About the School
The main focus of the school is research and education in theology and religious studies. Theology has a long and complex history in Tartu, extending back to the Middle Ages and it has been taught at the University of Tartu since the university was founded in 1632. Religious studies as a separate field of research and education has developed in the past few decades. The school tries to build upon longstanding traditions as well as adapt to the modern world around it, creating an intricate, but productive environment for present and future development. Until 2015, the school was called the Faculty of Theology.
Both theology and religious studies are represented in the curriculum at BA, MA, and PhD level. For more information about study programmes see here.
Teaching at the school is research-based and the specific research topics vary from Ancient Near East religions to the relationship of science and religion and the sociological study of contemporary religious trends in Estonia. More information about the main fields of research at the school can be found here.
The school has many cooperative agreements with different churches in Estonia, but is not directly related to any of them, maintaining its academic independence. Theology taught at the school can be described as protestant, but is not linked to any specific protestant church. Religious studies at the school strives to maintain its independence and neutrality in these matters and concentrates on strictly academic research and teaching, working in close cooperation with the Estonian Society for the Study of Religions.
The school is organised into separate Chairs: Chair of Church History, Chair of Systematic Theology, Chair of Practical Theology, Chair of New Testament Studies, Chair of Old Testament and Semitic Studies and Chair of Comparative Religious Studies. In addition, the University of Tartu Asian Centre is located at the school, uniting all the scholars of Asia – from the School of Economics, to Johan Skytte Institute of Political Studies, to the Institute of Cultural Research and Arts and so on – who are working at the University of Tartu. You can find more information about the Chairs and current faculty members here.