The Next Step in Your Church Career

Follow your calling to religious leadership

Establish yourself as a religious leader with the online BA in Christian Leadership at Bethel University. Designed for those seeking to advance their careers within their churches or Christian organizations, our online Christian leadership degree program helps you gain the skills and credibility you need to become a frontrunner in your calling.

Featuring a comprehensive curriculum, this degree combines in-depth theological studies with the practical training you need to effectively lead a faith community. Our course of study incorporates growth of the whole person, covering everything from biblical interpretation to the Christian world mission to discipleship.

At Bethel, you’ll study with professors who have extensive theological and philosophical knowledge and ministry experience. With years of experience and a passion for instruction, they’re here to make sure you thrive as a student and a professional.

Because this program is offered fully online, you’ll have the opportunity to earn your degree while still maintaining your work and life commitments. Courses begin six times a year, which means you can study at a pace that works for you. All courses can also be taken asynchronously.

Accreditation & Memberships

Bethel is a member of the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities (CCCU) and is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission to grant bachelor’s and master’s degrees. The Higher Learning Commission is one of six regional accrediting agencies in the United States. Institutional accreditation evaluates an entire institution and accredits it as a whole.


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Request more information about this program and gain access to our knowledgeable enrollment team.

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Program Details

Next Start Date: 10/18/2020
Credit Hours: 120
Cost/Credit: $415
Transfer Credits: Up to 90
Est. Completion Time: 2-4 Years
Accreditation: HLC


Chad Meister

Chair, Department of Religion and Philosophy

David McCabe

Missionary Church Endowed Professor of Biblical Theology

Terry Linhart

Dean, Adult and Graduate Studies

Kent Eby

Associate Professor of Mission

Cami Brubaker

Adjunct Professor of Old Testament and Hebrew

Course Requirements

Bethel’s online Christian leadership degree combines a rigorous curriculum with opportunities to develop spiritual maturity and growth. The program consists of general education, general electives, and major courses.

General education courses offer an introduction to the arts and sciences within a college setting. Through this comprehensive course of study, students will gain appreciation for a broad range of subjects and build the skills necessary to succeed in higher education. Thirty-six credit hours are required of general education courses.

Electives allow students to dive deeper into a wide range of subjects, and provide the opportunity to tailor a course of study based on interests and academic goals. Students are required to earn 45 credit hours of electives.

  • Students may transfer credit from other accredited institutions, provided the courses are equivalent to required Bethel courses and the student earned a grade of C or better.
  • CLEP testing available for select courses.
  • BIBL 201: Biblical Interpretation
  • BIBL 331: Pentateuch & Historical Books
  • BIBL 332 or 333: Poetic Books/Old Testament Prophets
  • BIBL 341: Jesus & the Gospels
  • BIBL 342 or 343: Acts & Paul or General Epistles
  • MIN 210: The Christian World Mission
  • MIN 215: Foundations of Christian Ministry
  • MIN 310: Evangelism & Discipleship
  • MIN 320: Fundamentals of Christian Leadership
  • MIN 441: Homiletics
  • THEO 310: Systematic Theology I
  • XXX: Ministry/Theology/Bible/Youth Ministry

Admission Requirements

Candidates for Bethel’s online christian leadership degree will need to submit the following:
  • Online undergraduate application
  • Official transcripts (in sealed envelopes) from high school or GED programs, or undergraduate work if you have completed 30+ hours

Students who have not taken the SAT, ACT, or earned previous college credit in reading, writing and math must take three online placement tests through College Success.

Tuition and Fees

Bethel has long been touted for its value. We were ranked No. 2 on Washington Monthly’s Best Bang for the Buck-Midwest list, listed as one of the 50 Best Value Christian Colleges, and have made it to the top tier of U.S. News & World Report’s “Best Regional Universities-Midwest” list for 15 consecutive years.

*Fees are charged per semester unless otherwise noted. This program takes an estimated four to eight semesters to complete, depending on transfer credits.

Payment Plan:

The college has a monthly installment plan available through Tuition Management Systems. The fee to use this plan is $40. The payment plan is available through the college’s business office. Enrollment and budget adjustments can be completed online by accessing or by calling 800-722-4867.

Financial Aid

Bethel University is committed to ensuring that all our students receive an affordable education.

We offer financial aid based on need, and military benefits and are proud to offer extraordinarily competitive tuition rates.

FAFSA Information

To learn more about your financial aid options or submit a FAFSA, please see our Financial Aid page.

View Financial Aid

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Transfer Credits

Bethel is committed to helping you make the most of your previous educational experiences. Visit our Transfer Credits page to learn more.

Transfer Your Credits

Career Outcomes

Our Christian leadership online degree can lead to any number of exciting and rewarding careers, and even serve as a stepping stone to further study. Here are just a few options available to graduates. Career information taken from

Senior pastors serve as the main point of leadership for churches and their members. They may be responsible for planning worship services, writing sermons, counseling congregants, conducting ceremonies such as weddings and funerals, and additionally overseeing administrative functions within the church. These individuals earn a median annual salary of $57,392.

Youth pastors are responsible for creating and facilitating ministry services for children and teenagers. They may be called to lead bible studies, recruit students for mission trips, promote community service, provide counseling services, work with families, and a host of related duties. These individuals earn a median annual salary of $36,583.

Church administrators are responsible for daily operations of the church. They may create budgets, oversee church communications, coordinate volunteers, schedule events, and handle a host of other duties. These individuals earn a median annual salary of $38,642.

Benefits of Learning Online

An online degree can open doors to your career while allowing you to study in a convenient, affordable format.

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Request Information

Learn more about this program and other online academic opportunities at Bethel. Once you complete this form, here’s what you can expect from us:

  • A friendly phone call. We’ll contact you within 24 hours, ready to answer all of your questions.
  • Personalized treatment. You’ll get immediate access to your own dedicated and knowledgeable enrollment counselor. They’ll ask you more about your goals at Bethel, and walk you through everything you need to know to apply.

Begin Your Bethel Journey