Forgotten Majors Series: What Can I Do with a Religious Studies Degree?

Student, English Education, Purdue University

Aug   2012



This 10-part series will look at those forgotten majors: the ones that do not seem to have job fairs, the ones that make people ask “What will you do with that?” and the ones that find students saying “I like the subject, but what do I do with my degree now?” 

Likes helping people and living by the principle laid out in the Bible.

Enjoys learning about other religions.

Has a knack for problem solving.

Longs to spend time analyzing religious differences among nations.

If this describes you, you might think that a degree in religious studies is the right fit for you, but you might be wondering what exactly you can do with this major. There are several options that you can pursue with this degree. Although some of them require additional schooling, a religious studies major can be a solid foundation to advance within the field of choice.


Many colleges teach religion and religious theory courses through their liberal arts college. Becoming a professor within the field gives you the opportunity to pass on your knowledge to others who share your desire to learn and help people learn more about religions.

Church administrator

Churches do many great things for many people, and they often need someone to help manage all of the charity work, outreach programs, and the general procedures of the church itself. Becoming a church administrator can be a rewarding career that can get you involved in the community, allow you to work with children if you wish, and help people of the church become a community.


Although it requires more schooling, becoming a lawyer with the background of religious studies allows you proper insight to take on particular cases involving religious rights, obligations, and oftentimes, controversial topics that are always up for debate in the news and media.


Writing is a skill that develops from an early age and can lead to a variety of different topics. With a religious studies major, you could focus your writing to have a spiritual foundation and could even write some self-help books using principles found in the Bible and quoting scripture to help those who strive to seek help from a Biblically-rooted source.

Nonprofit organizations

There is a range of nonprofit, philanthropic organizations, and many have some sort of religious base on which they do their work. While these kinds of positions may require additional experience—managerial work, communications, business, etc.—it's a great way to keep in touch with your religious roots while making a solid living that benefits many others.

Skills religious studies majors have:

  • Critical Thinking
  • Research Skills
  • Analysis of ideas and theories

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About Megan Sietsma

Megan Sietsma

Megan Sietsma is a student at Purdue University, pursuing a degree in English education with a minor in Linguistics and Reading, and plans to graduate in May 2012. Megan also currently works as a Technical Writer and Research Assistant with Institute for P-12 Engineering Research and Learning (INSPIRE) at Purdue University. Megan stays active on campus and in the community through her involvement with Purdue University Dance Marathon, Junior Achievement, and the Greater Lafayette Holocaust Remembrance Conference. Outside of school and work, Megan enjoys reading, creative writing, watching movies, and spending time with her family and friends.

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