Divinity studies is a branch of religious studies that integrates a diverse array of subjects, including literature, history, philosophy, linguistics, evangelism, geography, and psychology. Students are also trained in practical topics, such as counseling, church finance management, and congregation building. Alongside traditional coursework, students must complete a research dissertation and may be required to perform community service. Most programs are associated with a particular faith or denomination. In order to apply, students must hold a bachelor's degree, often in theology, religious studies, or philosophy, and submit GRE or other standardized test scores.
Master's Degree in Divinity Studies
Master's degree programs in divinity studies provide training in a wide range of theoretical and practical subjects. Students may take some of the following courses:
- Jewish studies
- Counseling theories
- Moral philosophy
- Contemporary issues in religion
- Organizational management
Popular Career Options
Graduate education in divinity studies usually leads to employment in religious organizations or non-profit groups. Common job titles include:
- Church administrator
- Religious representative
- Charity director
Employment Outlook and Salary Information
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projected job growth of 4% for directors of religious activity and education from 2014-2024. As of May 2015, these professionals earned a median annual salary of $38,780. Clergy earned a median annual salary of $44,250, with an expected employment growth rate of 6%.
Continuing Education Information
Students with master's degrees in divinity studies may advance their education in religious studies or theology by pursuing a doctoral degree. Alternatively, graduate training in unrelated fields, such as business administration or law, can lead to managerial or executive positions in charities and other non-profit organizations. Some graduates begin training for a high-level position within their religious organization, such as a minister, priest, or rabbi.
In summary, a master's degree in divinity studies integrates intensive theoretical study of religious topics with training in practical challenges facing modern-day religious organizations.