Become a ministry or church leader that is loving, relevant, and effective
Below is the information for the on-campus religion degree program. For the online Flex Ministry program, click here.
You feel called to lead and called to serve. You know that ministry will be a part of your future career. At SWU, religion majors learn to apply scriptural principles to contemporary life by introducing what they learn in the classroom into a real ministry setting. You will prepare for ministry in a variety of areas, with concentrations in Christian Ministry, Christian Worship, and Children's/Youth Ministry. Our expert, loving faculty members will teach, mentor, and guide you as you seek God for the next steps in your calling.
As a ministry major, you will begin cultivating a pattern of spiritual accountability and participating in ministry while in school. You'll get relevant experience, learning to preach and teach effectively and persuasively, plan and conduct worship services, provide pastoral care, and 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. 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.
A Ministry Degree Program that is "Both/And"
- 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
Cognates/Minors are available in 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 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.
Choose your path
The Christian Ministry concentration is a 39-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.
The Christian Worship concentration is a 42-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.
The Youth and Children's Ministry concentration of study is a 42-hour track of study designed to prepare students for pastoral ministry, parachurch ministries, camps and other community programs, in a variety of ministry contexts.
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Emily Service - Christian Worship Major
Will Hughes - Youth and Children's Ministry Major
Interested in a 3+1 ministry program?
Three years on-campus plus one-year church residency all before graduating.
Make it a double major
Turn your elective credits into a dual degree
This program opens the door to many career possibilities including:
- Assistant Pastor
- Youth Pastor
- Children’s Pastor
- Worship Pastor
- Church Planter
- Christian Education Pastor
- Church Administrator
- Sports Minister
Our graduates from this program have been accepted into graduate schools including:
- Wesley Seminary
- 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 Biblical Seminary
Our graduates have gone into a number of careers and have held jobs with employers such as:
- Wesleyan churches of all sizes
- 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 Relief
- World Vision
- Samaritan’s Purse
- Kingdom Building Ministries
- Campus Crusade
- And other ministries