Christian Ministry Degree

Associate Degree in Christian Ministry

Duration

2 years

Pre-requisite

High School Diploma or GED

Credit Hours

60

This degree is ideal for people interested in entry level positions in Christian ministries or pursuing advanced education in the field. It would give aspiring ministers a broad overview of the field with a focus on matters such as historical Christian thought, Bible study, social contexts and so on. Typical courses that are a part of associate degrees in Christian Ministry might include the following:

  • World Views and History
  • Biblical and Church Leadership
  • Church and Field Ministries
  • Theological Social Issues
  • Christian Evangelism

Bachelor’s Degree in Christian Ministry

Duration

4 years

Pre-Requisite

High School Diploma or GED

Credit Hours

120

A Bachelor’s Degree in Christian Ministry would enable students to get a better understanding of the issues faced by Christian ministers and educators. Most programs divide the study structure into two parts: one that focuses on general education courses, while the other that revolves around Christianity and faith related courses. The requirements of the program will vary according to your specialization. For instance, if you want to become a pastor, the course structure might be a little different than if you want to become a religious instructor. You can even go for a focus in a particular population segment. For example, you might want to specialize in religious matters for children, family, the pastoral ministry, urban ministry or the sports ministry. Some bachelor’s degrees in this field might require students to gain practical experience via internships or volunteer work. Typical courses that may be a part of the program include the following:

  • Old and New Testament
  • Church History
  • World Religions
  • Philosophy
  • Evangelism and Ministry Teaching Techniques
  • Christian Leadership and Church Administration  

This 4-year long degree teaches through spiritual formation along with practical skill development, helping you develop qualities that will make you a worthy and mature Christian leader. The courses taught and the routine followed would help you become a well-trained and well-equipped Christian minister, who is perfectly equipped for a career in ministry.

Master’s Degree in Christian Ministry

Duration

1-2 Years

Pre-Requisites

Bachelor’s Degree

For those of you interested in continuing education, there are many colleges across the US that offer a master’s degree in this field. This degree would typically focus on a particular area of ministry such as evangelism, counseling or ministry leadership. A master’s degree in ministry would take on more advance topics and would involve a considerable amount of research. The Christian faith would be explored in more detail including a deeper look into the historical and contemporary aspects of the religion. In addition to this, students will be required to submit a well-researched independent study or a thesis. A master’s degree in Christian ministry might include the following courses:

  • Professional Leadership
  • Child and Adolescent Counseling
  • Leadership Roles in Religion
  • Theology and Interpreting the Bible
  • Religion and Church History
  • Societal Influences on the Christian Faith

Careers in Christian Ministry

Aspiring ministers with undergraduate degrees in the field are typically well-qualified for entry level positions in the field. This could include positions in a Church or any other Christian organization. Smaller organizations or congregations mostly require just an associate degree, though some experience in a relevant field might be needed for a pastoral position. Potential employment options include working as a:

  • Youth Ministry Leader
  • Evangelist
  • Worship Leader
  • Christian Field Minister
  • Associate Pastor
  • Human Services Professional

For individuals with a higher qualification, such as a graduate degree, the career choices would be greater. Potential opportunities for such individuals include the following:

  • Church Administration
  • Religious Educator
  • Children’s Ministry Leader
  • Para church Ministry Leader
  • Missions Ministry Leader
  • Research Analyst on Religious Studies

Career Outlook for Christian Ministry Degree Holders

The career opportunities in this field are much focused and designed to meet a specific purpose. Here is some information on salaries and other factors from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics:

Occupation

Median Salary, 2016

Religious Workers

$28,820 per year

Clergy

$45,740 per year

Here is an industry profile for Religious Workers. This shows the industries which have the highest published employment and wages for the occupation of Religious Workers:

Industry

Employment

Religious Organizations

5,740

Elementary and Secondary Schools

520

Home Health Care Services

290

Colleges, Universities, and Professional Schools

230

Community Food and Housing, and Emergency and Other Relief Services

140

*Source: US Bureau of Labor Statistics

Industries with the highest concentration for employment for Clergy are listed below, along with the numbers for employment.

Industry

Employment

Religious Organizations

24,620

General Medical and Surgical Hospitals

7,720

Home Health Care Services

5,550

Nursing Care Facilities (Skilled Nursing Facilities)

1,610

Elementary and Secondary Schools

1,550

*Source: US Bureau of Labor Statistics

Colleges offering Christian Ministry Programs

There are various colleges across the country that are offering high quality education in Christian Ministry. Here is a list of colleges that you can look into for programs in Christian Ministry:

  • Bethel University
  • California Baptist University
  • Oklahoma Wesleyan University
  • Trevecca Nazarene University
  • Tabor College
  • Trinity International University
  • Regent University
  • LeTourneau University
  • Oral Roberts University
  • Cornerstone University

There are numerous other institutions in the country that are offering programs in this field. You will need to do a little bit of research to find a college that matches your individual needs and interests perfectly. Do give a little thought to whether you want to go for an online program or a traditional on-campus degree. The answer to this would help you shortlist colleges.

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