Accredited bible colleges are becoming the college of choice for many young people and returning adult students who want to study aspects of the Protestant faith. The vast majority of accredited bible colleges are geared towards those with a Protestant background. Many students attending bible college do so to prepare to become a pastor, minister or director of a church. Those working in management at a church with a large congregation may also attend bible college for theology studies. Working in management or doing administrative work for a large church can also involve business courses. It all depends on what you hope to do after obtaining your associates or bachelor degree from a bible college.
For the most part, those working for an evangelical church of Protestant faith will attend bible college to learn theology and leadership roles within the church. There is a focus on philosophy at bible college versus traditional theology programs. The most common programs at bible colleges are bible studies (sometimes called biblical studies) or Christian ministries. Many accredited bible colleges have programs for Christian music or Christian education. All of these programs are usually a mix of traditional music or education programs with a Christian slant focusing on Protestant values and beliefs.
Accredited bible colleges are accredited by the Association for Bible Higher Education in the United States. Many bible colleges are not accredited and are allowed to operate since bible colleges do not typically abide by one curriculum. To work as a pastor or minister at a church, a degree is not usually required. In the time of extremely large congregations with tens of thousands of members, the pool is becoming more competitive. Pastors and ministers for large congregations that run like a business are often required to have some sort of formal education. Those who work in youth programs for a large congregation often have degrees in early development or general education. They may also attend bible college to further study the practices and ideas behind what they’ll be teaching students.
What can I do with a degree from a bible college?
The majority of people who attend bible college have already carved out a position for themselves at a church. This is usually a homegrown minister or director who becomes involved in the church in a major way early on in life. A teen may become involved in the youth program at a church, organize events and be active in the Christian community. From here, he or she may want to become a pastor or minister. Bible college is the natural step to prepare a person to take on these leadership positions in a church. Bible college focuses on philosophy and teaching others how to implement the Christian faith in every day life. It is about motivating a congregation, inspiring church goers and enhancing the message of the Bible so people feel it ingrained in their lives.
Outside of education and training, a person should have a natural gift for speaking in front of groups of people. Charisma and a sensible ease when you speak are essential to being an effective pastor or minister. Some pastors and ministers preach to thousands of people or may be broadcast live on the Internet or on television channels. It’s important to connect with the audience so he or she feels they are attending church regardless of where they physically are.
Those working in the administrative department of a church may also attend bible college. This is the case when a congregation begins to grow at a rapid pace. Congregations with thousands or tens of thousands of members require the same organization and management of a corporation. In these director and administrative positions, you need people who are innovative, able to contribute new ideas and promote the church’s message with everyone they come in contact with. Large churches host events and have many activities going on at once. Those who attend bible college and want to become part of the church staff typically have a long relationship with a certain church. Many return to school to become qualified for a higher position within the church’s administrative staff.
When seeking an accredited bible college, ask if there is a career placement program. Some churches require you have a certain number of intern-type hours before hiring you full-time. This can be completed at any church, but you may have trouble finding a church that will take you on. Sign up for Christian organizations in your area to network and build contacts that may potentially become job leads after you have your degree.