Philosophical Theology Graduate Programs

Jan 29, 2019

This article provides prospective students of philosophical theology graduate programs with information about what types of career opportunities are available to graduates of these programs.

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At the graduate level, existing programs in the field of philosophical theology can typically be studied as a concentration within more general theology programs that are housed within a university's divinity school or theology department. These programs are available at the master's and Ph.D. level and require that students complete a combination of coursework and independent research. Depending on a student's interests and career goals, these degrees could lead to a number of different careers, which will be highlighted below.

Career Possibilities with a Graduate Degree in Philosophical Theology

Job Title Median Salary (2017)* Job Growth (2016-2026)*
Postsecondary Philosophy/Religion Teacher $69,590 12%
Writer/Author $61,820 8%
Clergy Member $47,100 8%
Chaplain $47,100 (for clergy) 8% (for clergy)
Top Executive $104,700 8%

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Career Information for Graduates with Philosophical Theology Degrees

Postsecondary Philosophy/Religion Teacher

Students who achieved their Ph.D. in philosophical theology will be eligible for positions as university professors and lecturers at educational institutions around the country, while graduates of master's degree programs may be eligible for some positions at community colleges. In this position, individuals will be responsible for holding classes on various topics related to philosophy and theology, giving lectures, encouraging student discussion, and preparing assignments and examinations in order to grade student performance. Individuals in this role may also work with students as advisors if they share similar research interests and help students accomplish their academic and professional goals.


Some graduates of philosophical theology programs may be interested to become professional writers and authors by producing content within their field of study. There are many types of writing that can be pursued, as some individuals may be interested in writing a biography about a noted philosopher or theologian, while others may want to write original content about some aspect of philosophical theology that interests them in the form of a nonfiction book or online content. In any case, this role will typically involve a great deal of research, working with editors and publishers, and meeting writing deadlines.

Clergy Member

Many graduates of philosophical theology programs may feel inclined to pursue positions as priests, pastors, or ministers in various places of worship, like churches. This role involves working with members of the church and instructing them in religious and theological teachings and providing them with emotional and spiritual support. These individuals may also be responsible for preaching and preparing sermons on a regular basis to deliver to the members of the church, as well as performing various other religious ceremonies like baptisms and weddings. Additionally, clergy members may have some administrative duties.


Similar to a clergy member, a chaplain also is typically a type of priest, pastor, or minister that works outside a place of worship in a secular setting, like a hospital or prison. It is their job to provide support to individuals in their place of work who may be seeking emotional or spiritual help as they cope with a variety of challenging problems. Often chaplains have some training beyond their religious background in order to be effective in the specific setting in which they work. Graduates of philosophical theology programs may be attracted to this role as it would allow them to help provide some guidance to individuals during their time of need.

Top Executive

Business-minded graduates of philosophical theology programs may be able to work their way into a position as a top executive for a company that shares their values. For example, a top executive at a religiously-affiliated non-profit organization may be responsible for making sure the organization is able to effectively accomplish its goals. There are a number of different types of top executives, as some may be responsible for the day-to-day operations of a company, while others are exclusively focused on the company's financial health.

Graduate programs in philosophical theology prepare students for a number of different careers, depending on their individual interests and goals, in fields within and beyond theology. For example, job opportunities are available in publishing companies, schools, hospitals, churches, and other institutions and organizations.

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