What is Education Ministry?
When you think of going to college for a degree in ministry, what do you think of? Biblical Studies, Biblical Languages, and Youth Ministry typically come to mind. These degrees and others are great at preparing people for church work as pastors, speakers, and leaders. But what about those people who want to teach the Bible in church or parachurch settings? That’s where educational ministries comes in. What is education ministry?
Created, taught, and directed by Dr. Christy Hill, the educational ministries major at Grace College serves to prepare ministry leaders for educational settings in and outside of the church. Hill describes educational ministries as “a multidisciplinary approach to reach the whole person with the fullness of life in Christ. It equips students to create educational programming in faith communities that encompass the cradle to grave experience of life on this planet.”
So how did this major come to be? What are the key components of the degree? And who are the students it attracts? Keep reading to find out!
The Woman Behind the Degree
Hill’s educational background focuses on Christian education. She received her bachelor’s degree in Christian education from Wheaton College, her Master’s of Arts in Christian Education from Talbot School of Theology, and her Ph.D. in Educational Studies from Talbot School of Theology. One of Hill’s greatest passions is helping people bridge the gap between having correct beliefs and acting those beliefs out.
In the process of creating the educational ministry major, one of Hill’s core objectives was to put theory and practice hand-in-hand. Major-specific classes (i.e. Foundations of Educational Ministry, Relational Skills for Ministry, etc.) include insightful discussions about the implications of the content. They also have a heavy emphasis on application and provide students with space to reflect on what has been learned. Hill designed these courses from the ground up, starting with learning objectives, then choosing the material that would help students complete that objective, and finally, designing activities to further assist in that process.
“I want students to know the ‘so what’ and the ‘now what’ of good theory, so that they are able to implement these principles into their skill set and refine them for continued growth,” said Hill.
The Classes Within the Degree
From an academic perspective, the best way to answer, “What is education ministry?”, is by looking at the major checksheet. The educational ministry degree has nine basic Bible courses that are meant to provide a strong foundation in knowledge of Scripture and living the Christian life. There are two classes dedicated to the Old Testament and two dedicated to the New Testament. The Bible exposition classes take a deep dive into one or two books in order to understand the purpose of the book, the author’s intention, and the different approaches to interpretation.
There are six specialization courses that focus on people, specifically how the mind works and how to engage in relationships. Classes such as “Foundations of Educational Ministries” give students the chance to plan and teach Bible lesson plans using the guidelines taught in the course. All of these classes are applicational and meant to give a fuller picture of ministry after college.
Finally, all students get to pick two classes from a variety of subjects. This allows students to specialize their classes towards counseling, education, missions, or Christian foundations.
The flexibility of this major provides students with a well-rounded education and comprehensive ministry preparation. But don’t just take our word for it, there are many students and alumni who have engaged in this degree to be prepared for a life of ministry. Find out what educational ministry means to them and how they landed on the degree.
Hometown: Warsaw, IN
Graduation Year: 2024
Desired Career: Missionary or a Non-Profit Leader
What is Education Ministry to You?: The discipline of learning how to learn and grow up into Christ through spiritual growth, discipleship, and outreach.
Peyton has a heart for discipleship. She chose to major in educational ministry for its focus on people and practicality in applying the material to everyday ministry. Peyton values having the right theological information and applying it to the life of an everyday believer.
Hometown: Goshen, IN
Graduation Year: 2014
Current Career: Director of Children’s Ministry at Christ’s Covenant Church in Winona Lake, IN
What is Education Ministry to You?: A range of what a biblical education looks like from children through adults.
Weddle began his time at Grace as an elementary and special education major. He became a believer at Grace and felt called to ministry with children. When this major was introduced, he jumped at the opportunity. He felt that the degree emphasized following the example of Jesus as the Master Teacher as well as preparing to serve a variety of ages in the church.
Homewtown: Auburn, IN
Graduation Year: 2023
Desired Career: Children’s Coordinator/Director
What is Education Ministry to You?: Teaching with a biblical focus. Our goal is to lead and equip students to engage with God’s word and grow in Christlikeness.
Ruse enjoys working with children. During her first year at Grace, she discovered that her main passion did not lie in teaching academic subjects, but the Bible. The major excited her because it was an opportunity to learn to effectively communicate the Bible to children with a relational/soul care component. She feels most edified by content that focuses on how to connect with people and show Christ-like care for them.
Hometown: Sleepy Hollow, IL
Graduation Year: 2023
Desired Career: Women’s Ministry Leader
What is Education Ministry to You?: Teaching, but with a specific focus on the Bible and the body of Christ.
Riggins enjoys writing Bible studies for women. She came to Grace with a desire to communicate the message of the Bible effectively. Her favorite class so far has been “Foundations of Educational Ministry” because its content and application points specifically focus on teaching and how to get content across.
Hometown: Indianapolis, IN
Graduation Year: 2022
Desired Career: Mentorship Program with Children
What is Education Ministry to You?: The study of general educational principles in the realm of ministry.
Burger loves to walk alongside people in their walk with God. She enjoys this major because it builds a strong biblical foundation while placing equal emphasis on people-skills, compassion, and leadership. Her favorite classes have been Spiritual Formation and Relational Skills for Ministry.
Hometown: Vancouver, WA
Graduation Year: 2020
Desired Career: Something in the local church, as a counselor, or on the mission field
What is Education Ministry to You?: A degree that includes theological training with an emphasis in teaching and human development.
Abrahamson is passionate about psychology and the Bible. He chose education ministry because it allowed him to explore both passions and determine which career path he actually wants to pursue. He especially enjoyed the Psychology of Religion and Communication & Conflict Management classes because they pushed him to study things beyond the scope of the class.
If you’re looking for a major that emphasizes biblical knowledge, relational skills, and leadership training, educational ministries is right for you!! Check out our Lancer Application and the educational ministries checksheet to get started today.