Concentrations

In addition to the nine courses of study, the Graduate Division of Religion has specialized program possibilities that allow for concentrated research in two areas: Religious Practices and Practical Theology and Religion, Conflict, and Peacebuilding.

The Concentration in Religious Practices and Practical Theology 

The concentration is a minor track that enables students in any course of study within the GDR to incorporate a focus on religious practices as part of their doctoral training and to be part of an emerging vital conversation important to both religious and theological studies. It is a way of augmenting and focusing work while fulfilling normal program requirements.

 It is designed especially for students who either want to:

  • specialize in one of the practical theological fields (e.g., religious education, pastoral care, homiletics, liturgics, congregational leadership) or 
  • specialize in any other area within the study of religion (e.g., Asian religions, ethics, Hebrew Bible, history, New Testament, psychology or sociology of religion, theology) in relation to the teaching and scholarship of religious practices.

The concentration offers special opportunities to participate in colloquia and to apply for funds to support travel for research or conferences, teaching assistantships, field-based research, or dissertation preparation in relation to scholarship in religious practices and practical theology.

Religion, Conflict, and Peacebuilding Concentration

Mission:

The Religion, Conflict, and Peacebuilding Concentration in the Graduate Division of Religion supports and equips doctoral students who intend to teach and research topics related to violence and peacebuilding within the fields of religious studies and theology.

Description:

The Religion, Conflict and Peacebuilding concentration fosters research, teaching, and engaged service in an emerging and important sub-field in the study of religion. The individuals involved in this initiative aim to deepen the understanding of religions' roles in fostering and sustaining violence and conflict, as well as religions' ability to transform conflict and build peace.

Emory University offers distinctive resources that enhance the RCP concentration. These resources include the diversity and depth of religious and theological studies across the Graduate Division of Religion, the interdisciplinary capacity and ethos of Emory, opportunities and appreciation for community-engaged research and pedagogy, and the university’s international connections and global commitment. In addition, graduate students at Emory receive significant professional development resources for teaching and alternative academic positions, training, research, and networking.

The RCP concentration includes students from different courses of study within the GDR. These students undertake work on various religious traditions and geographic locations, and they employ methodologies ranging from textual analysis or historical research, to ethnographic fieldwork or analysis of practices. The concentration provides a space where students with similar interests learn to navigate this complex interdisciplinary space, support one another and share their work, and reach beyond Emory and the field of religion to connect with related guilds and programs in peace and conflict studies.

Goals:

  • To prepare students to teach and research in the areas of Religion, Conflict, and Peacebuilding
  • To equip students to work with practitioners in the field
  • To foster a community of scholars in RCP at Emory

Opportunities for Students:

  • Regular gatherings with faculty, researchers, practitioners, and students across campus to share research and discuss emerging literature.
  • Orientation to peace and conflict studies and related fields, as well as help with building connections among colleagues beyond Emory.
  • Guidance in locating the student’s own research and teaching within the broader field of RCP; support for presentations and publication. 
  • Opportunities to teach in the university and theological school classrooms and in the community. 

Requirements for Concentration:

  • take the seminar “Introduction to Religion, Conflict, and Peacebuilding” during the first two years of course work, preferably the first three semesters;
  • take a related seminar on the topic of Religion, Conflict, and Peacebuilding during the first two years of course work. This related course could be defined broadly, including such topics as representations of violence in literature, theologies of reconciliation, ethics of intercultural communication, and so on;
  • include specific questions on religion and conflict and peacebuilding practices as part of the preliminary examinations; and
  • plan a dissertation topic involving research in religion and conflict and peacebuilding.