So you want to study the Bible. Congratulations! Whether you’re a high school senior, college student, or working professional, the opportunity to study Scripture is an immense blessing and will help you in your ministry and personal life. But what about professionally? If you’re not sure what kind of jobs or fields you can get into with a biblical studies degree, here are some ideas to get you started!
Many people who study biblical studies go on to earn graduate degrees (MDiv, MAR, ThM) and become pastors. A degree in biblical studies will provide a biblical and theological framework that will help prepare you to serve as a leader and visionary in the church, society, and world.
Here are a few different options:
- Associate Pastor
- Children’s Pastor
- Youth Pastor
- Teaching Pastor
- Community Life Pastor
- Spiritual Development Pastor
A Christian missionary is anyone who is commissioned by the Lord to make disciples. While many Christians think that missionaries are people who leave their homes and go to a developing nation to evangelize, missionaries come in all shapes and sizes.
There are many missionaries who go to “First World” countries to witness and build a community in Christ. Some are long-term missionaries who work in community development or plant churches. Others are short-term missionaries and spend time teaching English as a form of ministry.
As all Christians are called to be ambassadors of Christ, a degree in biblical studies will prepare anyone seeking to preach, teach, and share the gospel in order to transform the lives of others.
Many churches have full-time staff members, and a degree in biblical studies can help secure a job as a director of a branch of ministry in the church. As directors lead teams, make decisions, and work closely with other church members, it is important that they have a biblical foundation upon which to base their decisions.
There are many different kinds of directors in the church:
- Children’s Programs Director
- Youth Director
- Worship Director
- Women’s Ministry Director
Some biblical studies majors go on to become teachers. To teach in the public school system, you will have to earn certifications from the State. However, some private schools, including many Christian schools, do not require teacher certification, so a degree in biblical studies will provide you with a model for Christian education and give you a leg up on your competitors.
Those who major in biblical studies spend much of their time reading, writing, analyzing, and interpreting Scripture. As a result, many go on to find employment as writers and editors. A degree in biblical studies can help you become a writer and editor for both Christian and non-Christian magazines, newspapers, and various online platforms.
A chaplain is typically a minister who provides religious services and counsel. If you feel called to serve as a minister but want to focus on a specific ministry, consider working as a chaplain. As a chaplain, you can serve a variety of contexts depending on your gifts and passions. You can work in places like the following institutions:
- US Military (Army, Navy, Coast Guard, Marine Corps, Air Force)
- Professional Sports Teams
- Police/Fire Department
Human Service Worker
Many students who are interested in majoring in Bible have a heart for serving those in need and pursue further education to work in counseling and social services fields. Some popular careers in these fields include the following:
- Case Worker
- Family and Child Social Worker
- Substance Abuse Counselor
- Probation Officer
- School Guidance Counselor
- Public Health Social Workers
- Mental Health Counselor
- Clinical Psychologist
If you have a strong interest in the Christian faith and have a desire to help and serve others, a degree in biblical studies may be right for you. Although many people think that biblical studies majors only go on to become pastors, your college major can lead you to many jobs, fields, and even to graduate school to pursue another vocation or specialization. Your undergraduate degree is just the beginning!
What’s the point?
The need of this world is enormous. People all around the world are dying daily without the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The harvest is ripe. The call is urgent. The laborers are few.
Why take time to go through Bible training at all? Can’t you study the Bible on your own, anywhere or at anytime, instead of taking so much precious time away from pursuing missions to do your own personal study? What is the point of Bible college before missionary training?
Although the rushed feeling of wanting to get to the field as fast as possible is understandable, we at New Tribes Mission believe that the individual Bible training of a missionary before they head to the field is of vital importance for a number of reasons:
A missionary who is adequately trained in the Word will more effectively communicate that Word.
Planting churches that are strong in their knowledge of the Word is one of the most important parts of missions. A missionary who has been trained in the Word will have much more ability to communicate truth when he himself has a deep understanding of it.
A missionary who has a deep understanding of how the truths of the Bible affect him as an individual will be able to function more effectively in ministry.
Missionary work is no easy task. Often the road to reaching a people group is long, arduous, and full of obstacles. If a missionary finds his identity in Christ and lives in the truth of the Word rather than how things seem to be going at any particular moment, he will be much more likely to persevere and flourish in the midst of trials and difficulties.
A missionary who comprehends the grand scheme of God’s plan for mankind through the Word will be more equipped to minister to lost people.
The idea of missions is, after all, God’s idea, and it is in His Word that He lays out His vision of redemption for all to see. Simply knowing the Great Commission of Matthew 28 is one thing, but grasping the big picture behind it is another. Seeing God’s heart from the beginning of the story to the end will greatly affect the missionary’s view of ministry and people. God’s heart for
mankind is the reason missions exists, and a missionary who knows God’s heart well will be ready to reach out in love to the people He seeks to redeem.
The need of this world is enormous. People are dying every day without the gospel of Jesus Christ. And what they need is the Word. In it, God has communicated everything they need to have true life – real, eternal, liberating life. If the missionary desires to tell unbelievers about this abundant life that Jesus promised, then being trained in the Word will be key to his preparation for the task.