About Biblical Studies for Academic Advisors and Admissions Officers

Studying the Bible as an academic subject, whether in the context of general education, elective courses, or a major or minor, offers distinct advantages. Academic study of the Bible does not require prior knowledge of the Bible nor a religious commitment, but it can help students thrive throughout college and beyond.

Knowledge of the Bible and its history is crucial to understanding the shape of the world today. Given the impact that the Bible has had on areas as diverse as culture, history, literature, the arts, and law, study of the Bible challenges students to engage with both the ancient past and contemporary problems, and to see this text’s continuing relevance. Through biblical studies, students develop informed perspectives on related topics such as politics, public life, and popular culture; the role of the Bible in religious faith and practice; the Bible’s relationship to the study of race, gender, and sexuality; its role in social movements, ethics, and much more.

Biblical studies stands at the crossroads of a modern liberal arts education and is fundamentally interdisciplinary. It. The disciplines it utilizes include: American studies, African and Africana studies, anthropology and archaeology, art history, ethics, ethnic studies, environmental studies, film studies, journalism, languages, linguistics, philosophy, peace and justice studies, politics, pre-law, media, museum studies, music, sociology, theology, women’s, gender and sexuality studies, and writing. Many students from the humanities, arts, and the social and natural sciences who take courses in biblical studies find that these introduce new ways of thinking that broaden their perspectives, and contribute to their primary areas of study.

Biblical studies helps students develop skills that are well coveted by employers and graduate and professional schools, including cultural and religious literacy, global awareness, critical thinking, and strong reading, writing, and oral presentation skills. The interdisciplinary nature of biblical studies teaches students how to synthesize multiple forms of information, conduct complex analysis, and solve problems. The academic study of the Bible also cultivates the ability to think historically, to identify and assess competing perspectives, to apply cultural and religious literacy to real world issues.

Biblical Studies, Jobs, and Careers

In today’s fast-changing world, employers are looking for college graduates who are adaptable and ready to meet the challenges of a globally interconnected society. Courses in biblical studies help students develop many of the top ten skills employers are seeking, including excellent written and verbal expression, the ability to work through complex information and problems, an understanding of global contexts, a strong sense of ethics and values, and more. The broad skills taught in biblical studies offer students the flexibility needed for employment in a wide variety of diverse jobs throughout their career.

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The short and long-term outlook for majors in the humanities, including biblical studies, is excellent, due to depth and breadth of their training and the intellectual flexibility it helps cultivate.

Students graduating with humanities degrees not only find well-paying jobs after college, they are working in positions in which they are satisfied and thriving. The long-term outlook for humanities graduates is excellent as well. Studies show that students in the humanities earn good salaries and find ample opportunity for career development and advancement. More than two-thirds of humanities graduates work in the private sector and 60% of American CEOs have humanities degrees. In short, humanities degrees and courses in areas like biblical studies prepare students for a range of areas in the public and private sectors, including not-for-profit work and business. Humanities degrees also prepare students for graduate and professional schools such as medicine, law, and business.

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