Online Religious Studies Degree
Most people believe that individuals only opt for a religious studies qualification because they are religious people or have an interest in religious thought. That might be true, but that is not the only reason. This interest can result in a good career choice and there are a number of specializations within the area of study. Religious Studies is essentially the academic study of religion, and not to be confused …Read more ↓
Most people believe that individuals only opt for a religious studies qualification because they are religious people or have an interest in religious thought. That might be true, but that is not the only reason. This interest can result in a good career choice and there are a number of specializations within the area of study.
Religious Studies is essentially the academic study of religion, and not to be confused with theology. Scholars treat religion as a historical and cultural artifact open to interpretation, study and analysis.
An Online Degree in Religious Studies can be pursued at the associate’s, undergraduate, graduate and doctoral level.
Online Associate’s Degree in Religious Studies
An associate’s degree will usually take two years to complete, prepare you for entry level jobs, and comprise of general education courses that build the foundation for further education. It serves as a springboard towards undergraduate studies.
Online Bachelor’s Degree in Religious Studies
A bachelor’s degree is a four year program typically including topics such as comparative religion, the history of religion, theories and methods, ethics etc. It prepares you for a variety of clergy or clergy-related careers, such as priest, minister, chaplain, counselor, religious education teacher, or director of religious development. Undergrad degree holders are eligible for primary or secondary school teaching positions.
Online Master’s Degree in Religious Studies
This two year graduate program is ideal for people looking to polish and further refine their skills and knowledge. At this level, students delve deep into their specialization areas such as Judaism, Islam and religious history, and are eligible for most career positions with this degree. Most mainstream religious groups in the U.S. require graduate study in order to be ordained or certified within a specific tradition or denomination.
Online Doctorate Degree in Religious Studies
This post graduate degree is the highest qualification that one can attempt in the field and the doctorate allows you to customize your study plan and focus on researching elements that most interest you. Students have to declare their area of specialization and their thesis topic before getting started with the program.
Religious studies degrees are usually divided into a number of specializations. Students can opt to do a general degree with focus on a specific area of study within it or a specialized degree all on its own.
- Biblical Studies
- Christian Counseling
- Christian Studies
Religious Studies has become extremely interdisciplinary and inclusive, and is no long simply restricted to the study of Christianity. All major religions are studied.
Thus focus areas also include:
- Comparative Religion
- Interdisciplinary approaches
Students who are successful in the field have a thirst for knowledge and are critical thinkers. They are always questioning and thinking, and embrace the diversity of religious views out there. They need to be sensitive and non-judgmental, pay close attention to detail and be research oriented. A background in history, literature, sociology, anthropology and psychology would be ideal.
The obvious choice is to join the religious community itself, but that isn’t the only option available for a student of religious affairs. With an online degree you can become a pastor, counselor, work in the ministry, or a not-for profit organization. You could become a religious scholar and a teacher.
The expected growth rate is 17-18% while the median income is between $36,170 and $43,970. Of course, that would vary with geographic location and the type of job you take up.
The best part of the education imparted in these programs is that it allows you to access a myriad of careers. Any job that requires critical thinking, strong communication skills, and an appreciation of understanding will gladly accept religious studies students into their fold.
Take some introductory courses to see where your interest lies and then proceed towards an Online Degree in Religious Studies.Read Less ↑