Students pursuing a degree in a ministerial or theological field have a number of exciting and rewarding career options ahead of them. If you’re considering this field but aren’t sure which direction to take, consider these possibilities.
It may seem like the most obvious choice, but if you feel called to be a minister in a church, there are certainly many opportunities. A minister should have good communication and interpersonal skills, managerial skills, and of course a strong foundation in general life skills, theology, the Bible, spiritual development, church ministry, leadership principles and church organization. The national median annual salary for clergy is $44,250, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).
Chaplains are similar to ministers, but instead of working in a church, chaplains work in hospitals, prisons, or in the military. Chaplains need the same interpersonal skills and biblical knowledge that ministers do, but they must also have the ability to successfully work in crisis situations. The salary for chaplains is roughly the same as ministers.
While someone who works as a licensed social worker requires a separate degree and specific licensing, many organizations that social workers serve have a Christian approach to their services. This is where someone with a ministerial degree can be helpful, perhaps as a chaplain, spiritual advisor or counselor. Be sure to look into the ministerial and social work fields in detail before choosing a degree program, so that you can be sure the track you take is the right one for the type of job you would like to pursue.
Elementary and secondary education in a Christian school can be a demanding but rewarding career. A degree in education is often necessary, and states generally require certification, though these requirements can vary in private schools. A teacher must be patient and knowledgeable, with excellent communication and organizational skills.
Christian colleges and junior colleges are good places for graduates with degrees in ministry to find their place. Colleges usually require a doctoral degree for a full faculty position, though many will accept a master’s degree or an educator who is working toward a doctorate. The median annual salary for postsecondary teachers is $72,470, and the job growth rate is faster than average at 13 percent by 2024.
To pursue a career in Christian ministry, students can benefit from an online degree in ministry from Southeastern University to help them achieve their goals.