Master in Ministry
Ministers are religious workers who provide spiritual counsel and educate people on religious ideologies. If you are interested in becoming a minister, you will need to earn a college degree. A number of campus-based and online schools offer academic programs in religious studies. Programs are available at both undergraduate as well as graduate level. You can work towards the associate or bachelor's degrees in ministry and acquire the knowledge and skills to lead the church and help people learn about religious practices.
Master of Ministry
The master's degrees in ministry are also available. These programs can be useful for those who hold undergraduate degrees in religious studies as well as ministers who want to improve upon their knowledge. These graduate programs allow students to pick an area of focus that would help them specialize in a particular field within the discipline. Some of the areas students can choose to focus their degrees are youth ministry, biblical education and music ministry.
Combining principles of leadership with religious education, the master's degree focuses on the advanced theological concepts. Students can complete the program in 1-2 years depending on their enrollment status. In these programs, candidate will learn how to lead and organize ministries and church groups in addition to getting to know about fostering spiritual growth in people.
The curriculum in the master's in ministry degree programs includes a number of courses. Students can pursue classes in pastoral counseling, Christian rites and traditions, biblical counseling, Christian philosophy and youth ministry services. Other areas of study may include ministerial research and study, ministry supervision and administration, organizational theology and applied counseling principles. Going through this coursework helps learners get to know about theological concepts and hone leadership skills.
Ministry Degrees Online
Students who want to pursue a degree in ministry can also get into online schools. There are various distance learning institutes that offer academic programs in this area of study. The ones who are already engaged in part time or full time jobs can work towards the online programs as they are more flexible compared to traditional degree programs. The flexibility of the online learning allows students to keep a balance between their personal and professional lives. Stay-at-home parents as well as the ones with physical disabilities can also take the online learning route and pursue a degree in ministry without making major changes to their existing routine.
Students who want to enroll in a ministry degree need to hold a high school diploma or equivalent. Candidates may also have to submit SAT or ACT scores. In addition, having a background in ministry activities or involvement with church may also be useful. Other admissions' factors may vary with schools.
Graduates of ministry degrees generally qualify to become ministers, pastors, or church representatives. Compensation is subject to several factors including location, quality and experience. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the medium annual wage for clergy in 2012 was $44,060.