Religion Jobs

This area provides information on religion jobs including specialization areas, duties and educational requirements.

Religious beliefs have been the driving force behind many of the most important events in the history of our world. They have helped form entire nations, fueled wars and conquest, and united diverse peoples from across the globe in one common pursuit. Religion is also a very personal and individual experience. It gives hope, peace, and inspiration and provides guidance for the way people live their lives and interact with others. Some of the largest, most widespread and powerful institutions in the world are religious in nature. In one way or another, religion impacts the lives of each and every one of us, either through culture, religious practices, or others who act in response to their religious beliefs.

What is Religion?

Religion can be difficult to define because it is different things to different people. Some religions have rituals and rules; others have less structure. Some focus on a way of life rather than the worship of one God. As it relates to careers, religion is any set of beliefs about deities or spirituality that provides a structure of behavior and way of life.

It is mainly Western religions that offer lucrative careers in theology fields. This is due in part to the organized and sometimes commercial aspects of these religions. There are many careers, such as church custodian or teachers at religious schools, which are tied in with religious organizations. However, a career in religion typically refers to a pastor, minister, rabbi, or other clergy. Those in religious careers work in service of their religion and the related institutions. They teach the beliefs and tenants of a religion and lead others in the rituals involved. They also provide support for the members of their religion.

Duties & Tasks
Clergy and others who work in religious fields may perform the following types of tasks:

  • Write and deliver sermons
  • Lead study and prayer groups
  • Counsel followers
  • Perform weddings, baptisms, funerals, and other ceremonies or rituals
  • Manage overall mission of the church or religious organization
  • Teach others about their beliefs
  • Organize or serve on committees
  • Educational Requirements for Careers in Religion

    The requirements for a career in religion can vary greatly depending on the religion. In theory, anyone who has a religious idea or philosophy can preach and gain followers. However, most organized religions have a set of criteria and qualifications for their clergy members. Many require a bachelor’s degree in theology, religious studies or ministry. Others require only a high school diploma.

    Some religions require that you attend seminary school or earn a master’s degree. And you may need to demonstrate certain knowledge in order to become ordained and allowed to lead a congregation.

    An education in theology also provides a base for careers in management of religious and non-profit organizations and businesses. A bachelor’s degree can also be a supporting degree for specialization in advanced degree areas such as law, psychology, public policy, and teaching.


    Areas of coursework related specifically to religious studies include:

  • Religion and contemporary society
  • Religion, race, & discrimination
  • Clinical pastoral counseling
  • Religion and social issues
  • Church administration
  • Theology
  • Biblical studies
  • Religious education

  • There are also other areas of general study that may be included in a theology degree.

  • Philosophy
  • Ethics
  • Communications & media
  • English
  • Religion Career Areas

    People who work directly in religious careers work in church settings, offices of higher administration, and on university and seminary campuses. They could be assigned to several congregations across a region, or they may travel to other countries. Some religious leaders have their sermons broadcast on television or radio. Areas of specialization for clergy include youth ministry, hospice, gerontology, service ministry, and urban issues.

    Related Careers
  • Parochial teacher
  • Sunday school leader
  • Missionary
  • Church administrator
  • Music minister