Online Pastoral Studies Degree Program

Southwestern College Professional Studies offers a Pastoral Studies program designed to provide learners with a balanced mix of theoretical and applied studies. It is designed to help learners increase and develop knowledge of their faith so they can more effectively minister within any Protestant Christian denomination. In our Pastoral Studies degree program, course curriculum includes Bible Survey, Philosophy of Religion, Theological Systems and Issues, and more. As a result of completing the Pastoral Studies degree program, learners will be prepared to be lead pastors in a local church or parachurch organization. They will also acquire the necessary theological training to pursue graduate studies and obtain ordination. If you have been searching for Christian colleges in Kansas, Southwestern College Professional Studies can help. This program teaches future pastors how to interpret and understand biblical texts in both their original context as well as a contemporary setting.

If you’re looking for theology schools in Kansas, consider our Pastoral Studies program. Contact an admissions counselor today for more information.

Download Flyer
Builders In Ministry Blog
Southwestern College Chapel

Program Outcomes

Southwestern College’s Pastoral Studies program provides learners with a balanced mix of theoretical and applied studies. It is designed to help learners increase and develop knowledge of their faith so that they can more effectively minister within any Protestant Christian denomination. As a result of completing the Pastoral Studies degree, learners will be prepared to be lead pastors in a local church or parachurch organization. They will also acquire the necessary theological training to pursue graduate studies and obtain ordination.

Program Outcomes:

  1. Refine critical thinking skills to effectively analyze and summarize arguments.
  2. Demonstrate an understanding of biblical books in their original contexts.
  3. Determine the significance of biblical books for contemporary ministry settings.
  4. Apply basic principles involved in interpreting biblical texts.
  5. Evaluate the historical development of religious and philosophical thought.
  6. Familiarize themselves with the heritage and structure of their chosen denomination.
  7. Utilize concepts learned throughout the program in a hands-on practicum setting.

Required and Core Courses

Foundation Courses

CORE101 Developing Academic and Professional Strengths
CORE110 Information Literacy
ENGL101 Composition I
ENGL102 Composition II
COM 125 Speech
Mathematics Requirement*
HUM 201 Ethics
COM 301 Professional Communication

Disciplinary Perspective Courses

Humanities (6 credits)
Natural Sciences/Mathematics (4 credits)
Social Sciences (6 credits)

Major Courses

HUM 301 Critical Thinking
THEO200 Bible Survey
THEO215 Understanding the Old Testament
THEO216 Understanding the New Testament
THEO301 Systematic Theology I
THEO302 Systematic Theology II
THEO320 Philosophy of Religion
THEO333 The Church: Origins to the Middle Ages
THEO334 The Church: Renaissance to the Present
THEO340 Texts and Their Meanings
THEO401 Theological Systems and Issues
THEO415 Denominational Heritage and Structure
MIN 454 Practicum in Ministry

* MASC110 Statistics & Probability, or MASC115 College Algebra, or more advanced college credit bearing mathematics course requiring college algebra or higher as a prerequisite

Course Descriptions

HUM 301 Critical Thinking

This course prepares learners to critically interpret, synthesize, analyze and evaluate information. It is designed to introduce learners to complex problems and help them come to well-reasoned conclusions and solutions.

THEO200 Bible Survey

This course provides an introduction to the basic content of the Biblical books. The main objective of this course is to help learners gain a solid overview and to discern major scriptural themes.

THEO215 Understanding the Old Testament

Learners in this course undertake a study of the Hebrew scriptures, seeking to understand them in their original context and thus their significance for today. Prerequisite: THEO200

THEO216 Understanding the New Testament

This course covers the origin and development of the Christian religion as expressed in the New Testament. We will seek to understand the Christian scriptures in their original context and thus their significance for today. Prerequisites: THEO200 and THEO215

THEO301 Systematic Theology I

This course provides an introduction to the best practices of Christian thinkers to equip pastors and youth pastors with interpretive tools for helping people understand the Christian faith. The focus of this course is on methods (critical tools) for the interpretive role of pastor/youth pastor. Recommended Prerequisite: PHIL225

THEO302 Systematic Theology II

This course provides a study of the core teachings of the Christian faith and the means by which the church through the centuries has come to organize these teachings. This course shows the deep internal relationships between the various teachings and how they shape both individual and communal Christian life.

THEO320 Philosophy of Religion

This course is an inquiry into the general subject of religion from the philosophical point of view. Among the specific questions considered are: the nature, function, and value of religion; the validity of the claims of religious knowledge; the nature of evil; and the existence and character of deity.

THEO333 The Church: Origins to the Middle Ages

This course introduces learners to the major movements, personalities and ideas that have shaped Christian thought and practice through the centuries. It also links these matters to issues the contemporary church and world are facing. The course covers the time frame from the church’s beginnings to approximately 1300 CE/AD.

THEO334 The Church: Renaissance to the Present

This course is an extension of THEO333 and follows the same approach; it introduces learners to major thinkers, ideas, and movements that shape today’s church and helps learners to see their significance for understanding today’s church and world. Although it is best to take the courses in order, THEO334 may be taken prior to taking THEO333.

THEO340 Texts and Their Meanings

This course provides an introduction to the basic principles involved in interpreting and understanding texts. The course will look at such questions as the relationship and understanding between author, the text, the reader(s), and the community in which these materials come together. Recommended prerequisite: THEO200

THEO401 Theological Systems and Issues

This course provides a brief review of theological method and a survey of well-known modern systems of Christian thought including process, liberation, feminist, and neo orthodox/evangelical theory. Recommended prerequisites: THEO301 and 302

THEO415 Denominational Heritage and Structure

This course is designed to assist learners in the knowledge of their chosen denomination as it relates to the universal Church. Independent research and personalized instruction will be part of the learning process.

MIN 454 Practicum in Ministry

The practicum involves real work experience in a ministry setting. The practicum should allow significant application of concepts learned throughout the program of study. Approval forms for the practicum are available on the forms page. The form requires a complete description of the work to be undertaken, the basis for grading, and the signatures of the learner, off-campus supervisor, and the supervising instructor. It is to be returned to a Professional Studies office at the time of enrollment for the course.

Admission Requirements

Entering learners must have earned at least 6 college credits from previous college coursework or ACE evaluated military training, a GPA of 2.0, and have three years of work experience. Transfer hours accepted for Professional Studies admittance should include English Composition I and II, and mathematics (college algebra preferred). These courses may be considered in transfer or completed at Southwestern College.

Contact a program representative to evaluate your options.

Graduation Requirements

A total of 124 credit hours must be earned to graduate. You must have at least 60 credit hours from a four-year university or college and at least 30 hours from Southwestern College (does not include prior learning experience credits). Of the 30 hours required from Southwestern, 15 of the last 30 hours earned toward your degree must be at Southwestern College. Contact your Academic Success Coach for more information.

Meta

Southwestern College’s pastoral studies program provides learners with preparation for graduate study, for professional study, or for a wide range of occupations for those persons pursuing service within any Protestant Christian denomination.