Questions regarding MA in Theology (Religion and Culture specification)

Hello all,

I’m interested in going back to grad school. I received a BA in Spanish in '07 without bothering to see what jobs would be available for someone with such a degree. Turns out it’s all elementary education and social service work, neither of which interests me in the slightest (oops).

I majored in Spanish mainly because I’ve always been in interested in culture, especially as it intersects with religion. My ideal job would be something akin to George Weigel’s, who gets paid to write and speak on this subject. To this end, I thought about going back to school for international relations with a focus on religion in politics, but I’m quickly realizing that though my grades are okay (I graduated cum laude and got a very good score on the GRE) my degree (Spanish instead of something more concrete, particularly political science) and resume since college (a string of part-time jobs with kids) isn’t going to be up to snuff for these elite schools that I’m applying for. (I could apply to lesser schools, but everything I’ve read about IR emphasizes the importance of “name-brand” schools in getting jobs.)

That has me thinking that maybe I should come at it from the other side and try for a theology degree instead. I know Catholic University offers an MA in Religion and Culture, which sounds right up my alley. But I have two concerns:

  1. I got in this mess in the first place because I got my undergrad degree without considering the job possibilities, and am afraid that another degree in a “mushy” subject like theology would just be asking history to repeat itself. Some job on the book/lecture circuit or in a think tank somewhere would be amazing, but is that really a realistic goal?

And 2) Is there any good reason to expect in applying to these theology programs that I wouldn’t run into the same problems with my resume and the tenuous connection (at best) between my previous degree and my proposed field of study? I assume not, simply because theology isn’t nearly as cutthroat a field as IR, but I’ve learned enough at this point to know that I can’t assume anything.

Anybody have any experience that might speak to these questions? Any feedback would be much appreciated.

Many jobs don’t care what your degree is in as long as you have one- and if you have a Master’s degree, you look more impressive to potential employers- whatever that degree is in. Even if you don’t use it for your job, you can use it to serve the Church and evangelize.

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