• Faculty of Philosophy, USSH, VNU Hanoi (formerly Hanoi General University) began offering bachelor's program on Philosophy in accordance with Religious Studies in 1976.

  • In 1980, the Section Scientific Atheism was formed under Faculty of Philosophy, Hanoi General University.

  • In 1999, Division of Religious Science was founded and began the bachelor's program on Religious Studies

  • In 2004, Division of Religious Studies launched the master's program on Religious Studies under Faculty of Philosophy, USSH, VNU Hanoi.

  • In 2014, the Division launched the master's program and doctoral program on Religious Studies (2015) and began admitting students into the bachelor's program on Religious Studies in 2016. 

Since 1999, Division of Religious Science has been training around 200 bachelors of Religious Studies annually, most of whom are regular and part-time students, religious practitioners, and government officers dealing with religious and cultural affairs. In 2004, when the master's program on Religious Studies was approved the scope of training was extended to high-ranking religious leaders, part-time religious researchers, and religious managers or managers working in related areas. Therefore, each year there are over 15 master's candidates majoring Religious studies and 6-8 research fellows.

However, up to now in Vietnam, opinions of religious issues have generally been divergent. Many theoretical issues concerning religious studies have to be clarified, and many practices need comprehensive and thorough studying and summarizing. Therefore, the establishment and development of Division of Religious Studies at USSH is an essential requirement the whole field.

  • On July 26th, 2016, the USSH's Rector signed decision no 3252/QĐ/XHNV-TC creating the Division of Religious Studies at USSH, VNU Hanoi. Since then, the Division of Religious Studies has been an independent, systematic and integral unit at the University. With this milestone, the Division was able to confirm its status, independence, and maturity in the regional and international stage.


The Division of Religious Studies aims to become a unit of national brand and international standard in training and researching Religious science, focusing on such areas as Methodology for Religious studies; Religions in Vietnam and around the world; and Religions, beliefs and social life. The Division pioneers the training of high-quality human resources, creating and disseminating knowledge on Religious Studies, the Party's policy and Law on Religion, to contribute to national construction and development.  

Development orientations

The Division of Religious Studies constantly renovates and develops itself to become an international brand and define its value chains:

  • Core value: create the best value chain, being able to contribute to the development of global science in an internationally-integrated way; sharpen a dialectical thinking; stimulate and nurture humanistic spirits and the awareness of social responsibilities.

  • Objective: become a high-quality and prestigious center of basic research and application of Religious Studies in Vietnam and the region.

Undergraduate level

  • Bachelor of Religious Studies

Graduate level

  • Research-based Master of Religious Studies

  • Applied Master of Religious Studies

  • Doctor of Religious Studies

Short-term training

  • Supplementary courses on Religious Studies

Main research orientations

  • Theoretical and methodological issues in religious studies:

    •  Research methods in religious studies

    •  The origin, nature and situation of religions in today's context. 

    •  The relations between religion and politics, culture, ethics, arts, and philosophy.

  • The religions in Vietnam and the world:

    •  The doctrines, organization and development of Catholicism

    •  The introduction and spreading of Catholicism in Vietnam

    •   Catholicism's historical and contemporary influences on Vietnam's culture, politics and society.

    •   The doctrines, rituals and organization of Protestantism.

    •   The introduction and spreading of Protestantism in Vietnam

    •   Protestantism's current influences on Vietnam's cultural, political and social issues.

    •   The origin, doctrines, rituals and organization of Islam

    •   The introduction, spreading and features of Islam in Vietnam

    •   The formation and development of Buddhism.

    •   Buddhist Doctrines and religious texts

    •   The introduction and spreading of Buddhism in Vietnam

    •   General Buddhist ideas and Vietnamese Buddhist ideas

    •   The formation, organization and doctrines of Caodism.

    •   The formation, organization and doctrines of Hoahaoism

    •    New religious phenomena in Vietnam and in the world.

    •    Vietnamese religious folk beliefs: ancestor veneration, Mother Goddess, deity worship.

    •    The transformations of some forms of belief in today's Vietnam.

    •    Current religious festivals in Vietnam.

  • Religion, belief and social life

    •    Religion and social work.

    •    The current situation of religious educational, charitable and social activities in today's Vietnam.

    •    The Party's policies and the State's law on religion.

    •    Vietnam's integration of religious laws compared to the international laws

    •    Catholicism and Vietnamese culture

    •    Protestantism and its impact on the indigeous cultures at remote areas in Northwest Vietnam and the Central Highlands. 

    •    Religious texts (Catholic, Buddhist, Islamic, Protestant) with ethical and cultural issues in today's Vietnam.

The Division of Religious Studies continues to maintain, develop and expand relations in research, training and policy consulting with its existing partners and also reaches out to regional and international partners.

Since its founding, the Division has been closely collaborating with Government authorities and bodies dealing with religious affairs, research institutes, universities and different religious associations in joint training programs and academic conferences. The Division's prominent achievements are: 

  • Completed the collaborative project with the Vietnam Buddhist Sangha of Vietnam, Vietnamese Fatherland Front to hold the conference "Promoting the role of Buddhism in the socialization of charitable social work". 

  • Continue the collaborative project with the Northern Vietnam Evangelical Church to hold the 500th anniversary of the Church.

  • Collaborate with religious state authorities related to Catholicism, Protestantism and Hoahoaism to hold in-depth conferences on Religion. 

The Division gradually extends its in-depth relations with several research and training units specializing in Religious Studies such as:

  • Faculty of Political Science, Faculty of Anthroplogy, Faculty of Vietnamese Studies, Faculty of Oriental Studies, Faculty of Philosophy, (USSH, VNU Hanoi)

  • Vietnam Academy of Journalism and Communication.

  • Institute of Religious Studies, Vietnam Academy of Social Sciences.

  • Graduate Academy of Social Sciences.

  • Hanoi University of Internal Affairs

  • Faculty of Ethnicity and Religion, National Political Academy of Vietnam, area 1, Hanoi.

  • Center for Religious and Belief Studies.

  • Ho Chi Minh National Political Academy of Vietnam

  • Center for Religious Studies, USSH, VNU Ho Chi Minh.

  • Center for Contemporary Religious Studies, USSH, VNU Hanoi.

  • Institute for Religious Policy Studies, Vietnamese Religious Committee.

  • People's Security Academy

  • People's Police Academy

  • MISSIO. Ford Foundation, MISSIO

  • Moscow State University

  • East Carolina University – Religious studies.

  • Peoples' Friendship University of Russia