MF Norwegian School of Theology, Religion and Society
MF vitenskapelig høyskole for teologi, religion og samfunn
|Motto||In Principio Erat Verbum|
|Rector||Vidar L. Haanes|
|Affiliations||The Norwegian Association of Higher Education Institutions; IMHE; the Nordic University Association|
MF Norwegian School of Theology, Religion and Society (Norwegian: MF vitenskapelig høyskole for teologi, religion og samfunn), formerly the Free Faculty of Theology (Norwegian: Det teologiske menighetsfakultet) and MF Norwegian School of Theology, is an accredited Norwegian Specialized University focused on Theology, Religion, Education and Social Studies, located in Oslo, Norway.
MF was founded in 1907 as an independent theological institution at university level and is Norway's largest provider of theological education and research. MF has around 110 employees, 1300 bachelor and master students and about 60 ph.d. students.
Since 1967, MF has offered academic studies in Christianity and religion for use in school and society. As needs have arisen, MF has developed a broad portfolio of professional degrees for church and school. The religious demography of Norway has changed significantly. There is an increasing need and demand for knowledge and quality in research on, education in and communication about religion and society. MF meets this challenge through interdisciplinary research on religion and society, along with relevant bachelor, master and ph.d. degrees in theology, religion and society.
MF has two centers:
MF KOM – Center for Excellence in Research, Development and Communication for Church and Congregation. This center is an intermediary between scholars at MF and church workers who wish to utilize MF's competency in their own contexts.
MF Center for the Advanced Study of Religion, MF CASR, organizes the research on religion done at MF. It facilitates joint projects between MF and other institutions. MF CASR encompasses areas of research including religious studies, history of religion, philosophy of religion, texts and manuscript research, cultural and art history, along with sociology of religion.
Norwegian Philological Institute (PHI) is affiliated with and located at MF. The cooperation involves offering courses in classical languages connected with major world religions and cultures.
MF's areas of activity are education, research and communication.
Beginning as a confessional school, today it is an ecumenical inclusive school offering education specific to a number of denominations (Lutheran, Methodist, Catholic, Salvation Army and Pentecostal).
The main reason for the establishing of the School was an appointment to a professoriate at the Faculty of Theology at University of Oslo. The Chair of Systematic Theology was vacant after the death of Fredrik Petersen in 1903, and in 1906 the liberal theologian Johannes Ording was appointed to the Chair. Ording was appointed after a lengthy debate which almost led to a crisis in the Government of Norway. It was not supported by the other leading professors at the faculty, and Sigurd Odland at the Faculty of Theology and the Minister of Church Affairs Christopher Knudsen in the Government left their positions following the appointment.    
Notable people in the society and the Church gathering around Odland then took steps to found an independent institution training the clergy. The founding charter was signed October 16, 1907, and the School was opened in the autumn of 1908 with only 8 students (a number that increased to 14 before the end of the first term). The earliest teachers were Sigurd Odland (New Testament), Edvard Sverdrup (Church history), Peter Hognestad (Old Testament), Ole Hallesby (Systematic theology). From 1919 the members of academic staff was granted the right to call themselves professors.  
The school grew steadily, and in 1913 MF was given the right to offer degrees in Theology, and also in Practical Theology from 1925. The school expanded in 1967 and an institute of Christian theology was founded giving a minor, major and a master's degree in Christian Studies. 1977 the school started to train Christian Educators (catechists). A major step was the right to award the doctoral degree in 1990. The school was the first private school given the right to do this, and in 2005 the school was accredited as a specialized university institution by the Norwegian authorities. In 2018 the school changed its name from "MF Norwegian School of Theology" to "MF Norwegian School of Theology, Religion and Society".
MF Norwegian School of Theology, Religion and Society awards the following degrees: bachelor, master, candidatus/a theologiae and Ph.D.
It offers the following programmes of study that results in the mentioned degrees:
- At undergraduate level
- Introductory Studies in Christianity and Religious and Ethical Education (1 year),
- Introductory Studies in Social Studies (1 year),
- Introductory Studies in Cross-cultural Communication (1 year),
- Bachelor of Arts (BA), specializing in Christianity and Religious and Ethical Education (3 years),
- Bachelor of Arts, specializing in Religion and Society (3 years),
- Bachelor of Arts, specializing in Youth Ministry (3 years),
- Bachelor of Arts, specializing in Social Sciences (3 years),
- Bachelor of Theology (3 years).
- At postgraduate level
- Master of Arts (MA) in Religious Education (1 ½ years, part-time studies),
- Master of Arts in Religion, Society and Global Issues (2 years, offered in English),
- Master of Arts in History of Religions (2 years, offered in English),
- Master of Theology (Th.M.) (2 years, offered in English) specializing in Hebrew Bible/Old Testament Studies, New Testament Studies, Church History, or Theology, Mission and Society,
- Master of Theology (5 years, one-tier, together with BA degree),
- Master of Philosophy (Ph.M) in Religious Education (2 years),
- Master of Philosophy in Educational Ministry (2 years),
- Master of Philosophy in Diaconal Ministry (2 years),
- Master of Practical Theology,
- Master of Christian Clinical Counseling,
- Professional Degree in Theology and Ministry (6 years, leading to the cand.theol.-degree),
- Professional Teaching Degree in Religious Education and Social Studies lektor/adjunkt.
- At PhD level
- Philosophiae doctor (Ph.D.) in Theology (3 ½ years), specializing in Hebrew Bible/Old Testament Studies, New Testament Studies, Church History, or Theology, Mission and Society.
- Philosophiae doctor (Ph.D.) in Religious Education (3 ½ years).
Notable alumni and faculty staff
- Helga Haugland Byfuglien, Presiding Bishop in the Church of Norway
- Ole Christian Kvarme, Bishop of Oslo
- Gunnar Stålsett, Bishop Emeritus of Oslo
- Andreas Aarflot, Bishop Emeritus of Oslo
- Stein Reinertsen, Bishop of Agder and Telemark
- Olav Skjevesland, Bishop Emeritus of Agder and Telemark
- Halvor Bergan, Bishop Emeritus of Agder and Telemark
- Per Arne Dahl, Bishop of Tunsberg
- Laila Riksaasen Dahl, Bishop Emeritus of Tunsberg
- Olav Øygard, Bishop of Nord Hålogaland
- Per Oskar Kjølaas, Bishop Emeritus of Nord Hålogaland
- Erling Pettersen, Bishop of Stavanger
- Ernst Baasland, Bishop Emeritus of Stavanger
- Tor Singsaas, Bishop of Nidaros
- Herborg Finnset, Bishop of Nidaros
- Finn Wagle, Bishop Emeritus of Nidaros
- Halvor Nordhaug, Bishop of Bjørgvin
- Ole D. Hagesæther, Bishop Emeritus of Bjørgvin
- Ingeborg Midttømme, Bishop of Møre
- Odd Bondevik, Bishop Emeritus of Møre
- Atle Sommerfelt, Bishop of Borg
- Per Lønning, Bishop Emeritus of Borg and Bjørgvin
- Solveig Fiske, Bishop of Hamar
- Tor Berger Jørgensen, Bishop of Sør-Hålogaland
- Øystein I. Larsen, Bishop Emeritus of Sør-Hålogaland
- Olav Fykse Tveit, General Secretary, World Council of Churches
- Trond Bakkevig, Canon, Provost of Vestre Aker
Old Testament theology
- Karl William Weyde
- Gard Granerød
- Andrew Wergeland, Hebrew
- Corinna Körting
- Magne Sæbø
New Testament theology
- Karl Olav Sandnes
- Reidar Hvalvik
- Ole Jacob Filtvedt
- Hanne B. S. Tveito
- Glenn Wehus, Greek
- Morten Hørning Jensen,
- Ernst Oddvar Baasland
- Kristin Bliksrud Aavitsland, Medieval Church History and Culture
- Otfried Czaika, Reformation and Early Modern History
- Vidar Leif Haanes (rector)
- Victor Ghica, Antiquity and Early Christian Studies
- Kristin Norseth, Norwegian Church and Mission History
- John Wayne Kaufman], Patristics and Early Christian Studies
- Oskar Skarsaune
- Bernt T. Oftestad
- Andreas Aarflot
- Jan-Olav Henriksen, Contemporary Theology
- Harald Hegstad, Dogmatics and Practical Ecclesiology
- Gunnar H. Heiene, Ethics
- Svein Olaf Thorbjørnsen, Ethics
- Atle Ottesen Søvik, Systematic Theology
- Sturla Stålsett, Diakonia, Religion, Society
- Terje Hegertun, Systematic Theology
- Else-Britt Nilsen, Catholic Theology
- Trond Bakkevig, Religion and Society
- Ivar Asheim, Systematic Theology
- Torleiv Austad, Systematic Theology
- Lars Østnor, Theological Ethics
- Kjell Olav Sannes, Dogmatics
- Peder Gravem, Christian and Religious Studies
- Marion S. Grau, Systematic Theology and Missiology
Social sciences and religious education
- Sverre D. Mogstad, Religious Education
- Geir Afdal, Religious Education
- Heid Leganger-Krogstad, Religious Education
- Kjetil Fretheim, Diakonia, Social Science
- Lars Laird Eriksen, Social Science
- Janicke Heldal Stray, Social Science, Education
- Håkon W. Lorentzen, Social Science
- Gry Stålsett, Psychology of Religion
- Leif Gunnar Engedal, Psychology of Religion
Practical theology and missiology
- Lars Johan Danbolt, Pastoral Counseling, Psychology of Religion
- Roar Fotland, Missiology
- Tone S. Kaufman, Practical Theology
- Erling Birkedal, Congregational Development
- Knud Jørgensen, Missiology
- Jeppe Bach Nikolajsen, Missiology
- Astrid Sandsmark, Youth Ministry
- Tron Fagermoen, Diaconia
- Sjur Isaksen, Pastoral Counseling
- Jan Terje Christoffersen, Liturgy
- Hallvard Mosdøl, Homiletics
- Idun Strøm Sefland, Pastoral Training
- Fredrik Saxegaard, Homiletics
- Knud Jørgensen, Missiology
- Jeppe Bach Nikolajsen, Missiology
- Tormod Engelsviken, Missiology
- Olav Skjevesland, Practical Theology
- Ministers, N.C. (2015). Joint Degrees and the Nordic Countries: Nordic Master Programme – Legal and administrative obstacles. TemaNord. Nordic Council of Ministers. p. 138. ISBN 978-92-893-4066-3. Retrieved 3 October 2018.
- "Presentasjon av Det teologiske menighetsfakultet". Det teologiske menighetsfakultet. Retrieved March 1, 2017.
- Hallgeir Elstad. "Johannes Ording". Store norske leksikon. Retrieved March 1, 2017.
- Hallgeir Elstad. "Fredrik Petersen – norsk teolog". Store norske leksikon. Retrieved March 1, 2017.
- Hallgeir Elstad. "Sigurd Vilhelm Odland". Store norske leksikon. Retrieved March 1, 2017.
- Knut Dørum. "Christoffer Knudsen". Store norske leksikon. Retrieved March 1, 2017.
- Hallgeir Elstad. "Edvard Sverdrup". Store norske leksikon. Retrieved March 1, 2017.
- Hallgeir Elstad. "Peter Hansson Hognestad". Store norske leksikon. Retrieved March 1, 2017.
- Hallgeir Elstad. "Ole Hallesby". Store norske leksikon. Retrieved March 1, 2017.
- Arnesen, Hilde (August 6, 2018). "Name Change". MF Norwegian School of Theology, Religion and Society. Retrieved February 27, 2020.