Catholic Theology Careers

  • The Priesthood
  • Religious Life
  • Catholic Schools
  • Non-Profit Careers
  • Healthcare

Most students considering a Catholic Theology degree find themselves wondering how their studies will translate into a career. Many graduates pursue full-time immersion into the church through priesthood or religious life. Those aren’t the only options. Many employers want ethical workers with Catholic values. Here are five different career options to pursue with a degree in Catholic Theology or Catholic Studies.

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1. The Priesthood

One of the most logical ways to make daily use of a degree in Catholic theology is to become an ordained Catholic minister. This is a long process that requires at least one year of discernment and studies at a seminary. Candidates for the priesthood must have a strong educational grounding in philosophy and theology; a Catholic studies degree provides that background. What about female graduates who want a closer relationship with God? That’s where religious life comes in.

2. Religious Life

Women can do religious work in community organizing, public health, environmental protection and K-12 and college education. Very few women religious communities practice cloistering, or withdrawing from the world and becoming self-sufficient. Unlike earlier years, religious communities aren’t willing to accept anyone into their ranks. To pass through the multiple years of initiation, women need a commitment to service and an understanding of the Catholic faith. They also need to bring skills to the table; a bachelor’s degree in Catholic Theology lets women pursue many religious career paths.

3. Catholic Schools

Catholic school systems have long offered quality education focused on college preparation and civic values. According to the Wall Street Journal, new research has shown that Catholic school students have more self-discipline and control than their counterparts in other school systems. Despite these positive outcomes, Catholic schools often struggle to attract qualified staff. Teachers must model Catholic virtues and behavior as well as teach in the classroom. A Catholic Studies degree demonstrates a commitment to Catholic values and is an excellent preparation for teaching in an elementary school. For middle or high school careers, students should consider a master’s degree in education or a second bachelor’s degree in an academic study.

4. Non-Profit Careers

According to Forbes, Catholic Charities USA is the ninth-largest non-profit organization in the United States. That’s a lot of potential jobs for Catholic Theology graduates. Catholic Charities USA needs administrators, managers and community organizers who understand Catholic values and can live them every day. This national charity has centers in almost every major U.S. city. Most of the work centers around refugee resettlement, political advocacy to advance Catholic values, and community services like food banks and low-cost health care clinics.

5. Healthcare

A common job for Catholic Theology graduates is healthcare. Because Catholic universities offer a high-quality education in a supportive community, dedicated students can master course concepts and score well on entrance exams like the MCAT or DAT. Many graduates take their bachelor’s degree in Catholic Studies and add a Doctor of Medicine (MD), Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS) or Master’s of Science in Nursing (MSN) degree.

A Catholic Theology degree not only deepens students’ relationship with God; it also enhances their career options.