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Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in Ministry Studies

If you desire to serve God and the Christian Church, then Ministry Studies is the degree for you! Students who graduate with a baccalaureate degree in Ministry Studies are thoroughly prepared to work at the service of the church and to meet the world’s needs.

What will you study? 

Our curriculum focuses on your educational formation on four fronts: (1) human formation (2) theological formation, (3) spiritual formation, and (4) pastoral formation.

  • Human formation seeks to develop the human qualities and attributes of a person by helping to foster a healthy and holistic personality and lifestyle for the sake of personal growth and ministry.
  • Theological formation proposes to foster the intellectual capacities in sacred sciences: theology, church history, ecumenism Scripture, liturgy, sacraments, stewardship, and morality
  • Spiritual formation aims at the call to holiness and Christian discipleship through coursework, community involvement and interactions, and personal encounters with ongoing relationships.
  • Pastoral formation intends to cultivate the practical application of doing ministry with others through coursework, internships, and theological reflection.

Upon completion, you will be: 

Marian University's B.A. in ministry studies emphasizes five critical areas of intentional and comprehensive study:

  • Systematic theology
  • Pastoral theology
  • Christian ministry
  • Theological reflection
  • Social sciences

All five areas are interdependent, allowing you to build comprehensive, integrated connections to each of these key areas for successful careers in ministry leadership.

  • Equipped with the practical skills to succeed in Christian ministry and ecclesial service.
  • Empowered to provide solid theology grounded in scripture and Christian tradition.
  • Engaged to become a transformative leader and catalyst in your church, society, world, and family.
  • Exhorted with the knowledge, abilities, and strengths for a successful vocation and career focused on the ministry and mission of Jesus the Christ and his holy Christian church.
Sample four-year plan

"Pastoral Leadership not only prepared me for academic success, but also equipped me with formation that will be beneficial in my future ministry in the Catholic Church. I believe I am equipped for a career in ministry with all the necessary tools to be a great leader in the Church."

Mary Kate Hosty '14
Campus Minister of Mercy Catholic High School in Detroit, Michigan

The baccalaureate degree in ministry studies (45-credits minimum) offers a variety of theological and pastoral courses, as well as some social science courses in psychology, sociology, and social work. However, the degree in ministry studies aims at empowering people for full-time ministry in the Christian church. It is a unique program, involving both ministry mentoring with a faculty member (every semester) and pastoral internships in community (every semester). Marian University’s ministry program is one of the finest and fewest Catholic undergraduate programs of its kind in the country. The program is focuses on preparing students for ministry and pastoral work within Christian churches.

Some of the core theological courses that students will take are:

  • THL 105: Introduction to Theology
  • THL 208: The Church
  • THL 218: Fundamental Moral Theology
  • THL 226: Old Testament
  • THL 228: New Testament
  • THL 336: Liturgy, Prayer, and Sacrament
  • THL 405: Jesus Christ & the Tripersonal God
  • THL 490: Senior Seminar & Capstone

Some of the pastoral courses that students may take in the program are:

  • THL 170: Theology & Spirituality of Ministry
  • THL 272: Pastoral Care & Spiritual Accompaniment
  • THL 361: Catechetical Theory
  • THL 371: Youth Ministry
  • THL 472: Multicultural Ministry
  • THL 474: Pastoral Administration

Some of the theological courses that students will take in the program are:

  • THL 232: History of Christian Thought
  • THL 308: Christian Unity & Diversity
  • THL 316: Theological Bioethics
  • THL 319: Sexual Ethics
  • THL 322: Catholic Social Teachings
  • THL 325: Poetic and Wisdom Literature
  • THL 330: Paul’s Life & Letters
  • THL 338: Christian Marriage
  • THL 423: Theologies from the Margin
  • THL 428: The Book of Revelation

Some of the social sciences courses that students may take in the program are:

  • PSY 101: General Psychology
  • PSY 220: Human Growth & Development
  • PSY 230: Abnormal Psychology
  • PSY 365: Psychology of Adolescence
  • SOC 101: Introduction to Sociology
  • SWK 110: Introduction to Social Work
  • PHL 350: God & Philosophy

Students who major in Pastoral Leadership are strongly encouraged to minor in one of the following disciplines: Psychology, Sociology, Social Work, or Spanish.


"Studying Pastoral Leadership challenged me to grow personally and professionally. The internships, courses, and professors empowered me to serve others more intentionally with my new knowledge and skill set."

Maureen “Mo” (Zopff) Prikkel ‘20 Pre-K-8 Campus Minister, Catholic Central School; Springfield, Ohio

What are your career paths?

There are numerous opportunities for graduates who have a B.A. in pastoral leadership. Based on your interests and gifts, some career paths you might choose include:

  • Coordinator of religious education
  • Parish youth minister
  • Campus minister
  • Theology teacher
  • Parish young adult minister
  • Parish pastoral associate
  • Adolescent pastoral care manager
  • Diocesan minister
  • Not-for-profit manager

Marian's bachelor's degree curriculum will also prepare you for continued study in a graduate program focused on theology, ministry, or seminary formation leading to ordination. You might also choose to pursue a master's or doctoral degree in fields like social work, mental health counseling, education, or law.


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Notice of Nondiscrimination
Marian University does not discriminate on the basis of race, ethnicity, color, sex, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, religion, creed, national origin, age or disabilities in the selection of administrative personnel, faculty and staff, and students.
*Placement rates are gathered from data collected from graduates within six months of graduation.

Students may make a complaint to the Indiana Commission of Higher Education.

Marian University is sponsored by the Sisters of St. Francis, Oldenburg, Indiana.

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