An online divinity degree can open spiritual and career doors for students who wish to become ministers, religious counselors or teachers. Both clergy and laypersons earn this degree. While clergy benefit from a deeper study of religious issues, laypersons—people who aren't serving as ministers or the like—can learn analytical and reasoning skills. Either way, a graduate with a degree in divinity, you will have the skills to help people mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. Divinity studies prepares professionals for a variety of careers, including community work, nonprofit assistance or social justice. Common courses may include leadership, intellectual study and social work, but with a focus on religion and Christianity. Some online divinity degrees are more academically focused, while others train pastors for daily church work. By enhancing your understanding of theology and religious principles, this education makes you a stronger person and a greater contributor to your community.
THE CAREER PATH
Before looking at the career path for someone who studies divinity, it helps to understand exactly what you’ll get from a divinity education. Divinity is the study of theology, religion, and religious-related themes. It can encompass many different religions, but in general divinity implies a focus on Christianity, and these programs are often offered by Christian schools.
With a degree in divinity, you will become a strong contributor to your community, both the religious community and the community in general. This education provides the foundation to work in many different careers, including public-service careers and careers working for a religious organization.
Graduates with an online master’s in divinity may serve as a family counselor or work with social service agencies such as homeless shelters or community aid agencies. Hospitals and hospices also employ professional counselors and chaplains who majored in divinity. Graduates can also teach theology at the college and university level, provided their degree is a master’s or doctorate. As clergy generally work for a nonprofit organization, they tend to have lower pay than other fields. One of the highest paying careers for divinity graduates is teaching at the college and university level.
There are many obvious advantages to studying divinity, including the chance to develop your critical thinking and analytical skills. Understanding how religion shapes our world, and how religion can be used as a positive force is just one of the benefits you will see with an online divinity degree. To learn more about the advantages of pursuing an online divinity degree, let’s take a closer look at two potential careers you could have with this education:
- Counselor—There are many different types of counselors, including mental health, substance abuse, and behavioral counselors, but the underlying factor is that they all seek to help people improve their lives through modifying destructive behavior. They do so through evaluations, treatment recommendations, skill development, and providing caring support through a client’s personal journey. The salary for this career is $43,399 and the top 10% earn over $70,000 a year. Pay, however, is rarely the reason that people choose this career; even so, it still offers a quality income. The best benefit for this career is that you will be in a field that is expected to grow 23% between 2016 and 2026, driven especially by a desire to provide counseling support as opposed to jail and punishments.
- Family Therapist—Strong families are arguably one of the most important parts of a healthy society, and sometimes therapists are needed to help families deal with certain issues. Family therapist encourage the healthy discussion of issues among family members, guiding clients through decisions that might affect their future. The median pay for this career is decent, but if you are in the top 10% you can expect to earn over $81,000 a year. Like counselors, this career has an expected growth of 23%, adding almost 10,000 new jobs between 2016 and 2026.
WHO IS THE IDEAL CANDIDATE?
There’s no doubt that an online divinity degree can bring you a fulfilling career and a rewarding life. But are you the right fit for this type of education? To excel in a divinity education, you have to first enjoy questioning why certain things are the way they are, and what religion has done to shape our culture. If you find yourself pursuing religion as a guide for important decisions, or if you find yourself questioning and examining religious teachings, then you may have the right attitude for an education in divinity.
You generally have to have a sincere interest in religion, and honestly believe that it can be used to help people improve their lives. If you feel that religion can be a way to improve the local, national, and global community, you likely have the foundation to be a success as a divinity student.
WHAT SHOULD I LOOK FOR?
Although a bachelor's degree in divinity is available, the most common divinity degree online is a master’s. This degree serves as a career steppingstone from other theological degrees, such as an online Bible degree or online pastoral degree. Generally, people interested in the Christian faith or serving in a ministry acquire a divinity degree.
These degrees combines Biblical study with ministry training. Typical courses include Greek, Hebrew, ministry studies, theology and church history. Classes will vary, depending on the mission of the university, as well as the academic level (i.e., bachelor’s, master’s). Some universities also offer internships for practical training.
You can enroll in an online divinity program that meets your specific needs. Click on a program below to get more information on tuition, accreditation, and admission requirements. Compare costs carefully to ensure you're not paying more than you need to.