure for applying, in this case, involves a letter of motivation written by the applicant.

Fee and Grants

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

Tuition fees are payable at the beginning of each term, by the deadline indicated on the invoice; fee payment is an essential condition for matriculating or renewing one’s enrolment.

Scholarships are available for the online Master of Arts in Interreligious DialogueScience, Philosophy and Theology of Religions and we are collecting requests. To do so, please send your identity document followed by a letter of motivation to We would be pleased to reply to you soon. The application’s deadline is the 4th of October 2021.

For the academic year 2021/22, the Lugano Faculty of Theology will award scholarships of the amount of CHF 1’100 CHF and CHF 2’200 to students admitted to the first year of a Master’s programme starting in October 2021.

Application Procedure

Required documentation:

The following pieces of documentation have to be uploaded in attachment to the Application Form (that you cand fin below):

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 programme
  • Copy of an identity card or passport
  • Copy of residence permit for foreign nationals (if domiciled in Switzerland)
  • A digital photo, to be sent to

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 programme
  • Copy of an identity card or passport
  • Copy of residence permit for foreign nationals (if domiciled in Switzerland)
  • A digital photo, to be sent to
  • Letter of motivation

Where a candidate has not fulfilled all the requirements for the Bachelor’s degree, licentiate or other, a copy of the diploma may be sent at a later stage, but in any case no later than the beginning of the matriculation period. If so, please indicate the expected date of the award and enclose an official document issued by the awarding institution confirming these terms.

Please download the Application Form here:

Contact us

For any doubts or request, do not exitate to contact us:

Ms Lisa Costa (Faculty Dean’s Office – Faculty of Theology of Lugano)

  • Matriculation (in order to complete your matriculation, show her your original Bachelor’s degree and High-school certificate)
  • Deadlines to finish your Bachelor’s degree: to enrol to the Master you have to show your Bachelor’s degree
  • Tuition fee (invoice, payment, bank details for USI scholarship, etc.)
  • Personal details of the database (e.g. name, address, phone number) 

Ms Beatrice Granaroli (Master’s Tutor  – Faculty of Theology of Lugano)

  • Exams (exam schedule, exam registrations, exam results, online grades, validation of a grade, registration of elective courses, etc.)
  • Thesis request form 
  • Thesis submission form
  • Deadline to finish the master 
  • Doubts or request about exams, programs, lectures, forms

Secretariat of the Institute of Religions and Theology (ReTe)

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

Forms and Links

For further information about the ReTe Institute programs, see our MOOC (Massive Open Online Course) on FutureLearn website, Religions from the inside. Improving interreligious dialogue.


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)

via Giuseppe Buffi 13, PO box 4663
6904 Lugano (Switzerland)
Director of the ReTe Institute: Adriano Fabris
Scientific collaborator: Alberto Palese
Tel: +41 (0) 58/666 45 55 (switchboard)

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