What is the first thought that comes to mind when you think of “faith-based careers”? Many people picture religious leaders or those who hold other roles within a religious community. However, there are a variety of options for those who are looking to integrate their religious and professional lives. In fact, many professions benefit from hiring individuals with religious background and knowledge, and not just for jobs that are linked directly to a religious organization.
Here, we’ll explore 4 career pathways that can tie together religion and your professional interests.
1. The Arts. Having a deep understanding of religious beliefs, culture and history can be of great benefit to artistic professionals. Understanding the relationship between art and religion is quite valuable to those dedicated to researching, creating, interpreting, and evaluating artistic creation, from music to literature to visual arts to theatre. Consider the following:
- Museum Curator. As a Museum Curator, you would be responsible for overseeing collections. You can expect to curate and organize exhibits, conduct extensive research, maintain records and artifacts, prepare writings, and develop programming. Since religion was and still is a frequently visited theme throughout the history of art, knowledge of religious concepts is quite beneficial to the interpretation of works and coordination of exhibits.
- Publishing. Examples of careers in publishing can include writing, editorial work, design, and marketing, among others. Many publishing companies will typically focus on one or more genres depending on the size and interests of the company. Religious knowledge can provide an advantageous lens when writing, editing, and promoting religious- and historic-related literary content.
2. Counseling. Individuals of all different backgrounds seek counseling services. As a counselor, having knowledge of various experiences, challenges, and belief systems can be beneficial for gaining an understanding of each individual. While not every client will necessarily share the same religious beliefs as you, understanding the role religion can play in a person’s life can provide a greater understanding of a person’s behavior. If your religion does align with that of a client, it can provide an important perspective in dealing with issues and facilitating client growth.
3. Education. Within the K-12 education system, some private schools seek teachers and education professionals who can teach standard subjects of mathematics, science, history, literature, as well as contribute to the religious education of their students. Qualifications for teaching positions with private schools can be different than those of a public institution, but typically require a minimum of a bachelor’s degree. Within higher education, opportunities exist for teaching within religious studies and theology programs. Qualifications for teaching within colleges and universities typically require a minimum of a master’s degree and usually a doctoral degree.
4. Non-Profits. If you are looking for a career that provides a strong sense of community and aligns with your values, employment in the non-profit sector could be the right fit for you. Each non-profit organization (religiously or non-religiously affiliated) has its own unique mission. Whether the focus is on health/mental health, the environment, food accessibility and agriculture, youth programs, education, or another cause, non-profits are an attractive option for those who are looking for a way to give back. Opportunities in non-profit organizations can vary widely, including positions in finance, communication, marketing, IT/technology, leadership, human resources, direct care, and much more.
Whether you are looking to incorporate your religious knowledge and experiences in a small way or if you’d like to pursue direct employment within a religious organization, there are many ways to integrate these aspects of your life into your own unique career path.
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