Earning a master’s degree in theological studies prepares a student for work in the church and beyond. Here are five careers an individual with a master’s in theological studies might pursue.
College or University Professor
Members of the faculty at a college or university teach courses in theology, religion, philosophy, the Bible and other subjects. The job may entail a great deal of research, depending on the institution. Postsecondary teachers earn a median annual wage of $72,470, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. To get started on this career path, many faculty members begin as adjunct or part-time instructors to gain experience.
It’s true that most people who earn a master’s in theological studies become ministers, but that doesn’t limit graduates to working in a church. Some choose to work for hospitals or relief agencies all over the world. They provide religious leadership and assistance to impoverished countries, many times assisting with getting food and clean water to the hungry. Ministers earn a median annual wage of $48,150. Aspiring ministers should work for church departments, like music, education or worship, to gain the experience they’ll need to ultimately lead a congregation.
Religious School Teacher
Many graduates of theological studies programs can find employment teaching at a religious school. Theology is typically the subject matter. The average annual salary for teachers at religious organizations is $48,910. The job requirements vary by state and by school, but teachers typically need at least a bachelor’s degree and a teaching certificate. Student teaching experiences, such as internships or substitute teaching, are a plus.
Some theological studies graduates choose to become writers and reporters for media outlets. Religion reporters write about a range of topics from local church happenings to political issues within the church. Likewise, salaries vary depending on the position, but the median annual pay for reporters is $37,720. Strong writing skills are mandatory. Aspiring journalists should write for their school newspaper or website. Internships with local newspapers or other media outlets are encouraged.
Graduates who wish to travel the world spreading the word about their faith and helping others might pursue a career as a missionary. Missionaries travel to poor, often developing countries to establish communities and root them in faith. Building schools and housing and teaching people how to minister to others are day-to-day responsibilities.