About Biblical Studies for Faculty, Department Chairs, and Deans

Why encourage students to study the Bible as an academic subject? Whether they are satisfying general education requirements, committing to a major or minor, or taking electives out of curiosity, students benefit in multiple ways from biblical studies courses. Requiring neither prior knowledge of the Bible nor a religious commitment, academic study of the Bible helps students develop the skills and knowledge they need to thrive in college and after graduation.

In societies around the world, the Bible has had a broad impact, playing an important role in shaping culture, history, literature, the arts, and law. Academic study of the Bible bridges investigation of the ancient past and reasoned debate of contemporary issues.
Undergraduate courses in biblical studies address questions related to:

  • Politics, public life, and popular culture
  • Religious faith, practice, and spirituality
  • Race, gender, and sexuality
  • Social movements, ethics, and meaning making

Academic study of the Bible is fundamentally interdisciplinary, standing at the crossroads of today’s liberal arts education.

Students majoring in the social and natural sciences, business and other pre-professional programs, the arts, and other disciplines in the humanities who enroll in biblical studies courses will encounter new ways of thinking that complement their main areas of study.

Biblical studies helps students develop multiple competencies that employers and graduate and professional schools seek, including cultural and religious literacy, global awareness, critical thinking, and strong reading, writing and oral presentation skills. The interdisciplinary nature of academic study of the Bible leads students to acquire essential skills needed to synthesize multiple forms of information, conduct complex analysis, and to solve problems. Such skills include the ability to think historically, to identify and assess competing perspectives, to apply cultural and religious literacy to real world issues, and to recognize and analyze the relationship between texts, traditions, communities, and social change.

Biblical Studies, Jobs, and Careers

Prizing the ability to think creatively and rigorously over possession of a narrow skill set, employers seek to hire college graduates equipped to think differently about the challenges of global society in the 21st century. Biblical studies courses help students cultivate the flexibility necessary to succeed in employment markets that will continue to evolve throughout their careers.

Academic study of the Bible helps students cultivate the capabilities most desired by prospective employers, including excellent written and verbal expression, the ability to work through complex information and problems, an understanding of global contexts, cultural sensitivity, and a strong sense of ethics and values.

It Takes More than a Major: Employer Priorities for College Learning and Student Success

Did you know that 60% of American CEOs have humanities degrees? 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 this work helps to cultivate. 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. In short, humanities degrees and courses in areas like biblical studies could help prepare you for a range of jobs in the public and private sectors, including not-for-profit work and business. Humanities degrees could also prepare you for graduate and professional schools in fields such as medicine, law, and business.

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