WCIDWMM - Religious Studies

What Can I Do With a Major in Religious Studies

Religious Studies is the study of religion, as understood in its broadest sense. Religion has been around since before the dawn of history and has shaped every human society and culture from time immemorial – for better and for worse.  For many, religion shapes the very essence of what it means to be human, it takes on a dazzling array of forms and can impact virtually all aspects of a person's life. Religious Studies examines human response to life’s biggest questions.

Every religious tradition answers questions about spirituality and meaning in a different way, setting out moral values and ethical guidelines for its followers. Religious Studies aims to enhance critical understanding of the phenomenon of religion and the diversity of religious experience and expression, from antiquity to the present in both Eastern and Western traditions. 

Fundamental issues such as belief, texts, worship, ritual, concepts of the divine, the human condition, and the historical development of particular religions are examined. The academic study of religion requires a measure of neutrality and distance, whereby all religious traditions are treated with similar respect and critical inquiry.

 

Students interested in Religious Studies can complete:

  • Bachelor of Arts
  • Bachelor of Arts and Science
  • Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Management

 

For more information contact the Faculty of Arts and Science: https://www.uleth.ca/artsci/religious-studies

Skills

  • Ability to Articulate Abstract Ideas
  • Ability to Meet Deadlines
  • Ability to Persuade & Influence Others
  • Critical & Analytical Thinking
  • Cross Cultural Awareness & Tolerance
  • Data Gathering
  • Leadership
  • Oral & Written Communication
  • Organizational
  • Problem-Solving
  • Research
  • Self-Discipline
  • Sensitivity & Compassion for Others
  • Teamwork
  • Understanding of Various Religious Beliefs & Practices
  • Work Independently

Work Environment 

A major in Religious Studies provides an excellent foundation for law, journalism or education, as well as providing a wide variety of career options. Graduates may find careers in religious organizations, humanitarian aid organizations, museums, diplomatic corporations, or public relations. Graduates may pursue positions in/with non-profit organizations, archeology companies, community development organizations, consulting firms, university or research institutions, publishing companies, libraries, media corporations or social service institutions. 

 

Key Areas of Specialization:

Nature of Religiosity, Early Roman Empire, Ancient Greek Language Acquisition, New Religious Movements in North America, Indian Religion & Philosophy, Medieval & Modern Hinduism, Asian Religious Teachers & Spiritual Seekers, Hebrew Bible, Japanese Religion & Culture, Modern Buddhism, Early Islamic Theology & Philosophy, Early Sufism, Islamic Responses to Religious Diversity, Buddhism in the West

Career Possibilities 

These jobs are normally intended for new graduates and require 0 to 2 years of experience. It is important to note that many entry level positions require some related experience or demonstrated ability to perform job-related tasks. Even those positions that do not require experience will still prefer an experienced candidate, if one is available.

  • Academic Advisor
  • Administrative Development Assistant
  • Alumni & Community Relations Associate
  • Assistant Pastor (Youth)
  • Children & Youth Director
  • Community Fundraising Coordinator
  • Executive Assistant
  • Graduate Program Assistant
  • Marketing Reporting Analyst
  • Partner Care Representative
  • Religious Education Worker
  • Religious Studies Teaching Assistant
  • Residential Care Worker
  • Special Events Coordinator
  • Student Development Officer

These jobs generally require extensive, relevant work experience and/or further education

  • Activist
  • Administrative Coordinator
  • Administrator
  • Archivist
  • Campus Religious Coordinator
  • Cantor
  • Chaplain
  • Charity Coordinator
  • Civil Service Agent
  • Clergyperson
  • Community Center Director
  • Community Development Officer
  • Community Worker
  • Counsellor
  • Creative Writer
  • Critical Analyst
  • Cultural Affairs Officer
  • Demographer
  • Diplomat
  • Divorce Mediator
  • Education Heritage & History Specialist
  • Ethics Consultant
  • Executive Assistant to Government Official
  • Family Life Educator
  • Foreign Service Worker
  • Genealogist
  • Human Resources Specialist
  • Human Rights Advocate/Officer
  • Humanitarian
  • Immigration Services Officer
  • International Aid Worker
  • International Development Officer
  • Librarian
  • Lobbyist
  • Mediator – Family & Labour Relations
  • Minister
  • Missionary
  • Museum Curator
  • Non-Profit Administrator
  • Patient Advocate
  • Public Administrator – Policy & Service
  • Public Policy Advisor
  • Public Relations Specialist
  • Public Service Worker
  • Religion Analyst
  • Religious Advisor
  • Religious Educational Administrator
  • Religious Rights Advocate
  • Researcher
  • Social Service Worker
  • Social Worker
  • Spiritual Health Practitioner
  • Teacher
  • Theologist
  • University Professor
  • Victim’s Advocate
  • Volunteer Coordinator
  • Youth Worker

On average, people change their careers three to five times in their lifetime. So, no matter what major you choose, you may still be interested in opportunities totally unrelated to your program of study. We encourage you to be open to all possibilities! Your undergraduate degree can be a springboard for other educational pursuits, and your transferable skills and experience can prepare you to work in a multitude of settings.

  • Advertising Agent
  • Anthropologist
  • Archeologist
  • Artist
  • Author
  • Child Care Worker
  • Consultant
  • Editor
  • Entrepreneur
  • Events Planner/Manager
  • Family Counsellor
  • Guidance Counsellor
  • Historian
  • Industrial Relations Specialist
  • Insurance Agent
  • Journalist
  • Lawyer
  • Legal Aide
  • Marriage Counsellor
  • Media Correspondent
  • Media Director
  • Midwife
  • Paralegal – Mediation
  • Parole Officer
  • Political Analyst
  • Political Consultant
  • Real Estate Agent
  • Urban and Regional Planner
  • Writer

Useful Resources

Add Value to Your Degree

The more you do to differentiate yourself, the more likely you are to succeed in building a fulfilling career path for yourself. It takes more than just attending classes to stand out amongst other students and new graduates. Become an explorer! Try new things, challenge yourself, build unique skills, and connect with diverse people.

Use the ideas listed below to help you brainstorm experiences to add value to your degree. For more ideas on experiential opportunities at the University of Lethbridge, view the Student Experience Transcript. 

Making connections with others is one of the best ways to learn about the world of work and gain access to career-building opportunities. Making meaningful connections with people is often called building a network.  Building these connections can give you access to jobs before they are posted, or to jobs that are not publicly posted. Employers like to hire people they have already built relationships with, and are more likely to hire people who have been recommended by trusted colleagues and friends.

Start building your network by attending Career Fairs and other on-campus recruitment events found on the Career Services Events page within the Career Bridge portal. Get introduced to career professionals in a welcoming and approachable way through uLethbridge Connect at Ten Thousand Coffees. Consider joining a professional association to help you find opportunities to meet experienced professionals in your field, find training opportunities, be paired with a mentor, or get involved in committees or other volunteer positions.

Co-operative Education allows you to earn income through real-world work experience that is related to your academic studies. Completing a co-op work term provides you with an opportunity to build your skills in a practical work setting, network with employers, and increase your marketability after graduation.

 

Co-operative education is available to undergraduate and graduate-level students within a variety of programs in the Faculty of Arts & Science, Dhillon School of Business, Faculty of Fine Arts, and Faculty of Health Sciences. Learn more about eligibility requirements and how co-op works here.

The Applied Studies program offers you the opportunity to earn academic credit for learning gained through employment or volunteer experiences. Placements provide skill development and experiential learning related to your studies by integrating principles learned in the classroom with practical situations encountered on the job.

Participating in clubs and running for student government are great ways to build employability skills, learn how to work with others, and demonstrate your leadership abilities.

The University of Lethbridge Students’ Union is committed to building a rewarding and enriching experience for undergraduate students. They have positions for Executive Council members and General Assembly members, as well as an extensive list of ratified clubs, offering opportunities to get involved in areas of interest and in leadership positions.

The Graduate Students’ Association’s mandate is to identify and advocate for graduate student needs. They have GSA Executive positions, GSA Council positions, and a mentorship program for incoming students.  

 

The University of Lethbridge provides many different opportunities to gain research experience in addition to the required courses in your degree program.

An independent study is a chance for you to design your own research project for course credit under the supervision of a professor of your choice. Course work usually requires independent library research and/or field work and/or a major term paper. For more information, meet with an Academic Advisor and the Department or Faculty member under whom you wish to pursue an Independent Study.

You can also opt to complete an Undergraduate Thesis Course. This will allow you to earn an “Honours Thesis” designation on your degree and is a great springboard into graduate studies and professional programs. Fourth-year standing and a cumulative GPA of 3.30 is required to complete an Honours Thesis; it is also helpful to have previous research experience like Independent Studies. For more information, contact the Department or Faculty member under whom you with to pursue your Honours Thesis.

The Office of Research and Innovation Services has a wealth of information on additional research opportunities for students, including Student Funding, Student Research Positions, AGILITY, and events. The School of Graduate Studies has information on Research Opportunities/Graduate Student Positions and GA/Co-op/Internship Opportunities. If you are interested in building your research portfolio, do not miss out on these opportunities!

International experience builds valuable employability skills like adaptability, multi-cultural awareness, and the initiative to take on new challenges. Gain an international perspective by participating in Education Abroad opportunities like semester exchanges, study tours, field studies, work-study tours, internships, and more.  Learn about international careers and resources through MyWorldAbroad (available within the Career Bridge portal). 

 

 

 

Volunteerism is an excellent way to demonstrate your current skills, build new skills, and grow your network. If you are not sure where to get started, connect with UVolunteer, the University of Lethbridge’s partnership with Volunteer Lethbridge. If you already volunteer, UVolunteer can provide you with a framework to organize and document your volunteer work. If you are not sure how or where to get involved, UVolunteer can help you find volunteer opportunities that meet your needs and the needs of your community. Also consider volunteering with a local Board, Commission, or Committee