Follow Christ, Lead the Way

The Bachelor of Arts in Student Ministry prepares students for student ministry positions in the local church. Graduates demonstrate expertise in adolescent spiritual development and the ability to exegete the culture in application to the students and the local church. It is designed to develop high-capacity student pastors, trained, and equipped to lead the new generation of the church with excellence.


On completion of the program, students should be able to:
  • Interpret Scripture accurately in its literary, canonical, and historical context using the inductive Bible study method.
  • Address contemporary challenges and questions in light of Scripture and classic Christian teaching, particularly Wesleyan-Arminian theology.
  • Describe their Christian calling and philosophy of ministry.
  • Demonstrate skills for leading an effective student ministry including volunteer management, organization, and staff development in churches and associated venues.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of student ministry praxis associated with adolescent spiritual development as it interfaces with contemporary societal influences and issues.
  • Exhibit Christ-like character in religious and secular contexts.
This degree program is available in the following format:

Explore the full enrichment of the traditional collegiate experience and make new friends on our lively campus in Circleville Ohio. Serves 17-24 year-old undergraduate students.

MAJOR63 Hours

*24 credit hours at the 3000-level or above

Biblical Studies18
  • Biblical interpretation electives6
  • Old Testament book or corpus study3
  • New Testament book or corpus study3
  • Biblical studies electives6
Biblical Theology3

Biblical theology proper, biblical-theological approaches to select theological topics (e.g., sexuality), Christian hermeneutics.

Systematic and Historical Theology15

Systematic theology classes (e.g., Systematic Theology I), historical theology (e.g., Survey of Church History I), systematic and historical approaches to select theological topics (e.g., holiness).

Student Ministry27
  • Introduction to ministering to adolescents, including adolescent development, personal calling, programming, discipleship strategies, volunteer retainment, and personal philosophy.
  • The study and implementation of effective communication habits and strategies to students, parents, church staff, and leaders. Topics include navigating difficult subjects and conversations with students, leading a parent meeting, and developing a sermon series.
  • Cultural trends in adolescent and family lifestyles, values and issues, and their relationship to ministry. Developmental issues involving families with adolescents. Designing and implementing family-based youth ministry programs.
  • Practical experience in event, camp, mission trip, and conference leadership. Focusing on strategy, philosophy, and execution, students will seek to understand what role these major turning points play in a student’s adolescent spiritual development.
  • Past and present models of ministry and a personal formulation of one’s philosophy of ministry.
  • Introduces the principles and skills necessary to faithfully interpret and effectively communicate Scripture through preaching. Students complete practical application assignments and deliver sermons.
  • Methods for leveraging adolescent development for effective Student Ministry discipleship practices by conceptualizing student growth and implementing effective strategies in the local church with intentionality and a comprehensive understanding of adolescent development. The course emphasizes connecting orthodoxy to orthopraxy as the mark of an effective student pastor and prioritizes students’ faith development.
  • Programs, materials, and methods currently used in youth ministry. Topics include worship, ministry opportunities, discipleship, biblical education, and fellowship.
    Prerequisite: MIN1025
  • A supervised internship of at least 6 weeks and 120 hours in which the student gains practical Christian ministries experience in an approved local church or parachurch organization.
    Prerequisites: Approval of internship by program director.

Graduation Requirements:

In addition to the courses listed on this page, graduates must meet the requirements listed here, including:

  • A General Education Core
    • Associate degrees – 36 credit hours
    • Bachelor’s degrees – 45 credit hours
  • Minimum credit hours
    • Associate degrees – 60 credit hours
    • Bachelor’s degrees – 120 credit hours
  • Notes:

    1. Some majors require more credit hours than the listed minimums.
    2. Students choose elective courses to complete credit hour requirements.
    3. Electives may apply toward a minor, certificate, associate degree, or second major.
    4. Sometimes a course required in a student’s major can also fulfill a requirement in the GenEd core. (See notes on the individual major pages.)

Find complete information in the OCU Academic Catalog.

Contact the University Registrar's Office if you have graduation questions: 1 (740) 477-7780 or