Religious Studies

The College of Liberal Arts & Sciences offers a BA and a BGS, as well as a Graduate Certificate and a MA in Religious Studies. The academic study of religion acquaints the student with religion as an important phenomenon of human experience, examines the forms in which religious experience has been described, organized, and practiced in history and in varying cultures, analyzes the interaction of religion with social institutions and areas of personal and group experience, focuses on religion as expressions of meanings and values in the context of what is perceived as the ultimate, and introduces the student to the methods appropriate to the objective study of religion.

Religious Studies Department Website

Sample of Related Skills

  • Demonstrate basic knowledge of the history, beliefs, practices, and values of the major western and non-western religious traditions  
  • Apply a variety of methodological approaches to the study of religions and incorporate in research and writing  
  • Delineate how scholars have variously defined Religion and its key components, evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of those definitions, and discuss the methodologies arising from the definitions  
  • Analyze how a religion’s components interact with the culture to which it belongs, explaining how it shapes and is shaped by the surrounding society 
  • Use standard, neutral scholarly terminology in describing and analyzing religions; this includes being able to speak and write about religions neutrally, without prescription or prejudice, advocacy or polemics  

Popular Career Paths

Clergy/Religious Leadership: Includes directing or coordinating faith-based community activities and/or conducting spiritual functions associated with the beliefs and customs of a particular faith or denomination; may require additional education/credentials.

Post-secondary Education: Involves the teaching of college-level courses in religious/cultural studies or leading faith-based campus groups or ministries; may require additional education/credentials.

Research & Data Analysis: Includes the study of religious customs and behaviors related to various social, political, and business activities; study the way religious groups interact, track changes over time, and analyze the way certain beliefs or activities influence a culture.

Social & Human Services: Involves working with community organizations and/or social service agencies to seek out and connect clients with the information, materials, and resources they need to cope with and overcome challenges in their lives.

International Development: Works with US government agencies and non-profit organizations to develop and advocate for religious, economic, political, and social quality-of-life issues on behalf of those living abroad and those immigrating to the US. 

Explore More Career Paths

  • American Academy of Religion - A large membership organization of Religious Studies and academically oriented religious professionals in North America. 
  • Belief Net - A large spiritual e-community with information and resources on various religions and networking opportunities. 
  • Kansas City Interfaith Council - A local interfaith council promoting respect and trust to all faiths and traditions in the Kansas City community. 
  • Religion Facts - Facts and definitions about a variety of religions. 
  • Study Religion - A site designed for students considering a major in religious studies. 
  • The United Religions Initiative - Promotes interfaith cooperation and compassionate action to end religiously motivated violence and to create cultures of peace, justice and healing for all; site includes a list of related services and organizations. 

Jobs to Consider

Places to Seek Employment

  • Correctional Institutions
  • Educational Institutions
  • Faith-based Organizations
  • Federal, State & Local Government
  • For-profit Corporations
  • Hospitals
  • Non-Profit Agencies
  • Peace Corps and AmeriCorps
  • Residential Care Facilities
  • Retirement Communities

Job and Internship Search Resources

Career Exploration Hub

Employment Strategies

  1. Identify areas of interest related to your major so you can focus your academics and experiences towards these fields. 
  2. Gain direct experience within the areas that interest you most through research projects, independent studies, internshipspart-time jobsstudent organization involvement, or volunteering
  3. Register for Hire Jayhawks and subscribe to the Internship Newsletter to receive automated weekly emails with specific internship information. 
  4. Consider joining a professional organization related to your area of interest, and, if possible, attend local and/or regional conferences to make connections with professionals working in your field. 
  5. Practice interviewing on your own or by conducting a mock interview at the University Career Center. 
  6. Develop your resume and tailor it to your area(s) of interest.
  7. Earn a minor or take additional coursework outside your major when relevant to your career goals. 
  8. Complete an independent study to gain advanced research skills. 
  9. Maintain a strong GPA if you are considering pursuing graduate or professional school. 
  10. Consider getting involved with a student organization at KU related to your area of interest.