Seminary Teacher: Job Description & Career Info

Mar 11, 2019

Seminary teachers prepare nuns, monks, ministers, pastors, priests and other clergy for their careers in religion. Read on to learn about the necessary education and skills for this profession, along with the salary and employment outlook.

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Career Description for Seminary Teachers

Seminary teachers lead students in scholarly interpretation and study of the Bible and other religious works. They prepare students for careers in the clergy of Christian denominations. These instructors typically work at schools of divinity or theology associated with colleges and universities.

Required Education A postgraduate degree, such as a master's or doctorate degree in fields like divinity, divinity studies, and theology
Required Skills Leadership, writing skills, understanding of the Bible and other religious texts
Career Outlook (2016 to 2026)* 12% growth (for all postsecondary philosophy and religion educators)
Mean Annual Salary (2017)* $78,790 (for postsecondary philosophy and religion educators)

*Source: U. S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Required Education

Seminary teaching requires a postgraduate degree, such as a Master's of Divinity (M.Div.), M.A., Ph.D. or Doctor of Divinity (D.Div.), in Divinity Studies or Theology. Seminary teachers have attended seminary schools themselves and continue their scholarly study of the Bible and related religious works all of their lives.

Skills Required

In addition to their devotion to religion, seminary teachers must have analytical minds for interpreting and analyzing the Bible and other religious texts. All postsecondary teachers, including seminary teachers, should be skilled at leading and helping students become successful in their own careers, according to the College Board. Teaching seminary usually also involves publishing articles and books, requiring excellent writing skills.

Career and Economic Outlook

The U.S. Department of Labor projects that all postsecondary philosophy and religion education jobs, including seminary teachers, will see a 12% increase between 2016 and 2026, which is faster than the average for all occupations. Most job growth will be due to student enrollment increases. The U.S. Department of Labor, reports that in May 2017 the average salary for postsecondary philosophy and religion teachers in general was $78,790.

Alternate Career Options

Other careers in this field include:

Clergy

Members of the clergy, who lead religious worship programs and give guidance to members, may enter the profession with a bachelor's degree. The BLS predicted average employment growth of 8% from 2016 to 2026, and listed an annual mean wage of $50,800 in 2017.

Directors of Religious Activities and Education

These professionals plan and direct religious education programs and sometimes provide counseling. A bachelor's degree is the minimum requirement to get started in this career. From 2016 to 2026, the BLS projected average job growth of 7%, for this occupation that offered a mean salary of $45,470 per year in 2017.

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