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What can one do with a degree in religion or religious studies?

The last few semesters, I have taken a few courses outside of my major and found that I rather enjoy the religion and mythology based courses that my university offers. It has been brought up to me by my professors that a religion degree is offered, and while I have looked into it a bit, I was wondering if anyone knew what I could do with this degree upon graduation? Is there more than just a personal value to it? Would a minor be a better solution?Thank you!
#undergrad #religion #college #religious-studies #spirituality #theology

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Zach’s Answer

Speaking as a Religious Studies graduate, this is a great question! I majored in Religious Studies and got my minor in Business Administration (to help balance things out). Pursuing a minor in Religious Studies may be a good option if you have a specific career in mind that you'd like to focus on for your major.

I struggled for a long time on deciding what to do with my degree. In the 10+ years since I graduated, I've found that the skills I built while getting my degree has applied in ways I didn't expect at first. In college, the classes I took really taught me how to critically analyze information, even when it was being presented in a non-analytical manner. I learned to consider external and unwritten influences to build context and uncover the "why" of statements. I also learned how to productively compare differing pieces of information, which has helped me with project management in finding common ground when multiple parties have a stake in the execution of said project. I'll also say that in my experience, it has been a great conversation starter in interviews since it stands out on a resume.

All of that is to say, even if you don't find a direct application of a Religious Studies degree, there are invaluable skills you can learn while pursuing it. Think not just about what you've learned, but the process you went through while learning. Those are the skills you can apply more broadly. It's not always a straightforward path and is definitely not for everyone, but there are some incredible takeaways you can find in getting a Religious Studies degree if you get creative in your application of skills.
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Rich’s Answer

It is a good major to prepare one for a career in law.
Thank you comment icon Thank you for your answer! But, how so? Ashley
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James Constantine’s Answer

Subject: Exploring Career Opportunities with a Degree in Religion or Religious Studies

Dear Ashley,

Are you wondering about the possible career paths that a degree in Religion or Religious Studies can lead to? This field of study, which delves deep into spirituality, theology, and the multifaceted aspects of various belief systems, can pave the way to a host of exciting and fulfilling professional opportunities. Here's a glimpse into some of the potential career avenues you can explore:

1. Religious Educator: Armed with a degree in religion, you could embark on a career in education, teaching religion, ethics, and philosophy at schools, colleges, or religious institutions. You could also design educational programs for community organizations or faith-based groups.

2. Clergy Member: If you feel a calling towards religious service, you could become an ordained clergy member, serving as a priest, minister, rabbi, imam, or other religious leaders within your faith community.

3. Interfaith Coordinator: Leveraging your knowledge in religious studies, you could foster interfaith dialogue and understanding as an Interfaith Coordinator, promoting harmony among diverse religious communities.

4. Nonprofit Work: You could make a difference in the world by working with nonprofit organizations that champion social justice, humanitarian aid, or community development from a religious perspective, in roles such as program coordinators, community organizers, or outreach specialists.

5. Chaplaincy: As a chaplain, you could offer spiritual care and support in various settings like hospitals, prisons, military bases, or universities.

6. Religious Researcher: If academia is your passion, you could pursue research positions in religious studies departments at universities or research institutions, conducting scholarly research on various aspects of religion.

7. Cultural Heritage Preservation: You could contribute to preserving and promoting religiously significant cultural heritage sites, artifacts, and traditions.

8. Journalism and Media: Your degree could also lead to a career in journalism, where you could report on religious issues, faith-based initiatives, or interfaith dialogue.

9. Public Policy and Advocacy: You could use your knowledge to influence public policy on issues related to religion, ethics, and social justice, advocating for policies that resonate with your religious values and beliefs.

10. Museum Curator: If you're interested in art history and religious artifacts, you could curate religious art collections and exhibitions as a museum curator.

In summary, a degree in Religion or Religious Studies can lead to a broad spectrum of career opportunities beyond personal growth. Whether you decide to delve deeper into the field or apply your knowledge in different professional settings, studying religion can open doors to rewarding and influential career paths.

For further information, consider these top 3 authoritative sources:

1. Harvard Divinity School: Offers insights into the diverse career paths for individuals with degrees in religion or theological studies.

2. American Academy of Religion (AAR): Provides resources and information on careers related to the academic study of religion and guidance on potential professional opportunities for graduates.

3. Pew Research Center: Conducts surveys and research on religion globally, offering data-driven insights into the role of religion in society and potential career paths for those interested in religious studies.

May God bless you on your journey!
James Constantine Frangos.
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Simeon’s Answer

I would agree with the potential to get into a chaplaincy program for the degree. Hospital chaplains earn about 50k these days and is a source of reliable and steady work. I would recommend getting the religious programs degree as a minor. There isn't much in the way of getting a job off of the degree by itself. I have a business undergrad and a Masters of Divinity and the business degree has been very helpful in getting hired, while I have yet to succeed in getting a job related to my religious degree. Often, it's more about who you know than about the degrees themselves anyway. Broader degrees give you more flexibility in finding your own path forward.
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Arun Kumar’s Answer

Your qualification with a degree in religion can help you in seeking job opportunities in religious institution, many of which are also charity type. If you love 'giving back', you will love the job.

The degree can also help in jobs in social media where religion related programs are aired/telecast
Thank you comment icon Thank you so much for your response! I had not considered the social media and broadcasting aspects that could be tied back into this work. Ashley
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Kristin’s Answer

I loved my religious studies classes while I was in college. I took many as electives that eventually turned into a minor. There are so many opportunities other than becoming a pastor. Many bigger churches today offer many support staff and lay worker positions. Chaplains and support staff also work in hospitals, nursing homes, and other care facilities. Religious media such as television, radio, and social media avenues could also be useful. Either route you decide to take, these programs will help you grow yourself, your religion, and in your community.
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Jeff’s Answer

I have a Masters Degree in Divinity. That is a fancy way of saying I went to Seminary (Presbyterian). Interestingly enough I was a Pastor for a few years and a Chaplain at a Hospital before I joined the "secular" corporate world. It is invaluable to have someone who can mentor you and give you objective advise on the direction you want to go after your studies.

I found that I had talents that were better served elsewhere, that suited my capabilities. However, what I was able to bring with me was compassion and the ability to be helpful and responsive. Something to consider.
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