Should I get a Master's in theology?
#1
I have been considering getting a Master's in theology off-and-on for a few years now. In terms schools, I've been looking at Christendom College because I like the all-online MA program that they offer. I'm drawn specifically to their systematic theology or evangelization and catechetics courses or the former along with their catechetics diploma.

However, what keeps me from going forward with this interest is my uncertainty regarding careers. I don't know what kind of job opportunities would be available to me even if I had a catechetics certification. I really don't want to waste money and possibly get deeper into loan debt for a useless degree.

What do you think? Do you think it would be worth it? What kind of careers would be available to me, if any?
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#2
If you get a Masters degree in Theology, be prepared to teach Theology because that's the only job you'll ever get with it.
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#3
I certainly wouldn't do it with a student loan; from an economic standpoint, you have to do the financial calculations for a return on investment and compare it with other investments of that time and money, and from a prudential standpoint, you shouldn't spend money you don't have to pursue a personal devotion, especially if it could put your vocation, your future or family stability in harm due to lack of funds or savings.

I would encourage you instead to study the faith outside of college, unless you have a very specific and identified reason for getting a formal degree in it.
"There are not over a hundred people in the United States who hate the Catholic Church. There are millions, however, who hate what they wrongly believe to be the Catholic Church -- which is, of course, quite a different thing." -Ven. Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen

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#4
(06-09-2020, 12:45 AM)Steven Wrote: I certainly wouldn't do it with a student loan; from an economic standpoint, you have to do the financial calculations for a return on investment and compare it with other investments of that time and money, and from a prudential standpoint, you shouldn't spend money you don't have to pursue a personal devotion, especially if it could put your vocation, your future or family stability in harm due to lack of funds or savings.

I would encourage you instead to study the faith outside of college, unless you have a very specific and identified reason for getting a formal degree in it.

Yeah, my lack of a specific, identified reason for getting the degree is precisely the reason why I've hesitated for so long. I have considered that catechetics would be a good field to explore, as opposed to teaching theology in higher education, in which case it would still be good to have a firm theological grounding. But I'm just not sure there are enough job opportunities in catechesis or if I could even make a living in the job.
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#5
(06-09-2020, 01:16 AM)whitewashed_tomb Wrote:
(06-09-2020, 12:45 AM)Steven Wrote: I certainly wouldn't do it with a student loan; from an economic standpoint, you have to do the financial calculations for a return on investment and compare it with other investments of that time and money, and from a prudential standpoint, you shouldn't spend money you don't have to pursue a personal devotion, especially if it could put your vocation, your future or family stability in harm due to lack of funds or savings.

I would encourage you instead to study the faith outside of college, unless you have a very specific and identified reason for getting a formal degree in it.

Yeah, my lack of a specific, identified reason for getting the degree is precisely the reason why I've hesitated for so long. I have considered that catechetics would be a good field to explore, as opposed to teaching theology in higher education, in which case it would still be good to have a firm theological grounding. But I'm just not sure there are enough job opportunities in catechesis or if I could even make a living in the job.

Though I'm still relatively young, my youth is past and I'm only getting older, and I still don't know what I'm doing with my life. I can't seem to get a job that isn't a dead-end. I'm in Japan teaching English (or what passes as teaching) now, but I know I don't have a long-term future here. Eventually, I have to stop wasting time here and come back home to the real world and make a decision to start moving ahead and get out of the stagnant state I've existed in for so long.

I've been out of college for so many years now and everyone keeps telling me to go back to school to get a graduate degree in something, but I just don't want to. I don't want to be deeper in debt. Besides, I have no idea what I would want to study. There are some subjects, like theology, which I may personally enjoy studying but I have no idea what I would do for a career, beyond teaching, which would likely require further education. And I don't feel passionate about being a professor, either.

The easiest and most direct career path which I've also been considering for the past few years is being a schoolteacher. I have degrees in English and Geography and I could hypothetically see myself enjoying teaching either or both of those subjects. However, having had some experience as a substitute teacher, I really don't want to work in the American education system. Half my time would likely be spent in classroom management and student discipline which is a headache. Add to that all the progressive BS being pumped into schools and it's an even bigger headache.

But I've been having this same conversation with myself and on social media for years now. Clearly, I need to just make a decision, go forward with it, and stick to it in spite of the difficulty involved. Because I've been taking the easy route, the path of least resistance, for years now and I'm only perpetually dissatisfied and anxious as my life passes me by.

I thought that coming to Japan would give me more clarity and direction and sense of purpose, but it's only made me more confused and uncertain of where to go and what to do next. But I have to do something. I have to make a decision. I can't remain idle and watch my life go down the drain. I can't wait for God to come down in a thunderclap and point the way for me with a big golden sign. I have to act. But I just don't know what my first step should be...

Edit: typos
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#6
It blows my mind how poor people borrow money to get economically useless degrees. If you don't have direction in life, enlist in the military. With your education, within 5 years you might be able to become an officer. Either way, only enlist if you have a guaranteed slot to be trained for a job that is in-demand in the civilian world. That means no tank driver, canon shooter, or parachute rigger. Send me a PM if you want to discuss this.
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#7
(06-09-2020, 01:44 AM)whitewashed_tomb Wrote: I've been out of college for so many years now and everyone keeps telling me to go back to school to get a graduate degree in something, but I just don't want to. I don't want to be deeper in debt. Besides, I have no idea what I would want to study. There are some subjects, like theology, which I may personally enjoy studying but I have no idea what I would do for a career, beyond teaching, which would likely require further education. And I don't feel passionate about being a professor, either.

Based on this, I said you absolutely shouldn't get a theology degree.  I think most degrees are fine to get, if you know what you can do with it and make plans accordingly.  Unless you're willing to teach or perhaps find some job within a diocese, you'd be wasting time and money on a theology degree.  As an aside, you probably could use a master's degree in theology to teach at the high school level, at a Catholic school.  But the pay is probably pretty low.  The Catholic schools where I live only pay something like 70% or so of what public schools pay.  That might be different where you're at.
"For the true friends of the people are neither revolutionaries nor innovators, but traditionalists."
- Pope St. Pius X

"For there shall be a time, when they will not endure sound doctrine; but, according to their own desires, they will heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears: And will indeed turn away their hearing from the truth, but will be turned unto fables."
- 2 Timothy 4:3-4

"Therefore God shall send them the operation of error, to believe lying: That all may be judged who have not believed the truth, but have consented to iniquity."
- 2 Thessalonians 2:11-12
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#8
If you have a passion for teaching, go for it.

If not, why not just study theology privately? Having a piece of paper with a bunch of debt chained to it doesn't make you a better theologian.
"The Heart of Jesus is closer to you when you suffer, than when you are full of joy." - St. Margaret Mary Alacoque

Put not your trust in princes: In the children of men, in whom there is no salvation. - Ps. 145:2-3

"For there shall be a time, when they will not endure sound doctrine; but, according to their own desires, they will heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears: And will indeed turn away their hearing from the truth, but will be turned unto fables." - 2 Timothy 4:3-4
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#9
(06-09-2020, 09:10 AM)Augustinian Wrote: If not, why not just study theology privately? Having a piece of paper with a bunch of debt chained to it doesn't make you a better theologian.

He might also consider something like Taylor Marshall's New St. Thomas Institute.  Last I checked, it was quite affordable and offered several certificate programs in Catholic theology, apologetics, and philosophy.
"For the true friends of the people are neither revolutionaries nor innovators, but traditionalists."
- Pope St. Pius X

"For there shall be a time, when they will not endure sound doctrine; but, according to their own desires, they will heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears: And will indeed turn away their hearing from the truth, but will be turned unto fables."
- 2 Timothy 4:3-4

"Therefore God shall send them the operation of error, to believe lying: That all may be judged who have not believed the truth, but have consented to iniquity."
- 2 Thessalonians 2:11-12
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#10
You live in Japan and teach ESL. So, I'm guessing you probably speak and know Japanese. Have you considered a career in translation in the States? There are people I know who work for Japanese companies in the US (or vice-versa) as translators and make a decent living from it.

For the record, none of us truly know what the hell we are doing. We pick a career we like (or are competent and can tolerate) punch in our 40 hours a week and collect a paycheck.
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