Religion psychology is the psychological study of religious experiences defined scientifically. Historically, religion psychology focused on a belief system that drove a way of life, usually of entire societies. But in the last couple of decades, religion is becoming less a way of believing and more a way of living. Simply put, it is impossible to understand how people think without also understanding their religious beliefs.
The fields of religion and psychology both enter realms of the unseen and until now, have done so in entirely different scopes of academia. Psychology began as a formal, scientific field of study approximately 100 years ago with Sigmund Freud, who realized that behavior is primarily driven by the subconscious. Religion psychology has been in existence in one form or another for a long time and has been studied as theology.
The psychological study of religion, or religion psychology, is a significant area of psychology and relevant to the understanding of people as a whole and as individuals. Religion psychology offers material for the array of attitudes, coping mechanisms and other phenomena of interest to the field of psychology. It also challenges the field to find ways to conduct research that is scientific and meaningful. Thinking more abstractly, the undeniable link between psychology and religion continues to more strongly define psychology with philosophy through history.
There are several degree programs that are available that will prepare psychologists to specialize in this field. Because it is a rare specialty, degree programs are more broad. The most important focus when choosing a degree program is the accreditation of the program, whether or not the program meets your career goals and the long-term value of the program.