Undergraduate Theology Studies

Undergraduate theology studies can provide you with the opportunity to analyze religion within spiritual, philosophical and historical contexts. Keep reading to learn how the study of theology can prepare you for a career in clergy or religious work, or for a graduate degree in a related area.

Are Undergraduate Theology Studies for Me?

Overview of the Field

If you are interested in acquiring a solid foundation in religious history, practices and theories, then an undergraduate degree in theology studies may be good choice for you. Programs typically include the reading, interpretation and analysis of religious doctrines in terms of their ethical, philosophical, historical and societal implications. Although most undergraduate programs focus on the Christian tradition, there are degree programs devoted to other religions, such as Judaic studies or Islamic studies. Most undergraduate programs in theology studies are offered at the bachelor's level, although associate degree programs may be available in Christian studies or Christian ministries.

Career Options

Traditional career options for qualified graduates of theology programs can be found in ministry and religious education. The broad educational background you'll receive may also help you obtain a position in healthcare, business or law.

Salary Information

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) in May 2013, clergy members had an average annual income of $47,540, while those employed in other religious-related work earned $33,520. As reported by the BLS, employment prospects for clergy members, as well as directors of religious activities and education, were expected to increase by an average rate nationwide from 2012-2022 (www.bls.gov).

How Can I Work in Theology Studies?

Educational Requirements

In general, you'll need a Master of Divinity or similar graduate degree to become a minister or pastor. However, an undergraduate program in theology may prepare you for other religious occupations. For example, a bachelor's degree program in biblical education might qualify you for a position as a youth or young adult minister or a Sunday school teacher. Four-year programs in theology, including those offered on campus and online, can help you acquire the knowledge and skills you'll need to pursue missionary work or support jobs at churches and other religious organizations.

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