Individuals looking to earn a bachelor's degree in the field of religious management might look for degrees with a variety of names; programs might be either religion-specific, such as church-management programs, or part of the broader field of nonprofit management. Even though providing a place of worship is a community service, all organizations, including churches, have other obligations; they must meet payrolls, maintain grounds, offer healthcare and provide other services to employees, as well as fulfill financial obligations. A program in religious systems management prepares students to deal with these obligations. As with many bachelor's programs, a high school diploma or its equivalent is usually necessary to apply.
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Bachelor of Religious Systems Management
A bachelor's degree program in religious systems management develops students' skills on topics relevant to effectively running a church. Coursework is similar in some ways to the offerings of business degree programs, with topics like organizational leadership and business ethics. The program also provides religious, ethical and spiritual dimensions to decision making with courses such as:
- Church and ministry administration
- Church financial management
- Fundraising and stewardship
- Ministry basics
- Ministry management
- Organizational information technology
Popular Career Options
Churches and religious organizations differ from other businesses in that their missions often involve financial aspects, even though their overall purposes are not profit-driven. Good stewardship of financial resources is nonetheless an important aspect of healthy religious organizations. A bachelor's degree in religious systems management might prepare students for careers such as:
- Church ministry manager
- Worship ministries director
- Church administrator
- Church accountant
- Mission organizations manager
Salary and Job Outlook Information
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the average annual salary of those who work in business and financial operations occupations for religious organizations was $57,710 in May 2015. Those employed in management occupations for religious organizations had an average salary of $87,320 in May 2015. The BLS projects jobs for social and community service managers who work for religious, grant-making, civic, professional and similar organizations will increase by 10% over the 2014-2024 decade.
Continuing Education Information
Two routes are available for further education in religious management. The first would be earning a master's degree in nonprofit management. The second would be entrance into a seminary with the goal of earning a master's of divinity degree, which prepares students for careers in religious leadership.
Students interested in learning about the business and organizational aspects of running a church can earn a bachelor's degree in religious systems management. Graduates can expect positive job growth as social and community service managers and choose to pursue a master's degree for further education.