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What is Ministry?
Ministry is the area of study and practice that is often related to the delivery of Christian beliefs and the spreading of faith. Individuals who invest time in this field of study will become well acquainted with the bible and gospels, utilizing the words contained therein as the foundation of faith and preaching.
The faith demonstrated by ordained ministers will be a combination of support, education, counsel, and enlightenment of others. Regardless if a minister is part of a large church congregation or a small seed church, the objectives of spreading the word are similar in nature from region to region.
Top Ministry Degrees
For students considering a degree in ministry, it is important to understand the span of programs available to choose from within ministry. Accredited colleges and universities offering ministry programs can include:
- Undergraduate Degrees
- Graduate Degrees
- Undergraduate Certificates
- Graduate Certificates
In addition to the degree types, schools around the country offer online degrees in ministry, traditional classroom-based degrees, and hybrid programs that blend the two modalities. Below you will find an overview of each type of degree program along with a tool to quickly connect with accredited colleges and universities.
Ministry Certificate Programs
A certificate program in ministry can come in two basic forms: undergraduate and graduate. The undergraduate certificate is designed to provide students with foundational knowledge and basic skills in ministry.
Undergraduate certificates can be used to obtain entry-level positions or a segue to a degree-granting program. On the other hand, a graduate certificate is a tool used by qualified students and working professionals to add additional skills, remain competitive, or prepare for a career transition.
Certificate programs can be offered in a number of different domains of ministry. Examples can include Christian ministries, biblical studies, Christian leadership, communication studies, organizational communications, human services, global studies, pastoral counseling, public policy, school leadership, theological studies, and worship studies.
Ministry Bachelor Degree
Online bachelor degrees in ministry or their campus-based equivalent, can be conferred as a BS or BA degree. A BA is a Bachelor of Arts while the BS degree is a Bachelor of Science. Both BA and BS programs are 4-year programs for full-time students and longer for part-time students. Classes will blend liberal arts education such as communication, philosophy, psychology, math, and history with core curricula.
The core classes will depend on the program and school’s design as programs vary from school to school. Areas of concentration can include: biblical studies, worship, music studies, cinematic arts, business, pastoral leadership, theatre ministries, women’s leadership, youth ministry, and worship technology. The area of concentration in ministry will dictate classes taken and each student’s subsequent career options.
Ministry Master Degree
The master’s degree track in ministry is a 12 month to two year program of full-time matriculation for most students. Master degrees in ministry can be conferred in one of three ways: 1) Master of Arts (MA), 2) Master in Divinity (MDiv), or 3) Master of Science (MS). In most cases, graduate students will be required pursue an area of specialization offered by the college.
The most common areas of concentration for master degree students include: biblical studies, worship, theology, Christian apologetics, pastoral ministries, church history, chaplaincy, pastoral counseling, community chaplaincy, church ministry, evangelism, church planting, military chaplaincy, counseling, homiletics, leadership, and healthcare chaplaincy. Your area of study will correlate to coursework in the degree program and subsequent career opportunities.
Ministry Doctorate Degree
Doctoral degrees in ministry can be conferred as a PhD, DWS, DMin, EdD, or DBA. With the various degree options to choose from, it is vital to your success to understand which makes the most sense for you.
A PhD in counseling and supervision could be ideal for one student while another may be inclined to pursue a DMin in expository preaching. Begin your discovery process by selecting information from top schools found on this portal. Decisions become easier with quality information from the best schools in ministry.
Bible College Degree Requirements
Education in the area of ministry can result in a variety of degrees ranging from the bachelor’s to doctorate from bible colleges and seminary schools in the United States. Individuals will study the Bible extensively, including in depth examination of relevant portions.
Students will also learn to become public speakers as well as to apply logical argument in order to defend scripture in the face of adversity. Lessons in history, particularly in the ancient Biblical world allows for a proper context of understanding for the explored material. A curriculum in Christian ministries may include:
- Logic and Reasoning
- Social Interaction
- Bible Studies
- Christian Counseling
- Global Studies
- Biblical Languages
- Theology & Apologetics
- Christian Ministries
- Technical Studies
Ministry programs are generally found through seminaries or christian colleges. Individuals searching for the right school will typically choose one that is operated by their personal denomination.
Some schools offer non-denominational or open enrollment for such programs, allowing student of varying faiths to receive their desired education. As a result student less inclined toward local or denominational offerings may wish to explore better known or more widely acclaimed schools that allow for cross-denominational enrollment.
Employment Opportunities in Ministry
Individuals will typically pursue employment within their denomination, often as a pastor or minister within a an established or newly founded church. Salary is generally based on cost of living, and such individuals are expected to become an active participant in the community.
Job growth is expected to grow over the next decade, particularly due to expanding roles of churches as part of community and the expansion of various denominations into new areas. Scholarly review of ministry and employment in seminaries or colleges as an instructor is also possible. Additional resources are available through the NACM and the NALM as national associations in the ministerial sector of employment.
Bible Colleges Near Me
To quickly locate seminary schools and bible colleges near you, search accredited colleges with our online search tools, state-based bible colleges, or an alphabetical list of accredited schools listed below. To quickly help you find a clustering of ministry programs, we have grouped seminary schools in an easy-to-read fashion for visual learners.