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Philosophy of Religion Degree

Students often wonder about the practical aspects of the study of philosophy and religion. They want to know how their education will help them find a job. They are also curious to find out about different fields they can enter after getting a philosophy of religion degree. Not many people know that the study of philosophy has a wide range of practical applications. This is because it develops a number of important skills that are needed in many fields. Besides, philosophy of religion prepares students for graduate study in a variety of disciplines.

Philosophy and religion degrees are very useful for students who wish to develop and hone their analytical and writing skills. With the help of a philosophy of religion degree, students acquire awareness about their own self and also try to understand the world around them. They are given the opportunity to explore the principles underlying existence and identify the basic human concerns. Students pursuing a degree in philosophy of religion gain many valuable skills. They acquire the ability to reason clearly, extract key information, develop logical arguments, solve problems, and communicate in a persuasive way.

What degrees are available in philosophy of religion?

Although, you can find short courses and diplomas in philosophy of religion, the three major degree programs offered in the field are as follows.

Bachelor’s Degree

With the bachelor’s degree in philosophy of religion, you will get the opportunity to understand and reflect on different religions of the world. You will study world religions in an objective and critical way. Although, the degree emphasizes on studying and analyzing different religions, students also develop an understanding about the nature of religion and its practical application in people’s individual and social lives. The degree also develops the ability to compare and contrast religions and find out the differences and similarities among them. Besides, students understand different influences of religion in terms of social, cultural, and historical contexts. Students may select other majors and minors with religious studies that complement their education, such as business, natural sciences, or education. Although, the coursework for the degree differs depending on the schools, some of the major courses offered in the bachelor’s degree include introduction to world religions, social dimensions of religion, introduction to the Bible, introduction to Judaism, introduction to Islam, history of Christianity, Christianity and science, Buddhism, religious traditions of India, and women and religion.

Master’s Degree

With the master’s degree in philosophy of religion, you will acquire an in-depth knowledge of religious phenomena and religious traditions. You will be able to study the religions from an interdisciplinary perspective and draw comparisons between different religions. From the master’s degree, students are expected to get a thorough understanding of the different approaches used to study religions. The degree is generally designed in a way that a broad range of students can benefit from it. Students who are working in areas such as education, social services, development, and non-profit organizations can greatly benefit from the knowledge and skills offered in the degree. Plus, the degree is also for those students who wish to acquire a doctoral degree in religion. Normally, the master’s degree offers two options to students; thesis or non-thesis degree. A thesis degree is generally more useful for students who wish to pursue a doctoral degree in future. Admission requirements for the degree may vary, depending on the institute; however, some of the major requirements include prior degree in religion and a respectable undergraduate GPA.

PhD Degree

The PhD degree in philosophy of religion is a research oriented and scholarly degree which is designed for students who wish to carry out in-depth research. It is also for those students who want to become post-secondary educators. With the PhD degree, students will gain an understanding of how religion is connected to culture, society, and politics.  Doctorate students often select a particular religion as their area of study such as Judaism, Christianity, Buddhism, or Islam. Students are often required to study different languages in order to understand the religious texts and ancient documents. As teaching is a commonly pursued profession after the PhD degree, the program normally includes pedagogical training and teaching opportunities. Applicants for the degree need to at least have a bachelor’s degree, although not all institutes require you to have studied religion at the undergraduate level.  Doctorate program require students to do a lot of writing, therefore admission requirements often include writing samples that indicate the critical thinking and writing skills of applicants. Major courses offered in the degree program include religious studies education, foundations of Christianity, history of Judaism, Islamic religious traditions, religion in American history, and New Testament analysis.

Online Programs

A number of online degree programs are also available in the philosophy of religion. Working professionals and students who cannot afford to study in an on-campus program can acquire a degree with the help of online programs. Although, a variety of online programs are available for students, not all programs offer quality education. In order to acquire quality education, you would need to make sure that you select an accredited program. An accredited online program is recognized by accrediting agencies, which ensure that the program meets quality standards. Besides, online programs can help you make the most out of your time and resources. You generally do not need to travel, buy books, and pay high tuition costs to get an online degree. In order to select the right online school, you may consider the following:

  • Qualifications of faculty
  • Coursework
  • Electives
  • Feedback of alumni
  • Overall repute of the school

If you have done your homework before enrolling in an online program, you can save both time and money, and acquire a high standard education.


Students who study philosophy of religion choose a variety of careers. They may join the field of social work, law, medicine, environmental protection, computer science, journalism, human rights, communication, business, government, education, and applied ethics. Besides, they may choose a career in the ministry. The wide applications of the field enable students to work successfully in many areas and have strong decision making and critical thinking skills to grow in their respective professions


Frequently Asked Question(s)

Q:What are philosophy of religion programs all about?

A:Philosophy of religion programs are designed to introduce students to the reasons and rationalities of different religious dimensions. Students will learn about the methods of religious studies, ethics and ideas of history, religious traditions, phenomenology of religion, and theological concepts. These programs can be pursued at graduate, undergraduate, and post-graduate level.

Q:What is taught in philosophy of religion courses?

A:Philosophy of religion courses covers a varied set of topics. One of the most fundamental areas is the concept of God. Discussions on the theistic concept of God as a being who is personal, transcendent, omnipotent, eternal and perfectly free are a part of this course, along with the philosophical issues each of these traits raise. Arguments for and against the existence of God, the rationality factor and emotions in religion all form a part of philosophy of religion courses.

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