MA in Contemporary Faith and Belief

An Anglia Ruskin University degree created and taught by the Cambridge Theological Federation

Our MA in Contemporary Faith and Belief will enable you to join a timely debate about the role of faith and belief in the contemporary world.

Contemporary Faith and Belief

Available as

  • Postgraduate Certificate in Contemporary Faith and Belief (2 modules)
  • Postgraduate Diploma in Contemporary Faith and Belief (4 modules)
  • MA in Contemporary Faith and Belief (4 modules and a 15,000 word project)


  • Available full-time or part-time
  • Choose from online or classroom lectures and seminars
  • Some modules will be available by block teaching in Cambridge over one or two weeks

Students will be supported to:

  • acquire theological skills to interpret the world from a theological perspective;
  • gain an in-depth understanding of some areas of theological and philosophical discourse in the contemporary academy, church and society;
  • develop a critical understanding of the human condition as it contributes to major questions of contemporary philosophical theology;
  • undertake a detailed exploration of some issues of theological significance in the contemporary context.
Postgraduate Certificate Postgraduate Diploma MA
Human Condition Human Condition Human Condition
Secularisation in the Christian World Secularisation in the Christian World Secularisation in the Christian World
Plus two optional modules Plus two optional modules
Plus a major project (15,000 words)

Human Condition

This module is designed to resource students for the demands of theological and philosophical study at level 7, by focusing on the theme of the human condition as a complex topic contributive to all MA programme areas. This will give students the opportunity to develop a strong grounding in disciplinary concepts and methods particular to theology, from which and with which more specialist questions of ethics, spirituality, contemporary belief and pastoral care arise and interact.

Taking a thematic approach, this course begins by introducing some of the key theological concepts in a particular doctrinal area.  Accompanying these conceptual contributions will be reflections on connections and distinctions with non-theological understandings from philosophy.  From this doctrinal and philosophical grounding, students will be introduced to issues that arise when one addresses the human person in particular contexts or experiences.

Students should expect to receive contextualising input and to discuss these ideas and circumstances critically, developing their views of personhood as it informs their particular disciplinary commitment, and with a view to developing appropriate contextual sensitivity.

The assessment will comprise two components, one will be a critical source review of 2000 words, the other will be a 4000 word written assignment.

Secularisation in the Christian World

This module aims to introduce students to one of the most pervasive paradigms about religion in modern society: the process of secularisation. The question at the core of this module is ‘what happens to religion under conditions of modernity and/or accelerated social change?’

The module will entertain both the tenets of the secularisation paradigm (rationalisation, pluralisation, structural differentiation, the contraction in the scope and role of religion in contemporary society) and perspectives which draw attention to related but different processes (religious change, Western European exceptionalism, different models of state-church relations, alternate modernities etc.).

In mapping the various responses and trends triggered by the contextual encounter between conditions of modernity and religion, this module will consider both European and world contexts.

Students will be encouraged to reflect on the ways in which their context, religiosity and, in some cases, ministry are shaped by (post) modernity and the prevailing secularisation of the societal order. Equally, students will be encouraged to explore the ways in which an awareness of current socio-religious realities can produce a fresh understanding of these issues.

This module is compulsory for students taking MA Contemporary Faith and Belief.

The assessment will comprise 1 assignment totalling 6,000 words.

The normal entrance requirement for the postgraduate programmes in the Cambridge Theological Federation is a first- or good second-class honours degree in a relevant subject. Examples would include Ethics, Philosophy, Theology, or other related subjects.

The CTF will also consider graduates in other disciplines who may also be admitted to the programme on a case by case basis. The CTF will also take seriously, on a case by case basis, applications from candidates without an appropriate undergraduate degree but that can demonstrate significant relevant experience, such as within professional or ministerial roles, especially for candidates who have not had the opportunity to engage in formal higher education before.

Shortlisted applicants will be interviewed by the House they have applied to. The Federation reserves the right not to admit applicants who do not satisfactorily demonstrate their motivation or ability to fit into the learning community of the chosen Federation House. Applicants can only be admitted if the interview confirms their teachability, and if there is clear indication that they are able to establish and maintain meaningful learning relationships with their tutors and fellow students.

English Language requirements
Our standard entry criteria for postgraduate courses is IELTS 6.5 or equivalent, with nothing lower than 5.5 in any of the four elements (listening, speaking, reading and writing).

We also accept the following English language tests as equivalent to IELTS 6.5 with 5.5 in each element:

  • ETS TOEFL iBT with 88 overall and a minimum of 17 in Writing and Listening, 18 in Reading and 20 in Speaking
  • Pearson PTE with 61 overall and a minimum of 51 in all components.

However, students requiring visas to study full time in the UK should note that the government will only accept an IELTS result as evidence of meeting the English language requirement.

Our degrees validated by Anglia Ruskin University are offered through the following six of our member institutions. Email any questions you have to the Director of Studies.

Institution Contact
Margaret Beaufort
Wesley House
Westfield House


Costs are on our fees page.

Application forms are available from our applications page.

Click here to apply for the MA in Contemporary Faith and Belief MA starting in September 2021

Note: you should use the same application form if you are applying for the Postgraduate Certificate (60 credits) or the Postgraduate Diploma (120 credits).