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Accelerated Undergraduate Degree to Master of Divinity Pathway

The Accelerated Undergraduate Degree to Master of Divinity pathway is designed for students looking to change the world through ministry. The program allows you to complete classes from the Master of Divinity degree while completing your bachelor’s degree. In many denominations, this degree is required in order to become a pastor.

The program is year-round, meaning you can complete both your undergraduate and graduate ministry degrees in as little as five years. Alongside classes, the accelerated program includes exciting ministry internships, formative pastoral labs and requirements for supervised ministry. Through the program, students receive all of the training and guidance necessary to learn the skills of a pastor, even if they have little to no experience before entering GCU’s program

Qualifying undergraduate programs for the accelerated path include:

  • Bachelor of Arts in Christian Ministry
  • Bachelor of Arts in Christian Studies

Why does GCU offer an accelerated pathway for pastoral training?

The Christian church faces a need for skilled, insightful pastors who commit to serving God while they are young and continuously pursue Him throughout their lives. GCU’s accelerated program aims to fulfill this need, giving young students who feel called to serve an opportunity to receive guidance, support and practical training so they can carry out this call on their lives.

Immersing theologically trained pastors in hands-on ministry experiences early on in life develops a strong foundation that an impactful ministry can be built upon. These transformational ministry experiences are built directly into the accelerated pathway, equipping students with the skills to use bring what they learn in seminary into the world and fulfill the purpose God has given them.

Barnabas Pastoral and Scholarship Program

Students who are eligible for the Accelerated Undergraduate to Master of Divinity pathway may also be eligible to participate in the Barnabas Pastoral Program, a formative pastoral preparation program that combines coursework, co-curricular activities and hands-on training.

The Barnabas Pastoral Program is designed for young men and women preparing for vocational ministry within the context of a local church. The program exists to meet the needs of the vibrant local churches in Phoenix, the southwest U.S. and beyond.

Like the Accelerated Undergraduate to Master of Divinity pathway, the Barnabas Pastoral Program allows students to complete their bachelor’s degree and Master of Divinity in as little as five years. Being a part of the Barnabas Pastoral Program also offers:

  • Fifth-year full tuition scholarship for all participants*
  • Training, mentorship and support from a pastoral community during and after degree completion
  • Real-world pastoral preparation activities including co-curricular events and experiences, surveys, assessments, interviews and career preparation experiences


Who is an ideal student for this program?

The Barnabas Pastoral Program is designed for young students who feel the call of God on their lives and are looking for a way to put this calling into action within the local church. The target student is a young person who has discerned a clear sense of calling to pastoral ministry in the local church and who begins the accelerated degree path prior to the age of 21.

Students may not know every detail about what kind of pastoral position or office they will fill in the future. The Barnabas Pastoral program is meant to support students on a trajectory toward serving in the local church and to help them find out how they can use their pastoral ministry to have the biggest impact.

Given the diverse traditions represented in our student body, we understand there may be varying language used for offices or roles. This may be especially true for some denominations in reference to the ordination of women. These variations in language should not dissuade any applicant if their work is in the spirit of pastoral work.


Who is eligible to participate in the Barnabas Pastoral Program?

Students applying for admission to the program should be able to articulate their calling to ministry and what has driven them towards the local church. The application process requires students to share their testimony and capacity for pastoral leadership.

Applicants will be considered for the program if they can:

  • Demonstrate their sense of calling to and aptitude for vocational ministry
  • Express a potential for self-discipline, ministry leadership and sensitivity
  • Provide pastoral and character references supporting their application

If you sense that God has begun to call you towards ministry in a local church, apply for the Barnabas Pastoral Scholarship Program today. For more information, fill out the form above and an admissions counselor will contact you.

*The Barnabas Pastoral Scholarship will be used to cover your GCU tuition expenses in your fifth year of enrollment. This scholarship has no cash value and cannot be used for room and board.

In order for this scholarship to be applied to your account for the Fall, Spring, and Summer terms of your fifth year in the program, you must meet all programmatic requirements during your first four years in the program and meet the below requirements:

Academic progression requirements are the same as those required for the Accelerated Undergraduate to Master of Divinity and include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Maintain continuous full-time enrollment in a year-long program of study
  • Uphold the ethical and moral values by which GCU stands
  • Uphold the Covenantal Standards of GCU’s College of Theology and Seminary
  • Maintain a minimum 3.0 institutional GPA


Admission Steps: We're Here For You

At GCU, the admissions process is simple and straightforward; guided by an admissions counselor who provides step-by-step personalized support. A GCU admissions counselor ensures that your application and registration process is seamless and helps you make informed decisions in your best interest. Furthermore, your counselor will connect with you with student support resources to help with the first-year experience, campus living, academics and more.

GCU values transparency and trains our counselors to offer financial details and benefits, while directly answering questions about how you can pay for college and incur minimal debt. You and your family can trust that financial plans will be tailored to your unique financial situation and needs.

Let’s get started! Follow these four easy steps:

  1. Apply for free at, to start the college admission process.
  2. Log on to and set up your Student Portal at to submit your transcripts and monitor your progress toward acceptance.
  3. Once transcripts are evaluated, sign up for Discover GCU, our all-expenses* paid on-campus experience, to learn more about Lope Life.
  4. Register early to lock in your scholarships, class schedule and housing preferences by working with your admissions counselor.

*Restrictions for travel reimbursement may apply.

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