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A theology degree offers an opportunity to deepen your understanding of religious traditions and the impact that they have had, and continue to have, on the world in which we live today. The program focuses on the development of theological beliefs and practices across different religions, with special emphasis on Christianity and western civilisation. Theology is a liberal arts degree and is open to all, irrespective of beliefs or religious or non-religious background. Only a small number of universities in Australia offer theology as a degree program in its own right. It provides a vital space for critical dialogue in today’s multi-religious societies.
Graduates in Theology are valued in the workforce for their written and verbal communication skills, their breadth of vision, their capacity for abstract reasoning, their historical and cultural sensitivity, as well as their ability to think critically and solve problems creatively. Graduates find employment in a range of sectors including:
• Public service administration
• Religious ministry
• Community and welfare
• Media and publishing
• Political advisory work
The Anglican Diocese of Newcastle expects its ordinands to complete this degree as their formal educational qualification, concurrently with vocational ministry training.
For more information about Theology, visit the School of Humanities and Social Sciences site.
Further Study Options
Some occupations require a higher level of completed study than an undergraduate degree, and for this reason it is worthwhile considering the range of Honours, Research Higher Degrees (RHD), Postgraduate Coursework programs and additional study options available. These options may also be useful for specialising in a particular area, or to stimulate career change. Some of the future options following a degree in Theology include:
Post Graduate Study:
As the global job sector can be competitive, it is of great advantage to complete a postgraduate qualification, particularly by independent research (such as Masters by Research, or PhD). See examples of current research topics in this area here.
After completing a degree there are a broad range of postgraduate options available in a variety of fields which can allow you to specialise in a particular area of interest or build upon your existing knowledge base. To explore such options please visit the Postgraduate Handbook at http://www.newcastle.edu.au/campaigns/postgrad/
The following list of jobs provides some examples of the types of work available to Theology graduates. Some of these jobs may require further study or experience.
- Access and Equity Advisor
- Case Worker/Manager
- Chaplain/Pastoral Care Worker
- Church Administrator
- Community Development Worker
- Community Liaison Officer
- Community Project Officer
- Cultural Development Officer
- Diplomat / Foreign Affairs and Trade Officer
- Disability Services Officer
- Education Officer
- Generalist Programs
- Hostel and Refuge Worker
- Immigration Officer
- Intelligence Officer
- Minister/Religious Leader
- Museum/Art Gallery Curator
- Police Officer
- Policy Officer/Analyst
- Political Advisor
- Specialist Classroom Teacher
- Probation/Parole Officer
- Research Officer
- Support Worker
- University Lecturer / Academic
- Welfare Officer
- Youth Minister
- Youth Worker
Getting the Edge
Most employers seek to recruit people who have relevant work experience and an appreciation for their industry. Here is a check list of ideas about gaining experience and industry knowledge.
- Check the type of experience most employers in your field of interest expect. Don’t overlook the part time work you may be currently doing. Most employers understand that the skills are transferrable even if the work is not in their industry.
- Check your academic program for any courses that involve a placement or the opportunity to undertake an industry based project.
- Check your school for Summer Scholarships for research opportunities.
- Check vacancy sites for advertised traineeships, part time employment and vacation work opportunities in your field.
- Source and approach organisations directly about possible work shadowing or information interview opportunities.
- Source and approach organisations directly for paid work opportunities.
- Consider volunteering.
Note: Gaining experience may be important but not at the expense of your studies. Make sure you do not overload your timetable with unrealistic work commitments.
Opportunities for Bachelor of Theology exist in a wide range of ares within small, medium, and large organisations including both religious and non-religious based institutions. Below are some examples of organisations who recruit Bachelor of Theology graduates.
- Anglicare (Australia)
- ANZ (Australia)
- Association of Independent Schools NSW (Australia)
- Attorney Generals Department (Australia)
- AusAID (International)
- Australian Academic Press (Australia)
- Australian Bureau of Statistics (Australia)
- Australian Catholic Schools (Australia)
- Australian Customs Service (Australia)
- Australian Defence Force (International)
- Australian Federal Police (Australia)
- Australian Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission (Australia)
- Australian National Library (Australia)
- Australian Secret Intelligence Service (Australia)
- Australian Universities (Australia)
- Australian War Memorial (Australia)
- Baptist Community Services (Australia)
- Brotherhood of St Laurence (Australia)
- Camp Breakaway (Australia)
- Care Australia (International)
- Centrecare (Australia)
- Centrelink (Australia)
- Coles (Australia)
- Commonwealth Bank of Australia (Australia)
- Council of International Schools (International)
- Department of Education and Training (Teach NSW) (Australia)
- Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations (Australia)
- Department of Education, Science and Training (Australia)
- Department of Families and Community Services (Australia)
- Department of Families, Housing, Communities and Indigenous Affairs (Australia)
- Department of Finance and Administration (Australia)
- Department of Health and Ageing (Australia)
- Department of Immigration and Citizenship (Australia)
- The Ethics Centre of South Australia (Australia)
- Fairfax Media (Australia)
- Hunter New England Health (Australia)
- Masterfoods (Australia)
- National Archives of Australia (Australia)
- National Australia Bank (Australia)
- NSW Department of Health (Australia)
- NSW Department of Juvenile Justice (Australia)
- NSW Fire Brigade (Australia)
- NSW Police Recruitment (Australia)
- NT Association of Independent Schools (Australia)
- Oxfam (International)
- QLD Independent Schools (Australia)
- Red Cross (Australia)
- SA Association of Independent Schools (Australia)
- Salvation Army (Australia)
- The Samaritans (Australia)
- Sanitarium Health Foods (International)
- SBS Television (Australia)
- St James Ethics Centre (Australia)
- St Vincent de Paul (Australia)
- Sydney South West Area Health Service (Australia)
- TAS Independent Schools (Australia)
- UNICEF Australia (International)
- Unilever (International)
- United Nations Development Project (Australia)
- United Nations High Commission for Refugees (International)
- VIC Independent Schools VIC (Australia)
- WA Association of Independent Schools WA (Australia)
- Women's Refuges (Australia)
- YMCA (Australia)
Some large organisations have specific graduate recruitment programs designed to employ the pick of graduates each year. You must be in your final year of study or recently completed to apply for these programs. The timing of these recruitment drives varies and may occur at any point in the academic year, in some cases starting as early as the first few weeks of the first semester or trimester.
Find out if employers in your area/s of interest have graduate programs, when they typically recruit and what recruitment methods they use. Check with the Careers Service .
Job Prospects and Salary
For up-to-date information please see Job Outlook Australia. This site provides basic Australian labour market information including job prospects, skills requirements and salaries. You might try some of the classifications below as a guide on this site.
Societies and Associations
Associations and societies often provide relevant and up to date information about a variety of issues relating to specific industry sectors. These can be a good starting point to learn more about occupations through profiles, industry news, links to academic journals and information on research developments. Many also offer student membership, conference and professional development activities, newsletters and the opportunity to participate in projects.
Don’t overlook student societies and associations. As well as student chapters of professional associations, some faculties or schools have discipline based student associations. Check your school or faculty web site; perhaps you might start one if one doesn’t exist.
Some academic disciplines run Seminar Programs that involve regular seminars presented by University of Newcastle academics, visiting academics and postgraduate students. Check your schools website for the timetable.
Job Search Sites
Searching job sites is a good way to gain an understanding of: industries recruiting professionals in this field; types of roles and the requirements or expectations of employers for these roles. There are many online job search sites, here are a few to start with:
Australian and International
- CareerHub: the University of Newcastle Careers Service careers and job search site for enrolled students and graduates.
- CareerOne: Australia wide job listings, all levels and industries including executive positions
- MyCareer: Australian and international listings
- Seek: comprehensive Australian job listings, also includes New Zealand and UK listings
- The Big Chair: Management and Executive Jobs
Graduate Attributes and Employability
Graduate attributes for the Bachelor of Theology are the skills, abilities and knowledge sets that are highly sought after in the industry. Below is the complete list of attributes that graduates will have demonstrated upon the completion of the degree.
Coursework for this degree will develop graduates with qualities and abilities essential to theological research, practice and education. These are grouped (with some overlap) under 7 Graduate Attribute domains, each of which has a different set of qualities and abilities as a basis for student assessment.
Graduates of the Bachelor of Theology with Honours program will be able to:
- Acquire and critically analyse professional knowledge and theological insights, reflecting a contextualized understanding of advanced approaches to theological studies;
- Integrate interdisciplinary knowledge by articulating an awareness of, and respect for the diversity of perspectives and theoretical, methodological or technical approaches in their field;
- Act ethically and effectively in different social contexts – particularly in conducting theological research and evaluating its potential impact on professional practice;
- Recognise and respond appropriately to social justice issues by developing and critiquing strategies for building community relationships and using appropriate resources or networks;
- Communicate honestly, clearly and sensitively the more complex concepts, issues and findings of theological or related interdisciplinary research. This includes interacting with different communities or groups, and in a range of social and more professional contexts;
- Demonstrate the scholarly skills and self-confidence necessary to conceptualise, research and compose a substantive piece of theological research (thesis), as well as produce coherent extended research essays or creative work at Honours level;
- Work productively and learn effectively in autonomous or collaborative contexts, showing personal integrity and appropriate use of available resources. This incorporates using information technology effectively to acquire, organize and disseminate information.
You will recognise these attributes in the selection criteria listed in the following job ads.
Sample Job Ads & Tips
Job ads provide useful information about the job and the required skills, experience and qualifications. Information like this is useful in career planning. Below is a small sample of job ads with tips on planning and job applications; explore further to gather more useful information for your planning.
Please note, the job ads listed on this page are not current and were sourced from a variety of websites in 2010.