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Degree Overview: Bachelor of Science (B.S.) Degree in Christian Studies and Theology

Majors Overview January 28, 2015

Christian studies and theology programs offer academic and secular studies in religious faith that provide a basis for spiritual reflection in everyday life. Careers in the seminary, ministry, or church are available to those that graduate from bachelor’s degree programs in Christian studies and theology.

Bachelor of Science (B.S.) Degree Programs in Christian Studies and Theology

Students enrolled in the majority of undergraduate programs in Christian studies and theology have to complete interdisciplinary coursework with a focus on ethics, religious practices, history, religious beliefs and teachings, and faith.

Often, branches of the Christian religion, the Bible, and the history of Christianity are the focus of studies and are augmented by other aspects, such as literature, humanities, psychology, sociology, and philosophy.

In some programs, students are offered the choice of pursuing a track or concentration area within the field, such as pastoral coaching, ministry, or the Bible. Through the duration of coursework, there are service-learning experiences or internships, Bible study groups, chapel services, and mentoring programs.

Admission criteria typically require incoming students to hold a GED certificate or a high school diploma.

Coursework

Students may gain skills in reflection, discussion, critical thinking, foreign language, speech, and composition as they explore the foundations of Christian belief, church history, and Christian theology. Coursework focuses on areas of faith, practices, beliefs, the Old and New Testaments, and practical ministry. Core coursework may include topical areas such as the following:

•Apologetics
•Hermeneutics
•Theology topics
•Ethics
•Religion philosophy
•Spirituality
•World religions
•Social issues
•Christian thought
•Systematic theology

Career Choices

Those that complete a bachelor’s degree program in Christian studies and theology can seek church-related careers and aim for positions such as:

•Children’s pastors
•Nonprofit program administrators
•Relief workers
•Missionaries
•Resident directors

Job and Wage Outlook

A job growth rate of 8% has been predicted for directors of religious activities and education over the 2012 – 2022 decade. Over the same period, members of the clergy are expected to see a 10% growth (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics). In 2012, directors brought home an average annual wage of $44,240, while clergy members, in general, banked $44,060 on average (BLS).

Continuing Education Choices

Those that complete a bachelor’s degree program may either attend a seminary or pursue continuing education via graduate studies in a school of religion; some may enroll into a Master of Ministry (M.Min.) degree program. Those that wish to pursue careers as clergy members would benefit by completing a master’s degree.

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