BA in Religion
What is the Bachelor of Arts 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.
What do students enrolled in the Religion program do?
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.
Is this major right for you?
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.
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.
About our students
In our Religion program, students have many opportunities:
- Internships and field ministry experiences provide excellent on-the-job learning opportunities in local churches, parachurch ministries, and hospital or clinical settings. Annually some students receive internship scholarships. Typically, a Field Ministry experience lasts three months, with a minimum of fifty hours invested in hands-on ministry. Most majors include at least 2 field ministry experiences.
- Many Religion students take missions trips, where they gain valuable cross-cultural ministry experience.
- Religion students get involved in ministry on campus, through organizations such as Student Missions Focus (SMF).
- Many Religion students serve local congregations in a variety of ministry roles.
About our graduates
When you graduate from Southern Wesleyan University with a BA in Religion, depending on your major and minor, you will be prepared for ministry as a:
- Assistant Pastor
- Youth Pastor
- Children’s Pastor
- Worship Pastor
- Christian Education Pastor
- Church Administrator
- Sports Minister
You will also be prepared to join alumni and graduates in prestigious graduate schools and programs all across the nation, including:
- 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 in a variety of Wesleyan churches. Southern Wesleyan’s Division of Religion works closely with ministerial boards in The Wesleyan Church for purposes of placement and can assist other denominations in that endeavor as well.
Our graduates also serve in a number of denominations in a variety of leadership roles. Those denominations include the Church of God (Anderson), Church of the Nazarene, Free Methodist Church, United Methodist Church, African Methodist Episcopal Church, Anglican Church, a variety of Baptist churches, and others.
Some of our graduates also engage in ministries in parachurch organizations such as World Hope International, World Vision, Samaritan’s Purse, Kingdom Building Ministries, Campus Crusade and others.