Studies & Degrees in Church Professions
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Church Profession is a program designed for students who want to devote their lives serving their churches through different disciplines. This major is self-explanatory in the sense that most, if not all, graduates end up working in the church or in organizations related to it such as leadership position in congregations, church-related schools, youth ministry programs, social ministry organizations, hospital, and agencies that provide long-term health care. Students are allowed to go through the different ministries that make up their churches to determine which ministry their skills and interest best match. This program will give students the opportunities to explore church professions, to combine their religion and selected professional field, to go through a supervised internship or practicum and then reflect on their learning and experiences.
Church Professions is an interdisciplinary program and, as mentioned above, students can choose among the different disciplines and end up in different ministries. These disciplines include healthcare management or long-term care administration wherein they are required to go through courses on business, accounting, and economics side by side with a minor in religion; education wherein students are prepared to become Christian day-school teachers by taking courses in Bible, theology, and education; and music wherein students can enhance their musical talent, with choral emphasis, to prepare them for music ministry service. Other disciplines include family ministry wherein students take a minor in child and family studies or parent and family education program; and youth ministry where students are required to take minor courses in psychology or in child and family studies.
This interdisciplinary program is also taken by students who want to continue serving the church as ordained parish pastors. Pre-seminary preparation prepares students for higher education in the seminary by giving them liberal arts background, which is preferred by most seminaries, and by giving them major or minor religion, Greek, and philosophy courses. Church profession is also taken by students as a pre-professional preparation for a professional church position such as parish nurse. The position of parish nurse is of course given to certified nurses; undergraduate students can take this program and gain initial exposure and preparation through the different courses offered by their respective institutions. Parish nurses serve in churches and congregations as a health educator, health counselor, volunteer coordinator, referral source, and integrator of faith and health issues.
Another important discipline that Church Profession students can choose is to major in Social Work. All across the world, there is a constant need for licensed social worker trained and devoted to working in church-related social ministry organizations and institutions. Students will take minor courses on religion and major courses in social work. They will also have to go through a practicum and pass the licensure exam to become a certified social worker.