Associate of Arts in Leadership Studies (Pastoral Ministry concentration)

20 courses 2 years    |    60 Credits[Units]
Academic Program Description and Objectives

The Associate of Arts in Leadership Studies (AALS) is a two-year program designed to equip students to serve as effective Christian leaders in a variety of capacities, especially in Christian ministry. The AALS is a concise, well-balanced program in biblical and leadership studies ideal for students who may not be able to commit to a longer program.

It offers three concentration options: Pastoral Ministry, Christian Counseling, and Worship, Media & Creative Arts. All three have a core of Bible and theology courses, because Christian leadership involves not only having practical leadership skills, but also the biblical & theological knowledge necessary to live and to lead as a Christian.

Pastoral Ministry Concentration:
The Pastoral Ministry concentration of the AALS provides students with significant knowledge of the Bible, a sound interpretive approach to the Scriptures, and a biblically-based theology. The training and leadership skills gained in this concentration will equip students to serve and to and lead in a local church setting, a non-profit organization, a mission organization, or also in the marketplace.


The AALS program includes an apprenticeship (Practicum/Internship) - which may be completed in a church or a marketplace setting, as well as at a non-profit, or a mission organization. This allows students to integrate their studies and to clarify their personal calling in a supervised setting, helping them to forge valuable relationships and to foster their growth as a practitioner

Learning Community Setting / Cohort Option

A practical and flexible classroom setting, as well as an online cohort option, is offered in order to accommodate leaders and working adults whose responsibilities and schedules do not permit enrollment in a traditional college degree program. The cohort model allows students to engage with professors and build community, resulting in a valuable and long-lasting support network.

AALS Program - 20 courses / 60 Credits[Units] Total

Pastoral Ministry

Christian Counseling

Worship, Media, & Creative Arts

AALS Main Program Segments:

Biblical / Theological Studies - 4 courses / 12 units
Core Ministry and Leadership - 4 courses / 12 units
Concentration - 5 courses / 15 units
General Education - 5 courses / 15 units
Practicum/Internship - 2 courses / 6 units

Full AALS Curriculum

The course descriptions for the courses listed below may be found in the Academic Catalog.

    Biblical/Theological Studies Core 12 Credits
    BS 101 Bible Panorama (or, BS 104, NT Survey)
    BS 102 Biblical Interpretation
    BS 103 Old Testament Survey
    BS 104 New Testament Survey
    TH 211 Theological Foundations: The Doctrines of God and Scripture
    TH 313 Theological Foundations: The Doctrines of Christ and Salvation

    Core Ministry & Leadership Courses 12 Credits
    (choose 4 courses)

    PT 101 Inner Healing and Prayer
    PT 102 Essentials of Spiritual Formation*
    PT 103 Communion with God*
    * Students will normally take either PT 102 or PT 103.
    PT 219 Evangelism and Discipleship
    PT 245 Fundamentals of Christian Leadership**
    PT 301 Organizational Leadership**
    **Students will normally take either PT 245 or PT 301.
    PT 345 Foundations of Preaching
    PT 456 Basics of Church Planting
    WM 305 Worship in the Life of the Church
    CE 307 Christian Education
    CE 319 Church Ministry to Children & Youth

    Required General Education Courses 15 Credits
    CH 325 Church History I
    GE 105 Intercultural Communication*
    GE 118 Introduction to Psychology
    GE 221 Research & Academic Writing*
    * Students will normally take either GE 105 or GE 221.
    GE 242 Health Studies
    GE 310 Digital Literacy Esentials
    Alternate Gen Ed Course for GE 310:
    GE 399 Introduction to World Religions

    Pastoral Ministry Concentration
    15 Credits (choose 5 courses)

    Students in this concentration may request to substitute up to two of the following courses with courses from the Core Ministry & Leadership courses.

    BS 115 Introduction to the Pentateuch
    BS 204 Survey of the Gospels
    BS 212 OT Historical Books
    BS 217 The Acts of the Apostles
    BS 314 Survey of the OT Major Prophets
    BS 419 Introduction to the OT Wisdom Books
    BS 427 Survey of New Testament Epistles
    MS 313 Theology and Practice of Mission
    TH 322 Theological Foundations: The Holy Spirit
    CH 326 Church History II

    Practicum / Internships 3 Credits, or 6 Credits
    • Students who have little or no ministry experience need to take at least one internship course.
    • They may choose to take a second internship course in place of a Ministry & Leadership course.
    • Students who have years of ministry experience do not need to take an internship, and may take a different course instead.
    PM 301 Practicum Internship #1
    PM 302 Practicum Internship #2


The course curriculum develops students' core competencies for success in ministry and leadership. Possible careers include:
  • Ministry leadership (youth pastor, small group leader, Bible teacher, etc.)
  • Missions
  • Chaplaincy
  • Christian non-profit Organizations
  • Christian education
Program Learning Outcomes
Students will have a significant knowledge of the Bible and have a meaningful introduction to Christian theology.
Students will be able to share and explain the gospel.
Students will understand the importance of personal spiritual disciplines & growth, as well as the importance of Christian character, and will be motivated to actively participate in Christian service or ministry.
Students will be motivated to be, and have the skills to be, life-long learners.
Students will be culturally sensitive, and will have acquired cross-cultural competence.
Students will demonstrate meaningful practical skills in the area of their concentration (pastoral, counseling, or worship/media/arts).