This MA in Religious Studies with a focus on Islam is designed to prepare Christians for ministry in an increasingly diverse religious world. The North East Christian University (NECU) in Dimapur (Nagaland), India, through the Centre for Advanced Religious Studies (CARS) accredits this programme. OCRPL partners with NECU/ CARS to offer an affordable MA degree in a flexible online format. This is particularly suitable for those in ministry, those who cannot take large amounts of time off work or those who are unable to relocate for a duration of study.

The degree is recognised by the University Grants Commission* (UGC) and registered under the Nagaland Government Act 2012 (Act No.4 of 2013), North East Christian University, Nagaland, India.

*UGC is a statutory Organization of the Government of India by an Act of Parliament in 1956, for the coordination, determination and maintenance of standards of teaching, examination and research in university education.

Programme Details

Language(s) English
Learning Style Online
Course Length 2 years (Full time)
Start Date July 2023
Application Dates March-June 2023
Estimated Total Cost ₹20,000 per semester
₹80,000 total (approx. US$1,000)
Available Facilities OCRPL Online Library
Learning materials via online Learning Management System (LMS)

The MA programme is an online programme that combines both synchronous and asynchronous learning. Students will attend the online lectures or listen to the pre-recorded lectures and engage with the study/reading material. Students will be engaged in a self-directed learning process and be responsible for their study schedule apart from regular weekly seminars and scheduled meetings with their tutor/supervisor. 

The purpose of this MA programme is to help students to understand religions, particularly Christianity and Islam, and their diverse traditions, cultures and interpretations. A special focus is on to the history of Christian-Muslim relations and in understanding theological differences between Islam and Christianity. By the conclusion of the programme, students will be able to critically engage with religious, historical and socio-cultural dimensions of Islam, and evaluate its implications for the Church and Christian mission today.  

Why MA at OCRPL?

  • You can study from anywhere in the world without major disruption to your work and ministry (provided you have access to stable Internet).
  • Upon successful completion, you will receive a validated degree from a recognised University.
  • If eligible for a scholarship, you will receive a degree at a reduced cost (up to 50%).
  • You learn from world experts in the field religious studies.
  • You become a part of a global network of leaders and scholars.
  • You gain research expertise and other transferrable skills, and grow professionally in the process.
  • You may want to continue your education and apply for PhD afterward.
  • You gain training in critical thinking, writing and researching, and acquire other transferrable skills.

Who is this course designed for?

The programme aimed at Christians who want to receive an MA degree from an internationally recognised university while remaining in their ministry setting.

Examples may be,

  • A Christian leader who has significant experience in church who will gain useful expertise for ongoing Christian work in the field of religion and culture.
  • Church ministers guiding their constituency in their relations to a majority religion who wish to upgrade their competencies and credentials.
  • People involved in the public square, such as Christian development agencies, or individuals working in the fields of religion, politics or Christian ethics.


How is the course delivered?

As the programme is delivered entirely on-line, OCRPL provides a support system to the students wherever they are. All MA course material is available through OCRPL Learning Management System (LMS). Students learn as they participate in lectures and tutorial sessions, work on their reading assignments and write essays. OCRPL uses Turnitin to monitor students’ submission as well as to detect a degree of plagiarism in their work. There is also mid-term examination (quizzes) and a final exam that will determine the outcome of the course. OCRPL monitors attendance and students will not be allowed to sit the final exam if their attendance is less than 75%.

Applicant Requirements

Standard Entry:

  • A university Bachelor’s degree from any discipline, second class (minimum 50% marks; average B grade) or equivalent.

Non-standard Entry:

  • A Bachelor’s theological degree with at least second class (minimum 50% marks; average B grade) or equivalent, awarded by recognised accrediting and degree awarding bodies in India and or from other countries.
  • A successful candidate will need some additional credits in the form of preparatory courses offered by NECU/CARS.

Language Requirements:

  • Applicants must be sufficiently proficient in English to complete the programme of study. English proficiency of candidates may be achieved through:
  • Successful completion of a full bachelor’s or master’s degree from a recognised and accredited university where the medium of instruction is English.

All eligible students will be required to take an online entrance exam that will evaluate the students’ knowledge of religions and their reading and writing skills.

Costs and Financing Options


The estimated fees for the entire programme is as follows:

Each Semester ₹20,000 $250
Total for 4 Semester ₹80,000 $1,000

These costs include the NECU Admission Fee and Examination Fee. The fees will be paid to OCRPL and OCRPL will then arrange to pay to NECU on behalf of the students.

Additional fees may be incurred for graduation, registration and residential sessions if a student wants to visit the university (not required by the University).

This course is heavily subsidised to make theological education accessible and affordable. Hence, we request prospective students to pay the fees on time. Students are expected to pay at least 50% of the semester fees before the course starts. They can pay remaining fees in instalments before the completion of each semester. Any delay in payment may affect the progress of studies.

Partial scholarships from OCRPL and its partnering agencies may be available to selected students. Please see or request for a scholarship application and for eligibility here.