Actors Mayim Bialik, Maggie Gyllenhaal, and Rashida Jones, political commentator George Stephanopoulos, NBA champion Shane Battier, and former White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel represent a small sample of widely recognized individuals who have earned an undergraduate or graduate degree in religious studies.
As is evident from the list above, the potential career options for students who choose to major in religion are vast. Students who pursue a religion degree study the tenets of major world religions and how they have impacted historical events and current global policies. They are also challenged to think critically and analytically while strengthening their communication and problem-solving skills.
The religion degree program at Seaver College, in particular, offers a deeper understanding of religion, particularly Christianity, while exploring matters of human knowledge, reasoning, and morality and ethics. Explore potential career paths religious studies graduates can embark on postgraduation.
Unlike ministers or pastors, chaplains are based in a community rather than based in a particular church. They are trained to provide ministry to individuals from all faith backgrounds and often hold residencies at prisons, hospitals, military bases, and schools.
Chaplains offer spiritual support to help the people they serve work through troublesome issues, overcome traumatic events, and receive general counseling and guidance. Additionally, they perform interfaith and nondenominational services as needed.
From an elementary school teacher to a professor in higher education, educators are tasked with helping shape the minds of society’s future thought and policy leaders. Equally important as creating engaging and comprehensible lessons is an educator’s ability to help foster students’ growth and development.
Successful and impactful educators are skilled in communication, empathy, listening, and adaptability. Like other liberal arts degrees, the religious studies program helps prepare graduates for success by deepening their communication and social skills.
Human rights advocates work to ensure equal treatment for all. They promote and protect civil rights, political rights, social rights, economic rights, and cultural rights.
Successful human rights advocates have exceptional interpersonal skills that help them interact with individuals from a variety of religious, racial, and socioeconomic backgrounds. They also possess the ability to make decisions rooted in sound judgment and communicate effectively and concisely to help advocate on behalf of the persons or causes they represent.
A lawyer’s role is to serve and advocate for their client to the best of their ability both in and outside of the courtroom.
Having a degree in religious studies can be beneficial in working as a lawyer as graduates have a good understanding of how religion can impact a client’s or an adversary’s values, ethics, and character. In addition, students who majored in religion have a deeper understanding of different cultures and the ways they can impact one’s decision-making process.
Ministers are often affiliated with a particular church or denomination. They may work with a congregation’s general population, and/or have a specific purpose, such as teaching or worship leadership. Students who earn a degree in religion often become either campus or youth ministers.
Campus ministers offer spiritual guidance and help students explore their unique faith journeys on a college campus. They hold services, lead prayer groups, and offer general counsel and support to the students they serve. Youth ministers serve children and teenagers in a similar fashion. They provide spiritual and emotional support for youth congregations while leading educational programs and one-on-one meetings.
The career options highlighted above represent a small sample of those available to individuals who earn their undergraduate degree in religion. Explore the religion career page for additional career paths and to see where current Seaver College alumni work.
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