How to Find a Job in Theology
Utilizing your theology degree obtained online and materializing it into a job can be tough; especially when attempting to locate a job in a fairly specialized field such as this. Without a guaranteed in or a high-powered connection, a theology position can sometimes feel impossible to find, as it’s a highly competitive and selective field with other qualified people vying for the same spots. But have faith – the jobs still exist and there are ways to find them.
Think Outside the Box
While the most obvious jobs for theology majors would be something in church or religion leadership, there are plenty of other positions where a theology degree could be useful. Besides working as a clergy person, there are youth workers, social workers, public management jobs, other types of community positions such as housing officer, and teacher at the high school, college, or post secondary level in the areas of religion, philosophy or humanities. It’s also very notable that a significant amount of counselors started with a degree in theology. Many Christian counseling services are started by theologians because of their wealth of experience on mediating conflict and providing insight.Investigating options in multiple sectors is a great first step. In fact, one starting point to start searching for new options to put your degree is ONET Online – an online tool that helps you find jobs by keyboard and offers other suggestions and tools for job searchers.
Talk to Friends
This is a very specific, very effective type of networking. Sometimes, people are very used to their denominations, their rituals and routines. It’s easy to forget that other positions exist in other places and that other needs have to be filled. Maybe your church doesn’t have a children’s ministries director, but a current coworker’s church has a need for one. Having simple conversations with friends, coworkers, and friends can be a way to get information and ideas.
Find a New Home
Obviously jobs within churches don’t open up as often as many other fields. If you’re looking for a position in religious leadership or management, it might be time to find a new church or place of prayer. Positions at these places can be until an elderly minister passes away or a minister moves to another church. If one place doesn’t have a position or opportunity, another may. If your current church doesn’t have a job, another may be able to offer a recommendation or connection.
Look to a Theology-Specific Job Boards
While Monster.com can or other large job databases be a starting point in anyone’s job search, it can start to feel overwhelming: so many choices, but no concrete leads and hundreds of people all vying for the same spots. General job boards can be a nightmare for someone with a very-specific degree such as theology. The largest problem is often that many of these organizations are full of people so closely tied together, many will move up from lower positions within the church or ministry.
However, a religious or ministry minded organization – such as a religious publisher, missionary resources group, or an environmental group that has some affiliations with a specific denomination – or a theological school, will probably have plenty of postings for someone with a theology degree. This will probably open up many opportunities, as many school have some kind of theology or religion department, even if they are not exclusively religious – even Harvard has a divinity school.
Call Your Counselor
If you’ve gone through training for theology at a college level, it might be time to call your career counselor at your university. Even online and two-year colleges have people in contact with people from many other industries and trained to offer advice on the next career steps people should take. Career counselors also get job links regularly emailed to them from local organizations – interfaith groups, food pantries, homeless shelters, environmental organizations – and are happy to pass those on to students and alumni.
Online Seminary Schools and Related Programs
Finding an online seminary school or even an online program from a seminary school can be challenging if you don't know where to look. If your end-goal is to enter some form of ministry though, several online schools do offer programs in religion and ministry. The colleges below are accredited schools that are also Christian universities offering such programs. By enrolling in an accredited degree program, you'll learn the skills necessary to work for a religious organization, lead a congregation, teach others about a specific faith, and much more.
Pastoral Ministry (AA)
Leadership & Ministry (BA)
|Ohio Christian University is an undergraduate school that offers both online and on campus programs. Students can pursue an AA in Christian Ministry or a BA in Leadership & Ministry. Both of these degrees can help you start your career and prepare you to assist in leadership responsibilities. OCU was established in 1948 in Circleville, Ohio.|
Religion: Pastoral Counseling (MA)
Master of Divinity
Doctor of Ministry
|Liberty University is not only one of the largest Christian schools, with over 70,000 students currently enrolled, it is among the biggest schools in the US overall. Liberty offers a diverse range of theological programs including the Master of Divinity and Doctor of Ministry programs. These programs prepare you for Christian ministry in church and organization settings.|
Biblical Studies (BA)
Youth Ministry (BA)
Pastoral Ministry (MA)
Urban Ministry (MA)
|If you are interested in Christian ministry, Grand Canyon University has several paths you can choose from to get there. If you are starting your education, the school offers a BA in Christian Studies in Biblical Studies or Youth Ministry while those seeking graduate programs have many choices in specialization such as Pastoral Ministry or Urban Ministry.|
Biblical Studies (BA)
|While Colorado Christian University is a smaller school with just over 3,500 students currently enrolled, its programs are ideal for anyone wanting to expand their knowledge of theological issues. The BA in Biblical Studies immerses students in scripture and helps ready them to study in seminary school.|
Biblical Leadership (BS)
|Southwestern Christian University provides distance learning options for several theological degrees including the BS in Biblical Leadership. This program can act as a foundation for pastoral ministries with curriculum centered on skills like mission development, budget management, and spiritual growth.|
Christian Ministries (BA)
|San Diego Christian College was founded in 1970 in El Cajon, California, just northeast of its namesake city. SDCC is a good fit for students who want smaller classrooms and more one-to-one interaction with their teachers. SDCC has a BA in Christian Ministries that can be completed in four years and is entirely online, with no campus visitation required.|
Organizational Leadership: Consulting (BA)
|Benedictine University is a well-established school, rich with tradition, student engagement, and academic integrity. BU was founded in 1887 as a private Catholic university in Lisle, Illinois. While Benedictine does not offer degrees in ministry or religion online, it does has two programs that can help prepare you for leadership positions: BA of Organization Leadership and MS in Leadership.|
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