Theology and Religious Studies: Media

Media and religion
Specialization of:Theology & Religious Studies
Title:Theology & Religious Studies: Media

The Master’s programme Media, specialization of Theology & Religious Studies, focuses on the influence of the media and popular culture on modern-day religion and spirituality, and vice versa.

Religion is part of popular culture worldwide. Also, religious communities use media like television and social media to communicate with the world. So, knowledge on ancient religious traditions is nowadays being communicated through new high-tech media. Consequently, much of what we know and read about religion or spirituality is being affected by the media.

The Master’s specialization Media will equip you with a sound theoretical basis of communication, in relation to religion and spirituality. It will enable you to reflect critically on the role of the media in everyday representation of religion and spirituality. You will gain analytical, communicative and operational skills to become an independently thinking professional.

Robin de Wever

Alumnus Theology & Religious Studies: Media

Through the Master’s specialization Media, you will learn to analyse the influence of (digital) media on established religions, religious communities and individual believers. Furthermore, you will study how religious or spiritual communities and individuals use (social) media to communicate their beliefs, authorize their leadership, and integrate media technology in traditional religious practices. During the programme, important ethical questions are being discussed and analysed.

Programme structure
The programme comprises 60 ECTS credits:
- 30 credits for Core Courses
- 6 credits for Specialization Course
- 12 credits for Internship
- 12 credits for Thesis

Core courses
- Media 1: Religion in a Media Age
- Media 2: Religion and Popular Culture
- Hermeneutics; focuses on the skills of interpretation and reflexivity.
- Research Skills; will train you in academic research practices, discussing problem formulation, methodology, and analysis.
- Master seminar; you will develop a portfolio of your academic and professional qualities

The internship is a compulsory part of the Master’s programme and an important link between the theoretical academic education and the work field.

An important part of the programme, the Master’s thesis enables you to conduct original research under the supervision of one of the staff members. The subject of the thesis must be mutually agreed upon by the student and the academic adviser.

Theology & Religious Studies: Media courses in study guide.

Miranda Klaver

Dr. Miranda Klaver is assistent professor Anthropology of Religion and coordinator of the Master’s specialization Media. Trained as an anthropologist and theologian, she is specialized in Pentecostalism and evangelical Christianity and has a special interest in the mediatization of religion today.


Dr. Johan Roeland is assistant professor in Media, Religion and Culture at the Faculty of Religion and Theology. He has published on the intersections between media, religion and popular culture in several journals, such as Journal of Contemporary Religion, Social Compass, European Journal of Cultural Studies, Material Religion and the International Journal of Practical Theology.

In his current research project, he is looking into spiritual and existential dimensions of gardening.

This programme trains professionals with expertise in (inter)religious communication, (new) media, and religion in a multicultural and multireligious society.

Our graduates fulfill functions in the media and communication sector, both old and new media. Others have a career in religious, cultural, political, administrative or governmental organizations.

The programme also offers a solid basis for a future career as a researcher.

  • Study in the beautiful and multicultural city of Amsterdam.
  • Participate in a diverse, multi-religious community of learners.
  • Enjoy a unique combination of structure and flexibility in your programme.
  • Take advantage from personal interaction with and individual supervision from professors.
  • Benefit from top-level research and high-quality research-based teaching.
  • Profit from the strong bonds between the faculty and various societal organizations and initiatives.
  • In 2018 the Faculty of Religion and Theology was ranked number 5 in the world by the QS World University Rankings.

Анна Наумова


“Prior to the Master’s programme Theology & Religious Studies: Media, I obtained a Bachelor’s degree in Advertising and Journalism in Russia. Having the fundamental knowledge in the field of Media, I aimed to narrow my focus on the interrelation of Media and Religion.
Besides, I have been personally interested in visual art and music, so the Master’s programme I chose gave me a unique opportunity to bring these different areas of study together. Thus, in my thesis research, I was exploring reflections upon the religious experience placed in a context of artistic practices."

"Despite the numerous challenges I faced during my studies (it was the first time I was living abroad); I was delighted to study at VU Amsterdam and especially at the faculty of Religion and Theology. The courses we had were well-structured, lectures were interesting and interactive, guest lecturers became a great source of inspiration for me. The teachers tried to involve students in the process and provide them with the information from different perspectives, so students were encouraged to form their own opinion on discussed issues."

"Studying at one of the best Theological faculties in the world is also an opportunity to communicate with people from diverse backgrounds, and, undoubtedly, a great chance to start a successful career in the field of Media and Religion.”

Dutch students

Students holding a Bachelor’s degree from a Dutch University (WO) are directly eligible for admittance in this Master’s programme.

Students with a suitable HBO degree can apply for a premaster’s programme (this programme is taught in Dutch). Our Admission Board will have to approve your request for admission. 

You need to apply before July 15th in Studielink. The registration has to be completed before August 31.

Students who wish to pursue a second master, can apply for the Ted Neeley Scholarship. This Scolarship is only available for the one year Master Theology and Religious studies: Media. The Ted Neeley Scholarship covers a large part of the tuition fee for a second master.

More information and the application procedure.

Coordinator of the Media master's programme specialization
If you have questions about the programme please contact Miranda Klaver (

Information days
Meet us at the next Master's Event!

VU Public Relations Office
Please phone us at +31 (0)20 598 5000 (Monday - Friday, 9:00 to 17:00). You may also e-mail us at:

International students

The Faculty’s Admission Board will decide upon your admission after having evaluated your complete online application. 

In order to gain admission to one of our Master’s programmes, you will need to have at least a Bachelor’s degree from an accredited research university including at least three full years of academic study amounting to a minimum of 180 ECTS or equivalent. 

Specific admission requirements for the Master’s Programme Theology and Religious Studies, specialization in Media 

Students with a Bachelor’s Degree in Theology or Religious Studies from a university abroad will only be admitted following an assessment of their degree by the admissions board. Students with Bachelor’s degrees in other disciplines are also welcome to apply, provided that the degree obtained is from a research-oriented university. Before the start of the academic year the student needs to have an intake with the coordinator of the specialization. The aim of this intake is to discuss possible deficiency in theological knowledge of the student. 

You must always present official test results proving your proficiency in English. Only students who have completed a full high school or bachelor’s degree in Canada, USA, UK, Ireland, New Zealand, or Australia may be exempted. We require a TOEFL score (score 580 paper based, score 237 computer based or score 92 internet based) or an IELTS score of 6.5 overall band score. Cambridge English: Cambridge Proficiency Exam A, B, C, or Cambridge Advanced Exam A, B, C. 

Please check out the Admission page for the general requirements.

If you have read the admission criteria and feel you are eligible for admission, please take the following steps to submit your application. Note that the initial application procedure is fully online and that scans of your relevant documents are required.

Step 1: Meet admission criteria

Step 2: Prepare documents and apply online
Please prepare the following documents. All documents should be provided in English.

  • Copy of your valid passport or ID (ID only for EU residents)
  • Curriculum Vitae
  • Motivation Letter
  • Letter of Recommendation
  • Transcript of records
  • Thesis (or another sample of academic writing, at least 5 pages plus a list of used literature)
  • A description of the relevant courses followed and literature used during your previous higher education.

After having prepared the required documents, please follow the online application procedure. After you have completed the application, our international student advisors will contact you via e-mail.

Step 3: Await decision on admission
The admission board will review your application as soon as it is complete. Normally this takes about four weeks, but it might take longer in busy periods so be sure to apply as soon as possible. If you gain admission, you will receive a letter of conditional admission by email. You can start planning your move to Amsterdam!

Step 4: Finalize your registration and move to Amsterdam!
Make sure to finalize your registration as a student before the start of the programme. Here you will find an explanation what to do after admission. When all conditions are met you will be ready to start your programme at VU Amsterdam!

Further information:
Tuition fees

As an international student planning to study at VU Amsterdam, you can apply for a variety of grants and bursaries.

Detailed information about scholarships and deadlines can be found on or

Coordinator of the Media master's programme specialization
If you have questions about the programme please contact Miranda Klaver (

For detailed questions about the Master’s programmes or the application procedure
Contact your International Student Advisor at the International Office:
Stipo Jeleč
T: + 31 (0)20 598 8920

Information days
Meet us at the next Master's Event!

VU Public Relations Office
Please phone us at +31 (0)20 598 5000 (Monday - Friday, 9:00 to 17:00). You may also e-mail us at:

Miranda van Holland


“The Master’s programme Theology & Religious Studies: Media at the Faculty of Religion and Theology, was my second Master’s study. As an older student (38) with a background in media, I wanted to research the influence the media have on religious and spiritual communities, as well as how these communities use modern media to communicate their ideas."

"The Media 1 and 2 courses where a solid preparation for my research internship, in which I studied the spiritual Happinez Festival. This developed into the topic for my Master’s thesis on the Happinez Festival and the Happinez community."

"After my studies I started a new career as a valorisation officer, working with theologians and religious studies scholars in order to make their research more accessible for people outside the academia. And by doing so, I promote the societal impact of religion research.”

Overview Theology & Religious Studies: Media




1 year (full-time) / 2 years (part-time)



1 June for Dutch and EU-students. 1 April for non-EU-students.


1 September


Part-time, Full-time


specialization of Theology & Religious Studies (1 year)