McGill University Faculty of Religious Studies

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McGill University School of Religious Studies
McGill University Building4.jpg
William and Henry Birks Building, McGill University Faculty of Religious Studies
Type School of Religious Studies at McGill University
Established 1912 as joint board Religious Studies; 1948 as Faculty of Divinity Studies
Affiliation McGill University; The Presbyterian College
Location Montreal, QC, Canada
Campus Urban


In May 2016, McGill's longstanding commitments to religious studies and theology were renewed and expanded with the establishment of the School of Religious Studies in the Faculty of Arts. Building on its long history at McGill, the School of Religious Studies continues to provide a wide range of undergraduate and graduate programs in the academic study of religious traditions and theology.

Faculty members in the School of Religious Studies engage many methods and disciplines, combining the historically focused study of religious traditions with approaches that explore contemporary expressions of religions and public policy. We incorporate perspectives from history, sociology, anthropology, philosophy, politics and literature, among others. We bring together the study of classical languages and texts with field research and ethnography in order to examine the rich diversity of religious traditions.

The School of Religious Studies is the home to McGill’s Initiative in Globalization and the World’s Religions and the Birks Forum on the World's Religions and Public Policy. It is affiliated with the Montreal School of Theology. In 2013 a landmark gift from the Barbara and Patrick Keenan Foundation launched a series of major new developments including the establishment of the Keenan Chair in Interfaith Studies and a new flagship course "World Religions and the Cultures They Create" (RELG 208). The gift also funds a number of major fellowships and internships to provide formation and support for graduate and undergraduate students.


The School offers a Bachelor of Arts in religious studies, Bachelor of Theology, Master of Sacred Theology, and master's and doctorate degree programs in religious studies and theology.


The School is located in the William and Henry Birks Building, at 3520 University, a Collegiate Gothic structure named in honour of Henry Birks and one of his sons.The building was built between 1929 and 1931 by Harold Fetherstonhaugh, a student of Percy Nobbs, for its original owners, the Joint Board of Theological Colleges. It was known by its original name, Divinity Hall, until 1972.[1]

Affiliated Theological Colleges The School of Religious Studies enjoys long-standing partnerships with key theological schools in Montreal.

Montreal School of Theology The Montreal School of Theology, was established to promote ecumenical cooperation in theological education in Montreal. An important aspect of its work is the oversight of the common programme offered in affiliation with the McGill University School of Religious Studies by the Montreal Diocesan Theological College (Anglican/Episcopal), the Presbyterian College, and the United Theological College.

The Montreal School of Theology is a member of the Association of Theological Schools of the U.S. and Canada, and its Master of Divinity Degree, a joint venture with McGill, is ATS accredited.

The In-Ministry Year is a unique feature of the School's programme.

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Coordinates: 45°30′24″N 73°34′39″W / 45.50659°N 73.57742°W / 45.50659; -73.57742