Christian Ministries Major

George Fox Christian ministries majors study at a top Christian college.

Sensing a call to serve God and others in full-time Christian service? George Fox University’s bachelor’s degree in Christian Ministries enables graduates to succeed in ministry, whether in formal church settings; youth ministry; missions; education or parachurch organizations; in service-related professions like nursing, counseling or social work; or in the marketplace as a person of faith.

Possible fields of emphasis include theology and vocation, cross-cultural ministry and youth ministry. For more information on the course requirements of the degree and each concentration, see the current academic catalog.

At the center of the program is the conviction that the Christian faith is relevant to all of life. Our professors draw from the best of George Fox’s evangelical and Quaker heritage. Their research includes historical social justice issues; theological and historical studies in the Wesleyan tradition; theology in a global context; worship and homiletics; and Christianity and culture.

Choose from three concentrations:

This concentration equips students interested in serving in cross-cultural ministry contexts in the United States and overseas. Within the cross-cultural ministry course sequence, students explore foundational topics such as the biblical theology of mission, the historical development of the global church, issues and trends in contemporary mission, and contextual methods for cross-cultural ministry.

In addition to the core courses, students engage in practical cross-cultural ministry experiences through the semester abroad program and via internships in local churches, nonprofit organizations, or parachurch organizations. Graduates of the cross-cultural ministry emphasis enter into professional fields such as international relief and development, medical missions, urban ministry, international missions work, Bible translation, pastoral ministry, and teaching English as a second language (TESOL).

The theology and vocation concentration forms students into reflective practitioners, able to think deeply about the theological and practical implications of their vocational calling. Over the course of four consecutive semesters, students participate in a cohort learning community of 12 to 18 students, called theological praxis, that invites them to explore their personality, spiritual formation, theological commitments, their relationship to God, the church and the world, and real-life application of these areas to contemporary critical issues.

This unique kind of immersive learning community creates rich relationships that allow for deep exploration of intellectual and experience hands-on, embodied practical ministry together. Cohorts are open to Christian ministries majors, minors or those majoring in other disciplines who wish to explore applied theology in their vocational context. New cohorts begin in the fall.

In the Youth Ministry concentration, students are prepared for ministry with adolescents in either church or parachurch settings. Its four-course sequence gives students tools for ministry that include theological and philosophical foundations for ministry; tangible and practical skills for leading small and large groups; theologically reflective skills for engaging with adolescents and pop culture; and fundamental tools for counseling.

With the conviction that practical field experience in ministry is the best way to develop ministry skills, cultivate a sense of calling and enhance future employment opportunities, the youth ministry concentration places a high priority on field ministry in church, parachurch and youth social service settings. Finally, throughout the concentration, an emphasis is placed upon spiritual formation, and the development of personal theological faith commitments.


Request more information about the Christian ministries major at George Fox University or schedule a visit to begin your education at Oregon's Christian university, ranked as one of the top Christian colleges in the nation by Forbes.

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Major Requirements

Complete the following:

This course is part of the Biblical Studies curriculum and is planned to help the student understand and apply sound principles of Biblical interpretation. We will study the history of interpretation, general hermeneutical principles, specific hermeneutical lenses, and how to apply them to different kinds of Biblical literature. Prerequisite: BIBL 100 Bible Survey, BIBL 101 Literature of the Old Testament, or BIBL 102 Literature of the New Testament, or by permission.
A study of biblical principles of evangelism, nurturing, and teaching. This study encompasses the Christian educational responsibilities of the local church and parachurch agencies.
This course examines the diversity of the global Christian Church through an exploration of key theological texts written by the foremost theologians from the continents of Africa, Asia, Latin America, and Europe.
A study of the historical background and philosophical development in Christian education, with an examination of the influence of these antecedents upon theory and practice. Contemporary trends in current and emerging ministries will be assessed against such perspectives.
A study of the relationships of theology to Christian ministry. This course explores the ways in which particular theologies affect the practice of ministry in the church.
A practical course providing methods and introductory techniques for preparation and delivery of Christian speaking as ministry. A variety of message construction types will be studied, and students will have opportunity to speak and receive student and instructor evaluation. This course will cover sermon preparation and delivery, devotional and inspirational speaking, extemporaneous sharing, and broader aspects of communicating Christian truth.
This course addresses several pressing issues facing Christians in the West in the 21st Century. The course takes a historical look at how Christians have previously dealt with these issues, but also engages the possibility of new solutions. Topics include, but is not limited to the nature of scripture, the nature of truth, issues of sexuality and gender, social justice, evangelism, and the nature of the Gospel.
An exploration of how people grow and change spiritually. The study integrates biblical insights, classic Christian spirituality, developmental theory, and contemporary individual and corporate practice in spiritual formation. It will critically explore how spirituality relates to vocation, relationships, and the demands of daily living.
As an introduction to Christian theology, this course considers the basic doctrines of the Christian faith and their application to contemporary living.
A comparative study between Christianity and other prominent religions of the world, such as Buddhism, Islam, Hinduism, and contemporary kinds of alternative religion. (Identical to INTL 440.)

Concentrations (16 hours) - choose one

Complete the following:

Supervised internship in areas of Christian ministry, with emphasis on application of methods learned. Pass/No Pass.
Prerequisite: upper-division students and by application.

This covers communication as it affects and is affected by language and culture. Topics include contextualized use of communication within speech communities, intercultural effectiveness, cultural communication theory, competent intercultural experiences in co-cultures (ethnic, gender, intergenerational, deaf, etc.) and global cultural groups. A student may not earn credit for both the lower-division and upper-division versions of this course.
The biblical basis and history of missions are considered, with a special focus upon the modern missionary movement of the last 200 years.
Cross-cultural communication in Christian ministry, focusing on the concepts of identification, mutuality, the process of cultural change from a biblical perspective, and strategies for cross-cultural outreach.
Selected movements, trends, and leaders of contemporary Christian missions are studied. Lectures, readings, and learning activities are chosen to provide tools and methods for continuing education in missiology.

Complete the following:

An exploration of an individual's call to ministry and a study of present praxis in Christian ministry, with emphasis on spiritual formation and community building. This is the first of four semesters. Additional course fee is required. Requires department approval. Prerequisite: sophomore standing or above.
A study of the faith life of the Christian community, expressed through Scripture, traditions, theology and church history, as it relates to Christian theological praxis. This is the second of four semesters. Additional course fee is required. Prerequisite: CHMN 391 Theological Praxis I: Foundations of Self.

Supervised internship in areas of Christian ministry, with emphasis on application of methods learned. Pass/No Pass.
Prerequisite: upper-division students and by application.

A study of various historical and multicultural theological approaches to God and ministry, with an emphasis on the role of context and community in applying theology in different vocational settings. This is the third of four semesters. Additional course fee is required. Prerequisite: CHMN 392 Theological Praxis II: Christian Community.
A co-constructed approach to the application of practical theology to contemporary theological issues within the Christian community. Pulling together the themes in CHMN 391, 392, and 491, students in the course will work with the instructor to select topics for exploration together. This is the fourth of four semesters. Additional course fee required. Prerequisite: CHMN 491 Theological Praxis III: Study of Theology.

Complete the following:

A study of some of the major trends and issues confronting and shaping young people in American culture today. A premium is placed upon developing the tools to interact with these realities as Christians in ministry and to recognize ways in which youth culture both hinders and fosters opportunities for ministry to young people.
This course focuses upon the development of hands on skills for ministry. Public speaking, leading small groups, developing relationships with young people for ministry, and planning, organizing and executing group events are topics of focus throughout the course.
A study of motivation, guidance, and method in reference to youth and youth ministries, aimed at developing leadership skills.
A study of theory and technique of person-centered counseling. The course is designed to teach basic theoretical postulates and to focus on effective intervention skills for those anticipating future work in Christian ministries, teaching, or mental health settings. Recommended as a prerequisite for field experience work (PSYC 475). (Identical to CHMN 381.) Prerequisites: PSYC 150 General Psychology and sophomore status or above. Recommended: PSYC 330 Personality Theories.

Supervised internship in areas of Christian ministry, with emphasis on application of methods learned. Pass/No Pass.
Prerequisite: upper-division students and by application.

A study of theory and practice of experiential leadership in adventure and recreation education/programming. Leadership styles, techniques, methods, and practices will be the core subjects taught in this highly experiential class involving an outdoor lab component. Additional course fee required.

Jobs, Internships and Graduate School

Christian ministries majors are known by name by their professors.

Christian ministries graduates find themselves both qualified and sought after for positions in churches, mission organizations and faith-based nonprofits. Those alumni that pursue graduate education find themselves well-prepared for pursuing advanced degrees in biblical or theological studies, and it is not uncommon for graduates to build on their Christian ministries foundation by pursuing upper-level degrees in teaching, social work and counseling. All Christian ministries graduates leave as men and women formed by Christ and ready to serve as agents of formation in the lives of others.

  • Night Ministry, Portland Rescue Mission
  • Nurse, Sisters of Providence
  • Youth Minister, 2nd Street Community Church
  • Dentist, La Clinica
  • Translator, Wycliffe Bible Translators
  • Chaplain, United States Air Force
  • Adjunct Professor, University of Notre Dame
  • Missionary in Indonesia, Wycliffe Bible Translators
  • Principal, Newman Catholic Middle/High School
  • English Teacher in Rwanda, Rwanda Yearly Meeting of Friends
  • Portland Seminary
  • Gordon-Conwell Seminary
  • University of Edinburgh
  • Princeton Theological Seminary
  • Dallas Theological Seminary
  • Yale Divinity School
  • University of Notre Dame
  • Eastern University
  • University of Nebraska
  • University of Portland, School of Nursing
  • Oregon Health & Science University, School of Dentistry
  • Mission Year
  • 2nd Street Community Church, Newberg, Ore.
  • Dundee Covenant Church, Dundee, Ore.
  • Love, INC, Newberg, Ore.
  • Friendsview Retirement Community, Newberg, Ore.
  • Minuteman Community Education
  • Catholic Community Services
  • Youth Dynamics

In the News

Jael Chambers

Grad’s passion for racial reconciliation is changing lives in Philadelphia

If there’s ever the temptation to get discouraged and give in – to let all the brokenness and heartbreak around him derail the work at hand – Jael K.D.L.V. Chambers doesn’t let on. He can’t afford to. The need is too great, the stakes too high.

As associate regional director for Young Life in Philadelphia, Chambers sees it all: the fatherless homes, the desperation of “the hood,” the palpable racial and political tension in the city. And yet, he remains unfazed. He’s witnessed too many instances of restoration and reconciliation to lose hope now. Read more …

Student Experiences

Frances Bunday

"I spent two years doing ministry with the safety net and coaching of my professors. I experienced some majorly challenging moments in ministry that continued even after I graduated, and to know I still had professors I could call on to meet and to problem solve was huge for me. They helped me understand how God had been working over the course of my life to show me what his calling on my life would be, and they gave me the tools I needed to do the work God has for me."

- Frances Bunday

Mat Hollen

"I was taught to think critically and faithfully about the message of Jesus and how it impacts our lives, and I saw that truth lived out daily in my relationship with my professors. George Fox has left a lasting legacy on my spiritual life and my desire to do excellent biblical and cultural exegesis in order to demonstrate just how compelling Jesus is. But more than anything else, God has taught me to trust and to follow and to take care of myself in order to better care for others. I learned the skills of self-care in my time at Fox. I am confident that I am a healthier, better-adjusted follower of Jesus because of the foundations I received in my time there."

- Mat Hollen

Points of Distinction

  • Faculty members have real-life ministry experience.
  • Our programs prepare students for a life of service, not only “professional” ministry positions.
  • Programs include perspectives on social justice issues, peace and reconciliation.
  • Students are prepared for graduate and post-graduate studies.

Why George Fox?

Christ-centered community

Our faith influences everything we do here, from the way our professors teach to the way we relate to one another and serve in the community.

Global opportunities

More than half of George Fox undergraduate students study abroad, ranking George Fox among the nation's leaders in study abroad participation (U.S. News & World Report).

Small classes

Our 14-to-1 student-to-faculty ratio means you'll get to know your professors on a personal level.

National recognition

George Fox University is a Christian university classified by U.S. News & World Report as a first-tier national university, and Forbes ranks George Fox among the highest Christian colleges in the country.

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