Many people get confused when we talk about religion degrees. They ask questions like “Why do we study religion” and “What can we do after studying religion” and so on. Degrees in religion are as good as any other degree and open out many possibilities in the job market. To begin with, by studying religion, a student is exposed to an environment where personal growth along with intellectual growth is fostered in combination with acquiring practical skill sets. In addition to these, a student in a religion degree program is also given scope to increase his or her critical intelligence, analytical skills, and originality as well as gaining a strong foundation in cultural literacy.
Religion degrees are offered from associate level to doctoral level. Programs in religion prepare students for leadership in religion, research, counseling and teaching. While some programs might be affiliated with a particular religion or area of study, other programs might give them a broader perspective of other religions including an overview of culture, philosophy and history.
To be eligible for an associate’s degree in religion, you will need at least a high school diploma or GEDs. These degrees are generally offered by religion based institutions. Career options available for associate’s degree holders in religion include religious program coordinator, Sunday school teacher, ministry outreach and church administrator, etc.
To qualify for bachelor’s degree programs, a student might need high school transcripts, and SAT or ACT scores. Bachelor’s degree programs in religion offer students a broader insight into one religion or on different religions and practices. These programs may explore the relationship between society and religion and provide more knowledge about other major religions of the world. Generally, bachelor’s programs in religion are supplemented with minors and majors in humanities and philosophy. Career options for bachelor’s degree holders might include curator or religious collections, religious educator, non-profit administrator, religious writer, religious program director, clergy, etc.
To qualify for a master’s program in religion or theology, a student must have at least a bachelor’s degree from an accredited university with undergraduate coursework in religious studies. Further, GRE test scores may be required in addition to college transcripts. Master’s degree programs in theology/religion are designed to give students an in-depth knowledge about the religion of study as well as overviews of other religions and cultural practices. In addition, leadership and analytical skills are honed along with laying a strong foundation in the application of religious principles. Career options for master’s degree holders in theology might include minister, counselor, administrator, missionary, teacher, etc.
To pursue a doctoral program in theology (Ph.D.), a student must have at least a master’s degree in religion/theology. An academic writing sample may also be required to college transcripts and GRE scores. Doctoral programs in theology/religion help the students to gain a strong, expert level knowledge about the religion of study, helping them to specialize in a particular area of interest within that religion. Doctoral programs in theology, as in other doctoral programs, may require completion of a dissertation. Career options for doctoral degree holders in theology include professor, researcher, religious ethicist, upper level administrator, senior clergy, etc.
Degrees in religion get well paying jobs and open up opportunities in the job market, and there are many good online universities that offer programs in religion, from associate to doctoral levels, and students who pass out of these colleges with a religion degree are quickly absorbed by employers.