What can I do with this degree? - RELIGIOUS STUDIES

AREAS

LOCAL MINISTRIES

Youth Ministries
Adult Ministries
Leisure Ministries
Counseling/Recovery
Religious Education
Day Care, Children and Adult
Missionary Outreach
Food Bank/Emergency Ministries
Family Life Center Management
Journalism
Public Relations
Television, Radio and Films
Publishing
Music

EMPLOYERS

Local churches, synagogues and mosques
Religious organizations
Denominational boards

STRATEGIES

Get additional training or double major in specialized areas. Obtain certification for specialized areas. Obtain Master's degree in Divinity or counseling. Gain experience by volunteering in local church and campus religious organizations.
Obtain an internship at denominational headquarters. Build relationships with local church and denominational leaders. Get experience in communications areas and develop a portfolio. Double major in music; take additional courses in religious music. Get performance experience through campus groups.

AREAS

SOCIAL SERVICES

Administration
Vocational Training
Retail
Public Relations
Programming
Counseling
Advocacy
Crisis Services (pregnancy, housing, etc.)
Financial/Debt Counseling
Camp Administration
Lobbying

EMPLOYERS

Nonprofit organizations including United Way, Red Cross, Goodwill Industries, Salvation Army, etc.
Churches, synagogues and mosques
Religious hospitals and hospices
Correctional institutions
Shelters
Nursing homes
Youth organizations and camps including YMCA, YWCA, Young Life, etc.
Adoption agencies/Foster Care
Religious political organizations e.g. Moral Majority

STRATEGIES

Volunteer with local organizations for experience. May need specialized training/certification for some areas. Obtain excellent interpersonal and oral and written communication skills. Seek summer camp experience and leadership roles, such as director or assistant director. Legal experience and law degree may be required.

AREAS

HEALTH AND WELFARE MINISTRIES

Administration
Social Services
Residential Living
Religious Activities Programming
Chaplainry
Counseling: Mental Health or Pastoral

EMPLOYERS

Hospitals
Mental health treatment facilities
Nursing homes
Retirement homes
Assisted living homes
Children/youth homes

STRATEGIES

Double major or minor in Business, Social Work, Human Services or special interest area. Take courses related to special populations. Volunteer time in related organizations. Obtain advanced degrees and certification for counseling and chaplainry. May need ordination for pastoral counseling.

AREAS

CLERGY

Buddhist
Catholic
Jewish
Protestant

EMPLOYERS

Local churches, synagogues, mosques
Religious organizations
Denominational boards and agencies
Monasteries

STRATEGIES

Become involved in related campus activities. Protestant clergy positions require denominational ordination and usually a Master of Divinity. Possess high moral and ethical standards. Develop leadership ability and self discipline. Obtain excellent written and verbal communication skills.

AREAS

CHAPLAINRY

Military
Institutional

EMPLOYERS

All branches of military service
Hospitals, hospices
Homes for children, youth, senior citizens
Correctional institutions
Police and fire departments

STRATEGIES

Obtain ordination and two years' service in local church. After acceptance into branch of service, attend chaplainry school.

AREAS

MISSIONS

Church and Community Development
Education
Medical
Metropolitan Ministries
Community Centers
Evangelism

EMPLOYERS

Denominational boards or agencies
Missions boards
Local churches
Religious institutions
Evangelical organizations e.g. Billy Graham Evangelistic Association

STRATEGIES

Obtain any needed advanced degrees, certification or licensing for area of interest. Seek related volunteer or work experience. Obtain travel and cultural experience with group of interest. Foreign language skills are a plus. Develop fundraising skills and contacts.

AREAS

EDUCATION

Teaching
Research
Counseling
Administration/Staff
Chaplainry
Religious Life Programming
Campus Ministry

EMPLOYERS

Religiously affiliated schools
Preparatory schools
Private, public or religiously affiliated colleges and universities
Schools of theology/seminaries
Organizations such as Fellowship of Christian Athletes, Campus Crusade for Christ, Muslim Student Association, Hillel Buddhist Monasteries such as Chuang Yen Monastery

STRATEGIES

May require certification/licensure to teach. Ph.D. usually required for teaching, research and administration in colleges and universities. Complete Master of Divinity plus additional training for campus ministry. Master of Divinity and Ph.D., D.Min. or Th.D. usually required for teaching, research and administration in seminaries and schools of theology. May require multiple skills such as providing ministerial services as well as administration, teaching, coaching, etc. Become involved in specific campus ministry organizations. Seek leadership positions and internships or summer employment opportunities.

AREAS

BUSINESS

Administration/Management
Human Resources
Building Management
Research

EMPLOYERS

Local churches, synagogues and mosques
Religious bookstores
Religious publishers
Denominational boards/agencies
Seminaries/schools of theology
Religiously affiliated schools
Denominational hospitals, homes, schools, boards and agencies

STRATEGIES

Double major or minor in Business. Get related experience. Dual degree in engineering helpful. Develop research and writing skills.

AREAS

COMMUNICATIONS

Writing
Editing
Publishing
Television/Film
Radio
Advertising
Public Relations
Sales
Commercial Art

EMPLOYERS

Denominational boards/agencies
Interdenominational organizations
Local churches, synagogues and mosques
Denominational publishing houses of books and magazines
Secular publishing houses
Secular radio, television and film industry

STRATEGIES

Consider freelance positions. Permanent positions are limited. Take courses in English, social sciences and journalism. Develop excellent writing skills. Submit articles for publication for religious and nonreligious papers and journals. Learn desktop publishing techniques. Obtain specialized technical training such as a double major or minor in Broadcasting. Develop artistic talent. Take courses or double major in Graphic Design/Illustration. Obtain related experience through internships.

AREAS

RELIGIOUS COMMUNITIES

 

EMPLOYERS

Denominational groups including: Roman Catholic (Nuns and Monks), Episcopal, and, Greek Orthodox, Buddhist

STRATEGIES
Apply to religious order for admittance. Requires self-discipline. Desire to combine career with life/living arrangements.

GENERAL INFORMATION
People interested in religious vs. secular work possess deep faith, want more than filling own personal needs, and want to make a difference.

Bachelor's degree provides broad background for careers in many fields including many religious-affiliated organizations.

An undergraduate degree prepares students for professional and graduate study in business, law, medicine, counseling, higher education and other fields.

Dual majors are required for some specialized areas.

Master of Divinity required for most clergy positions, plus denominational ordination.

Obtain general knowledge of practices, procedures, guidelines and doctrine of one's faith.

Possess understanding of human spiritual and social needs.

Ph.D., Th.D. or D.Min. required for college/university/seminary teaching, research and administration.

Obtain part-time, summer, internship, volunteer experience in religious institution or bookstore, or other related activity in working with and helping people.

Develop counseling and communication skills due to the nature of the field and working with people.

May be more opportunities for specific ministries in urban areas and large religious institutions.

Obtain experience and contacts through extensive involvement in campus organizations. Leadership on the local, state and regional level is crucial.

Obtain camp experience to improve organization and counseling skills as well as network within the denominational/organizational structure.

Prepared by the Career Planning staff of Career Services at The University of Tennessee, Knoxville. (2005) UTK is an EEO/AA/Title VI/Title IX/Section 504/ADA/ADEA Employer

Last Updated: 3/24/14