School of Theology & Christian Ministry
The Christian ministries major is designed to prepare students to serve as Christian leaders and servants in the world. It offers an undergraduate study of ministry which may lead to:
- lay ministry while pursuing another profession
- a position of leadership in ministry in a local congregation, a church-related organization, or a related field
- graduate study in ministry.
This major is intended to be the first step in a plan of lifelong learning for ministry. This program is designed for students desiring to enter ministry upon graduation but who might choose to continue their studies later and for students entering seminary immediately upon graduation. Courses in this major encourage ministry practice and informed reflection on that practice, giving students both depth and breadth of preparation.
How can I get involved in the Christian Ministries program?
Christian Ministries Major (in-profession focus)
You can participate in the Christian Ministries program in a variety of ways:
- Graduate with a Bachelor of Arts in Christian Ministries in 3 years
- Graduate with a Bachelor of Arts in Christian Ministries in 4 years
- Complete the 4 + 1 program, from BA to MDiv
Complementary Major (in-life focus)
Christian Ministries is also offered as a complementary major and may be taken in conjunction with another major. This approach strengthens students’ preparation for servanthood in today’s world by connecting theological, biblical, and ministerial knowledge with students’ base of knowledge. It offers the opportunity to prepare for ministry while also preparing for another profession and gives students a broad base in preparation for graduate study in ministry.
What classes will I take?
- Hermeneutics: The Practice of Interpreting
- Introduction to Christian Ministry
- American Religious History
- Introduction to Christian Theology
The Christian Ministries minor offers coursework designed to develop an appreciation for the biblical foundations of the Christian faith; offer from a Christian perspective a wide range of knowledge concerning the religious experience of humankind; provide the biblical, theological, and pastoral Christian education, field courses, and experiences central to preparing Christian leaders; and develop students’ appreciation for and critical reflection of their beliefs, practices, and experiences.
What classes will I take?
Among the classes in the 43-hour major are:
- history of Christianity
- Christian ethics
- methods in Biblical exegesis
- ministry seminar
- theology in a ministry context
What kind of jobs can I anticipate after graduation?
- Campus Minister
- College Professor
Many of our students transition into graduate programs at the Anderson University School of Theology and Christian Ministry, but others have attended Claremont School of Theology, Duke Divinity School, Union Theological Seminary, Vanderbilt University, Fuller Theological Seminary, and Asbury Theological Seminary.
If you are interested in graduate school as a next step, we encourage you to learn more about the 4+1 track of our Christian Ministries & Master of Divinity program that can be completed in 5 years.
What experiences will I have?
Christian ministries majors undertake internships and experiential courses with agencies such as Urban Studies in cities like Chicago or Indianapolis and the Heart Institute in Florida.
Participation in service
- 80% of AU Christian Ministry students specialize in Christian ministry.
- 30 students a year complete internships in churches and related agencies.
- Experiential learning is stressed a through urban studies courses in Chicago, New York City, and Washington D.C.
- The AU Department of Christian Ministry stresses the Bible as the basis of ministry training.
Ministry preparation within Anderson University’s School of Theology and Christian Ministry is rooted in some important values. First of all, we value Scripture. Faculty take the Bible seriously and encourage students to read it, take seriously its claims, become familiar with its stories, and work with critical questions about how it came to be and how it is used.
We value good theology. Theology is as much a practice as a system of belief, and good ministry involves sound thinking about important issues. It doesn’t mean doing so alone, however, nor does it mean carrying around a set of stale answers. Good theology is a living, breathing activity done with others in light of particular challenges.
We value people and the many places where they can be found. We don’t assume that reviewing someone’s status updates, knowing whether they are a “Boomer” or “Gen X,” or classifying them as “red” or “blue” is the same as knowing that person. There is more to every human being created in God’s image than the labels that person might be given, and we encourage students to become familiar not only with categories but with people in particular ministry contexts.
We value the church. We affirm that ministry is a characteristic of authentic Christian community. We see ministry as being open so that God’s good news works through each person’s giftedness to affect individuals for good at the point of their real needs. It is no one’s private property. We affirm the ministry of congregations and encourage students to have a meaningful connection with a particular setting for ministry — to observe, to offer their contribution, to learn, to critique when necessary, and to grow.
We value ministry. We recognize that callings differ. At the same time, we do not encourage the kind of specialization that would keep us apart or make us competitors. There should be a connection and a coherence about Christian ministry, which is why we don’t have a separate major for every one of its forms. In the same way, we work on building character more than crafting charisma, and we value the cultivation of wisdom more than the collection of techniques.
We value education. We help students draw on deep wells that will sustain their work rather than encouraging the strategy of scrambling for resources to “plug in” to their program. We embrace and explore critical questions, and we encourage students to question certainties that are reached prematurely.
We value you. At graduation, we would much rather shake the hands of people who have been changed by important questions from various fields of knowledge rather than to wave goodbye to tourists who had a nice time and are leaving with a few items they picked up along the way. We consider a student’s whole academic career — and their other educational experiences — to be part of their preparation for ministry. We encourage them to view life itself as a learning opportunity.