5 Reasons to Earn a B.A. in Christian Ministries

Foundation is critical for ministry leaders. Your personal walk is the starting point for the work you do to serve God, no matter the type of ministry role. That’s why a B.A. in Christian Ministries will help you build a strong foundation to serve as the base for a lifetime of effective Christian service—wherever God leads you.

We connected with Laura Gilbertson, program director of Bethel’s B.A. in Christian Ministries to hear more about why people choose to pursue the degree and what it helps them gain. Here’s what she said:

1. You’ll take your ministry to the next level.

A B.A. in Christian Ministries degree allows you to investigate your own faith as you build a strong base of biblical studies and theology. It’s a great option for anyone who is actively involved in ministry—dedicated volunteers, lay ministers, or associate pastors. As you build a base of biblical knowledge and practical skills, it will propel you wherever your journey takes you, whether it’s seminary or a career move.

2. You’ll prepare for a variety of ministry roles!

If you’re considering a seminary degree, a B.A. in Christian Ministries degree is a good starting point. The degree will prepare you for a variety of ministry leadership roles: pastoral, youth or children’s ministry, worship, lay counseling, prayer ministry, Christian education, community ministry, missions, chaplaincy, and faith-based nonprofits and parachurch organizations.

3. You’ll develop skills and gain tools—it’s not about reshaping beliefs.

In Bethel’s B.A. in Christian Ministries, you’ll learn how to think, not what to think. Rather than expecting you to adopt the theological conclusions of the institution or individual faculty members, you will learn how to interpret scripture for yourself and apply it in meaningful ways in your unique settings.

Bethel seeks to be Christ-centered and person-centered. We value diversity in our classrooms in terms of race, gender, denomination, and country of origin. We strive to know students individually and invest in their personal and professional development with our time as well as an annual faculty-funded scholarship. Students in our program benefit from faculty networks in a variety of ministry settings.

4. The program is designed to fit your busy life.

As part of our online undergraduate programs, the B.A. in Christian Ministries is fully online, which offers a lot of flexibility for busy adults like you. However, we build meaningful connection points in every class to help you develop relationships with faculty and fellow students. To us, it’s beautiful to see how God draws people from across the country to journey together as learning partners. Friendships are deep within this program, and we regularly pray for one another. At Bethel, the 13 Christian Ministries program courses typically take about 18-20 months, but it is common for students to need additional credits to fulfill their general education requirements.

5. You’ll prepare for your next steps!

Students who earn a B.A. in Christian Ministries typically serve in churches, Christian nonprofits, and parachurch organizations. And about half of our graduates choose to continue to seminary to earn a master’s degree. If you earn a B.A. in Christian Ministries at Bethel, you’ll receive advanced standing with credit at Bethel Seminary. If accepted, three Christian Ministries courses count in place of three seminary courses. This means you will save time and money as you move toward a Bethel Seminary master’s degree.

Bethel University has been preparing ministry leaders since 1871—at the seminary, undergraduate, and graduate levels. In all programs, including the B.A. in Christian Ministries, you’ll learn from compassionate and experienced Christian faculty and benefit from hands-on learning in a practicum. All so you’ll be prepared to pursue your next steps, whether it’s your career, volunteer work, or furthering your education at seminary.