Is a Ministry Leadership Degree Right for Me? Five Things You Should Know

By Ellie Walburg on February 20, 2019

No two life journeys are the same.

Each of us have followed our own path to where we are today. Some paths have been relatively smooth with only minor hiccups and bumps that have steered us off course but then soon returned. Other paths may have taken a full detour, not knowing where we were going in the midst but somehow brought us to where we are today.

In leadership, that uniqueness of each person's story is an important truth to recognize in influencing and guiding effectively. And rooting your influence in a Christian worldview can make you stand out among other leaders.

With the practical knowledge, skills and experiences gained in a bachelor's in ministry leadership program, you can be equipped to both lead and serve where you feel called.

But how do you know if this is the right degree choice for you? Here are five things you should know about a ministry leadership degree to help you decide.

1. Make a Difference in Your Community

Each student has their own motivations for being better equipped for leadership. For many pursuing a degree in ministry, they want to serve their community as they have been empowered by others.

How do you want to make a difference?

With a degree in ministry leadership, you can be equipped to serve in a variety of environments and make a difference in your community.

Perhaps you feel called to lead a group of people in the study of God's word or a nonprofit organization that is committed to supporting and empowering those in the community. Several career paths can be taken upon in a nonprofit setting such as leadership, marketing, communications, community development, volunteer coordination, program coordination and many others.

And with a practical foundation gained through a bachelor's in ministry, you can take what you learn and apply your experience to where you want to go.

Is it for me? Ask yourself these questions:

  • Do I seek a career path in church organization, nonprofits, missions or other related fields?
  • Am I passionate about the opportunity to serve others every day?
  • Am I motivated by serving others and making a difference more so than earning the highest paycheck?

2. Follow Your Calling

Adult male sitting on steps in sanctuary

Whether you planned to be in the situation you're in now or are still wondering how you got here, God has a purpose and a calling on your life. A degree in ministry leadership can help you follow that calling.

By "calling," we don't mean just audibly listening for some message or sign to come down on us to tell us where we should be going or what career to choose. When it comes to choosing a career direction, we understand it to be something much more. For example, Frederick Buechner describes God's calling in his book "Wishful Thinking" as "the place where your deep gladness and the world's deep hunger meet."

A degree in ministry leadership can help you listen and follow that calling that's been pulling at you to use your gifts and talents to make a difference.

Whether that calling is to lead a local church in your community, serve at a nonprofit organization, counsel others who are where you have been or seek to empower those around you, the practical knowledge and experience you can gain through navigating an undergraduate degree can equip you to pursue that call.

Satisfy that itch to do something more and be empowered to bring change into a broken world that needs your influence.

Is it for me? Ask yourself these questions:

  • Do I have a desire to use my gifts to meet a need in the world?
  • Am I passionate about following this unique call God has placed on my life to serve?
  • Do I get energized by seeing others thrive and have a desire to contribute to human flourishing?

3. Cultivate Leadership Experience

With a bachelor's degree that focuses on leadership, you'll gain practical skills you can utilize in nearly every situation you encounter. Not only will you build upon your knowledge of the Christian worldview, you'll also come to understand how to lead and serve others effectively.

In a ministry leadership program, you'll engage in courses such as Personal Growth for Effective Leadership that allows you to identify your spiritual gifts and talents to best utilize them to contribute to human flourishing.

With the practical applications you'll experience through this program, you'll develop skills and a solid foundation in engaging in servant leadership to empower those around you.

Is it for me? As yourself these questions:

  • Do I desire to lead, guide and empower others in my community?
  • Do I have a passion for helping others that I can pair with practical leadership knowledge and experience?
  • Am I interested in pursuing a career in a nonprofit, church or other setting that requires effective leadership skills?

4. Thrive in a Diverse World

People raising their hands in a large venue

Our world is changing and becoming more diverse. As a result, leadership practices should adapt in order to serve people from every culture and context.

A degree in ministry leadership can help equip you to thrive in a diverse world.

Perhaps you feel called to live and work in a community you are familiar and comfortable with. Or, maybe you desire to move out and take on a whole new environment.

Either way, you'll be equipped to extend your influence as you engage in practical courses in a degree in ministry leadership.

For example, you'll engage in conversations of diversity in courses like Systems for Cultural Impact that relate to understanding different cultural understandings of Scripture and other discipleship applications.

Is it for me? Ask yourself these questions:

  • Do I aspire to develop a greater understanding of our diverse world?
  • Am I open to learning other perspectives on Scripture to understand and see their point of view?
  • Do I seek to understand diversity from a Christ-centered perspective?

5. Build Upon Your Biblical Foundation

To lead others in learning and applying biblical principles, you must be equipped to do so yourself. With the Scripture-centric curriculum incorporated into a ministry leadership program, you'll enhance your understanding and interpretation of the Bible to lead others in the same spiritual disciplines.

With courses such as Christian Doctrine, Interpretive Analysis and Principles of Biblical Studies, you'll engage in assignments and discussions centered around the study of Scripture. By covering both the Old and New Testament, you'll deepen your understanding and love for God's work and seek to empower others with it.

Is It for me? Ask yourself these questions:

  • Do I have a passion for deepening and growing in my own knowledge and understanding of Scripture?
  • Do I desire to share that knowledge with those around me?
  • Am I interested in utilizing my Biblical foundation in my everyday work?

Is a Ministry Leadership degree right for you?

Person with folded hands on an open Bible

Being a difference-maker in the community is something all careers and professions can strive toward. With a degree in ministry leadership, you can closely tie your career goals of service and a biblical foundation with having a positive influence in your community. And with a degree program format that's conveniently tailored to the busy working adult, you can pursue your passions while managing the many other responsibilities of life.

Want to learn more about making a difference with a Bachelor of Science in Ministry Leadership? Check out our program page or connect with a counselor today!

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Category: Why College