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Missionary Studies

The Breakdown

Do you consider yourself a devout person? Do you feel it’s important to share the tenets of your faith with others? Are you looking to see the world while you undertake meaningful work? For those who respond with an unequivocal yes, missionary studies could be the major you seek.

As a missionary studies student, your coursework will focus on the theory behind and the practice of religious outreach. You will cover a variety of topics from preaching and evangelism to church planning, mission history and the fundamentals of living abroad. And, of course, you’ll gain a deeper understanding of your Christian perspective and the tools to effectively communicate that knowledge to others. It’s important to mention that if you are seriously considering missionary studies as a major, you’ll have to confine your school search to colleges with a strong religious affiliation. The major is not typically offered at secular universities.

Missionaries often venture far from home so it’s vital to have a sense of adventure and be able to embrace the unknown. Additionally, strong communication and interpersonal skills are crucial. After all, your entire focus will be on other people. You’ll also find that it’s important to be sensitive to the cultural norms of wherever you’re living. Lastly, you must have a deep and abiding faith.

Nuts and Bolts

Missionary studies students will find themselves well prepared with courses such as: History of Christian Missions, Christian Doctrine I, Preparing Expository Sermons, Leading a Church in Evangelism, Life on the Mission Field, Apologetics, Issues in Christian Outreach, New Testament, Introduction to Psychology, Religions of the World, Teaching the Faith and Faith Development Across Life.

Decisions, Decisions

With their passion for people, cultures and faith, missionary studies majors might also find themselves interested in religion/theology, philosophy, anthropology, sociology, international relations, social work, bible studies, pre-seminary studies, pastoral studies, education, youth ministries, biblical archaeology, sacred music and biblical languages.

What's Next

Upon graduation, most missionary studies majors look to embark upon missions of their own. From Mozambique to Montana, they have the potential to go anywhere and spread their message of faith. In addition to preaching, missionaries frequently execute non-religious projects to address issues with infrastructure, health and education. Professional missionaries are often given a modest salary and a stipend for housing, transportation and even local taxes. However, it is also common for missionaries to be tasked with fundraising requirements. Outside of straight missionary work, graduates often join the ministry working with everyone from inner city youths to suburban families. Finally, it’s also common for missionary studies majors to eventually become chaplains working on college campuses, with the military, etc.


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Don Munce