Bachelors (BA) in Christian Ministries

Overview

The Christian ministries major offers a 46-semester-hour course of study designed to prepare students to enter Christian service in local churches and parachurch organizations, providing biblical and theological preparation and an excellent base for graduate studies in a wide variety of ministry fields. Typical careers are positions as pastors, missionaries, youth pastors and Christian education directors. Students are required to obtain a minimum grade of C- in all courses taken for the major. A minimum of 18 semester hours must be from upper-division courses. A limit of 4 semester hours of field experience may apply to the major.

Degree Outcomes

Graduates with a BA in Christian ministries will:

  • Identify and describe orthodox Christian beliefs and doctrines.
  • Explain the role and importance of cultural, historical, and theological contexts as they bear on Christian scholarship and ministry.
  • Analyze current global theological developments and missional movements.
  • Develop and model healthy relationships with oneself, the other and God.
  • Utilize field experiences and internships to design meaningful ministry initiatives.
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Major Requirements

Complete the following:

This course is part of the Biblical Studies curriculum and is planned to help the student understand and apply sound principles of Biblical interpretation. We will study the history of interpretation, general hermeneutical principles, specific hermeneutical lenses, and how to apply them to different kinds of Biblical literature. Prerequisite: BIBL 100 Bible Survey, BIBL 101 Literature of the Old Testament, or BIBL 102 Literature of the New Testament, or by permission.
A study of biblical principles of evangelism, nurturing, and teaching. This study encompasses the Christian educational responsibilities of the local church and parachurch agencies.
This course examines the diversity of the global Christian Church through an exploration of key theological texts written by the foremost theologians from the continents of Africa, Asia, Latin America, and Europe.
A study of the historical background and philosophical development in Christian education, with an examination of the influence of these antecedents upon theory and practice. Contemporary trends in current and emerging ministries will be assessed against such perspectives.
A study of the relationships of theology to Christian ministry. This course explores the ways in which particular theologies affect the practice of ministry in the church.
A practical course providing methods and introductory techniques for preparation and delivery of Christian speaking as ministry. A variety of message construction types will be studied, and students will have opportunity to speak and receive student and instructor evaluation. This course will cover sermon preparation and delivery, devotional and inspirational speaking, extemporaneous sharing, and broader aspects of communicating Christian truth.
This course addresses several pressing issues facing Christians in the West in the 21st Century. The course takes a historical look at how Christians have previously dealt with these issues, but also engages the possibility of new solutions. Topics include, but is not limited to the nature of scripture, the nature of truth, issues of sexuality and gender, social justice, evangelism, and the nature of the Gospel.
An exploration of how people grow and change spiritually. The study integrates biblical insights, classic Christian spirituality, developmental theory, and contemporary individual and corporate practice in spiritual formation. It will critically explore how spirituality relates to vocation, relationships, and the demands of daily living.
As an introduction to Christian theology, this course considers the basic doctrines of the Christian faith and their application to contemporary living.
A comparative study between Christianity and other prominent religions of the world, such as Buddhism, Islam, Hinduism, and contemporary kinds of alternative religion. (Identical to INTL 440.)

Concentrations (16 hours) - choose one

Complete the following:

Supervised internship in areas of Christian ministry, with emphasis on application of methods learned. Pass/No Pass.
Prerequisite: upper-division students and by application.

This covers communication as it affects and is affected by language and culture. Topics include contextualized use of communication within speech communities, intercultural effectiveness, cultural communication theory, competent intercultural experiences in co-cultures (ethnic, gender, intergenerational, deaf, etc.) and global cultural groups. A student may not earn credit for both the lower-division and upper-division versions of this course.
The biblical basis and history of missions are considered, with a special focus upon the modern missionary movement of the last 200 years.
Cross-cultural communication in Christian ministry, focusing on the concepts of identification, mutuality, the process of cultural change from a biblical perspective, and strategies for cross-cultural outreach.
Selected movements, trends, and leaders of contemporary Christian missions are studied. Lectures, readings, and learning activities are chosen to provide tools and methods for continuing education in missiology.

Complete the following:

An exploration of an individual's call to ministry and a study of present praxis in Christian ministry, with emphasis on spiritual formation and community building. This is the first of four semesters. Additional course fee is required. Requires department approval. Prerequisite: sophomore standing or above.
A study of the faith life of the Christian community, expressed through Scripture, traditions, theology and church history, as it relates to Christian theological praxis. This is the second of four semesters. Additional course fee is required. Prerequisite: CHMN 391 Theological Praxis I: Foundations of Self.

Supervised internship in areas of Christian ministry, with emphasis on application of methods learned. Pass/No Pass.
Prerequisite: upper-division students and by application.

A study of various historical and multicultural theological approaches to God and ministry, with an emphasis on the role of context and community in applying theology in different vocational settings. This is the third of four semesters. Additional course fee is required. Prerequisite: CHMN 392 Theological Praxis II: Christian Community.
A co-constructed approach to the application of practical theology to contemporary theological issues within the Christian community. Pulling together the themes in CHMN 391, 392, and 491, students in the course will work with the instructor to select topics for exploration together. This is the fourth of four semesters. Additional course fee required. Prerequisite: CHMN 491 Theological Praxis III: Study of Theology.

Complete the following:

A study of some of the major trends and issues confronting and shaping young people in American culture today. A premium is placed upon developing the tools to interact with these realities as Christians in ministry and to recognize ways in which youth culture both hinders and fosters opportunities for ministry to young people.
This course focuses upon the development of hands on skills for ministry. Public speaking, leading small groups, developing relationships with young people for ministry, and planning, organizing and executing group events are topics of focus throughout the course.
A study of motivation, guidance, and method in reference to youth and youth ministries, aimed at developing leadership skills.
A study of theory and technique of person-centered counseling. The course is designed to teach basic theoretical postulates and to focus on effective intervention skills for those anticipating future work in Christian ministries, teaching, or mental health settings. Recommended as a prerequisite for field experience work (PSYC 475). (Identical to CHMN 381.) Prerequisites: PSYC 150 General Psychology and sophomore status or above. Recommended: PSYC 330 Personality Theories.

Supervised internship in areas of Christian ministry, with emphasis on application of methods learned. Pass/No Pass.
Prerequisite: upper-division students and by application.

A study of theory and practice of experiential leadership in adventure and recreation education/programming. Leadership styles, techniques, methods, and practices will be the core subjects taught in this highly experiential class involving an outdoor lab component. Additional course fee required.