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Parent Frequently Asked Questions

At the Kern Center for Vocational Ministry, we are committed to providing relevant and helpful information to parents who continue to mentor their students into adulthood. Here are some answers to the most frequently asked questions from parents about vocational ministry.

Will my student be able to find a job?
With the diversification in church structures and models in the 21st century, there are many opportunities for vocational ministry. This increase in diversification has led to a demand for specialists in a variety of different areas, including music, education, youth, small groups, administration, counseling, and teaching. Whereas in past generations vocational ministers sought to be generalists competent in each of these areas, with today’s diversification, many churches hire people just for one or two of these areas. This has led to a growing pool of staff positions available for people who have prepared themselves for vocational ministry.

Will my student be able to support him/herself in a ministry position?
The short answer to this is yes. People in vocational ministry do not live in luxury, but most of them are able to support themselves in their vocation. Salaries for vocational ministers vary widely, impacted by the nature of the position, the size of the church, and cost of living where the church is located. Most entry-level staff members will find themselves with responsibilities in more than one area.

What can a person do with a ministry degree?
Because a bachelor’s degree includes many general education requirements, a person with a ministry-oriented degree has many of the same options as someone with a degree in any other subject. In addition to staff positions at churches in areas such as youth ministry, worship/music, education, and administration, people with a ministry degree have the opportunity to build on that degree in seminary.

I’ve heard that churches are difficult places to work. Is this true?
Churches are like any other organization; they are filled with imperfect people. Most people in pastoral ministry experience a high level of job satisfaction. However, conflicts do arise from time to time. One of our goals at the Kern Center for Vocational Ministry is to adequately equip students with a realistic set of expectations about what vocational ministry will be like.

How can I encourage my student if he/she senses a call to ministry?
Urge your student to get involved in ministry now as a volunteer. Encourage your student to expose him/herself to a variety of different ministry opportunities. Also persuade your student to spend time with his/her pastor or youth pastor, praying and talking through what it means to be called to vocational ministry.

If you have a question not addressed here, please email it to ministryasvocation@apu.edu, and we would be happy to assist you.