This page can help you choose the right online associate degree in comparative religion. While each program is different, this guide covers common elements that are present across the field.
The following sections discuss typical courses, admission requirements, and potential career paths. You can also review answers to common questions that prospective students have before selecting a program.
What Are the Best Comparative Religion Programs of 2020? Here Are Our Top Four:
|1||Liberty University||Lynchburg, VA|
|2||Beulah Heights University||Atlanta, GA|
|3||Oakland City University||Oakland City, IN|
|4||Henry Ford College||Dearborn, MI|
Earning an associate degree in comparative religion prepares you for two paths after graduation.
Many students plan to enroll in a bachelor's program after earning their associate degree. By earning a two-year degree at a junior or community college, you can save thousands of dollars on tuition.
Alternatively, many graduates pursue employment immediately after earning their associate degree. This level of education prepares individuals for some entry-level jobs, such as administrative and executive assistants.
- How We Rank Schools
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2020 Best Accredited Online Associate in Comparative Religion Programs
|Lynchburg, VA||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 50%||
Liberty ranks among the nation's top evangelical universities. The university enrolls more than 100,000 students and offers more than 700 graduate, undergraduate, and certificate programs across 15 colleges — on campus and online.
Students interested in earning an online associate degree in comparative religion can pursue Liberty's online associate in religion. The curriculum of this program comprises 60 credits and takes 1.5-2 years to complete. Students may transfer in up to 45 credits towards this degree. However, enrollees must complete at least 15 credits while in residence at Liberty.
Liberty charges online students per-credit tuition rates based on their enrollment status. The university has not increased its tuition rates in five years and offers additional discounts for first responders, military members, and transfer students.
Beulah Heights University
|Atlanta, GA||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 20%||
BHU, which ranks among the nation's oldest Bible colleges, occupies a historic campus in Atlanta, Georgia. The school also oversees an online division. Students can choose from nearly 20 graduate, undergraduate, and certificate programs related to religious studies or business disciplines, including four fully online degree options.
The online AA in religious studies at BHU requires 66 credits. Students complete courses like systematic theology, Old Testament literature, and the life of Christ. Classes last 15 weeks and are delivered in virtual classrooms. BHU designed its online associate in religious studies as a two-year program.
The university accepts applications on a rolling basis throughout the year and admits online students in the fall, spring, and summer. Online learners all pay the same tuition rate, regardless of their state of residence. BHU offers additional financial aid in the form of military funding opportunities and institutional scholarships.
Oakland City University
|Oakland City, IN||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 57%||
Founded in 1885 by General Baptists, OCU operates a main campus in Oakland City, Indiana; additional learning centers across the state; and an online division. Students may choose from more than 50 undergraduate, graduate, and certificate programs delivered on campus and online from a Christian perspective.
The university's AA in Christian studies requires 60 credits of foundational core, Christian studies core, and elective coursework. Topics include introduction to Christian education, church administration, and worship leadership. Students can complete their online associate degree in 24 months.
Graduates qualify to pursue entry-level employment at religious institutions or continue on to pursue a bachelor's degree in theological studies. OCU accepts applications on a rolling basis. Applicants must submit high school transcripts or proof of a GED certificate for admission consideration.
Henry Ford College
|Dearborn, MI||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 6%||
HFC oversees two campuses in Dearborn, Michigan; several regional locations; and an online division. The college enrolls more than 13,000 students — on campus and online — and offers more than 150 certificate and associate programs.
The associate in arts in religious studies at HFC emphasizes a comprehensive understanding of world religions. This 60-credit program spans four consecutive fall and winter terms. Coursework explores topics like Western religions, Eastern religions, the Bible as literature, sacred traditions, and myths and symbols. Students may also opt to explore special topics or complete directed study projects.
HFC offers fully online, 95% online, and hybrid course options, each following the same semester-based schedule. All distance learners must complete an online orientation module before enrolling in their first class.
Online Associate in Comparative Religion Program Overview
While pursuing an online associate degree in comparative religion, you can expect to gain a deeper understanding of different religious beliefs and learn how to apply critical thinking skills when reading sacred texts. Graduates also gain transferable analytical and interpersonal communication skills.
Students meet learning goals by taking general education and major courses. The general education curriculum features coursework in the humanities, natural sciences, and social sciences.
Colleges often allow degree-seekers to choose from a variety of general education electives. A school that offers this academic flexibility enables you to create a custom curriculum. This can also help you meet transfer requirements for a bachelor's program. Read on to learn more about typical courses in a comparative religion program.
Common Associate in Comparative Religion Courses
- Comparative Mythology
Students analyze different myths, including texts like "The Epic of Gilgamesh" and "Beowulf." Learners also analyze how ancient myths influence modern popular culture.
- The Hebrew Bible
The Hebrew Bible refers to the Old Testament — a text that influenced Jewish, Christian, and Islamic doctrine. Coursework includes reading biblical texts with a critical eye, researching historical influences, and discussing the Hebrew Bible's various stories. This course may also require some study of the Hebrew language.
- Religion in America
This course covers the history of religion in America, as well as how religion influences politics, popular culture, and daily life. Students also analyze recent developments in the nation's religious landscape, including the rise of spirituality over organized religion and the debate regarding religion's place in schools.
- Elementary Classical Hebrew
Many students who plan to enter a bachelor's program take one or more language courses while earning an associate degree. Learners may create flashcards to master vocabulary and communicate with peers in Hebrew to hone their grammar skills.
- Introduction to Asian Philosophy
Asian philosophy refers to ancient and modern belief systems in many places, including China, Japan, and India. Assignments often include reading translated texts like the Bhagavad Gita. This course conveys multiple perspectives on how Asian cultures view life, death, and morality.
Online Associate in Comparative Religion Admission Requirements
High School Transcripts
High school graduates should submit transcripts when applying to college. To obtain transcripts, contact your high school and give them your college's address, along with any other information they may need. Requesting transcripts may require a fee and 1-2 weeks to process.
Most two-year colleges also admit applicants who earned a GED certificate. GED transcripts display your total score and your score breakdown. A sufficiently high score may allow you to skip placement tests.
Standardized Test Scores
Strong ACT or SAT scores can exempt you from placement testing and introductory English and math courses. One or more course exemptions can save you hundreds of dollars on your online associate degree in comparative religion.
Community and junior colleges use placement tests for incoming students who do not have standardized test scores. These tests are used to evaluate a student's English and math skills.
If you have prior college experience, submit undergraduate transcripts to your new school. Good grades can exempt you from specific courses, lowering your tuition bill and allowing you to graduate faster than your peers.
Online Associate in Comparative Religion Career Paths
An online associate degree in comparative religion prepares graduates to pursue work in a variety of areas, including education, public relations, and counseling. However, many entry-level careers require either a bachelor's degree or additional training. Talk with career advisors at your school to figure out common requirements in your target field.
Additionally, as you research different careers, pay close attention to job requirements beyond education. For example, you may need a state-issued license or professional certification to qualify.
Related CareersMinistry and Theology Careers
Frequently Asked Questions
- What can you do with a comparative religion degree?
Graduates who earn an online associate degree in comparative religion can choose from multiple career paths. If you are unsure about your options, consult the experts at your college's career center. These advisors can provide you with useful advice and tools, including interest inventories and job boards.
- How much money do theologians make?
Salaries can vary widely depending on your specific job responsibilities, where you live, and your prior professional experience. However, PayScale reports that individuals who hold an associate in liberal arts — a degree very similar to an associate in comparative religion — earn an average salary of $52,000.
- What kind of jobs can you get with a comparative religion degree?
As a comparative religion degree helps hone many soft, transferable skills, you can explore jobs open to most graduates with a liberal arts degree. Many graduates pursue assistant-level careers in foreign service and social work.
- Is comparative religion a good career?
An online associate degree in comparative religion does not prepare you for a specific career. As a result, you should focus on finding a job that allows you to combine your passion for different faiths with your other skills.
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