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Pastoral Studies grad speaking to congregation

4+1 B.A. in Pastoral Leadership & M.A. in Pastoral Studies

Program Overview

Program Overview

In today’s world, effective ministry involves more than just knowledge. The needs of those you serve are often complex and change over time. As a servant-minded, passionate individual eager to meet those needs, you can study at an accelerated pace under devoted scholar-practitioners across a variety of disciplines. They will give you the tools you need to act as a faithful participant for the cause of Christ.

Enter pastoral leadership with more training and experience than a standard ministry program. Through this program, you will engage in biblical and theological study grounded in Scripture. Additionally, you will gain practical skills for pastoring, such as conflict management, partnering with civic organizations and nonprofits, and functioning within established systems, especially in urban contexts. There are also two global learning opportunities based in Israel and Italy, which provide students excellent opportunities to explore the ancient world of Paul and the origins of the Christian story. 

Lipscomb offers this cost-effective and convenient pathway for you to earn both your bachelor’s and master’s degrees while in residence at Lipscomb University. You will graduate after four years with a bachelor’s in Pastoral Leadership. Then, you will continue your education an additional year (i.e. 4+1) to finish the program. Upon completion of this program, you will begin ministry with your B.A. (79 credit hours), a master’s in Pastoral Studies (48 credit hours) and a minor in Business as Mission. 

*This program is currently pending approval and is made possible by a generous grant from the Kern Family Foundation.



The program requires an interdisciplinary mix of courses to prepare students for pastoral leadership.

12 hours of immersive practicum

Engage in supervised ministerial field work.

Two global learning opportunities

Broaden your worldview and explore the ancient origins of the Christian Story.

Integrated interdisciplinary curriculum

Follow a curriculum that incorporates faith, work and economics into the entirety of the program.

Our Faculty

  • Steve Bonner headshot

    Steve Bonner

    Professor and Associate Dean of Undergraduate Bible

    Steven Bonner serves as the Associate Dean of Undergraduate Bible and Professor of Christian ministry. He attended Lipscomb University where he received his B.A., M.A., and M.Div. He then received...

    Meet Steve Bonner
  • Earl Lavender headshot

    Earl Lavender


      Earl was born to missionary parents in Trieste, Italy. He earned undergraduate degrees from Ohio Valley College and David Lipscomb College (Physical Education and Coaching).  He is married to the...

    Meet Earl Lavender
  • Lauren White headshot

    Lauren White

    Assistant Professor

    Lauren Smelser White has served as Assistant Professor of Theology at Lipscomb since 2018 and teaches various undergraduate and graduate courses in Bible and systematic, historical, and contextual theology. She...

    Meet Lauren White

Career Paths

Pastoral Leadership

Use newly developed pastoral skills honed in the wisdom of faith, work, and economics to lead tomorrow's churches and engage in civic leadership.

Directors, religious activities and education

Plan, direct, or coordinate programs designed to promote the religious education or activities of a denominational group. May provide counseling and guidance relative to marital, health, financial, and religious problems.


Serve others in their seasons of need as a chaplain in a variety of settings, including the military, corporations, hospitals, hospice and universities.