Associate's Degree in Christian Studies: Program Overview

Essential Information

Christian studies associate's degree programs help students deepen their understanding about Christianity and world religions. Christian studies programs may be offered as Associate of Arts (A.A.) or Associate of Christian Studies (A.C.S.) degrees. These programs are often offered at seminary schools or community colleges. Select Christian studies associate's degree programs include practical training options where students can gain experience performing ministries or missions.

Applicants to these 2-year programs will need a high school diploma or GED equivalent. Once admitted students can often choose a specialization, such as education ministry, Christian leadership, and more. Some online classes are available and graduates can go on to pursue bachelor's, master's, or doctorate degrees.

Associate Degree in Christian Studies

Associate's degree programs in Christian studies include theoretical coursework related to the life and teachings of Jesus Christ, the Bible and its individual books, and Christian church doctrines. Additional elective studies may focus on biblical languages and translations, minor prophets, Christianity's history and advanced theology. Christian studies curricula are interdisciplinary and accordingly draw from philosophy, ethics, history, theology and literary studies. General education topics may touch upon psychology and English. Common core and elective topics include:

  • Biblical translation
  • Christian counseling techniques
  • Educational ministry
  • History of Christian thought
  • The Protestant Reformation
  • Systematic theology

Popular Career Options

Students with an associate's degree in Christian studies usually pursue careers in ministry, religious service or education. Common employers include religious organizations and other nonprofits. Some professions may require additional degrees and training. Possible titles include:

  • Chaplain
  • Missionary
  • Pastor
  • Religious counselor
  • Theologian

Continuing Education Info

Associate's degree programs in Christian studies usually prepare students for transition to bachelor's degree programs in the same field. A variety of advanced degree options are also available through divinity schools. Graduate degrees include the Master of Christian Studies, Master of Divinity, Doctor of Theology and Doctor of Philosophy.

An associate's degree in Christian studies prepares students to work in positions that include pastors, chaplains, missionaries, or religious counselors. Graduates will have a good understanding of the Bible and church doctrine for their career or further education.

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