Online Youth Ministry Degree Program Information

Dec 04, 2019

Essential Information

Many bachelor's and master's degree programs in youth ministry are available online. However, not all programs can be completed entirely through distance learning; most programs call for students to complete internships or other hands-on experiences in order to graduate.

In a youth ministry degree program, students learn how to run a church or religious organization's programs for teenagers and young adults. Courses may include leadership, Bible study, teaching and live mentoring experiences. Students also learn to organize and administer youth programs, and study counseling skills.

Bachelor's Degree Program in Youth Ministry

Students completing a 4-year program in youth ministry online may be awarded a Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science. Some schools might require applicants to have completed up to 30 prior college credits and have some work experience in order to study religion and counseling through such a program.

Program Information and Requirements

Bachelor's degree programs can be delivered entirely online or presented through a hybrid combination of on-campus and distance-education courses. Some programs might also include live seminars and internships. Many programs require the completion of 120 credit-hours total, with 60 or more taken in the major area of study.

Although these programs in particular do not require hardware or software components, students completing online youth ministry classes are expected to have access to a computer with reliable access to the Internet. They should have a recent operating system and Web browser, but other technical requirements vary by program and school.

Common Online Courses in Youth Ministry

The curriculum of an online bachelor's degree program in youth ministry emphasizes the development of teaching, leadership, communication and counseling skills. Additional courses in history, philosophy and psychology might also be required. Some colleges offer a live ministry experience under the supervision of a mentor.

Youth Ministry Theology Course

This class examines the religious or biblical philosophies of youth ministry. Other topics are effective methods of adolescent counseling and youth spiritual growth.

Youth Ministry Leadership Course

Topics in this course include mentoring responsibilities, teaching methods, management and ethics. Lessons also explore leadership theories relating to biblical concepts and ideologies.

Youth Ministry Teaching Course

Students learn educational theories and teaching methods as applied to youth ministry. Lectures might also focus on curriculum planning and the development of communication skills.

Master's Degree Program in Youth Ministry

Some schools with graduate-level youth ministry programs require that master's degree candidates already hold a bachelor's degree, preferably in religious studies; however, it may be permissible for applicants to and have only taken some college-level courses in biblical studies, theology, and religious history. This program commonly awards a Master of Arts; however, while a Master of Arts in Youth Ministry is uncommon, the subject might be an area of concentration offered through an online program such as the Master of Arts in Ministry, Master of Arts in Counseling or Master of Arts in Religious Education.

Program Information and Requirements

Many online master's degree programs require students to complete at least 36 credit hours, though some might require the completion of as many as 66 credits. Classes may be offered through hybrid programs or be presented entirely through the Web. Most programs include an internship or live mentoring experience, although these may be arranged so that they take place local to the student. Computer requirements are minimal, but require up-to-date functionality including an e-mail server, media player and access to the Internet.

Common Online Courses in Youth Ministry

The curriculum of an online master's degree program in youth ministry focuses on theories, methods, research and counseling skills relating to youth ministry. Program coursework might also address youth spiritual growth and development, communications, management strategies and theology.

Youth Ministry Counseling

Pastoral counseling and spiritual guidance are topics of discussion. Students focus on both adolescent and family counseling.

Theories of Counseling

This class explores counseling theories relating to theology. Students also learn the history of counseling theories and counseling techniques, and study methods commonly used in youth ministry.

Youth Ministry Communication

Students learn and practice basic and advanced communication strategies. Lessons focus on the oral, visual and written communication methods used to convey spiritual teachings to members of a youth ministry congregation.

Graduate Career Information

Those holding a bachelor's degree in youth ministry can find employment in churches, schools, or youth service organizations. Salaries vary depending mostly on employer type, and reports that even such factors as church denomination can affect wages. In 2018, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports an annual range of around $26,160 to $85,040, earned by youth ministers.

Graduates are qualified to handle counseling responsibilities in churches, community organizations or schools. According to the BLS, the job growth rate for all counselors is expected to be 8% between 2018 and 2028. Annual salary wages for education, guidance, school and vocational counselors vary, with median yearly salaries falling between approximately $33,610 and $94,690 ( Other career options include teaching and researching biblical studies, often at the university level.

Youth ministry programs are often available online, but the nature of the degree will likely require students to complete an internship or other in-person work experience in order to complete their studies. These programs give students the tools to effectively provide religious counsel to younger people, as well as teaching good communication and leadership skills.

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