Have you ever thought about going after your master of divinity? Have you considered doing it online instead of on-campus? The field of divinity has a lot more to offer than one might expect; it isn’t just for pastors. Even if you aren’t religious, the field of divinity and theology can be interesting to study, just to learn about religions.
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The field of divinity is most well-known as simply the field you study if you wish to work in a church environment. It is a lot more complex than that, though. Divinity and theology go hand in hand, both studying the academics and speculations of religion. Divinity most often focuses on and is studied by Christians, but is sometimes used as an academic study for those of other religions.
There are many different areas covered when earning a divinity degree, and many specializations you can choose to focus on. The most common areas of study in divinity degree programs are philosophical theology, worship practice, field ministry, and the study of scriptures and sacred languages. Within all of the areas are a wide variety of specializations, including canon law, Christian ethics, and pastoral theology.
There are also a surprising number of jobs you can get with a divinity degree. When most people hear that someone is earning a degree in divinity, they immediately think that person wants to become a pastor, but that is only a small part of the field.
Obviously, with a master of divinity, you can become ordained as a pastor, chaplain, or minister within a church. This is a job field expected to grow by about 8 percent in the next 10 years, so you would not have a difficult time finding employment.
Other, more uncommon jobs include working as a missionary or in mental health services. With a degree in divinity, you can do humanitarian work by traveling throughout your country or to other countries to help those in need. As a mental health professional, you could provide counseling to help those who seek the comfort of religion.
Those working in divinity and theology experience some of the highest job satisfaction rates. Most people who decide to work in these jobs go into them intending to help people in some way, shape, or form, and it can be very satisfying to know you have been able to reach your goal.
Jobs in divinity and theology pay anywhere from $34,000 to $93,000 per year. The average professional working in the field earns about $55,860 per year, but the salary depends on the job you go into. While having a decent salary is a nice bonus, the real perk of this field is the ability to make a difference in many people’s lives.
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Why a Master of Divinity Online?
When so many jobs are available without a master’s of divinity, you are probably wondering why you should spend so much time on a graduate-level degree. Well, many jobs in divinity do require a master’s degree, and even if it isn’t a requirement, it is preferred. A graduate-level degree is also a surefire way to blow away any competition for jobs you end up competing for. The job security and higher salary make a master of divinity well worth your time.
>Interested in an online master’s degree? Check out Best Online Master’s Degrees
Earning a master of divinity online can be a great experience for those who are already working full-time jobs and need to pursue classes on their own time rather on a set, on-campus schedule. Online classes are self-paced and offer students more freedom.
For many, earning a master’s degree is needed to advance their career. Most higher positions require many years of work experience, so being able to work full-time while you take classes helps you reach your goals faster.
Earning a degree online can be difficult, but if you know what you are getting into, it is easy to prepare. Most online courses will provide a syllabus detailing when all assignments will be due, so you can easily fill out a calendar or planner to keep you on track. You will need good time management skills, but these are easily developed after taking a few online classes and getting into the groove of things.
To earn an online master of divinity, most schools will require you to have completed an undergraduate degree in divinity, theology, or a similar field. To finish the degree, you will most likely have to complete around two years of full-time classes as well as a capstone project.
In most schools, it is relatively easy to find an online or hybrid degree program. Some of the best online master of divinity programs can be found at the following schools:
- Creighton University
- Portland Seminary (previously known as George Fox Seminary)
- Faith International University
- Liberty University
- Denver University
- Clarks Summit University
All of these schools offer online master of divinity programs and are some of the top picks for their online programs. Faith International University is known for being non-denominational, which is a nice option to have for anyone who is not religious or not in a set denomination. Creighton University also specializes in medicine, so this would be a great choice for those hoping to become counselors or hospital/hospice chaplains, as you could learn a bit about medicine to go alongside your theology coursework.
>Want more info for Christian colleges? Check out Top 11 Online Christian Colleges for 2020
Careers with a Master of Divinity
With a master of divinity, you can start your own secular ministry. Starting your own ministry can be a great way to connect with a specific group of people and religion doesn’t have to play much of a role in it at all, unless you want it to, of course. As the leader of a ministry, you would be able to bring people together to talk about their shared ideas and passions, and you would be there to help motivate them and guide them.
Working as an inspirational or motivational speaker is a good way to use your knowledge of religion and theology to help inspire people to make their lives better to find happiness. This is also a great career choice for anyone who wants to have the freedom of setting their own hours and essentially working for themselves, as inspirational speakers are generally freelancers who contract themselves out to organizations.
If you earn a master of divinity and a counseling license, you can become a counselor for those dealing with addiction, grief, depression, or a variety of other common issues. While this does not make you a psychologist, you can offer support and advice to those seeking out help in a spiritual light. Many find it easier to overcome addictions and cope with losses when they can find comfort in religion and spirituality, and you could work as a counselor to help guide them through this journey.
As a chaplain, you could work in quite a few different environments, from the military to prisons to hospice homes. Chaplains offer support and spiritual guidance to anyone in need of it. Military chaplains are given all of the benefits of military employees and help support those suffering from trauma and separation from their families. In hospital and hospice settings, chaplains are available to help support patients and their families. In prisons, chaplains are often able to help guide inmates through feelings of guilt and remorse, greatly aiding in rehabilitation.
All in all, a master of divinity online is a degree that opens up a lot of options for those who want to work with religion and help people at the same time. You can be hired for a wide variety of jobs, each of which helps people in its own unique way.
With a graduate-level degree, you are almost guaranteed a higher salary and you become much more desirable to employers. And, by choosing to earn this degree online, you don’t have to sacrifice your job to go back to school. If you are still on the fence about pursuing your master of divinity, take some time to think about what you want to do and the best way to do it. If helping people through religion is the first thing you think of, a master of divinity is definitely right for you.