MA in Religion, Culture and Peace Studies
University for Peace
Ciudad Colón, Costa Rica
USD 19,500 *
31 May 2024
Earliest start date
* fees may be paid via online credit card payment or international wire transfers to our bank location in Costa Rica in USD only. American Express and Discover cards not accepted
Is it for you?
Are you a peace practitioner working with local or international organizations and want to understand more about how religious and cultural issues should be considered in peace and conflict situations?
Are you a religious scholar interested in expanding your perspectives on how religions can be used as tools for building peace?
Are you a student or graduate and envision yourself involved in peacebuilding and peacekeeping efforts while being conscious of religious and cultural sensitivities surrounding this work?
Are you interested in learning the skills needed to connect communities through interfaith initiatives?
Do you want to study the nuances of conflicts through an intersectional lens and explore them in relation to structural aspects such as those of race, ethnicity, gender, ability, and class, among others?
Do you want to spend a year in a Master’s program that supports you in engaging with scholarly debates within the field of Religion, Culture, and Peace Studies at a global university where students and faculty members are drawn from every corner of the world?
Where will you be studying?
The M.A. in Religion, Culture, and Peace Studies is offered by the internationally- recognized Department of Peace and Conflict Studies of the University for Peace. As a leading center of peace and conflict research and education, the department offers various other M.A. programs on International Peace Studies, Peace Education, Indigenous Science, and Peace Studies, Media and Peace, and Gender and Peacebuilding. It caters to a diverse, global body of students. Instruction is provided by a group of leading scholars and expert practitioners in the field.
The University for Peace - established by the UN General Assembly in 1980 - has been training leaders for peace for the past four decades. It is the world’s leading educational institution in the field of peace and conflict resolution in its pursuit of the mandate given to it by the General Assembly, namely "to provide humanity with an international institution of higher education for peace and with the aim of promoting among all human beings the spirit of understanding, tolerance, and peaceful coexistence, to stimulate cooperation among peoples and to help lessen obstacles and threats to world peace and progress, in keeping with the noble aspirations proclaimed in the Charter of the United Nations".
Scholarships and Funding
Scholarships and Waivers
- Citizen or national of a signatory country of the UPEACE Charter;
- Students who have received an undergraduate or graduate degree from a partner university;
- Peace Corps veterans;
- Only for M.A. in Spanish (Resolución de Conflictos, Paz y Desarrollo): Citizens or nationals of countries where Spanish is the official language.
- Professors from a partner university;
- Costa Rican citizens and residents (host country) Current, full-time UN employees and volunteers Members of the official diplomatic missions to the UN;
- Documented refugee or asylee UPEACE Alumni.
30 - 50%
- Merit-Based (Discretionary)
What will you learn?
Established by the Dr. ALISSA Fellowship Program, the Master’s in Religion, Culture, and Peace Studies program will allow you to delve into a rigorous scheme of studies. With the co-sponsorship of the Muslim World League, the Pontifical Lateran University, and the World Jewish Congress, this program has been designed to nurture your critical thinking abilities, foster your research skills, and provide you with the knowledge and skills needed to be an intersectional scholar who is being mindful of the religious and cultural dimensions of conflict transformation and peacebuilding. Through this program, you will:
- Be familiarized with the current theoretical and practical debates and trends within the field of Religion, Culture, and Peace Studies;
- Develop an in-depth understanding of the United Nations System and related organizations working for peace in local, regional, and international contexts;
- Engage in research that enables you to critically analyze religion and culture as they manifest themselves in a variety of contexts;
- Understand how historically religion has been employed to justify violence and has been used as a resource towards restoring peace;
- Analyze conflict situations considering the religious and cultural influences involved;
- Learn conflict transformation skills that would allow you to carry out interfaith initiatives in diverse communities;
- Perform an intersectional analysis with a gender-conscious lens and propose strategies for achieving sustainable peace.
M.A. in Religion, Culture, and Peace Studies: University-wide courses
You will receive, along with your peers from other programs, courses on Peace and Conflict theories and practices, the UN system, the relationship of identity politics and peacebuilding, and research methods. The students of this M.A. program will also receive practical training on working in conflict areas.
M.A. in Religion, Culture, and Peace Studies: Program-specific courses
In addition to the university-wide courses, students in this program will take 10 program-specific courses. These courses include:
- Tools for Conflict Transformation;
- Identity Politics, Inclusion and Peacebuilding Perspectives on Religion and Society;
- Religions, Cultures, and Peacebuilding Religion, Culture, and Ecology;
- Religion and Diplomacy;
- Countering Hate Speech;
- Reconciliation, Justice, and Peace;
- Education for Sustainability;
- Identity Politics, Inclusion, and Peacebuilding;
- Thesis/Capstone/Internship: In the final months of the M.A. program, you will produce a research-based thesis or a capstone project. You will also have the option to choose an internship at a relevant organization to complete your M.A. program requirements.