Saturday, July 10, 2010

Religious Studies Does Not Equate to Being a Minister/Priest/Pastor

A friend of my mother's asked me today if I was still majoring in Religious Studies. I said I was and she asked me if I planned to teach it when I got my degree. I said I might, but that there were other options I wanted to explore, as well. She proceeded to tell me about several members of her family who were ministers of some sort or had been to some sort of Divinity school. While she didn't come right out and say it, the implication was that she thought I might be interested in that, too.

Uhm, no.

In fact, I often tell people that my major is History because many people make the assumption that I want to lead a church when they hear Religious Studies. While I admire those who have that calling, I most certainly do not. In fact, I think I would make a rather poor preacher. I do have very strong personal beliefs, but they are just that. Personal. I don't even really share most of my beliefs with those closest to me.

My interest is in studying religion itself and how it works and what people do in its name. I find it fascinating. History is close enough to that so I don't quite feel like I'm quite lying (history of religion?) even if I do feel a bit guilty when I say that. I'm just trying to save them some confusion when I have to attempt to explain that my major is secular.

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