“And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues.” (1 Corinthians 12:28 King James Version) The church is made up a variety of offices and people with specific gifts to fill those offices. With the availability of a myriad of degrees for those who wish to serve within the church, it need not suffer in any area, including leadership, counseling and finances.
When you think of educational degrees for church workers, this is undoubtedly the first one that comes to mind. Many pastors and priests hold a degree in theology, but the degree is not limited to the pastoral office. Theology degrees instill in students the knowledge of the Scriptures, how to interpret and understand doctrine, a deeper understanding of global missions, the differences in religions and how those religions affect the world and culture around them, and an overview of the day-to-day tasks involved in various church work.
This degree is intended to prepare men and women for various forms of Christian ministry, varying from pastoring to starting a prison ministry and is often a requirement for those seeking a position of leadership in certain churches or religious organizations. The required courses focus on service and leadership.
The church is a ministry, but it is also a business, and as such, it needs workers who are skilled in mathematics, budgeting, fundraising and bookkeeping. If you enjoy working with facts and figures, you might consider this degree. With it, you could prove to be a valuable asset to your church or organization in terms of improving overall organization by fulfilling the role of clerk, treasurer or business administrator.
This degree is similar to that of business administration but is focused more on the church as an organism rather than an organization. This degree is currently being offered by many Christian colleges as an alternative to typical business administration. The skills and practices required for each degree are the same; it is the approach that is different. While the business administration courses direct their attention to business as a whole, the church management courses target the implementation of business strategies within a religious setting.
Music plays a vital role in most church services. Fortunately, there are a variety of musical degrees you can obtain, including song leading, voice or specialized training on a particular instrument. Some degrees, such as religious music, are fine-tuned for the church worker.
Many churches have a school associated with them and are, therefore, looking for qualified teachers and administrators. Even those without schools need teachers for Sunday school classes, vacation Bible school meetings and kids' clubs. While many churches do not require their Sunday school teachers to have an education degree, it is invaluable, as the required courses can only serve to improve teaching methods, classroom management and overall performance.
If your church has a radio station, a television program (recorded services) or a newspaper, a degree in communications, broadcasting or journalism would serve you well. Churches and other religious organizations are frequently in need of those qualified to help in these areas.
Certificate of Christian Workers (CCW)
Some schools and organizations, such as Covenant Evangelical Theological Seminary, Biblical Life Institute, A.P.E.P.T. International Biblical Training Network and Omega Team Inc., are now offering a certificate of Christian workers which provides students with an educational overview of working within a religious organization. Ideal candidates for this degree are those who want to be able to chip in wherever they are needed within the church, whether that be as a Sunday school teacher or a missionary aid.
- Baylor: Degree Requirements
- DegreeDictionary.org: What Can You Do with a Theology Degree?
- Bloomberg Businessweek: Mastering the Business of Church
- Covenant Evangelical Theological Seminary: Degrees & Certificates
- Biblical Life Institute: Christian Workers Certificate
- A.P.E.P.T. International Biblical Training Network: Christian Workers Certificate
- Omega Team: Christian Workers Certificate
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