Through theological coursework and practical experiences, Bible colleges prepare students for roles in evangelical Christian ministry. While students no doubt deepen their understanding of the liberal arts and applied sciences at these institutions, focused coursework on the Bible and its tenets strengthens their knowledge of ministries such as pastoral care and church music.
Pursuing your Bible studies degree allows you to couple your faith and academics to help you enter a career that reflects your beliefs. Your studies enable you not only to learn more about the Bible, but also to share its message with others and support people who rely on you for spiritual, emotional, and moral guidance.
Should I Attend a Bible College?
Most schools for Bible studies require students to subscribe to the Christian faith, which is rooted in biblical principles. Most faculty deliver instruction from a Christian perspective, and generally students enrolled in these schools agree with their approach. Furthermore, these shared beliefs can help you build relationships with classmates and faculty for a more fulfilling academic experience.
The kind of program delivery you choose is up to you. Earning a Bible studies degree online allows students to continue working or to meet family obligations while they are in school. This is because online programs frequently offer asynchronous classes, which means you can attend class wherever and whenever most convenient to you as long as you submit assignments on time. On-campus programs generally attract recent high school graduates with less complicated schedules than working adults. Younger students may also desire the community a campus offers.
Whether you opt for an online or on-campus program, expect to gain practical experience in the ministry through internships. Also, seek out the school's job placement services to establish your career and begin making a difference in people's lives.
What Can I Do with a Degree From a Bible College?
Schools for Bible studies prepare students for ministerial careers while Christian colleges and universities prepare learners for a range of professional options. Graduates who hold a Bible studies degree wish to work in ministry professionally and devote themselves to Christian service that includes volunteerism and giving back to others. In addition, they strive to develop a Christ-like character that includes devotion to God and to the church as well as a prayerful life, which includes regular church attendance and devotions.
Students enrolled in a Bible studies program should be selfless, patient, and considerate given the traits a career in ministry requires. Moreover, they should be well-versed in the Bible and lead a life that reflects the moral and ethical standards it sets. They should also be excellent listeners who do not rush to judgment but rather offer compassionate and deliberative counsel.
How to Choose a Bible College
During your review of colleges for Bible studies, think about how long it will take you to complete your degree, as that will likely inform your decision about whether you should study part or full time. Also, see if the schools in which you are most interested accept previously earned college credits, which can reduce the length and cost of your program. As well, research scholarships and financial aid.
If you find yourself concerned about schooling expenses, then think about how much it costs to attend online versus on campus. Without question, an online program saves you fees for room and board while allowing you to continue working full time.
Also examine the kinds of programs different schools offer to make certain you can graduate prepared to enter the ministry you wish to pursue. Your programs of choice should offer internship and/or missionary opportunities as well as career counseling and placement services. You might speak with currently enrolled students and recent graduates to learn more about kinds of support they received for internship and job placements.
Most importantly, let your faith and values guide you. Make certain your spiritual outlook aligns with those of the school you select. After all, the decision you make is deeply personal and reflective of your passion for ministry.
Are Bible Colleges Accredited?
Earn your degree at an accredited Bible college. Not only do employers value accreditation, but so do other institutions you may wish to attend for an advanced degree. The agencies that accredit most colleges in the U.S. also accredit several Bible colleges in the country. These include the Council for Higher Education Accreditation, New England Association of Schools and Colleges, Southern Association of College and Schools, North Central Association of Colleges, Middle States Commission on Higher Education, and Western Association of Schools and Colleges.
Specifically, the Association for Biblical Higher Education and Transnational Association of Christian College and Schools accredit many of the country's Bible colleges. The U.S. Department of Education and Council for Higher Education Accreditation recognize both of these accrediting agencies.
Bible College Admissions
Admission to a Bible college requires you accept the school's faith-based principles, which you may need to communicate through an interview and/or essay. While a secular school may focus more on previous academic performance, a Bible college will want to understand your faith and how it aligns with the school's mission. In addition, a secular school may require teacher recommendations as part of the application process while a Bible school may require recommendations from clergy and those involved in the ministry who can attest to your commitment to your faith.
Apply to six to eight colleges. At least two of the schools should be considered "safety schools," or those you feel confident will accept you.
- Application: Complete this document with your name, address, schooling, and employment history. The Common App allows students to complete one application for 700 colleges.
- Transcripts: Expect to submit transcripts from schools you've previously attended. Most schools charge a small fee to issue your transcripts.
- Letters of Recommendation: Check with the admissions office to learn how many letters you need and from whom you should receive them. Recommenders generally include teachers and school coaches who can attest to your academic performance and character, but Bible colleges may require recommendations from your clergy.
- Test Scores: You may need to take the SAT for admission to Bible college. Check with the admissions office to learn if the school requires these scores.
- Application Fee: This fee covers processing for schools to administer and review applications. The fee can range from $40-$100 or more, but some schools waive the expense if students can prove financial hardship or a history of military service.
What Else Can I Expect from a Bible College?
Keep in mind that while all colleges for Bible studies are Christ-centered, their academic offerings, faculty, resources, and services likely differ.
|Bachelor of Theology Degree||This program examines theological concepts such as ethics, hermeneutics, and doctrines of Christian faith. Students frequently study Hebrew and Greek. In many instances, earning this degree requires one year longer than earning a traditional bachelor's degree, but some students pursuing ordination may complete it in three years.||$40,328|
|Bachelor's Degree, Pastoral Ministry||Students who earn this degree may enter an array of ministries within and outside of the church. They can oversee administrative operations, lead youth activities in churches and Christian schools, execute missionary expeditions, and deliver social services to those in need. Studies prepare learners to facilitate individual and group counseling as well as understand the theological fundamentals of pastoral ministry.||$53,604|
|Bachelor of Arts, Christian Ministry||Learners in this program graduate ready to assume leadership roles in the church and Christian organizations. Coursework traces the history of the Bible to understand its relevance to present-day issues. Students not only deepen their knowledge of biblical fundamentals, but also learn how to interpret its messages and themes for themselves.||$47,908|
|Bachelor's Degree, Bible Studies||Graduates of this program learn how to interpret the Bible historically and contextually. It prepares those who wish to attend seminary, enter social service careers, or pursue professions in the church. Common topics explored include sin, reconciliation, and creation as discussed in scriptures.||$46,800|
|Bachelor of Religious Education||This degree provides an overview of biblical scripture and theology with ardent focus on teaching and learning from the Christian perspective. Students enrolled in these studies generally enter careers as missionaries, evangelists, and pastors.||$50,946|
What Will I Learn at a Bible College?
For a well-rounded education, expect your Bible studies degree to include English, math, history and other subjects in addition to biblical subject matter. This list, however, focuses solely on degree-related classes.
- Christian Character
This class dives deeply into the sanctification doctrine while exploring spiritual disciplines, biblical truths, and virtues. Moreover, it examines how these concepts contribute to developing Christ-like character and helping to cultivate it within others. It also considers ministerial ethics and the types of behavior that contribute to discipleship.
- Gospel and Acts
Students engage in an exegetical examination of the first books of the New Testament to build competencies in hermeneutics. Learners review specific passages while focusing on the significant theological themes that emerge within them.
- Biblical Interpretation
Course enrollees engage in intensive writing exercises to build their skills in hermeneutics, or the ability to interpret biblical passages. The course introduces students to concepts in biblical interpretation and their applicability to present-day issues.
- Christianity in a Global Context
Students in this intensive writing class look closely at global Christianity to understand God's mission. It examines how best to execute mission strategies, recent movements in missions, and trends in Christianity worldwide.
- Pauline Epistles
This course reviews the letters the Apostle Paul wrote to the early New Testament churches. It focuses on the characteristics of Paul's ministry as well as the social, theological, and everyday life issues he addressed in his writings. In addition, the class considers the relevancy of his writings for leading a faithful Christian life.
Is It More Expensive to Attend a Bible College?
Recent data shows it costs approximately $35,000 a year to attend a private, four-year college while a four-year public institution costs an estimated $10,000 annually for residents and about $26,000 for non-residents. As these findings make clear, private college tuition costs significantly more than public college tuition. Most schools for Bible studies are private and, on average, can range from $2,000 a semester to nearly $30,000 a year. Enrolling a Christian college versus a secular school does not affect how much you pay to attend. The difference depends on whether you enroll in a public or private institution.
As you're researching programs, keep in mind the cost of books, transportation, and student fees in addition to tuition. For example, students enrolled online may incur a technology fee that on-campus students do not. You should also determine how long it will likely take to complete your studies because the longer your program and the more credits it requires, the more you can expect to pay for your degree.
Resources for Bible College Students
This magazine reaches over five million people monthly through its writings on church, ministry, theology, and culture. It equips readers to help drive evangelical dialogues.
For nearly 70 years, this journal has showcased book reviews and articles from global scholars who offer both academic and theological viewpoints.
This online resource provides a daily Bible study plan as well as commentaries, daily scriptures, reflections, and encouragement through blog posts. It also showcases praise and worship performances.
This web-based publication offers faith-oriented, practical guidance on topics like finances, health and well-being, family, and career. It also provides uplifting messages to inspire and motivate readers.
Targeted to Christian women, this online publication features articles and devotions as well as resources to help readers lead a spiritual life.
Christian Professional Organizations
Membership in a professional organization can help you network with like-minded colleagues, identify career possibilities, and continue your education. It also allows you to share your knowledge with others and exchange ideas about best practices in the ministry. Consider joining an organization before you complete your degree because it can prove incredibly beneficial when looking for internships and practical field experiences.
Established in 1880, this organization examines the Bible from an academic perspective. Members include scholars and students. Members of the public may also join but only with limited membership privileges.
An inclusive Christian association, this group helps women develop leadership skills as they grow spiritually. Members support one another in leading U.S. and international projects. They also enjoy retreats, Bible studies, and mission experiences.
This scholarly organization's members include specialists in the Old and New Testaments who wish to advance excellence in Biblical studies in a faith environment. Members enjoy annual conferences, seminars, workshops, and access to research and publications.
Serving primarily pastors and disciple-makers, this association certifies biblical counselors to ensure their guidance reflects doctrinal integrity. The organization helps prepare individuals for an exam and offers national and regional conferences.