What Can I Do With a Major in the Study of Religion

One degree, unlimited possibilities...

You don't have to be religious to study religion.  Learning about religion can be important for any career you choose because religion is one of the most important ways that humans find meaning in the world. Studying religion increases your cultural awareness, your understanding of the complexities of the world, and helps you enhance your critical thinking, speaking, and writing skills.

Studying religion can also help you understand who you are, what you believe and why you believe it, and who you want to be in the world.

Religious books on a shelf.

Develop In-Demand Skills

When you study religion, you’ll learn to:

  • think critically about our world
  • write, speak, and think critically and with confidence
  • work well with others
  • read, think, and write about challenging subjects
  • approach problems from a variety of perspectives and find imaginative solutions
  • be flexible in your approach to your own future
  • interact meaningfully with people from different countries and cultures

Why should I study religion?

Religion asks the deepest, most important questions about human existence.

Where do we come from? Why are we here? How should we act? How can we live good lives? How can we understand people with beliefs that conflict with our own? What is the ultimate meaning of life?

Different religions provide a variety of answers to these questions. The study of religion gives you the opportunity to explore the range of answers to these profound questions, and allows you to consider your own beliefs and values.

Religion also asks practical questions, like how does religion interact with culture?  How does culture interact with religion? How do people engage with and interpret sacred texts and objects? Is the United States a Christian nation? Can religion be taught in the public schools?

Religion affects all aspects of human existence.

Studying religion can help you consider the most important questions that humans ask, or the most practical questions about the world around us. It is difficult to study history, anthropology, sociology, political science, literature, music, art, theater, psychology, education, or economics without understanding how religious views and ideals function in culture. If you are interested in the world around you, a religion major or minor is for you!

Courses in the study of world religions focus on those beliefs, values, and issues that concern humans of every walk of life; therefore, such courses can help to prepare a person for life in general.

Because the study of religion explores people and their many perspectives, it's an excellent foundation for jobs that require relating to others, building bridges, or incorporating many perspectives at once.

What careers can I get with a Study of Religion degree?

A degree in the study of religion opens many doors that people might not realize. Religion majors have successfully gone on to professional training in:

  • Law
  • Higher education
  • Counseling and social work
  • Medicine
  • Ministry
  • Business (particularly international business)
  • Journalism

Others have moved directly into the job market, taking up positions in:

  • Government, foreign service, or the Peace Corps
  • Non-profit agencies
  • Marketing and management
  • Museums and the arts
  • Publishing

The failure of Americans to understand other religions poses one of the greatest challenges to our public diplomacy

Madeleine Albright
The Mighty and the Almighty, 2003