Bible and Ministry

Michele Hershberger teaches Biblical Literature

Programs of Study click to expand

Bible and Ministry

What is Bible and Ministry?

In-depth inductive Bible studies. Research in the different biblical genres. Hard questions about peace, justice and ethics. This is what you will find in the Bible and Ministry department at Hesston College. Here you will find yourself in classes and community that will encourage you to think deeply about your life of faith and service in the church. Studies are interwoven with ministry opportunities on campus and beyond. Students and faculty work at integrating their ethics with their theology. They practice spiritual disciplines, and they reach out to a hurting world. Influenced by Anabaptist history and theology, instructors model the belief that the church is the body of believers. The journey is both inward and outward.

Success factors

Do you find yourself thinking about why things are the way they are? Do you ache to heal injustice in the world? Are you fascinated with the biblical narrative, longing to know more about the backstory of these stories, the inside scoop, the way the story works? Do you enjoy being with people and spending time with the Bible? If so, you would love being a Bible and Ministry major.

Career Possibilities

With a two-year associate of arts degree, you will have completed 60 credit hours and be on your way for transfer to a baccalaureate degree course of study and further theological training. With an advanced degree you might choose work in one of many areas of ministry. Career opportunities include:

  • Congregational ministry
  • Youth ministry
  • Chaplaincy
  • Christian education
  • Pastoral counseling

Majoring in Bible & ministry

Introduction to Biblical Literature, or “Bib Lit” as it’s more affectionately known, uses a unique approach to teaching the Bible. Most Christians know the major stories, but they don’t know how all the stories fit together. Bib Lit provides “hooks to hang your hat on,” or ways to connect and remember what God is doing throughout the entire biblical narrative.

  • An emphasis on spiritual formation and intentional focus on integrating strong academics with practical theology. We provide a spiritual formation class for both Bible and youth ministry majors. We understand the importance of self-reflection and time spent in prayer and sharing our lives. Our motto is this: We minister out of who we are.
  • We also believe in the importance of both theological thinking and practical application. Almost all of us find ourselves off-balance at times, but a synergy happens when we intentionally and critically reflect on what we do—and why we do it.
  • Opportunities to participate in ministries on campus and in the area. Some students lead Bible studies, working as ministry assistants to the campus pastor. Others serve at the Harvey County Homeless Shelter or participate in the M2 program, a mentoring program at the Hutchinson Correctional Facilities.
  • Opportunity to practice ministry in a new context. Students spend two weeks in the summer in Philadelphia, PA. They develop intercultural competence, working with a variety of cultures in the city. Experiences may include helping with a Bib Lit class, interacting with a flag football ministry or observing a Christian high school in the city.
“I am a better theological thinker because I have come to understand the real benefits of implementing theology into ministry and everyday living. Theology isn’t a scary or daunting word for me anymore, but rather a practical and authentic way of thinking.”
— Emily Kauffman, class of 2016

Sample curriculum – associate degree in Bible & ministry


The mission of the Bible and Ministry Department is to introduce students to the biblical narrative through an Anabaptist-Mennonite perspective, to nurture students in their spiritual formation and to equip students who are discerning a call to ministry. We will do this by offering courses that:

  • Satisfy General Education: Satisfy general education requirements, enabling students to articulate the interconnectedness of the biblical narrative, explore Anabaptist-Mennonite faith and values and reflect on one’s faith perspective as it relates to the global community.
  • Transfer: Provide students with the first two years of foundational, transferable credit in the areas of biblical studies, youth ministry and pastoral ministries.
  • Provide enrichment: Help students reflect on their spiritual formation and develop skills and understanding in these fields as a way of enriching their relationship with God, the church and the world.
  • Provide a professional foundation: Prepare students for employment in a ministry setting, either immediately or as a foundation for further education with the goal of ministry.

What can I do with a Bible or Youth Ministry degree?

A bachelor’s degree in Bible or youth ministry offers many wonderful career options. It opens the door for a pastorate or youth/associate pastorate or work in a person-related field such as camping ministry, counseling or the mission field. And Hesston is a wonderful place to begin your work toward that degree! If you are attracted to writing and teaching, you should consider curriculum writing and/or a career teaching Bible at a variety of educational levels. The sky is the limit!

When thinking about your future with an interest in Bible or Youth Ministry, you should keep in mind two important considerations—the inward call to a special ministry and an outward call from your congregation that validates God’s call on your life. At Hesston, we take this call from God and others seriously and will help you process what that call means for you.

How will the program transfer when I finish my Hesston studies?

The Bible and Ministry department at Hesston College has a wonderful reputation for preparing students to continue on in theological studies. The program, with the famous Bib Lit class as the cornerstone, gets great reviews from the other Mennonite colleges, where our program transfers easily into the upper levels. Every year, we receive notes from other professors expressing appreciation for the training their students received at Hesston.

Auditing Bible Courses