Religion and the life of Jesus SWAU

Christian Studies

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Christian Studies

Man in suit wearing a mask and Southwestern Adventist University lanyard using his hands as he speaks
Four students stand on stage singing while one student stands in the back playing guitar and another sits on the right playing the cajon
Pastor in blue suit wearing glasses and holding a mic as he speaks on the stage at church
Students wearing masks and gloves stand behind tables with containers of food

Certificate in Church Ministry 

Our Certificate in Church Ministry prepares lay leaders for the Seventh-day Adventist Church through applied ministerial methods and practices paired with basic theological and church history education. While the Certificate in Church Ministry does not prepare candidates for full-time employment in pastoral ministry, nor does it constitute an alternative theology degree, it is a great option for laypeople seeking to grow in their role. 

*Anyone choosing full-time ministry as a goal for life must enroll in a four-year B.A. Theology program. 


The curriculum of the certificate consists of courses totaling 15 semester hours of college credit. These credits may be transferred to any other accredited college or university and may be applied toward a degree at Southwestern Adventist University. The curriculum is also designed to help church lay leaders increase their knowledge and skills and be better equipped to work in various lay leadership positions. 


 $400 per course. (3 credits each) 

The Certificate in Church Ministry is open to persons aged 25 or older who have served in lay leadership positions and are officially endorsed by their local congregations or conferences. Applicants must have a high school diploma or its equivalent. Previous college work is not required but recommended. Applicants must: 

  • Complete an application for admission into the certificate program 
  • Pay a non-refundable $25 application fee 
  • Submit three letters of recommendation from a local church pastor, a local church elder, and a local church leader 
  • Write a letter of intent stating why the applicant would like to take the college-level certificate in church ministry 
  • Send a current professional resume 

Certificate Completion 

Candidates for this certificate must complete all requirements within a five-year period. Certificates will be awarded to students who complete all course requirements and maintain a minimum 2.0 grade point average. Candidates must submit a Certificate Completion contract to the Department of Records. A $25 certificate fee is required at the time the certificate is completed. 

Let's Get Started

Are you interested in a life of ministry? Start your journey today!