Religion Careers

A religious studies degree can be the first step in preparation to become a clergy member, a religion teacher, a counselor; or for those with a desire to be involved in any number of humanitarian endeavors. A person seeking a religious studies degree may study the Bible, theology, philosophy, and the religious traditions of the world. Because religious studies is an interdisciplinary field, graduates have many career options. For example, a graduate program in religious studies combined with carefully chosen electives can lead to a career in education, medicine, business, and law.

Employment Opportunities

Religion professionals may work in a variety of environments, including:

  • Religious systems management
  • Counseling and social work
  • Life ministries
  • Education (parochial schools)
  • Non-profit organizations and government work
  • Publishing
  • Museums and the arts
  • Business marketing and management


Religion professionals need a wide range of capabilities, including:

  • Leadership
  • Communication skills
  • Organizational skills
  • Understanding of theology, philosophy, and religious history

Industry Spotlight

Employment statistics for clergy members:

  • 2006 employment: 404,000
  • Projected 2006-16 employment change: Faster than average
  • Most significant source of postsecondary education or training: Master’s degree

- Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2008