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Why study Religion

The study of religion gives students tools to understand themselves, one another, and the world. The American Academy of Religion has expressed the aims of studying religion as follows:

The aim of studying religion is to understand others in global contexts, participate constructively in civic life, work collaboratively with diverse people, lead meaningful ethical lives, and develop self-reflection skills

American Academy of Religion - Religious Literacy Guidelines

Communication and Leadership Skills

Classes in Religion provide students with the opportunity to develop critical personal and professional skills:

  • Thinking and communication skills: Classes typically emphasize proficiency in discussion and writing, helping students to develop their own informed thoughts and to express these with nuance and clarity. These “soft communication skills” are important for interpersonal relationships, and are also highly sought after by employers.
  • Leadership skills: Our classes typically emphasize the ability to understand someone else’s perspective, as students are introduced to a variety of worldviews. In this way we foster the leadership skills of being able to understand and collaborate with others. Our aim is for our students to grow as future leaders, being able, for example, to lead diverse teams, to help patients from a variety of backgrounds, or to work with clients across the globe.


“As the job market changes, the leaders of tomorrow will be expected to deliver on broader and more complex measures of success—trends that play to humanists’ strengths. Research is revealing that the most effective leaders are those who activate workers’ intrinsic motivation by persuading them of the inherent meaningfulness of the work they do. Future leaders will also need to embrace ambiguity and complexity, navigate complex ethical challenges, and effectively communicate across cultures—all skills taught in humanities classrooms.”

Study the Humanities Toolkit, by the National Humanities Alliance

  • Religion is a humanities subject, which means that graduates seek employment in a wide variety of occupations. Respondents to the 2018 American Community Survey indicated that humanities graduates have similar employment rates as graduates from other areas, such as the sciences, math, and engineering. The reported unemployment rate for all degree holders was 2.17%, compared to 2.13% for humanities degree holders (Explore the Humanities Toolkit, by the National Humanities Alliance). 
  • Religion graduates may be interested in applying for jobs in nonprofit organizations, the education field, the healthcare field, community services or international humanitarian work. Some use their skills in business or public relations, and others go into arts and design, media, or journalism. A Religion Major also provides a strong foundation for applying to graduate study in a humanities discipline (or in related fields such as law or international affairs).

To discuss different career paths available to a student with a Religion major, schedule a meeting with Kyle Poe, who is the Career Consultant for the Humanities departments in the Franklin College of Arts & Sciences. You can contact him by email at or via phone at 706-542-3375. Also, keep up with the UGA Career Center ( to stay aware of events, upcoming opportunities, and resources.

Benefits for life

Classes in Religion stimulate intellectual curiosity. We deal with big questions. We study how people in different times and places have addressed some of life’s complex challenges, such as the problem of finding meaning, or the problem of death, or the problem of living together. We discuss how religion has had a variety of effects in the world – some violent and some peaceful, some simple and some complicated. Students who take religion classes often find it rewarding to have the chance to study these issues in depth. They bring with them, long after they graduate, a richer understanding of life.


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