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Grow in your faith.
Grow as a teacher.

Master of Religious Education (Online)

Also available on campus.

Rooted in Ignatian pedagogy, the master of religious education degree is for students eager to explore the religious, catechetical, and theological foundations of the Christian faith while learning skills in the art and practice of teaching and learning and curriculum development. This degree is ideal for theology teachers, catechists, directors of religious education, or those preparing to enter the field of faith formation.

Pursuing a master of religious education degree provides individuals with a set of multi-disciplinary perspectives and methodologies to enrich their practice while at the same time earning a master’s degree from an institution with a long-standing reputation for excellence in education and ministerial formation. This program is offered both on-campus and online.

Post-Master's Certificate in Religious Education

If you already have a master's degree in theology or a related field and want to learn practices and develop skills to make you a more effective teacher, the post-master's certificate in religious education is designed for you. Learn more

Information Session

Monday, June 17, 2024 12:00 – 1:00 PM Central Time

Master of Religious Education Curriculum

The master of religious education online degree at Loyola University provides educators — in parishes and schools, not only in religion classes but across the curriculum — with a broad and in-depth exploration of the field. This online master’s in religious education is open to students of all faiths working in a variety of contexts and promotes a sense of identity, reverence, and responsibility for human life, the natural world, and the sacred. The coursework combines the development of confidence and creativity in working out curricula and gives practice in crafting effective learning processes.

Degree Overview

36 Credits

master of religious education

Loyola’s Master of Religious Education consists of 36 credit hours of religious education courses online taken as follows:

  • Core courses (18 credit hours)
  • Focus area courses (9 credit hours)
  • Elective courses (6 credit hours)
  • Capstone course (3 credit hours)

Check out the University Bulletin to view further curriculum information about Loyola's online religious education program. Click here to download a degree worksheet.

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Begin the application for Loyola's online Master of Religious Education program.




master of religious education


Applications are accepted year-round for enrollment for Fall, Spring, and Summer.

Application deadlines: January 1, August 1, May 1

Accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

Master of Religious Education or Master of Pastoral Studies

Which is right for you?

Both the master of religious education (M.R.E.) and master of pastoral studies (M.P.S.) are practical and emphasize the importance for the educational process of forming students and faculty into a community of learners. Loyola’s master of religious education online is designed for those interested in faith formation, not only in schools and churches but in any setting that can be conceived of as educational. The M.R.E. degree does not provide a license or certification but may qualify graduates for teaching positions, depending on the employer’s requirements.

Loyola’s master of pastoral studies requires the same core courses but also allows students to specialize in a wider range of focus areas, which qualify graduates for a wider range of jobs — in churches, schools, and beyond — such as with youth and the environment, in non-profits, and within the helping professions. Students have ample opportunity to explore both degrees, and applicants can begin in one program and move to the other if they wish, as the core requirements are the same. Students are encouraged to work with their academic advisor to choose the degree that suits their career goals.

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