Accredited online master in ministry programs train students for employment as ministers in churches, schools and on the Internet. Although an online bachelor’s degree in ministry is sufficient for many entry-level jobs in the field, online master’s degrees in ministry can help students to advance to leadership positions. Both thesis and non-thesis online master’s degree programs in ministry that require students to complete a project outlining strategies for meeting a parish's needs help prepare students to effectively lead a group or church congregation. Some students also decide to continue their education and pursue an online PhD in ministry in order to work in academia or at a seminary.
What are the admission requirements for an online master’s in ministry?
For admissions purposes, students who apply to top online masters degree programs in ministry may need to submit the following:
- Application form
- Undergraduate transcripts
- Personal statement or Essay
- Letters of recommendation
These programs generally prefer candidates that have either a bachelors degree in ministry from an accredited school or a bachelors degree in a related field such as:
- Religious Studies
- Liberal Arts
What types of online master’s degrees in ministry can students pursue?
A variety of online masters degrees in ministry are offered by accredited online schools.
And, because ministry is a broad field, in order to become an expert in a specific field, students often pursue specialties or concentrations.
Common areas of focus for online degree students include:
- Youth Ministry: Online ministry masters degree students will learn to engage young students in church. They will explore strategies for addressing issues unique to youth parishioners, such as peer pressure.
- Urban Missiology: Ministry masters degree online students will be taught to apply concepts of ministry in cross-cultural contexts, especially to meet the unique needs of urban communities. They will develop multicultural perspectives in order to understand the needs of diverse urban populations.
- Theological History: Online masters degree ministry students will discuss how Christian doctrine has developed over time. They will learn about the impact of theology on society throughout the years in order to view ministry in a broader context.
- Biblical Studies: Students will gain a deeper understanding of the Bible and learn to lead Bible study groups. They will develop strategies for teaching and interpreting the Bible.
- Educational Leadership: Online master degree in ministry students will prepare to take leadership positions within a church's educational ministry or at a seminary. They will study strategies for teaching students about religion and prepare them to serve in the church.
What can students expect to learn in an online ministry master’s degree program?The best online master's degree ministry programs teach students skills in practical areas such as social perceptiveness and instruction as well as expand their knowledge in areas including religion, church history, psychology and education.
Top online masters programs in ministry offer students several courses, including:
- Foundations of Christian Theology: This course serves as an introduction to the basic tenets and terminology of Christianity. Students study theology in relation to classical and modern social issues.
- Biblical Interpretation: This online master’s degree ministry class focuses on hermeneutics, or the various interpretations of a text. Students will explore the different literary forms found in the Bible, contradictions discussed by scholars and methods of biblical interpretation.
- History of the Church: This class traces the origins of the church from the New Testament through the modern day. Students examine the development of the church as well as contemporary issues such as women in church, church authority and involvement in politics.
What careers can students pursue after graduating from ministry masters programs online?
Ministry online masters programs graduates may choose from a variety of different job options.
Some popular career choices for graduates are:
- Campus Minister: Campus ministers coordinate with a church to develop educational programs and encourage student involvement in church. They earn an annual salary of about $39,000 per year. The field of campus ministry is expected to grow by about 27% in the coming years.
- Religion Teacher: A religion teacher develops lesson plans, teaches religion courses and leads Bible study groups. They may also work to get their students more involved in church activities. Religion teachers earn about $61,000 each year, and the job has a projected growth of about 7% over the next few years.
- Church Manager: Church managers work with church staff and members to coordinate activities and fulfill organizational needs. On average, church managers earn about $77,000 per year. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), this job is expected to grow by about 15% in the next few years.