About the Graduate Division of Religious Studies

The Graduate Division of Religious Studies (GDRS), formerly the Division of Religious and Theological Studies (DRTS), is Boston University’s home for academic graduate study of religion. Our mission is to train scholars of religion who will distinguish themselves through research, teaching, and service to universities, colleges, seminaries, and the world at large.

The faculty of the Division comes primarily from BU’s Department of Religion and its School of Theology, though affiliated faculty come from departments across Boston University. The GDRS is therefore the largest unit within BU devoted to the academic study of religion. While diverse in approaches, methods, and fields of expertise, our faculty members are united in commitment to the highest academic standards, the values of interdisciplinary engagement, freedom of inquiry, and civility in academic discourse. We also passionately believe in the vital importance of religious studies for understanding our world.

The GDRS provides a framework for students to engage in advanced study of various religious traditions and phenomena, and to acquire skills in cognate academic disciplines in the humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences. Our curriculum instills methodological rigor and comparative breadth, while allowing students to deepen their knowledge of chosen subjects. GDRS graduates are therefore well prepared to serve as scholars and teachers at universities, liberal arts colleges, and seminaries, or to assume other professional roles that contribute to critical discourse and public understanding of religion.

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