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Biblical and Ministry Studies

Department of Humanities

Karen Fisher Younger, Ph.D., Chair




The goal of the Biblical and Ministry Studies major is to provide lay and ordained leadership for the Church of Jesus Christ in the service of the world. The approach will be academically rigorous, inherently practical, ecumenical, and non-sectarian in character. Graduates may exercise leadership in a variety of settings: congregations, college campuses, schools, community-based agencies, international mission fields, medical and/or military settings. Students may utilize the Religion and Philosophy Option to prepare for theological seminary in view of ordained ministry or for university graduate study in religious studies or philosophy. Students who complete some options (children and youth, Christian mission, or media) may combine them with other major and minor academic programs. Students who complete those same options will contribute to more facets of church ministry and/or will find greater vocational flexibility when they complete one or more additional ministry skill areas (see options).

Learning objectives of the major will be fulfilled when our students:

  • master Biblical content commensurate with an undergraduate level of study;
  • employ various scholarly methods for investigating the Bible that results in critical thinking and writing about the sacred text, its multiple literary forms, the historical setting out of which it arises, the history of its interpretation and its application in our world today;
  • acquire a competence to articulate the doctrines of various historically Christian theological and ecclesiastical traditions;
  • analyze the relationship between Christian faith and other major world religions;
  • utilize domestic and international mission experiences as laboratories for learning the content of the Bible, for reflection on personal ministry formation, and for the analysis of and engagement with pressing global and social concerns;
  • practice and hone written and oral communication skills for professional competence in ministry or in preparation for theological seminary;
  • engage in substantive reflection on the relationship between theory and practice in the various options (children and youth, drama, media, and international missions);
  • integrate critical reading, academic analysis, and professional skill development with the performance of ministry in congregations or campus ministries while they are enrolled in the departmental practicum and in the disciplinary internship;
  • develop a personal mission statement that articulates application of a worldview consistent with the many expressions of historic Christianity;
  • cooperate with the Office of the Chaplain of the University to provide student leadership for campus and community ministry for the purpose of personal spiritual formation; and
  • satisfy the recommendations of the Association of Theological Schools for admission to seminary or divinity school when they complete the religion and philosophy major.

While Biblical and Ministry Studies offer a variety of academic options, it also includes courses that fulfill the University’s General Education Requirements. These courses examine the scriptures and the history of their interpretation from the multiple perspectives of content, methodology, interpretation, and application. In keeping with the spirit of liberal education, these courses are not intended to indoctrinate students nor disparage their religious commitments. Such courses will expect, however, that while students are engaged in the academic study of Christian faith, they will give thought to personal questions and may find answers to some of those questions within the framework of their growing knowledge. Biblical and Ministry Studies courses at Waynesburg University seek to provide students with a clearer and deeper understanding of the nature of Christian faith within the context of open inquiry.