Types of Degrees Religious Education Majors Are Getting
The following table lists how many religious education graduations there were in 2018-2019 for each degree level.
|Education Level||Number of Grads|
What Religious Education Majors Need to Know
In an O*NET survey, religious ed 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 Religious Ed Majors
Religious Ed majors often go into careers in which the following knowledge areas are important:
- 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 Religious Ed Majors
A major in religious ed prepares you for careers in which the following skill-sets are crucial:
- 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 Religious Ed Majors
Religious Ed majors often go into careers where the following abilities are vital:
- 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 Religious Education Major?
Below is a list of occupations associated with religious ed:
|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 Religious Education?
At the countrywide level, the racial-ethnic distribution of religious ed majors is as follows:
|Race/Ethnicity||Number of Grads|
|Black or African American||81|
|Hispanic or Latino||38|
Religious Ed appeals to people across the globe. About 4.6% of those with this major are international students. The most popular countries for students from outside the country are:
- South Korea
- Papua New Guinea
How Much Do Religious Education Majors Make?
Master’s Degree Starting Salary
Data from the U.S. Department of Education shows that religious education students who graduated in 2015-2017 with a master’s degree made a median starting salary of $42,800 per year. During this timeframe, most salaries fell between $37,150 (25th percentile) and $43,600 (75th percentile).
It is possible that some of these people may have taken positions that were not related to religious ed.
Salaries According to BLS
Average salaries range from $46,980 to $82,420 (25th to 75th percentile) for careers related to religious ed. 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.
Amount of Education Required for Careers Related to Religious Education
Some careers associated with religious ed require an advanced degree while some may not even require a bachelor’s. In general, the more advanced your degree the more career options will open up to you. However, there is significant time and money that needs to be invested into your education so weigh the pros and cons.
Find out what the typical degree level is for religious ed careers below.
|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%|
|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%|
|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%|
Online Religious Education Programs
In the 2018-2019 academic year, 151 schools offered some type of religious education program. 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)||7||1|
|Certificate (1-2 years)||3||1|
|Certificate (2-4 Years)||1||0|
|Doctor’s Degree (Research)||15||3|
|Doctor’s Degree (Professional Practice)||4||0|
|Doctor’s Degree (Other)||3||0|
Is a Degree in Religious Education Worth It?
The median salary for a religious ed 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!
Explore Major by State
Majors Related to Religious Education
You may also be interested in one of the following majors related to religious ed.
|Major||Number of Grads|
|Theological & Ministerial Studies||13,555|
|Pastoral Counseling & Specialized Ministries||1,466|
|Theology & Religious Vocations (Other)||943|
- College Factual
- College Scorecard
- National Center for Education Statistics
- O*NET Online
- U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
- Usual Weekly Earnings of Wage and Salary Workers First Quarter 2020
- Image Credit: By RichardF under License
More about our data sources and methodologies.
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