Christian leaders dedicate their lives to making a positive impact on the world, and the challenges of improving society often demand professional skills as well as an understanding of Christian theology. Christian studies programs include the study of religious texts and philosophies, delving into historical and contemporary influences of Christian thought across the ages.
Faith-based careers commonly require an ability to share the Christian message with others and to organize large groups of people. To prepare students for these leadership roles, Christian studies programs work to develop students’ skills in leadership, communication, and analytical thinking. Not to be overlooked is the faith-based aspect of Christian studies, which encourages students to strengthen their own relationship with God in order to become stronger leaders within the church.
Studying the Bible and other religious texts is a major part of the Christian studies curriculum. The texts and doctrines emphasized in each program will vary slightly based on the denomination of theological thought. Christian studies programs are offered by seminary colleges, theology schools, and traditional universities. There are also a number of online Christian studies degree programs designed for working adults who require a more flexible school schedule.
Christian studies degrees are available at all levels, but a bachelor’s degree is the typical entry-level requirement for a minister or clergy member. Advanced degrees in Christian studies often concentrate on counseling, education, or a specific area of ministry – such as youth outreach. To supplement their Christian studies degrees, students may choose a second major (or minor) in areas such as foreign languages or music to become missionaries or worship leaders. Those who seek a PhD in Christian studies typically take a more academic approach to religious texts and historical contexts, becoming biblical scholars and educators.