Why Earn a Degree in Christian Studies?
Earning a degree in Christian Studies is an attractive option for those who want to become leaders in their church. The degree program offers a chance to prepare for positions of church leadership, develop a deeper understanding of faith, understand the historical and sociological aspects of Christianity, and the chance to specialize on certain aspects of the church.
For example, Oakland City University offers a Christian Studies degree program that gives students the chance to specialize in Christian education, gaining a deeper understanding of how to teach others about Christianity and support them in their faith.
Job growth in this area is expected to remain steady. The federal government groups leaders of all faiths into the category of “clergy,” which is projected to grow 5% to 9% by 2026.
Here are some of the areas that students in a Christian Studies degree program will develop expertise.
Preparation for Church Leadership
Earning a bachelor’s degree in Christian studies prepares graduates with the foundation they need for ministry. This includes both knowledge in Christian studies but also development of the practical skills needed to apply them in every day work. Areas covered include Biblical Studies, Historical-Theological Studies and Practical Ministry Studies.
A Deeper Understanding of Faith
A Christian Studies degree program offers a deep dive into all aspects of faith, starting with a close reading and discussion on both the Old Testament and the New Testament. Students also gain a deeper understanding of the importance of mission work and its impact around the world.
Understanding Historical and Sociological Aspects of Christianity
Students in a Christian Studies bachelor’s degree program will study theology, as noted above. But they also will look at the historical and sociological aspects of Christianity, including the history of the religion as well as a survey of all world religions. Students also study critical thinking and Christian ethics. Some may move into specializations that allow them to study issues such as philosophy and the relationship between Christianity and postmodernism.
Become Better Educators
In degree programs such as those offered at Oakland City University, students can choose to specialize in Christian education. This includes a better understanding of practical issues such as church administration, worship leadership, family ministry and teaching in church. Graduates also develop expertise in mission and evangelical work.
Expertise in Mission Work
Going beyond what is learned in the education specialization, those who choose to focus on mission work learn a great deal more about how missions are run around the world. In addition to learning the biblical basis and history of mission work, they also learn about the latest trends in mission work and principles of missionary service.
Students may also choose to specialize in pastoral studies, preparing them for the top positions of leadership in the Christian church. Students in this specialization learn about pastoral counseling and take a course on preaching practicum in addition to coursework on education and missionary work. Graduates from this program are encouraged to continue their education at the seminary level.
Earning a bachelor’s degree in Christian Studies prepares graduates to take on multiple, important positions in the church. No matter what specialization students choose, the chance to focus on becoming better at preaching, leading a church, missionary work and having a better understanding of Christianity’s role in the world can make them better prepared for their future career.