SWAU Online | Christian Studies


Is God calling you to serve Him through pastoral ministry?  Our online program is ideal for you to continue working while earning your degree. 


A degree in Religion or Theology helps prepare you for service in these areas:

  • Pastoral Ministry
  • Youth Ministry
  • Chaplaincy
  • Mission Service


Take advantage of our affordable tuition - click here for more information.

Certificate in Church Ministry

Our Certificate in Church Ministry prepares lay leaders for the Seventh-day Adventist Church. It is a unique church ministry program which combines basic theological education with church history and applied ministerial methods and practices. The curriculum of the certificate consists of courses totaling 15 semester hours of college credit. These credits may be transferred to any other accredited college or university and may be applied toward a degree at Southwestern Adventist University. The curriculum is also designed to help church lay leaders increase their knowledge and skills and be better equipped to work in various positions of lay leadership.

The Certificate in Church Ministry does not prepare candidates for full-time employment in pastoral ministry nor does it constitute an alternative theology degree. Anyone choosing full-time ministry as a goal for life must enroll in a four-year BA Theology program. 

The Certificate in Church Ministry is open to persons age 25 or older who have served in positions of lay leadership and are officially endorsed by their local congregations or conferences. Applicants must have a high school diploma or its equivalent. Previous college work is not required, but recommended.  Applicants must:

  1. Complete an application for admission into the certificate program
  2. Send a non-refundable $25 application fee
  3. Submit three letters of recommendation from a local church pastor, a local church elder, and a third local church leader which officially endorse the applicant
  4. Write a letter of intent stating why the applicant would like to take the college-level certificate in church ministry
  5. Send a current professional resume

Time Limitations:
Candidates for this certificate must complete all requirements within a five-year period.

Certificate Completion:
Certificates will be awarded to students who complete all course requirements and maintain a minimum 2.0 grade point average. Candidates must submit a Certificate Completion contract to the Records Office. A $25 certificate fee is required at the time the certificate is completed.

Courses for the Certificate:

Item #TitleCredits

RELT 101

Christian Beliefs


RELP 220

Personal Evangelistic Ministry


RELH 230

History of the Seventh-day Adventist Church


RELB 211

Life and Teachings of Jesus


RELP 215

Introduction to Pastoral Ministry



Sub-Total Credits