An online associate in ministry prepares students for Christian-based careers like minister of a small church and director of youth ministry in the U.S. or abroad. Ministry programs offer students strong philanthropic skills that are useful in religious contexts, such as local churches, and in secular contexts, such as international relief organizations.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employment for jobs in ministry is projected to grow 5% to 8% between 2014 and 2024, which is an average rate of growth. While this degree is a good first step toward earning your master of divinity or theology and becoming a Christian minister, there are also several entry-level opportunities for graduates with associate degrees in this field.

What's the Difference Between a Ministry, Theology, and Divinity Degree?

While ministry, theology, and divinity degrees are often referred to interchangeably, these degrees are actually separate programs. An associate in ministry is designed for individuals who are interested in supportive work in Christian churches and organizations. This degree provides students with a foundation in ministry, but it does not prepare them for pastoral ordination. A master of divinity degree takes about four to five years to complete and is typically designed for individuals interested in pastoral work; many Christian denominations require pastors to hold an MDiv degree. A bachelor or master of theology involves a more academic approach and features studies in church history, hermeneutics, theology, apologetics, and global studies.

Ministry

Associate and bachelor's degrees in ministry provide students with the basic skills needed to work with Christian churches and organizations. This degree does not prepare students for ordination, although many graduates with ministry degrees continue their education and earn divinity or theology degrees. Ministry classes include biblical studies and youth and student ministries.

Possible Careers: Graduates with this degree earn positions as relief workers, missionaries, youth pastors, nonprofit workers, and directors of church groups and Christian organizations.

Divinity

A master of divinity is a four to five year program that prepares students to be ordinated in a Christian church and to meet the leadership needs of Christian communities. Typical courses in this program include biblical studies, global and community engagement, and history of Christianity.

Possible Careers: This degree prepares individuals for careers as pastors, bishops, or higher education teachers. It also prepares them for secular careers in public arena advocacy, teaching, and counseling.

Theology

A bachelor or master of theology provides students with academic knowledge through the study of church history, global issues, and language. This degree often involves more extensive academic research, analysis, and writing than divinity or ministry degrees. Typical classes in theology programs include introduction to Islam and biblical Greek and Hebrew.

Possible Careers: A theology degree prepares individuals for careers as pastors, high school teachers, college professors, missionaries, and journalists.

What Are The Best Online Associate in Ministry Programs?

Rank School Location Cost Graduation Rate Description Toggle
1

Clarks Summit University

South Abington, PA Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 65%

For more than 80 years, Clarks Summit University (CSU) has been educating students while keeping Christ as the center focus of their curriculum. A private Christian college founded in 1932, CSU offers an associate degree with a concentration in Christian ministries degree.

This associate degree in ministry online is ideal for students currently in the ministry field, or aspiring to enter, and allows learners to build a strong foundation in biblical and theological studies. Some courses include personal life of the ministry leader, family life of the ministry leader, foundations of ministry leadership, dynamics of discipleship, and ministry leadership electives.

Upon graduation, students can serve their communities as an assistant pastor or youth pastor and better serve the local church or community. The associate degree also provides the credits necessary for transition into a four-year bachelor degree.

The 61-credit degree is offered completely online and takes the average student two years to complete. Up to 30 credits may transfer in from any previous colleges attended. Clarks Summit University is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.


Program Overview
Program Name: AA in Christian Ministries
Tuition: $740/credit
Credit Requirements: 61 credits
Program Length: 2 years

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Contact
Phone: (570) 586-2400
Email: info@ClarksSummitU.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

2

The King's University

Southlake, TX Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 15%

An evangelical, spirit-focused university located in Southlake, Texas, The King's University (TKU) offers programs, such as the associate of Christian ministry degree, that focus on service in the local church or other parachurch workplaces all around the world.

The 65-credit associate degree in ministry online comprises general education courses, electives, and major courses. Some classes students can expect to take include Old Testament studies, New Testament studies, biblical counseling, healthy family dynamics, and teaching to transform lives.

The associate of Christian ministry degree builds a strong faith and theological foundation for students aspiring to go into ministry fields upon graduation. Students learn the truth of God and how to help and serve their communities. Students can complete the fully online program within two years, and upon graduation, learners boast demonstrable knowledge of Scripture, Christian practices and traditions, and ministry studies.

Known as one of the most affordable private universities in the United States, TKU requires an admissions fee to apply, as well as a fee for each online course. The King's University is accredited by the Transnational Association of Christian Colleges and Schools and by the Association for Biblical Higher Education.


Program Overview
Program Name: Associate of Christian Ministry
Tuition: $455/credit
Credit Requirements: 65 credits
Program Length: 2 years

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements
GPA: 2.5 minimum
Standardized Tests: SAT, ACT, or CLT

Contact
Phone: (817) 722-1700
Email: admissions@tku.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

3

Crown College

Saint Bonifacius, MN Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 67%

Located just west of Minneapolis, Minnesota, Crown College has been educating students for over 100 years. Crown focuses on biblical principles throughout their curriculum and prepares students for careers that serve their communities. Among the college's online offerings is an associate of science in Christian ministry degree.

The fully online associate degree in ministry online requires 63-67 credits and accommodates students with a high school diploma or GED. Some courses include survey of biblical literature, history of the New Testament, interpreting the Gospels, systematic theology, and interpreting the Bible.

Graduates of the associate of science in Christian ministry can find opportunities working for nonprofit organizations, churches, youth ministries, and educational institutions. They can apply the learned Christian values and knowledge toward everyday decisions made in their careers. Students can also choose to transfer credits toward a four-year bachelor's degree and further their education.

To apply, students need to submit an application and transcript request forms as well as determine if they have any previously earned college credits that can transfer into the program. Students also need to submit a spiritual life essay and the Crown College statement of faith form. Crown College is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.


Program Overview
Program Name: AS in Christian Ministry
Tuition: $450/credit
Credit Requirements: 63-67 credits
Program Length: 2 years

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements
GPA: 2.0 minimum
Standardized Tests: SAT, ACT, or CLT

Contact
Phone: (982) 446-4300
Email: ungerm@crown.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

4

Maranatha Baptist University

Watertown, WI Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 50%

Founded in 1968, this Watertown, Wisconsin, university strives to educate students with a biblical Baptist focus. Promoting the Bible is a top priority for Maranatha Baptist University (MBU), as evinced in programs such as the associate of arts in Christian ministry degree.

This 64-credit associate degree in ministry online takes two years to complete and proves ideal for students wishing to pursue personal ministry goals. Students can apply what they learn in the classroom to jobs working with community institutions outside of the classroom.

Highlighted courses within the associate in Christian ministry program include modern creationary thought, introduction to missions, Baptist heritage, Bible doctrine, proverbs and ecclesiastes, and evangelism. Other unique courses within the Bible and church ministries subsection are Galatians, Greek grammar, ethics, and Old Testament and New Testament surveys.

Upon completing the associate of arts in Christian ministry degree, students can contact their MBU adviser about transferring their credits toward a bachelor's degree. To apply to the program, students must submit an application, the FAFSA, official transcripts proving receipt of a high school diploma or GED, and official transcripts from previous colleges attended. Maranatha Baptist University is regionally accredited under the Academic Quality Improvement Program of the Higher Learning Commission.


Program Overview
Program Name: AA in Christian Ministry
Tuition: $430/credit
Credit Requirements: 64 credits
Program Length: 2 years

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Synchronous and asynchronous

Contact
Phone: (920) 206-2323
Email: online@mbu.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

5

Valor Christian College

Columbus, OH Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 42%

Striving to equip students to make a difference in their communities, Valor Christian College combines academics with ministry education to help students serve others more effectively. Located in Columbus, Ohio, the college offers an associate of applied science in Christian ministries and an associate of applied science in youth ministries.

The associate degree in ministry online comprises 63 credit hours and instructs students in theological and biblical studies. Pastoral ministry and biblical electives are available to further tailor the student's degree to their career and personal interests.

Upon graduation from the program, students should have a better understanding of the church and its mission, along with the ability to integrate biblical knowledge within their communities. Some courses include life of Christ, Bible study methods, theology, and Old and New Testament history. Most students can complete the associate in two years, depending on enrollment status.

The 63-credit associate in youth ministries addresses the cognitive, emotional, physical, spiritual, social, and intellectual concerns of youth and adolescents. Courses include youth youth discipleship and evangelism, introduction to preaching, strategies for youth ministries, and introduction of Christian education.

There are additional associated fees not included in the overall tuition cost. To apply to the program, students must submit an application, a personal testimony, a pastoral recommendation, high school or GED transcripts, and transcripts from previous colleges attended. Valor Christian College is accredited by the Association for Biblical Higher Education.


Program Overview
Program Name: Associate of Applied Science in Christian Ministry/Youth Ministries
Credit Requirements: 63 credits
Program Length: 2 years

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Contact
Phone: (888) 788-2567
Email: info@valorcollege.com
Social Media Accounts: Facebook

6

Johnson University

Knoxville, TN Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 63%

Johnson University has been educating students and guiding them toward careers of serving others in their communities since 1893. Graduates go on to serve as youth ministers, preachers, nonprofit directors, doctors, lawyers, and missionaries. The university offers students more than 70 academic programs including an associate of science in ministry leadership.

This two-year associate degree in ministry online helps students prepare for leadership roles in parachurch and church ministries. Classes run seven weeks per term, and there are three terms per year. This associate degree helps students develop lessons and sermons using a biblical text, along with the necessary skills needed to lead in a church setting. Some courses include pastoral ministry, spiritual formation for ministry, encountering cultures, introduction to counseling ministry, and biblical teaching and preaching.

The associate in ministry leadership offers a biblical core focus intertwined with arts and sciences to ensure that students receive a solid educational and biblical foundation before entering the ministry leadership field. Online students can expect one-on-one attention from their advisers.

To apply to the program, students need to submit an application; an admission essay; transcripts that reflect a high school diploma or GED; transcripts from any previous colleges attended; two letters of reference; and SAT, ACT, or CLT scores. Applicants must also pay the application fee and sign the Johnson Lifestyle commitment form.Tuition does not include program-associated fees such as a per-term technology fee, book fees, and transcript and graduation fees. Johnson University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges as well as the Association for Biblical Higher Education.


Program Overview
Program Name: AS in Ministry Leadership
Tuition: $400/credit
Credit Requirements: 60 credits
Program Length: 2 years

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements
Standardized Tests: SAT or ACT

Contact
Phone: (800) 827-2122
Email: admissions@johnsonu.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

7

Southeastern University

Lakeland, FL Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 40%

Known for being a Christ-centered institution of higher learning, Southeastern University (SEU) focuses on preparing students for leadership roles in communities. Located in Lakeland, Florida, SEU was founded in 1935 and offers students more than 70 academic programs. SEU strives to educate students through academic excellence while keeping faith as the primary focus, evinced in programs such as the associate in ministerial leadership.

This 60-credit associate degree in ministry online takes around two years to complete and helps students build a strong foundation in spiritual development, theology, the Bible, leadership principles, church operations, and church ministry. The program requires 34 credits of foundational core courses, 16 credits of biblical and theological courses, and 15 credits of ministerial leadership courses. Classes include foundations of family ministry, biblical hermeneutics, and theology of salvation.

Applicants need to submit an application, transcripts from previous colleges, high school transcripts or proof of a GED, a personal reference form, a biographical essay, and any SAT or ACT scores. Southeastern University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.


Program Overview
Program Name: Associate in Ministerial Leadership
Available Concentrations: Ministerial leadership; children's or youth ministry; Christian studies; theological studies
Tuition: $390/credit
Credit Requirements: 60 credits
Program Length: 2 years

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Contact
Phone: (866) 858-6290
Email: online@seu.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook

8

Warner University

Lake Wales, FL Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 40%

Founded in 1968, Warner University (WU) educates students from over 30 states and 20 countries. A variety of academic programs are offered to meet the educational goals of degree-seeking students looking to advance in their field or begin their career. Programs are grounded in a Christian perspective, including the associate of science in Christian ministry.

Students typically complete this 60-credit, fully online program in less than two years. Requirements include 18 general education course credits, 22 church ministry and biblical studies course credits, and 21 elective course credits. Students must also take a prerequisite English course. Students can take two courses every eight weeks, but for those wishing to complete the degree faster, there is an accelerated option. Some courses include foundations in Christian theology, biblical literature, introduction to church ministry, introduction to worship, and spiritual formation.

Upon graduating from this associate degree in ministry online, students can understand their ministry calling, the basic foundations of ministry, and the Old and New Testament. Credits accrued from the associate degree can potentially transfer toward a bachelor's degree.

To apply, students need to submit an application, pay the application fee, submit official transcripts from their high school or proof of a GED, submit official transcripts from any previous colleges attended, and meet the general admission requirements regarding transferring credits into the university. Warner University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.


Program Overview
Program Name: AS in Christian Ministry
Tuition: $448/credit
Credit Requirements: 60 credits
Program Length: 2 years

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Contact
Phone: (800) 309-9563
Email: royalservices@warner.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

9

Amridge University

Montgomery, AL Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 18%

A private, nonprofit institution, Amridge University has been educating students since 1967. Known for specializing in online programs, the university offers multiple programs at different levels to meet the needs of students wanting to keep Christ and faith as the focus of their career paths. Program offerings include an associate of arts in ministry/Bible.

The 64-credit program comprises 20 credit hours in general education courses, 20 in core required courses, and 24 in elective courses. The degree endeavors to prepare students for careers as missionaries, deacons, pulpit ministers, and Bible teachers. The associate program uses the Canvas learning management system, and some courses students can expect to take include biblical interpretation, spiritual growth for Christian women, how to study the Bible, the scheme of redemption, and survey of ecclesiastical history. Students must maintain a minimum 2.0 GPA to graduate from the program.

To apply to the associate degree in ministry online, students need to submit an application, transcripts from all previous colleges attended, and transcripts from high school or proof of a GED. For students who need a laptop, the university provides one for a fee. Amridge University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.


Program Overview
Program Name: AA in Ministry/Bible
Tuition: $250/credit
Credit Requirements: 64 credits
Program Length: 2 years

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements
GPA: 2.0 minimum

Contact
Phone: (888) 790-8080
Email: admissions@ambridgeuniversity.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

10

University of Valley Forge

Phoenixville, PA Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 45%

The University of Valley Forge (UVF) allows students to reach their academic and spiritual growth and development goals. UVF was founded in 1939 and prepares students for careers serving and leading communities by offering over 50 academic programs, including an associate of arts in Christian ministries. This program proves ideal for students who want to build a foundational knowledge in the Bible, youth culture, and church ministry. The program encourages service to the community while keeping faith as the primary focus.

The 60-credit associate degree in ministry online typically takes two years to complete and is offered in seven-week accelerated or 14-week traditional formats. Some of the courses students can expect to take include worldviews, Old Testament survey, New Testament survey, life formation, and theology of C.S. Lewis. The flexibility and convenience of online courses and the choice between class formats accommodate working students and those with commitments outside of school.

There is no application fee for online students; nor are GRE or GMAT test scores required. University of Valley Forge is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.


Program Overview
Program Name: AA in Christian Ministry/Children's Ministry
Available Concentrations: Ministry leadership; children's studies; Biblical studies; youth studies
Tuition: $399/credit
Credit Requirements: 60 credits
Program Length: 2 years

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements
Standardized Tests: SAT, ACT, or CLT

Contact
Phone: (610) 917-1446
Email: dmdippold@valleyforge.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook, Twitter

11

University of the Cumberlands

Williamsburg, KY Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 41%

University of the Cumberlands (UC) is a private institution founded in 1889 that serves over 2,000 undergraduate students. UC offers over 40 academic degree programs, including the associate of arts in ministry and missions degree. This associate degree in ministry online caters to those with the desire to help others and spread the word of God. Students study integral topics such as biblical literature, theology, ethics, and history.

Required courses in the associate in ministry and missions include psychology of religions, Christian theology introduction, exploring world religions, developing spiritual life, interpreting the Bible, and church history introduction. Potential career paths graduates of the program pursue include youth minister, working in professional ministry in some capacity, serving as a worship minister, or a children's minister.

Up to 90 credits of previously earned college credit may transfer. UC offers six, eight-week terms per year, which breaks down to two terms each in the spring, fall, and summer. Credits earned from this program can also transfer toward a bachelor's degree. University of the Cumberlands is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.


Program Overview
Program Name: AA in Missions and Ministry
Tuition: $199/credit
Credit Requirements: 64 credits
Program Length: 2 years

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements
GPA: 2.0 minimum
Standardized Tests: ACT

Contact
Phone: (606) 539-4390
Email: gradadm@ucumberlands.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

12

Bethel College

Hampton, VA Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 50%

Located in Hampton, Virginia, Bethel College (BC) strives to teach students in the spirit of the church, enabling students the opportunity to go out into the world to serve communities. The college prepares students for Christian career paths and offers diverse programs to meet student needs and interests.

One program BC offers is an associate of science in church ministries, which takes students around two years to complete and comprises 65 credits. Some courses include spiritual formation, Old Testament survey, biblical/theological studies, Christian service, and administration of ministry. Upon graduating from the associate degree in ministry online, students can contextualize Scripture for daily Christian living, demonstrate Christian leadership principles, understand Christian theology, and implement their knowledge and skills into everyday scenarios while serving the community and the church.

BC offers veteran's benefits and tuition discounts for spouses and seniors. To apply to the program, students must submit an application, an essay, transcripts for previous colleges attended, proof of either a high school diploma or GED, a pastoral reference form, a personal reference form, and an application fee. Bethel College is accredited by the Association for Biblical Higher Education.


Program Overview
Program Name: AS in Church Ministries
Tuition: $260/credit
Credit Requirements: 65 credits
Program Length: 2 years

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Contact
Phone: (757) 826-1883
Email: helpdesk@bcva.edu

13

Point University

West Point, GA Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 27%

Founded in 1937, Point University offers a comprehensive curriculum that caters to students with the desire to enter career fields with God as the primary focus. Point balances a liberal arts education with Christian principles and offers over 80 academic programs, including an associate of arts in Christian ministries.

This associate degree focuses on helping students develop their spiritual gifts, strengthening their faith, and enhancing their knowledge of Christian principles. Some courses include practical ministries, effective thinking, theological foundations for the Christian life, and administration and leadership in ministry. Courses are offered fully online, and students can structure their own study schedule. Typically, students must complete 60 credits to graduate, which takes approximately two years. Credits earned from this degree can transfer toward a bachelor's degree.

Graduates of the associate in Christian ministries possess a basic understanding of the Christian worldview and understand how to lead and serve in Christian institutions and communities. Graduates also possess the skills to assess and utilize the strengths of others to work together in a ministerial setting.

Online students receive a 40% reduced tuition rate compared to on-campus rates. The online format is asynchronous, making this degree flexible for working students. Point University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.


Program Overview
Program Name: AA in Christian Ministries
Tuition: $395/credit
Credit Requirements: 60 credits
Program Length: 2 years

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Contact
Phone: (706) 993-9559
Email: pointonline@point.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

14

Ohio Christian University

Circleville, OH Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 29%

Originally founded in 1948, Ohio Christian University (OCU) is a private, nonprofit Christian college located in Circleville, Ohio. OCU hosts more than 4,000 students and offers various programs to meet the aspirations of those wishing to enter Christian careers. One program the university offers is an associate degree in Christian ministry.

Upon completing this program, students can identify the intended messages of biblical passages, communicate the Gospel effectively and accurately, apply a Christian worldview to contemporary issues, and articulate the basic foundation of Christian faith principles. Students can transfer credits earned from this program toward a bachelor's degree.

The 60-credit associate degree in ministry online typically takes students just under two years to complete, and the curriculum comprises 45 general education credits and 15 Christian ministry credits. Courses include principles of worship, evangelism and discipleship, ministry practices, investigating Christian theology, and personal stewardship.

Active military members receive a per-credit discount rate. These costs do not include additional fees charged each semester such as a technology fee, audit fees, transcript request fees, or material fees. Ohio Christian University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.


Program Overview
Program Name: AA in Christian Ministry
Available Concentrations: Pastoral care
Tuition: $380/credit
Credit Requirements: 60 credits
Program Length: 2 years

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements
GPA: 2.0 minimum

Contact
Phone: (844) 726-7937
Email: enroll@ohiochristian.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

15

Welch College

Gallatin, TN Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 48%

Welch College is a private university founded in 1942 and located in Gallatin, Tennessee. Over 40 academic programs focusing on faith principles are offered, including an online associate of science in ministry. Students can complete the degree fully online, learners age 23 or older are encouraged to apply.

The 63-credit program comprises 37 credits of theological studies and 26 credits of general education. Theological courses include Christian ministry, introduction to biblical studies, poetry and prophecy, and Bible doctrines. Some general education courses include lifetime fitness, Christianity, and culture and worldview.

Upon completing this associate degree in ministry online, graduates can support and extend the ministry in their local church or community, effectively minister, and apply biblical principles while serving the community. Welch College holds regional accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges and the Association for Biblical Higher Education.


Program Overview
Program Name: AS in Ministry
Tuition: $368/credit
Credit Requirements: 63 credits
Program Length: 2 years

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Contact
Phone: (615) 675-5277
Email: acrowson@welch.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

What Will I Learn in an Online Ministry Program?

Classes, assignments, and skills acquired will vary depending on the program and school you choose for your online associate in ministry degree. However, below you can find a sample curriculum for this degree.

  • Introduction to the Old Testament: This class examines the Old Testament through the lens of contemporary ministry. The course prepares students for work as Christian teachers, ministry directors, missionaries, and other Christian organization leaders.
  • Church History: This course offers a survey of the movements and ideas that have influenced and formed the Christian church. Students will gain the foundational knowledge necessary to eventually become ministers, missionaries, and other Christian leaders.
  • Systematic Theology: Offering a survey of the Christian belief system, this class considers a variety of perspectives on scripture but emphasizes those of the Christian church. The course prepares students for mission work and positions in other related fields.

What Can I Do With an Associate Degree in Ministry?

An associate degree in ministry prepares students for several occupational and educational paths. The degree provides students with a strong foundation in Christian teachings, and many students with associate degrees in ministry continue their studies and earn degrees in divinity or theology. While most graduates with this degree work in Christian fields and eventually become ministry directors or pastors, many graduates also work in secular fields, such as counseling, teaching, and nonprofit work. It is common for students with associate degrees in ministry to work as Peace Corps volunteers. This degree is a good fit for individuals who are already active in their churches and are interested in Christian leadership positions or Christian-based global nonprofit work. This degree is also fitting for individuals who have a gift for public speaking and teaching, are driven by a sense of personal calling rather than by a desire for financial success, and are interested in humanitarian work.

Youth Pastor

Youth pastors work with a church or Christian organization's youth population through outreach and other activities. These Christian leaders are responsible for organizing meetings, mission trips, fundraisers, and classes for middle school, high school and college students.

Median Annual Salary: $34,996

Relief Worker

Relief workers typically work on the frontlines of recovering from natural or manmade disasters. Duties for this occupation include providing emergency aid, coordinating volunteers, and communicating with government agencies.

Median Annual Salary: $38,326

Director of Ministry

A director of ministry works as a leader in one of many specialized areas, including children's, ministry, single's, and senior adult ministry. Ministry directors perform management, administrative, and project management tasks.

Median Annual Salary: $41,773

EDUCATIONAL PATHS

An associate degree in ministry is a strong first step towards formal Christian training. Many individuals earn their associate ministry degrees in order to supplement their secular careers with leadership work in their church. Students who earn an online associate degree in ministry often transfer to a bachelor's program, which can make them more competitive candidates for jobs in ministry, worship, church leadership, education, and nonprofit work. A bachelor's degree in ministry also prepares students to earn a master of theology or divinity. Below are a few common degrees that individuals with an associate in ministry pursue.

  • Bachelor's Degree in Ministry: A bachelor's in ministry allows students to complete advanced studies in Christian leadership skills. The degree emphasizes hands-on experiences in a church setting and the practical skills needed for global work and the knowledge of Christian belief systems.
  • Bachelor's Degree in Christian Counseling: This degree provides students with a foundation in counseling from a Christian perspective. The degree focuses on theories of psychology and Christian counseling methods and prepares students for nonclinical positions in counseling and psychology.
  • Bachelor's Degree in Biblical Studies: This degree involves a contextual and historical exploration of the Bible, including studies in the Old and New Testaments and in systematic theology. It prepares students for careers in advanced church ministry positions or for further studies in divinity and theology.

Salary Outlook for Associate in Ministry Graduates

The salary that you earn after receiving your associate in ministry depends on your position and employer. Graduates with ministry degrees often work in unpaid mission or relief work positions for a few years before moving on to paid positions. Below you can find information from PayScale for the median annual salaries for common ministry positions.

The salary you earn after earning your associate in ministry also depends on your level of experience and your location. Below, is a table with data from the BLS regarding the highest paying states for general clergy and ministry jobs. The table also features data regarding the estimated number of individuals working in clergy and ministry positions in each state.

State Hourly Mean Wage Annual Mean Wage Estimate of Employment
California $26.76 $55,670 5,210
New York $25.28 $52,570 8,490
Texas $24.48 $50,910 2,480
Oregon $22.69 $47,200 4,660
Michigan $20.31 $42,240 2,460

Financing Your Online Associate in Ministry Program

Students enrolled in online associate in ministry programs can access several scholarships and grants from local churches and Christian organizations. While certain churches only offer scholarships to members, other organizations offer scholarships to any Christian students or to students from certain denominations. The Cannon Endowment Scholarship, for example, is awarded to students who are members of the Presbyterian church, the United Methodist church, the Christian Church Disciples of Christ, or the United Church of Christ. In order to better understand federal funding opportunities, make sure you complete a FAFSA form.

AN OVERVIEW OF FINANCIAL AID

Approximately two-thirds of today's college students rely on loans to fund their education, but there are plenty of overlooked financing options you can use to reduce your overall student debt.

UNDERSTANDING THE FAFSA

Completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is a crucial first step for any student with financial needs. Our FAFSA guide features a step-by-step rundown on the process and answers to several frequently asked questions.

FINANCIAL AID FOR ONLINE STUDENTS

Financial aid for online learning is equivalent to what you'll find for campus-based learning, but that hasn't always been the case. Learn about the changes that have taken place, as well as the different funding opportunities available to online students.

SCHOLARSHIPS FOR SINGLE PARENTS

Online college programs can be a flexible, affordable option for single parents who are interested in earning a degree and securing their family's financial future. We've compiled a list of scholarships, grants, and other financial aid options geared toward single moms and dads.

FINANCIAL AID FOR VETERANS AND ACTIVE MILITARY

Millions of dollars in free money is available to U.S. military personnel, but much of it goes unused. Learn more about grants, scholarships, and other financial aid opportunities available to veterans, active-duty service members, and reservists.