Religious Studies

Are you fascinated by the different religions of the world and how they have come to shape human societies throughout history? Do you want to study the diversity of human beliefs and the role religion has played in helping humans understand different aspects of spirituality and the concepts of life and death? Studying Religious Studies at York will expose you to these very questions as you develop cognizance of how different societies have embraced different religions in the search for some of life’s most basic and most complex questions. You will take advantage of small class sizes, the possibility of studying abroad and a multidisciplinary academic approach to examining how and why religion has played such a fundamental role in humanity’s collective history.

Career Options in Religious Studies

This list is not exhaustive but provides an idea of the options graduates have and what they have gone on to do. Some options are more directly associated with a Religious Studies degree than others.

  • Activist
  • Administrative Coordinator
  • Author
  • Charity Coordinator
  • Child & Youth Worker
  • Clergyperson
  • Community Center Director
  • Community Developer
  • Diplomat
  • Entrepreneur
  • Foreign Service Worker
  • Historian
  • Human Rights Advocate
  • International Aid Worker
  • Journalist
  • Lawyer
  • Legal Aide
  • Lobbyist
  • Media Correspondent
  • Mediator
  • Minister
  • Missionary
  • Museum Curator
  • Non-Profit Administrator
  • Political Consultant
  • Public Policy Advisor
  • Religious Rights Advocate
  • Researcher
  • Social Service Worker
  • Social Worker
  • Teacher
  • Victim’s Advocate
  • Writer

Some of these career choices may require additional education or preparation in the form of graduate studies, experiential education or professional formative courses and exams. For a more in-depth description of some of the careers mentioned above visit Career Cruising (login information can be found on the home page of the Career Centre's online system) or the National Occupational Classification website.

Skills Developed through a Religious Studies Degree

A background in Religious Studies ensures that you develop the skills and mindset to tackle many different professional challenges.

Core Skills

  • A deep appreciation and understanding of the importance and formative nature of religion, worship and belief in the development of the world we recognize today
  • Focused knowledge of one or more of the world’s religions, whether that focus be on Western or Near Eastern religions
  • Ability to use various analytic methods to explore our rich religious traditions and inheritances
  • A capability to analyze sophisticated religious texts, interpret them and dissect their meanings

Communication, Data Gathering and Organizational Skills

  • The ability to present your thoughts clearly and intelligently in written statements and written opinion pieces
  • Deduction of information from various sources and the ability to concentrate on relevant resources
  • The capacity to critically analyze problems, think creatively and make sound decisions while considering different sides of an argument
  • The ability to explain complex ideas clearly to others and to apply complex theoretical concepts to everyday practice and professional dilemmas
  • The skills to collect various types of information, assess them, analyze and incorporate potential linkages from different fields, put them into writing and efficiently convey your message and the goal of your work

Management and Teamwork

  • The ability to interpret and analyze information presented by peers and efficiently and constructively support or challenge their proposals, theories, ideas and reports in order to achieve a project’s intended and successful end result
  • The capacity to lead and interact with a variety of people with different approaches and personal and professional backgrounds
  • Skills enabling you to work effectively in group situations, partaking in decision-making, leading and contributing in various capacities to the ultimate success of the team and task
  • The ability to debate, persuade, mediate and present your thoughts and opinions to others, as well as the capacity to recognize and incorporate other potential solutions or applications to given problems

Professional Associations and Organizations

Knowing the industry and how to excel in it after receiving a degree are key elements of future success. University study sets up the building blocks you will need to develop and enhance your understanding and knowledge in your career. Being part of a professional organization or network and gaining further insight through training are excellent ways of increasing your knowledge of the field.