When it comes to earning a degree from a Christian college, many students want to know about their career and salary prospects. The earning potential for graduates of Christian universities varies about as much as the earnings of graduates of secular schools. The key factors in determining the earning potential for college graduates are career choice, degree type and college ranking. Many of the top-ranked universities in the country are Christian schools, and students can get the full four-year residential college experience at a divinity school or seminary. When comparing the earnings of graduates of Christian schools to that of graduates of secular schools, it’s important to consider how well-matched the student is to his or her educational and career path.
Most students attend Christian colleges because they want to major in divinity, ministry, Christian counseling or a related subject. These occupations can be high-paying, depending on the career trajectory and the dedication of the individual. For a graduate from a top divinity school or seminary, the earning potential could be substantially greater than the salary of a counselor or human services professional with secular education. The earning potential also depends on where a college graduate seeks employment.
According to Payscale.com, Christian counselors can earn up to $93,000 per year, depending on their training and work experience. The average earnings for Christian counselors are about $40,000 per year, so educational and employment background can be very important. The top salary in Christian counseling is almost two and a half times as much as the median salary. A professional Christian counselor with a sincere calling to religious and humanitarian service can expect to excel in this field.
The ranking of a Christian university is one of the most important factors in the salary potential for professionals in the fields of ministry and divinity. Some of the top-ranked divinity schools include Emory University, Davidson College, Brigham Young University and Liberty University. Admission to these schools is competitive, and not all freshmen applicants are accepted for enrollment. To ensure a spot at one of these prestigious universities, students should excel in their high school classes and score highly on their standardized tests. They should also demonstrate sincere devotion to Christian teachings. Public records that indicate bad behavior could reflect negatively on student applicants. If a student submits an application that is rejected, he or she can apply again to the same school after earning credits at another university. In some cases, a student can attend a lower-ranked school as an undergraduate and then enroll in a more prestigious school as a graduate student.
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The degree major and focus make a significant difference in the potential earnings of a graduate from a Christian college. A master’s degree or post-graduate certificate can increase earnings by tens of thousands of dollars per year, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Many of the top Christian schools offer doctoral degrees in divinity, ministry, theology, psychology and counseling. A professional degree in one of these subjects can lead to a lucrative career as a writer, professor or theologian.
Christian universities are popular destinations for students of all ages, backgrounds and experience levels. Anyone interested in a divinity-related career should strongly consider earning a degree from a Christian college.