Academic Programs

Graduate Theological Union
Berkeley, CA


Details at a Glance

  • School Type

  • Financial Aid Available


Degrees Offered


Our Program

The Graduate Theological Union: Abundant Pathways. Intersecting Perspectives. Transformative Impact.

The proximity of our eight member schools, and more than a dozen academic centers and affiliates, creates a dynamic intellectual community that draws scholars from around the world. Students entering the PhD or MA program benefit from the GTU’s diverse, multi-religious environment and draw on the depth of faculty expertise available among the more than 100 full-time faculty members across this diverse consortium. 

The GTU offers 30+ unique degree concentrations ranging from Aesthetics to Yoga, it has 50+ core doctoral faculty members from diverse faiths and fields, and it has 100+ faculty across the consortium to guide your academic career.

The Doctoral Program

The flagship degree that the GTU offers is the PhD. It is an advanced academic degree intended to prepare students for professional careers in teaching, writing, and scholarship, as well as for leadership opportunities with religious organizations, social service agencies, foundations, museums, libraries, publishing, and in educational institutions.

Students entering the PhD program at the GTU can choose their fields of study from among more than thirty concentrations grouped into four interdisciplinary departments: Sacred Texts and Their Interpretation, Historical and Cultural Studies of Religion, Theology and Ethics, and Religion and Practice. The doctoral curriculum builds on the ecumenical, interreligious, and interdisciplinary strengths of the GTU, and offers enhanced opportunities for both specialization and cross-disciplinary study.

Students interested in this program should contact GTU Admissions by email at or call 800-826-4488 to start a conversation.

The Master of Arts Program

This is an academic degree offered in cooperation with the member schools and Centers of the GTU. The purpose of the program is to provide a basic understanding of theological or religious studies as preparation for doctoral study or as an academic foundation or secondary school teaching, educational or social justice ministries, or religious leadership in the non-profit sector.

The MA student is required to affiliate with a member school, or a participating academic center or institute. The primary academic base for the MA is the school of affiliation, chosen according to study interests and/or denominational ties. Students select a specific academic concentration as the focus of their MA work.

The two-year degree program requires a total of fourteen 3-unit academic courses, proficiency in at least one modern foreign language relevant to their field of study as determined by their advisors, and six units of thesis work. The 75-90 page thesis must be in the student's chosen concentration. Accelerated degree options are possible with previous coursework from an accredited institution.

Students interested in this program should contact GTU Admissions by email at or call 800-826-4488 to start a conversation.

The Interreligious Chaplaincy Program

This is the first of its kind. The GTU’s interreligious chaplaincy program equips leaders to practice spiritual care among diverse populations across industries, including hospitals, universities, military, government, immigration, family and social services, incarceration, disaster relief, organizational and rehabilitation contexts. The program offers students the opportunity to earn a Certificate in Interreligious Chaplaincy, as well as an MA in Islamic, Jewish or Hindu Studies--religious traditions underrepresented among institutional chaplains. The certificate will also be open to students who have previously earned a qualifying master’s degree. Coursework will incorporate practical spiritual care and interreligious training, as well counseling, theology, and ethics. The certificate fulfills requirements for board certification to practice chaplaincy, but also provides spiritual caregiving skills that can be applied outside the context of traditional chaplaincy.

Students interested in the combined MA and certificate should apply to the GTU MA program, indicating their interest in pursuing the certificate in interreligious chaplaincy along with an MA in Jewish, Islamic, or Hindu Studies. Students seeking to enter the certificate program who already possess a qualifying master’s degree, or who are currently enrolled in the MA program at the GTU, should use the "certificate" section of the application. 

The Certificate in Interreligious Studies

This is the first fully online program offered by the GTU. This program is tailored to meet the needs of today’s working professionals across a variety of sectors in the business and nonprofit arenas. Leaders in these fields recognize that today’s increasingly diverse workplace environment—and the global culture at large—requires new approaches to cultivating sensitivity and inclusive practices as well as forward-thinking strategies that effectively incorporate multiple perspectives.

The 10-month program is comprised of five 7-week long courses for 1.5 credits each (7.5 credits total), all administered asynchronously and fully online. Each course is taken one-by-one and the full program completed in only 10 months. Specific courses will include emphases on Judaism, Islam, Hinduism, and Christianity, as well as options for pursuing multi-religious dimensions of the arts and the natural sciences.

Students interested in this program should contact GTU Admissions by email at or call 800-826-4488 to start a conversation.

Other Certificate Programs and Other Study Options

The GTU offers a variety of certificate programs designed for students who either want to explore theological study for a year before embarking upon a degree program, or who want to add an additional area of expertise to their degree. For some this is for a discernment opportunity, for others a way to enhance learning.  As these are graduate certificates, students entering must hold an accredited bachelor’s degree.



  • checkbox-altGRE
  • checkbox-altTOEFL
  • checkbox-altCertified Academic Transcripts
  • checkbox-altPersonal Statement
  • checkbox-alt2 Letters of Recommendation
  • checkbox-altThe GRE requirement is suspended for MA and PhD applicants for 2020-2021.

Additional Requirements

Application Fee

$135 for domestic PhD applicants

$155 for international PhD applicants

$40 for MA applicants

Application Deadline

12/1/2020 (priority, PhD)

12/15/2020 (final, PhD)

10/1/2020 (Spring MA)

3/1/2021 (Fall MA + Chaplaincy)

8/15/2020 (Certificate)

Student Body

  • Female

    female50% Female
  • Male

    male50% Male


  • checkbox-altAs of 2019, there are 856 students in the consortium and 210 students at the GTU.
  • checkbox-altThe GTU is committed to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusiveness (DEI), and is actively working on living out its commitment to nurturing a healthy, vibrant campus culture of pluralism.

Tuition & Financial Aid

Additional Information

  • checkbox-altWork-study Programs Available
  • checkbox-altFinancial Aid Available
  • checkbox-altApplication Fee Waivers Available
  • checkbox-altAverage In-State Tuition $35,400 (PhD), $19,200 (MA)
  • checkbox-altAverage Financial Aid Offer 40-100%

Location & Contact

Website & Other Links