Online bachelor's in ministry programs provide you with the theological knowledge and practical management skills necessary to work within faith-based and secular organizations. Undergraduate credentials also prepare you for success in master's and doctoral programs. This guide helps you access these opportunities by detailing entry-level employment and advancement options.

Here, you also learn about the degree itself, including admission criteria, course requirements, and concentration options. The guide concludes with answers to frequently asked questions.

What Are the Best Ministry Programs of 2020? Here Are Our Top 10:

Rank School Location
1 Lincoln Christian University Lincoln, IL
2 City Vision University Kansas City, MO
3 Grace College of Divinity Fayetteville, NC
4 The Baptist College of Florida Graceville, FL
5 Toccoa Falls College Toccoa Falls, GA
6 Trevecca Nazarene University Nashville, TN
7 Johnson University Knoxville, TN
8 The King's University Southlake, TX
9 Bethel College Hampton, VA
10 Northwest Nazarene University Nampa, ID

With a bachelor's in ministry, you can occupy leadership positions within religious associations. Opportunities include youth pastor, congregational minister, and church program administrator. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), clergy positions stand to grow 6% through 2028, adding nearly 14,000 new jobs to the U.S. economy.

An undergraduate ministry degree also allows you to work as a religion or history teacher in K-12 schools and certain community colleges. Outside a faith-based context, career options exist in community advocacy, social services, and counseling.

How We Rank Schools

At BestColleges, we believe a college education is one of the most important investments you will make. We want to help you navigate the college selection process by offering school rankings that are transparent, inclusive, and relevant for online students. Our rankings are grounded in a few guiding principles and use the latest statistical data available from trusted sources. Read more about our Ranking Methodology. We hope our approach helps you find the school that is best for you.

2020 Best Accredited Online Bachelor's in Ministry Programs

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Rank School Location Cost Graduation Rate Description Toggle
1

Lincoln Christian University

Lincoln, IL Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 71%

Established in 1944 as a Bible institute, LCU now provides comprehensive academics to 1,000 students each year. The undergraduate catalog contains a bachelor of arts in Christian ministry that prepares candidates for careers in education and mission work. Graduates may also occupy pastoral care positions as associate and youth pastors.

This online bachelor's in ministry program covers topics in church administration; evangelism, discipleship, and faith development; and global cultural intelligence. Students develop leadership skills for both religious organizations and secular institutions. LCU enables candidates to complete a fully remote curriculum or engage in hybrid learning through on-campus classes.

To enroll, applicants submit a personal essay and a Christian character reference. LCU funds a variety of financial aid, including merit scholarships for incoming and transfer students. The university further supports students by offering service learning opportunities and career development resources.


Program Overview

Program Name: Bachelor of Arts in Christian Ministry
School Status: Private
Tuition: $6,990/semester
Credit Requirements: 120 credits
Program Length: 4 years

Delivery

Format: 100% online or hybrid
Instruction Style: Synchronous and/or asynchronous

Admission Requirements

GPA: 3.0 or higher recommended for freshman students; 2.5 minimum for transfer candidates
Standardized Tests: ACT or SAT for freshman students under 22 years old

Contact

Phone: (217) 732-3168 ext. 2237
Email: enroll@lincolnchristian.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

2

City Vision University

Kansas City, MO Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 100%

City Vision specializes in affordable distance education. The institution delivers a fully online bachelor's in Christian ministry and leadership that comes with four unique concentration options. Remote coursework spans an accelerated eight weeks, which enables full-time students to graduate in under four years.

Required classes include biblical theology; vocation, calling, and purpose at work; and social entrepreneurship. Candidates who pick the urban missions concentration develop skills in case management, grant writing, and multicultural counseling. In addition to three designated tracks, students can create their own concentration through the diversified degree option.

The online bachelor's in ministry program accepts up to 90 transfer credits. City Vision maintains a flexible admissions policy that does not require an application fee. The university provides ample financial aid, such as tuition discounts for military personnel and institutional scholarships.


Program Overview

Program Name: Bachelor's in Christian Ministry & Leadership
School Status: Private
Available Concentrations: Urban missions; ministry management; counseling ministry; diversified concentration
Tuition: $7,500/year
Credit Requirements: 120 credits
Program Length: 4 years

Delivery

Format: 100% online
Instruction Style: Synchronous

Contact

Phone: (816) 960-2008
Email: newstudents@cityvision.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

3

Grace College of Divinity

Fayetteville, NC Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 62%

Founded in 1978, GCD is headquartered in Fayetteville, North Carolina. The institution offers an online bachelor of arts in worship ministry that emphasizes both instrumental and vocal training. By completing this innovative program, graduates gain a keen understanding of music theory and its application in a spiritual context.

The curriculum covers topics in applied instrumental techniques, cross-cultural ministry, and communicating to oral cultures. Students develop a personal leadership style through self-assessment and practicum training. Candidates gain additional hands-on experience by attending weekend retreats, where they connect with peers and learn from religious leaders.

To enroll in this online bachelor's in ministry program, applicants furnish a 300- to 600-word personal statement detailing their conversion experience. They also submit a personal reference and a pastoral recommendation. GCD facilitates a variety of financial aid, including scholarships for first-time students.


Program Overview

Program Name: Bachelor of Arts in Worship Ministry
School Status: Private
Tuition: $2,450/semester
Credit Requirements: 120 credits
Program Length: 4 years

Delivery

Format: Hybrid
Instruction Style: Synchronous and asynchronous

Admission Requirements

GPA: 2.0 minimum

Contact

Phone: (910) 221-2224
Email: admissions@gcd.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

4

The Baptist College of Florida

Graceville, FL Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 62%

Based in Graceville, BCF is a longtime leader in distance education. The school delivers 24 fully remote degree options, including two online bachelor's in ministry programs. Students can earn either a bachelor of arts in ministry or a bachelor of arts in ministry studies.

The BA in ministry curriculum includes classes like personal evangelism, pastoral counseling, and history of southern Baptists. Candidates also develop practical skills in preaching and preparing expository sermons. The program culminates with an applied capstone project.

Students who want to individualize their degree plan according to personal interests and career goals can enroll in the ministry studies program. They take three required classes and fill out their remaining credits with guided and open electives. To enroll in either program, applicants submit a personal recommendation and a church/pastor reference letter.


Program Overview

Program Name: Bachelor of Arts in Ministry; Bachelor of Arts in Ministry Studies
School Status: Private
Tuition: $360/credit
Credit Requirements: 120 credits
Program Length: 4 years

Delivery

Format: 100% online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements

Standardized Tests: ACT or SAT

Contact

Phone: (800) 328-2660 ext. 460
Email: admissions@baptistcollege.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

5

Toccoa Falls College

Toccoa Falls, GA Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 59%

TFC serves over 1,600 students each year, many of whom earn their degrees remotely. The undergraduate catalog contains two fully online bachelor's in ministry programs that prepare candidates for administrative and education careers along with graduate academics. Distance learners pick from either a bachelor of science in ministry leadership or a bachelor of science in youth ministries.

Through the ministry leadership degree plan, students learn how to organize and administer ministry initiatives and serve as architects of organizational change. Coursework covers topics like spiritual formation, leadership and management theory, and ministry organization finance and systems.

The youth ministries program includes classes in small group leadership and curriculum development strategies. Students learn to provide counseling services and spiritual care to children, teenagers, and families. Both programs require candidates to complete an intensive internship anywhere in the world.


Program Overview

Program Name: Bachelor of Science in Ministry Leadership; Bachelor of Science in Youth Ministries
School Status: Private
Tuition: $345/credit
Credit Requirements: 126 credits
Program Length: 4 years

Delivery

Format: 100% online
Instruction Style: Synchronous and asynchronous

Admission Requirements

Standardized Tests: ACT or SAT

Contact

Phone: (706) 244-7634
Email: Admissions@tfc.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

6

Trevecca Nazarene University

Nashville, TN Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 55%

Trevecca maintains its flagship campus in Nashville, Tennessee, and facilitates online education with Blackboard. Distance learners pick from 20 degree options, which include a bachelor of arts in Christian ministry. Through a flexible curriculum, students develop the skills to occupy servant leadership positions in religious institutions and faith-based nonprofit organizations.

The degree plan comprises classes like personal and spiritual development, biblical literature and interpretation, and congregational discipleship. Candidates learn to foster compassionate ministry by engaging current issues and assessing organizational impact. They round out undergraduate training by completing an integrative capstone project.

As one of the best online bachelor's in ministry programs, the Trevecca option allows students to personalize their education with 54 general elective credits. Applicants must transfer at least 40 credits toward degree completion. Most distance learners complete major requirements in 18 months.


Program Overview

Program Name: Bachelor of Arts in Christian Ministry
School Status: Private
Tuition: $275/credit
Credit Requirements: 120 credits
Program Length: 2-3 years

Delivery

Format: 100% online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements

GPA: 2.0 minimum

Contact

Phone: (615) 248-1200
Email: SGCSadmissions@trevecca.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

7

Johnson University

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

JUTN opened its doors in 1894 to a class of 40 learners. Today, the school enrolls over 1,000 students in more than 70 programs, including a fully online bachelor of arts in ministry leadership. In addition to success at the master's and doctoral academic levels, graduates are well-prepared to work as youth pastors, religious educators, and executive ministers.

Major coursework comprises exegetical methods, pastoral counseling, and leading effective churches. Students develop advanced skills for biblical teaching and preaching with emphasis on applying the Scripture to listeners' lives. This online bachelor's in ministry program requires candidates to complete an internship.

JUTN operates six entry dates each year. The university powers online education with the Sakai platform. While distance learners cannot access institutional scholarships, they may apply for state and federal funding through the FAFSA.


Program Overview

Program Name: Bachelor of Arts in Ministry Leadership
School Status: Private
Tuition: $450/credit
Credit Requirements: 120 credits
Program Length: 4 years

Delivery

Format: 100% online
Instruction Style: Synchronous and/or asynchronous

Admission Requirements

Standardized Tests: ACT or SAT

Contact

Phone: (865) 251-3416
Email: JSnell@JohnsonU.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

8

The King's University

Southlake, TX Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 33%

TKU supports more than 600 students every year, offering flexible academic programs at its Southlake, Texas, campus. Learners may also obtain their credentials remotely by enrolling in online programs like the bachelor of Christian ministries. The curriculum centers on charismatic theology, equipping candidates with the skills to communicate the gospel and provide organizational leadership in diverse settings.

Course topics include biblical background and interpretation, cultural apologetics, and sermon preparation. Students learn to offer counseling services that foster healthy family dynamics. Candidates round out their education with a senior capstone project.

This online bachelor's in ministry program emphasizes hands-on skill development, requiring learners to complete an internship and several junior ministry practicums. TKU offers a variety of financial aid options, including institutional and external scholarships. The university also powers distance education with Blackboard.


Program Overview

Program Name: Bachelor of Christian Ministries
School Status: Private
Tuition: $470/credit
Credit Requirements: 124 credits
Program Length: 4 years

Delivery

Format: 100% online or hybrid
Instruction Style: Synchronous and/or asynchronous

Admission Requirements

GPA: 2.5 minimum
Standardized Tests: ACT or SAT

Contact

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

9

Bethel College

Hampton, VA Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 83%

BC was founded in 1996 as a bible school dedicated to training church leaders and missionaries. The institution carries on that tradition by offering an online bachelor of science in church ministries that comes with five concentration options. Students can earn their credentials through a fully remote curriculum or they may create a hybrid learning experience with on-campus classes at the Hampton, Virginia, campus.

The online bachelor's in ministry program covers core topics like spiritual formation and Old Testament literature. Candidates who pick the missions concentration examine the cross-cultural dynamics of service work, learning to contextualize their message for diverse communities. Students who pursue the ministerial leadership track can further focus their training on either children's or youth ministry.

Admissions materials include pastoral and personal references. Prospective learners also must send in a two-page biographical essay.


Program Overview

Program Name: Bachelor of Science in Church Ministries
School Status: Private
Available Concentrations: Ministerial leadership; biblical studies; missions; worship and worshiping arts; Christian counseling
Tuition: $260/credit
Credit Requirements: 130 credits
Program Length: 4 years

Delivery

Format: 100% online or hybrid
Instruction Style: Synchronous and/or asynchronous

Contact

Phone: (757) 826-1883
Email: studentaffairs@bcva.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

10

Northwest Nazarene University

Nampa, ID Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 59%

Located in Nampa, Idaho, NNU serves over 8,000 students annually. The school powers distance education with Canvas, offering a fully online bachelor of arts in Christian ministry. Through a comprehensive degree plan, candidates learn to lead, disciple, and evangelize their churches for ministry.

Coursework covers topics like history of the Christian tradition, worship theory and development, and missional growth and health. Students strengthen pastoral leadership and preaching skills by completing an internship and capstone project. They can expand the curriculum by pursuing a family ministry minor.

As one of the top online bachelor's in ministry programs, NNU operates flexible classes that span five or seven weeks. This accelerated model enables students to complete major requirements in just 36 months. The university accepts up to 62 transfer credits.


Program Overview

Program Name: Bachelor of Arts in Christian ministry
School Status: Private
Tuition: $405/credit
Credit Requirements: 120 credits
Program Length: 4 years

Delivery

Format: 100% online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements

GPA: 2.0 minimum

Contact

Phone: (208) 467-8688
Email: cmo@nnu.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

11

Southeastern University

Lakeland, FL Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 42%

SEU stands as a leader in distance education, providing 35 fully online academic programs. The catalog contains a bachelor of science in ministerial leadership that prepares students to occupy leadership positions in churches and faith-centered organizations.

Distance learners take required classes in foundations of family ministry, holistic disciple-making, and church business administration. They gain pastoral counseling skills, learning to apply the best practices needed to support teenagers, the aged, the grief-stricken, and other individuals in crisis. This online bachelor's in ministry program includes 28 elective credits that students can use to earn a complementary minor.

SEU accepts up to 90 transfer credits, which allows candidates to earn their degree in as little as 12 months. Students can enroll in fall, spring, or summer semesters. Admissions materials comprise a biographical essay and a personal reference.


Program Overview

Program Name: Bachelor of Science in Ministerial Leadership
School Status: Private
Tuition: $390/credit
Credit Requirements: 121 credits
Program Length: 4 years

Delivery

Format: 100% online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements

Standardized Tests: ACT or SAT

Contact

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

12

Regent University

Virginia Beach, VA Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 59%

Regent offers academic programming in over 135 unique areas of study. Degree options include an online bachelor of arts in Christian ministry that lets students choose either a church music or pastoral care concentration. Graduates are well-equipped to work in human services, parachurch ministry, and religious education.

This online bachelor's in ministry program covers core topics like principles of hermeneutics and theological thinking. Students who pursue the church music track develop the skills to shape congregational culture through traditional and contemporary musical styles. The pastoral care concentration teaches candidates to employ practical strategies for missions and evangelism.

Regent operates eight- and 15-week classes that enable distance learners to conveniently earn their credentials. Transfer students can apply up to 90 credits toward baccalaureate completion. The university facilitates federal and state aid along with private scholarships.


Program Overview

Program Name: Bachelor of Arts in Christian Ministry
School Status: Private
Available Concentrations: Church music; pastoral care
Tuition: $395/credit
Credit Requirements: 120 credits
Program Length: 3-4 years

Delivery

Format: 100% online or hybrid
Instruction Style: Synchronous and/or asynchronous

Contact

Phone: (757) 352-4960
Email: regentundergrad@regent.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

13

Hope International University

Fullerton, CA Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 44%

Based in Fullerton, California, HIU powers distance education with Canvas. The institution delivers six fully online undergraduate programs, including a bachelor of science in Christian ministry. Through a flexible curriculum, students increase their understanding of scripture and develop the administrative skills to work as associate ministers and church planting specialists.

Degree candidates take major coursework in ministry models, biblical theology, and literary exegesis and analysis. They learn the strategic leadership and pastoral counseling techniques needed to transform conflict within their congregations. Students complete the online bachelor's in ministry program with a community-oriented field practicum.

Applicants send in a 250-word essay detailing their personal strengths and challenges, along with their professional goals. HIU offers ample scholarships and grants. The university also facilitates veterans benefits, which include active duty tuition discounts.


Program Overview

Program Name: Bachelor of Science in Christian Ministry
School Status: Private
Tuition: $450/unit
Credit Requirements: 120 units
Program Length: 4 years

Delivery

Format: 100% online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements

GPA: 2.5 minimum for freshman students; 2.0 minimum for transfer candidates

Contact

Phone: (888) 352-4673
Email: hiuadmissions@hiu.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

14

Clarks Summit University

Clarks Summit, PA Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 57%

CSU champions affordable distance education, offering 11 remote undergraduate programs. The catalog includes two fully online bachelor's in ministry programs that prepare students for a variety of church leadership positions. Candidates pick from either a bachelor of science in Christian ministries or a bachelor of science in counseling ministries.

The Christian ministries program contains classes like building a biblical lifestyle, dynamics of discipleship, and academic and researched writing. Students also examine the personal and family life of the ministry leader to develop a plan for their own character development. They use three electives to align the curriculum with individual interests.

By earning a bachelor's degree in counseling ministries, candidates can pursue graduate credentials and state counseling licensure. Coursework comprises marriage and family dynamics, professional ethics, and crisis counseling. CSU grants tuition discounts to Christian workers and military personnel.


Program Overview

Program Name: Bachelor of Science in Christian Ministries; Bachelor of Science in Counseling Ministries
School Status: Private
Tuition: $395/credit
Credit Requirements: 121 credits
Program Length: 4 years

Delivery

Format: 100% online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements

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

Contact

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

15

Lancaster Bible College

Lancaster, PA Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 60%

LBC delivers 12 fully online undergraduate programs. Degree options consist of a bachelor of arts in ministry leadership that allows students to personalize the curriculum according to personal interests and the specific needs of their ministry. Asynchronous classes span an accelerated six weeks, enabling distance learners to obtain their credentials at their convenience.

Required coursework includes foundations of ministry, spiritual formation, and church administration and finance. Through leadership training, students learn to implement strategies for vision casting and conflict management. This online bachelor's in ministry program helps candidates gain hands-on skills by facilitating internships and practicums.

LBC maintains fall, spring, and summer entry dates. On top of conventional transfer credits, the college grants up to 30 credits for relevant life experiences. Online students may apply for state grants and institutional scholarships.


Program Overview

Program Name: Bachelor of Arts in Ministry Leadership
School Status: Private
Tuition: $440/credit
Credit Requirements: 120 credits
Program Length: 4 years

Delivery

Format: 100% online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements

GPA: 2.0 minimum

Contact

Phone: (717) 569-7071
Email: msatniago@lbc.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

16

Crown College

Saint Bonifacius, MN Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 52%

Based in Saint Bonifacius, Minnesota, Crown provides over 25 online undergraduate degrees, certificates, and minors. Distance learners can enroll in the fully remote bachelor of science in Christian ministry program. Through a comprehensive curriculum, students gain in-depth biblical knowledge along with practical communication and management skills.

As part of the core requirements, candidates delve into systematic theology and apologetics. The online bachelor's in ministry program also contains classes like human development and discipleship, counseling principles, and evangelism and missions. Students can use 46 elective credits to pursue personal interests and complete a minor.

Applicants submit official school transcripts and a spiritual life essay. For individuals who want to accelerate their education, Crown delivers a dual-degree track that enables candidates to earn a bachelor's and master's degree in Christian ministry in under five years.


Program Overview

Program Name: Bachelor of Science in Christian Ministry
School Status: Private
Tuition: $475/credit
Credit Requirements: 125 credits
Program Length: 4 years

Delivery

Format: 100% online
Instruction Style: Synchronous and/or asynchronous

Contact

Phone: (952) 446-4100
Email: ungerm@crown.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

17

Rochester College

Rochester Hills, MI Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 37%

RU facilitates 25 undergraduate and graduate programs, including accelerated options for working professionals. Students can earn an online bachelor of science in Christian ministry that emphasizes congregational leadership. Candidates can complete a fully remote degree plan or opt for hybrid learning by taking flexible evening classes on campus.

Similar to other online bachelor's in ministry programs, the RU option teaches students to interpret the Old and New Testament. Additional coursework includes pastoral care, contemporary issues in hermeneutics, and world religions. Candidates also explore practical ministry issues surrounding financial planning and legal obligations.

The program culminates with an internship that tasks students with conducting cultural analysis and writing a case study based on their fieldwork. To enroll, prospective learners complete a free application. Online students may access employer financial assistance and government funding.


Program Overview

Program Name: Bachelor of Science in Christian Ministry
School Status: Private
Tuition: $445/credit
Credit Requirements: 120 credits
Program Length: 4 years

Delivery

Format: 100% online or hybrid
Instruction Style: Synchronous and/or asynchronous

Admission Requirements

GPA: 2.25 minimum

Contact

Phone: (248) 218-2000
Email: admissions@rc.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

18

Biola University

La Mirada, CA Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 73%

Biola is located in La Miranda, California, and serves over 6,000 students each year. Through the Talbot School of Theology, distance learners can enroll in a fully online bachelor of science in biblical ministry program. The university operates accelerated seven-week classes that lets full-time candidates earn their degrees in under two years.

Required classes cover topics like foundations of spiritual formation, counseling methods, and biblical interpretation and teaching. Students develop leadership skills and learn to administer church and parachurch services. They personalize the curriculum with 23-27 elective credits.

The online bachelor's in ministry program ends with a capstone experience, in which candidates demonstrate mastery of key competencies by completing fieldwork. Biola prefers applicants with at least three years of work experience. On top of scholarships and grants, students benefit from the one-on-one support of a dedicated success coach.


Program Overview

Program Name: Bachelor of Science in Biblical Ministry
School Status: Private
Tuition: $575/credit
Credit Requirements: 120 credits
Program Length: 2-3 years

Delivery

Format: 100% online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements

GPA: 2.5 minimum
Standardized Tests: ACT or SAT

Contact

Phone: (800) 652-4652
Email: online.admissions@biola.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

19

Oral Roberts University

Tulsa, OK Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 57%

Based in Tulsa, Oklahoma, ORU delivers 35 remote undergraduate and graduate programs. The catalog includes a fully online bachelor of arts in ministry and leadership that comes with three unique degree tracks. The curriculum emphasizes specialized skill development, preparing students for graduate academics and leadership-oriented careers.

Coursework varies based on a student's chosen track. The church administration option covers topics like organizational behavior and nonprofit administration, while the evangelism and outreach degree plan contains classes in youth culture and faith development. Candidates who pursue the local church pastor track learn to grow urban outreach ministries.

To graduate from this online bachelor's in ministry program, candidates complete a practicum and write a comprehensive research paper. ORU offers a variety of financial aid opportunities, such as tuition discounts for military personnel and institutional scholarships.


Program Overview

Program Name: Bachelor of Arts in Ministry and Leadership
School Status: Private
Available Tracks: Church administration; evangelism and outreach; local church pastor
Tuition: $399/credit
Credit Requirements: 124 credits
Program Length: 3.5 years

Delivery

Format: 100% online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements

Standardized Tests: ACT or SAT

Contact

Phone: (918) 495-6363
Email: onlineenrollment@oru.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

20

Liberty University

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

Liberty is one of the best distance education providers in the U.S., offering over 130 online undergraduate degrees. Students can enroll in the bachelor of science in religion - Christian ministries program that prepares them to intelligently foster faith across various age groups. Graduates can occupy education and administrative positions in local ministries, missions organizations, and social services agencies.

The online bachelor's in ministry program curriculum contains classes in methodical study of Scripture and Christian history. Students gain intercultural communication and engagement skills, which they may strengthen through optional fieldwork experiences. Candidates personalize their degree plans with 24-30 free electives and round out undergraduate education by completing a scholarly capstone project.

Liberty facilitates remote learning with Blackboard. The university funds several scholarship programs for online students, including awards for first responders, active military personnel, and veterans.


Program Overview

Program Name: Bachelor of Science in Religion - Christian Ministries
School Status: Private
Tuition: $390/credit
Credit Requirements: 120 credits
Program Length: 3.5 years

Delivery

Format: 100% online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements

GPA: 2.0 minimum

Contact

Phone: (800) 424-9595
Email: luoundergrad@liberty.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

21

Evangel University

Springfield, MO Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 51%

For over 60 years, Evangel has provided affordable and faith-focused academic programming. Today, the school delivers 70 degree options, which include an online bachelor of science in church ministries. Through a flexible curriculum, students gain the skills and experience to pursue seminary training or work as pastors and institutional chaplains.

Distance learners take accelerated five-week courses that cover topics like spiritual formation and discipleship, church polity and law, and pastoral counseling. They learn to oversee the strategic planning and financial management of religious and nonprofit organizations. The online bachelor's in ministry program culminates with an integrative capstone seminar.

Evangel maintains three yearly start dates. This degree completion track requires applicants to possess 79 general education and elective credits earned with at least a 2.0 GPA. The university grants transfer credit for prior college classes and life/work experience.


Program Overview

Program Name: Bachelor of Science in Church Ministries
School Status: Private
Tuition: $285/credit
Credit Requirements: 124 credits
Program Length: 1-2 years (degree completion)

Delivery

Format: 100% online
Instruction Style: Synchronous and/or asynchronous

Admission Requirements

GPA: 2.0 minimum

Contact

Phone: (417) 865-2815 ext. 8276
Email: mannm@evangel.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

22

Asbury University

Wilmore, KY Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 62%

Asbury serves approximately 2,000 students each year. The school provides academic programs in over 150 areas of study, with options like the online bachelor of science in leadership and ministry. Distance learners enjoy four yearly start dates and accelerated eight-week courses that allow them to earn their degrees conveniently.

The curriculum comprises coursework in Old Testament history, spiritual growth dynamics, and congregational education. Students also examine the role of churches in contemporary society, emphasizing the growth and impact of New Testament institutions. They can use 31 elective credits to complete internships or take on a complementary minor like biblical languages, youth ministry, and intercultural studies.

This online bachelor's in ministry program operates a flexible admissions process that does not require fees or standardized testing. Asbury offers scholarships specifically for transfer students.


Program Overview

Program Name: Bachelor of Science in Leadership and Ministry
School Status: Private
Tuition: $399/credit
Credit Requirements: 124 credits
Program Length: 4 years

Delivery

Format: 100% online
Instruction Style: Synchronous and/or asynchronous

Contact

Phone: (859) 858-2804
Email: aps@asbury.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

23

Cornerstone University

Grand Rapids, MI Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 55%

Established in 1941, CU specializes in flexible academic programs for working professionals. Degree offerings include an online bachelor of science in ministry leadership that helps students implement critical components of the Christian worldview. Candidates can complete a fully remote curriculum or create a hybrid learning experience with once-per-week classes at the Michigan campuses in Grand Rapids and Kalamazoo.

Required coursework covers topics like ministry ethics and values, interpretive analysis of Old and New Testament literature, and self-management principles. Students cultivate practical skills for organizational leadership and conflict resolution. Moodle powers distance education at CU, delivering accelerated five-week classes.

The online bachelor's in ministry program operates a completionist degree plan that requires applicants to possess 2 years of work experience and at least 56 transferable credits. Distance learners can apply for government grants and loans.


Program Overview

Program Name: Bachelor of Science in Ministry Leadership
School Status: Private
Tuition: $450/credit
Credit Requirements: 120 credits
Program Length: 2 years (degree completion)

Delivery

Format: 100% online or hybrid
Instruction Style: Synchronous and/or asynchronous

Admission Requirements

Work Experience: At least 2 years of work experience

Contact

Phone: (616) 949-5300
Email: info@cornerstone.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

24

Mount Vernon Nazarene University

Mount Vernon, OH Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 59%

MVNU serves over 2,000 students annually, many of whom obtain their degrees remotely through Moodle. Program options comprise a fully online bachelor of arts in ministry leadership that operates accelerated five-week classes. The engaging curriculum helps candidates strengthen their biblical worldview and develop the leadership skills to tackle pertinent challenges facing faith-based communities.

Distance learners take required classes like organizational behavior, evangelism and discipleship, and teaching the Bible. They also develop the ability to recruit and train volunteers. This online bachelor's in ministry program culminates with an applied leadership project that prepares students for careers as missionaries, youth pastors, and nonprofit administrators.

As a completionist track, the MVNU degree requires applicants to transfer at least 56 credits from other regionally accredited colleges and universities. Online students may access financial aid through FAFSA.


Program Overview

Program Name: Bachelor of Arts in Ministry Leadership
School Status: Private
Tuition: $398/credit
Credit Requirements: 120 credits
Program Length: 2 years (degree completion)

Delivery

Format: 100% online
Instruction Style: Synchronous and/or asynchronous

Admission Requirements

GPA: 2.0 minimum

Contact

Phone: (740) 397-9000
Email: matthew.mcpherson@mvnu.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

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Amridge University

Montgomery, AL Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 40%

Located in Montgomery, Alambama, Amridge delivers remote academic programs through Canvas. Degree offerings include an online bachelor of science in ministry/Bible that emphasizes practitioner skill development. In addition to careers as missionaries and pulpit ministers, graduates are well-prepared to pursue leadership positions in postsecondary schools, correctional institutions, and even the armed forces.

The curriculum contains required classes like the life and teachings of Christ, systematic theology, and homiletics. Students develop strategic leadership skills for Chistian service and nonprofit management. They can use the 48 elective credits to pursue advanced topics relevant to their research interests and career objectives.

Amridge accepts up to 88 transfer credits, which allow candidates to complete the online bachelor's in ministry program in as little as 12 months. The university provides a variety of financial aid, including awards for first-time students, ministry majors, and law enforcement/first responders.


Program Overview

Program Name: Bachelor of Science in Ministry/Bible
School Status: Private
Tuition: $250/credit for first-time freshmen; $375/credit for transfer students
Credit Requirements: 128 credits
Program Length: 4 years

Delivery

Format: 100% online
Instruction Style: Synchronous and/or asynchronous

Admission Requirements

GPA: 2.0 minimum for transfer students
Standardized Tests: ACT or SAT for first-time freshmen

Contact

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

Online Bachelor's in Ministry Program Overview

By enrolling in an online bachelor's in ministry program, you not only develop in-depth knowledge of biblical teachings and contemporary Christian doctrine, but you also strengthen your communication and leadership skills. The degree plan totals at least 120 credits and takes about four years to complete. However, some colleges and universities deliver accelerated tracks that enable you graduate in less time.

A ministry curriculum typically includes core classes in Old and New Testament literature, Christian leadership, foundations of ministry work, and spiritual development. These programs also cover homiletics, training you to construct and deliver sermons. Advanced coursework may differ based on program goals and concentration offerings, such as urban missions, counseling ministry, worshipping arts, and evangelism.

Some online ministry schools facilitate campus residencies that help you connect with peers and network with religious leaders. You may gain additional hands-on experience by completing internships and practicums with organizations in your community. Degree work usually culminates with a capstone project and/or comprehensive exam.

Common Bachelor's in Ministry Degree Courses

Foundations of Christian Ministry

This survey course provides an introduction to Christian theology and the historical foundations for ministry in the modern church. You delve into the roles leaders occupy in religious institutions so you can identify your own philosophy of ministry. Additional topics include self-assessment, spiritual practices, and pertinent challenges facing ministers.

Spiritual Development

In this core class, you learn how to cultivate Christlikeness through discipleship and evangelism. You also study theories concerning spiritual formation, with emphasis on the reflective discipline needed to navigate your own individual journey with God. Furthermore, the course provides practical training in discipling others through small groups and one-on-one mentoring.

Pastoral Care

This course centers on the biblical, theological, and psychological bases for contemporary pastoral services. You examine the personal, social, and congregational issues spiritual leaders typically encounter in the practice of ministry. You also gain the basic methodological knowledge and professional skills to pursue advanced counseling training and state licensure.

Nonprofit Management

An integral class for students who want to work in human and social services, nonprofit management provides practical skill development for communication, program administration, and conflict resolution. You read case studies and reflect on your own experiences to synthesize an actionable leadership philosophy. If a program focuses on pastoral education, you learn how to select, organize, and maintain a church staff.

Urban Missions

This specialized class trains you to create and implement holistic community development strategies that empower underserved and low-income populations. Topics include shared vision, fundraising, and resource allocation for anti-poverty purposes. You also gain lay counseling skills that support diverse communities with emphasis on cultural sensitivity and contextualized practice.

Online Bachelor's in Ministry Admission Requirements

  • Minimum GPA

    Incoming freshman students and transfer candidates should expect to satisfy a minimum 2.0 GPA. Competitive colleges and universities may require at least a 3.0 GPA. Certain institutions waive GPA requirements if you achieve adequate ACT/SAT scores and/or possess work experience. Relatedly, you may be able to apply for provisional admission even if you do not meet the minimum GPA threshold.

  • ACT/SAT Scores

    Online bachelor's in ministry programs increasingly eschew standardized testing, opting for a holistic student evaluation process. However, some schools still ask first-time students to send in ACT or SAT scores. Minimum requirements vary, so confirm this criteria with an admissions advisor. You can sometimes apply for exemption if you display an exceptionally high GPA.

  • Character Recommendation

    Online bachelor's in ministry programs use this unique admission item to assess an applicant's faithfulness and adherence to church teachings. You may need to send in references from pastors and other religious leaders who can vouch for your Christian character and devotion. Some schools ask you to submit a narrative that details your conversion experience.

  • Personal Statement

    Also called an admissions essay or a statement of purpose, this application document allows you to set yourself apart from other applicants by explaining your personal history, professional goals, and academic interests. Some colleges ask you to submit a 1-2-page statement responding to a general prompt. Other schools require you to answer a series of short essay questions through their online application.

  • Work Experience

    This is a common admission requirement for accelerated or completionist tracks because these online bachelor's in ministry programs grant transfer credits for professional experience. You detail work history through a resume or CV. Some schools specifically ask you for recommendation letters from former or current employers who can attest to your skills and accomplishments.


Online Bachelor's in Ministry Career Paths

You can lead your congregation as an associate or youth pastor by obtaining a bachelor's degree in ministry. Depending on the focus of the undergraduate program, you may also pursue careers in music ministry and mission work. Additionally, entry-level church planting positions allow you to help cultivate an entirely new congregation.

There are no standard requirements for ordination, so you should confirm these criteria with your own church or denomination. Some religious institutions may ask you to complete seminary training and gain a relevant master's degree before allowing you to work as an ordained minister. With graduate credentials, you can also occupy a postsecondary teaching position, which the BLS projects will grow 11% from 2018-28.


Related Careers

Frequently Asked Questions

Do you need a degree to be a minister?

The requirements to become an ordained minister vary greatly by Christian denomination. Some churches allow you to work as an associate minister with just a bachelor's degree. Other institutions require you to complete seminary training and earn a graduate degree before you can apply for ordination.

What can you do with a bachelor's in ministry?

This degree prepares you to support your local congregation as a pastor, minister, religious teacher, worship musician, or church administrator. In lieu of a faith-based occupation, you can work as a social worker or community service coordinator. By pursuing additional higher education and earning state licensure, you can become a professional counselor.

How long does it take to earn a bachelor's in ministry?

Online bachelor's in ministry programs typically span four years. First-time college students can earn their degrees in about two years by enrolling in accelerated tracks that operate 5-8-week classes year round. Transfer students should seek out completionist tracks that allow them to use prior academic experience and professional accomplishments to fulfill degree requirements.

How much can I make with a bachelor's in ministry?

Salary potential varies based on your specific career. According to BLS data, the median annual wage for clergy sits at $48,990. The top 90% of professionals in these positions receive $85,040 per year. Ministry graduates who work in secular community and social service occupations can make around $38,640 annually.

What courses are required for a bachelor's in ministry?

Online bachelor's in ministry programs commonly require you to take core classes in biblical theology, Christian leadership, and Old and New Testament literature. Advanced coursework differs based on the school's programmatic goals and your choices regarding electives and concentrations. For example, a counseling ministry track trains you to manage client cases, facilitate group counseling sessions, and support addiction recovery and mental health initiatives.

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