Professional qualifications

Qualification requirements of a subject teacher of religion concerning studies in the teaching subject

Studies in the second teaching subject in comprehensive and upper secondary education

The professional qualifications required to teach religion as the second teaching subject in comprehensive and upper secondary education can be obtained in two ways:

  1. Prospective subject teachers are recommended to complete basic and intermediate studies in general theology (60 cr). The studies can be completed in one academic year: basic studies in the autumn term and intermediate studies in the spring term.
  2. The qualifications in the teaching subject can also be obtained by completing basic studies in theology (60 cr) as well as a department’s or discipline’s foundation course which is included in intermediate studies in theology and incorporates the proseminar (10 cr), totalling 70 cr. The completion of basic studies in theology and the required intermediate studies takes at least two academic years.

Studies in the first teaching subject in upper secondary education

The professional qualifications required to teach religion as the first teaching subject in upper secondary education can be obtained in two ways:

  1. By completing basic and intermediate studies in general theology (60 cr) as well as advanced studies in one theological discipline (40 cr) excluding the Master’s thesis but including a final thesis (40 + 20 cr), totalling 120 cr
  2. By completing basic studies in theology (60 cr) and a department’s or discipline’s foundation course which is included in intermediate studies in theology and incorporates the proseminar (10 cr), totalling 70 cr, as well as advanced studies in one theological discipline (40 cr) excluding the Master’s thesis but including a final thesis (40 + 20 cr), totalling 130 cr.

Certificate of equivalence for studies completed at the Faculty of Theology

The certificate of equivalence proves that the studies completed correspond to those required of subject teachers in comprehensive or upper secondary education. As a rule, the certificate is needed after graduation to apply for the pedagogical studies required of teachers or after completing studies in a new teaching subject.

The Faculty of Theology issues certificates of equivalence concerning the teaching subjects of Evangelical Lutheran religion and Catholic religion. The studies must be completed at the University of Helsinki’s Faculty of Theology.

For the certificate of equivalence, please contact theMetsätalo student services (metsatalo-student@helsinki.fi).

The fee for the certificate is €126. The fee is based on Government Decree No 1082/2009 concerning fees charged for university operations. The fee must be paid using an invoice sent retrospectively to the address indicated on the certificate request form. The certificate can be collected from the Faculty of Theology or, if requested, it can be mailed to the address indicated on the certificate request form. Postage and handling is charged at €3.

The certificate can be obtained at approximately two weeks’ notice (except during the summer and Christmas periods).

The theology degree required for a clerical post

The qualifications required for a clerical post can be obtained by completing a Master of Theology, Licentiate of Theology or Doctor of Theology degree under the Government Decree on University Degrees.

The completed degree must include the following studies:

  1. Studies in church history, biblical studies, systematic theology and practical theology totalling at least 100 cr as well as studies in the study of religions totalling at least 10 cr; the credit numbers do not include thesis work, except in the case of the Bachelor’s degree
  2. Studies in Hebrew, Greek and Latin totalling at least 30 cr in at least two of the languages, one of which must be Greek, or if the degree provides the qualifications required of religion teachers, the studies must total at least 20 cr in at least two of the above languages
  3. A module worth at least 20 cr, including applied studies in liturgical life, religious education and pastoral counselling as well as a full-time period of on-the-job-learning in a parish of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland

If the degree does not include all of the above studies, it must be supplemented accordingly.

Theological studies required of those who have completed another applicable degree

Those who have completed, in accordance with Government Decree No 464/1998, an applicable second-cycle degree at a Finnish university or university of applied sciences can obtain the qualifications required for a clerical post by completing a Master of Theology, Licentiate of Theology or Doctor of Theology degree in accordance with the Government Decree on University Degrees.

The completed degree must include the following studies:

  1. At least 10 cr of studies in Hebrew, Greek or Latin in at least one of the languages
  2. Studies in church history, biblical studies, systematic theology and practical theology in all the disciplines totalling at least 100 cr and possibly including studies in the classical languages as well as studies in the study of religions worth at least 10 cr; the credit numbers do not include thesis work
  3. A module worth at least 20 cr, including applied studies in liturgical life, religious education and pastoral counselling as well as a full-time period of on-the-job-learning in a parish of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland

If the degree does not include all of the above studies, it must be supplemented accordingly.