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Ministry programs prepare people to work as ministers or priests.

Ministry programs include topics such as:


Several community colleges and other two-year schools offer associate degree programs in ministry. An associate degree usually takes two years to complete. After earning an associate degree students can transfer to a college or university for further study.

Many colleges and universities offer bachelor's degrees in ministry. A bachelor's degree usually takes about four years of full-time study.

Many universities offer graduate degrees in ministry. A master's degree typically requires two years of study beyond a bachelor's degree. Doctoral (PhD) degree programs usually require two or more years of study beyond the master's degree.

See schools that offer this program.

Related Educational Programs

Related Careers

Careers Directly Related to this Program of Study

Other Careers Related to this Program of Study

Program Admission

You can prepare for this program by taking courses in high school that prepare you for college. This typically includes four years of English, three years of math, three years of social studies, and two years of science. Some colleges also require two years of a second language.

A letter of recommendation from your clergyperson can be very helpful. A record of community service through religious and social-action groups is also a plus.

Below is a list of high school courses that will help prepare you for this program of study:

Graduate Admissions

Admission to seminary is competitive. You need a bachelor's degree, good grades, and good test scores. Your undergraduate degree should reflect a broad liberal arts curriculum.

If your goal is the Roman Catholic priesthood, you may want to pursue a certificate in pre-theology. Some seminaries offer this as a one- or two-year program. This helps advance your knowledge of religion and philosophy toward readiness for seminary. It also helps you dedicate yourself to the priestly lifestyle.

Admissions committees rightly believe that being in the clergy is a lifestyle, not just a career. It is not for everyone. You need to have a track record of religious and social service. People who know you need to provide letters that attest to your good moral character.

Additional requirements at some schools include:

Typical Course Work

Program Courses

A bachelor's or master's program in the ministry typically includes courses in the following subjects:

Graduate Program Courses

A pre-theology certificate program (primarily for college graduates entering a Roman Catholic seminary) typically includes courses in the following subjects:

Preparation for the ministry often includes supervised work in settings such as these:

Things to Know

Many programs require you to learn New Testament Greek so you can read the bible in the original wording.


King-Snohomish Area

Northwest University

Seattle Bible College

Seattle Pacific University

Seattle School of Theology & Psychology

Seattle University

Spokane Area

Whitworth University

Tacoma Area

Faith International University & Seminary

Western Reformed Seminary

Vancouver Area

Gateway Seminary