As a prospective preacher (let's say, a pastor, evangelist, apostle, prophet etc), the very moment you hear about getting a degree in Christian ministry, what's the first thing that comes to your mind?
Or let me put it this way: If you were offered the opportunity or a scholarship into a school of ministry for the purpose of obtaining a degree in Christian ministry, would you go for it? Well, to me, it depends. I believe there are so many factors that should altogether serve as a yardstick for getting a Christian ministry degree.
Obtaining a degree in an academic discipline today is a hotcake; so many people treat it as their life purpose. It's what many live and strive for throughout the days of their life.
Although it's a nice thing for one to broaden their knowledge and acquire many certificates in their field, I believe that when it comes to Christian ministry, things are (or should be) done a bit differently. I'll give my reasons.
Education is noble; it transforms people and makes the world go round. Even God encourages it. In the second book of Timothy, we are made to understand that God Almighty expects us to be knowledgeable of His Word (likewise in Joshua 1:8 and Hosea 4:6).
2 Timothy 2:15 KJVStudy to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
As we can see from the scripture above, the Lord is not against anyone acquiring knowledge. He actually loves it when we study and acquire adequate knowledge of His Word. But Christian ministry is a very delicate thing. It's a vocation committed to man straight out of Heaven; it's nothing toy with.
I believe we need to be extra cautious when it comes to enrolling in ministry schools. Rest assured though, if I'm going to point out the 'not so good' side of going for a degree in Christian ministry, I'll also make sure to highlight the good side of it. I'll give my honest opinion and then leave you to choose.
Online Christian Ministry Degree Programs
First of all, let's have a sneak peek into what a Christian ministry degree is all about.
What is a degree in Christian ministry? The Christian Ministry degree boasts of equipping students with proper and adequate biblical and theological basics for ministry. It promises to prepare prospective ministers of the Gospel for effective Christian ministry through intensive training on leadership skills, character formation and empowered ministry.
The sub-disciplines under a Christian ministry degree may include;
- Christian Counseling
- Children Ministry
- Christian Philosophy
- Christian Studies
- Intercultural Ministries
- Ministerial Leadership
- Youth Ministry
- Family Ministry, etc.
Bachelor Of Science In Christian Ministry
What is a BSc in Christian Studies? A Bachelor of Science program in Christian Studies purports to provide the foundation of biblical studies and theology. Students are equipped with a deep understanding of Biblical doctrine, the role of the church on earth, and the history and philosophy of Christianity.
Holders of BSc in Christian Studies can serve as:
- Sociologist, etc.
Bachelor Of Arts In Christian Ministry
What is a B.A in Biblical Studies? A Bachelor of Arts program in Biblical studies is crafted to equip students who have little or no prior ministry experience. This training is meant to equip and enable them serve as pastors (more like assistant pastors) in the congregation of their choice. The training is a stepping stone and a preliminary to obtaining an actual BSc in Christian ministry. It's a path towards ordained ministry.
With these, I'm sure we've been able to have an overview of what a Degree in Christian Ministry is all about.
Why Do You Need A Degree In Christian Ministry?
Here comes the most important question. So why exactly do you think you need a degree in Christian Ministry?
Before anyone contemplates on whether they should go for a ministry degree or not, I think they should consider the following factors:
1. Are You Called Into Ministry?
The true Christian ministry is not an ambition; it's not something anyone should wake up one morning to dive into. A direct calling from God should be the basis for every ministry training an individual undergoes.
There are already too many people who did not receive a call from God into any ministerial office in the Body of Christ. They only developed interest in becoming a preacher, then they went ahead to enrolled for a ministry certificate.
Christian religious education neither replaces nor substitutes a real calling from God. Without a genuine calling, there should be no need for ministry training.
Unfortunately, many ministry schools have successfully raised tons of false preachers who have gone into the world to deceive and dupe. And I don't think that's a good thing.
2. Did God Instruct You To Enrol For A Ministry Degree?
If truly we are genuine Christians, what God wants should be of more importance than what we want. Our decision to get enrolled in a ministry school shouldn't be based on the fact that we feel we should.
Every genuine Christian should be able to (at least) hear from God, before making the decision on going for a ministry degree.
Sometimes, it may definitely be what God wants us to do but it might not yet be the right time. I believe we should be led on what to do, since it can be really risky to just do what we want to do.
3. The Choice Of Institution Matters
The offers in theogical school bulletins may look amazing and alluring, but that doesn't always mean every ministry school has and is teaching the truth about God and His Word. This is just one of the reasons why we should hear from God before embarking on such a spiritual journey. The wrong theology can mess up a person's spiritual life and relationship with God. A Christian needs to be very careful especially when it comes to this aspect.
If God wants His servant to get external mentorship, He'll get actively involved. He will speak to them, lead them and work out the connection for them by Himself.
Can You Be In Ministry Without A Degree?
A degree isn't an official requirement for being in ministry—a genuine calling and equipping from God is. A degree is just an added advantage.
I believe it's better every prospective preacher sits at Jesus' feet to learn and get equipped for ministry, before sitting in a theological classroom to receive lectures.
1 Corinthians 1:27-28 KJVBut God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty;  And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are.
God qualifies the called and not the other way around. A degree in Christian ministry can give one a position in the Christian Church but not God's endorsement. It can't guarantee anyone Heaven.
Final Words On Getting A Ministry Degree
I'm trusting the Lord that this piece serves as a compass for someone who has been contemplating on enrolling for a degree in Christian ministry.
Now you understand that God isn't against us garnering knowledge. Although I honestly believe we should only aquire knowledge based on His instructions and specifications. I believe it's safer that way.
But well, at the end of the day these are just my thoughts on getting a degree in Christian ministry. The choice remains yours.
God bless you.
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