dcsimg
You are here:

Philosophy Programs vs. Theology Programs

You might think the literal definitions of the words "theology" and "philosophy" would give you a handle on the distinction between the two: theology means the study of God, while philosophy means the love of knowledge. Then again, when you consider that religions typically view God as the source of all knowledge, that distinction becomes blurred.

This is typical of the relationship between theology and philosophy--they are like two roads that overlap at times and diverge at times. If you are considering studying either, you need to understand those overlaps and divergences, and from a practical standpoint, where those roads lead in terms of career options.

Philosophy and theology programs: similarities

Philosophy and theology courses each break down into two broad categories: the search for meaning itself, and the study of others who have been prominent in the search for meaning. In combination, an examination of life's questions can be informed by the writings of prominent figures--theologians, philosophers, or both--who have come before.

Discussion among peers and with teachers can also be an informative part of each type of program. Online theology programs or philosophy programs can broaden this discussion even further, so you are exchanging ideas with people from very different backgrounds.

Philosophy and theology programs: differences

While philosophy and theology programs both deal with man's search for meaning, the most obvious difference is that in the case of theology, that search centers around God. Even in theology programs which study different religions, the emphasis is on how members of each religion relate to their deity.

Coursework in philosophy, in contrast, typically focus more on process rather than a prescribed dogma. Logic and other reasoning tools are likely to be taught as a basis for the detailed study of philosophical problems and solutions to follow.

Philosophy and theology programs: career paths

To some extent, the study of either philosophy or theology is a search for understanding that is not primarily geared towards career goals. Not surprisingly then, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) found that both one and ten years after graduation, arts and humanities majors (the category to which both philosophy and theology belong) made less than the average college graduate.

However, this does not mean that studying philosophy or theology is mutually exclusive with having practical career goals. In addition to traditional paths such as teaching philosophy, and religious ministry (or teaching) for theology, the BLS found that more than 20 percent of arts and humanities majors go into business. After all, both philosophy and theology programs can teach you how to assemble different viewpoints and reason through open-ended problems, both of which are essential skills for the business world. Similarly, a background in philosophy and theology can be a stepping stone to an advanced degree. For example, a philosophy degree can be excellent preparation for an advance degree in law or business.

In short, philosophy and theology can have their practical applications, but that is not the end of the story. For all their differences, each can enrich the human experience. After all, both Moses and Jesus were reported to have said some variation of the phrase "man does not live by bread alone." Sounds like each of those religious figures was also something of a philosopher.

Search Schools

      
Matching School Ads
  • Kaplan University

    Kaplan University is focused on recognizing the achievements of military and veteran students and offers the flexibility of an online education.
    Location:
    Fort Lauderdale: 6301 Kaplan University Avenue, Fort Lauderdale FL 33309
    Kaplan University Request Info »
  • American InterContinental University Online

    With your busy schedule and the desire to move your career forward, you can earn an accredited associate, bachelors or master’s degree at a pace that works for you anywhere, anytime, 24/7.
    Location:
    Schaumburg: 231 N. Martingale Road, Schaumburg IL 60173
    American InterContinental University Online Request Info »
  • Everest University Online

    Everest University Online, a Division of Everest University, makes career training convenient and accessible.
    Location:
    Santa Ana: , Santa Ana CA
    Everest University Online Request Info »
  • Regent University

    Regent University prepares students with the knowledge to excel and the faith to live with purpose.

    Location: Online

    Regent University Request Info »
  • Full Sail University - Online

    Push Your Creativity To The Next Level

    Location: Online

    Full Sail University - Online Request Info »
  • Colorado Technical University Online

    A degree from CTU connects you to what matters most: powerful professional network, real-world professional faculty and innovative technology. Once you earn your degree you hit the ground running.
    Location:
    Colorado Springs: 4435 North Chestnut Street, Colorado Springs CO 80907
    Colorado Technical University Online Request Info »
  • Blue Cliff College - Online

    You’ve expressed interest in Blue Cliff College before, now we have online programs to better fit your busy lifestyle. Enroll now!

    Location: Online

    Blue Cliff College - Online Request Info »
  • Ultimate Medical Academy Online

    Get personalized attention with UMA.

    One-on-one tutoring, pre-interview coaching, job search assistance, alumni services-they’re all included in Ultimate Medical Academy’s competitively priced tuition. As a nationally accredited school, we provide quality career training online and at our two campuses in the Tampa Bay area of Florida.

    Location: Online

    Ultimate Medical Academy Online Request Info »
  • Capella University

    An accredited online university, Capella University offers bachelor’s, master’s/MBA, doctoral, and certificate programs designed to take you to the forefront of your profession.

    Location:
    Minneapolis: Capella Tower, Minneapolis MN 55402
    Capella University Request Info »
  • Virginia College

    Set your career in motion at Virginia College.

    Location:
    Birmingham: 488 Palisades Blvd., Birmingham AL 35209
    Virginia College Request Info »
  • Matching School Ads

    Quick School Search

    College & Career Search Tools

    • Careers: Unsure about your career path? Study profiles of hundreds of professions.

    • Interviews: Professors and deans sit down with our team to give you unique insights on college life.

    • Military Education: Find only Military friendly online schools and campuses.

    • Student Reviews: Know before you go. Read student reviews on over 2000 accredited colleges. Write your own experience.