*https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes212011.htm (Last Modified Date: March 24, 2022)
You can complete a Religion degree online or on-campus in approximately four years, if not less. Also, if you are taking courses online, you may be able to integrate academic learning with real-world, experiential learning. Once you have completed an associate's degree, you might seek out employment with an engineering firm. You might be able to work on isolated projects and then take time after those projects to complete more courses. In this way, you will prolong the time it takes to graduate, but you will accrue invaluable experience along the way.
Before choosing a major there are some important facts you should know about.
In general, you can begin your career as a Pastor or Worship Leader by earning a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) or a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) degree in religion, but in many cases for the position you are seeking you may need to obtain a master's degree in religion. Furthermore, there are numerous specializations and subfields associated with a major in biblical studies. You will want to research the college or university to determine if they have the major you are considering.
This is a very important question to ask yourself. Your major should play a big part in the schools you are considering. Not every college may offer the major of your choice, so doing your homework is the first step of the selection process.
Before you declare a major in religion, you should have an idea of what kind of timeframe you’re looking at. If you are trying to achieve an associate degree, you will only need to finish about 60 credit hours over 2 years. However, if you are going for you bachelor's (B.S. or B.A.) degree in religion, you will need to complete 120 credit hours over four years. And, if you want to attain a master’s degree as well, you will have to finish your bachelors first and then spend around 2 years completing 60 more credit hours. Some of the coursework you will find in a typical biblical studies or religion degree are:
These days fewer and fewer students graduate in four years. In fact, the government now sets the bar at a six-year term from starting a degree to graduation. Accredited programs in religion, on the other hand, are more likely to graduate in 4-5 years. That is because those programs are more competitive, and studies have shown that students in highly competitive programs have more success with graduating in four years (or less.) Keep it mind there are also other determining factors that play a role in how long it takes to graduate like full time vs part time, funding for college, working at the same time (can potentially decrease how many credit hours you can take) etc. A good goal to shoot for is to graduate within 4 to 6 years.
Accreditation is a very important facet of your career since, if the college you attend is accredited by a reputable association, the religion degree you earn from that college will have more value and some employers include this information when evaluating you for employment.
The reason why accreditation is so important is that, without it, it’s hard to determine what kind of standards the training programs hold and if they are up to date with technology and innovation.
A college gets accredited voluntarily by an association of their choice. The association will interview and inspect the college thoroughly to see if they meet their standards of everything from cleanliness to academics and, if the college passes the inspection, the association puts their stamp on them as an assurance that they meet all their requirements.
Employers today want only the best of the best working for them. Some businesses are even willing to pay for the education of potential candidates. So, when it comes to degrees, most employers look at the accreditor of the school you earned your degree from, since this says a lot about the kind of education you acquired. If an employer is willing to go so far as to pay for a student’s education, imagine what kind of salary they will offer to those holding a degree from a highly reputable association.
Depending on your school and if you are paying in-state or out-of-state tuition, a biblical studies or religion bachelor's degree can cost as little as $30,000 or as much as $300,000. The key difference in the price will depend on whether you attend a public, in-state school or a private school. Note that if you attend a public school in another state that you will probably pay twice (or more) of the base tuition. Private schools can be more or less expensive depending on the prestige of the school for religion or if they are charging additional fees for out-of-state students to attend the college.
Schools can provide valuable assistance for biblical studies or religion graduates that seek employment after graduation. The programs can be formal, such as job banks and employment centers that present graduating students and graduate credentials to prospective employers and host interviews.
Depending on the college, they may have resources that can enhance employment and career opportunities for their religion graduates. Most schools have an extended community of alumni, donors, and corporate and business support. Alumni groups offer opportunities for networking as well as for sharing information and experiences. The corporate and business community support may include opportunities for internships or other hands-on learning experiences.