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Degree Overview: Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) Degree in Pastoral Christian Studies

Majors Overview March 13, 2015

Get information about a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) degree program in Pastoral Christian Studies and its education requirements, coursework, career choices, job and wage outlook, and continuing education choices.

Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) Degree Programs in Pastoral Christian Studies

Students enrolled in a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) degree program in Pastoral Ministry, Christian Ministry, or a closely related field participate in courses that comprehensively focus on church history, theology, biblical languages, and the Bible, in addition to Christian leadership, evangelism, and pastoral and educational ministries.

Students are imparted a strong grasp of scriptures to augment a religious comprehension of society, the congregation, and the purpose and will of God for the individual. Students can expect to become adept at writing and delivering weekly sermons and engaging in sensitive conversation.

Each Christian denomination may have its unique requirements for ordination or full participation; hence, it may be necessary for prospective students to communicate with their clergy to find out about the specific requirements before they can ascend to a leadership role in the church or accomplish ordination.

The Bachelor of Science (B.S.) degree is also available through some colleges that offer Pastoral Christian Studies; a similar curriculum is available in these programs that usually don’t insist on the need to learn a foreign language. Schools may also offer the program online.

Education Requirements

Admission criteria typically require incoming students to hold a GED certificate or a high school diploma. Some schools also consider accomplishments and experience of candidates, in addition to educational background before admitting them to the program.


The Coursework of pastoral Christian studies programs aims to enrich every student’s knowledge of religion and maturity of faith. Classroom instruction is augmented by hands-on experiences. Core coursework may include topic areas such as:

•Concepts in pastoral ministry
•Systematic theology
•New Testament studies
•Sermon preparation and delivery
•Church history
•Christian theology
•Christian evangelism
•Church administration
•Pastoral counseling
•Old Testament studies
•Youth evangelism

Career Choices

Those who successfully graduate from the Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) degree program are ready for entry-level roles in congregational leadership. They can seek careers such as:

•Senior pastor
•Assistant pastor
•Associate pastor

Job and Wage Outlook

A job growth rate of 10% has been predicted for clergy members over the 2012 – 2022 decade (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics). In 2013, these professionals brought home an average annual wage of $47,540 (BLS).

Continuing Education Choices

Bachelor’s degree program graduates may opt for continuing education by earning a Master of Arts (M.A.) degree in Pastoral Studies or Christian Studies, among other related fields. Coursework may typically include ministry courses and core theology courses.

Schools may offer concentrations in the New Testament, the Old Testament, or theology, in addition to specialized ministry work devised to serve groups such as small Christian congregations, Hispanics, and youth.

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