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Religious Education Major

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Religious Education

834 Bachelor's Degrees Annually
515 Master's Degrees Annually
#175 in Popularity
$46,980 Median Salary

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
Bachelor’s Degree 843
Master’s Degree 523
Doctor’s Degree 67
Associate’s Degree 30
Graduate Certificate 18
Undergraduate Certificate 15
Basic Certificate 1

What Religious Education Majors Need to Know

People with careers related to religious ed were asked what knowledge areas, skills, and abilities were important for their jobs. They weighted these areas on a scale of 1 to 5 with 5 being the highest.

Knowledge Areas for Religious Ed 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 Religious Ed Majors

When studying religious ed, you’ll learn many skills that will help you be successful in a wide range of jobs - even those that do not require a degree in the field. The following is a list of some of the most common skills needed for careers associated with this major:

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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 Religious Ed Majors

A major in religious ed 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 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 Bachelor’s Degree in Religious Education?

843 Bachelor's Degrees Annually
56% Percent Women
23% Percent Racial-Ethnic Minorities*
This is a less frequently chosen undergraduate major. Only 834 students graduated with a bachelor’s degree in religious education in 2019, making it rank #175 in popularity. The major attracts more women than men. About 56% of the recent graduates in this field are female.

Racial-Ethnic Diversity

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

Racial-Ethnic Diversity of Religious Ed Students with Bachelor's Degrees
Race/Ethnicity Number of Grads
Asian 19
Black or African American 83
Hispanic or Latino 65
White 569
International Students 15
Other Races/Ethnicities 92

Geographic Diversity

Religious Ed appeals to people across the globe. About 1.8% of those with this major are international students. The most popular countries for students from outside the country are:

  • South Korea
  • Canada
  • Kenya
  • Papua New Guinea
  • China

How Much Do Religious Education Majors Make?

Bachelor’s Degree Starting Salary

According to 2017-2018 data from the U.S. Department of Education, students who graduated with a bachelor’s degree in religious ed have a median salary of $23,900 during the early years of their career. During this timeframe, most salaries fell between $22,350 (25th percentile) and $33,100 (75th percentile).

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It’s important to note that just because the people reporting these salaries have a degree in religious ed, 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 religious ed. This range includes all degree levels, so you may expect those with a more advanced degree to make more while those with less advanced degrees will typically make less.

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 Religious Education Major  ( 46980 to 82420 )
0K
250K
Median Salary for a High School Graduate  ( 30000 to 57900 )
0K
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 )
0K
250K

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.

How much schooling do you really need to compete in today’s job market? People currently working in careers related to religious ed 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 Religious Education Programs

In 2018-2019, 151 schools offered a religious ed 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) 7 1
Certificate (1-2 years) 3 1
Certificate (2-4 Years) 1 0
Associate’s Degree 19 9
Bachelor’s Degree 9 3
Post-Baccalaureate 7 1
Master’s Degree 65 25
Post-Master’s 2 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!

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

Major Number of Grads
Theological & Ministerial Studies 19,838
Biblical Studies 4,551
Pastoral Counseling & Specialized Ministries 3,055
Missionary Studies 1,379
Theology & Religious Vocations (Other) 1,375
Sacred Music 477

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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