What Can I Do With a Major in Religion?
Religion is an academic discipline that is inherently interdisciplinary, cross-cultural, intellectually critical and creative while offering breadth and depth of perspectives that is unique. Majoring in religion generates intellectual and spiritual excitement for learning and for understanding the meaning of being human in individual, cultural and universal contexts.
At the heart of the liberal arts, the study of religion emphasizes a grounding of knowledge in its historical and theoretical context, functional skills that can be beneficial in many careers and professions, mental flexibility, ethical decision-making capacities, analytical, organizational research, oral and written communication skills and provides a solid foundation from which to seek careers that require imagination ,problem-solving, reflective expression, international and intercultural awareness and careers that deal with values and contemporary issues.
A major in Religion is excellent preparation for graduate and professional studies in many fields. When combined with computer skills, majoring in religion today prepares a person for what graduate and professional schools as well as employers really seek, a person who is able to integrate thought, values and action in addressing unique questions or problems that may arise unexpectedly. Through the experience of studying the religious thought and traditions of the world and history, the major in religion lets the wisdom from the past and the analysis of the present become a memory of the future.
A Religion major is excellent preparation for careers in the following:
- Education: graduate school, teaching, research, administration
- Professions: law school, medical school
- Research: government agencies, publishers, museums, nonprofit organizations, colleges & universities, public interest research groups
- Social/Community Services: nonprofit organizations, arts organizations, libraries, mental health organizations, social service organizations
- Religion & the Ministry: seminary, theological school, local churches/synagogues/mosques, mission work, clergy, religious education, youth ministry
- Government: federal, local & state government, federal agencies, foreign service, national & state, endowments for the humanities
- Ethics, Values & Contemporary Issues: medical & professional schools, colleges & universities, consulting services, research organizations, environmental organizations, federal & state government, think-tanks
- Writing: publishing companies, magazine, newspaper & news-letter publishers, professional/trade organizations & associations
- Business: business firms, museum & arts agencies, advertising and marketing organizations, personnel departments
Besides the above, the study of religion is a challenging enjoyment in itself that stimulates self-reflection, self-awareness, and the search for living the most meaningful life. At its deepest level, religious study becomes worship, a way of understanding the human response to the presence of God in one's personal life and in the world. Religious study confirms what Bankei said long ago:
The farther you go into truth, the deeper it is.
Prepared by Dr. Alan Altney - The Department of Religious Studies - Marshall University
Adapted by Robert Bowman (October 2001) - The Department of Religion and Philosophy - Manchester University