Merriam-Webster defines theology as "the study of religious faith, practice, and experience." Thus, a master's in theology involves taking an in-depth look at the many facets of religion and how it shapes individuals, communities, and the world.
But what can you do career-wise with this type of higher-level degree? Here are 12 amazing options to consider.
Probably the most obvious career track you can take with a master's in theology is that of clergy. As a clergy professional, you are in a position of spiritual leadership over your congregation, leading them in worship and guiding their own individual spiritual journeys. Clergy also perform various religious ceremonies, such as weddings and funerals.
2. Director of religious education
Another option is to take a position as director of religious education. In this role, you are responsible for managing the religious educational programs for the institution that hired you. You're also tasked with managing the budget, hiring staff, and updating curriculum in regard to the religion-based program.
3. Hospital chaplain
A Master of Arts in Theology degree can also be used in a hospital setting. As hospital chaplain, you will spend your days ministering and offering spiritual guidance to patients and their family members, many of whom are dealing with difficult medical situations, some of which may lead to death. In the case of the latter, an administration of last rites may be requested of you.
4. Music minister
If you have a passion for music and its ability to move people, becoming a music minister may be just the career track for you. In this position, you are tasked with finding the songs that will take the congregation's religious experience to the next level. And if the religious institution has a choir, that would likely be your responsibility as well.
5. Conflict resolution specialist (Mediator)
You can also put your master's-level education in theology to use by helping people resolve their differences. Also known as a mediator, working as a conflict resolution specialist requires that you spend your days working with two or more parties in an attempt to come to a resolution that meets both their needs in the best way possible.
Maybe you're more interested in representing one party to a case, helping him or her fight for what is right from a religious standpoint. In that case, becoming a lawyer with a master's in theology is one way to achieve that goal. Even if you take other types of cases as well, having a deep understanding of spiritual beliefs can help you provide comfort for your clients through what are typically very trying times.
7. High school teacher
You can also take your theology degree and use it to get high school students excited about religion and its impact on the world – past, present, and future. As a theology teacher, you will share how religion started, the changes it has made over time, and how it effects those who participate in its beliefs and traditions.
8. University professor
With a master's level degree, you can also teach students at colleges and universities, giving them a foundation of theology and leading discussions of how it has shaped the world. In this role, your students may be taking the class as part of a broader education, or you may be instructing those who, like yourself, want to make theology a career.
One of the benefits of being a journalist with an education based in theology is that you are better able to understand and report what is going on with religions around the world. Based on your knowledge and experience, you'll know what types of questions to ask to share other people's religion-based realities as accurately as possible.
10. Social worker
Do you have a deep desire to help people who are down on their luck or have some type of issue preventing them from leading an independent and fulfilling life? If so, why not put your theology master's degree to use as a social worker? As such, you are able to connect individuals in need with area resources that can sometimes dramatically improve their quality of life.
11. Youth counselor
Perhaps your passion lies with guiding our nation's future – its children. That makes you perfect for the career of youth counselor. Whether you're working with kids who have mental issues, physical disabilities, or substance abuse concerns, you're sure to make a difference in their lives.
Some people use their Master's in Theology to go to other areas of the world and teach them about religion. As missionaries, they work with the communities in what are sometimes remote geographic regions to help the residents there develop a stronger religious presence.
An Online Master's in Theology from Saint Leo
Do any of these career options sound appealing to you? If so, you can complete an online Master of Arts in Theology from Saint Leo University and enjoy classes like Philosophical Foundations for Theology; Worship, Sacraments, and Liturgy; and Christian Spirituality: History and Praxis.
While Saint Leo teaches theology from a Catholic Christian tradition, the university also embraces diversity in religion, giving our students a wider view of the many spiritual beliefs held by people in the world today.