Ministry | University of Northwestern, St. Paul
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Department of Christian Ministries


Ministry student praying with other adults
Department of Christian Ministries


  • Bachelor of Science
  • Bachelor of Arts
  • Undergraduate

125 credits

required for program

Minor Available

PSEO/Early college online classes

125 credits

125 credits

required for program

Minor Available

PSEO/Early college online classes

Prepare for a career making disciples in the church, the mission field, and the world. Begin with general ministry courses and then you can select from specific ministry concentrations such as children and family ministry, youth and emerging adult ministry, non profit leadership, worship and creative arts, and social justice. This degree lays the foundation for you to work domestically or internationally in vocational ministry or nonprofit contexts and prepares you for graduate study.

Why study ministry at Northwestern?

You can focus your passion in ministry by choosing from a variety of concentrations including children and family, nonprofit, social justice, worship ministries, or youth and emerging adult ministry. You will be equipped for mission-life upon graduation, due to the 200 hours you will spend ministering in your required internships. Grow closer to God as you learn from experienced ministry professionals, who share insights from their own years in the field.

This degree also includes a concentration in Camp and Conference Center Leadership through an educational partnership with Forest Springs Camp & Conference Center. Since its founding in 1958, Forest Springs has been committed to developing Christian leaders. The camp's LTD (Leadership, Training, and Development) program is one tool that God has been using to equip leaders for ministry around the world. As a ministry major, you may choose to use your 20 credits of concentration at Forest Springs by enrolling in the LTD program.

Northwestern is recognized as one of the best places to study the Bible in Minnesota and the nation. Our history includes ministers, evangelists, and missionaries like Billy Graham and Roger Youderian and many alumni who serve God in their careers.

If you have a heart to serve and disciple others in a professional setting, have good communication skills, and are caring, this might be the right degree for you.

What degree concentrations are offered in Ministry?

Students in this major are allowed to choose from the following concentrations or work with their advisor to design their own concentration.

    Accelerated M.A. in Ministry Leadership

    Students may apply through the Ministry department to combine an undergraduate degree in Ministry with an accelerated Master of Arts in Ministry Leadership. Ministry majors complete up to 16 credits of the MA degree during their undergraduate program and the remaining 20 credits during a fifth year of study. The fifth year can be completed on site or through online learning. This pathway saves students time and tuition expense as they add a graduate degree to their portfolio.


    Careers in ministry

    There are a variety of career and academic pathways that begin with a degree in ministry.

    What types of work are related to this degree?

    • Campus ministry
    • Christian education
    • Curriculum development (church/para-church)
    • Ministry support or coordination
    • Pastoral roles
    • Para-church ministry worker
    • Social/human services worker or case manager
    • Camp administrator
    • Fund development
    • Disaster/aid relief worker
    • Program administration or development
    • Dorm parent/international school or residential treatment facility
    • Missions or tent making ministry
    • Residence life or student development
    • Job development or life skills coaching

    Who employs people with this degree?

    • Christian colleges
    • Local churches and denominational offices
    • Mission agencies
    • Parachurch organizations
    • Social and human services organizations
    • Educational programs (non-licensure)
    • Curriculum publishing companies
    • Residential treatment programs
    • Parks and recreation programs
    • Community services agencies/programs (financial, family planning, health and wellness, marriage, vocational, food/housing assistance, military family support)
    • National and international humanitarian aid organizations
    View Career Guide

    of Northwestern ministry graduates had professional employment within 6 months


    complete 200 hours of ministry experience during internships


    of seniors grew in their relationship with God during their time at Northwestern

    Preparing for a Career

    College graduation rates continue to increase each year making competition for jobs even greater. Set yourself apart from the crowd with the following strategies for getting started, networking, and gaining experience.

    Strategies for success:

    • Pursue mentoring relationships with ministry leaders you respect.
    • Subscribe to ministry publications and join ministry associations.
    • Obtain part-time, Summer, internship or volunteer experience in churches as well as hospitals, camps or overseas programs, or in advocacy or service-oriented programs addressing alcoholism, drug abuse, family violence, aging, poverty, disabilities, etc.
    • Serve as a peer mentor, resident assistant, or student advisor to cultivate leadership and program development skills.
    • Keep your finger on the pulse of pop culture, trends, and issues facing society. Know the trends that will affect your ministry.
    • Early in your career, you may need to supplement ministry income with other work.

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