Religion and Theology Degrees Video: Career Options

Religion and Theology Degrees Video: Career Options Transcript

A career in religious studies is generally well suited for those interested in the theological and moral questions of our world. While Christian studies have traditionally dominated religious scholarship in the United States, other religions have garnered additional interest in recent years. Today, Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, Judaism and numerous other faiths are all widely studied and practiced throughout the country.


Religious studies are popular among undergraduates. This is in large part due to the diversity of faiths and subjects explored in programs throughout the country. Additionally, a degree in religious studies allows students to pursue a wide range of possible career paths. While many associate this line of study with spiritual leadership, religious studies actually provide students with skills that are helpful in careers ranging from journalism and law to education and business. This is in large part due to the critical thinking, communication and analytical skills students develop in religious studies programs. Knowledge and understanding of others' belief systems and cultural backgrounds also prepare graduates for the diverse environments they will encounter in their professional lives.

Job Skills and Duties

The ultimate positions taken by graduates of religious studies programs may vary considerably. Many do elect to pursue positions of spiritual leadership within their respective faiths. Some seek to advance knowledge of religious subjects in other ways, such as in the case of theological scholars. Deep belief is not required, but a thorough understanding of one's chosen area of study is. In these and other areas of religious study, understanding of others' beliefs and their relationship to one's own perspectives is also important. Those interested in religious studies careers generally have sound intuition and genuine concern for social and moral factors at work within societies. Critical thinking and communication skills also constitute important abilities for careers in these fields.

Training Required

Those seeking careers in religious or theological studies may have widely varying educational goals. Clergy positions and others forms of spiritual leadership often require graduate studies that offer divinity degrees. Those interested in theological research or teaching at the university level generally must also complete graduate degrees. Undergraduates seeking a background in religious studies may have other interests and pursue a combination in law or medicine before advancing on to graduate studies in those areas.

Well Known Jobs Within this Field of Expertise

While a religious studies degree is a great touchstone point for diverse career paths, many graduates do elect to pursue a position of spiritual leadership within a given faith. Among these roles in Christianity are priests, ministers, deacons, cardinals and other clergy. Missionaries, church administrators, youth ministry workers and religious program directors are examples of similar positions dedicated to advancing a given faith. Many others who are interested in religious studies elect to pursue careers as educators, often at private K-12 schools or post-secondary institutions. Theological scholars seek to illuminate religious subjects through vigorous intellectual study. In addition to faith-related positions, a degree in religious studies can also open many doors within the law, business, government, social work, medicine and journalism fields.


Religious studies degrees offer a dynamic view of disparate social, theological and cultural perspectives. Inherent in religious studies are moral questions and comparative analysis that builds strong analytical skills and articulate viewpoints. As a result, religious studies graduates are attractive candidates for positions within faith communities and without.


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