The 10 Best Online Master of Ministry Graduate Schools in 2022

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People of faith who aim to hold positions in the ministry may want to consider earning an online Master of Ministry degree. This advanced study will help them acquire skills and disciplines essential to ministerial service. 

Many graduates of a ministry master’s degree become leaders and ministers of their church and its congregation. A graduate degree in ministry can also help you open doors in a variety of institutions, whether in public or in private.

Online Master of Ministry - fact

Overview:

A lot of universities and colleges in the country offer a graduate program in ministry, with some of them fully available online. Earning a master’s degree in ministry can lead you to a fulfilling and rewarding career in faith. The Bureau of Labor & Statistics has expressed that members of the clergy can earn a median wage of $57,230 annually.


METHODOLOGY

A Master’s in Ministry degree delivered online is ideal if you seek to bolster your credentials with graduate degree education following your completion of a bachelor’s in the same or related discipline. We compiled the best Master of Ministry online program options for you based on these factors:

  • Delivered in 100% online or blended, synchronous or asynchronous formats for professionals seeking their graduate degree,
  • A well-rounded Master’s in Ministry coursework emphasizing the principles, theories, and applications of the discipline, as well as the skills suitable for career advancement,
  • Various concentrations or specializations for knowledge and skills acquisition or enhancement in a specific aspect of Ministry, readying students for careers in religious organizations and other sectors requiring their competence,
  • Teaching staff with the right credentials, extensive background, or work experience in Ministry,
  • Easy access to virtual learning resources and tools thru a reliable Learning Management System platform,
  • Student support and career services assisting graduate students in preparing and searching for the most suitable career tracks,
  • Financial aid programs to assist qualified online Master’s in Ministry graduate students,
  • Appropriate accreditation from academic organizations.

The 10 Online Master of Ministry Degree Programs

Anderson University

Anderson University

Master of Ministry

Found in the rapidly growing region of Upstate South Carolina, Anderson University is one of the comprehensive Christian higher learning institutions that offer a master’s in the ministry degree program. The program is fully available online, making it an ideal choice for working professionals who want to pursue their advanced education while carving a career for themselves. The Master of Ministry degree provides a great understanding of the theological foundations of the ministry.

  • This is a good choice for graduate students who felt the call to the ministry and those who are already involved in the ministry but wanted to pursue an advanced degree.
  • The curriculum for this program is designed to teach students the unique approach to ministerial leadership and increase lay leaders’ effectiveness.
  • You can expect intentionally broad-based biblical studies, including theology and practical preparation.
  • The program is taught by a competent faculty who are not only formally trained but also experienced in the field of ministry.
  • Since the program can be earned 100% online, you can enjoy a flexible schedule while managing your other responsibilities.
  • The program can be earned by meeting the 42 credit hours required within just two years, much shorter than a traditional Master of Divinity degree.

Standout Features of Anderson University’s Online Master of Ministry Program:

While each class focuses on a particular area of biblical studies or practical ministry, all of the classes within the program include both the foundational and practical components. This means that students do not only learn the history of the formation of the Biblical canon but are also guided in interpreting the Bible for teaching and preaching.

You can also expect a capstone project where you identify a ministry problem or opportunity and develop a sustainable solution. This exercise can help you become a self-directed and self-motivated Christian leader.

Did You Know?

In 2022, Anderson University was named one of the best-value schools among regional universities in the South. Part of their mission to provide quality education is their uncompromising commitment to liberal arts to prepare students in attaining a breadth and depth of knowledge for a successful career of their choice.


Colorado Christian University

Colorado Christian University

Master’s Degree in Theological Studies

Since its establishment in 1914, Colorado Christian University has been delivering quality education to thousands of students. One of its many graduate programs is the Master’s in Theological Studies degree which provides an opportunity for you to explore God, humanity and human relationships to God and the world. It can equip you with skills and knowledge integral to strengthening your biblical understanding from a theological perspective.

  • This Master’s of Theological Studies program requires the completion of 36 credit hours in order to be earned.
  • You can take courses one at a time, typically within five-week blocks.
  • This program is fully online and designed for busy adults, and may be completed within 17 months of consecutive coursework.
  • Students may transfer up to nine graduate-level credit hours.
  • The classes for this program are kept small to give equal attention and care to ministry students.
  • The professors in this degree program exhibit strong academic credentials with significant experience in their respective fields.

Standout Features of Colorado Christian University’s Online Master’s Degree in Theological Studies Program:

Graduate students taking the online master’s in ministry utilize the Blackboard Learn for their online courses. This online tool is a leading solution in distance education, allowing you to participate in theology classes that blend the latest business theory and practice with e-learning technology.

Did You Know?

Known as the premier interdenominational Christian College in the state of Colorado, Colorado Christian University is ranked among the top universities nationwide. It houses the Strobel Center for Applied Apologetics which aims to equip a large network of Christians with ideas in local churches and communities. Their degree programs are integral to shaping graduate students aiming for key leadership positions in the ministry. 


Abilene Christian University

Abilene Christian University

Master of Arts in Christian Ministry

Abilene Christian University has been equipping students for lives of service leadership through undergraduate and graduate programs. One of their program offerings is the Master of Arts in Christian Ministry degree. This flexible program is designed to shape ministry students to become competent in fields like youth and family ministry, children’s ministry, and education ministry.

  • There are several tracks available for the program including Ministry and Bible, Student and Family Ministry, Spiritual Formation, and Ministerial Leadership.
  • The program can take 2 years to be completed with a total of 48 credit hours.
  • Offered under the Graduate School of Theology, the program includes the following courses: Biblical Exegesis, History of Christianity, Systematic Theology, and Foundations of the Theology of Ministry.

Standout Features of Abilene Christian University’s Master of Arts in Christian Ministry Program:

Students earning a master’s in Christian Ministry can concurrently pursue the Master of Science in Social Work and Master of Marriage and Family Therapy. This is through the cooperation between Abilene Christian University’s School of Social Work, the Department of Marriage and Family Studies, and the Graduate School of Theology.

Did You Know?

Known as one of the largest private institutions in the Southwest, Abilene Christian University was recognized by the U.S. News and World Report as a top Texas University. Some of their programs have 100% employment success, including education, marketing, and chemistry.


Grace College

Grace College

Master of Arts in Ministry Studies

Founded in 1948, Grace College has a rich history of providing excellent higher education programs, making it one of the world’s premier seminaries for advanced level studies in evangelical ministry and theology. In partnership with Christian University GlobalINry (CUGN), they offer an online Master of Arts degree in Ministry Studies. It is designed for graduate students who want to expand their Biblical education but do not have the luxury of time and physical proximity to pursue a degree on campus. 

The online master’s program in ministry takes three steps to be earned – completing the Cores 1 and 2 with CUGN and taking an additional 18 credits through Grace College.

  • Classes are taught by Grace College and Seminary faculty with a demonstrated experience in ministry.
  • The program is made up of 36 credit hours in total, accounting for 12, three-credit courses.
  • It can take you approximately 8 weeks to complete each course, allowing you to finish the degree program in two years.
  • There is an option to take the Christian Ministry Concentration which is designed for ministry leadership positions in the local church.
  • Another concentration is the Women’s Leadership Studies which gives opportunities to women in the ministry to gain quality training in developing their leadership skills.
  • Other program concentrations include Counselling, Technology, and Leadership and Management.

Standout Features of Grace College Online Master of Arts in Ministry Studies  Program:

CUGN and Grace college use a cohort model that allows students to build relationships, engage in discussions, and learn in a collaborative environment, all the while enjoying the convenience that a 100% online program brings.

Did You Know?

Grace College has been instrumental in helping thousands of graduate students gain an advanced education by providing an online college education within a challenging vibrant online academic environment.  


Dallas Baptist University

Dallas Baptist University

Master of Arts in Christian Ministry

Dallas Baptist University offers ministry-related master’s degrees that provide Christ-centered graduate-level training for ministry leaders. One of them is the online Master of Arts in Christian Ministry. This graduate education program allows you to explore general concepts of ministry to equip students with the necessary ministry leadership skills for a lifetime of service in the church.

  • You will learn pastoral leadership skills through practical, biblical, theological, and general ministry-related courses.
  • The program gives you the opportunity to apply what you learned in relevant ministry contexts and dialogue with ministry leaders.
  • There is a variety of elective courses that you can adapt for your personal calling in ministry, letting you customize your own degree plan.
  • Composed of 36 credit hours, the program can be earned online or in a hybrid setting.

Standout Features of Dallas Baptist University’s Online Master of Arts in Christian Ministry Program:

Apart from gaining a better understanding of key biblical, hermeneutical, theological, and historical concepts relating to Christian ministry, the program also gives you the opportunity to engage in practical ministry experience through church and church-related endeavors.

Did You Know?

The Dallas Baptist University’s Graduate School of Ministry offers allows you to choose among eight study tracks. This includes Christian Ministry, Christian Counselling, Family Ministry, Global Leadership, Educational Ministry, and Worship Studies, among others. 


Grand Canyon University

Grand Canyon University

Master of Arts in Christian Ministry

Located in Phoenix Arizona, Grand Canyon University is a private Christian university that offers a Master of Arts in Christian Ministry. This program can be entirely completed online and is specifically designed for individuals seeking to provide pastoral guidance to the members of their church community.

  • The program includes a comprehensive survey of the Old and New Testament foundations and the development of Christian doctrine.
  • You will be able to develop your spiritual, intellectual, and professional knowledge that is crucial in serving as a minister within your community.
  • The program requires 38 credit hours with most classes taking 8 weeks.
  • The curriculum allows you multiple supervised field experiences which gives you the chance to demonstrate your grasp of the program’s theories, concepts, and research.

Standout Features of Grand Canyon University’s Online Master of Arts in Christian Ministry Program:

The program is distinguished from its other counterparts because of its rigorous coursework and hands-on field ministry experiences. The program courses include Pastoral Care in Ministry Context, Leading and Organizing Ministries in the Church, Ministerial Ethics, and Old Testament Foundations, among others.

Did You Know?

In 2003, Grand Canyon University faced a critical juncture and the prospect of bankruptcy. Thanks to a small group of investors that acquired the university, it has refocused on online education for working adults and greatly improved the institution’s financial structure. They have since centered around a hybrid strategy that combines traditional education with non-traditional learning methods.


Liberty University

Liberty University

Master of Arts in Christian Ministry

An accredited evangelical liberal arts school, Liberty University has 15 colleges and schools and has served more than 100,000 students. One of their offered programs is the Master of Arts in Christian Ministry which is ideal for brushing up on your leadership skills and meeting the growing needs of ministry leaders in churches all over the world.

  • This program covers a variety of skills such as the principles of biblical leadership, strategies for training disciples, and leading evangelism efforts in local communities.
  • It equips you with the skills to serve in church leadership positions.
  • The courses are taught by experienced professors who belong to the realm of church ministry and leadership.
  • As an online degree, the program is designed to maximize flexibility, affordability, and accessibility.

Standout Features of Liberty University’s Online Master of Arts in Christian Ministry Program:

The program puts a strong emphasis on the areas of evangelism and discipleship which are integral for an effective career in Christian ministry. It aims to enrich your understanding of biblical principles while allowing you the opportunity to delve into practical methods in church leadership.

Did You Know?

Committed to providing quality education, Liberty University offers affordable tuition rates. They have even frozen their tuition rates for the past seven years and counting. They also provide electronic textbooks for all divinity program courses at no additional cost. This allows students to save an estimated $800 to $2,000 per year.


Oral Roberts University

Oral Roberts University

Master of Christian Ministry

A liberal arts university, Oral Roberts University offers degree programs for a variety of interests, including theology and ministry. Their Master of Christian Ministry equips you with practical assignments, real-world projects, internships, and mentorships under the wings of experienced professors.

  • The program is 100% online which makes it ideal for working adults.
  • You will be equipped with practical knowledge of ministry, grounded in the Scriptures.
  • The degree is also taught in Spanish for native speakers.
  • The program’s courses include Spirit-Empowered Ministry, Old Testament Synthesis, New Testament Synthesis, Teaching Ministries, and Biblical Hermeneutics.
  • Requiring a total of 30 credit hours, the program can be completed in as little as 20 months for full-time graduate students.

Standout Features of Oral Roberts University’s Online Master of Christian Ministry Program:

The online programs of Oral Roberts University are accredited by the Higher Learning Commissions, which means they are utilizing the same world-class curriculum as traditional counterparts.

Did You Know?

In the last 13 years, Oral Roberts University has seen continued enrollment growth. This led them to expand their infrastructure by constructing the four new state-of-the-art buildings which will be constructed debt-free and without using any tuition dollars.


Biola University

Biola University

Master of Arts in Christian Ministry and Leadership

The Talbot School of Theology at Biola University teaches students to think biblically, live faithfully, and lead graciously. They offer an online master of arts in Christian Ministry and Leadership program that is both grounded in the truth of God’s Word and integrated with practical ministry expertise. The degree is perfect for Christian ministry students looking for a flexible and highly practical degree that equips them with professional training for specialized ministry.

You can choose among three concentrations, including Pastoral Care and Counselling, Preaching and Pastoral Ministry, and Christian Ministry and Leadership.

  • The program is led by reputable Christian scholars with extensive experience in counseling, preaching, and ministry.
  • The master’s in ministry degree aims to help you develop a good foundation in Biblical studies along with practical skills and spiritual maturity for a fruitful ministry.
  • The coursework includes courses on Biblical and Theological foundation and a set of five courses designed to enrich your spiritual experience.
  • It can often take ministry students to take 2 to 4 years to complete the program, but the program length can vary depending on the students’ background and course load.
  • You need to complete 49 to 58 credit hours in order to earn the program.

Standout Features of Biola University’s Master of Arts in Christian Ministry and Leadership Program:

The program has a unique approach to learning with its hybrid format. This means that up to half of the coursework is available online, allowing you to pursue your degree without putting your current work and ministry on hold.

Did You Know?

Accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission, Biola University has a strong commitment to providing quality education to students by offering scholarships. This is a welcome assistance for students looking for financial aid to pursue their advanced education. Biola University is also home to the Center of Christian Thought, providing a research center for Christian scholars.  


Southwest Baptist University

Southwest Baptist University

Master of Arts in Christian Ministry

The Southwest Baptist University offers more than 100 areas of academic study, from undergraduate to graduate levels. Their master’s in Christian Ministry integrates ministry and theology in a flexible program.

  • The program is a practical theology degree that combines theological studies with ministerial studies.
  • You will be asked to choose a concentration tailored to fit your personal interests and calling.
  • It is 100% online so it is friendly to working professionals by offering flexibility and convenience.
  • Some of the concentrations include Biblical and Theological Studies, Pastoral Ministry, General Studies, Family Ministry, Missions, and Business Administration.
  • You need to complete 100 hours of practical field experience in local church ministry.
  • The program is non-thesis and requires the completion of 36 credit hours.

Standout Features of Southwest Baptist University’s Online Master of Arts in Christian Ministry Program:

The online program has a distance-learning option that allows you to take the courses via Zoom. You may attend any class period in Zoon with the convenience and flexibility that only an online program can offer.

Did You Know?

Southwest Baptist University is spread across five campuses throughout southwest and south-central Missouri. The main campus is 152-acre in size and located in Bolivar, Missouri.


Frequently Asked Questions

What will I learn from a Master of Ministry degree program?

Those who are interested to serve as a leader in a religious community will need to understand the religious texts and theology. The master of ministry programs is often designed to equip you with the necessary knowledge and skills to help you fulfill your responsibilities. You are sharpened to develop the ability to communicate and guide your congregation.

As an advanced degree in biblical studies, a master’s in ministry program encompasses a curriculum grounded in theology. This program provides practical and experiential instructions in ministry services along with a more in-depth study of religious culture and understanding. Some common courses in this advanced degree program include Ministerial Ethics, Biblical Hermeneutics, Practical Theology, Christian Doctrines, and many others.

What are the requirements to get admitted into the Master’s in Ministry degree?

The requirements for admission vary from university to university. Some simply require you to earn a bachelor’s degree prior to entry while others might ask you to have previous experience in ministry or a related undergraduate degree. The work experience part is often in relation to proving your readiness to complete the program as you can demonstrate your interests and your preparation for it.

What are the possible career paths for graduates of an online Master’s in Ministry?

There are a variety of career paths waiting for you once you earn a master’s degree in ministry. One of the most common careers is becoming a pastor and being a part of the pastoral ministry. Others take on administrative roles and leadership positions in the church.

It is possible for you to find positions in the education or nonprofit field. Others try their hands at pastoral counseling, Christian counseling, and other related professions. For the education field, a master’s in ministry can be quite applicable, especially for those who study sociology, linguistics, or religious history.

How do I find the right online master’s in ministry program?

The graduate programs in ministry offered by universities often vary. You will need to identify your needs and goals and choose one that best meets them. Some of the most common factors you need to consider include cost, schedule, term starts, and requirements.

This is where the choice between traditional and online ministry programs comes in. Online programs in ministry are ideal if you are a working professional who plans to juggle your studies along with your career. The flexibility of the online programs is more convenient for you.

What is the difference between an online master’s in ministry program and its brick-and-mortar counterpart?

The main difference between an online graduate program in ministry and the traditional one is that an online master’s degree offers a flexible schedule that allows you to earn the program at your own pace. It does not require you to attend classroom lectures, so you are saving significant amounts of money from transportation and lodging costs. You can complete your classes on your own schedule.

Traditional advanced educational programs in ministry, on the other hand, require you to attend on-campus classes which can be a setback if you are a working professional. It is good to note, however, that both learning methods often employ the same curriculum and experienced faculty.

Key Takeaways

If you want to be an important member of the ministry and lead an enriching career rooted in faith, then earning a master’s in ministry can open a wealth of opportunities. You can become a pastor, Christian education director, or other types of clergy member.

It is important that you choose at least a regionally accredited school that offers quality ministry programs if you aim to pursue meaningful careers in ministry. A master’s in ministry is your ticket to a bright future that takes your passion and Christian faith into consideration.

Dr. Jared Goff
Chief Editor