Religious Studies

 Religious studies is the academic inquiry into the fundamental stories, symbols, and practices that human beings have relied on to make sense of themselves and the worlds in which they live.  It is studied across a range of religious traditions by examining their textual, historical and cultural dimensions.  This inquiry does not seek to determine which religious views are “right” or “true,” but rather attempts to gain insight into how religious systems of meaning-making have shaped the cultural orders in which we live—with particular attention to how religious discourses have shaped understandings of race, gender, sexuality, nation, and class.*

Sample Occupations

  • Social Services
  • Social Worker
  • Case Manager
  • Advocacy/Non-profit
  • Community Development
  • Volunteer Coordinator
  • Immigrant/Refugee Advocate
  • Education
  • School Teacher
  • University Professor
  • Univ. Religious Life Director
  • Government & Law
  • Foreign Service Officer
  • Paralegal/Lawyer
  • Ministry
  • Clergy
  • Pastoral Counselor
  • Business
  • Human Resources Specialist
  • Market Research Analyst
  • Communications
  • Journalist
  • Museum Curator

Types of Employers

  • Churches
  • Faith-Based Organizations
  • Hospitals & Hospice
  • Non-Profits
  • Publishing Companies
  • Museums
  • Schools & Universities
  • Mental Health Agencies
  • Libraries
  • Government Agencies

Preparing for your career in

Government & Law: Keep abreast of local, national, & foreign policy issues and current events, obtain a J.D. for attorney positions or advanced degree in public administration, public policy, or international relations for government positions, seek out internships with law firms, government agencies, or international organizations

Advocacy/Non-profit: Volunteer/intern for a social services agency or nonprofit organization, pursue a relevant double-major (ex. social work) or graduate degree (ex. public administration)

Ministry: Volunteer with a campus religious organization or community body within your religious persuasion, develop strong interpersonal skills and confidence presenting to small and large groups of people, demonstrate an openness to learn about others’ faith and perspective from different backgrounds, possess high moral and ethical standards, develop leadership ability, obtain advanced degrees, ordination, or licensing

Social Services: Gain experience by volunteering or interning with a nonprofit organization, develop fundraising and grant writing skills, plan to earn a graduate degree for counseling positions, learn a language such as Spanish and learn to work well with people of differing backgrounds, hone written and oral communication skills, gain cultural experience with groups of interest, seek camp, tutoring, or mentoring experience

Education: Pursue masters’ or doctoral degrees for university teaching or student affairs, obtain certification/licensure to teach in secondary schools, complete Master of Divinity for campus ministry

Business/Communications: Double major or minor in business or communication studies, seek internships, seek leadership positions, join student organizations, develop persuasive speaking skills

How do I know if its right for me?

ASSESS: Take a career assessment, such as PathwayU, to see how your interests, values, and personality fit with majors and careers.

RESEARCH: Research the careers on this WCIDWAMI and thousands of other careers using O*Net Online, The Occupational Outlook Handbook or FirstHand.

EXPLORE: Learn more about a career field of interest by job shadowing, attending a career panel, or participating in a Career Trek. Further your exploration while gaining valuable skills by completing an internship, co-op, volunteer, or research experience.