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Biblical Studies Major

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Biblical Studies

681 Master's Degrees Annually
58 Doctor's Degrees Annually
#130 in Popularity (Master's)
$46,980 Median Salary

Types of Degrees Biblical Studies Majors Are Getting

The following table lists how many Biblical studies graduations there were in 2018-2019 for each degree level.

Education Level Number of Grads
Master’s Degree 682
Graduate Certificate 92
Doctor’s Degree 58

What Biblical Studies Majors Need to Know

In an O*NET survey, Bible majors were asked to rate what knowledge areas, skills, and abilities were important in their occupations. These answers were weighted on a scale of 1 to 5 with 5 being the most important.

Knowledge Areas for Bible Majors

Bible majors often go into careers in which the following knowledge areas are important:

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  • Philosophy and Theology - Knowledge of different philosophical systems and religions. This includes their basic principles, values, ethics, ways of thinking, customs, practices, and their impact on human culture.
  • English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • Education and Training - Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
  • Customer and Personal Service - Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
  • Psychology - Knowledge of human behavior and performance; individual differences in ability, personality, and interests; learning and motivation; psychological research methods; and the assessment and treatment of behavioral and affective disorders.

Skills for Bible Majors

The following list of skills has been highlighted as some of the most essential for careers related to Bible:

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  • Reading Comprehension - Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
  • Speaking - Talking to others to convey information effectively.
  • Active Listening - Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
  • Critical Thinking - Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
  • Instructing - Teaching others how to do something.

Abilities for Bible Majors

A major in Bible will prepare for your careers in which the following abilities are important:

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  • Written Comprehension - The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
  • Oral Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
  • Oral Comprehension - The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
  • Speech Clarity - The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
  • Written Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.

What Can You Do With a Biblical Studies Major?

Below is a list of occupations associated with Bible:

Job Title Job Growth Rate Median Salary
Directors, Religious Activities and Education 7.1% $40,810
Philosophy and Religion Professors 12.3% $71,890

Who Is Getting a Master’s Degree in Biblical Studies?

682 Master's Degrees Annually
34% Percent Women
29% Percent Racial-Ethnic Minorities*
This major attracts more men than women. About 66% of the graduates in this field are male.

Racial-Ethnic Diversity

At the countrywide level, the racial-ethnic distribution of Bible majors is as follows:

Racial-Ethnic Diversity of Bible Students with Master's Degrees
Race/Ethnicity Number of Grads
Asian 56
Black or African American 89
Hispanic or Latino 29
White 369
International Students 85
Other Races/Ethnicities 54

Geographic Diversity

Americans aren’t the only ones with an interest in Bible. About 12.5% of those with this major are international students. The most popular countries for students from outside the country are:

  • South Korea
  • Mexico
  • Brazil
  • Canada
  • China

How Much Do Biblical Studies Majors Make?

Master’s Degree Starting Salary

Data from the U.S. Department of Education shows that Biblical studies students who graduated in 2015-2017 with a master’s degree made a median starting salary of $36,800 per year. During this timeframe, most salaries fell between $31,750 (25th percentile) and $38,150 (75th percentile).

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It’s important to note that just because the people reporting these salaries have a degree in Bible, it does not mean that they are working in a job related to their degree.

Salaries According to BLS

Average salaries range from $46,980 to $82,420 (25th to 75th percentile) for careers related to Bible. This range includes all degree levels, so the salary for a person with just a bachelor’s degree may be a little less and the one for a person with an advanced degree may be a little more.

To put that into context, according to BLS data from the first quarter of 2020, the typical high school graduate makes between $30,000 and $57,900 a year (25th through 75th percentile). The average person with a bachelor’s degree (any field) makes between $45,600 and $99,000. Advanced degree holders make the most with salaries between $55,600 and $125,400.

Median Salary for a Biblical Studies Major  ( 46980 to 82420 )
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250K
Median Salary for a High School Graduate  ( 30000 to 57900 )
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Median Salary for a Bachelor's Degree Holder  ( 45600 to 99000 )
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Median Salary for an Advanced Degree Holder  ( 55600 to 125400 )
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250K

Some degrees associated with Bible may require an advanced degree, while others may not even require a bachelor’s in the field. Whatever the case may be, pursuing more education usually means that more career options will be available to you.

How much schooling do you really need to compete in today’s job market? People currently working in careers related to Bible have obtained the following education levels.

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Education Level Percentage of Workers
High School Diploma - or the equivalent (for example, GED) 3.1%
Associate’s Degree (or other 2-year degree) 0.2%
Bachelor’s Degree 42.1%
Post-Baccalaureate Certificate - awarded for completion of an organized program of study; designed for people who have completed a Baccalaureate degree but do not meet the requirements of academic degrees carrying the title of Master. 0.3%
Master’s Degree 11.5%
Post-Master’s Certificate - awarded for completion of an organized program of study; designed for people who have completed a Master’s degree but do not meet the requirements of academic degrees at the doctoral level. 0.3%
First Professional Degree - awarded for completion of a program that: requires at least 2 years of college work before entrance into the program, includes a total of at least 6 academic years of work to complete, and provides all remaining academic requirements to begin practice in a profession. 0.2%
Doctoral Degree 35.6%
Post-Doctoral Training 6.0%

Online Biblical Studies Programs

In 2018-2019, 244 schools offered a Bible program of some type. The following table lists the number of programs by degree level, along with how many schools offered online courses in the field.

Degree Level Colleges Offering Programs Colleges Offering Online Classes
Certificate (Less Than 1 Year) 19 12
Certificate (1-2 years) 40 17
Certificate (2-4 Years) 7 4
Associate’s Degree 85 39
Bachelor’s Degree 23 10
Post-Baccalaureate 19 12
Master’s Degree 84 48
Post-Master’s 5 0
Doctor’s Degree (Research) 14 2
Doctor’s Degree (Professional Practice) 0 0
Doctor’s Degree (Other) 2 0

Is a Degree in Biblical Studies Worth It?

The median salary for a Bible grad is $46,980 per year. This is based on the weighted average of the most common careers associated with the major.

This is 18% more than the average salary for an individual holding a high school degree. This adds up to a gain of about $141,600 after 20 years!

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You may also be interested in one of the following majors related to Bible.

Major Number of Grads
Theological & Ministerial Studies 13,555
Pastoral Counseling & Specialized Ministries 1,466
Theology & Religious Vocations (Other) 943
Religious Education 608
Missionary Studies 451
Sacred Music 136

References

*The racial-ethnic minorities count is calculated by taking the total number of students and subtracting white students, international students, and students whose race/ethnicity was unknown. This number is then divided by the total number of students at the school to obtain the racial-ethnic minorities percentage.

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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