What Are the Best Theology Careers?

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A degree in Theology can open the door to many opportunities to let you live out your passion of helping others and delving into the mysteries of spiritual knowledge. Theology careers encompass a broad field which includes divinity, biblical studies, religious studies, and ministry. A theology degree is an excellent starting point to begin a career helping share your knowledge and skills with the world.

Want the flexibility of earning your degree online?

If you need the flexibility that comes with online classes, many colleges now offer online theology degree programs that can be completed from the comfort of your own home!

This can be an excellent option if you are juggling career, volunteer, or family obligations in addition to your course work.

Top 40 Theology Careers & Salaries

To help give you an idea of the many career paths available to those who have graduated with a Theology degree, we have put together a list of 40 related careers and their respective median annual salaries:

Job Title Job Summary Median Salary
Professor, Postsecondary Teaches students within their specialized field and conducts research to help further the knowledge of their concentration. $88,346
Rabbi Spiritual leader within the Jewish faith that provides spiritual guidance within their synagogue, school, hospital, or the military. $92,117
Executive Director Acts as a senior manager within their organization and is responsible for a variety of duties that ensure smooth operation of their business. $79,588
Assistant Professor, Postsecondary Acts as a mentor and teacher to students within a postsecondary institution and develops curriculum to help students learn valuable skills. $68,884
Lead Pastor Assists senior pastors with leading, guiding, and teaching their congregation through worship and religious education. $64,669
Senior Pastor Responsible for providing spiritual leadership, guidance, and pastoral care to the members of their church. $60,662
Clergy Typically works within a church, synagogue, mosque, or other religious institution to provide spiritual support to individuals and their families. $53,324
Lecturer/Speaker Researches topics relevant to their area of study and develops engaging oral presentations to effectively communicate with groups or classes. $51,862
Research Associate Gathers, processes, and analyzes data and information that can be used to further the knowledge of their area of specialty. $53,135
Writer Provides written content for their organization or develops unique creative works to inspire and educate others. $50,223
Minister Responsible for providing their community with spiritual and religious support through public speaking and weekly services. $50,696
Program Manager, Non-Profit Organization Manages the projects and activities of an organization to ensure they are in line with the goals and mission of their non-profit company. $52,290
Pastor Leads the congregation of a Christian church through prayer, song, and general spiritual guidance. $50,010
Chaplain Employed in a variety of facilities to provide religious counseling and comfort to clients and their families. $50,771
Church Business Administrator Oversees the business affairs of a church, including budget development, administering payroll, and employee benefits. $55,248
Hospice Chaplain Provides spiritual support services to patients and family members on behalf of their religious organization. $48,966
High School Teacher Works with students in private high school settings to teach curriculum and religious principles in line with their school’s mission. $50,088
Hospital Chaplain Religious ministers who provide spiritual comfort to patients and families within a hospital or healthcare setting. $51,632
Bereavement Coordinator, Hospice/Home Care Provides support, grief counseling, and assistance with community resources to families of terminally ill patients. $47,925
Priest Works within the Catholic faith to conduct the daily affairs of their assigned church. $41,171
Funeral Director Works with families of the deceased to coordinate services and memorials to honor their memory. $48,772
Associate Pastor Ordained minister who works alongside an executive or senior pastor in larger congregations. $48,305
Marriage/Family Therapist Counsels individuals and treats patients that are struggling with relationship issues within their family. $49,461
Bereavement Counselor Specialized therapists that work with families and friends of the deceased in dealing with grief and loss. $47,932
Elementary School Teacher Typically educates students in grades one through six. They may also be employed through a private, religious school setting. $46,151
Worship Pastor Serves their church and congregation by leading the weekly religious worship service. $45,039
Community Outreach Coordinator Acts as the voice of their organization by developing community outreach activities to bridge the gap between their organization and community. $42,157
Music Director Organizes and oversees the music programs within their organization or religious institution. $39,649
Program Coordinator, Non-Profit Organization Act as the face of a social service, charity, or foundation to oversee and coordinate volunteers and service projects. $43,677
Director, Religious Activities and Education Works with the input of religious leaders to develop and implement curriculum and coordinate classes and volunteers within the congregation. $38,977
Worship Coordinator Works with clergy members and church leaders to develop and coordinate the worship services of a church or religious institution. $32,078
Church Administrator Manages and runs a church’s day to day operations to ensure that monetary contributions are spent efficiently. $39,962
Religious Education Director Responsible for organizing and coordinating religious activities and events for students within their congregation. $35,285
Youth Pastor Responsible for developing and implementing youth ministry services within their church. $35,170
Youth Director (Church) Responsible for developing and organizing programs for church youth in order to further their spiritual development. $35,887
Children’s Ministry Director Works within a church environment to oversee the ministry of children within the congregation. $35,022
Music Ministry Director Responsible for leading music rehearsals, directing the choir, and selecting pieces for the musical portion of church services. $39,066
Church Secretary Works as an administrative assistant to pastors and church elders to organize and coordinate business affairs of a church. $26,640
Church Organist Collaborates with the pastor and music director to choose worship hymns and play the organ during church services. $18,568

*Data provided by Payscale.com


What can you do with a Theology Degree?

Most people who pursue a Theology degree do so because they feel a calling to work within a religious institution or ministry. After graduation, these students often go on to become pastors, missionaries, chaplains. Beyond spiritual ministry, other careers that are accessible with a Theology degree include teaching, administrative work, writing and journalism, or counseling.

The median annual salaries of those who work in the field of Theology can vary greatly, although they are often above the national average for all occupations, as seen by the information above. While clergy members earn a more modest salary, higher pay is generally seen for those who have graduate level degrees and work in higher education or research. Overall, those working in a Theology based career enjoy a livable wage, but often find great personal satisfaction within their job duties.

What is a Theology Degree?

The field of Theology can encompass a broad spectrum of disciplines. Typically, courses within a Theology degree program focus on religious studies, philosophy, world cultures, and interpretation and analysis of religious texts and principals. This field of study provides students with an in-depth understanding of spiritual practices to prepare them for making a difference in their community through ministry work and education.

Courses that you may take while working towards earning your degree in Theology include:

  • Biblical Studies
  • Research and Academic Writing
  • Religious History
  • Christian Ethics
  • Global Christianity

For those who are interested in Theology but do not plan on going into a ministry-based career, it is common to use a Theology degree as a bridge to other disciplines. For example, you may earn a degree in Theology but also pursue your teaching license or counseling degree.

This would open up career paths that include teaching within private religious schools and universities or becoming a spiritual-based counselor to help clients and families through challenging times.

Theology Career Outlook

Religion and spirituality is the cornerstone of many people’s lives, and because of this, skilled spiritual leaders are always in high demand. Whether you want to work with children and young adults in the educational setting or join the ministry of a church or other religious institution, there are many viable options for a fulfilling career.

The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that those looking for a career as a religious worker can expect nearly a 4% increase in jobs over the next several years. If you are interested in earning a doctorate in Theology to teach within a university or college, postsecondary teachers are expected to have a 3% occupational growth between the years 2019 and 2029 – which is well above the average across all occupations!

For those with a spiritual calling and thirst for religious knowledge, a Theology degree is a viable choice to expand your mind and learn valuable skills to reach out the community and spread your message. From educators to clergy and counselors, there are a number of ways that you can turn your degree in Theology into a lasting, rewarding career!

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Elizabeth Abner
WRITTEN BY Elizabeth Abner

Elizabeth is pursuing a Doctor of Philosophy in Foreign Policy and earned her master's degree in business administration. For her undergraduate studies, she earned a Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration with a concentration in international business. Elizabeth's research is focused on universities offering online degree programs.