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How to Become a Minister

Minister training may provide you with the opportunity to fuse faith and vocation. However, to become a member of the clergy or pursue missionary-related work, an education through ministry schools might be required. This education may provide you with opportunities to advance your historical and spiritual knowledge. Not all trained in the ministry go on to stand behind a pulpit every week--some trained theologians do research, while others may work with individuals and families outside the church.

Degree programs at ministry schools may often be customized based on your field and goals. At the four-year level, you may pursue a bachelor of divinity degree or a bachelor's in theology. Often, the bachelor's of divinity, or BD, may be considered the equivalent to a bachelor's of art degree, but with a specialty in divinity. At the bachelor's level, church law, ethics, pastoral care, and the particular theology of a church could be studied. Advanced degrees may include the master of divinity, the master of pastoral ministry, and the master of theological studies degree.

Ministry degree programs and training may often be combined with secular degrees. Options might be available in fields such as business, counseling, nursing or psychology. Your personal and career goals can help guide the education you pursue. Non-degree programs are advantageous because they could provide training without requiring a commitment to a full degree program.

Minister salary information

Average minister salary varies based on location, experience, denomination, church size and other factors. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, clergy earned mean annual wages of $46,960. Employment opportunities are expected to grow about as fast as average during 2008 to 2018, according to the BLS.


Minister Training

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            B.A. in Christian Studies with a concentration in Youth Ministry
            • Prepare for your mission - earn your bachelor's or master's degree in theology online with Grand Canyon University.
            • The College of Theology offers a variety of transformative degrees with real-world relevance.
            • Choose from several degree options, such as Christian studies, pastoral ministry, Master of Divinity and more.
            • Pursue a next-generation education with an online program or join Grand Canyon University's vibrant and growing campus community in beautiful Phoenix, Arizona.
            • GCU's College of Theology exists to educate students to communicate the gospel effectively, serve the church faithfully and minister with integrity.
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            Doctor of Ministry: Theology and Apologetics
            • Liberty University’s online programs ranked in the top 10 out of more than 2,100 colleges & universities for academic quality, affordability, and accessibility.*
            • 100% online programs at associate, bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral level.**
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            • Up to 50% of your master’s degree can be transferred in to help you get the most out of your hard work and maximize the credit you previously earned.
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            Associate of Arts in Christian Ministry - Pastoral Ministry
            • Ranked among the 2015 Best National Universities by U.S. News & World Report.
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            • Offers credit for prior learning and experience through assessment tests.
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            • Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) of the North Central Association (NCA).
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            Online Master of Information
            • Ranked one of the Top Public Schools in 2017 by U.S. News and World Report.
            • Founded in 1766 as a public institution; it has a main campus in New Brunswick, New Jersey and offers many programs online.
            • Has an average freshman retention rate of 91.8%.
            • Its student-faculty ratio is 14:1, and 38% of its classes have fewer than 20 students.
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            Science and Technology Multidisciplinary Studies (Bachelor of Science) - Online
            • For the 12th consecutive year, Cal U was named one for the best schools in the Northeast by The Princeton Review 
            • Recognized by the U.S. News and World Report for: Best Online Programs, Bachelor’s 2017, Best Online Programs, Grad Education 2017 and Best Online Programs, Bachelor’s for Veterans 2017
            • Quality Online courses at Cal U have the same objectives, content and learning outcomes as campus-based programs and are taught by the same expert professors.
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            Gender Diversity Studies - MA in Psychology
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            • Implements a one-to-one teaching model, partnering one student with one faculty member in each course.
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            B.A. Human Development
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            Master of Social Work (MSW) Degree
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            • Online programs & 3 campuses in San Antonio, Houston, & Rio Grande Valley, TX
            • A Catholic Education at OLLU is shaped by their unique belief in God’s Providence
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            Human Services (MS)
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