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UNDERGRADUATE
GRADUATE
ACADEMIC RESOURCES
STUDENT SCHOLARS CENTER
INTERNATIONAL EDUCATION

AREAS
LOCAL MINISTRIES

  • Youth Ministries
  • Adult Ministries
  • Leisure Ministries
  • Counseling/Recovery
  • Religious Education
  • Day Care, Children and Adult
  • Missionary Outreach
  • Food Bank/Emergency Ministries
  • Family Life Center Management
  • Journalism
  • Public Relations
  • Television, Radio and Films
  • Publishing
  • Music

EMPLOYERS

  • Local churches, synagogues and mosques
  • Religious organizations
  • Denominational boards

STRATEGIES

  • Get additional training or double major in specialized areas.
  • Obtain certification for specialized areas.
  • Obtain Master's degree in Divinity or counseling.
  • Gain experience by volunteering in local church and campus religious organizations.
  • Obtain an internship at denominational headquarters.
  • Build relationships with local church and denominational leaders.
  • Get experience in communications areas and develop a portfolio.
  • Double major in music; take additional courses in religious music.
  • Get performance experience through campus groups.


AREAS
SOCIAL SERVICES

  • Administration
  • Vocational Training
  • Retail
  • Public Relations
  • Programming
  • Counseling
  • Advocacy
  • Crisis Services (pregnancy, housing, etc.)
  • Financial/Debt Counseling
  • Camp Administration
  • Lobbying

EMPLOYERS

  • Nonprofit organizations including United Way, Red Cross, Goodwill Industries, Salvation Army, etc.
  • Churches, synagogues and mosques
  • Religious hospitals and hospices
  • Correctional institutions
  • Shelters
  • Nursing homes
  • Youth organizations and camps including YMCA, YWCA, Young Life, etc.
  • Adoption agencies/Foster Care
  • Religious political organizations e.g. Moral Majority

STRATEGIES

  • Volunteer with local organizations for experience.
  • May need specialized training/certification for some areas.
  • Obtain excellent interpersonal and oral and written communication skills.
  • Seek summer camp experience and leadership roles, such as director or assistant director. Legal experience and law degree may be required.


AREAS
HEALTH AND WELFARE MINISTRIES

  • Administration
  • Social Services
  • Residential Living
  • Religious Activities Programming
  • Chaplainry
  • Counseling: Mental Health or Pastoral

EMPLOYERS

  • Hospitals
  • Mental health treatment facilities
  • Nursing homes
  • Retirement homes
  • Assisted living homes
  • Children/youth homes

STRATEGIES

  • Double major or minor in Business, Social Work, Human Services or special interest area.
  • Take courses related to special populations.
  • Volunteer time in related organizations.
  • Obtain advanced degrees and certification for counseling and chaplainry. May need ordination for pastoral counseling.


AREAS
CLERGY

  • Buddhist
  • Catholic
  • Jewish
  • Protestant

EMPLOYERS

  • Local churches, synagogues, mosques
  • Religious organizations
  • Denominational boards and agencies
  • Monasteries

STRATEGIES

  • Become involved in related campus activities. Protestant clergy positions require denominational ordination and usually a Master of Divinity.
  • Possess high moral and ethical standards.
  • Develop leadership ability and self discipline.
  • Obtain excellent written and verbal communication skills.


AREAS
CHAPLAINRY

  • Military
  • Institutional

EMPLOYERS

  • All branches of military service
  • Hospitals, hospices
  • Homes for children, youth, senior citizens
  • Correctional institutions
  • Police and fire departments

STRATEGIES

  • Obtain ordination and two years' service in local church.
  • After acceptance into branch of service, attend chaplainry school.


AREAS
MISSIONS

  • Church and Community
  • Development
  • Education
  • Medical
  • Metropolitan Ministries
  • Community Centers
  • Evangelism

EMPLOYERS

  • Denominational boards or agencies
  • Missions boards
  • Local churches
  • Religious institutions
  • Evangelical organizations e.g. Billy Graham Evangelistic Association

STRATEGIES

  • Obtain any needed advanced degrees, certification or licensing for area of interest.
  • Seek related volunteer or work experience.
  • Obtain travel and cultural experience with group of interest. Foreign language skills are a plus.
  • Develop fundraising skills and contacts.

AREAS
EDUCATION

  • Teaching
  • Research
  • Counseling
  • Administration/Staff
  • Chaplainry
  • Religious Life Programming
  • Campus Ministry

EMPLOYERS

  • Religiously affiliated schools
  • Preparatory schools
  • Private, public or religiously affiliated colleges and universities
  • Schools of theology/seminaries
  • Organizations such as Fellowship of Christian Athletes, Campus Crusade for Christ, Muslim Student Association, Hillel Buddhist Monasteries such as Chuang Yen Monastery

STRATEGIES

  • May require certification/licensure to teach.
  • Ph.D. usually required for teaching, research and administration in colleges and universities.
  • Complete Master of Divinity plus additional training for campus ministry.
  • Master of Divinity and Ph.D., D.Min. or Th.D. usually required for teaching, research and administration in seminaries and schools of theology.
  • May require multiple skills such as providing ministerial services as well as administration, teaching, coaching, etc.
  • Become involved in specific campus ministry organizations.
  • Seek leadership positions and internships or summer employment opportunities.


AREAS
BUSINESS

  • Administration/Management
  • Human Resources
  • Building Management
  • Research

EMPLOYERS

  • Local churches, synagogues and mosques
  • Religious bookstores
  • Religious publishers
  • Denominational boards/agencies
  • Seminaries/schools of theology
  • Religiously affiliated schools
  • Denominational hospitals, homes, schools, boards and agencies

STRATEGIES

  • Double major or minor in Business.
  • Get related experience.
  • Dual degree in engineering helpful.
  • Develop research and writing skills.


AREAS
COMMUNICATIONS

  • Writing
  • Editing
  • Publishing
  • Television/Film
  • Radio
  • Advertising
  • Public Relations
  • Sales
  • Commercial Art

EMPLOYERS

  • Denominational boards/agencies
  • Interdenominational organizations
  • Local churches, synagogues and mosques
  • Denominational publishing houses of books and magazines
  • Secular publishing houses
  • Secular radio, television and film industry

STRATEGIES

  • Consider freelance positions. Permanent positions are limited.
  • Take courses in English, social sciences and journalism.
  • Develop excellent writing skills.
  • Submit articles for publication for religious and nonreligious papers and journals.
  • Learn desktop publishing techniques.
  • Obtain specialized technical training such as a double major or minor in Broadcasting.
  • Develop artistic talent.
  • Take courses or double major in Graphic Design/Illustration.
  • Obtain related experience through internships.


AREAS
RELIGIOUS COMMUNITIES

EMPLOYERS

  • Denominational groups including: Roman Catholic (Nuns and Monks), Episcopal, and, Greek Orthodox, Buddhist

STRATEGIES

  • Apply to religious order for admittance.
  • Requires self-discipline.
  • Desire to combine career with life/living arrangements.


GENERAL INFORMATION

  • People interested in religious vs. secular work possess deep faith, want more than filling own personal needs, and want to make a difference.
  • Bachelor's degree provides broad background for careers in many fields including many religious-affiliated organizations.
  • An undergraduate degree prepares students for professional and graduate study in business, law, medicine, counseling, higher education and other fields.
  • Dual majors are required for some specialized areas.
  • Master of Divinity required for most clergy positions, plus denominational ordination.
  • Obtain general knowledge of practices, procedures, guidelines and doctrine of one's faith.
  • Possess understanding of human spiritual and social needs.
  • Ph.D., Th.D. or D.Min. required for college/university/seminary teaching, research and administration.
  • Obtain part-time, summer, internship, volunteer experience in religious institution or bookstore, or other related activity in working with and helping people.
  • Develop counseling and communication skills due to the nature of the field and working with people.
  • May be more opportunities for specific ministries in urban areas and large religious institutions.
  • Obtain experience and contacts through extensive involvement in campus organizations. Leadership on the local, state and regional level is crucial.
  • Obtain camp experience to improve organization and counseling skills as well as network within the denominational/organizational structure.

Prepared by the Career Planning staff of Career Services at The University of Tennessee, Knoxville. (2005) UTK is an EEO/AA/Title VI/Title IX/Section 504/ADA/ADEA Employer

 
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