Individuals who are interested in expanding their knowledge of the Bible by earning a ministry-related degree have several options. By gaining strong foundational knowledge in biblical studies, graduates can pursue careers in ministry, education, church leadership or nonprofit leadership. Here are five types of biblical studies specializations to consider.

Ministerial Leadership

Ministerial leadership involves the study of a variety of subjects that prepare students for church leadership roles. Courses in ethics, spirituality, evangelism, theology, organizational leadership, pastoral counseling and church administration provide students with the knowledge and skills that are central to leading in a church setting. Specializing in ministerial leadership is ideal for Christians who do not feel called to be the pastor of an entire congregation but believe they are well-suited for other leadership roles within the church.

Children’s or Youth Ministry

Christians who aspire to be children’s ministers or youth ministers can specialize in learning age-appropriate ways to encourage young people in their faith and spiritual growth. Children’s ministers and youth ministers work closely with families, forming relationships with kids and teenagers and planning engaging activities for them. Both children’s ministry and youth ministry rely on the involvement of church members to serve as lay teachers and leaders. Course work covers creative communication techniques, evangelism and discipleship, pastoral care of families and spiritual formation.

Christian Studies

A Christian studies program prepares students for organizational leadership roles within their church or ministry organization. Elements of leadership like ethics, motivation, creativity, vision, strategic planning and organizational development are all covered. Courses focus on preaching and teaching, theology and conflict management.

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Theological Studies

A theological studies program involves a more scholarly and academic look at Christianity and the Bible. It aims to enhance students’ knowledge in systematic, practical and contemporary theology as well as ethics, philosophy and world religions. Graduates of a theological studies program can pursue careers as postsecondary teachers in theology, biblical scholars, Bible translators and more.

Master of Divinity

A Master of Divinity online program prepares graduates for full-time ministry as pastors, missionaries and chaplains. The program also prepares students for further studies in a doctoral program. The curriculum provides a strong foundation in the Bible, theology, church ministry and church organization. Students develop advanced skills in critical thinking, research and writing.