To Doctorates Outside the Academy: I Need Your Help

So allow me to do a little crowd-sourcing here.

I’m speaking on a panel this Friday at the regional AAR meeting, on the topic, “What Else? All the Ways to use a Ph.D.”

I’d be very interested in hearing from anyone who is using their Ph.D. in religious studies, theology, ethics, biblical studies, etc., outside the traditional academic world (i.e. as a professor in a higher learning institution).

If you are one of these people, I’d love to hear anything along these lines: (1) what you are doing with your Ph.D.; (2) whether you have found your Ph.D. to be useful in your current work (and whether the Ph.D. trained you well for that work, (3) whether or not you regret having invested in a Ph.D. (and why).

Feel free to leave a comment with your thoughts or contact me directly, at

This is a fascinating topic, of course, and circles around a growing debate about whether theology and religion departments can begin to frame their programs in a way that prepares graduates for vocations outside the traditional (but seemingly fading) route of teaching and researching in higher ed institutions.


About Kyle Roberts

(PhD) is Associate Professor of Public Theology and Church and Economic Life, supported by the Schilling Endowment, at United Theological Seminary of the Twin Cities. Roberts has published essays on Kierkegaard and modern theology, including several essays in the series Kierkegaard Research: 2014-10-14 10.26.51Sources, Reception and Resources (Ashgate / University of Copenhagen) and other collected volumes on various topics, including Pietism, Karl Barth, and Christian spirituality. Roberts has published Emerging Prophet: Kierkegaard and the Postmodern People of God (Cascade, 2013) and is currently co-authoring a theological commentary on the Gospel of Matthew (Eerdmans) and a book about the virgin birth (Fortress Press, Theology for the People)