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Prophetic Pathways: Exploring Vocation at Vanderbilt Divinity School

Prophetic Pathways provides programs and services to help current students and graduates of Vanderbilt Divinity School explore questions of vocation and navigate the job-search process.

Coffee hour at VDS

Articulating the Value of the M.T.S. and M.Div. Degrees

Graduate theological degrees can be translated into many career fields. Here are some tips for how to talk about the value of these degrees with potential employers that are not familiar with these programs:

  • Analytical Skills
    In pursuing a graduate education, students are required to do extensive research and to further develop and utilize critical thinking skills.  
  • Time Management
    Graduate degree programs allow for a great amount of flexibility in scheduling classes and completing coursework and assignments.  Graduates have proven success in developing timelines and completing large tasks by predetermined deadlines.
  • Communication Skills
    Completing a graduate degree from Vanderbilt Divinity School requires competence in skill in a range of writing forms, including concise response papers and summaries as well as lengthy, in-depth research papers.  Additionally, graduates have refined their oral communication skills through discussion groups and presentations in the classroom.
  • Engaging a Pluralistic World
    World religions play a major part in the interconnectedness of our society and can function as either a point of understanding and cooperation or as a place of conflict and division.  Divinity school graduates are well-prepared to enter the workplace and engage in discussions about contemporary issues across various religious and cultural traditions in a way that honors global diversity.
  • Thinking Across Disciplines
    As part of a larger academic institution, a graduate degree in religion from Vanderbilt Divinity School requires examining topics and issues across various disciplines including ethics, law, political science, business, psychology, sociology, and many more. 
  • Thoughtful Engagement with the Community
    Some of the most valuable experiences while a student at Vanderbilt Divinity School come from engagement with the community through internships and other out-of-classroom experiences.  The field education program provides the opportunity to engage in work in a variety of settings and then return to the classroom setting for reflection and further integration of academic learning and practical experiences.

Career Resources

For a current list of positions that have been submitted to Vanderbilt Divinity School, click here.

For nonprofit opportunities in the region, check out the listings at the Center for Nonprofit Management.

Vanderbilt Divinity School has a group on LinkedIn - Click Here to Join

Optimal Resume at Vanderbilt University helps with crafting resumes, cover letters, websites, and more.

Vanderbilt manages listservs for various fields that students can join to be notified about Industry Career Days, employer Information Sessions, notices about job and internship opportunities, plus information about professional development workshops.  

For conversations about vocational discernment or practical help with resumes, cover letters, and the job search process, please contact Lillian Hallstrand, Director of Stewardship and Vocational Planning.


What VDS Alumni Are Doing

Here are just a few of the things that our 2014 alumni are doing:
  • Director of Missions and Outreach in a local church
  • CPE Residency Program
  • Senior and Associate Pastors in the local church
  • Ph.D. Program
  • Global Missions work for a denomination
  • Law School
  • Entering a Benedictine Monastery
John Burnam, '13 M.T.S. Graduate

"I always tell people that I would never be able to do what I am doing without the skills I developed in the M.T.S. - it isn't just about the subject material.  The M.T.S. Teaches you how to use those invaluable critical thinking and research skills.  I truly believe the program gave me the ability to learn how to do anything I want to….and the work ethic to make it happen!"