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Degree Overview: Associate’s (A.A.) Degree in Divinity

Majors Overview November 2, 2013

Divinity involves undergoing the studies of theology or a certain religion. Associate degree programs in this field are sometimes known as the study of Christianity. Accommodation from these studies will help create a strong educational background for aspiring pastors, church leaders, or ministers.

Associate of Divinity Degree Programs

Students enrolled in 2-year Associate of Divinity Degree Programs are prepared to seek entry-level careers in practical ministry or continued education in theology. Private, Christian colleges and universities typically offer these programs that students can use to imbibe a historical background in Christian beliefs and faith, and develop the counseling and communication tools students would need in serving a congregation.

Education Requirements

Some Associate of Divinity programs don’t expect applicants to have any specific professional or educational background, other than a holding a GED certificate or high school diploma. However, some associate’s degree programs in divinity require students seeking admission to have completed a minimum of three years of work in a church in any capacity. Age limits are specified in some programs that require applicant students to be at least 25 years of age.

Coursework

Coursework in Associate’s degree programs in divinity is often a combination of classroom instruction and seminars that cover the Christian doctrine and the history of Christianity. Practical ministries courses and internship participation are often required to be completed. Coursework may include various themes such as:

•Theology training
•Pastoral ministry training
•History of Western civilization
•Contemporary Christian life
•Moral decision-making
•Counseling
•New Testament
•Hermeneutics
•Old Testament

Career Choices Popular for Students with an Associate degree in Divinity

Graduates of an associate’s degree program in religious studies, divinity, or theology are prepared to seek entry-level careers in a church. Candidates may choose from these various positions:

•Youth minister
•Associate pastor
•Pastor
•Church minister
•Missionary

Continuing Education Choices

Credits earned in associate degree programs are often transferred, by graduates, to baccalaureate programs in the field. Programs such as a Master of Divinity or Bachelor of Divinity are often offered by Christian schools and private universities. Those interested in continuing education, that includes studies on theology or other religions, could consider enrolling in master’s and bachelor’s degree programs in religious studies or theology. Those who wish to pursue careers in academia or research can consider enrolling in Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) programs in theology.

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  • Links students to hundreds of training opportunities (beyond their traditional internships and practicum) at their many “partner agencies” in each of their local communities.
  • Accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission (WUSCUC).
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  • Ranked among the top 20 Regional Universities in the West in 2015 by U.S. News & World Report.
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  • More than 97% of tenure-track faculty holds a terminal degree in their field.
  • Student to faculty ratio of 15:1, and 47.5% of classes have fewer than 20 students.
  • Accredited by The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).
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