Program Overview

The Certificate of Ministry program at Virginia University of Lynchburg is a one-year, non-degree program of study intended to help practicing ministers and laypersons improve their overall competency and efficiency. The Certificate in Ministry with a concentration in Church Leadership program is an entirely online derivative that focuses on enhancing leadership qualities and responsibility. This certificate may be ideal for pastors, ministers, chairpersons, and diaconates, among other individuals involved in ministry.

This program does not result in a degree, but the credits earned may be applied to some Bachelor of Arts and Associate of Arts Degrees without loss of credit. Students should consult with advisors in order to see what credits may or may not be transferred.

It is the goal of this program to produce candidates that hold specific theological, pastoral, and ministerial skills competencies. They will have a good understanding of scripture and how it affects one's experiences and interactions with others. Students may grasp the historical framing of Christianity and the way it affects and is affected by interfaith and cultural issues. As leaders, graduates should be able to put a name to their own style, limitations, and cultural perspectives. They should also be able to effectively participate in different groups, through both discussion and collaboration, and listen and respond to others with empathy and understanding.

To earn this Certificate of Ministry, students must earn a total of 35 hours of credit from a prescribed plan of study. Generally this program is completed in three semesters, each including ten to 15 credits. Courses vary from one to three credits in weight. The curriculum is designed to improve the reading ability, administrative qualities, and interpersonal communication skills of those enrolled. Course topics include Christian moral values, aspects of theology, and the history of the church and Christian education.

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    Program Details

    Degree Level: Certificate

    Delivery Format: 100% Online

    Accelerated Degree:

    Accreditation & Licensing

    Transnational Association of Christian Colleges and Schools, Accreditation Commission

    School Overview

    Virginia University of Lynchburg is a historically black, private university located on a suburban campus in Lynchburg, Virginia. In addition to VUL’s main campus in Lynchburg, teaching sites are located in Danville, Burgess, Petersburg and Suffolk, Virginia. VUL was founded in 1886, and is the oldest school of higher learning in Lynchburg. The school was incorporated as the Lynchburg Baptist Seminary in 1886 by the Virginia Baptist State Convention. Throughout its history, VUL has been known as the Virginia Seminary, Virginia Theological Seminary and College and Virginia Seminary and college, and received its current name in 1996. The mission of VUL is to recognize the potential in every person, and to maximize the gifts of the individual within a nurturing Christian environment, that provides students with opportunities to develop into scholars and leaders.

    VUL offers on-campus and online programs and degrees which include certificate programs, and associate's, bachelor's, master's and doctoral degrees. The programs are housed in the following schools:

    • School of Arts and Sciences
    • School of Business and Technology 
    • School of Religion

    VUL’s Distance Learning Program is an alternative for students that are unable to attend class on the main campus or at one of VUL’s teaching locations the chance to advance their education.


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