Christian Ministries
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Christian Ministries

The Department of Biblical Studies and Christian Ministries

The Christian ministries major is committed to developing a genuine passion for knowing Christ and living out the gospel worldwide. You will have the opportunity to choose one of following five fields of study:

Gordon College has been a leader in the field of Christian ministry education establishing one of the first majors in youth ministries in 1976. Since its inception, Gordon College has always offered strong programs in missions, reflecting the founding of the school as a missionary training institute. In recent years, Gordon College has increased its commitment to the urban context, establishing campuses in the cities of Lynn and Boston. In 2009 the college took another pioneering step into the 21st century by bringing together five academic fields of study to create the Christian Ministries Major with concentrations in Youth Ministries, Juvenile Justice Ministries, Global Christianity, Urban Ministries, and Outdoor Education Ministries. 

While each area could be viewed as a major in its own right, they all share a common set of courses, values, theology, and principles while maintaining unique distinctions concerning their ministry contexts and focus. For this reason, Christian ministries majors have the dual benefit of taking common course work alongside other interests and engaging in highly focused course work that is specific to one ministry context of interest.

The major in Christian ministries is designed with contextual concentrations in order to prepare students to serve effectively within various ministries of churches, parachurch organizations, and other agencies engaged in service and ministry. Coupled with Gordon College's broad liberal arts core curriculum and an extensive field experience, the Christian ministries major uniquely prepares students for ministry in a variety of contexts as well as an array of graduate study programs. The major requirements for Christian ministries will also qualify a student for a minor in Biblical studies.


At Gordon College, Christian ministries study includes exploration of the theoretical, philosophical, biblical, and theological foundations of ministry. These topics are taught through a combination of practice and theory, allowing you to construct a philosophy of ministry. From the time you begin your studies, you are involved in asking appropriate questions in your ministry context, studying theories from the arts and sciences, and then relating those principles in real-life contexts. This is known as practical theology, which is where all Christian ministries are rooted. Practical theology begins and ends with the living text of human life which requires critical reflection and response within the specific context of your interest.

All students are involved in ministry opportunities through student ministries on campus, Young Life or church youth ministries, urban ministries, juvenile justice ministries, local regional or international missions organization, or outdoor education ministries. Whatever your gifts and calling, you will choose a ministry and apply what you learn in class that very week—a process that helps develop your own style of ministry.

The Christian Ministries program emphasizes:

  • Biblical integrity
  • Creativity
  • Critical thinking
  • Cross-cultural experiences
  • Cultural analysis
  • Engaging with a postmodern generation
  • Genuine discipleship
  • Personal relationships
  • Problem solving
  • Real life ministry experience
  • Servant-leadership
  • Strategic planning

Time to pack your bags and books…You can choose among many semester, year, short-term, or summer abroad programs around the globe through the Global Education Office (GEO). Tuition for the programs is generally the same as a regular semester or year on campus. Check out some of the many opportunities:

Dr. Mark W. Cannister, Co-Chair
Department of Biblical Studies and Christian Ministries
Gordon College
255 Grapevine Road
Wenham, MA 01984

Christian Ministries major with child


Using tried and true principles of youth ministry that have survived the test of time.

Addicted to Facebook (PDF)
Gordon students publish article in YouthWorker Journal detailing research on Facebook addiction.

Juvenile Justice Ministries (PDF)
Straight Ahead Ministries in the Ukraine