What are the Emphasis Areas for a Christian Studies Degree?

By Lauren Abraham

A student reading her notes outside in the grass

Have you considered earning a bachelor’s degree in Christian studies? For individuals who are passionate about ministry, this degree provides an excellent foundation for Christian leadership.

Students interested in pursuing a Christian studies degree have the option to specialize within their major by choosing an emphasis. At Grand Canyon University, students can choose from a variety of emphases, such as biblical studies, global ministry, philosophy, youth ministry and worship leadership.

Biblical Studies

Students who decide to pursue a Bachelor of Arts in Christian Studies with an Emphasis in Biblical Studies learn to use biblical studies as the foundation and framework for communicating Christ to a wide variety of audiences. In the program, they gain an understanding of theology, biblical interpretation and Christian history. In addition to learning about every facet of the Bible, students who choose an emphasis in biblical studies explore teaching styles and methods so that they can present lessons and deliver sermons to all kinds of audiences. Upon graduation, students are prepared to become a missionary, Bible school teacher, worship coordinator or chaplain.

Global Ministry

At GCU, the global ministry program focuses on developing Christ-like character and the ability to minister using both wisdom and sensitivity in the local church and other Christian environments. Students in the program learn about mission work from a historical perspective, and gain the skills necessary for impactful mission work across all cultures. Graduates are prepared to effectively communicate the gospel to a variety of cultures, and can pursue a career in ministry within the church, Christian organizations or on the mission field. In addition, they can pursue a career in religious activities and education at a director level if they continue onto a graduate-level education.


A Christian studies degree with an emphasis in philosophy prepares individuals to go into ministry requiring ethical and ideological engagement. Students are taught to analyze and assess ideas and ethical systems, and to communicate understandings effectively to others. Emphasis course topics include an introduction to philosophy and ethics, knowledge and reality, applied ethics and philosophy and religion. Graduates of the program possess strong leadership and communication skills, and are prepared for careers in ministry within a church, organization or on the mission field. With this emphasis, individuals can take on leadership positions in various contexts and encourage others to make an impact.

Youth Ministry

For individuals passionate about working with young people, a Bachelor of Arts in Christian Studies with an Emphasis in Youth Ministry is a great degree to pursue. In this program, students learn to become a servant leader and to guide and nurture a congregation, while focusing on communicating effectively with youth. Students gain an understanding of modern influences on Christianity and how to lead young people to Christ. In addition, they focus on recognizing times of crisis in a young person’s life and how to get them the help they need. Graduates combine communication, leadership and organizational skills needed for effective ministry. They can take on leadership positions in high school programs, para-church organizations and nonprofits.

Worship Leadership

Today, the opportunities to impact lives are growing and changing. Individuals in ministry can use their unique talents to point others to Christ. Those who are passionate about worship can pursue a Christian studies degree with an emphasis in worship leadership. In this degree program, students learn how the gospel influences contemporary worship, and they gain a strong understanding of the Bible and Christian ethics. With their leadership skills, students can explore a variety of careers within churches and Christian organizations that require an understanding of God’s word and how it applies to daily life.

There are many opportunities for those who pursue a Christian studies degree. In choosing an emphasis, you can tailor your education to your interests and pursue a career in which you can serve Christ. To learn more about pursuing a theology degree at GCU, visit our website.

Written by Lauren Abraham, a junior majoring in communications at GCU.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Grand Canyon University. Any sources cited were accurate as of the publish date.