Putting your religion to work

Theology degrees are most often undertaken in preparation for a religious career. Many theology students continue their education to the graduate level in order to be ordained, although for some religions this isn't required. For those not looking to become ordained, theology studies are most often taken out of academic interest, although the communication and analytical skills gained through the program will be helpful in a number of careers.

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Course of Study

As a theology major, you'll focus on the study of the Bible and religious doctrine. Those heading toward ordination will have a more focused course of study that looks at different sections of the Bible in depth and centers on the skills required as an ordained leader. Many schools break up theology studies programs by year, offering courses in biblical studies one year, Christianity and history another, and pastoral studies in the final.

If you're taking theology out of general interest, you can take courses that are more generally applicable while looking at the ways the Bible and religion work in everyday life and within society.

Time Commitment

Theology as an academic program can be more time consuming than some of the other options offered at most Bible colleges. You can usually expect to spend a full four years on your bachelor's degree, and for the most part, theology students tend to spend another two to three years on graduate studies.

The program also tends to have a greater expectation of outside involvement - you can't get through your theology degree by simply staying home and studying your texts! You need to get involved in the religious community, spending time with church leaders, community groups and youth organizations. You're expected to demonstrate your commitment to a spiritual life, which will of course heavily involve the community.

However, these outside expectations are what make the study of theology so rewarding. Since most students are headed toward ordination, chances are you've already decided to dedicate your life to the spiritual path. A program that encourages you to develop that spirituality and share it with others will enrich your academic experience and motivate you in your studies. While it requires a particular sense of dedication, the Bible college atmosphere supports your success.

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