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Degree Overview: Associates (A.A.) Degree in Christian Studies

Majors Overview November 1, 2013

Programs in Christian studies are mainly constructed on the doctrines, ministerial applications, and history of Christianity. Students interested in earning an associate’s degree in Christian studies may enroll at a community college, a seminary, or online.

A.A. Programs in Christian Studies

Students enrolled in Associate’s degree programs in Christian Studies are trained to be Christian evangelists or ministers. Coursework includes theoretical classes relating to Christian church doctrines, biblical interpretation, the Bible augmented by its individual books, and the life and teachings of Jesus Christ. Advanced theology, Christianity’s history, Minor Prophets, and biblical languages and translations form the focus of additional elective studies. Strategies for teaching and performance of religious ministries or missions form the focus of practical training imparted during the program. Schools may offer the program in Associate of Christian Studies (A.C.S.) or Associate of Arts (A.A.) formats. Admission criteria to programs usually require applicants to hold a GED certificate or high school diploma.

Coursework

Coursework in a Christian studies associate’s degree program is interdisciplinary and derives accordingly from literary studies, theology, history, ethics and philosophy. General education coursework may include topic areas such as English and psychology. Elective and core topics commonly include:

•Educational ministry
•Teachings and life of Jesus Christ
•Systematic theology
•The Protestant Reformation
•Baptist history
•Old Testament books
•Biblical translation
•New Testament books
•History of Christian thought
•Christian counseling techniques

Career Choices

Graduates from an associate’s degree in Christian studies can usually seek entry-level jobs in education, ministry or religious service. Job givers commonly include nonprofits including religious organizations. Additional training and degrees may be required by some professions. Graduates may seek various titles such as:

•Missionary
•Theologian
•Religious counselor
•Pastor
•Chaplain

Continuing Education Choices

Those who successfully complete Associate’s degree programs in Christian studies often seek to transfer to bachelor’s degree programs in the field. Divinity schools also offer various advanced degree options, including graduate degree options such as the Doctor of Philosophy, Doctor of Theology, Master of Divinity and Master of Christian Studies.

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