In essence, divinity is a study that centers around Christian ideals, ministry and theology. This degree type can lead into a variety of careers. When attending a university or college that offers divinity as a degree type, the three degrees commonly available to choose from include Bachelor of Divinity, Master of Divinity and Doctor of Divinity. The following will provide an in-depth look at the many types of divinity degrees available to you, as well as the career paths that are open to those that graduate with a divinity degree.
Types of Divinity Degrees
When it comes to standard Christian theology degrees, there are a plethora available to select from, such as Bachelor of Canon Law, Bachelor of Theology and Master of Ministry, among many others. However, when talking specifically about a divinity degree, there are three types available, including a Bachelor of Divinity, Master of Divinity and Doctor of Divinity. The Bachelor of Divinity used to be much more popular and was routinely handed out as the standard Divinity degree by a wide range of universities and colleges, Christian or otherwise. Today, this degree is typically thought of as a simple Bachelor of Arts with a specialization in divinity and is used as a means of gaining acceptance into the graduate program equivalent, which happens to be Master of Divinity. The reason that Bachelor of Divinity is used as a degree meant to lead into earning a Master of Divinity is due to the fact that many denominations in the Christian faith require 7-8 years of study in Divinity or other theological subjects in order to become ordained, which these degrees are primarily used for.
For those that want to continue study after having graduated with a Bachelor of Divinity, a Master of Divinity is the next step to take. When attending any college or university, it’s important that you make sure that the divinity program you’re taking has been accredited by the Association of Theological Schools in the United States and Canada. While divinity degrees can differ a bit in the subjects they cover and the amount of class hours that are required in order to graduate, they usually involve both classroom and field study, as well as helping students to gain the pastoral and spiritual knowledge that is necessary in many of the career paths that are offered to those that graduate with a Master of Divinity. The amount of semester hours attributed to this degree is especially long, usually numbering at an average of 90, in comparison to the standard 40 for most other Master’s degrees.
It’s also important to note that when taking this degree at a Christian college or university, it will primarily center around the Christian religion, while only touching upon other religions. A Master of Divinity at secular colleges tends to provide learning in a wide variety of faiths. The reason that Master of Divinity is commonly used for those looking to become ordained is because the degree type differs from those of Master of Theological Studies and Master of Arts in Theology due to the fact that it covers practical and pastoral classes, both of which aren’t usually covered in any other degree aside from a divinity degree. Through all of these degree types, the education you receive will make you learned in all of the Christian traditions that are necessary to know in order to earn a job or vocation within the ministry. You will also learn about language that is specific to the Christian scriptures that will help whenever faced with job duties that require the usage of that language either as a minister or simply in scholarly pursuits related to Christian teachings and theology.
In regards to the Doctor of Divinity degree that can be earned, it is not a requirement for any career. However, it can be earned as a means of bolstering a resume and simply becoming more studied in divinity. At least in America, a Doctor of Divinity is more so a degree to signify the ministry-related accomplishments and is given primarily as an honorary degree. It’s only really in the UK that a Doctor of Divinity is seen as the next step up from a Master of Divinity. As such, a Master of Divinity is the highest degree necessary in order to become an ordained minister at any denomination.
Career Paths Available With a Divinity Degree
The great thing about receiving any type of degree in Divinity is that it opens up a wide range of unique career paths that are now a possibility for you. Obviously, the most common of these is a career as an ordained minister in any sort of denomination. As mentioned previously, this will usually require a Master of Divinity, at least for most denominations. If you have great organizational skills and have earned a degree in divinity, then you might consider a career as a church manager, which requires of you to coordinate events and activities related to the church for both the staff and members of the church. Though this doesn’t require a Master of Divinity degree, a career in metropolitan or disaster ministries can often present itself to those that want to help others that have fallen under bad times. A Master of Divinity can help you gain a role as a manager of director for these ministries.
You might also think about becoming a military chaplain, which is opened up by receiving a Bachelor of Divinity or Master of Divinity. A Master of Divinity will provide the means to become a manager for a missionary outreach program, whether it focuses on evangelism or economic development. A career in the youth ministry can be explored for those with a Bachelor of Divinity or Master of Divinity. Lastly, a divinity degree, specifically a Master of divinity, can help you to gain a career in a number of secular fields as well, such as a camp administrator, a counselor or a public relations advocate.