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Religious Studies

Religious Studies offer you the opportunity to study the diversity of the world's religions, their values, history and traditions. You will receive a strong liberal arts background and develop valuable skills in communication, reflection, analysis, and problem solving.

Representative Job Titles and Area of Specialization
  • Administrative Assistant
  • Bank Officer
  • Campus Religious Coordinator
  • Chaplain *
  • Claims Adjuster
  • Clinical Psychologist *
  • Community Organizer
  • Counselor
  • Editor
  • Group Counselor
  • Lawyer *
  • Management Trainee
  • Medicine
  • Mental Health Assistant
  • Minister *
  • Personnel Management
  • Priest *
  • Probation Officer
  • Professor/Instructor/Teacher
  • Public Administrator
  • Public Relations
  • Rabbi *
  • Recreation Worker
  • Social Security Representatives
  • Social Worker *
  • Urban Planner *
  • Vocational Counselor
  • Volunteer Services Director

* See Training section

Nature of the Work

Religious leaders work in a variety of settings. They may have their own congregations or work for a regional or national religious program. Some work in hospitals, with the military or in prisons. Others are missionaries or perform other types of social service.

Professional opportunities also exist in research, educational writing and administration, writing and editing denominational publications or working on archives.

Religious Studies majors make great human services workers in community, mental health or residential care settings like group homes, prisons and half-way houses. Human services workers lead groups, organize activities or offer individual counseling.

Management trainee opportunities also exist in banking, insurance, retail and manufacturing.

Places of Employment
  • Banks
  • City, county and state government
  • Correctional facilities
  • Federal government:
    • Department of Defense
    • Health and Human Services
    • Office of Personnel Management
    • Social Security Administration
    • Veterans Affairs
    • Immigration and Naturalization Services
    • Foundations
    • Hospitals
  • Insurance companies
  • International organization
  • Museums
  • Peace Corps
  • Probation departments
  • Publishing companies
  • Research institutions
  • Retailers
  • Senior citizens centers
  • Social service agencies
  • Universities and colleges


A bachelor's degree qualifies you for many of the careers listed above depending on the type of courses you completed and experience you gained as an undergrad. If you are interested in a business-related career, you should take administrative courses. If human services interests you, then additional courses in social sciences would be advisable.

Preparation for the priesthood generally requires years of study. You may begin your studies in the first year of high school, while in college or in theological seminaries after you graduate.

Educational requirements for Protestant ministers vary greatly. Some denominations have no formal educational requirement. Others require training at Bible colleges, Bible institutes, or liberal arts colleges.

You will need a bachelor's degree or its equivalent to enroll in a theological school. Many denominations require a 3-year course of professional study in an accredited school or seminary after college graduation for the Master of Divinity degree.

Seminary study is required if you want to be a rabbi. Entrance requirements and the curriculum depend upon the branch of Judaism with which the seminary is associated.

If you want to teach and conduct research at a university, you will need a Ph.D.

For further information and/or career counseling contact the UCR Career Center, (951) 827-3631.

Supplemental Material

The following documents may provide further ideas for exploration.


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