Find Your Calling as a Ministry Major

A ministry major is ideal for anyone who feels passionately about living a life dedicated to service in the name of God. As a ministry studies major, you’ll not only feel the joy that comes from living your faith, but will also have the rare satisfaction of experiencing your professional and spiritual lives overlap.


Contrary to what some people might think, an education in ministry studies isn’t purely philosophical in nature. While it’s true that a ministry studies degree will involve a lot of theology (that is, the study of religious beliefs, practices, and the nature of God), your studies will also be grounded in the practical application of these concepts, including religious leadership and communication. Your courses might cover subjects such as Christian theology, Biblical history and interpretation, Christian ethics, evangelism, pastoral care and counseling, and more. It’s also not unusual for some ministry studies programs to offer (or even require) fieldwork, such as internships or mission trips.

A ministry studies major will not only bring you closer to God, but also equip you with the tools and techniques to spread the teaching of Jesus and serve others through your career, whether that’s in the church or outside of it. Ultimately, the purpose of studying ministry in an academic context is to prepare you to become a steward of the Christian church and faith in your community and the larger world.

Careers in Ministry

There’s a common misconception that a ministry studies degree is only useful to people who intend to attend seminary school and eventually become a pastor or clergy member. While it’s true that a ministry studies major provides excellent preparation for either of those pursuits, there are also a lot of other options available to individuals with a bachelor’s degree in ministry studies. Below are some of the careers that you might consider:

  • Church administration
  • Clergy
  • Missionary
  • Youth director
  • Chaplain
  • Teacher
  • Christian organization/nonprofit professional
  • Counselor or mentor
  • Ministry support professional
  • Program or camp administrator and/or developer
  • Residence or program director at a Christian college or school

Want to learn more about ministry studies as a possible major or career path?
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Group shot of Interdenominational Theological Center students outside on campus

How to Prepare for Success

Arguably the best preparation for a ministry studies degree is a well-rounded spiritual practice, a familiarity with the Bible, and an understanding of religious communities. Participating actively in church or youth groups, Bible study, and religious services will all help with this.

However, a career in ministry or an adjacent profession will also require strong communication skills, both written and verbal. Moreover, whichever career you choose, you will likely be working with other people on a regular, if not constant, basis. As such, taking courses in English, writing, and psychology will also likely prove useful.

UNCF Schools to Consider

Several UNCF-member schools offer programs for students who want to work in the field of ministry, including:

Professional Organizations

If you’re thinking about majoring in ministry studies, it may be helpful to familiarize yourself with some of the programs, membership options, and resources offered by professional ministry organizations. Exploring these will also give you a good idea of the scope and professional opportunities the field has to offer.

3 students walking during Convocation ceremony at Voorhees College

Scholarships Available

There’s no better way to start on your path toward a successful career in ministry than with a solid financial foundation. Fortunately, many scholarships are available through UNCF, including some specifically for ministry majors. Keep an eye on the UNCF website for current scholarship opportunities and announcements. 

Search for specific scholarships and view those that are currently accepting applications here! Students should also check with each college or university to see if there are additional scholarships available to study ministry.

As you explore your options, be sure to use our guide to applying for scholarships and grants. You can also receive guidance by submitting a major interest form if you are interested in a career in ministry. Submit the form on our website to get started, and follow us on UNCF social media channels to receive notifications about our scholarships and member HBCUs. Reach out today!