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Postgraduate Theology Programme

Greetings! For a number of years, the Department of Theology and Religion has had a very significant number of postgraduate students and they have added to the life of the Department in so many ways. It has been particularly encouraging to see postgraduates write excellent theses and then go on to establish academic careers. We hope that if you embark on postgraduate study, you will find it to be very satisfying and enriching.

There’s lots going on in the Department for research students – our Friday afternoon seminars, a range of Open Lectures given by visiting scholars, conferences, book launches and Centre for Theology and Public Issues events. The Division and the wider University also offer a whole range of workshops and seminars for research students that are highly recommended. Do make the most of what is available!

We hope you’ll find the information that you’re looking for on these web pages. If not, do get in touch with us.

Information for Current Postgraduate Students

If you are currently a postgraduate student in the Theology programme, please have a look at the information on this page.

Postgraduate Certificate and Diplomas

The Department offers a variety of postgraduate qualifications:

Postgraduate Certificate in Chaplaincy (PGCertChap)
Postgraduate Diploma in Chaplaincy (PGDipChap)
Postgraduate Diploma in Ministry (PGDipMin)
Postgraduate Diploma in Theology (PGDipTheol)
Postgraduate Diploma in Arts Subjects (PGDipArts)

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Coursework (taught) Masters

Master of Ministry (MMin)
Master of Chaplaincy (MChap)

Research Masters & PhD

Master of Theology (MTheol) and Master of Arts (MA)
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Supervisors & Topics

For more information on suggested research topics and ideas for postgraduate students within the Department visit:

Theology research
Staff profiles

Applying for Postgraduate Study

Entry Requirements

Entry to all postgraduate qualifications is on merit. This means that the student shall have obtained a B+ or better average in their 300-level papers. The Department considers the details of applicants' prior studies and grades, and, in the case of research degrees, looks at the feasibility of their proposed area of study.

Research Proposals

To gain entry to a research MA, MTheol or a PhD, you need to supply the Department with a proposal indicating a focused theme, a methodology, and a suggested plan for the work. It is useful to include some initial bibliography with this proposal.

Applicants who are not Otago graduates must additionally supply certified copies of transcripts from all of their previous tertiary studies.

Admissions Committee

All postgraduate research applications are assessed by an admissions committee in the first instance, which makes recommendations to the University. This may take a number of weeks to go through the system, and applicants should bear this in mind when they consider possible dates for starting study.

When you can start

Studies for an MA or an MTheol normally commence at the start of one of the regular semesters; studies for a PhD can begin at any time of the year.

Applications Close

Entrance to Ministry and Chaplaincy postgraduate qualifications (PGCertChap, PGDipChap, PGDipMin, MChap, MMin) is at the start of the academic year. Applications must be completed by 10 December of the previous year.

Postgraduate Co-ordinator

If you wish to discuss your plans for postgraduate study please contact Professor Murray Rae.

Scholarships and Funding

Applications for postgraduate scholarships and awards are a separate process from applications for entry to postgraduate studies.

Scholarships Information

Further Information

For further information, please download the departmental Useful Links Page.

Departmental Administrator
Email theology@otago.ac.nz
Tel 64 3 479 8901