Christian Studies Degree

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What is Christian Studies?

Christian Studies is a field of study focused on Christianity.  Students pursuing a degree in Christian Studies will likely be exposed to foundational biblical and theological studies providing a strong basis for Christian ministry and leadership.  Coursework within the Christian Studies track will include theology, philosophy, world religions, communication, history, biblical studies, and Christian history to provide a solid foundation for reaching a broad audience.

Many Christian-based programs and bible colleges will stretch beyond the traditional core to help students become more well-rounded and worldly.  This pedagogical teaching approach helps to promote diversity in thought and critical thinking skills for students.

Top Degrees in Christian Studies

Students considering a college degree in Christian studies will find it vital to understand the options available.  Colleges and universities offering Christian studies include programs from undergraduate certificates to graduate degrees.  To provide additional degree choices to consider, many accredited school have added online degree programs in the recent past.

Online learning is also known as distance learning is the quickest growing segment in higher education.  Inherent benefits of earning a degree online include flexibility, independence, access to quality curriculum, and potential cost savings.  Some schools offer 100% online programs while others have a hybrid option that blends online and classroom-based degree programs into the same degree plan.

Certificate Programs in Christian Studies

Certificate programs in Christian studies are typically found in a school’s course catalog in two forms: undergraduate and graduate.  First, an undergraduate certificate is designed to provide foundational knowledge in ministry & Christian studies.  Undergraduate certificates can be utilized to earn an entry-level position in a church, ministry program, or be a pathway to an advanced degree.

Graduate certificates are upper-level classes assembled by colleges for qualified students and working professionals.  These types of certificate programs help add critical skills, help professionals remain relevant, or help prepare professionals for a pending career transition.  Certificate programs can be found within various academic domains with a biblical affiliation:

Bachelor’s Degree in Christian Studies

Christian studies bachelor's degrees can be earning in three predominant ways: online, on-campus, or both.  Online Christian degree programs can be found from a number of world-class, accredited universities.  Online learning has rapidly grown and studies continue to show the value and efficacy of distance learning to be on par with classroom-based programs.

The obvious and most common earn a degree is in a physical classroom.  Did you know there is a third option to earn a degree known as a hybrid degree?  Hybrid degree programs effectively blend online Christian degrees with on-campus learning.  Learning both in a classroom and remotely may be the perfect mode to earn a Christian-based degree for busy adults.

Bachelor degrees will take approximately four years to complete.  You will find these degrees conferred as either a Bachelor of Arts (BA) or a Bachelor of Science (BS).   In terms of curriculum, faith-based courses at this level will include both general education courses with core Christian curriculum.  BA and BS degree programs in Christian studies can be parsed into various areas of emphasis which will dictate subsequent courses.  Examples of areas of concentration include:

  • Women’s Leadership
  • Pastoral Leadership
  • Theatre Ministries
  • Cinematic Arts
  • Business
  • Youth Ministry
  • Worship Technology
  • Biblical Studies
  • Worship
  • Music Studies

Master’s Degree in Christian Studies

Master's degrees in Christian studies can be conferred in one of three ways:

  1. Master of Arts (MA)
  2. Master in Divinity (MDiv)
  3. Master of Science (MS)

Master degrees will take students one to two years to complete for full-time students.  Accelerated degrees and executive programs may be shorter based upon the design of the program.

Most graduate-level degrees in Christian studies will necessitate students to select an area of concentration or specialization.  The concentration options can include any number of options and combinations such as: community chaplaincy, church ministry, biblical studies, pastoral counseling, worship, theology, pastoral counseling, Christian apologetics, pastoral ministries, church planting, church history, military chaplaincy, counseling, homiletics, and Christian leadership.

Doctorate Degree in Christian Studies

Doctoral degrees in Christian studies can be conferred in a number of differing versions as a function of the school's accreditation, resources, curriculum, and program design.   Examples of doctoral degree options in Christian studies include:

  • PhD
  • DWS
  • DMin
  • EdD
  • DBA

With the various degree paths available, it is critical to take the time to understand your best academic option.  Begin your discovery process by requesting information from top ranked bible colleges found with of digital portal.  As a frame of reference, doctoral programs will take qualifying students three to five years to complete as a function of the course load, dissertation requirements, and course configuration.

Dissertations are intensive research projects that take a substantive portion of the overall time invested to earn a doctorate degree.  The intent of a dissertation is to extend the knowledge base in an area of study and enhance the collective body of research.

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Employment & Faith-Based Career Specializations

Career options and vocational specializations are immense in Christian studies.  Students today are no longer bound by the traditional trappings of exclusively becoming a traveling pastor.  College graduates have career options that can include: public speaker, high school teacher, theologian, career counselor, pastor, research specialist, curriculum designer, family counselor, psychologist, marriage counselor, substance abuse counselor, youth pastor, behavior disorder counselor, ministry leader, blogger, author, or Christian scholastic.

Career Growth in Christian Faith Studies

Job growth for associated Christian degrees appear to be exceptional.  Broad data gathered by the BLS indicate job growth for substance abuse counselors to jump 22% and high school teachers a 7% clip.  Total compensation, job duties, and scope of your career will depend upon the decisions you make combined with the needs of employers.  Income and job stability have proven to be highly correlated to education levels.  The Bureau of Labor Statistics continue to provide data to support this relationship making it essential students invest in education to enhance stability in their careers.

Additional Christian Resources

The American Bible Society (ABS) and the Institute for Christian Studies (ICS) are organizations that help students and professionals in the field.  Their objectives include providing resources, tools, networking opportunities, and research for Christian faith professionals both nationally and internationally.

Bible Colleges Near Me

Find a full list of bible colleges and Christian-based university programs with our exclusive search portal or by searching by state.  Below represents the states with at least six bible colleges to help you consolidate your search.  To obtain admissions information, simply place a request via our portal to learn more from colleges that meet your academic criteria.


Alabama Missouri
Arkansas Nebraska
California New Jersey
Connecticut New York
District Of Columbia North Carolina
Florida Ohio
Georgia Oklahoma
Illinois Oregon
Indiana Pennsylvania
Iowa South Carolina
Kansas South Dakota
Kentucky Tennessee
Louisiana Texas
Maryland Virginia
Massachusetts Washington
Michigan West Virginia
Minnesota Wisconsin


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