10 Ways to Use Your B.A. in Biblical Studies Outside of the Church - Geneva College, a Christian College in Pennsylvania (PA)

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July 10, 2018

10 Ways to Use Your B.A. in Biblical Studies Outside of the Church

Biblical Studies majors often seek ministry-related careers, but there are many other ways to put your bachelor’s degree to wonderful use in service to others. Following are 10 vocation choices for which your Biblical Studies degree provides a solid and sacred scripture-based foundation.

1) Family and Child Social Worker: Ministering to children and families dealing with poverty, homelessness, domestic abuse, or discrimination calls upon your compassionate and unconditionally loving nature. Ensuring that children have the social and psychological support they need to thrive is a large task in the Unites States. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects a 13 percent employment growth rate for social workers between 2016 and 2026. Many of these 42,000+ new positions are caseworker or mental health assistant roles, which typically require only a bachelor's degree, reports U.S. News.

2) Marriage and Family Therapist: If you feel led to work with couples in crisis, the Baby Boom generation needs your help. “Among U.S. adults ages 50 and older, the divorce rate has roughly doubled since the 1990s,” reports Pew Research Center. Combine your faith and knowledge of scripture with a counseling license to help couples move toward reconciliation and a more harmonious, faith-based partnership.

3) Elementary or High School Teacher: 10 percent of all PK through grade 12 students in the United States attended private schools in 2015-2016, according to the Council for American Private Education, and 78 percent of these students attend religiously affiliated schools. Add a teaching certificate to your B.A. in Biblical Studies to play a part in helping youth develop into confident Christian citizens with high self-worth and strong character. Set an example of the importance of prayer, Bible study, and unity in Christian fellowship while integrating biblical principles and the Christian philosophy of education into your curriculum.

4) Guidance Counselor: Be a force for empowerment in the lives of students by supporting them to excel academically, socially, personally, and spiritually while guiding them toward appropriate careers. Guidance Counselors help students grow in self-understanding and self-acceptance so they can reach their fullest potential.

5) Youth Minister: Inspire adolescents and teens to cultivate a personal relationship with God while leading them toward their full potential as Christians. Youth ministry activities include teaching, educating, recruiting, volunteering, outreach, summer Bible studies, and fellowship meetings. In a Crossway piece, Cameron Cole and Jon Nielson advise youth ministers:

“Your daily work is eternally significant and valuable. You are speaking God’s Word into students’ lives at one of the most strategic and malleable points in their development. You are bringing the gospel to bear on their hearts and souls during 'trajectory-setting' years of schooling, growth, and maturity.”

6) Military Chaplain: Be an advocate of religious, moral, and spiritual well-being and resiliency for Service members and their families by serving as a military chaplain. The Department of Defense’s requirements include: endorsement by a qualified religious organization, two years of religious leadership experience, a baccalaureate degree, and a graduate degree in theology or related studies. You must also meet physical standards and other requirements to be a commissioned officer, according to The Gospel Coalition.

7) Digital Marketing Expert: Religious organizations and educational institutions need experienced social media and digital marketing experts to help them get their positive messages out, increase engagement, and encourage enrollment in programs. You might oversee the creation of online content that’s shared through blogs, websites, email campaigns, and social media platforms along with strategizing the most effective marketing campaign tactics.

8) Prison Chaplain: Put your strong faith and empathetic, understanding, and nonjudgmental nature to use as a prison chaplain. In addition to counseling inmates and helping with rehabilitation, you might lead religious services, coordinate programs, and supervise volunteers. Helping inmates sentenced to life in prison, as well as those on death row, come to a place of acceptance and reconnection with their spirituality is an auspicious form of service.

9) Hospital Chaplain: Both patients and their families look to hospital chaplains to provide comfort and spiritual strength in the midst of a health crisis. Chaplains may also offer one-on-one support to hospital staff. “As an integral member of the healthcare team, the chaplain offers insight, assurance, and compassion during the challenging moments in a patient’s life,” says Pennsylvania's Lancaster General Health of their Hospital Chaplains.

10) Workplace Chaplain: In recent years, both small private and large public companies have hired spiritual leaders to serve on their staffs. Workplace chaplaincies ''add value to companies, potentially helping create lower turnover rates, increased levels of focus, and reduction in stress-related illnesses," according to Princeton professor David Miller in a piece for The Atlantic. Workplace chaplains advise staff about personal and professional issues and may even conduct weddings and funerals for employees.

"Due to people not having sufficient social support networks, whether at church, in the family, or community, it has become necessary for the work organization to become the new community," Miller adds.

If you’d like to learn more about professions that enable you to serve wholeheartedly and faithfully in your life’s work or want to learn more about a biblically based, Christ-centered education at Geneva, we’d love to chat with you. For more information on how Geneva College can help you pursue your education goals, please phone us at 855-979-5563 or email web@geneva.edu.