A Day in the Life of a PLNU Christian Ministry Student

A Day in the Life of a Christian Ministry Student- Hadley Halbert

Hadley Halbert (‘22) takes us through a day in her life as a graduate student in the PLNU Master of Arts in Christian Ministry program. This graduate degree is designed for working professionals who have a background or undergraduate degree in ministry and it is not location based. This degree features flexible, remote classes with one intensive week (called gathering days) per semester where students collaborate together to learn some of the key aspects of ministry.

What is Christian ministry?

Christian Ministry typically refers to activities carried out by individuals belonging to the Christian faith who are living out a calling by giving their time, resources, and talents to help others. At PLNU, Christian Ministry is this and so much more. While PLNU is a liberal arts college affiliated with the Church of the Nazarene, the campus supports a wide variety of Christian and other faith callings. The M.A. in Christian Ministry degree is designed specifically to help students like Hadley deepen their practical knowledge of scripture and pursue a career with the church while also preparing them for ministry at large. Students will learn to apply biblical studies and principles of discipleship to help others in tangible ways.

“I feel like this program has helped set my resume up well for whatever comes next,” Hadley explained. “Most important for me are the connections that I'm making in the program not just with classmates but also with professors. This program has provided me with connections across many Nazarene districts and many different churches, and opportunities to preach and speak at conferences.”

Hadley is one of many in her program who also work full-time in a career outside of earning their degree. But with the flexible, online approach to learning, she and her classmates are all able to keep up with their work and continue to make a living. Her professors understand that these students are using this program to supplement and enhance their ministry.

“There is something very special about PLNU’s campus just in the ways that I’ve seen the faculty and staff go above and beyond to build relationships and make sure I’m being supported,” Hadley said.

For Hadley and her peers, the application of their program material to their everyday work has helped the learning process feel very practical. Students interested in going into the Christian Ministry field should have a good working knowledge of the topics below:

  • Church leadership
  • Pastoral care
  • Discipleship
  • Church administration
  • Preaching and teaching
  • Understanding, analyzing, and interpreting scriptures

PLNU’s M.A. in Christian Ministry program addresses all of these areas. With this degree, students will also have a network of peers and professors who can help them as they pursue careers or further work in ministry.

Who are you called to be?
Pursue your purpose at PLNU.

What does a typical day look like in the Christian ministry degree program?

Fully online programming means that Hadley and her peers learn separately from each other for most of the semester. However, during the one-week period of gathering days, the cohort of students come together on PLNU’s campus to spend time learning from each other and launching the next stage of the program.

“The first two [gathering] days are a wrap up [of the last semester] and the last two days are the start of next classes,” Hadley said. “It’s nice to spend so much intensive time with the people I’m learning from and building connections with. It helps with corresponding during the remote portion because we actually feel like we know each other.”

Hadley’s current cohort is about 15 people with only two of them based in San Diego.

“With our class size being so small, your questions and thoughts are being heard and responded to,” Hadley said. “This program is designed for people who are currently in pastoral ministry or want to grow their tool belt so it’s very manageable. They [professors] know that [some of us] are working so they make it manageable.”

During a typical day, Hadley will work her full-time job as the chapel programming assistant at PLNU and then log on in the evenings to complete any graduate student work.

“The day-to-day program work feels like it’s not an overwhelming amount of work. I still feel like I have a social life and a family life outside of work and school. And the job fits really well with the degree. A lot of what I’m learning about I get to tangibly practice every day.”

Take the next steps to earn your graduate degree in Christian Ministry

Developing your personal faith may start in a different place for everyone, but the journey to deepening that faith with an M.A. in Christian Ministry starts at PLNU. With small class sizes, an extremely flexible course schedule, and multiple start dates you could begin your Christian ministry student journey today. Discover if a Master of Arts in Christian Ministry is the right next step for you or apply today.

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