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
  • Stephanie Roberts

    Probably not exactly the comment youre looking for…..Dan and I both have MFAs, the terminal degree in our area, and Dan says the process of pursuing the degree helped him develop as an artist and curator. But the MFA is not important at all as a qualification as a gallerist.

    • Kyle Roberts

      Thanks, Steph! It’s a different field, of course, but the analogy is interesting. Artist/curator seem to be the practical or “praxis” side of the equation, much like pastoring, ministering, or other sorts of practical religious work constitute the praxis side of theological/religious studies. Seems like it’s hard to argue with the fact there is benefit in further education–but the value for benefit equation is a live question, nonetheless. Thanks again!