Christian Studies at a Glance
Many Christians who are deeply invested in their faith yearn to pursue studies that will strengthen their spiritual walk. Christian Studies encompass the foundation of the Christian doctrine and ways that Christianity impacts the lives of those who practice it. Those who wish to find careers that utilize spiritual understanding and practical solutions based on Christian principles may be interested in a Christian Studies degree.
In order to apply Christian principles to any given situation, one must be educated in a way to offer the appropriate response or solution. Christian Studies are based on theological principles of the Christian faith. Many programs focus on theological and biblical perspectives, while other programs focus on practical matters of Christian stewardship and outreach ministry, not only to local areas, but also on a global basis. Oftentimes, students have the chance to participate in global outreach programs to underserved areas, providing vital services such as clean drinking water, housing, and education. These service programs are often known as mission trips.
Christian Studies Areas of Interest and Career Tracks
Students in a Christian Studies degree program will generally have several tracks of interest to specialize in, depending on their area of interest and the program they are enrolled in. Students who graduate with a Christian Studies degree may also find numerous careers available to them in non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and other non-profit agencies that are interested in various relief activities. Here are a few careers rooted in Christian Studies:
Many people who pursue Christian Studies also choose to become Christian educators, serving as religion and Bible teachers in schools.
Pastoral ministry is an overarching term within Christianity that encompasses not only preaching, but also care and counseling to parishioners and non-parishioners alike. Pastors and ministers may have different titles in different branches (denominations) of Christianity, but they are all charged with overseeing the needs of their members and serving the Lord. Senior pastors oversee and guide the vision of the church, utilizing the skills and services of junior pastors and lay leaders. They also play a large role in the local community, serving as role models.
Missionary and Outreach Work
The goal of Christian missionary and outreach work involves serving others, while spreading the Christian Gospel. Sometimes, outreach work occurs on a local basis, by creating programs for the local community. Some common examples of local outreach programs are volunteering with charities and nonprofit organizations, food banks, shelters for abused women, and programs for disadvantaged children. Other missionary and outreach programs are global in nature and run by large Christian organizations or churches. These programs may participate in activities such as orphanage and church building, educational programs, and health initiatives, such as clean water or vaccinations.
Christian Studies Education
Degree programs in Christian Studies are available at the Associate’s, Bachelor’s and graduate levels. An Associate’s degree in Christian Studies will allow graduates to obtain entry-level positions in a variety of Christian and secular settings, including churches and non-profit agencies. People who are interested in becoming preachers or ministers will generally be required to have at least a Bachelor’s degree, depending on the requirements of that particular branch of Christianity. It is common for professional ministers and pastors to seek graduate education in order to widen the breadth of their Christian knowledge and to engage in advanced matters of practical ministry. Many people who pursue Christian Studies also choose to become Christian educators, serving as religion and Bible teachers in schools. It is up to the individual to choose how he or she will serve the Lord after completing his or her education.
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