Careers with a Theology Degree


A major in theology is meant to provide you with a deeper understanding of one particular religion, generally for the purpose of pursuing a career as a leader within your religious community.


However, only some of those who study theology go on to a career in teaching or in the church. The majority, do not. For many, this degree is about getting an education, not training.


Fortunately, an education in this field is anything but an impediment in preparing for work in a field outside of the clergy, because of the many transferable skills it teaches you. 


This guide contains detailed occupational information on career paths relevant to this degree. Included are job descriptions, expected salaries, educational requirements and other pertinent information related to these careers.





What a Theology Degree Program Teaches You

A major in this field is designed to provide you with a comprehensive understanding of how religion plays both a personal and a cultural role in the world - in the present, the past, and the future.


In doing so, it gives you the opportunity to study a breadth of interesting coursework: ancient people and their religious beliefs, histories, literature and languages.


With elements of literature, language, history, geography, classics and ethics, a degree in Theology can provide with a base set of skills that will enhance whatever you choose to do in your career.



Employable Skills Theology Can Teach You

The study of Theology facilitates the development of a core set of skills sought after by employers in a wide range of occupational settings. Pursuing this degree can teach you:


• To write articulately and quickly

• To attack a problem using different techniques; seeing the wider picture

• To think your way through an argument, see the pros and cons, and to reach a of solution

• To cope with long reading lists and produce well-structured essays

• To handle information efficiently

• To attain high standards in your work

• To present in-depth information clearly and concisely to a high profile audience


While these skills may not ‘get you a job’ per se, they will be helpful on a day-to-day basis throughout your career, whether you pursue a career in business, government, no-profit work, academia, or any other sector.  


Success Tip: Be aware, that in a cover letter or an interview, you should be prepared to explain how your skills are a great fit for the job.





List of Relevant Careers for Theology

Depending on the focus of the program, a theology degree may be meant to prepare you for service as clergy, or it may be meant to prepare you for leadership positions either in congregational or institutional settings. Such roles may include:


• Campus Minister

• Cantor

• Clergyman/woman

• Diocese Director

• Evangelist

• Liturgist

• Military Chaplain

• Ministerial Youth Worker

• Missionary

• Pastor

• Pastoral Animator

• Pastoral Officer

• Pastoral Services Coordinator

• Religious Activities and Education Director


Please Note: Some of these positions may be available to you straight out of school, but most require graduate training at a seminary or theological school. Others may also require ordination through your religious institution.



Outside Careers Indirectly Related to Theology

In terms of leveraging your degree into a career outside of this field, it’s not about the type of degree you have, but the skills you’ve gained while earning it.


Because of the transferable skills a degree in Theology can teach you, it has many professional applications outside of religion, including (but certainly not limited to):


• Addictions Counsellor

• Anthropologist

• Blogger

• Child Care Worker

• Customer Service Representative

• Diplomat

• Elementary School Teacher

• High School Teacher

• Human Resources Manager

• International Development Project Director

• Journalist

• Lobbyist

• Media Manager

• Non-Profit Administrator

• Paralegal

• Parole Officer

• Sales Representative

• University Professor

• Volunteer Coordinator


Please Note: Many of the above careers require additional training, education and/or experience. To find out more about the specific education and training requirements of each career, click on their links above.



Typical Graduate Salary Level

The salary you could earn when you leave school can vary drastically, and is heavily dependent on the following factors (not an inclusive list):


• Your level of education (such as if you went on to graduate studies)

• The industry in which you find work

• The type of job you have, and your level of responsibility

• The size and type of your employer

• The region in which you work

• Other work experience you may have accrued


Theology Graduate Salary Ontario: According to a study in 2011 conducted by the Ontario Council of Universities, $35,000 CAD* is the average salary earned by Theology graduates, 2 years after graduating from Ontario universities in 2010.


*Unfortunately, similar statistics for other Canadian provinces and the United States cannot be found from reputable sources.






Theology Scholarships

If you’re a theology major looking for help in paying for school, then you’re in luck! Our scholarships database has Canadian and American scholarships that are specific to this field of study, and scholarships that are open to any field of study.


Success Tip: Be sure to apply for any and all scholarships for which you qualify, as there are millions of dollars of scholarships in Canada and the United States that go unused every year due to a lack of applicants.



Professional Associations for Theology Careers

To find out more about careers in the field of theology, consult the following professional association websites:



Canadian Association for Spiritual Care


United States

American Academy of Religion

American Theological Library Association

Association of Practical Theology

Association of Youth Ministry Educators

Catholic Biblical Association of America



International Academy of Practical Theology

International Society of Empirical Research in Theology

North American Professors of Christian Education



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