About Faculty of Religions
The Faculty of Religions was opened in 2006 by admitting master’s students. The main area of concentration in this faculty is religions and religious studies. Abrahamic religions, Indian and Far-Eastern religions, Iranian religions, and topics in religious studies are taught and researched in this faculty through a specialized perspective. In order for the students to better understand the concepts and teachings of Abrahamic, non-Abrahamic, Far-Eastern, and Indian religions, the faculty directors have always tried to assign teaching some of the specialized courses to the scholars of these religions. Consequently, many scholars of these religions have so far attended the university for several semesters and have taught the topics and issues of their religions. This situation not only creates a direct connection between the students and their professors as the scholars and believers of a specific religion, but also provides the students with the opportunity for practical interreligious dialogue. In fact, the main purpose of the faculty is to mentally prepare the students for a better and more empathetic understanding of followers of other religions. This will in turn lead to a deeper understanding of their own religion.
A main goal of the faculty is not only to gain theoretical knowledge of different religions around the globe, but also to establish mental peace with people from other religions. The students of this faculty perform studies in the form of research papers and theses that will serve as a great step forward in presenting new perspectives on the teachings of religions. As a result, researchers trained in this faculty strive to enhance religious thinking and deepen religious teachings at the end of their academic studies. They will also benefit from a creative spirit in cultural areas related to the religions and global peace.
The faculty currently admits PhD students in “comparative studies with the concentration on Christian theology”, “Iranian religions”, and “religious studies”. Also, MA students are admitted in “Abrahamic religions”, “non-Abrahamic religions,” and “religious studies”. Teachings at this faculty are in Persian, Arabic, and English. In addition, scientific meetings are scheduled and held regularly on topics related to religions. The Religions Students Association is also among the active associations in the faculty that holds numerous scholarly meetings and lecture sessions.
All the programs and degrees are offered in the form of in-campus teaching and the faculty offers no online program in any degree. Regarding the research-only PhD programs, the students are admitted after their proposals are reviewed and accepted. Then, they work on their thesis under the supervision of their advisers. This stage can be performed on campus or remotely depending on the project and at the discretion of the adviser.
The graduates of the Department of Religions will be able to teach various courses offered in the fields of religions and religious studies, as faculty members or visiting professors, or conduct research in the areas of Abrahamic religions, religions of the Far East, India, and Iranian religions.
The admission process is different with respect to international applicants and applicants with an Iranian citizenship. All of the applicants with an Iranian citizenship are admitted through an entrance exam. However, international applicants take no entrance exam, and instead, are required to submit their documentations to apply for their field of interest. The MA and PhD applications including the applicants’ CV, level of interest, etc are reviewed by the faculty members of each field. If admitted, the applicant will proceed to registration by submitting the required documentations and start their desired program.
The Faculty of Religions is composed of 4 departments: “Abrahamic religions”, “non-Abrahamic religions”, “Iranian religions”, and “religious studies”. The programs offered in each department are as follows: the department of “Abrahamic religions” offers two programs of “Abrahamic religions” and “comparative studies of religions with a concentration on Christian theology”; the departments of “non-Abrahamic religions”, “Iranian religions”, and “religious studies”, each offers a program named after the title of their department. The chair of the faculty is Dr. Ahmadreza Meftah. The directors of the departments of “Abrahamic religions”, “non-Abrahamic religions”, “Iranian religions”, and “religious studies” are Dr. Mehrab Sadeghnia, Dr. Mahdi Lakzayi, Dr. Mohammad Shokri Foumeshi, and Dr. Bagher Talebi, respectively.