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Degree Overview: Bachelor of Science (B.S.) Degree in Religious Systems Management

Majors Overview January 23, 2015

Receive information about a bachelor’s degree program in religious systems management and its coursework, career choices, job and wage outlook, and continuing education choices.

Bachelor of Science (B.S.) Programs in Religious Systems Management

The business aspects of running religious organizations, such as a church, will be taught to students enrolled in bachelor’s degree programs in religious systems management. When an organization provides a place of worship, it performs a community service.

However, every organization, including a church, has to fulfill several other obligations, such as meeting payrolls, maintaining grounds, offering healthcare, and providing other services to its employees, in addition to fulfilling financial obligations. Churches are able to accomplish their missions and goals through competent legal and financial administration.

Schools offer a bachelor’s degree in the field of religious management under various titles. They offer both religion-specific programs (e.g., church-management programs) and programs that are a component part of nonprofit management, which is a broader field. While some schools offer master’s degrees, numerous schools offer bachelor’s degree programs.

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


Coursework in a bachelor’s degree program in religious systems management is devised to hone students’ skills in subject areas that are pertinent to the efficient running of a church. Business degree programs also include similar courses; however, the curricula in bachelor’s degree programs in religious systems management also provide spiritual, ethical, and religious perspectives to decision-making. Core coursework may include topic areas such as the following:

•Ministry management
•Ministry basics
•Organizational leadership
•Organizational business ethics
•Organizational information technology
•Church financial management
•Church and ministry administration
•Fundraising and stewardship

Career Choices

The missions of religious organizations and churches, which involve financial aspects, help differentiate them from other business organizations; however, these groups are not motivated by profit-driven purposes. Despite this, a healthy religious organization cannot ignore the proper handling of its financial resources.

Armed with a bachelor’s degree in religious systems management, a student can seek career options such as these:

•Church administrator
•Church ministry manager
•Church accountant
•Mission organizations manager
•Worship ministries director

Job and Wage Outlook

Over the 2012 – 2022 decade, a job growth rate of 21% has been predicted for social and community service managers employed with professional, civic, grant-making, religious, and similar organizations (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics). In May 2012, individuals working in financial and business operations occupations for religious groups brought home an average annual wage of $53,300, while over the same period, those employed in management occupations for religious organizations earned $84,550 on average.

Continuing Education Choices

Those that successfully complete a bachelor’s degree program may pursue continuing education either by enrolling in a master’s degree program in nonprofit management or through joining a seminary to earn a master’s of divinity degree, whereby students can prepare themselves for careers in religious leadership.

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