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Theology and Religious Studies

Theology and Religious Studies

CSU’s Theology and Religious Studies degrees provide you with the opportunity to understand some of life’s most complex questions. We have developed a strong reputation for student learning, quality teaching and research in this field. You will study in a supportive environment alongside students from around the globe, allowing you to form close links with religious leaders and communities. As religion becomes a more topical issue in society, this field can present insight into cultures and practices all over the world.

Careers in Theology and Religious Studies are enriching and allow you to help others through your work with the church or a variety of government organisations. The skills you will develop through CSU’s courses are transferable to a number of workplaces and our graduates are prepared for a range of roles for their unique skills in understanding complex information. 

You could become a priest or minister, religion teacher, religious education coordinator or aid worker. Your career could take you overseas to work in a third-world country as a chaplain, religious feature writer or a youth and family counsellor. You could work in the social welfare sector of churches, contribute to foreign aid with church-based mission agencies or pursue endeavours in religious education at schools.

CSU’s connections with St Mark’s National Theological Centre in Canberra and United Theological College in Sydney provide access to significant theological libraries to support your studies. A strong research focus has also been developed in association with the Public and Contextual Theology Strategic Research Centre in Canberra. Whatever career path you choose, CSU’s Theology and Religious Studies will help you develop the skills you need to succeed in a rewarding and enriching career.

Career opportunities

  • Chaplain

    There are many pathways for people interested in pursuing a calling to religious life. In an increasingly complex world, the skills needed to lead a career as a chaplain continue to grow and are required in a variety of workplaces. As a chaplain, you can expect employment opportunities in the Australian Defence Force, prisons, police, ambulance, hospital, trade, industry, correctional system or other institutional chaplaincy roles. Alternatively, you could work in the social welfare arm of any church or charity. If you are interested in ordination or professional ministry that is church-based, a career as a pastor, priest, rabbi, minister or nun could be for you.

    CSU’s Theology and Religious Studies graduates can be found working in Australia and overseas with a strong sense of self and the communities they are involved in. Postgraduate study options can lead to leadership roles within any church or welfare community. Theoretical skills developed during your course ensure you graduate with the confidence and knowledge needed to immediately apply your skills to any real life situation.

    Career opportunities

    Theology and Religious Studies graduates can become employed as chaplains in settings such as:

    • religious communities
    • schools, colleges and universities
    • teaching and research positions
    • the public and private sector such as legal firms and government agencies for administration, financial and general management positions


  • Pastoral counsellor

    If you are compassionate, understanding and driven to help others, a career in pastoral counselling could be for you. As a pastoral counsellor, you will support people from a multitude of backgrounds and help them through times of crisis, loss, grief, age or circumstance. This is a career that can lead you into people’s homes and hearts anywhere in Australia or around the world.

    You will have opportunities to focus on issues important to you through specialist counselling. This may include breaking through cultural and language barriers by working with people from other cultures such as Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders and those from non-English speaking backgrounds. Pastoral counsellors may have opportunities to specialise in areas including health, drug and alcohol problems, accommodation, relationships, stress management, child development and abuse issues. You could also choose to specialise in ageing and pastoral care and pursue job opportunities in a variety of aged care situations including as health professionals, pastoral workers and clergy, to provide appropriate holistic care to older adults.

    If you are already employed as a counsellor, teacher or academic, CSU can equip you with the skills to upgrade your knowledge in a competitive employment market. Postgraduate study opens up career opportunities that enable you to help people improve their lives at an emotional and personal level. Whether you contribute towards addressing the needs of older people as a pastoral worker, or coordinate programs for disabled and young people, a career as a pastoral counsellor will lead to a stronger understanding of people’s each person’s spiritual journeys

    Career opportunities

    Pastoral care and counselling skills are exercised in a variety of institutional settings within the overall framework of churches in Australia. Career opportunities for pastoral counsellors are available in pastoral and clinical counselling or ministry settings, including clergy and laity. You can also work in institutions such as:

    • corporate and congregational levels of denominations in churches
    • universities
    • military
    • corrective services
    • police and ambulance services
    • trade and industry

    Ageing and Pastoral Studies postgraduate students can consider career options including:

    • pastoral counsellor
    • program coordinators
    • aged care caseworker
    • aged and disabled carer
    • religious education coordinator, liturgist or seminar facilitator
    • roles in the media, public sector, teaching in higher education, therapists, health care professionals or in the legal profession


  • Islamic teacher

    With the growing need for an understanding of the Islamic faith in Australian communities, careers in Islamic Studies help address a lack of formally recognised education in Islamic traditions. CSU’s Classical Arabic and Islamic Studies degrees provide knowledge, skills and qualifications that add value to a profession in humanities or teaching fields.

    CSU’s Islamic Studies degrees are beneficial to anyone seeking a career as an Islamic teacher at school or university level and/or further academic research. Islamic teachers work and interact with Muslims, particularly school teachers, health care deliverers, business people, tourist operators, public servants, police and the Defence services.

    Postgraduate studies in classical Arabic will enable students to develop skills in reading, writing and speaking Arabic so they can understand the Qur'an in its original Arabic language, and enhance other Islamic studies.

    Our postgraduate and research degrees create pathways to senior management roles. Islamic Studies postgraduates may choose to pursue an academic career by researching areas such as Islamic History, Islamic Law, Islamic Theology or Qur'anic Studies through CSU’s Master of Arts (Islamic Studies Research).

    Career opportunities

    Graduates may pursue religious teaching careers in:

    • mosques
    • private study circles
    • schools, universities or other institutions
    • overseas work in religious and inter-church bodies, or through overseas agencies and missions
    • Christian and non-Christian organisations in the Middle East, or as an Islamic feature writer, broadcaster or commentator.

    Further career opportunities where specialist knowledge is required include:

    • Islamic community development officer
    • political adviser
    • foreign affairs
    • immigration
    • journalism
    • primary / secondary education with further training.

    Professional recognition

    CSU’s Islamic Studies degrees are accredited with the Islamic Sciences and Research Academy of Australia (ISRA), located in Sydney.


  • Youth pastor

    Youth pastors train current and future leaders for ongoing youth ministry. This unique field will provide opportunities for you to enrich the lives of younger generations and instil in them religious values. Duties of youth pastors include overseeing youth group sessions, assisting in the pastoral care of youth congregations, participating in high school scripture seminars, training youth leaders and working with staff to facilitate children’s, youth and young adult participation.

    CSU provides you with the opportunity to complete qualifications that will give you an understanding of ministry, community outreach and counselling. We offer pathways for practical study in individual, family and relationship counselling that could see you work as an aid development officer, travelling and living with people in remote communities or coordinating youth camps and other outreach programs.

    Postgraduate study will complement any existing qualifications and broaden employment opportunities in the social and welfare arm of churches and charities, social welfare organisations, government departments and health services.

    Career opportunities

    Youth ministry is a rapidly growing field with opportunities to work in the not-for-profit, public and private sectors. Graduates can seek careers including:

    • youth ministry coordinator
    • youth minister
    • assistant youth coordinator
    • youth ministry director
    • humanitarian and disaster relief, volunteer and overseas aid work
    • roles in administration, research, fundraising, training, consultancy, advocacy and relief work.

    You might also be interested in related careers including careers adviser / personal adviser, community education, outdoor education, social work, advice work or training.



Once you’ve successfully completed your postgraduate  education, you can choose to take your study to the highest level with one of  our Higher Degrees by Research. A pathway into an academic career focusing on  the origins and traditions of religious practices within your chosen career  area and make a real difference to people’s lives. Research is highly valued by  CSU’s School of Theology through its engagement with the Public and Contextual Theology Strategic Research Centre (PaCT).


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“I wanted to study something that would nourish my mind and stimulate thought, and at the same allow me to serve my community." Zeinab Mourad


“Since beginning study, I have come to an awareness of my vocation. This directly flows from the way my mind has opened and my spirituality has developed through my studies.” Anastasia Webster-Hawes

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