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Pastoral Studies

A pastoral studies degree program teaches students how to minister to those in need. Typically, these programs focus on the Judeo-Christian faith and prepare students for leadership roles in a religious organization or a church. Read on to learn about education in pastoral studies and career options.

Inside Pastoral Studies

Pastoral studies degree programs prepare aspiring ministers to guide and comfort people of a religious faith. Students learn how to fulfill leadership roles in their congregations or communities by counseling individuals in crisis and assisting them in their spiritual development. Although pastoral studies programs are commonly available at seminaries, some colleges and universities also offer this program. Most students who pursue pastoral studies plan to become religious faith leaders, although there are also opportunities in education, research, and counseling as well.

Education Information

Undergraduate and graduate degree programs in pastoral studies are available, but graduate-level programs are the most common. These programs offer concentrations for students interested in becoming youth pastors, worship pastors or religion teachers, as well as for those interested in the study of Biblical languages.

In addition to Bible study and theology, pastoral studies degree programs include coursework in human development, marriage, family and community dynamics, cultural systems and research methods. They address Biblical themes, ethics and morality, youth ministry and issues commonly faced by people today. Some programs cover studies in Greek and other Biblical languages.

Check out the following Education-Portal.com articles to explore degree options in this field.

Distance Learning Options

Online pastoral studies programs are primarily available at the graduate level. Below is information about these various distance learning programs.

Career Options

From serving as a pastor to teaching students, multiple careers are open to graduates of pastoral studies programs. Take a look at these articles to find out more about such opportunities.

Employment Information

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), clergy are responsible for the spiritual development of their congregation and lead worship services (www.bls.gov). As of May 2013, clergy had a mean annual salary of $47,540, according to the BLS. Religious activities directors, who are responsible for coordinating church activities, had a mean yearly income of $44,240 as of May 2013, per the BLS.

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Popular Schools

  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Must be a high school graduate or have completed GED
    • Eligibility and relevancy of sample programs below will vary by article and program
    School locations:
    • Online Learning
    • Arizona (3 campuses)
    • California (16)
    • Colorado (3)
    • Florida (6)
    • Georgia (5)
    • Illinois (7)
    • Indiana (2)
    • Maryland (1)
    • Michigan (1)
    • Minnesota (1)
    • Missouri (2)
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    • Ohio (4)
    • Oklahoma (1)
    • Oregon (1)
    • Pennsylvania (4)
    • Tennessee (2)
    • Texas (7)
    • Utah (1)
    • Virginia (3)
    • Washington (3)
    • Wisconsin (1)

    Online and Classroom-Based Programs

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  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Must be a high school graduate or have completed GED
    School locations:
    • Online Learning

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  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Undergraduate applicants must be a high school graduate or have completed GED; Graduate program applicants must have a master's degree or higher
    School locations:
    • Online Learning

    Online Programs

    • Bachelor
        • BS in General Studies
    • Associate
        • AS in General Studies

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  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Must be a high school graduate or have completed GED
    School locations:
    • Online Learning

    Online Programs

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  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Must hold a Bachelor's degree or higher
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  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Must be a high school graduate or have completed GED
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  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Must be 18 years of age or older
    School locations:
    • Online Learning

    Distance Learning Programs

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Other Schools:

  • School locations:
    • Ohio (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at University of Dayton include:
      • Graduate: First Professional Degree, Master
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Liberal Arts and Humanities
      • Cultural Studies
      • Liberal Arts, Humanities, and General Studies
      • Philosophy
      • Political Science
      • Public Administration
      • Religious Studies
        • Pastoral Studies
      • Social Science and Studies
      • Social Studies and History
      • Theological, Religious, and Ministerial Studies
  • School locations:
    • Arizona (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Southwestern College include:
      • Non-Degree: Coursework
      • Undergraduate: Associate, Bachelor
    • Liberal Arts and Humanities
      • Liberal Arts, Humanities, and General Studies
      • Religious Studies
        • Biblical Studies
        • Pastoral Studies
  • School locations:
    • Massachusetts (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Boston College include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Liberal Arts and Humanities
      • Cultural Studies
      • Human and Social Services
      • Philosophy
      • Political Science
      • Religious Studies
        • Pastoral Studies
      • Social Science and Studies
      • Social Studies and History
      • Theological, Religious, and Ministerial Studies

Popular Schools

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