An education in Christian studies involves a comprehensive understanding of ministry, theology, and the Bible, and prepares students for a career in Christian ministry. Completing a bachelor’s degree in Christian studies is ideal for students aspiring to enter the field of ministry or advance their existing employment within a faith-based occupation. Bachelor’s -level programs typically include courses in basic Christianity, Biblical, theological, historical and ethical theory, and speaking and writing skills. Generally, Christian studies programs strongly encourage and may help facilitate faith-based internships and/or work experience to supplement their degree. Christian studies bachelor’s degree-holders are typically eligible for entry-level careers as clergy members or leaders, missionaries, or within faith-based administration.
Why a Bachelor’s Degree?
A bachelor’s degree in Christian studies is the minimum education requirement for entry-level employment in this field, including various positions in churches and places of worship, as well as other faith-based organizations and branches of local government. Students interested in exploring the possibilities of combining their religious beliefs with lucrative professional opportunities may be well-suited to pursuing a bachelor’s degree. With a bachelor’s degree and some professional experience, students can become directors of religious activities and education for various churches and other organizations, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). For the most convenient work-from-anywhere programs, students might consider a Christian bachelor’s degree online, which provides the same extensive course work, is often taught by the same teachers, and is held to the same standards as an on-campus degree, but may be completed in four years or less.
Getting Into a Bachelor’s Degree Program
Bachelor’s degree programs in Christian studies are increasingly widespread online. While requirements vary per school, most admissions criteria are minimal:
- associate degree, or high school diploma or GED (or equivalent)
- minimum required score on basic academic placement testing (if applicable)
- Application including statement of intent and/or application fees (as applicable, according to school)
- Transferred college-level course credits from previous education, if applicable
Inside a Bachelor’s Degree Program
Bachelor’s degree programs in Christian studies typically take three to four years to complete, however an online program may require less time. Students pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Christian studies with an associate degree or extensive prior education may be eligible to take placement tests to place out of foundation courses. In a bachelor’s program students are required to satisfy around 120 credits in courses including ministry studies, English literature, in-service guidance, and theological research and writing. Many students also pursue work experience in addition to their bachelor’s degree to prepare for entry-level employment, and some online programs make beneficial internship programs and/or work-study partnerships with Christian organizations available to students.
Online Christian bachelor’s degrees combine the benefits of a traditional program with the convenience of an e-learning atmosphere. Using a specially-developed e-learning module, online students have available Internet resources like digital seminars, live video chats, and webinars, in addition to traditional academic resources. Streaming communication tools also allow for email and chat correspondence between students and professors. Online programs in Christian studies may also offer the added advantages of implementing modern innovations such as Internet evangelism into optional elective curriculum.
What’s Next for Christian Studies Bachelor’s Degree Holders?
Graduates of a Christian bachelor’s degree online are eligible for a diverse selection of entry-level jobs in churches, non-profits, and other faith-based organizations. Bachelor’s degree-holders should be able to demonstrate a thorough understanding of Biblical, ethical, theological issues as they relate to Christian worship and ministry. In addition to these subjects, employers may favor candidates with strong administration skills. Bachelor’s degree-holders may be qualified for jobs as clergy members or religious organization administrators, according to the BLS.
Bachelor’s degree graduates may choose to pursue a higher education in Christian studies or a related field. Several accredited schools offer both Christian studies master’s degrees and Ph.D.s online. Students holding a graduate degree in this field may be eligible for top leadership-oriented positions or senior ministry jobs at churches, community faith-based organizations, or even local government institutions, though opportunities and requirements vary.