Pastoral Ministry

Learning to shepherd from the Good Shepherd

Bachelor of Arts (BA)
Bachelor of Arts/Master of Arts in Ministry (BA/MAM)
Bachelor of Arts/Master of Arts in Biblical Studies (BA/MABS)

Study Pastoral Ministry at LBC

There are many ideas about what a pastor should be: some view the pastor as the CEO of a corporation, while others see them as the one who gets paid to do the work of the ministry. At Lancaster Bible College, we believe in training up pastors to become shepherd leaders. Here’s what we know to be true: the gospel is the only hope of humanity. God’s church is God’s plan to reach the world with the hope of the gospel. That’s why we need pastors.

LBC’s pastoral ministry degree is grounded in the authority of Scripture and places a strong emphasis developing church leaders to become faithful pastors that lead fruitful churches. From a biblical foundation, students learn about the nature of ministry, discipleship and leadership within the context of the local church. Through our robust curriculum that integrates Bible classes, general education courses, classes focused on the science and art of expository preaching and internship and practicum opportunities that give students a chance to engage in local church leadership and development, our students graduate prepared to enter into ministry. Students who study pastoral ministry at LBC also learn about the importance pastoral counseling and care within the context of the church, all grounded in the example of Jesus and relying on empowerment of the Holy Spirit. Through careful training, you will learn how to apply the Scriptures to the problems of life and to extend loving care to your members. All of our classes are taught with an emphasis on engaging the present culture with knowledge of historic orthodoxy and practice. Students who complete this program will earn a Bachelor of Arts degree in both Pastoral Ministry and Biblical Studies.

Why Study Pastoral Ministry at LBC?

  • Receive instruction in the timeless Scriptures informed by the developments of the present day, without becoming distracted by momentary fads.
  • Gain practical, hands-on experience through internships, practicums, field-based experience, and mock ordinations.
  • Learn from scholars with extensive ministry experience in a variety of ministry and professional settings.
  • Do you think seminary or graduate school is in your future? Add on a biblical languages minor.
Your Journey

Program Credits: 125

Locations: Lancaster


Bachelor Track:
Bachelor of Arts with majors in Pastoral Ministry and Biblical Studies
Four-Plus-One Track:
Bachelors of Arts in Pastoral Ministry and a Masters of Arts in Ministry

Here are some examples of internships that students have completed in the past:

  • Pastoral Intern at a Local Church


  • Traditional
  • Online & Evening (Adult Education)
  • Available as Minor

“So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up.” – Ephesians 4:11-12

A Closer Look: Bachelor’s / Master’s Degree Option

bachelor's & master's degree track

Are you interested in eventually earning a Master’s degree? Why not get a head start with our 4+1 Degree option. Students majoring in pastoral ministry may choose to begin work on a Master of Arts in Ministry degree OR Master of Arts in Biblical Studies degree while pursuing their undergraduate studies. This unique option allows you to graduate with both a Bachelor of Arts degree and a Masters of Arts degree in only five years.

Learn more about this track

Meet the Faculty


Rob Blanks, MDiv

LBC-PDN Liaison, Director of Pastoral Ministry Degree

Read Bio

Sample Course Outline

PAS 120 – Gospel, Church, and Mission as Pastoral Calling

This course explores the evangelistic undertaking of pastoral ministry set within the backdrop of God’s worldwide mission. Rooting the discussion in a biblical-theological study of the book of Acts, this course will trace the global progress of the gospel from the nascent years of the early church, through the subsequent centuries of church history, and within the contemporary missiological scene. In particular, this course will help students set the pastoral vocation within a global and local context as they build a biblical theology of mission, fortify their understanding of the gospel, and come to terms with the centrality of the church in God’s cosmic purposes.

PAS 150 – Pastoral Ministry Field Experience

This course exposes students to the importance of being meaningfully integrated in the life of a local church community as a foundation for vocational service. Students will be challenged in character formation, ministry competency, practical theology, and community participation through active involvement in the life of a local church, meaningfully engagement in mentoring relationships, and regular rhythms of self-reflection.

PAS 210 – Community Formation and Discipleship in the Church

This course highlights the catechetical duty of pastoral ministry in establishing believers, families, and churches in the essentials of the faith. Through a selective biblical-theological examination of Paul’s prison epistles (i.e., Colossians and Ephesians), students will identity the core elements of Christian moral formation, survey general trends of Christian education in church history, evaluate biblical principles of discipleship in light of contemporary learning theory, and pay special attention to discipleship as a churchwide community enterprise. Specifically, this course underscores maturity as the overarching goal of Christian instruction.

PAS 220 – Preaching and Teaching the Scripture

This course orients students to the homiletical task of pastoral ministry: rightly handling the Word of God. By means of constructing a biblical theology of preaching focused in the Book of Hebrews, students will understand the role of preaching and teaching within the framework of God’s greater purposes, expand upon their skills in biblical exegesis and textual exposition, and develop basic competencies in sermon design and delivery. With the addition of a preaching lab, students will gain experience in preaching sermons, benefit from timely and evaluative feedback, and discover the importance of sermon assessment in a charitable and interactive class setting.

PAS 250 Pastoral Ministry Field Service

This course enables students to be actively and meaningfully involved in church life and ministry as an emerging pastoral leader. Students will be challenged in character formation, ministry competency, practical theology, and community participation through active involvement in the life of a local church, meaningfully engagement in mentoring relationships, regular rhythms of self-reflection, and exposure to ministry responsibilities.

PAS 320 – Counseling and Care in the Church

This course examines the caretaking responsibility of pastoral ministry set within the ministry context of the local church. Reflecting on Paul’s own efforts of pastoral care through the lens of his Thessalonian correspondence, students will identify the foundational elements that comprise a basic theology of pastoral caretaking, examine the historical development of shepherding care, assess various types and approaches of pastoral counseling, and develop basic skills of a holistic caring ministry. This course will encourage the importance of the self-care of the pastor, boundaries of life and ministry balance, and mobilization of the church community in the care process.

CML 350 Pastoral Ministry Internship

This course equips students to skillfully demonstrate pastoral aptitudes by implementing such skills in hands-on, real-life ministry situations. Students will be challenged in character formation, ministry competency, practical theology, and community participation through active involvement in the life of a local church, meaningfully engagement in mentoring relationships, regular rhythms of self-reflection, and practical experience in pastoral responsibilities.

PAS 410- Pastoral Perspectives on Leadership

This course underscores leadership dynamics of pastoral ministry with a particular consideration for leadership that supports sustainable church ministry and accelerates gospel expansion. Based upon an investigation of the Pastoral Epistles, students will secure leadership wisdom through Paul’s final correspondence with his emerging leaders. This course collates biblical principles of authority together with an exploration of various leadership positions and approaches throughout the history of the church. During the tour of this class, students will build a biblical theology and philosophy of leadership, develop basic habits for sustainable leadership, reflect on their own leadership capacities and tendencies, and connect leadership principles to real life scenarios.

PAS 425 – Worship and Devotion in Christian Practice

This course surveys the liturgical function of pastoral ministry in the context of the local church. Launching a biblical theology of worship from Paul’s instructions in 1 Corinthians, students will consider the pastoral vocation of leading God’s people from a doxological perspective, valuing the liturgical calling of pastoral ministry as the communal reenactment of the kerygmatic drama which refreshes, enlivens, and establishes the people of God. Specifically, this course aids emerging church leaders to explore the biblical basis of worship, trace various expressions of worship throughout church history, and evaluate contemporary innovations.

PAS 430  – Senior Seminar to Pastoral Ministry

This course culminates the foundational fields of study related to pastoral ministry. In particular, this course will help students collate their thinking on pastoral ministry over the course of the entire program. Attendant with discussions and reading, this course will provide seminar-style space for students to work on their main documents for pastoral ministry (i.e., philosophy of ministry, doctrinal statement, ethical/position papers, conversion, call narrative, resume/CV, etc.), enhance their thinking on various pastoral issues, prepare for mock ordination, reflect on meaningful insights and progress throughout the time in the program, and anticipate the transition of life and ministry after graduation from the program.

CML 450 – Pastoral Ministry Practicum

This course empowers students to make a meaningful contribution in pastoral work by being uniquely invested in hands-on, real-life ministry situations. Students will be challenged in character formation, ministry competency, practical theology, and community participation through active involvement in the life of a local church, meaningfully engagement in mentoring relationships, regular rhythms of self-reflection, practical experience in pastoral responsibilities, and ownership of a ministry initiative.

A Closer Look: Pastoral Ministry

Carl Edwards.

Carl Edwards (’10): 2016 Distinguished Alumni Service Award Recipient

Carl Edwards is a proud graduate of LBC’s Church & Ministry Leadership department and currently serves the director of Cross Connection Youth Center in New Holland, Pennsylvania. “Handling the word is very important. I want to do justice to the text,” said Edwards of his ministry and education at LBC. “That was one of the biggest things to me – learning how to read the word, learning how to study it, looking it as literal text and applying it. Next is the relational side of ministry – that’s where disciples are made. LBC modeled that for me by having people who poured themselves into me.”

Careers and Jobs in Pastoral Ministry

  • Pastor
  • Associate Pastor
  • Youth Pastor
  • Non-Profit Leadership
  • Parachurch Ministry Leadership
  • Counselor

What’s your next step?