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Doctoral in Ministry

Ministry degree programs focus on religious ideologies and spiritual counsel. These programs provide instruction in religious education and principles of leadership as well. Graduates generally become pastors, pastoral counselors, ministers or church representatives. Students can work towards bachelors or masters degrees and acquire communications and leadership skills. Both campus-based as well as online colleges offer degrees in ministry. Students can take either of the two routes that may fit their individual routine and earn valuable credentials that may be useful for a related career path.

Ministry Degree Programs
The associate in ministry may require two years to complete while the bachelor's degrees can be completed in four years. The masters programs can generally be completed in 1-2 years. The enrollment status of the students may help to determine the program duration. Students may opt to focus their degree in biblical education and youth ministry. The undergraduate programs allow students to get to know how to lead and organize ministries and church groups while the graduate programs focus on advanced theological leadership concepts.

The curriculum in the ministry programs may include several topics such as pastoral counseling, Christian rites and traditions, biblical counseling, Christian philosophy and youth ministry services. Students can also take classes in organizational theology, ministry supervision and administration as well as applied counseling principles.

Doctoral in Ministry
Doctoral in ministry are advanced degrees that are geared towards experienced pastors and ministers. Students in these programs get a chance to further develop their skills in applying biblical scriptures to families and the complex problems they may encounter. Students may focus in various areas such as preaching, church erecting and congregation building and family counseling. The coursework may include topics such as cultural diversity in the church, youth ministry, spirituality and foreign missions.

Online Degrees in Ministry
Ministry degrees are also offered in online formats. Students who are interested in this area of study but cannot attend classes or go to the campus regularly may work towards an online degree. Stay-at-home parents who want to explore religious career paths may also pursue an online program and earn valuable credentials without attending classes in person. Ministers and other religious workers may also enroll in these programs and study without making any major changes to their existing work tenure.

Admissions Requirements
Students who want to work towards a doctoral in theology need to hold a master's degree from an accredited school. They may also need to have prior work experience. In addition, candidates may also have to provide letters of recommendation, appear for an interview and submit a writing sample. Some programs may also require candidates to have knowledge of Greek or Hebrew. Other admissions factors may vary by school.

Career Prospects
Students with degrees in theology may work as church representatives, ministers or pastors. The salaries for these professionals may vary with location, experience and qualification. According to BLS, the median annual wage of clergy in 2012 was $44,060.

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