Philosophy and Religion

While Philosophy and Religion Majors have the opportunity to think deeply, critically, and creatively about the most interesting and important issues in human life, our Major is a practical one as well. Upon graduation UNCP Philosophy and Religion Majors have moved into positions in sales management, customer service management, information technology, pre-school education, secondary education, children’s ministry, youth ministry, campus ministry, church pastoring, and starting a successful church. Others have pursued graduate and professional study—including law school, med school, library science, and seminary--at institutions such as Vanderbilt University, Yale University, Drew University, the University of Florida, the University of Nebraska at Omaha, East Carolina University, the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, North Carolina Central University, East Tennessee State University, Campbell University, and Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary.

            Indeed, studies have concluded that philosophy and religion majors outscored business, international relations, and public administration majors on the LSAT (Law School Admission Test); philosophy majors outscored business and management majors on the GMAT (Graduate Management Admission Test); and philosophy majors had a higher acceptance rate (48%) to medical schools than majors in any of the life sciences! In general, employers of college graduates today say that the primary assets they seek are the abilities to think critically and creatively and to write and speak clearly. Thus the philosophy and religion major is ideal for those interested in pursuing careers in business or in management in the non-profit or public sectors, as well as in many other areas (see below; also https://www.affordablecollegesonline.org/college-resource-center/career-options-for-philosophy-majors).

            Those planning to go on to graduate study in philosophy or religious studies may consult the following: www.apaonline.org/?page=gradguide--American Philosophical Association; or  www.gradschools.com/search-programs/religious-studies.

            Our Department offers six scholarships to qualified Philosophy and Religion Majors.

            The faculty of the Department of Philosophy and Religion have a commitment to student-centered learning using a variety of approaches that encourage interactive engagement. One of its faculty has received the University of North Carolina Board of Governors Award for Teaching Excellence, while another has received the University for Teaching Excellence Award for part-time instructors. All of our faculty are glad to help students with their coursework outside of class. Our tenured faculty have Ph.D.'s from institutions such as Duke University, Vanderbilt University, the University of Chicago, and Princeton Theological Seminary. All of them have published in scholarly journals and several have published multiple books with academic presses like Cambridge University Press, State University of New York Press, and Routledge.

            Of course, apart from its practical side, studying philosophy and religion is fascinating in its own right. More than any other of the academic disciplines, philosophy and religious studies deal with questions about meaning. Philosophy and religious reflection may evaluate the purpose and meaning of other academic disciplines, as well as broader and deeper meanings—even the ultimate meaning—of human life. So philosophy and religion might claim to be the most liberating of all the liberal arts—"liberal" here meaning to advance liberty!

            Religion can be understood as the human attempt to discern overall or ultimate meaning in life, traditionally in light of some divine or sacred reality or realities. Given the expansiveness of the religious quest, it is fitting that the academic discipline of religious studies claims no one method of its own but rather uses diverse disciplines such as literary studies, history, sociology, psychology, cognitive science, and philosophy.

            As for philosophy, any belief, practice, or institution that makes truth or value claims is fair game for its probing. Philosophy analyzes and questions concepts of truth, beauty, and goodness--including ultimate value, as it draws on great thinkers who have pondered these issues over the millennia. This involves discerning and examining the worldviews of different cultures at different times, which like the air we breathe normally remain unnoticed.

            The faculty of the Department of Philosophy and Religion have a commitment to student-centered learning using a variety of approaches that encourage interactive engagement. One of its faculty has received the University of North Carolina Board of Governors Award for Teaching Excellence, while another has received the University for Teaching Excellence Award for part-time instructors. All of our faculty are glad to help students with their coursework outside of class. Our tenured faculty have Ph.D.'s from institutions such as Duke University, Vanderbilt University, the University of Chicago, and Princeton Theological Seminary. All of them have published in scholarly journals and several have published multiple books with academic presses like Cambridge University Press, State University of New York Press, and Routledge.

For more information, contact the Department of Philosophy and Religion at 910.775.4283.

Possible jobs for graduates with a B.A. in Philosophy and Religion

  • Announcer
  • Associate Pastor
  • Author
  • Buyer
  • Business Administrator
  • Chief Executive Officer (CEO)
  • Campus Minister
  • Campus Religious Coordinator
  • Chaplain
  • Church Building Engineer
  • Church Camp Director
  • Church Secretary
  • Claims Adjuster
  • Clergy
  • Columnist
  • Consultant
  • Counselor
  • Credit Analyst
  • Critic
  • Customer Service Representative
  • Denominational Executive
  • Diplomat
  • Director of Religious Education
  • Editorial Assistant
  • Employment Interviewer
  • Financial Consultant
  • Fund-raiser
  • Guidance Counselor
  • Hospital Administrator
  • Insurance Underwriter
  • Journalist
  • Lawyer
  • Lobbyist
  • Management Analyst
  • Marketing Manager
  • Marketing Research Analyst
  • Minister of Music
  • Minister/Youth Minister
  • Missionary
  • News Writer
  • Nursing Home Director
  • Paralegal
  • Pastor
  • Priest
  • Producer/Director
  • Professor
  • Psychologist
  • Public Policy Manager
  • Public Relations Representative
  • Public Service Official
  • Rabbi
  • Religious Bookstore Worker
  • Religious Education Teacher
  • Religious Educational Administrator
  • Religious Researcher
  • Religious Staff Writer
  • Sales Representative
  • Salvation Army Worker
  • Seminary Administrator
  • Social Worker
  • Systems Analyst
  • Technical Writer
  • YMCA/YWCA Worker