Postgraduate Courses in Theology

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Information About Postgraduate Courses in Theology?

The study of Theology as a postgraduate opens up a number of interesting avenues for further study, as well as a fairly wide range of job options. Not all people who study theology end up in a job role that leans towards religious services. Many theology students go on to teach or even lecture.

Postgraduate Courses in Theology Trends

Theology falls under the main heading of social studies. In 2015-2016 in Ireland, almost 300 students took a postgraduate course in social studies, including theology. This made social studies the 8th most popular subject for postgraduate students in Ireland in 2015-2016.

Research Subjects for Postgraduate Courses in Theology

The actual research subjects that are offered to you and the eventual thesis you will prepare depends on which specialisations are available within your specific curriculum. However, typical research subjects could be:

  • Religion and politics – how religion and politics are intertwined, and the interaction between them.
  • The construction of religion as a modern category – research into discovering how religion can become more modern and applicable to the age.
  • Religion and technology – how technology has enabled religion to extend its reach and deliver its message across new channels.
  • Mysticism and spirituality – how religion is often the basis for mystic and spiritualist paths.
  • Religion and identity – how belief can shape a person, defining many of their
    characteristics.
  • Scripts, scriptures, and textual analysis – research and analysis of ancient religious documents.
  • Applied theology and theory of religion – research into how theology and religion can have a tangible value.

Specialisations in Postgraduate Courses in Theology

Many people who decide to study Theology at postgraduate level, do so by taking a course specialised in a single aspect of Theology. Typical specialisations that would have relevant specialised courses are:

  • Church and theology – a specialisation that looks at how religion is often intertwined with its particular church doctrine.
  • Systematic theology – a specialisation which searches for insights with religion that combined into a whole.
  • Biblical studies – a specialisation which focuses solely on the study of the Bible (or some other religious book).
  • History of Christianity – a specialisation looking into the history of Christianity (or some other religion).

Studying Postgraduate Courses in Theology for Professional Reasons

The study of theology at a postgraduate level does not necessarily have to lead to a career in some type of religious role. Theology has some overlap with other social sciences and can be an alternative route to a teaching career for example.

Job Roles Which Completing Postgraduate Courses in Theology Will Potentially Open Up

Studying towards a postgraduate qualification in Theology will see a wide range of potential career options open up, either immediately, or after further study or when some work experience has been gained. The following jobs all have theology as an underlying requirement for example:

  • Minister – working as a modern-day priest either in a place of worship or as a roving minister.
  • Religious school teacher – teaching either infants or older children about either a particular religion or about religion in general.
  • Missionary – working in remote locations, spreading religion to indigenous peoples.

In Conclusion

Studying for a postgraduate qualification in Theology shows that the student has an inquiring mind, able to analyse facts and form intelligent conclusions. It also shows that the student values religion and religious practices. Although theology has a fairly narrow footprint when it comes to career options, those it does open up are quite diverse.


Mac Wheeler

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