Religion focuses on an in-depth study of not just divinity, but also social sciences and history. This is because most programs include the study of the impact of spiritual beliefs during its important timelines such as the renewal of Judaism or the peak of Christianity. This allows them to better understand the concepts within Religion and how it operates in society. Moreover, the coursework is difficult, having to balance multiple areas of studies can be quite troublesome for students who have a hard time dealing with complicated concepts.

However, even though it is difficult because of its broadness, it also proves to be a benefit to students as they would branch on to different fields such as law or even social works, something that is useful to those who are still finding their paths and careers. Here, we will be looking at some of the best universities for religion around the world and even get the chance to see those that may offer you free religion programs.

Top Religion Schools in the World

1. University of Oxford

The University of Oxford is recognized as one of the best universities for religion around the world as it offers a wide range of concentrations when it comes to religion. They also provide post-graduate studies with a lot of specific topics of faith and spirituality. At the University of Oxford, one won’t go wrong in going towards their path of excellence, being ranked second in the world ranking for the course of Religion.

Students should expect to be somewhat of a historian in Oxford, especially since this specific program is closely related to history as a whole. Moreover, they have a focus on teaching their students communicational and analytical skills, seeing as Oxford has been passionate when it comes to religious debate, with their history spanning at least eight centuries.

Click to see: University of Oxford Scholarships

2. Harvard University

Harvard University is among the top schools for religion across the globe that offers quite a hefty number of religious programs. With their unlimited resources and data for religion, theology students become competitive just to have a spot in the university. Students would study sacred texts and rituals and many more as they dive into the rigorous religion program of Harvard University.

Students here have meaningful interactions with the faculty as well as post-graduate students, engaging each other in different questions such as the concept of god(s) and divinity. This allows the students to have a world view of religion, and form their interpretations through the critical thinking that Harvard often pushes their students to apply. However, just because the area of focus is mostly religion does not mean that careers of graduates are strictly inside the cages of divinity. Some graduates even went into law or creative art.

Click to see: Acceptance Rate for Harvard University

3. Durham University

As a student in Durham, especially in the program of religion, this university takes your beliefs and world views seriously, promoting inclusivity to the whole department and even the university as a whole. It makes sure that the learnings include fundamental theories that will be used in understanding the impact of religion and its influence in a global sense.

Durham University is an excellent institution for religion in the world because of its world-class religion programs for its students. During the first year of studies will be the foundational knowledge, core concepts that will aid students in complicated and specific theories. They will be allowed to take in areas of interest in the field of religion, which their department steadily encourages through competent guidance of the faculty. They would prepare them for employment not just in the church, but also in creative and the social sciences field such as politics or social work.

Read More: Acceptance Rate for Durham University

4. University of Cambridge

At the University of Cambridge, scriptural language will be taught as a compulsory course in the first year of study. And to ensure the efficiency of learning, the university has decided to teach the languages in small groups, ranging from two to ten people. This allows more interaction between the professor and the student, which allows students to progress better since the professor would be able to equally divide their time between the small number of students.

The University of Cambridge is a leading institution for religion classes around the world as it pushes the students to tackle the relationship between religion and the society that its part of. Moreover, their program is quite flexible when it comes to the individual interests of students, they only have two required papers to pass which gives the students a lot of free time in delving into specific topics that they’re attracted to.

Click to see: University of Cambridge Scholarships for International Students

5. Yale University

Yale University has six major research libraries, with one of them entitled as one of the world’s finest libraries when it comes to the study of Religion. Students are pushed to dive into research during their second year, this allows them to gain in-depth knowledge when it comes to the wide concepts of Religion.

Yale University produced quite a lot of writers in the field of Religion. Their most recent one focused on Buddhist meditation and answering questions about Buddhism as a whole. This just proves that students in this university are free to explore their interests, as well as make their interpretation of the different learnings that they acquire.

See also: Yale Scholarship at Yale University

6. Duke University

Duke University dives into the basics of world-famous religion, its tradition and history, and how it affects the present world. This gives the students crucial knowledge when it comes to the history of religion and how it has developed throughout the years. More than that, they also study the definition or meaning of religion itself, making the course load quite challenging for its students.

The courses stated or offered in this university are more on the tradition of world religions such as Hinduism and Judaism. They have a diverse program offering not only in divinity and its concepts but also in social sciences wherein they would even study women and gender along with Christian origins. This allows students to see religion and its impact in the shoes of others, especially in such sensitive times.

7. University of Chicago

The University of Chicago is one of the world’s leading universities for a religion that develops a historical understanding among its students when it comes to world religion. Seeing the development through personal testaments of those who lived in that era can open up different interpretations or imagery of religion during that given time. That’s why at the University of Chicago, students are quite familiar with history and research.

In their application process, students are required to give a candidate statement for the university to review. This allows them to push forward their interest in the field of religion, and argue as to why they would be a fitting prospective student in the university. The University of Chicago prizes its students’ future so a good way to take your spot in the university is to prove why it would benefit you in the long run, assuring the university of its good choice of investment with its students.

Click to see: University of Chicago Admission Process and Tips

FAQs about Studying Religion

What are the Benefits of Studying Religion?

The study of Religion gives you the chance to not only understand but also embrace a variety of cultures. Other than this, it allows you access to a number of career opportunities. Since it is the desire of many students to get into the best career and get employed in any reputable company, with the study of religion, you can have a chance to pursue careers in either social work, law, journalism, or even medicine. Thus having knowledge in Religion will open you up to very many career fields based on what you would like to do or specialize in.

Click to see: Best Countries to Study Religion


We hope this article on the world’s best religion schools was helpful. To know more information on studying abroad, check out the Available Programs for International Students.

About the Author: Hyun Lee

Hi! I am Hyun, and I am the founder at Global Scholarships. I've received a full-tuition scholarship at Birmingham-Southern College and a $1,000 Burger King Scholarship for my undergraduate degree and was offered a fully funded scholarship consisting of tuition, living stipend, and health insurance for computer science Ph.D. program at North Carolina State University. You can read more about my scholarship journey here. If you are interested, you can follow me on Linkedin where I regularly write about scholarship opportunities.

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