Christian studies is a discipline that focuses on the Christian tradition and its history. Christian studies majors explore the history of the Christian Bible and the essential figures and themes in the Old and New Testament, as well as philosophy, ethics, and other religious traditions. Most Christian studies programs are geared toward those pursuing careers in Christian leadership, whether in ministry or in Christian organizations. Students with a general interest in Christianity or theology might also pursue this degree.
An associate or bachelor’s degree in Christian studies is ideal for students seeking entry-level positions in Christian leadership, church administration, youth ministry, or in non-profit organizations. Graduate level degrees in Christian leadership are necessary for most Christian pastoral positions or university-level teaching positions. Many online degrees are available in Christian leadership, from the associate level to the doctorate level.
The two-year associate degree in Christian studies provides an introductory education in this field. The degree can be completed through distance learning, as well as on campus at some local community colleges and Christian colleges. Students take introductory courses in Bible history, world religions, philosophy, ethics, and history. It is a foundational degree for those interested in entry-level or administrative positions in Christian institutions, organizations, companies, or schools or for those planning to complete a bachelor’s degree in the future.
A bachelor’s degree in Christian studies is a recommended degree for those pursuing a long-term career in Christian ministry, leadership, or education. A Bachelor of Arts degree in this discipline might include courses in philosophy, ethics, history, religion, theology, and language classes in Latin, Hebrew, or Greek. The curriculum might also include course work studying specific books of the Bible, characters, regions, and themes, as well as courses in leadership or counseling. Some online degree programs are available, but most Christian studies programs will include an internship requirement.
A Master of Arts in Christian Studies prepares the student for an advanced career in Christian ministry, leadership, or active missions. The degree involves intensive study of the Bible and its history to enhance the student’s ability to interpret and teach its principles. A master’s degree in Christian studies may take one to two years to complete, depending on the program. If you choose to complete your degree through an online college, the program might be accelerated. Master’s degree holders in this field may become ministers or high-level leaders in Christian charities or organizations.
A Ph.D. in Christian studies is a common degree track among ministers and pastors and often a requirement to teach at a Christian college or university. Doctor of Divinity, Ministry, or Biblical Studies degrees are also available at many online colleges and seminaries. This degree requires extensive study and research and the completion of a dissertation. It may take four or more years to complete, depending on the program you select.