Why study religion online? Studying online is the most convenient way to get a bachelor or masters degree with a Religious Studies major.
Completing a degree in religion develops reading, critical thinking, and writing skills. It also enriches your understanding of society.
Because of its literary nature, Religious Studies is suited to distance learning.
- The study topic can form a major (or minor) part of an online degree in arts.
- Online students can choose units from across different disciplines and faculties.
Studying religion externally prepares you for careers beyond the realm of church and faith. You develop research, analysis and communication skills of general application.
What is Religious Studies?
Religious Studies explores the expression of religion in human culture. As a student, you explore ideas about the divine and the ways religious concepts are expressed in texts, rituals and belief systems. You also examine religious history and figures.
Religious Studies in an academic discipline in which objective, critical analysis is essential.
- It differs from Theology in its objective nature and non-denominational approach.
- Religious Studies is not limited to a single tradition or religion; it encompasses all religions from all cultures and all times.
Religion Studies is relevant to many academic fields, including history, literature, philosophy, anthropology, sociology, psychology, politics, gender studies and the arts.
Studying religion is a pathway to many postgraduate courses, including education, business and law. Religious Studies graduates also enter the workforce as teachers, editors, administrators, writers, counsellors, researchers and ministers.
Bachelor Degree Courses
CSU Bachelor of Islamic Studies
Charles Sturt University’s Bachelor of Islamic Studies has 20 core subjects and 4 electives. It covers Islamic theology, Islamic jurisprudence, spirituality, Qur’anic studies, hadith, history and contemporary issues, and Arabic language. It was developed in response to a growing need for an understanding of the Islamic faith within Australian communities.
UNE BA(Studies in Religion)
The University of New England offers a Studies in Religion major as part of its Bachelor of Arts degree. The online course focuses on the study and comparison of the five great world religions: Hinduism, Judaism, Buddhism, Christianity and Islam. It looks at the diversity of religious experience and expression across all civilisations, ancient and modern, and all racial and ethnic backgrounds.
Online Religion Masters
Postgraduate courses in Religious Studies are popular with students who are interested in entering the clergy or teaching religion.
The advanced study of religion allows students to explore religious topics in greater depth and/or to pursue particular areas of specialisation.
There are few careers where a Masters or PhD in religious studies are vital for getting ahead. The qualifications may be important for teachers and academic scholars. Otherwise, advanced degrees are generally optional.
Students who successfully complete postgraduate degrees in religious studies usually have a passion for the topic. They want to learn as much as possible. They may be on a path to teaching religion or pursuing a vocation related to ministry and pastoral care.
ACU Graduate Certificate in Theological Studies
The Australian Catholic University offers a 4-unit Graduate Certificate in Theological Studies online. Students gain skills in interpreting the Bible and understanding and explaining Christian doctrines and practices. The online course is a pathway to (and gives credit towards) ACU’s Master of Theological Studies. After gaining the Graduate Certificate, the masters program can be completed online or through multi-mode study in Adelaide, Ballarat, Brisbane, Canberra, Melbourne or Sydney. Masters graduates may be able to gain 4-year trained teacher status (requirements vary by state).
CSU Religious Education masters
- Charles Sturt University offers a Master of Islamic Studies by distance education. There is a 2-day supplemental residential school each session. The course is pitched at students interested in academic and teaching fields centred on Islam. It is available to bachelor degree holders from any discipline.
- CSU also offers a Master of Arts with a major in Religious and Values Education. It is designed to provide teachers of religious and values education with a grounding in biblical, philosophical, ethical, and multi-faith disciplines within religious studies.
UNE MA(Studies in Religion)
The University of New England’s Master of Arts degree can be completed with a major in Studies in Religion. Units offered are generally advanced versions of units that go towards a bachelor degree. The course may be good for students who want to teach religion at a secondary level, noting that Religious Studies is one of the most popular HSC subjects.