Best Online Bachelor’s in Ministry Programs

by TBS Staff

Updated October 19, 2022

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Individuals who complete an online ministry degree open themselves up to several career paths, including options in churches, nonprofits, and in international mission work. Completing an online ministry degree allows students the flexibility to continue making a difference in their communities while going to school, rather than devoting all their time to education.

Many distance students decide to take part in opportunities for leading children’s ministries or organizing homeless outreach, and virtual education frees up their time to do so. Rather than driving to campus at set times multiple days per week, students enrolled online can complete assignments, interact with peers, and watch prerecorded lectures whenever best fits their schedules.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, nearly 50,000 Americans currently work as clergy, but graduates of online ministry degree paths also fill many roles outside church leadership, making this a stable industry to pursue. Upon graduating, some individuals seek roles inside the church as music ministers or youth pastors, while others may want to work in faith–based organizations, finding families for foster children or reducing the number of individuals living in poverty. Keep reading to learn more about this exciting degree option.

Featured Ministry Online Programs

The Best Online Ministry Programs

#1 Best Online Bachelor’s in Ministry Programs

Lincoln Christian University

  • Lincoln, IL
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

As a leader in online education, Lincoln Christian University supports 289 distance learners across six remote programs. Of its online programs, two offer an undergraduate-level education. Learners looking for advanced, remote study relevant to the ministry field can enroll in the school's online bachelor's in Christian ministry. The program allows for full- or part-time study, making it a flexible choice for working professionals and busy students.

Throughout the program, degree candidates attend industry-relevant lectures while completing major-specific coursework. Enrollees can work with their academic advisor to customize their studies through modified courses, electives, minors, and concentrations.

Graduates can easily grow their earning potential with a bachelor's degree. The institution reports that graduates six years out from their degree earn a median salary of $28,100. Applicants can meet with the department to inquire about admission requirements, application materials, and more.

Lincoln Christian University at a Glance:

Online Enrollment: 289

Total Online Programs: 6

Online Bachelor's Programs: 2

Admission Rate: Data not available

Transfer Credits Accepted: Data not available

Average Tuition
In-state
$13,590
Out-of-state
$13,590
Retention Rate
77%
Admission Rate
Not provided
Students Enrolled
672
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
43% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission

#2 Best Online Bachelor’s in Ministry Programs

Asbury University

  • Wilmore, KY
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Asbury University supports highly ranked bachelor's programs from its main campus in Wilmore, Kentucky. The private college supports distance learners across eight online bachelor's degrees, including a bachelor's in ministry management.

The program balances rigor with flexibility. Learners work with academic advisors to create a course schedule meeting career and academic goals. Electives, minors, and other modifications can benefit students and meet career goals.

Undergraduate tuition at the accredited school averages $30,654. Enrollees can access external and internal funding opportunities, such as scholarships, fellowships, and federal financial aid.

Asbury University at a Glance:

Online Enrollment: 862

Total Online Programs: 16

Online Bachelor's Programs: 8

Admission Rate: 64%

Transfer Credits Accepted: Data not available

Average Tuition
In-state
$30,654
Out-of-state
$30,654
Retention Rate
82%
Admission Rate
64%
Students Enrolled
1,940
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
44% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

#3 Best Online Bachelor’s in Ministry Programs

Trevecca Nazarene University

  • Nashville, TN
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Students seeking advanced online study should consider one of Trevecca Nazarene University's 37 online degrees. Undergraduate students seeking flexible, remote study can choose from one of 11 online bachelor's programs. From its campus in Nashville, Tennessee, the school offers an online bachelor of arts in Christian ministry. The program accommodates flexible study, so degree-seekers can learn at their own pace.

Enrollees complete both foundational and advanced coursework, granting them the knowledge and skills needed to advance in the field. These classes incorporate general and advanced knowledge applicable to the field. Students can work with their academic advisor to customize their studies through modified courses, electives, minors, and concentrations.

A bachelor's degree greatly increases one's earning potential. Bachelor's degree-holders gain, on average, a median salary of $40,700 after six years. Prospective applicants can learn about admission requirements and financial aid eligibility by connecting with the department.

Trevecca Nazarene University at a Glance:

Online Enrollment: 1,759

Total Online Programs: 37

Online Bachelor's Programs: 11

Admission Rate: 62%

Transfer Credits Accepted: Data not available

Average Tuition
In-state
$25,198
Out-of-state
$25,198
Retention Rate
76%
Admission Rate
62%
Students Enrolled
4,088
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
43% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

#4 Best Online Bachelor’s in Ministry Programs

Eastern University

  • Saint Davids, PA
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Looking to earn a flexible online degree in ministry? Consider Eastern University. Undergraduate degree-seekers can choose from six online bachelor's programs. The bachelor's in youth ministry leadership prioritizes flexibility, making it an attractive option for working professionals and busy students. Degree candidates complete classes at their own pace, with the option for part-time study.

Throughout their coursework, students gain industry-relevant knowledge through general and advanced classes. Enrollees can customize their degree by choosing electives, minors, and concentrations.

A bachelor's degree greatly increases one's earning potential. The college boasts a median salary of $36,700 for graduates six years after completing their studies. Applicants should connect with the ministry department to discuss admission requirements and application materials.

Eastern University at a Glance:

Online Enrollment: 1,359

Total Online Programs: 17

Online Bachelor's Programs: 6

Admission Rate: 61%

Transfer Credits Accepted: Data not available

Average Tuition
In-state
$33,304
Out-of-state
$33,304
Retention Rate
78%
Admission Rate
61%
Students Enrolled
3,100
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
44% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Middle States Commission on Higher Education

#5 Best Online Bachelor’s in Ministry Programs

Biola University

  • La Mirada, CA
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Biola University offers highly ranked bachelor's degrees from its main campus in La Mirada, California. The private college supports distance learners across five online bachelor's programs. Distance learners hoping to advance in the ministry field will benefit from the college's bachelor of science in biblical ministries.

The program supports flexible study for learners from all walks of life. In consultation with their academic advisor, students can modify their course load to suit their needs. Degree candidates can also choose electives or pursue a minor.

Undergraduate students pay approximately $41,976 in tuition. Learners can access scholarships, fellowships, and other funding opportunities.

Biola University at a Glance:

Online Enrollment: 2,206

Total Online Programs: 14

Online Bachelor's Programs: 5

Admission Rate: 70%

Transfer Credits Accepted: Data not available

Average Tuition
In-state
$41,976
Out-of-state
$41,976
Retention Rate
83%
Admission Rate
70%
Students Enrolled
6,103
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
36% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Western Association of Schools and Colleges Senior Colleges and University Commission

#6 Best Online Bachelor’s in Ministry Programs

Mount Vernon Nazarene University

  • Mount Vernon, OH
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Mount Vernon Nazarene University supports flexible distance learning opportunities across 20 online programs. The college offers six fully online bachelor's degrees, including a bachelor of arts in Christian ministry. Enrollees benefit from flexible study, with the option to enroll full or part time.

Throughout the program, students attend industry-relevant lectures while completing major-specific coursework. Degree candidates also complete general education requirements, gaining additional knowledge. Majors choose electives, minors, and concentrations to customize their course of study.

A bachelor's degree connects graduates with numerous job opportunities and a higher earning potential. According to the college, graduates earn a median salary of $39,300 six years after completing their degree. Interested applicants should contact the department to discuss admission requirements and application materials.

Mount Vernon Nazarene University at a Glance:

Online Enrollment: 895

Total Online Programs: 20

Online Bachelor's Programs: 6

Admission Rate: 73%

Transfer Credits Accepted: Data not available

Average Tuition
In-state
$21,047
Out-of-state
$21,047
Retention Rate
79%
Admission Rate
73%
Students Enrolled
2,205
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
41% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission

#7 Best Online Bachelor’s in Ministry Programs

Bethel University

  • Saint Paul, MN
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

A leader in online education, Bethel University facilitates distance learning across 36 online programs. Undergraduate degree-seekers can choose from eight online bachelor's degrees. Students looking for an individualized education relevant to the ministry field can enroll in the online bachelor's in Christian ministries. The program provides flexibility to learners from all walks of life through full- and part-time study options.

Degree-seekers complete both foundational and advanced coursework, granting them the knowledge and skills needed to advance in the field. Enrollees can customize their studies by working with their academic advisor to choose electives, minors, and degree concentrations.

The value of a bachelor's degree is clear. Graduates can increase their job opportunities and earning potential. The median salary for graduates six years after their degree completion is $46,100, according to the college. Prospective enrollees can learn about admission requirements and financial aid eligibility by connecting with the department.

Bethel University at a Glance:

Online Enrollment: 1,569

Total Online Programs: 36

Online Bachelor's Programs: 8

Admission Rate: 79%

Transfer Credits Accepted: Data not available

Average Tuition
In-state
$38,300
Out-of-state
$38,300
Retention Rate
83%
Admission Rate
79%
Students Enrolled
4,005
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
39% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission

#8 Best Online Bachelor’s in Ministry Programs

Warner University

  • Lake Wales, FL
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Warner University supports 643 distance learners across 11 fully online programs. The college offers four online bachelor's degrees, including a bachelor's in Christian ministry. The program accommodates flexible study, so degree-seekers can learn at their own pace.

Enrollees complete both foundational and advanced coursework, granting them the knowledge and skills needed to advance in the field. Students can customize their degree by choosing electives, minors, and concentrations.

The benefits of a bachelor's degree are varied, from increased job opportunities to higher earning potential. The institution reports that graduates six years out from their degree earn a median salary of $35,500. Prospective applicants can contact the program to learn about admission requirements and financial aid opportunities.

Warner University at a Glance:

Online Enrollment: 643

Total Online Programs: 11

Online Bachelor's Programs: 4

Admission Rate: 41%

Transfer Credits Accepted: Data not available

Average Tuition
In-state
$22,300
Out-of-state
$22,300
Retention Rate
64%
Admission Rate
41%
Students Enrolled
1,058
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
61% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

#9 Best Online Bachelor’s in Ministry Programs

Southeastern University

  • Lakeland, FL
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Southeastern University, located in Lakeland, Florida, enables distance learning across 18 online programs. Of these online offerings, seven provide undergraduate-level education. One option includes a bachelor of science in ministerial leadership. The program is a flexible option for working professionals and busy students.

Degree candidates complete industry-relevant classes throughout their studies, gaining broad and specific knowledge of the ministry field. Students can individualize their studies by choosing electives, minors, and concentrations.

With a bachelor's degree, graduates can increase their job opportunities and earning potential. According to the institution, enrollees can earn a median salary of $31,200 six years after finishing their degree. Prospective applicants can learn about admission requirements and financial aid eligibility by connecting with the ministry department.

Southeastern University at a Glance:

Online Enrollment: 4,743

Total Online Programs: 18

Online Bachelor's Programs: 7

Admission Rate: 48%

Transfer Credits Accepted: Data not available

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

#10 Best Online Bachelor’s in Ministry Programs

Lee University

  • Cleveland, TN
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Lee University, a private not-for-profit college in Cleveland, Tennessee, offers nine online bachelor's degrees. Learners pursuing the school's bachelor's in ministry leadership are prepared for the demands of the field through rigorous study.

The program balances rigor with flexibility. Enrollees can modify their coursework by working with their academic advisor. Students can also choose electives and pursue interdisciplinary study to fit career goals.

The school reports undergraduate tuition as $18,120. The accredited institution connects students with internal and external funding opportunities, such as scholarships and fellowships.

Lee University at a Glance:

Online Enrollment: 736

Total Online Programs: 14

Online Bachelor's Programs: 9

Admission Rate: 82%

Transfer Credits Accepted: Data not available

Average Tuition
In-state
$18,120
Out-of-state
$18,120
Retention Rate
78%
Admission Rate
82%
Students Enrolled
5,189
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
14% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

#11 Best Online Bachelor’s in Ministry Programs

Missouri Baptist University

  • Saint Louis, MO
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

With its main campus in Saint Louis, Missouri Baptist University provides competitive bachelor's programs to learners from all walks of life. The institution prides itself on its leadership in online learning, offering 11 online bachelor's degrees. The bachelor's in ministry and leadership is a wise choice for students hoping to advance in the ministry field.

The program connects students with a supportive online learning community, while enabling flexibility. Degree-seekers can collaborate with their academic advisor to find classes that complement their career interests. 

Undergraduates pay a tuition rate of $26,860 at the accredited institution. Students can access external and internal funding opportunities, such as scholarships, fellowships, and federal financial aid.

Missouri Baptist University at a Glance:

Online Enrollment: 1,826

Total Online Programs: 25

Online Bachelor's Programs: 11

Admission Rate: 61%

Transfer Credits Accepted: Data not available

Average Tuition
In-state
$26,860
Out-of-state
$26,860
Retention Rate
71%
Admission Rate
61%
Students Enrolled
5,309
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
34% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission

#12 Best Online Bachelor’s in Ministry Programs

Brescia University

  • Owensboro, KY
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Brescia University, a private not-for-profit college, enables study across 14 online programs. Of these online offerings, seven provide undergraduate-level education. From its campus in Owensboro, Kentucky, the school offers an online bachelor of arts in theology degree. The program supports learners from all walks of life through flexible study options.

Degree candidates complete foundational and advanced coursework relevant to the field. Throughout their studies, students gain knowledge and skills applicable to the field. Enrollees can customize their degree by choosing electives, minors, and concentrations.

Bachelor's graduates can access more job opportunities and grow their earning potential over time. At the college, students can expect to earn a median salary of $30,800 six years after graduation. Interested applicants can contact the department to learn about admission requirements, application materials, and financial aid opportunities.

Brescia University at a Glance:

Online Enrollment: 436

Total Online Programs: 14

Online Bachelor's Programs: 7

Admission Rate: 42%

Transfer Credits Accepted: Data not available

Average Tuition
In-state
$22,900
Out-of-state
$22,900
Retention Rate
68%
Admission Rate
42%
Students Enrolled
1,014
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
43% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

#13 Best Online Bachelor’s in Ministry Programs

Point University

  • West Point, GA
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Point University supports highly ranked bachelor's degrees from its main campus in West Point, Georgia. Online learners can choose from 14 remote bachelor's programs. One option includes a bachelor of science in Christian ministries.

The program prepares students for the demands of the field. Enrollees can modify their coursework in consultation with their academic advisor. Degree candidates can also choose electives and pursue interdisciplinary study to fit career goals.

Undergraduate students pay approximately $20,085 in tuition. Enrollees can benefit from scholarships, fellowships, and federal financial aid through the college.

Point University at a Glance:

Online Enrollment: 799

Total Online Programs: 37

Online Bachelor's Programs: 14

Admission Rate: 29%

Transfer Credits Accepted: Data not available

Average Tuition
In-state
$20,085
Out-of-state
$20,085
Retention Rate
63%
Admission Rate
29%
Students Enrolled
2,389
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
33% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

#14 Best Online Bachelor’s in Ministry Programs

The King's University

  • Southlake, TX
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

The King's University in Southlake, Texas, supports flexible distance learning opportunities across four online programs. One option includes a bachelor of general Christian studies. The program provides flexibility for working professionals and busy students.

Throughout their coursework, students gain industry-relevant knowledge through general and advanced classes. Enrollees also attend general education classes to gain a well-rounded education. Degree candidates can modify their studies, choose electives, and declare minors and degree concentrations.

A bachelor's degree enables graduates to access higher-paying jobs and more employment opportunities. Students can meet with the department directly to inquire about admission requirements, application materials, and more.

The King's University at a Glance:

Online Enrollment: 373

Total Online Programs: 4

Online Bachelor's Programs: 1

Admission Rate: 74%

Transfer Credits Accepted: Data not available

Average Tuition
In-state
$11,280
Out-of-state
$11,280
Retention Rate
69%
Admission Rate
74%
Students Enrolled
610
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
61% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Transnational Association of Christian Colleges and Schools

#15 Best Online Bachelor’s in Ministry Programs

Saint Louis Christian College

  • Florissant, MO
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Saint Louis Christian College enrolls distance learners in two programs. Online learners seeking an undergraduate-level education can enroll in the school's online bachelor's in Christian ministry. The program prioritizes flexibility through full- or part-time study options.

Enrollees complete both foundational and advanced coursework, granting them the knowledge and skills needed to advance in the field. Students can customize their degree through electives, minors, and concentrations.

Bachelor's graduates benefit from greater access to employment opportunities and higher earning potential. The college notes a median salary of $27,600 for graduates six years after finishing their studies. Students interested in learning more about admission requirements, application materials, and financial aid opportunities should directly contact the department.

Saint Louis Christian College at a Glance:

Online Enrollment: 16

Total Online Programs: 2

Online Bachelor's Programs: 1

Admission Rate: 38%

Transfer Credits Accepted: Data not available

Average Tuition
In-state
$13,680
Out-of-state
$13,680
Retention Rate
33%
Admission Rate
38%
Students Enrolled
79
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
20% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Association for Bibical Higher Educaiton

#16 Best Online Bachelor’s in Ministry Programs

San Diego Christian College

  • Santee, CA
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Students seeking to enroll in a competitive bachelor's program should consider San Diego Christian College. The private college supports distance learners across seven online bachelor's degrees. One option includes a bachelor's in Christian ministries.

The program supports flexible study for students from all walks of life. Enrollees can work with their academic advisor to choose electives or pursue a minor.

At present, undergraduates pay $23,030 in tuition. The accredited institution connects students with internal and external funding opportunities, such as scholarships and fellowships.

San Diego Christian College at a Glance:

Online Enrollment: 456

Total Online Programs: 10

Online Bachelor's Programs: 7

Admission Rate: 55%

Transfer Credits Accepted: Data not available

Average Tuition
In-state
$23,030
Out-of-state
$23,030
Retention Rate
62%
Admission Rate
55%
Students Enrolled
551
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
83% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Western Association of Schools and Colleges Senior Colleges and University Commission

#17 Best Online Bachelor’s in Ministry Programs

Cornerstone University

  • Grand Rapids, MI
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Cornerstone University provides flexible study opportunities to distance learners across 15 programs. Undergraduates choose from three online bachelor's programs at the private not-for-profit institution. For students looking to advance in a ministry-adjacent career, the online bachelor of science in ministry leadership is a wise choice. The program provides flexibility to learners from all walks of life through full- and part-time study options.

Throughout the program, students attend industry-relevant lectures while completing major-specific coursework. The program also incorporates general education requirements that strengthen critical thinking and problem-solving skills. Students can individualize their studies by choosing electives, minors, and concentrations.

Bachelor's degree-holders benefit from greater access to employment opportunities and higher earning potential. According to the college, graduates earn a median salary of $37,500 six years after completing their degree. Applicants can meet with the department directly to inquire about admission requirements, application materials, and more.

Cornerstone University at a Glance:

Online Enrollment: 521

Total Online Programs: 15

Online Bachelor's Programs: 3

Admission Rate: 78%

Transfer Credits Accepted: Data not available

Average Tuition
In-state
$25,360
Out-of-state
$25,360
Retention Rate
79%
Admission Rate
78%
Students Enrolled
1,998
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
26% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission

#18 Best Online Bachelor’s in Ministry Programs

Welch College

  • Gallatin, TN
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Welch College is a private not-for-profit college offering a variety of competitive bachelor's degrees. The school offers four online bachelor's programs from its main campus in Gallatin, Tennessee. Distance learners interested in the ministry field can enroll in the school's bachelor's in pastoral ministry.

The program balances rigor with flexibility. Students complete general and advanced coursework, with the opportunity to modify their coursework. Enrollees can choose electives and minors to supplement their learning.

Undergraduate students pay approximately $19,582 in tuition. At the accredited institution, students can access external and internal funding opportunities, such as scholarships, fellowships, and federal financial aid.

Welch College at a Glance:

Online Enrollment: 37

Total Online Programs: 8

Online Bachelor's Programs: 4

Admission Rate: Data not available

Transfer Credits Accepted: Data not available

Average Tuition
In-state
$19,582
Out-of-state
$19,582
Retention Rate
73%
Admission Rate
Not provided
Students Enrolled
426
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
9% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

#19 Best Online Bachelor’s in Ministry Programs

California Baptist University

  • Riverside, CA
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

California Baptist University, a private not-for-profit, college in Riverside, enables study across 39 online programs. Of these offerings, 24 provide an undergraduate-level education. Learners hoping to advance in the ministry field can enroll in the college's bachelor of arts in Christian ministries. The program accommodates full- or part-time study.

Students complete industry-relevant classes throughout their studies, gaining broad and specific knowledge of the field. Degree candidates can explore electives, minors, and concentrations with their academic advisor.

A bachelor's degree connects graduates with numerous job opportunities and a higher earning potential. The institution reports a median salary of $40,000 earned by graduates six years after completing their studies. Applicants should connect with the department to learn about admission requirements and application materials.

California Baptist University at a Glance:

Online Enrollment: 6,112

Total Online Programs: 39

Online Bachelor's Programs: 24

Admission Rate: 78%

Transfer Credits Accepted: Data not available

Average Tuition
In-state
$32,942
Out-of-state
$32,942
Retention Rate
78%
Admission Rate
78%
Students Enrolled
11,045
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
55% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Western Association of Schools and Colleges Senior Colleges and University Commission

#20 Best Online Bachelor’s in Ministry Programs

Great Lakes Christian College

  • Lansing, MI
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Great Lakes Christian College provides numerous flexible study opportunities. Online learners seeking an undergraduate-level education can enroll in the school's bachelor's in Christian ministries. The  program prioritizes flexibility through full- or part-time study options.

Enrollees complete both foundational and advanced coursework, granting them the knowledge and skills needed to advance in the ministry field. Degree candidates can work with their academic advisor to customize their studies through modified courses, electives, minors, and concentrations.

The value of a bachelor's degree is clear. Graduates increase their job opportunities and earning potential. According to the institution, enrollees can earn a median salary of $20,700 six years after finishing their degree. To learn more about funding opportunities and eligibility requirements, applicants should contact the financial aid office.

Great Lakes Christian College at a Glance:

Online Enrollment: 24

Total Online Programs: 5

Online Bachelor's Programs: 4

Admission Rate: Data not available

Transfer Credits Accepted: Data not available

Average Tuition
In-state
$15,750
Out-of-state
$15,750
Retention Rate
71%
Admission Rate
Not provided
Students Enrolled
171
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
14% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission

Methodology

We selected these accredited bachelor in ministry programs based on the quality of the program, types of courses provided, faculty strength, school awards, rankings and reputation, including the reputation for providing online degree programs.

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.

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Why get a Ministry Degree?

Before pursuing an online bachelor’s in ministry degree, some students decide to pursue an associate degree in ministry to get a sense of the field. Because many roles within church settings do not mandate specific levels of degree — they focus more on receiving a calling from God — some students find they do not need a bachelor’s degree.

Individuals can receive ordination in some denominations after completing an associate degree, while those who want to work outside the church typically need to follow more traditional standards surrounding educational requirements. Bachelor’s degrees allow individuals to seek positions including program manager, director of children’s development, and community organizer.

Some students decide to go beyond a bachelor’s degree in ministry and pursue a master’s in ministry. These programs allow individuals to work in higher education teaching roles as well as senior–level positions. The next section looks at common careers and the salaries that graduates can expect to earn.

Ministry Degree Salary Information

Online ministry programs prepare graduates for clergy positions, such as priests, ministers, and pastors. Graduates also go on to pursue careers as church directors, youth leaders, missionaries, and religion and Bible study teachers in churches, faith–based schools, or nonprofit organizations.

Pastor
Pastors and ministers lead church congregations by providing spiritual direction, giving sermons, overseeing other staff, praying with church members, teaching others about biblical history, and offering leadership.
Salary based on experience:
  • Entry Level: $40,000
  • Mid-Career: $46,000
  • Experienced: $50,000
  • Late Career: $51,000
Youth Minister
Youth ministers provide many of the same services as pastors but tailor them to teenagers and adolescents. These compassionate individuals walk alongside youth group members and provide guidance on tough questions as well as organize fun group outings.
Salary based on experience:
  • Entry Level: $33,000
  • Mid-Career: $37,000
  • Experienced: $39,000
  • Late Career: $30,000
Children’s Ministry Director
Working within church settings, children’s ministers share the gospel with nursery through elementary students. They create programming, develop Sunday school curriculum, oversee other staff, and create special events.
Salary based on experience:
  • Entry Level: $31,000
  • Mid-Career: $36,000
  • Experienced: $39,000
  • Late Career:

Choosing an Online Ministry Degree Program

With so many online ministry degree paths now available, prospective students can afford to take their time and find a program that ticks all their boxes. While in–state programs tend to offer distance students the more affordable option since they can take advantage of resident tuition, they can also look at programs with significant endowments that offer enough scholarship or grant funding to bring the cost down. All ministry programs put their best foot forward on website marketing materials, but remember to keep going back to your list of needs and wants to find the program that suits your lifestyle and goals.

Program Cost
Students need to consider all their options before taking on significant student debt. In addition to federal, state, and local scholarships and grants, prospective students should ask about institutional and programmatic funding that does not need repayment.
Transfer Policies
Because many students elect to complete at least some of their classes at a community college before transferring to a four–year institution, finding schools that maintain transfer agreements or offer transfer–friendly policies is critical.
School Size and Type
Some students enjoy the hubbub of large classrooms while others want a more intimate learning experience. Generally, speaking, public/state schools tend to maintain higher caps for class sizes than private school counterparts, but this is not always the case. Check with individual schools to learn about average class sizes.
Program Length
Most online ministry programs at the bachelor’s level require students to complete four years of full–time study to move from matriculation to graduation. Some accelerated programs can be finished in as few as three years, while those enrolled on a part–time basis may need as many as six years.
On–Campus Requirements
Most online ministry programs do not mandate that students visit campus, but students should speak with individual departments to verify any on–campus requirements.

Accreditation for Online Ministry Degrees

In addition to considering factors such as program cost, length, and campus requirements, students must also ensure they find a properly accredited program if they do not want to face issues down the road related to transferring credits, competing for jobs, or receiving licensure. Within the world of higher academia, two types of accreditation exist: institutional and programmatic.

Institutional accreditation further divides into regional and national accreditation. Most four–year schools seek out regional accreditation, as it exists as the more rigorous of the two options. Trade and vocational schools tend to apply for national accreditation.

While programmatic accreditation does not necessarily exist for online ministry degree paths, several Christian accrediting agencies exist to help students find programs that meet their spiritual and academic needs. Names to look for include the Association of Theological Schools in the United States and Canada, the Association for Biblical Higher Education, and the Transnational Association of Christian Colleges and Schools.

Other names students will likely come across include the U.S. Department of Education and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation. Neither provides accreditation, but both ensure high standards are upheld within accrediting agencies.

Ministry Concentrations

Because online ministry degree paths offer such a wide variety of careers to consider after graduating, many schools allow students to specialize their knowledge in an area by completing a concentration. Some options are listed below, but check with individual schools about specific offerings.

Youth Ministry
Students in these concentrations learn how to effectively conduct outreach and provide pastoral counseling for teenagers as they move through high school and take their first steps as adults. Specific topics include adolescent issues, adolescent faith formation, and administration in youth ministry.
Careers this concentration prepares for:
  • Youth Ministry Director
  • Youth Ministry Assistant
  • Youth Outreach Manager
Ministry Leadership
This concentration exists for individuals who know they want to take on pastoral roles upon graduating. Students learn how to prepare evangelistic messages, exegete Bible verses, and minister to a diverse congregation.
Careers this concentration prepares for:
  • Lead Pastor/Minister
  • Assistant Pastor
  • Director of Spiritual Formation
  • Pastoral Counseling Director
Missions
Designed for the distance learner who knows they want to go out in the world and spread biblical messages, this course teaches them how to reach out to diverse communities, plant churches, maintain cultural sensitivity, and work to bring light and support to communities.
Careers this concentration prepares for:
  • Missionary
  • Church Planter
Biblical Counseling
Students who follow these concentrations know they want to serve others by providing counseling services from a biblical perspective. They learn about how the Bible can apply to modern day life while also studying topics such as therapeutic strategies, counseling methods, and interventions.
Careers this concentration prepares for:
  • Pastoral Counselor
  • Church Counselor
  • Director of Counseling Programs
Music Ministry
Individuals in this concentration want to work in worship music. During their enrollment, students develop their musicianship while also learning about worship leadership and how to convey biblical principles through music.
Careers this concentration prepares for:
  • Worship Leader
  • Music Minister
  • Director of Music Programs
  • Choir Director

How Long Does It Take to Get a Degree in Ministry?

Most programs require between 120–130 credits and take four years to finish if studying on a full–time basis. Some of the characteristics affecting the overall time requirement include number of credits, internship requirements, and student schedules.

Individuals who want to graduate more quickly may decide to take additional credits during the fall and spring semesters or enroll in summer courses. Others may decide they want to move through the program more slowly and not feel stressed by school work alongside all their other personal and professional responsibilities. If enrolled on a part–time basis, the actual credits still cost the same amount, but students will pay more in semester–based fees due to being in school for a longer amount of time.

Courses in an Online Bachelor’s in Ministry Program

Most online ministry degrees require 120–128 credits, consisting of general education courses, Bible and theology coursework, and electives. Core classes include ministry leadership, congregational dynamics, Old and New Testament studies, history of the church, systematic theology, church life, spiritual formation, and world missions. Many online ministry programs culminate with a capstone course, ministry internship, or practicum in which students gain hands–on experience in churches and other religious settings.

Survey of Old and New Testament
Students in survey classes examine the historical background, translations, and key themes of the Old and New Testaments. Coursework covers the development of the Gospels and the nature of the intertestamental period. Online students learn to prepare sermons from both texts and practice sermon delivery through preaching experience.
Christian and Pastoral Ethics
Christian and pastoral ethics courses examine the contemporary and historic development of Christian values. These courses help students learn how to think critically and make wise and faith–driven choices as a representative of Jesus Christ. By examining case studies and traditional ethical codes in religious settings, students gain a solid understanding of the foundations of Christian ethics and the relationship between values and contemporary issues.
Leadership
Leadership classes help students develop strong leadership qualities and administrative competencies. These courses emphasize the importance of communication, interpersonal abilities, and teamwork. Students examine training, organization, supervision, program evaluation, and financial management within the church, Christian workplace, and other religious–based settings.
Biblical Studies and Interpretations
Biblical studies and interpretation courses examine the historical, cultural, and literary contexts of the Bible. Focusing on the methods and principles of biblical interpretation, students examine the structure, content, key themes, and messages of the books of the Bible. Online students examine the important relationship between the church’s scriptures.
Religions and Cultures
These courses examine the world’s major religions including Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Hinduism, and Buddhism. Online students examine various cultures and how they influence the mission and growth of the Christian church. Students reflect on their own cultural worship and the effect of religious participation and spirituality on society.

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