Associate in Ministry
Associate in Ministry
Associates in Ministry are commissioned lay ministers who support ministry in the institutions related to the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA). They may work in general areas such as education, administration, music and arts, and service and general ministries. They work in partnership with and support of various ministries within synods and other church related agencies. These partnerships may be of value to the church. Some associates in ministry may have specialty in more than one area, and may serve in staff positions in congregations.
Nowadays, many colleges and institutes offer degree programs in ministry, such as associates in ministry. These days, online programs are offered along with the standard programs. The online nature of these programs provides candidates the convenience of avoiding commute and costs related to it. It also makes it possible for professionals to continue work while studying at the same time.
The ELCA candidacy process is a partnership between synods, candidates, colleges and seminars. According to the partnership, the colleges provide the necessary theological education. However, the synodical candidacy committee approves and endorses candidates for certification as Associates in Ministry.
The ELCA requires candidates to complete coursework in specific areas of theology, which include the following:
- Introduction to Systematic Theology
- Old Testament
- Lutheran Church History
- Lutheran Theology and Confessions
Associates of Art in Ministry
The associates of Arts in Ministry (A.A. Min) provides candidates ministry knowledge and skills to enable them to serve as lay workers in church or other Christian organizations. The degree usually constitutes introductory studies in the Bible, theology and ministry fundamentals. Along with that, it usually includes a strong general studies component.
Degree requirements vary from one institute to another. Generally, a total of 64 hours of semester work may be required. A cumulative GPA of a minimum of 2.0 may be needed. Also, the institute may require hours to be completed in the areas of general education, bible and theology, and major concentration.
The curriculum may be divided into core course requirements and concentrations. Core requirement may consist of general education core, and bible and theology core.
General education core may include the following courses:
- General Mathematics
- English Composition
- Lifelong Learning Skills
- Introduction to Psychology
- General Physical Science
- Emerging Modern Society
- Principles of Public Speaking
- Introduction to Christian Thought
- General Studies Elective or Applied Music
Bible and theology courses may include the following:
- Introduction to Old Testament
- Introduction to New Testament
- Biblical Interpretation
In order to complete degree hours, students may also select concentration from options such as Christian Education Ministries, Church Ministries, Early Childhood Education, and Hispanic Pastoral Ministries.
However, please note that the above mentioned curriculum can vary depending on the institute and program.
After completing an Associate in Ministry, candidates may work in various areas of church or other Christian organizations. They may work under the direct supervision of a church pastor. They may perform educational duties, such as teaching at homeless shelters or run Bible study groups. They may also perform administrative duties such as supervising the church staff. Finally, they may also conduct visits to nursing homes, hospitals, or funerals.