What can you do with a religion education?

Dr. Hardman

The purpose of the religion major is to teach students the art of critical thinking, to challenge them to think creatively, and to lead them to make a deliberate and rational attempt to understand both the whole and the parts of their experience for the purpose of obtaining wisdom for effective living.

The program encourages students to discover and examine the basic religious ideas of diverse cultures in order to gain illumination of personal and social values. Like philosophy, an education in religion prepares one for life in general.


The program in religion provides training in the critical analytic skills, reading abilities, and writing skills demanded by law programs, and many religion majors enter various legal fields. Religion majors develop essential legal skills such as thinking which penetrates appearances, effective writing, the ability to read difficult texts, and ethical reflection. Data from the Law Schools Admissions Test (LSAT) shows that religion majors outperformed most of the popular pre-law and humanities majors. Second in the humanities only to philosophers, religion majors, with an average score of 156, outscored economics majors, history majors, English majors, and political science majors.

International Business
Religion majors are educated in the contours of many other cultures and learn how to critically understand cultural forms from around the globe. Often the best way to befriend someone from another country is to show that you understand their religion and religion majors are trained to do just this. Religion majors may find that they can close business deals which elude others because they more easily relate to people from other cultures. This makes the major in religion ideal for business in the global marketplace.

Graduate Study in Many Fields
Religion is not just a fine first major, it also makes an outstanding choice for a second major. Religion touches many different aspects of our lives, so graduate study in many fields includes or even focuses on the study of religion. The skills developed by the study of religion of deep reading, analytic thinking, and effective writing serve as excellent foundations for every field of graduate study. Because of this, religion majors go on to earn graduate degrees in a wide variety of fields.

Some people think that the only thing you can do with a religion major is enter the ministry and this is false. However, the major in religion remains essential for aspiring ministers. Religion majors learn to read and analyze scriptures as clergy must do. They also learn to understand the various forms that people’s religious lives can take, enabling them to better empathize with members of their congregations. Moreover, the major in religion allows aspiring ministers early access to the texts and methods which they will study in a seminary.