What is a B.R.E.?
Often abbreviated to B.R.E., the Bachelor of Religious Education is an increasingly popular degree within religiously and spiritually oriented circles. An undergraduate program, it provides a wide-ranging education in its nominal subject matter, while strongly differing from many more well-established religious educational programs. Unlike the typical Bachelor of Arts degree, under which many religious undergraduate programs are categorized, roughly seventy-five percent of the B.R.E. is based on studies which fall outside the scope of liberal arts.
The Bachelor of Religious Education does couch its subject matter in scripture and theology, and is primarily (though not exclusively) offered by Christian institutions.
The primary focus of a B.R.E. is on learning how to teach and guide students within religious schools and other organizations. Because of its focus on the methods of human instruction, as well as on the developmental psychology of learning (often including strategies for students of various ages, and at different levels of ability) the program is particularly sought-after by Christian individuals who are planning to visit impoverished areas of the world to help provide an education to students in need. The degree is designed to impart strong leadership and educational skills, a basic understanding of human psychology, and historical analysis, typically from a Christian perspective.
Due to its area of focus, and its strong basis outside of the arts, the B.R.E. requires reliable accreditation from respectable organizations. Most frequently, the organization looked to in this capacity is the Association for Biblical Higher Education. Accreditation from the ABHE is widely taken to be the most important point of recognition for a high-quality B.R.E. program, and it ensures the program’s recognition and popularity throughout the Christian community.
The B.R.E. doesn’t come with a lot of prerequisite knowledge, outside of a desire to engage in regular open worship and a willingness to dedicate one’s life to God. Before completing the program, however, a student pursing their Bachelor’s in this capacity will usually be called upon to pursue an internship, typically in a church or other religious organization (such as a religious clinic, a hospital, or a youth outreach program).
Most often, the B.R.E. is sought out by individuals seeking to work in a faith-based capacity at the local level, as rising through the hierarchy of a religious organization often requires more advanced programs, typically leading to graduate studies. Regardless, this translates into varied career opportunities in a faith-based capacity. Pastors and ministers within a variety of organizations carry religious education bachelor’s degrees, and the B.R.E. is also popular with missionaries, and with other individuals traveling abroad in a Christian capacity.
The Bachelor of Religious Education program provides ample preparation for working with religious students. Its popularity with ministers and pastors is due to its inclusive psychology training: the program provides training in how to impart much-needed support and guidance toward individuals who are seeking to improve themselves, in accordance with Christian teachings. The B.R.E. combines traditional doctrine with modern educational models, in order to give students the best of both worlds.
Related Resource: The Top 50 Christian Colleges and Universities