MAR Pastoral Ministries Online Degree Program
Credit Hours
Years (Avg.)
Class Type
100% online, 8-week courses
Transfer Credits
Transfer in up to 50% of the degree total
Next Start Date
Jan 15, 2024
ATS Commission on Accrediting

Our Master of Arts in Religion – Pastoral Ministries Degree Trains You to Provide Pastoral Care to Your Congregation

Liberty University’s 100% online Master of Arts in Religion (M.A.R.) is designed to prepare students entering ministry with an in-depth but practical education in theology, biblical studies, and ministry practice. While completing the online Master of Arts in Religion, one of Liberty’s most popular online ministry degrees, you will have the opportunity to immerse yourself in a program that provides flexibility to tailor the degree plan to your passions and needs. Students who complete an online ministry degree program like our online master’s degree in religion can effectively pursue ministry in churches, parachurch organizations, and non-profit organizations while opening the door to further study at the graduate and doctoral levels.

The pastoral ministries area of study for the Master of Arts in Religion is designed to give pastors and church leaders additional training in providing pastoral care to meet the spiritual needs of their congregation and community. Students who are called to a hands-on ministry role and feel unequipped to meet people’s spiritual and relational needs will find the tools for effective, personal ministry leadership in the pastoral ministries area of study.


Liberty University’s John W. Rawlings School of Divinity is accredited by the Commission on Accrediting of the Association of Theological Schools (ATS). Your divinity degree is approved by ATS and has met rigorous accreditation standards, so you can feel confident that your degree is both academically excellent and well-respected among churches, ministries, and nonprofit organizations.

ATS Accreditation

Why Choose Liberty’s Online Master of Arts in Religion – Pastoral Ministries Program?

As an accredited online Christian college, Liberty University makes it easier to pursue an online ministry degree with the flexibility of a 100% online format, while holding weight as a master’s degree credential. Liberty University’s online seminary programs, such as the online master’s in religion, will give you a fully-fledged, online college degree in ministry that can equip you for ministry in a variety of fields.

Students in any specialization of the online Master of Arts in Religion will receive foundational instruction in the fundamentals of discipleship ministry, sermon preparation, and practical ministry skills. Students who complete the area of study in pastoral ministries will be further equipped to meet the spiritual needs of their church and ministry with training in pastoral care and spiritual leadership. The pastoral ministries area of study provides an in-depth study of pastoral care, spiritual warfare, and the important factors of ministry growth and success through effective pastoral leadership.

What are the Benefits of Liberty’s Online Seminary Degrees?

  • Unlike many online bible colleges or online seminaries, Liberty University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).
  • Liberty University online seminary students can complete Institutional Challenge Exams (ICE) to get college credit for personal studies and expertise in ministry, subject to transfer limitations.
  • Liberty’s online degrees of divinity through the online seminary have a Liberty’s online seminary offers divinity degrees at a graduate tuition rate of just $395 per credit hour for part-time students.
  • Online seminary block rate: students in 9 to 15 credit hours per semester are eligible for a block rate of $2,750 per semester!*

*Credits taken above 15 credit hours for the Master of Divinity online are charged at the part-time rate.

What Will You Learn in the Online Master of Arts in Religion – Pastoral Ministries?

Liberty University’s online Master of Arts in Religion contains extensive, well-rounded training in ministry, administration of Christian organizations, theology studies, and biblical studies. The core of the online master’s in religion will provide in-depth topic studies of the Old and New Testament, history of Christianity, systematic theology, and the research, writing, and sermon preparation process.

The online pastoral ministries area of study provides training in the spiritual factors of growing churches, as well as the role of a pastor or church leader in strategic prayer and spiritual warfare for bringing the congregation together and meet ministry challenges.

Students in the pastoral ministries area of study will also receive pastoral counseling training to better serve their congregation and community, as well as learn the most effective ways of preventing ministry failure.

Degree Information
Military Benefits
Admission Requirements

Master of Religion in Pastoral Ministries Degree Information

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Military Benefits

Liberty University is dedicated to providing world-class educational experiences to military students across the globe. Whether you are a current service member, discharged or retired from service, or the spouse of a service member or veteran, we are here to support you every step of the journey.

As a thank-you for your dedication and service to our country, Liberty is honored to serve and support you in your pursuit of online education by offering the following benefits: 

  • The discounted tuition rate of $275 per credit hour for graduate courses
  • Discounted divinity block rate: $2,475 per semester – only $165/credit at 9-15 credit hours!*
  • Additional discount for veterans who serve in a civilian capacity as a First Responder (less than $625 per course)

*Credits taken above 15 credit hours for the online Master of Arts in Religion are charged at the part-time rate.

Potential Career Options

Graduates of the online seminary’s Master of Arts in Religion will be prepared to tackle challenges in active, full-time ministry with churches and parachurch organizations while being well situated to continue an online pastoral care or Christian ministries degree at the graduate or doctoral level.

Since most doctoral-level religion degrees require a Master of Divinity (M.Div.), students who want to pursue doctoral studies would be encouraged to pursue Liberty’s online M.Div. program and will receive the maximum possible transfer of their online master’s in religion credit. In the meantime, graduates of Liberty’s online ministry degrees may be qualified for college-level and K-12 religious studies teaching (non-licensure).

  • Associate pastor
  • Church education administrator
  • K-12 religion teaching
  • Lay ministry leader
  • Missionary
  • Religion adjunct teaching
  • Teaching pastor

Program Highlights

  • We are recognized by multiple institutions for our academic quality, affordability, and accessibility. Our commitment to excellence also helped us rank in the top 10% of’s best online schools in America. Earning your online degree from a nonprofit university with this kind of recognition can help set you apart from others in your field.

  • Tuition for all undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral programs has not increased in 9 years. While many other online colleges have raised tuition, Liberty has been able to keep costs low as a non-profit university.
  • To continue our mission of providing affordable education, electronic textbooks are included for all divinity courses* at no cost to you. As a full-time student, this could save you an estimated $800-2,000 per year on textbooks!
  • You can complete this online master’s in religion – pastoral ministries in as little as 2 years.
  • Liberty University’s online seminary, the John W. Rawlings School of Divinity, has theologians and experienced professionals who teach practical ministry skills while imparting deep theological teaching.
  • Learn from content developed by renowned biblical studies scholars in Liberty University’s John W. Rawlings School of Divinity, such as Dr. Elmer L. Towns and Dr. Gary R. Habermas.
  • Develop practical ministry skills in pastoral care that will help you ensure that individuals and families in your ministry are connected and growing in the church.
  • Be equipped to handle challenges in church growth, no matter the size of the ministry.

*Electronic textbooks are not provided for courses that fall under departments outside the School of Divinity.

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Admission Requirements

Regionally or nationally accredited bachelor’s degree with at least a 2.0 for admission in good standing.  Applicants who have earned a master’s degree or at least 12 graduate credits from an accredited institution may be assessed on the basis of the masters-level degree work. 

Please visit our admission requirements page for more detailed admissions information.  

All applicants must submit the following:

  • Admission application
  • Application fee*
  • Official college transcripts
  • Unofficial college transcripts may be accepted with a completed official transcript request form**
  • Completed School of Divinity Questionnaire
  • Contact Information for a pastoral recommendation

*There is no upfront application fee; however, a deferred $50 application fee will be assessed during Financial Check-In. This fee is waived for qualifying service members, veterans, and military spouses – documentation verifying military status is required.

**An official transcript is needed within 60 days of acceptance or before non-attendance drops for the first set of matriculated classes, whichever comes first.