See a list of Theology Programs by Clicking Here!
What is Theology?
Theology is the area of study that studies various religious texts, artifacts, resources, and other materials in order to better understand God and religion. Individuals in this field typically pursue this degree as part of their seminary work prior to becoming a priest, pastor, or other religious leader within a church or community. Theology programs also tend to offer comparison of religions and stories in order to identify the origins of such tales in historical contexts and to better understand their purpose and morphology.
A degree in theology asks students to explore religious systems in a variety of contexts. Individuals studying in a theology program will explore the history of religion, examining documents and books relevant to the religion. In addition, students will be asked to compare religions, examining the similarities and differences in doctrine. In the United States theology programs were often at the core of private institutions, many of which were founded with religious leanings. Currently the program is often offered at seminaries or liberal arts colleges, resulting in degrees at the bachelor, master and doctoral degrees. Some programs may require the learning of an ancient language, such as Aramaic, Ancient Greek, Latin or Hebrew, in order to read texts in their original or near original form.
A theology program curriculum may include:
- Prophetic Literature
- Historical Books Survey
- Poetic Literature
- History of Christianity
- Biblical Theology
Individuals pursuing a career with a theology degree will find that the most prominent jobs available are in the clergy. As many seminaries offer educations in theology, it is the goal of such institutions to prepare individuals to do God's work in whichever branch of Christianity they pursue. Entering into the clergy allows individuals to pursue further theological studies with the context of organized religion while disseminating the traditions and values to their congregation.
Other positions available to individuals involve educational opportunities, particularly college level teaching positions typically requiring a master's degree. University positions, including research positions, generally require a doctoral degree or extensive experience. Individuals may also end up in research and advisory positions, often employed by the government to evaluate and understand religious motivations of the populace and to promote sensitivity to their beliefs.
Salary and Related Fields
The average starting salary for a theology major is approximately $35,000 per year, with the average overall salary being $52,000 per year. Salaries in theology will vary wildly based on position, rank, experience and education, individuals who pursue higher level degrees will be more likely to be promoted.