Different jobs in theology include work as a clergyperson, an academic, or a writer. Some people who have a theology degree may combine their theology education with additional degrees so as to work in other fields. These fields include librarianship, organizational administration, or health care. Theologians employed as academics or independent scholars may also provide consulting services to organizations and businesses.
Theology is an academic discipline that makes a study of a religion and its tenets. People who study theology are sometimes preparing for one of the more traditional jobs in theology, such as ordained or lay ministry or scholarship. In many religions, the study of theology is an important component of the educational requirements for becoming a clergyperson or entering into professional lay ministry. Others may be hoping to work in other types of jobs in theology, including academia or in a profession where a theological background can be an asset.
Those who pursue postgraduate degrees in theology may seek teaching jobs in theology departments and seminaries. In addition to teaching, theology scholars typically conduct original research into theological issues, present at conferences, and write books and journals on theology. It is not unusual for professional theologians to be asked to act as consultants to outside organizations. To work as a professor of theology, a person must typically have a doctoral degree in theology, though some scholars and consultants may have only a master’s degrees in theology.
Some professionals combine their theology education with additional educational credentials so as to bring a spiritual basis to their work. For example, someone with a library degree may also study theology to become a theological librarian. Those with mental health degrees and licensing may also undertake theological study so as to offer pastoral or religious counseling. Journalists may study theology so that they can more adequately investigate and write about religious issues.
Schools of theology and seminaries often offer dual degree programs for those who wish to study theology as well as another field. In some cases, the student is a candidate for a degree within two different departments or colleges at the same university. In other cases, a seminary or school of theology partners with another school to offer a dual degree option. These programs are designed to increase the number of jobs in theology by encouraging students to develop their theological understanding while also earning credentials that will qualify them to practice in another profession.