Master of Religious Education (Online)
When speaking of religious educators, Pope Francis notes that they are “conscious of having received a gift, the gift of faith, and they then give that gift in turn to others. This is something beautiful. We don’t keep a percentage for ourselves! Whatever we receive, we give.” Elsewhere he says: “Teaching is not just a job: it is a relationship in which each teacher must feel fully involved as a person, to give meaning to the educational task towards their students.” Religious educators feel this responsibility particularly strongly, having to be rooted not only in education theory and practice but also in Christianity’s biblical, theological, and spiritual traditions.
Master of Religious Education or Master of Pastoral Studies
Which is right for you?
Both the Master of Religious Education (MRE) and Master of Pastoral Studies (MPS) are practical and emphasize the importance for the educational process of forming students and faculty into a community of learners. Loyola’s Master of Religious Education online is designed for those interested in faith formation, not only in schools and churches but in any setting that can be conceived of as educational. The MRE degree does not provide a license or certification but may qualify graduates for teaching positions, depending on the employer’s requirements.
Loyola’s Master of Pastoral Studies requires the same core courses but also allows students to specialize in a wider range of focus areas, which qualify graduates for a wider range of jobs — in churches, schools, and beyond — such as with youth and the environment, in non-profits, and within the helping professions. Students have ample opportunity to explore both degrees, and applicants can begin in one program and move to the other if they wish, as the core requirements are the same. Students are encouraged to work with their academic advisor to choose the degree that suits their career goals.
Master of Religious Education Curriculum
The Master of Religious Education online degree at Loyola University provides educators — in parishes and schools, not only in religion classes but across the curriculum — with a broad and in-depth exploration of the field. This online master’s in religious education is open to students of all faiths working in a variety of contexts and promotes a sense of identity, reverence, and responsibility for human life, the natural world, and the sacred. The coursework combines the development of confidence and creativity in working out curricula and gives practice in crafting effective learning processes.
master of religious education
Loyola’s Master of Religious Education consists of 36 credit hours of religious education courses online taken as follows:
- Core courses (18 credit hours)
- Focus area courses (9 credit hours)
- Elective courses (6 credit hours)
- Capstone course (3 credit hours)
Check out the University Bulletin to view further curriculum information about Loyola's online religious education program and download a degree worksheet.
What can you do with a Masters of Religious Education?
Discover your full potential
Loyola’s 100% online Master of Religious Education online program will prepare you with the skills and knowledge needed to advance in a wide range of careers, including:
- Youth Minister
- Program Director of Ethics
- Catechetical Leader
- Religion Teacher
- Director of Spiritual Life
- Religious Education Coordinator