If you feel called to serve God through ministry, then earning a masters in Christian ministry online can help equip you to fulfill that calling.
An MA in Christian Ministry can give you a deeper understanding of scripture, discipleship, evangelism, and prayer. With an online master’s in ministry, you can help draw more people to Christ while helping your fellow Christians build stronger foundations for their faith.
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Christian ministry isn’t just a career. It is a mission field. And it just might be your calling.
Masters in Christian Ministry Online Programs
A Master of Arts in Christian Ministry is an advanced degree in biblical studies. This degree combines theological and ministerial studies, and it can help prepare you for a career in church leadership.
Many graduates go on to become pastors, clergymen, or ministers. Others even pursue work as high school teachers or college professors, teaching biblical studies. Many professionals in the ministry field also work for nonprofit organizations.
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Christian ministers are taught the professional, intellectual, and spiritual skills needed to correctly interpret scriptures. These skills are necessary in order for them to rightly use the Word of God to help their fellow Christians overcome today’s challenges.
Skills you can expect to learn in a Christian ministry program include:
- Critical thinking
An MA in Christian Ministry involves contextual courses that cover topics like local church leadership. It also involves relational courses, such as local church counseling, and biblical courses, such as preaching and teaching the Bible.
You will typically study the foundations of both the Old and New Testament, the development of Christian doctrine, and biblical interpretation. You can also examine pastoral care and learn ministerial ethics. These classes, among many others, can help prepare you for the responsibility of church leadership and ministering.
Christian Ministry Careers & Salaries
You don’t necessarily have to be a church leader to study Christian ministry. Although most ministers do work in religious organizations, many also work in education, government, nonprofits, and even businesses.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, next to religious organizations, most ministers work in healthcare settings, particularly hospitals. They can also work in home healthcare, nursing care, psychiatric and substance abuse hospitals, and out-patient care.
|Careers||Annual Median Salaries|
|Social and Community Service Managers||$69,600|
|Writers and Authors||$67,120|
|High School Teachers, Private Schools||$58,550|
|Music Directors and Composers||$52,250|
|Meeting, Convention, and Event Planners||$51,560|
|Substance Abuse, Behavioral Disorder, and Mental Health Counselors||$47,660|
|Directors, Religious Activities and Education||$45,110|
You could work in nearly any industry. For example, if you love to research and write, you might be able to use your MA in Christian Ministry to study the history of people and religion.
If you love working with kids, you can develop programs and activities to teach children about God and the Bible. Or, if you like helping people, counseling might be an option for you.
Christian Ministry Master’s Curriculum & Courses
Here are some examples of classes you may take in a Master of Arts in Christian Ministry degree online program:
- Biblical Hermeneutics: This course covers the basic principles of evangelical biblical interpretation and application.
- Christian Doctrine: You’ll study the cardinal doctrines of the Christian faith.
- Communicating in a 21st Century Ministry Context: This course can help prepare you to address various aspects of communication in a local church ministry setting.
- Introduction to Graduate Studies in Ministry and Theology: This course is designed to prepare you for your graduate study in Christian ministry.
- Leading and Organizing Ministries in the Church: This course offers practical training for ministry leaders.
- Ministerial Ethics: This course examines the biblical and theological foundations of Christian ethics.
- New Testament Foundations: You’ll study the historical background of the New Testament, with an introduction to hermeneutics and the proper interpretation of the books of the New Testament.
- Old Testament Foundations: You’ll study the historical background of the Old Testament, with an introduction to hermeneutics and the proper interpretation of the books of the Old Testament.
- Pastoral Care in a Ministry Context: You’ll explore how to provide effective ministry leadership.
- Practical Theology: This course analyzes the practical dimensions of systematic theology, with an emphasis on biblically rooted ministry and a focus on prayer, evangelism, discipleship, and church leadership.
Every program is different, of course, so not all programs will require you to take these specific classes. Some programs require a field experience at the end of the program, and some require you to complete multiple field experiences throughout the program.
How to Choose an Online Christian Ministry Graduate Program
Not all online Christian ministry graduate programs are created equal. Not only do they offer different classes, but they can also differ in structure, style, and offerings.
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Knowing which program to enroll in can be tough, especially when there are so many quality programs to choose from. Here are a few things to consider when comparing online ministry degree programs:
- Accreditation. Accreditation not only signifies a quality program but also affects your financial aid opportunities and whether your credits will be eligible for transfer.
- Bachelor’s degree. Some programs require you to have completed a bachelor’s degree in a related field. Others will allow admissions into their MA program while you’re still working on your BA.
- Career goals. Some programs allow for specialization by providing concentrations within Christian ministry, and other programs are broader.
- Cost. Some online programs charge out-of-state tuition and other fees.
- Experience. Some programs require previous experience for admittance.
- Program schedule. Do you need to log in at specific times? Or is the schedule more flexible, allowing you to study when it’s convenient for you? Do you need to attend any classes on-campus?
It can help to keep these factors in mind when comparing programs. That way, you can more easily see which programs best meet your needs.
M.A. in Christian Ministry Admissions Requirements
Admissions requirements vary from school to school, but most schools require the following to be considered for admissions:
- Bachelor degree
- Postsecondary transcripts
- Personal statement of faith
- Academic or professional references
- References from your church
In general, Christian ministry programs do not require GRE or GMAT scores for admittance. You can look at your school’s website or contact your school’s admission department to find out what their specific requirements are before applying.
A regionally accredited school is verified by an accrediting agency to ensure it meets certain national standards for higher education. Meeting these standards confirms that the school is providing you with a quality education.
If a school is accredited, it is trusted by other schools and organizations to teach you the skills you need to be successful in your chosen career. Because of this, employers often prefer candidates from accredited schools.
In addition, financial aid is only provided to students attending accredited institutions. To be sure your school is accredited, you can visit the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA).
Financial Aid and Scholarships
Graduate students do not often qualify for as many financial aid opportunities as undergraduate students.
The federal government does still offer financial aid, though—including the Federal Direct Grad Plus Student Loan—to those who qualify. To see if you qualify for need-based aid, you can fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
You can also search for scholarship opportunities. Your university may offer scholarships to Christian ministry students. You can also check with your local church and with organizations that fall under your denomination. Some employers offer tuition reimbursement programs as well.
What Is Christian Ministry?
Christian ministry is commonly associated with church leaders, such as pastors, priests, and clergy. Anyone can be a Christian minister, though. In fact, all Christians are called to minister.
Christian ministry involves sharing God’s Word and bringing people to Jesus, and all Christians are called to serve others—even non-Christians—through ministry. Christians often do this by meeting the needs of others and by teaching God’s Word.
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To be “in” Christian ministry typically means that you have made ministry into your profession, often working either full-time or bivocationally. Depending on the religious institution and the particular role, a ministry-related degree is often required to qualify for leadership positions.
What Can You Do with a Master of Christian Ministry Degree?
A masters in Christian ministry can help you qualify for leadership roles within the church. Many Christian ministers work as pastors and clergymen.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Christian ministers can work in nearly any industry. Work settings can include:
- Religious organizations
- Home healthcare services
- Nursing care facilities
- Psychiatric and substance abuse hospitals
- Federal government
- Social advocacy organizations
- Colleges and universities
Christian ministers are needed to help others in a variety of settings, and they can take on different titles, depending on their roles. For instance, some may serve as lead pastors, associate pastors, chaplains, or directors of outreach ministries. Others may even teach at secondary or postsecondary institutions.
How Long Does It Take to Get a Master’s in Christian Ministry Online?
Earning a master’s in Christian ministry usually takes 1 to 2 years. The number of required credit hours can vary greatly between schools.
Programs that consist of 36 or 38 credit hours can often be finished in 1 year with full-time study if no thesis is required. Some programs also require a practicum at a local church, which can consist of around 100 hours of field experience.
If your online theology degree program allows you to work at your own pace, you may be able to complete it even faster, depending on the number of units required. If you attend only part-time, it could take you longer to graduate.
Is a Masters in Christian Ministry Worth It?
Yes, a masters in Christian ministry is worth it for many students. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects 4% job growth for clergy over the next ten years. Social and community service managers are expected to grow 17%, and religious activities and education directors are expected to grow 3%.
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Most students enroll in Christian ministry because they feel called to serve the local church or community. If you have a deep religious faith, love to read and study the Bible, and care about others, you may find Christian ministry to be a very rewarding career.
Universities Offering Online Masters in Christian Ministry Degree Programs
Methodology: The following school list is in alphabetical order. To be included, a college or university must be regionally accredited and offer degree programs online or in a hybrid format.
Abilene Christian University offers a Master of Arts in Christian Ministry. The program can be completed in 30 months after obtaining 48 credit hours. To be eligible for the program, applicants must have 2 letters of recommendation, an undergraduate GPA of ‘B’ or higher, a personal statement of interest, and a writing assessment.
Abilene Christian University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
Anderson University offers a Master of Arts in Christian Ministry. The online program offers a concentration in Pastoral Ministry, Student Ministry, or Preaching. Those interested in the program may apply online with 3 letters of recommendation, an official transcript, and an academic writing sample.
Anderson University is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.
Biola University offers a Master of Arts in Christian Ministry and Leadership. Students may choose to add a concentration in Pastoral Care and Counseling, Preaching and Pastoral Ministry, or Christain Ministry and Leadership to their degree. Applicants must have a minimum GPA of 2.6, official transcripts, official test scores, 2 references, and 2 essays.
Biola University is accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission.
Colorado Christian University offers a Master of Arts in Executive Leadership in Christian Ministry. To graduate, students must complete 39 credit hours. To be eligible for the program, applicants must have an undergraduate GPA of 2.5 or higher, an essay, official transcripts from a bachelor’s degree program, and a state-issued ID.
CCU also offers a bachelor’s in Christian ministry degree online.
Colorado Christian University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
Dallas Baptist University offers a Master of Arts in Christian Ministry. Students may add a concentration in Christian Ministry and Education, Counseling Ministry, Family Ministry, Leading the Nonprofit Organization, Ministry Leadership, and others.
To graduate, students must complete 36 credit hours. Applicants must submit official transcripts, 2 letters of recommendation, a statement of purpose, and a resume.
Dallas Baptist University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
Faulkner University offers an online Master of Arts in Christian Ministry. Students must complete 36-credit hours, including a 3-hour practicum, to graduate. To be eligible for the program, applicants must have a minimum undergraduate GPA of 3.0, 3 letters of recommendation, and a personal essay about the applicant’s goals.
Faulkner University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
Grand Canyon University offers a Master of Arts in Christian Ministry. Online classes last 8 weeks long. To graduate, students must complete 38 credit hours. To be eligible for the program, applicants must submit an admissions form with official transcripts from all schools attended.
Grand Canyon University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
Liberty University offers a Master of Arts in Christian Ministry. To graduate, students must complete 36 credit hours. The online classes last for 8-weeks. To be eligible for the program, applicants must have a GPA of 2.0 or higher and must submit an application with a copy of their official college transcripts.
Liberty University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
Oral Roberts University offers a Master’s of Christian Ministry. To graduate, students must complete 30 credit hours and a 6-hour ministry workshop. Each of the online classes lasts for 7-weeks. Applicants must submit official transcripts, graduate test scores, a personal essay, a Minster’s recommendation, and an academic recommendation.
Oral Roberts University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
Southwest Baptist University offers a Master of Arts in Christian Ministry. The program requires students to complete 36 credit hours and a practicum to graduate. Students may add a concentration such as in Biblical and Theological Studies, Missions, or Family Ministry. Applicants may apply online through the school’s website.
Southwest Baptist University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
Getting Your Master of Arts in Christian Ministry Online
Christian ministry is more than just a career. It is a way of life. With a Master of Arts in Christian Ministry from an accredited institution, you can pursue meaningful careers that embody Christian principles in a variety of industries.
This type of program can help equip you to engage the field of education, healthcare, journalism, government, social advocacy, mental health, or research from a Christian perspective.
If you feel called to inspire others to walk in Christ’s footsteps, you can get started by exploring online masters programs in Christian Ministry today.