Online Ministry Certificates and Degree Programs

Learn about certificate and degree options for aspiring ministers and find out about the classes usually offered in these programs. Get tips about online study and considerations when choosing a program. Schools offering Christian Ministry degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Online Ministry Programs Are Available?

Certificates are available through many online and extension colleges. You must have a high school diploma or a GED to enter into this program. Some certificate programs are available at the postgraduate level and allow you to transfer your certificate credits towards a master's degree.

Online programs in ministry are available as a certificate and at the associate's, bachelor's and master's degree level. These programs provide the opportunity to transfer credits to the next degree level if you choose to continue your education. After completion of these degrees, you'll be prepared to enter into a leadership or ministry position with a church.

Degree LevelsCertificate, associate, bachelor's and master's
Online ComponentsOnline discussions, weekly assignments, possible internships
Common CoursesDiscipleship, research, world religions, youth outreach
Median Salary (2018) $48,990 (for all clergy)*
Job Outlook (2016-2026) 8% growth (for all clergy)*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

What Will I Study in a Certificate Program?

The certificate program provides options for general ministry, youth ministry and practical ministry. These online studies help you to better interpret the Bible and to minister through scripture. Whether you're working with youths in your church or want to minister more effectively, this certificate will teach you the basics to discipleship. You'll study ministry coaching, spirituality, youth outreach, prayer and compassion.

You'll learn how to address problems of your church through decision-making and problem-solving skills in the Associate of Arts in Christian Ministry degree program. Through online courses, you'll study ministry tools, such as stewardship, principles of worship, oral communication, Bible study, ministry methods, spiritual formation and college study. You'll also study the word through courses in the Old Testament and the Life of Christ.

What About Full Degree Programs?

The bachelor's degree programs study much of the same subjects, such as ministry methods and Biblical study. You'll improve your ministering skills by engaging solutions through Biblical thought and analysis. You'll delve deeper into religious studies by looking at world religions, themes in the Bible, evangelism, history of Christianity and Christianity in America.

The master's degree program teaches you communication and preaching skills, while maintaining study on the Bible and the history of Christianity. You'll study hermeneutics, theology, faithfulness, discipleship, youth ministry, research in ministry, philosophy and cultural influences in ministry. You'll also look at sociology as it pertains to ministry, including culture, age, marriage, sex, class, gender and sexuality.

Why Should I Consider Online Study?

The purpose of these online studies is to offer you the opportunity to advance your ministering skills. Even though hours may be flexible, you'll still be held accountable for your work through weekly assignments and discussions.

Keep in mind, some of the online programs are hybrid programs. This means that while you may complete some of your study online, you must also attend some online courses or residencies. Through cohorts, you'll learn with the same set of ministers through on-campus study and online discussions, and build a community to help minister to others. Also, internships with local churches and ministering projects are required as part of your program, so expect to complete some of your program outside of your home.

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:

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The schools in the listing below are not free and may include sponsored content but are popular choices among our users. Tuition and costs will vary across programs and locations. Be sure to always request tuition information before starting a program.

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