Careers in Religious Studies
"If I went back to college today, I think I would probably major in comparative religion, because that's how integrated it is in everything that we are working on and deciding and thinking about in life today." -- United States Secretary of State John F. Kerry
What skills can I acquire with a BA in Religious Studies?
A degree in religious studies helps students cultivate valuable general knowledge, flexible and applicable skills, and insightful perspectives that help to make sense of a globalized world:
- Critical thinking: Prepares students to think, speak, and write effectively, skills greatly valued by employers all across the job market
- Appreciation of diversity: Develops global fluency, dynamic intercultural perspectives and an appreciation of diversity
- Service: Prepares students to connect learning with service
What can I do with a BA in Religious Studies?
Students in this program follow a wide range of professional and scholarly career paths. In a survey of 25,632 alumni by Students Review, the unemployment rate for Religious studies majors was found to be 2.3%, far below the 6.7% average for all majors www.studentsreview.com/unemployment_by_major.php3
Religious studies majors have successfully moved into professional training or careers in:
Stars who majored in Religious Studies
Supermodel Christy Turlington is not just a pretty face. Turlington graduated cum laude from New York University in 1999 with a Bachelor or Arts in Comparative Religion and Eastern Philosophy.
Willard ScottAmerican actor, author, media personality, clown and comedian - those are just some of the titles that describe the famous Williard Scott. Best known for his TV work on the Today show, Scott graduated from American University with a Bachelor of Arts in philosophy and religion prior to making it in the business.
After wrapping up her stint on the popular show Blossom, Mayim Bialik went to college and graduated with degrees in Hebrew, Jewish studies and neuroscience. Bialik went back after graduating and obtained a doctorate in neuroscience. Now she plays the hilariousAmy Farrah Fowler on the CBS comedy The Big Bang Theory.
Joseph BernardinActivist for refugees and against poverty, winner of the Nobel Peace Prize in 1958. He received his PhD in theology from Collegio Angelico in Rome.
George StephanopoulosGeorge Stephanopoulos, political commentator who received his master’s degree in theology at Balliol College, Oxford University, England, where he studied as a Rhodes Scholar. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Columbia University and graduated summa cum laude in political science.
Joseph BernardinJoseph Bernardin, former cardinal of the Catholic Church. He served as archbishop of Chicago from 1982 until his death in 1996.
Madalyn Murray O'Hair
Madalyn Murray O'Hair, famous American atheist activist and founder of the American Atheists and its president from 1963 to 1986.
Maggie GyllenhaalMaggie Gyllenhaal, before roles in The Dark Night and White House Down, Gyllenhaal hit the books and graduated from Columbia University in 1999 with degrees in eastern religions and philosophy.
Michael LernerMichael Lerner, American political activist, the editor of Tikkun Magazine, a progressive Jewish interfaith magazine based in Berkeley, California, and the rabbi of Beyt Tikkun Synagogue in Berkeley.
Mircea Eliade, historian of religion, fiction writer, philosopher, and former professor at the University of Chicago. His theory of Eternal Return was one of the most influential contributions to religious studies.