Ministry studies trains students as religiously-committed leaders for church and society in the 21st century by balancing theory and best practices with scholarship, application, and direct experience. The program is about local church ministry, congregational life, and faith formation across the life span: how it informs and impacts every aspect of church life.
Students are taught how to work with various age levels. They have opportunities with a variety of church-related positions and ministries or to enter seminary in preparation for ordained ministry. Courses support individuals in their discernment process as to God’s call in their lives and in preparation for professional positions such as lay or ordained ministers, Christian education/faith formation directors, youth ministry, outdoor and recreational ministry, missionaries, and program and resource developers.
Student internships take place in local Defiance area settings where students work with ministers and lay leaders or faith-based agencies to develop and nurture varied and challenging ministries.
Benefits of the Program
See also: Religious Studies major
Religious or Ministry Studies as a Minor
Both the religious and ministry studies program minors work well in tandem with other majors. Recent graduates and current students added religious or ministry studies minors to majors such as: criminal justice, English, exercise science, communication studies, social work, and psychology.
For further information, consult with your advisor and/or a member of the religion
and ministry studies faculty.
After College — What’s Next?
Both the religious and ministry studies programs offer students the opportunity to explore their vocation and calling as faith community leaders, religious educators, and practitioners through two programs of study that allow for focus in:
Seminaries and graduate schools attended by our graduates include Harvard, Eden, Lancaster,
Andover-Newton, United of the Twin Cities, Chicago Theological Seminary, The University
of Chicago, Yale Divinity School, The University of Dayton, United Theological Seminary
of Dayton, The University of Denver, Loyola University, Methodist Theological School
in Ohio, Christian Theological School (Disciples of Christ), and Concordia Theological
"In four years here, I’ve matured in so many ways. I’m a whole different person. I’ve
seen the world. I did real research on the ground in Cambodia. Frankly, I don’t think
I would have gotten into Harvard without the impressive experience I’ve had at Defiance.
Plus, my degree in ministry studies is a huge advantage. I’ve already been in churches
doing academic work through internships."
--Philip Balla, 2015 Graduate
Marian R. Plant, Ed.D.
Professor of Religious and Ministry Studies
Schauffler Chair of Christian Education