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Biblical Studies Major

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Biblical Studies

2,876 Bachelor's Degrees Annually
719 Master's Degrees Annually
#110 in Popularity
$46,980 Median Salary

Types of Degrees Biblical Studies Majors Are Getting

The following table lists how many Biblical studies graduations there were in 2017-2018 for each degree level.

Education Level Number of Grads
Bachelor’s Degree 2,921
Master’s Degree 757
Associate’s Degree 520
Undergraduate Certificate 214
Basic Certificate 118
Graduate Certificate 70
Doctor’s Degree 45

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

This major prepares you for careers in which these 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

Bible majors are found most commonly in careers in which the following skills are important:

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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

Some of the most crucial abilities to master while a Bible student include the following:

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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 Bachelor’s Degree in Biblical Studies?

2,921 Bachelor's Degrees Annually
39% Percent Women
22% Percent Racial-Ethnic Minorities
This is a less frequently chosen undergraduate major. Only 2,876 students graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Biblical studies in 2018, making it rank #110 in popularity. This major attracts more men than women. About 61% 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 Bachelor's Degrees
Race/Ethnicity Number of Grads
Asian 89
Black or African American 259
Hispanic or Latino 194
White 2,120
International Students 57
Other Races/Ethnicities 202

Geographic Diversity

Bible appeals to people across the globe. About 2.0% 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?

Bachelor’s Degree Starting Salary

The U.S. Department of Education found that students who graduated in 2015-2017 with a bachelor’s degree in Biblical studies made a median starting salary of $25,800 per year. During this timeframe, most salaries fell between $23,400 (25th percentile) and $30,900 (75th percentile).

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One thing to note here is that not all of these people may be working in careers related to Bible.

Salaries According to BLS

Bible majors often go into careers where salaries can range from $46,980 to $82,420 (25th to 75th percentile). 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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250K
Median Salary for a Bachelor's Degree Holder  ( 45600 to 99000 )
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250K
Median Salary for an Advanced Degree Holder  ( 55600 to 125400 )
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250K

Some careers associated with Bible require an advanced degree while some may not even require a bachelor’s. 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 2017-2018, 241 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) 16 8
Certificate (1-2 years) 42 18
Certificate (2-4 Years) 7 4
Associate’s Degree 86 44
Bachelor’s Degree 20 10
Post-Baccalaureate 16 8
Master’s Degree 85 51
Post-Master’s 3 0
Doctor’s Degree (Research) 13 2
Doctor’s Degree (Professional Practice) 0 0
Doctor’s Degree (Other) 2 1

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 18,745
Pastoral Counseling & Specialized Ministries 3,145
Missionary Studies 1,655
Religious Education 1,537
Theology & Religious Vocations (Other) 1,378
Sacred Music 454

References

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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