An education in theology and religious vocations will give students the knowledge necessary to work as clergy, religious educators, or counselors. These programs focus on sacred texts and religious belief systems, as well as the practical skills needed to succeed in this vocation.
Theology and religious vocations students will likely study some of the following as a part of their coursework, depending on their religious focus:
Depending on a person's career goals, additional courses may be required. Those interested in religious counseling usually need additional education and a counseling license before they can begin pursuing their career.
Theology and religious vocations programs are offered in both the traditional, classroom learning format and in a distance learning format, where online college classes can be taken over the internet. In many cases schools that are affiliated with a particular religion or denomination offer programs that are geared toward students of the same religious background. Students should be sure to match themselves with a school that they feel best matches their beliefs.
Programs for theology and religious vocations are available at the following educational levels: certificate, associate's degree, bachelor's degree, master's degree, and doctoral degree. Students should base the decision of which level they pursue on their educational and career aspirations.
Those who have earned an education in theology and religious vocations typically pursue work in some type of ministry or find work as clergy. Others pursue careers as educators or religious counselors. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, job opportunities for clergy are expected to grow at about the same pace as the average for all other occupations over the next several years. Job opportunities for counselors, in general, are expected to be favorable because there will probably be more counseling job openings than qualified people to fill those positions.