Christ.  Scholarship.  Service.

EXCEL offers associate degree in Christian ministry

Huntington, Ind.-For those who weren't called into ministry immediately out of high school, transitioning to such a position later in life can be a challenge. Huntington University's EXCEL Adult Degree Programs is helping meet that challenge with one of its newest programs - an Associate of Arts degree in Christian ministry.

"There are more and more people called to ministry leadership roles later in life," said Dr. Luke Fetters, associate professor ministry & missions. "These people often find themselves in staff positions or even as pastors of local churches, and they feel inadequately prepared in relation to several of the skills that impact ministry success."

The Associate of Arts in Christian ministry program offers the opportunity to develop and strengthen skills necessary to successfully practice ministry-all in a convenient one-night-a-week format.

In addition to those serving in full-time ministry, the program also is a valuable resource for those who desire to become more effective volunteers in ministry since churches heavily rely their service to lead many essential programs, Fetters explained.

Among its advantages, the EXCEL program offers environments where students can feel comfortable sharing their ministry challenges and can benefit not only from the professors but also their peers.

"For students to interact about their own faith ideas in small classes with folks at various levels on their spiritual journeys in a safe and affirming environment is healthy for all involved," Fetters said.

The professors in the program have expertise not only in ministry but also in adult learning. Fetters, the 2009 EXCEL Professor of the Year, has a doctorate in adult and community learning. In addition, two other professors who teach in the program - Dr. Karen Jones and RuthAnn Price - also have experience and education in adult learning.

"Faculty are approachable, accessible, responsive and helpful," Fetters said. "There is kind of a natural interaction between departments, including the traditional undergraduate ministry program and EXCEL. As with the faculty, you will find that the staff at EXCEL will get to know you and become personally involved in your success."

Student can begin classes toward the Associate of Arts in Christian ministry degree on Sept. 8 on the university's main campus in Huntington. Classes will run 6 to 10 p.m. one night per week. For more information, log on to the EXCEL Web site, e-mail the staff, or call (800) 600-4888.