Pastoral Christian Studies Bachelor's Degree

Earning a bachelor's degree in pastoral Christian studies can help you combine your interests in religious studies and helping people. Career options range from working in a hospital setting to working in a community center, and other career paths are available. Schools offering Pastoral Ministry degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Is a Bachelor's in Pastoral Christian Studies?

Bachelor's degrees in pastoral Christian studies are usually offered by 4-year, private Christian schools. These pastoral programs include theological studies in Christian scriptures, belief systems and religious practices. Some bachelor's degree programs in Christian studies are offered in nondenominational seminaries, while many are affiliated with Christian denominations. The pastoral Christian studies bachelor's degree will prepare you for a career as a minister, youth pastor, spiritual counselor or leader in ministry programs and organizations.

Degree Availability Offered by 4-year private Christian schools and nondenominational seminaries
Common Courses Church history, biblical theology, speech, counseling, preaching
Career Options Christian minister, pastor, youth minister, missionary
Mean Annual Wage (2014) $47,730 (for clergy)*

*Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

What Will I Study In the Program?

Pastoral Christian studies bachelor's degree programs likely include both courses fundamental to biblical and Christian understanding and courses aimed at developing pastoral skills. Some Christian-focused areas include church history, theory and Christian religion. Other areas include Christian ethics, church management and canon law. Examples of courses in these areas include:

  • Church history
  • Christian faith
  • Biblical theology
  • The gospels

In addition to courses that focus on deepening your understanding of the church and Christianity, you will also take classes that aim to improve your pastoral ability. These courses may fall into areas such as communications, counseling, social work and leadership. Some of these classes include:

  • Speech
  • Counseling
  • Interpersonal skills
  • Preaching

If you plan on doing missionary work or living in another country, you may also include a foreign language into your studies. In addition to coursework you may also have to complete an internship in order to earn your bachelor's degree.

What Religious Careers Are Open to Me?

Upon graduating from a pastoral Christian studies bachelor's degree program, you should be eligible to obtain a position within a Church or religious organization. Some specific positions open to you may include:

  • Christian minister
  • Pastor
  • Youth minister
  • Missionary

What Career Outlook Can I Expect?

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, those working in the clergy earned an average salary of $47,730 per year as of May 2014. The salary that you earn will depend both on your denomination and the environment in which you work. One obvious career path is to work as a pastor, preacher or related occupation in a private church, but there are many other choices as well.

If you earn your degree in pastoral Christian studies you can work in a hospital setting, for an organization, community center or even for the federal government. You can also work as a teacher or theologian in an academic setting, but for this you may have to earn a graduate degree in theological studies.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

  • 1. Degree Options:

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  • Grand Canyon University

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  • Kaplan University

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  • Southern New Hampshire University

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  • Baker College Online

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  • Welch College

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    • Tennessee: Nashville
  • World Mission University

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    • California: Los Angeles
  • Saint Joseph's University

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  • W L Bonner College

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    • South Carolina: Columbia
  • Southwestern College

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    • Arizona: Phoenix
  • Vanguard University of Southern California

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    • California: Costa Mesa