Most candidates for the Ph.D. in religion hope to teach in a college, university, or theological seminary. The great majority of the alumni of the Graduate Program in Religion at Duke now hold academic posts. Others have found positions of leadership in religious organizations or related professions.

Because maintaining high standards in graduate education remains a priority of universities that aspire to excellence, they still seek graduate students of distinction. Nonetheless, every student contemplating graduate work as a steppingstone to an academic career should reckon seriously with the restricted job market and make a decision based primarily upon the intrinsic merits or attractiveness of the undertaking.