Have you ever heard about what theology and religious studies are? This article will give you a brief explanation about these two disciplines and what differentiates them from one another. If you find yourself interested in majoring in one of the two disciplines, you can scroll down this page to see a list of religious studies and theology scholarships for international students to study abroad.
Introducing Theology and Religious Studies
Theology is the study of religion. It examines the human experience of faith, and how different people and cultures express it. Theologians examine the many different religions of the world and their impact on society.
The study of theology is part philosophy, part history, part anthropology, and also something entirely its own. Studying theology means taking on challenging questions about the meaning of religion. It also requires being able to compare the different religions in a knowledgeable, balanced way.
Theology is an ancient intellectual discipline, with continuing and momentous social significance around the world today. Students gain an understanding of the intellectual underpinning of religious traditions, and of the social and cultural contexts for religious belief and practice. In order to engage fully with the questions raised by the critical study of Theology and Religion, you will have to become something of a historian and a philosopher, a textual and literary critic, and a linguist. The range of disciplines that may be encountered on the course makes study vibrant and challenging and means that the graduates are versatile and equipped with a variety of skills.
The difference between theology and religious studies is that theology focuses more closely on the study of God and faith rather than in the critical investigation of religions. Theology is often more faith-based, while religious studies are more analytical.
Religious studies, also known as the study of religion or religiology, is an academic field devoted to research into religious beliefs, behaviors, and institutions. It describes, compares, interprets, and explains religion, emphasizing systematic, historically based, and cross-cultural perspectives.
While theology attempts to understand the nature of transcendent or supernatural forces (such as deities), religious studies tries to study religious behavior and belief from outside any particular viewpoint. Religious studies draws upon multiple discipline and their methodologies including anthropology, sociology, psychology, philosophy, and history or religion.
Scholarships for Students Studying Theology and Religious Studies
The following is a list of international scholarships for theology and religious studies available in 2019.
- Theology Scholarships for Excellent International Students at Radboud University: Scholarships worth €10,500 each, for excellent international students who are interested in pursuing a MA in Theology at Radboud University, Netherlands. The scholarship is renewable for two more years, for three years in total, provided you remain in good academic standing.
- Scholarships in Theological and Religious Studies at The University of Auckland: Scholarships and prizes available to students in Theological and Religious Studies at the University of Auckland:
- David Hare Award in Theological and Religious Studies: A scholarship of up $2,000 for students completing Stage II of a BA or BA conjoint in Theological and Religious Studies.
- Foveran Scholarships: A scholarship of up to $20,000 towards postgraduate study in Theological and Religious Studies at the University of Auckland or an approved overseas theological institution.
- The Jane and Graeme Thomas Award in Theology: A $2,000 award for the student who shows the greatest enthusiasm, effort, improvement and dedication in their study towards a Bachelor of Arts majoring in Theological and Religious Studies.
- Vincent Prize in Theological and Religious Studies: An annual prize of $500 awarded to the full-time student who achieves the highest GPA across two or more Stage III courses in Theological and Religious Studies.
- Talent Grants One-year Master’s Program Theology & Religious Studies: Financed by the Faculty of Theology and Religious Studies at the University of Groningen, Netherland, the scholarship is aimed at international students from outside the European Economic Area (EEA) who want to do their Master’s in Theology and Religious Studies. The scholarship is available for studies in one of the following: MA Religion and Pluralism: Ancient & Modern; MA Religion, Conflict and Globalization; MA Religion and Cultural Heritage; MA Religion, Health and Wellbeing.
- Oxford Scholarships at the Faculty of Theology and Religion: Graduate funding to study at the University of Oxford. Applications are sought from students with outstanding academic potential and the ability to benefit from an Oxford course whatever their background or personal circumstances.
- Graduate Teaching Assistantships Scheme at The University of Kent: GTAs are awards which offer a combined salary and maintenance grant. All GTAs offer a gross salary of ₤3,659.52 per annum. The scholarship element of the GTA may vary from a few hundred pounds up to a combined salary and maintenance grants equaling the full UK Research Council rate of ₤15,009 plus tuition fees at the home/EU rate.
- Undergraduate Scholarships at The Catholic University of America: Various scholarships that recognize and reward students for their outstanding academic performance in high school – as well as exceptional leadership and service in the student’s school, church, and community.
- Graduate Funding Opportunities at the University of Cambridge: The Faculty of Divinity offers a range of funding opportunities for PhD and MPhil students applying to start research in the field of theological and religious studies at the University of Cambridge.
- Global Minds PhD Scholarship Program at KU Leuven: Ten PhD scholarships in sandwich for students from a broad range of developing countries. Thesis proposals need to be development-relevant. The “sandwich” system means that 50% of the research takes place at KU Leuven and 50% at the home institution of the scholar, supported by a local co-promoter. Eligible applicants are those who are citizens of one of the countries included in the VLIR-UOS scholarship country list.
- Multi-Stakeholder Grants for Young Researchers: Grants offered to post-doctoral researchers to design a research project in cooperation with NGOs that are active in developing countries. Grant amounts may vary between 15,000 and 20,000 euros. The grants are available to citizens of Burundi, DR Congo, Ethiopia, Kenya, Morocco, Mozambique, Rwanda, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, Cambodia, Indonesia, Philippines, Vietnam, Bolivia, Cuba, Ecuador, Nicaragua, and Peru.
- CEU Scholarships for Religious Studies at the MA Level: A number of scholarships available to incoming students at the Central European University (CEU) to obtain an Advanced Certificate in Religious Studies in addition to a MA/PhD degree in: Cultural Heritage Studies, Gender Studies, History, International Relations, Medieval Studies, Philosophy, Political Science, Nationalism Studies, Public Policy and Sociology an Social Anthropology.
- KU Religious Studies Financial Assistance and Scholarships: Scholarships and other funding resources are given by the Department of Religious Studies at the University of Kansas (KU) on an annual basis. Available to both undergraduate and graduate students.
- Mijntje Pruissen Scholarship: A merit scholarship program for strongly motivated international students at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam with excellent study results. Eligible candidates must be able to prove their academic excellence, and they must be admitted to the Master’s program in Theology and Religious Studies (all specializations, and both the one- and the two-year Master’s program). This concerns English taught Master’s programs only. Students eligible for this scholarship are students from outside the European Economic Area (EEA). The scholarship amounts to €5,000.
- Durham University Alumni Tuition Fee Discount Scheme: A 25% discount on tuition fees (home or overseas) for any taught postgraduate program in the Arts and Humanities Faculty (the MA by research is not eligible for the enhanced discount). The scholarship applies only to MA programs in the following areas: Classics and Ancient History, English Studies, History, Modern Languages and Cultures, Music, Philosophy, Theology and Religion, and the English Language Centre.
- KCL Postgraduate Funding Opportunities: A number of funding opportunities to help you through your postgraduate studies in Theology and Religious Studies at the King’s College London (KCL). Available to current and prospective postgraduate students in the Department of Theology & Religious Studies.
- Walton Scholarships: Two scholarships of ₤4,000 to be awarded annually to full-time graduate (MA and MPhil / PhD) students in the Department.
- McCaul Scholarship: One scholarship of ₤600 to be awarded annually to continuing graduate students of excellent academic caliber registered in the Department, whose degree course involves significant study of Hebrew and/or the Old Testament or related literature.
- King’s College London Theological Trust: Financial assistance for students and former students of the Department of Theology & Religious Studies / Department of Education (Theology & Education).
- Scholarships in Religious Studies at Missouri State University: Financial assistance to support your studies in Religious Studies at Missouri State University. Up to $14,000 undergraduate scholarships and $3,000 graduate scholarships are awarded.
- Friends of Religious Studies Scholarship at ASU: An annual scholarship of $1,000 awarded to an undergraduate student who has declared a major in religious studies at Arizona State University (ASU). Consideration will be given to academic merit and to the student’s commitment to the field of religious studies.
- Norton and Ramsey Religious Study in Israel Scholarship: One scholarship and one fellowship annually funded at $1,000 (subject to change due to amount of funds available). Recipients must be enrolled in the Religious Studies undergraduate degree program at ASU. Recipients shall be full-time students at the sophomore or higher academic level, as defined by the ASU registrar.
- Holland Scholarships (Study in Holland) – Theological University Kampen: Scholarships for international students from outside the European Economic Area (EEA) who want to do their full-time bachelor’s or master’s in Holland. The scholarship amounts to €5,000 and recipients will receive this in the first year of their studies.