B.A. in Christian Ministry with Pastoral Studies & Student Ministry Minors: A Former Student's Perpective
This student perspective is the second from Austin McCann. The last one concerned his current graduate work, this one concerns his undergraduate program. Austin just finished his B.A. at Piedmont International University. He is currently working on his Master of Arts in Religion (MAR) at Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary while starting in full-time student ministry. You can find more of Austin’s thoughts on his website. Here are his thoughts on his undergrad program:
"Recently I just finished my BA at Piedmont International University. At Piedmont, I studied Christian Ministries. At Piedmont, like most colleges and university, allow you to pick a minor or two. I decided to do two minors with my BA. My two minors where student ministries and pastoral studies.
Many people have wondered why I chose to study student ministries and pastoral studies. Most people assume if your wanting to be a youth pastor than just study student ministries or if your wanting to be a senior pastor why not just do pastoral studies. I decided to do both for one main reason: a youth pastor should be just as educated and well trained as a senior pastor. Just because you work with students does not mean you should not know how to preach and do pastoral duties. I believe a youth pastor should be just as skilled at preaching the Bible as a senior pastor. A youth pastor is a pastor and should be just as serious about ministry, the church, and the Bible as the senior pastor.
There are several reasons other reasons I chose to do two minors that have nothing to do with my view of youth pastors and how they should be trained. First, two minors allows you to study another area of ministry that you may want to do later on down the road. I am not sure if God will keep me as a youth pastor my whole life. I would love to one day be a senior pastor or church planter and because I have studied pastoral studies I feel more prepared to pursue that one day. Second, two minors allow you to take some classes that may interest you that are not in your first minor. There where a few classes in the pastoral studies minor that where not in the student ministries one I really wanted to take. I was able to take more classes with two minors and was able to get ones that I really wanted outside my first minor. Third, two minors allow you to gain skills in another area outside your vocation that may come in handy. For example, I took expository preaching and was honored to receive the expository preaching award that year. I learned and gained the skill of expository preaching because I chose to do a pastoral studies minor along with my student ministries one. Having that skill allows me to be a better preacher and teacher in the area of my vocation-student ministries.
I hope this has helped you if you are wondering how many minors you should take on. If your school allows you to, I would recommend you take two. It may seem like adding two much to your load, but it will be worth it."
Mark Stevens is a former seminary student himself and currently researches and teaches in the area of theological studies.