Studies in Christian art come through specific courses that look at religious art, or they may be part of art programs at Christian schools that teach all subjects from a Christian viewpoint and require Christian studies as part of the general education curriculum. Courses cover topics such as art history and techniques, and students have many opportunities to work with a variety of materials in school studios and through internships.
Bachelor of Fine Arts in Art
This bachelor's degree program is offered with concentration areas like studio art, graphic arts, art education, painting and drawing. The program of study allows students to work in art studios where they use a variety of art materials, such as paints, easels, clay, plaster and metals. The graphics arts program trains students to use technologies like computers and software programs to create visual designs. When offered by a Christian college or university, these programs are designed to teach art from a Christian point of view and to instill Christian values in art students. Admission requires an art portfolio and the completion of foundation art courses.
Courses in the major range from studies in painting, drawing and ceramics to art history and the fundamentals of visual communication design. Some areas that may be covered in the program include:
- Western art
- Commercial art
- Digital images
- Painting processes
Post-Bachelor's Certificates Related to Christian Art
The most common post-bachelor's certificate programs in art are generally 1- to 2-year programs in visual art and studio art. A visual arts program consists of studio courses and portfolio development courses with specialized studies in painting, sculpture, drawing, photography and more. Students in a studio arts certificate program receive personal studio space, attend a graduate seminar, develop a portfolio and complete a final research paper and artist's exhibit. Admission requires a bachelor's degree in a related area, letters of recommendation and a portfolio.
Certificate courses cover studies in modern art and art history, including a survey of art movements like Impressionism and Romanticism. Other art topics might include a discussion of:
- Expressive drawing
- Color intensity
- Abstract forms
Master's Degrees Related to Christian Art
Christian colleges and universities offer a Master of Fine Arts (MFA) in art, fine arts and visual arts. These 2-year, Christian-based, terminal programs may qualify students to teach at community colleges. Students expand their skills in art studios and participate in teaching assistantships. Students may also have the opportunity to study abroad or complete an internship. Applicants are required to hold a bachelor's degree and to submit a personal statement essay, resume, letters of recommendation and a digital portfolio.
Graduate courses promote Christian values and artistic sensibilities through studies in painting, ceramics, sculpture and drawing. Study areas might include:
- The Renaissance
- 3-Dimensional drawing
- Experimental media
- Ceramic techniques
Popular Career Options
Depending on the student's area of study, career options for graduates are wide-ranging, from careers in digital media to careers in the fine arts. Some jobs that an art graduate can pursue are:
Graduates with a master's degree are prepared for jobs at schools, museums, art galleries and publishing firms. Career opportunities include jobs as a(n):
- Art director
- Senior graphic designer
- Assistant professor
Employment Outlook and Salary Info
Artists can work for advertising agencies, film and television studios, design firms and more. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), most craft and fine artists were self-employed in 2018 (www.bls.gov). Craft and fine artists could expect to see little to no change in job growth, from 2018-2028, and multimedia artists and animators could expect job growth of four percent during the same decade, the BLS projected. As of May 2018, the BLS reported that the median annual salary of fine artists was $49,380; multimedia artists and animators earned a median of $72,520.
Even though there are no degree or certificate programs offered specifically in Christian art, there are both undergraduate and graduate-level art programs that incorporate religious themes into the course of study.
Continuing Education Information
Although MFA graduates can teach at 4-year schools, most institutions prefer to hire faculty members with a doctoral (Ph.D.) degree. Graduates who want to become tenured professors can enroll in a Ph.D. program in art history or art education, academically rigorous programs that require Ph.D. candidates to conduct extensive research and write a doctoral dissertation.
Those who are interested in teaching art in elementary and secondary schools can enroll in a post-bachelor's teacher certification program in art education. Generally, about one and a half to two years in length, these programs prepare students for certification and licensure through their state boards of education.