Religious studies entail developing an understanding of religious beliefs, rituals and customs, associated literature and institutions. Students in religious studies programs get a chance to study religious behavior and belief. Pursuing these programs not only provide students with spiritual and intellectual growth but also equips them with practical skills that can help them pursue a variety of fulfilling job opportunities.
A variety of programs are available in religious studies. Students can pursue associate, bachelor or master’s degrees in Christian education, divinity or theological studies. Each degree leads to a particular career path. The master of Christian education is designed for the ones who want to teach in a religious school or in a church setting. The master of divinity is the most common degree in this area of study. Most senior pastors and assistant pastors opt for this program. Candidates can choose to focus on a particular field within divinity such as pastoral ministry, counseling or preaching. The doctorate in religious education is another program in this area of study. It is suitable for those who wish to teach at a high school or college level.
The core religious studies courses include adopting methodological approaches to the study of religion, by examining thematic issues and comprehending them within a specific religious context. In addition, students can choose to focus on a particular tradition and take supplementary courses such as Christian, Islamic, Hindu, Buddhist traditions. They may also study about the religious cultures of the Americas, China and Africa.
Some of the courses of study in these programs are medieval religion and culture, modern religion and culture, intro to Indian religions, Japanese religions, issues in American Catholicism and ancient Mediterranean religions.
To enroll in a program in religious studies, students need to hold a high school diploma. Some programs require students to have a bachelor’s degree in religious studies or a related field. Other admissions factors may vary by school.
Post Grad Certificates in Religious Studies
Post grad certificates in religious studies are designed for professionals who already work or intend to work in areas related to religious education. The programs help candidates improve their knowledge and skills and improve their career prospects. To pursue a certificate in religious studies, students must hold a bachelor’s degree in education or one in an area other than education, or a graduate diploma in education.
Several traditional schools offer programs in religious studies. Online programs are also available. Since the post grad certificates are fundamentally designed for those who have part time or full time jobs and are seeking advanced credentials, pursuing an online certificate can be a great choice. Since learners can study from any location and complete a certificate at their own pace, they can pursue this program alongside and gain advanced credentials without making major changes to their routine.
The most obvious careers for religious studies graduates are as ministers. Students with majors in this area of study can also pursue research and teaching jobs. Some other professions that religious studies graduates can pursue are teaching, music, social services, communications and business. Opportunities are also available in law and medicine.