BA in Religion


This degree program prepares individuals for ministry in a variety of areas, with concentrations in Christian Ministry, Youth Ministry, Children’s Ministry, Sports Ministry, Bible, and New Testament Greek. Religion majors learn to apply scriptural principles to contemporary life by introducing what they learn in the classroom into a real ministry setting.

Religion Major Concentrations


The Bible concentration is a 34-hour track of study that is designed for persons entering a ministry related field. This concentration can also be used as a foundation for graduate work in the field of biblical studies, especially the New Testament.

Children's Ministry

The Children's Ministry concentration is a 51-hour program for students who anticipate leading children's ministries in churches, working with children, and equipping volunteers to work with children.

Christian Ministry

The Christian Ministry concentration is a 54-hour track of study that provides biblical, theological, and pastoral leadership foundations for those entering careers in ministry in the local church. This concentration is appropriate for those going directly into ministry and is a very strong pre-seminary program. This is the ordination track program for students pursuing Wesleyan ordination.

Christian Worship

The Christian Worship concentration is a 65-hour track of study that combines interests and studies in the Bible, Christian faith, Christian ministry, and Christian worship with some specialized study in music in order that graduates will learn to lead the people of God through Christian worship ministries.

New Testament Greek

The New Testament Greek concentration of study is a 34-hour track of study for those who are particularly interested in doing extensive study of the New Testament in the original Greek

Sports Ministry

The Sports Ministry concentration of study is a 51-hour track of study. It is an interdisciplinary program that integrates recreation, sports, youth ministry, Bible, and theology. The combination of sports and recreation allows our student to prepare for leadership in larger churches with recreation programs, parachurch ministries, camps, and community programs.

Youth Ministry

The Youth Ministry concentration of study is a 54-hour track of study designed to prepare students for pastoral ministry, parachurch ministries, camps and other community programs, in a variety of ministry contexts.


As a Religion major, you will begin cultivating a pattern of spiritual accountability and participating in ministry while in school. Additionally, you will learn to preach and teach effectively and persuasively, to plan and conduct worship services, to give pastoral care, and to understand basic counseling. You will gain understanding of the theological implications in life issues, and experience what it means to share the plan of salvation with a seeker, provide administrative leadership for ministry, and continue your personal spiritual development throughout your life.

SWU Division of Religion provides ministry preparation that is a "both/and" program:

  • Traditional / Contemporary worship styles
  • Large church / Small church
  • Tradition and history / Relevant mission
  • Preparation for immediate ministry placement / Preparation for graduate school
  • Rigor in the classroom / Mentoring relationships and community
  • Disciplined study / Real-life ministry experiences

You might consider a Religion major if you sense God’s calling on your life for ministry, are seeking to serve in a church or other Christ-centered organization, are an individual who shows Christ-like compassion to others, and are seeking a leadership role in ministry.

Why Religion at SWU?

100% of ministerial program students complete real ministry internships and experiences.

Over 95% of graduates who have applied to graduate schools have been accepted.

Many graduates have gone into or established creative ministries.

What about minors in Religion?

Cognates/Minors are available in Pastoral Studies, Spiritual Formation and Discipleship, Bible, Mission Studies, Christian Worship, and Religious Studies. These minors may be completed with a Religion major or with a major from another academic department.

What about Ordination?

Those preparing for ordination in The Wesleyan Church should complete one of the following five programs:  Pastoral Ministry, Youth Ministry, Christian Education, Bible, or Missions.  A program consists of the concentration in Christian Ministry and the appropriate minor or cognate. Each of these programs will meet the academic requirements for ordination in The Wesleyan Church, as well as satisfying many comparable requirements for ordination in other denominations.

"The personal investment by the faculty at SWU was more than an intellectual investment; it was a whole person investment. I learned as much by doing life with the SWU family as I did in the classroom. SWU not only gave me the education necessary to be a minister, they gave me the belief that I could make a difference as a minister."

Tom Harding, Senior Pastor at ALIVE Wesleyan Church

"I was challenged to think for myself and think outside of the box when it came to fulling my calling in children’s ministry. The Division of Religion cares about the individual."

Emily Holley, Children's Pastor at Kernersville Wesleyan Church



Career Opportunities

  • Pastor
  • Assistant Pastor
  • Evangelist
  • Youth Pastor
  • Children’s Pastor
  • Worship Pastor
  • Christian Education Pastor
  • Missionary
  • Church Administrator
  • Sports Minister

Graduate Schools

  • Asbury Theological Seminary
  • Denver Theological Seminary
  • Duke Divinity School
  • Erskine Seminary
  • Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary
  • Mercer University’s McAfee School of Theology
  • Nazarene Theological Seminary
  • Princeton Theological Seminary
  • Vanderbilt Divinity School
  • Wesley Seminary at Indiana Wesleyan University
  • Wesley Biblical Seminary

OUR GRADUATES are serving at:

  • Wesleyan churches
  • Church of God (Anderson)
  • Church of the Nazarene
  • Free Methodist Church
  • United Methodist Church
  • African Methodist Episcopal Church
  • Anglican Church
  • Variety of Baptist churches
  • World Hope International
  • World Vision
  • Samaritan’s Purse
  • Kingdom Building Ministries
  • Campus Crusade
  • And other ministries