The Department for the Study of Religion at the University of Toronto is a unique institution for the pursuit of undergraduate and graduate studies. As an intellectual inquiry into an important dimension of human experience, the exploration of religion is intrinsically valuable. It constitutes a resource for reflection on meaning in life and for personal growth. It also contributes to preparing students for a wide range of careers, such as law, medicine, social work, teaching, politics from the local to the international level, and leadership in religious organizations.

Religious studies is distinguished by the uniqueness of its subject matter and the diversity of its methods. Its subject matter is global: the scriptures, institutions, teachings, rituals, devotions, iconography, and moral injunctions of all the world’s religious traditions. And it addresses this subject matter with the full range of investigative tools made available by the various disciplines, especially modern historical and scientific human studies and modern philosophy. As such, religious studies is inherently both cross-cultural and interdisciplinary.

A multidisciplinary organization, the graduate centre combines the resources of the Department for the Study of Religion with an extensive network of cross-appointed affiliations with faculty colleagues whose primary research and teaching interests address religious phenomena, and who are drawn from a variety of departments and programs in the humanities, social sciences, and law. This combination thus consolidates the vast curricular and faculty resources for the study of religion that are distributed across disciplines throughout the university, making it the largest and most comprehensive graduate program in this field within Canada, and one of the largest and most diverse such programs internationally.