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Pastoral Ministry Degree

Earn a degree in Christian ministry with an emphasis on pastoral ministry

SBU's Pastoral Ministry concentration within the Christian Ministry degree will prepare you to lead and serve as a pastor in a local church or in other ministry leadership roles. Coursework in Biblical studies, evangelism and preaching, combined with a ministry apprenticeship, will give you both the academic background and practical skill set needed either to enter the pastoral ministry immediately after graduation or to complete a Master of Arts in Christian Ministry.

Many pastoral ministry students choose to add another major or minor in another academic discipline, such as psychology, communication, English or business. Adding another area of study will enhance your skill set for ministry and equip you for bivocational ministry roles.

The Pastoral Ministry program is offered through SBU's College of Arts and Sciences


Major Map (PDF)

SBU students

The SBU Advantage

  • As a pastoral ministry student at SBU, you will take Advanced Public Speaking and two required preaching classes. SBU is the only undergraduate pastoral ministry program out of 100+ CCCU schools to require advanced communication courses, preparing you with vital skills to effectively serve in pastoral ministry.
  • SBU pastoral ministry students have opportunities each semester to practice preaching at local churches during Ministry Education days.

Faith Integration

The integration of Christian faith and academic discipline is inherent in the Pastoral Ministry degree program. Students receive superior academic training in Biblical studies through core classes such as Methods of Biblical Interpretation, Christian Heritage, Christian Doctrine, and Disciple-making and Evangelism. The courses required by each concentration provide excellent career and ministry preparation with the goal of nurturing your personal faith while also equipping you to nurture the faith of others.


Most pastoral ministry graduates have gone on to serve as pastors or in other ministry leadership roles in local churches. Recent graduates are serving in churches in:

  • Arkansas
  • California
  • Kansas
  • Missouri
  • North Carolina
  • Oklahoma
  • Texas

Graduate Schools

With SBU's Master of Arts in Christian Ministry 4+1 program, you can complete both a bachelor's degree and a master's degree in just 5 years!

Other graduate schools and seminaries or Biblical Studies students later attend include:

  • Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary
  • New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary
  • Southern Baptist Theological Seminary
  • Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary
  • University of Aberdeen (Scotland)


As a pastoral ministry student, you will be eligible for the Church Related Vocation (CRV) scholarship, which is currently valued at $2,000 per year. To maintain this scholarship, you must be enrolled in a ministry-related degree program, submit the necessary application and references, participate in SBU's in-service training program and complete any other requirements.

Several privately funded scholarships are also available by application to students preparing for service in missions and evangelism.

Christian Ministry: Pastoral Ministry Four-Year Plan


Fall Semester

BIB 1013 Old Testament History 3
CIS 1103 Computer and Information Management 3
ENG 1113 English Composition I 3
MAT 1243 Algebraic Reasoning and Modeling 3
POL 1113 American Government and Politics 3
UNI 1111 University Seminar 1
Total hours 16

Spring Semester

BIB 1023 New Testament History 3
COM 1103 Fundamentals of Speech Communication 3
ENG 2213 English Composition II 3
HIS 2213/2223 U.S. History I or II 3
PSY 1013 General Psychology (or SOC 1003) 3
UNI 1121 Introduction to Critical Thinking 1
Total hours 16


Fall Semester

BIB 2093 Methods of Biblical Interpretation 3
CHR 2043 Introduction to Evangelism 3
GRE 2014 Elementary Greek I or  
HEB 2014 Elementary Hebrew I 4
KIN 1162 Foundations of Physical Fitness/Wellness 2
SPF 2032 Spiritual Formation for Ministry 2
THE 3023 Christian Heritage 3
Total hours 17

Spring Semester

COM 3313 Advanced Public Speaking 3
FAR 10_3 Introduction to Fine Arts 3
GRE 2024 Elementary Greek II or  
HEB 2024 Elementary Hebrew II 4
PHI 2013 Philosophical Foundations for a Christian Worldview 3
THE 3023 Baptist Denomination (if a Church-Related
Vocation Scholarship recipient)
Total hours 16


Fall Semester

  Bible Elective 3
BIO 1004 Principles of Biology 4
CHR 3013 Introduction to Ministry 3
CHR 3023 Introduction to Preaching (fall, even) 3
CHR 3783 Worship and Song in the Church 3
Total hours 16

Spring Semester

CHR 3073 Disciple-making/Evangelism 3
CHR 4003 Expository Preaching (spring, odd) 3
ECO 2003 LIFE Economics 3
ICS 2901/2911 Culture Service Project 1
  Physical Science 4
  Counseling Elective 3
Total hours 17


Fall Semester

COM 2393 Interpersonal Communication or  
COM 3383 Small Group Communication 3
SOC 2012 Human Diversity 2
  Redford Elective 3
  Elective 3
  Elective 2
Total hours 16

Spring Semester

CHR 4983 Christian Ministry Apprenticeship 3
  Elective 3
  Elective 3
  Elective 3
  Elective 3
Total hours 15

This is a proposed guideline. Please check the catalog and see your advisor for your final degree requirements.
Southwest Baptist University reserves the right to make changes to degree plans without advanced notice or obligation.
The student is responsible for understanding and completing all general education, degree, departmental and graduation requirements.

Download in PDF format:
Christian Ministry: Pastoral Ministry Plan (PDF)