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.

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 reaching people "outside the church walls".

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.

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

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

"You truly prepared me for seminary! In fact, I would venture to say that even though you work with undergrads, that you give a Masters level education!"

Michael Whitcomb-Tavey, Class of 2011