thebestschools.org is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

Are you ready to discover your college program?

Earning an online associate degree in ministry prepares you to become a fully ordained minister and to embrace more responsibility within your religious organization. The field of ministry attracts students who have found their calling to serve their church and help others in times of need. These positions are in demand; the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that employment opportunities for clergy positions, such as parish priest and youth pastor, will grow 8% by 2026. An online ministry degree helps you develop communication and cultural interaction skills while also providing a fundamental understanding of the bible and church leadership.

Featured Online Schools

The Best Online Associate in Ministry Programs

Best Online Associate in Ministry Programs Badge
Download this badge

Online Associate in Ministry Degree Program Ranking Guidelines:
We selected the degree programs based on the quality of program and range of courses provided, as well as school awards, rankings, and reputation.

Our Methodology

Here at TheBestSchools.org, we take the trust and welfare of our readers very seriously. When making our school and program rankings, our top priority is ensuring that our readers get accurate, unbiased information that can help them make informed decisions about online education. That's why we've developed a rigorous ranking methodology that keeps the needs of our readers front and center.

Our proprietary, multi-criteria ranking algorithm analyzes key data indicators — as collected by the federal government — for each school or program. What data we use depends on the focus of each specific ranking, but in all cases, our ranking methodology is impartial: Schools cannot buy better rankings at TBS.

While specific criteria under consideration can vary by ranking, there are a few data points that we value most highly. They are affordability, academic quality, and online enrollment. Below, we break down our algorithm to help you understand what you're getting when you use one of our rankings.

  • Academics
  • Affordability
  • Online Enrollment

Data Sources

The data used in TBS rankings comes primarily from the federal government, and much of it is provided by the schools themselves. We aggregate and analyze this data to build our rankings.

The Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) is our primary source. Its data comes from annual surveys conducted by the U.S. Department of Education's National Center for Education Statistics (NCES). Every college, university, or technical school with access to federal financial aid must participate in these surveys, which include questions about enrollment, graduation rates, finances, and faculty qualifications. This is publicly available data, which you can access yourself through the College Navigator.

Additionally, because we value a personal touch and the professional experience of our staff and Academic Advisory Board, we vet all results and adjust rankings as necessary based on our collected knowledge of schools and degree programs. Depending on the ranking, we may obtain additional input from AcademicInfluence.com, subject matter experts, prior TBS ranking lists, or other sources we deem relevant to a particular ranking.

Breakdown of Our Rankings Methodology

About Our Ranking Factors

Here at TBS, we value what you value: quality education, affordability, and the accessibility of online education. These factors guide all of our program rankings.

Each of these factors are further broken down into weighted subfactors. For example, retention rates are weighted more heavily than availability of program options because they are a better indicator of student success.

We chose the following factors for our rankings because of their influence on learning experiences and graduate outcomes. However, students should always balance our rankings against their personal priorities. For instance, a learner who needs a fully online program may prioritize online flexibility more than our rankings do. Our rankings are designed to help you make a decision — not to make a decision for you.

Academics - 75%

Affordability - 15%

Online Enrollment - 10%

In all our school rankings and recommendations, we work for objectivity and balance. We carefully research and compile each ranking list, and as stated in our advertising disclosure, we do NOT permit financial incentives to influence rankings. Our articles never promote or disregard a school for financial gain.

If you have questions about our ranking methodology, please feel free to connect with our staff through contact page.

We thank you for your readership and trust.

The Best Online Associate in Ministry Degree Programs

#1 The Best Online Associate in Ministry Programs

Clarks Summit University

  • South Abington Township, PA
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Distance learners seeking flexible study in ministry should consider Clarks Summit University's online AA in ministry. The program builds foundational knowledge in ministry, preparing graduates for entry-level careers in the field. Students can apply their course credits toward future educational opportunities, such as a bachelor's degree.

The college prioritizes student success through career services, academic advising, and other resources. As part of an online learning community, distance learners can benefit from virtual library services, academic tutoring, and other resources.

Students can explore numerous funding opportunities, with 100% of enrollees receiving some form of financial aid and 49% opting for student loans.

Clarks Summit University at a Glance:

Type of School: Private, nonprofit, four-year

Location: South Abington Township, Pennsylvania

Admission Rate: 41%

Student-Faculty Ratio: 11-to-1

Undergrad Tuition In State: $26,082

Undergrad Tuition Out of State: $26,082

Average Tuition
In-state
$26,082
Out-of-state
$26,082
Retention Rate
78%
Admission Rate
41%
Students Enrolled
771
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
64% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Middle States Commission on Higher Education

#2 The Best Online Associate in Ministry Programs

Indiana Wesleyan University

  • Marion, IN
  • 4 years
  • Online

A leader in online education, Indiana Wesleyan University supports nine online associate degree programs, including its associate in Christian ministries program. The program builds foundational knowledge in ministry, preparing graduates for entry-level careers in the field. Upon completion, students can apply their credits toward a bachelor's degree or other educational endeavors.

Ministry degree-seekers can access comprehensive college resources, including career counseling, academic advising, and financial aid assistance. Online students can further access virtual library services and academic tutoring.

About 85% of incoming students receive financial aid awards, and about 60% receive student loans.

Indiana Wesleyan University at a Glance:

Type of School: Private, nonprofit, four-year

Location: Marion, Indiana

Student-Faculty Ratio: 14-to-1

Undergrad Tuition In State: $8,453

Undergrad Tuition Out of State: $8,453

Transfer Credit Accepted: Accepted

Average Tuition
In-state
$8,453
Out-of-state
$8,453
Retention Rate
Not provided
Admission Rate
Not provided
Students Enrolled
11,410
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
97% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission

#3 The Best Online Associate in Ministry Programs

Johnson University

  • Knoxville, TN
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Students looking for a flexible online associate in ministry should consider Johnson University's ministry leadership program. Students can build their knowledge of the ministry field through coursework and experiential learning opportunities. Typically, students can apply their associate degree credits toward future educational endeavors, like a bachelor's degree.

While enrolled, ministry students can benefit from career services, academic advising, and other success-centered resources. Further resources available to online students including virtual library services and academic tutoring.

Students benefit from financial aid, with 97% of enrollees receiving some form of funding.

Johnson University at a Glance:

Type of School: Private, nonprofit, four-year

Location: Knoxville, Tennessee

Admission Rate: 53%

Student-Faculty Ratio: 10-to-1

Undergrad Tuition In State: $15,480

Undergrad Tuition Out of State: $15,480

Average Tuition
In-state
$15,480
Out-of-state
$15,480
Retention Rate
74%
Admission Rate
53%
Students Enrolled
1,037
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
48% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

#4 The Best Online Associate in Ministry Programs

Maranatha Baptist University

  • Watertown, WI
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Maranatha Baptist University supports seven online associate degree programs from its main campus in Watertown, Wisconsin. Enrollees in the AA in Christian ministry program benefit from a robust course curriculum, preparing them for the demands of the ministry field. Enrollees seeking to advance in their studies can apply their course credits toward a bachelor's degree.

Students can access numerous college resources such as career services and academic advising. Other institutional resources include virtual library services and academic tutoring.

Students can explore numerous funding opportunities, with 93% of enrollees receiving some form of financial aid and 36% opting for student loans.

Maranatha Baptist University at a Glance:

Type of School: Private, nonprofit, four-year

Location: Watertown, Wisconsin

Admission Rate: 77%

Student-Faculty Ratio: 11-to-1

Undergrad Tuition In State: $15,480

Undergrad Tuition Out of State: $15,480

Average Tuition
In-state
$15,480
Out-of-state
$15,480
Retention Rate
79%
Admission Rate
77%
Students Enrolled
985
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
39% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission

#5 The Best Online Associate in Ministry Programs

Southeastern University

  • Lakeland, FL
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

A leader in online education, Southeastern University supports three online associate degree programs, including its associate of ministerial leadership program. The program prepares students for the demands of the ministry field through foundational and advanced coursework. After graduation, students can apply their college credits toward a bachelor's degree or other educational endeavors.

Throughout the ministry program, students can access career services, academic advising, and other institutional resources. Other resources available for distance learners include academic tutoring and virtual library services.

Typically, 99% of all degree-seekers receive financial aid, with 45% receiving loans.

Southeastern University at a Glance:

Type of School: Private, nonprofit, four-year

Location: Lakeland, Florida

Admission Rate: 48%

Student-Faculty Ratio: 23-to-1

Undergrad Tuition In State: $25,620

Undergrad Tuition Out of State: $25,620

Average Tuition
In-state
$25,620
Out-of-state
$25,620
Retention Rate
65%
Admission Rate
48%
Students Enrolled
9,894
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
48% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

Featured Online School

What Will I Learn in an Online Ministry Associate Program?

The classes you will take as part of an online associate in ministry program will vary according to your school and its religious denomination. All programs, however, will require some general education classes, including English composition. Below are a few other core courses found in ministry programs:

Return to the top

Where Will an Online Associate in Ministry Take Me?

Many online ministry schools offer bachelor's programs that allow you to build on your associate studies. A bachelor's degree can help advance your career from supportive roles within a religious organization to supervisory roles. Anyone interested in becoming a fully ordained minister will need further education, most likely a master's degree. Below are a few degrees often sought by those who have completed an online associate in ministry:

  1. BS in Biblical Studies: This degree focuses on in-depth knowledge of the Bible, including the Old and New Testaments, as well as the Gospels. Students with this degree often go on to earn a master's degree in divinity in order to become ordained ministers.
  2. BA in Theology: This degree focuses on a broad study of religion and its global and cultural impacts. Students who earn this degree often go on to teach religious studies.
  3. BS in Leadership and Ministry: This degree prepares students to become church leaders. It typically focuses on general ministry skills, congregational dynamics, and ministry practices. The degree often includes the option to specialize in areas such as preaching and youth ministry.

Return to the top

Featured Image Credit: Ariel Skelley | DigitalVision | Getty Images

Featured Online Schools

Popular with our students.

Highly informative resources to keep your education journey on track.

Take the next step toward your future with online learning.

Discover schools with the programs and courses you’re interested in, and start learning today.

woman in an office