Service is one of the fundamental aspects of the Christian faith. From the teachings of Jesus across the four gospels to the letters from the Apostle Paul urging followers to serve one another to the hundreds of faith-based nonprofits serving the world’s needs, we are called to be faithful servants in whatever capacity we find ourselves. ACU Online’s Master of Arts in Global Service program hones this exact idea: that anyone, no matter their background or career, can learn and activate their spiritual gift of service in today’s global climate. Maybe you’re wondering what type of job you can hold to better provide for your local community or congregation. Perhaps you’re curious about what it means to devote oneself to an outreach ministry. Or maybe you want to find a new way to lead your organization with a more profound understanding of theology and biblical teaching. Whatever the case may be, an online graduate degree in global service could be the perfect fit for you to find a job that caters to your curiosity about the world and desire to see it improve.
Interested in learning more? Find out why a program focused on global service might help you and your future career goals.
Local church ministries
Chances are, if you are deciding to take on a global service degree, you might be interested in working in a local church ministry or congregation. Whether your background is in business, communications, early childhood development, or education, obtaining a degree in global service can increase your ability to use your experience and skills while still combining your calling to work and serve in a church ministry. With classes like BIBM 651: Supervised Practice of Ministry I Classroom or BIBM 603: Foundations of the Theology of Ministry, you will learn how your previous academic studies can positively influence your current ministry field of interest. The classes you take within the program are designed to increase your self-discovery via biblical teachings to practically impact, supervise, and nurture others.
In today’s church setting, there are multiple types of jobs like counseling, media production, preschool coordinators, and even department heads for accounting and outreach, that help a church operate effectively. According to Zippia, church workers make an average of $51K annually with a bachelor’s degree. However, new data shows that applicants with a master’s can earn almost $10K more in their specific department ranging closer between $61K to $70K annually – a pretty significant difference. In Texas, for example, there are close to 12,000 open positions for religious workers and ministry staff. Competitive jobs are available and accessible to anyone interested in merging their previous non-biblical profession with a program focused on equipping people to serve in a much more global context.
International or Residential Missionary
Becoming a missionary is both a calling and a job, in many cases. As a student in the global service program, you will be taught how to value yourself as a potential short- or long-term missionary as well as be challenged on how to live, work and communicate in intercultural contexts outside of your own through classes like BMIS 619: Church and Mission and BIBH 674: Christian Mission in Global Contexts. Recently, the International Bulletin of Mission Research journal found that while some missionary activities have declined since the pandemic), other efforts, especially those reaching areas of lower socioeconomic status, have made a dramatic climb. This does not include the nearly two million Americans that participate in short-term mission trips worldwide – all of whom need full-time missionaries to receive and assist them during their visit.
Should becoming a missionary be your calling, you can rest assured knowing that there are jobs and salaries available to those who seek careers in this field. According to Indeed, a missionary can make $44K annually, with the added benefits of having direct sponsorships, partnerships with organizations, and certain living expenses taken care of like housing or even meals. Although missionaries are 67% more likely to work for private organizations and companies as opposed to being self-employed, you can take on an additional part-time job for extra income.
There are more than 1.5 million nonprofit organizations nationwide. As an employee at a nonprofit, you can learn so much more about the ins and outs of a particular issue or matter that your organization deeply cares about. Often entailing more than just paperwork or fundraising efforts, people who work for nonprofits are great relationship builders and communicators about their organization’s vision and mission. Harvard Business Review published an article detailing how nonprofits are not so different from corporate companies. In fact, the main difference between the two is passion more than skill. Because nonprofits work toward making a lasting impact on a specific humanitarian issue, people who earn an online degree in global service will gain knowledge about how to best heal the brokenness of the world as servant leaders.
Classes like BIBM 657: Contexts of Ministry and BIBL 682: Teaching Scripture in Contemporary Contexts are designed to help you reconsider the various dimensions of scripture and how it can shape others. Regardless of your background, you can work for hundreds of great nonprofits nationwide that accommodate your personal passions and scripture-based mission.
Overall, obtaining a graduate degree in global service can be fun and rewarding in the long run. Regardless of what prior professional experience you came from or the degree you just graduated with, the program seeks one particular component from all of its students: curiosity. Be curious about the world. Ask the tough questions. Be present with those who surround you. And lastly, know that you were meant for more than just receiving. You were meant to serve in any and all capacities. And don’t worry, there’s definitely a job out there that can help you become the best server and advocate you can be.