What Sets Our MA Apart?

The MA in Religion in Culture at The University of Alabama presses beyond description and comparison to use social theory to understand the effects that narratives, practices, classification systems, and institutional structures have on social groups and their members — doing so with an eye toward training students to use innovative technologies to effectively communicate their findings to wide audiences, whether in further graduate study or in a variety of other careers.

While these theoretical skills can be put to use in studying groups that fall broadly within the expertise of the faculty, in our program you’ll also learn a variety of practical skills as well:

  • academic and technical writing skills that will be useful in both post-graduate and professional contexts
  • analytical tools that you will develop by working with nationally and internationally recognized scholars in areas of social theory as applied to the academic study of religion
  • skills in technology used across the Digital Humanities (including a credential) that will increase competitiveness for a wide variety of job opportunities and professional settings
  • teaching experience both in the lecture classroom and in online courses (earning them an additional credential in online pedagogy from UA’s College of Continuing Studies)
  • the opportunity also to earn a Museum Studies certificate
  • grant-writing skills that will serve you in a variety of academic and professional settings

In designing this program we not only assessed our faculty’s strengths and designed a graduate degree that takes full advantage of them but we also have taken seriously the needs of students at this particular moment in the history of U.S. higher education, understanding that people may be interested in pursuing post-BA studies with us, whether full- or part-time, for a wide variety of reasons.

Learn More

To learn more about our program as well as the challenges, support, and skills that it provides to our students, explore this website or contact our graduate director, Prof. Vaia Touna, vaia.touna@ua.edu.

Check out the video below for an example of the research of one of our distinguished faculty, Prof. Merinda Simmons, applying social theory in her work.

Merinda Simmons from CIT Multimedia Services on Vimeo.