For the past month or so I have had this strange feeling that I need to learn more about God, Jesus, and His Church. I have no idea what I am supposed to do. After being undeclared last year, I have decided that this year I would major in Media Studies. Unfortunately, I feel as if God is calling me to some higher learning and fulfillment concerning my own faith. I am confused and I have been considering a degree in Theology. Every now and then I do think about the priesthood but it’s definitely in the way back of my mind. I ultimately want to know how to discern God’s will for me.
Follow your intuition. If God has truly called you, he left signs.
You could double major in Media Studies and Theology.
You could major in one and minor in the other.
You could major in Media Studies as an undergraduate and audit some theology courses. Majoring in Theology or Religious Studies at secular universities can be brutal. Auditing might be a good way to test the waters.
Some seminaries require a B.A. in some other field before they will accept you into a given program. Media Studies could be more valuable to advanced theological study than you think–journalists and religious columnists can have a positive impact, and it might help open up a career in religious media for you.
If you have a specific program at a specific school in mind, you might consider contacting a director of admissions. Many seminaries have faculty and staff who specialize in helping prospective students in their journeys of discernment, and professors at your college might have some valuable insight as well.
Alternatively, if you simply feel prompted to learn more, a library card can go a long way (sincerely). If you’re interested, I think you can find course syllabi online (at www.gtu.edu, for example) and get a good idea of what scholars and books you would be paying big tuition bucks to read, and then you can read them for free–it’s a good way to get started while you spend your time and tuition dollars earning a degree that’s more career-friendly.
A book that changed my life was by the well-known (non-Catholic) theologian N.T. Wright, Jesus and the Victory of God; it’s the second in a series of three, and I recommend them as a good place to start. It set me on a path towards the academy. If you want Catholic theologians, Raymond Brown is a good place to start (although he is very conservative) and I particularly respect Francis Moloney (I believe he is a Salesian). And Paul Tillich is pretty good too. I don’t recommend consulting only the Barnes and Noble bookshelf–there is a lot of sketchy popularizing that makes it into media print.
As to determining if God has called you to the priesthood, you should talk with a priest and spend some serious time in prayer. Perhaps inquire about becoming a deacon? Deacons don’t have to be celibate, which is a plus in my book.
Best of luck and prayers for your journey
This is a question better put to a trusted priest than to internet strangers. It may be advisable to try to find a trusted priest who can act as a spiritual director, who you can meet with regularly and he can help you discern a vocation.