Students interested in the field of divinity might consider enrolling in an Associate of Divinity program. Admission to these programs varies from simply having a high school diploma to meeting age or experience requirements.
These 2-year programs are primarily offered through private, Christian universities and colleges. They provide students with an educational and historical background in Christian faith and beliefs, while at the same time supplying the communication tools and counseling skills necessary to serve a congregation. They also often include required internship and practical ministries courses. These studies are used as an educational background for aspiring ministers, pastors, or church leaders and also to prepare graduates for further study in theology. Applicants need a high school diploma or GED, and some programs may have certain experience or age requirements (such as being at least twenty-five years old and having at least three years of experience working in a church).
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Associate Degree in Divinity
Associate degree programs in divinity often pair general education with seminars and classroom lectures covering the history of Christianity and the Christian doctrine. Themes from each type of course include:
- New Testament
- Old Testament
- Theology training
- Contemporary Christian life
- Pastoral ministry training
Popular Career Options
An associate's degree program in divinity, theology, or religious studies can prepare graduates for entry-level positions working within a church. Positions might include:
- Church minister
- Youth minister
- Associate pastor
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, members of the clergy earned a median salary of $44,250 as of May 2015.
Graduates often transfer their credits to baccalaureate programs in the field. Private universities and Christian schools also often offer programs such as a Bachelor of Divinity or Master of Divinity. Those who are interested in learning more about other religions or theology in general might consider bachelor's and master's degree programs in theology or religious studies. Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) programs in theology offer students the chance to research theology in depth and pursue a career in academia.
An associate's degree program in divinity is designed for aspiring pastors, ministers and clergy to study Christian doctrine and history. Graduates may wish to pursue education at the bachelor's, master's or doctorate levels to advance their careers.