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CHRISTIAN LEADERSHIP PROGRAMS

Online Leadership Degrees

Students who have Christian ministry in mind and who want to take a leading role in their hometown church, their community, or even in national ministries may want to give serious consideration to the idea of enrolling in an online program so they can earn their degree in Christian leadership. The jobs market in this field has become increasingly competitive over the last few decades, making it almost a necessity for an individual to have a degree from a properly accredited school in order to find employment and follow their dream.

Individuals who earn a degree in Christian leadership can go on to work in a variety of positions in nonprofit organizations, churches, and even in major corporations. They may be tasked with managing outreach programs, helping an organization live up to its goals and mission, or developing new programs to help better the community and members of a particular organization. They degree programs that are available not only provide a person with the education they need to pursue a career in Christian leadership, they will also get a well-rounded education in a variety of topics and general study programs including math, science, history, and English composition.

Christian Leadership Degree Levels Available

  • Undergraduate/Graduate Certificate: 1 year to complete

  • Associate Degree: 2 years to complete

  • Bachelor's Degree: 4 years to complete

  • Master's Degree: 1-3 years to complete

  • Doctorate Degree: 4-6 years to complete

A person who is interested in getting their feet wet in this type of field with a minimum amount of schoolwork may want to consider an undergraduate/graduate certificate. This is a good choice for people if they are not 100% certain that this is the career for them since it only takes a year or so to earn. A person who is serious about this type of career, however, may want to pursue a bachelors degree since that is what most employers look for. In some cases a person with an associate degree may be able to find a Christian leadership position if they also have several years of experience to go along with it.

Those individuals who earned an associate or bachelor's degree in the past and who have been working in this field for some time may feel that the best way to advance their career and increase their earning potential is to earn a graduate degree. Going back to school for an advanced degree is a common practice among working professionals, but since many individuals who are currently working are not able to attend classes full-time it should be noted that part-time enrollment will take significantly longer to complete a graduate program.

Admission Requirements

Individuals interested in enrolling in a graduate program will find the admission requirements differ somewhat from one program to the next. Generally, the more competitive or prestige the program is, the more strict the criteria are for admission. In most schools a person interested in a graduate program will need to have a bachelor's degree in the field or one related to it and provide their GPA history, letters of recommendation, and a portfolio of experience. Additional criteria may also be required.

Undergraduate programs, on the other hand, generally have a relatively standard set of requirements regardless of the school that an individual is interested in. In most cases, a person will need to have:

  • A high school diploma or equivalency degree

  • Adequate SAT/ACT scores

  • Letters of recommendation from employers or professors

  • Personal essays and statements

Distance Learning vs. Traditional College Programs

The traditional classroom experience has worked well for millions of individuals, but the Internet is made possible for a person to earn an advanced degree largely from the comfort of their own home. There are some pros and cons to online learning versus a traditional college program, and a person should seriously consider all of their options for the make a final decision.

Distance Learning classes allow a person to enjoy the flexibility that comes from earning their degree over the Internet. In order to get the maximum benefits from these types of classes, however, a person must be self-motivated and able to set aside the necessary times that they can focus on their studies. Working adults and individuals with family obligations may find that this is the best option for them, but there are people who simply perform better and learn more efficiently in the structured environment of conventional campus classes.

A traditional college program is generally the choice of individuals who are able to attend classes full-time and who live close enough to the university or college of their choosing. It is worth noting that many distance learning courses are more affordable than the conventional college experience, but this is not always the case.

Tuition and Accreditation

When it comes to cost, understanding tuition is an important part of choosing the right program and the right school. While online classes are often less expensive, cost is not the only thing to keep in mind when it comes to choosing a school. Accreditation is crucial since it tells potential employers that the degree earned was from a university that met all of the standards for excellence and quality. There are schools out there that are either not accredited at all or do not have the proper accreditation and these should be avoided. A program that has been nationally or regionally accredited or accredited by a proper independent body is a much better choice.

Tuition rates vary from one school to the next and a person should explore all of their financing options prior to enrolling in a particular program. Although a Christian leadership degree can provide a person with an excellent and fulfilling way of making a living, that does not mean that it is not a good idea to have a plan in place regarding how a person intends to pay for their education before they enroll. With a wide variety of fellowships, scholarships, grants, and student loans available, taking the time to understand all the financing options available is the wise thing to do.

Author - Caleb Schallert

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