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Christian Theology (M.Phil. / P.Grad.Dip.)

1 year full-time, 2 years part-time

Course Description

This Masters in Christian Theology provides students with the opportunity to gain an in-depth knowledge of core issues in Christian Theology and to develop skills of critical thinking in relation to them. Students are introduced to historical scholarship and to rigorous contemporary theological investigation.

Its focus, on pluralist and critically constructive theological studies of the highest academic standing, will allow students to contribute to public debates on theological issues in contemporary societies.

The M.Phil. is currently taught by Loyola staff in the School of Religion and coordinated by Prof. Fáinche Ryan, Director of the Loyola Institute.

The M.Phil. is delivered full-time over one year (12 months) or part-time over two years. Lectures will normally be held on Monday and Thursday evenings. Some elective modules may be held during the day.

There are a number of scholarships available. See for details.


The course incorporates both taught and research components. Students must take six taught modules (10 ECTS each) comprising three core and three optional modules, and write a 15,000 word dissertation (30 ECTS).

The modules offered include:

  • Jesus of Nazareth: Son, Christ, Word
  • Method and Theory in the Study of Theology
  • Violence and Grace in the Human Narrative
  • The First Words: Theology/ies of the Bible
  • Rights and Responsibilities: A Theological Engagement
  • Readings in Classical Theological Texts
  • Theology and the Arts
  • Christianity of the Celtic World (600-1,000 AD)
  • The Role of Church in a Pluralist Society
  • Ministry and Church in a Challenging Era
  • Authority, Tradition and Experience: Ecumenics as Intercultural Theology*
  • Nature, Grace and the Triune God*

The elective modules offered each year will vary.
*Modules shared with the MPhil in Intercultural Theology and Interreligious Studies

Dissertation: A research dissertation (15,000-20,000 words) to be supervised by an appropriate member of staff and to be submitted in August. Students who complete the taught element of the programme but not the dissertation may be eligible for the postgraduate diploma.

Eoin Walshe (MPhil in Christian Theology 2017/18)

”From delving into Scripture and reading the great theologians/philosophers to exploring Glendalough and debating the modern challenges at the intersection of theology, church and society, the MPhil offers an excellent range of modules. The diversity of students and expertise of staff also contributed greatly to my enjoyment of the course. Based on my experience, I highly recommend the MPhil in Christian Theology at Loyola Institute.”

Catherine Higgins (MPhil in Christian Theology 2018/19)

“The diversity of topics and high quality of lecturing made for very challenging and thought provoking discussions. The range of guest lecturers from leading international universities was impressive.”

Course Details


1 year full-time, 2 years part-time

Course Coordinator

Prof. Fainche Ryan

Next Intake

September 2020

Closing Date

31 July 2020

Admission to this course is at graduate level. Applicants will normally hold a good honors degree (minimum 2.1) in theology from a recognized university. Applicants whose degree is in a different but relevant discipline, such as philosophy, history or religious education, will be considered on a case by case basis. Exceptional cases where applicants do not fully meet the above criteria but make a reasonable case for admissions otherwise will be considered by the Dean of Graduate Studies.

Course Fees

Click here for a full list of postgraduate fees.