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Earning a master's degree in missions is the first step toward the vocation of world evangelism. A degree in missionary studies can equip you with the biblical and theological knowledge you need to understand your faith, along with the skills to communicate across cultures. With your degree, you can take on roles in local churches, educational settings, or parachurch ministries. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects that social and community managers will see an 18% increase in jobs between 2016 and 2026. Missions majors can expect many potential openings in organizations committed to serving the kingdom, the church, and the world.
Choosing a Program
Learning how to become a missionary involves more than studying theology and biblical knowledge. It also means understanding cultures, geopolitics, languages, religions, communication tactics, and leadership skills. For many would-be missionaries, it requires building an appropriate academic background to become English teachers, entrepreneurs, or international development workers. Students can concentrate in areas like Muslim studies, teaching English as a Foreign Language, justice and development, global leadership, or linguistics, allowing future missionaries to tailor their academic programs to meet their goals.
Often, master's degree in missions programs include core courses drawn from theology, biblical studies, and anthropology. Some degrees make ministry or divinity the core of the program and missions a concentration. An M.Div. with an emphasis in missions can take 90 credits to complete, while a seminary degree in missions may require 60 credits. A liberal arts college or Bible college often offers a mission degree for just 33 credits. A missions program usually requires an internship and a thesis. The internship takes place in an international or cross-cultural setting, and students in some schools can substitute a practical capstone for the thesis.
For more degree and career info, jump to:
- What Else Can I Expect From an Online Master's in Missions & Global Ministry Program?
- Careers with a Master's in Missions & Global Ministry
Best Online Master's in Missions & Global Ministry Programs
Online Master's in Missions & Global 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.
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The Best Online Master's in Missions & Global Ministry Degree Programs
These rankings include
#1 The Best Online Master’s in Missions & Global Ministry Programs
Abilene Christian University
- 4 years
- Online + Campus
From its campus in Abilene, Texas, Abilene Christian University offers an online master's in missions and global ministry. Graduates prepare for advanced roles in the field during the rigorous master of arts in global service program. After completing a master's degree, candidates advance in their current field or pursue new opportunities.
The master's curriculum emphasizes current research in missions and global ministry. Learners individualize the course of study by selecting electives and concentrations. The master's program recommends that applicants bring a background in missions and global ministry or a related field.
Online enrollees complete internships in their local community to gain real-world experience. Graduate students expand their professional network through internships and online events.
Abilene Christian University at a Glance:
Type of School: Private
Admission Rate: 61%
Total Online Master's Programs: 12
Program Name: Master of Arts in Global Service
Graduate Tuition In State: $22,356
Graduate Tuition Out of State: $22,356
#2 The Best Online Master’s in Missions & Global Ministry Programs
Bethany Global University
- 4 years
- Online + Campus
The online master's degree in missions and global ministry at Bethany Global University, located in Bloomington, Minnesota, offers high academic quality. Graduates train for leadership roles in the field while earning their degree from the master of arts in intercultural ministry leadership program. A master's degree can also lead candidates to new career paths.
The master's curriculum examines advanced theories and practices in missions and global ministry. Learners choose electives or a specialization to stand out in a competitive job market. Applicants without a degree in missions and global ministry or a related field may need to meet prerequisite requirements to enroll in the program.
Online enrollees participate in internship programs at approved locations in their local area. The program encourages graduate students to expand their professional connections through internships and networking events.
Bethany Global University at a Glance:
Type of School: Private
Admission Rate: 88%
Total Online Master's Programs: 1
Program Name: Master of Arts in Intercultural Ministry Leadership
Graduate Tuition In State: $13,500
Graduate Tuition Out of State: $13,500
What Else Can I Expect From an Online Master's in Missions and Global Ministry Program?
A degree in missionary studies includes courses in theology, biblical studies, anthropology, and ministry practice. Students can choose a degree focused on theology, one that equips them with a skill such as teaching English, or one that concentrates on a specific culture.
Concentrations Offered for an Online Doctoral Degree in Missions and Global Ministry
- Muslim Studies:
Students of Muslim studies learn to analyze the theologies, traditions, and worldviews of Islam using cultural and theological tools of analysis. Courses include an introduction to the Koran, along with an appropriate internship and thesis. Upon graduation, students can take roles in government, business, or mission organizations dedicated to reaching the Muslim community.
- Careers this concentration prepares for: Professor, nongovernmental organization leader, human resources officer in a global corporation
- Teaching English as a Foreign Language:
Learners in this concentration prepare to teach English to children and adults in a variety of academic, cultural, and linguistic contexts. Courses include advanced grammar; introduction to syntax; and teaching reading, writing, and grammar. Learners prepare to enter the growing EFL field at universities and freestanding language programs around the world.
- Careers this concentration prepares for:
- Global Leadership:
This concentration prepares local church and parachurch leaders for strategic leadership roles and equips students to nurture others into leadership. Students explore the spiritual disciplines of leadership, global trends in leadership, and how to develop leaders in a multicultural setting.
- Careers this concentration prepares for: Nongovernmental organization leader, missions pastor, business leader in creative access countries
Sample Courses for an Online Master's Degree in Missions and Global Ministry
- Cultural Innovation and Change
Missions, globalization, and development fundamentally change local cultures. How can missionaries work within a local culture to help smooth its adaptations to powerful forces of meta change?
- Comparative Cultural Leadership
Contrasting and diverse cultures deploy distinct leadership styles. In this course, students learn how their cultures influence their understanding of leadership, and they explore multiple cultural views of leadership.
- Understanding Cultures and Worldviews
This course is a sociological and religious study of the nature of culture and worldview. Students review biblical cultures and worldviews and consider Christianity in light of today's cultures and worldviews.
- Biblical Theology of Mission
Students examine biblical texts to uncover a theological framework that supports, defines, and empowers missions. Using scripture as a lens, learners consider historic and modern theories of missions.
- Leading a Missional Community
Using a Trinitarian ecclesiology, this course focuses on the practice of leading a spiritually transformed and transformative group that embodies meaningful relationships and operates in the power of the Spirit.
Online Master's in Missions and Global Ministry Careers
Earning a master's degree in missions can open up positions in government, missions agencies, schools, churches, and research institutions. Missiologists can even serve as intercultural or multicultural coordinators for multinational corporations. Some majors equip students with entrepreneurial skills to start their own business-as-mission enterprises, or to help established agencies innovate in culturally sensitive ways.
- Social and Community Service Manager: A degree in missions can equip students for leadership positions in nonprofit agencies or national and international parachurch ministries. These positions typically require skills in multicultural team development, intercultural communication, and large-scale event planning and execution.
- Median Annual Salary: $64,100
- Projected Growth Rate: 18%
- Mission or Outreach Pastor: Large churches often add a mission or outreach pastor as one of the first staff positions after filling age-related ministry roles. Those with a degree in missions may also serve as full-time senior pastors depending upon the ordination requirements set by their church or denomination.
- Median Annual Salary: $47,100
- Projected Growth Rate: 8%
- Postsecondary Teacher: A master's degree in missions is required to teach the subject at a Bible college, a liberal arts college, or a seminary. While most schools prefer a doctorate, a master's degree and experience can substitute, and in some institutions, part-time professors can also work in nonclassroom positions, like internship coordinators.
- Median Annual Salary: $76,000
- Projected Growth Rate: 15%
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