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Pastoral Ministries (Kern) Program

Credential up in the Pastoral Ministries (Kern) Program! This innovative approach to ministry preparation takes students farther, faster, and with less debt. By adding the Pastoral Ministries second major, you gain a broad foundation in ministry that prepares you for your ministry career. You also earn advanced standing in masters degree programs and complete ordination requirements in The Wesleyan Church. The Pastoral Ministries (Kern) Program is a “3+2” program, which means you can complete your bachelor’s degree in 3 years and Masters of Practical Theology (an MDiv equivalent degree) in 2 years, while receiving a reduced tuition rate for graduate courses.

Pastoral Ministries (Kern) students also have access to unique professional development opportunities like national ministry conferences, mentoring during the first years of ministry after graduation, and even pre-marital counseling. Students apply annually to the Pastoral Ministry (Kern) Program to receive scholarship funding and meet regularly with their advisors who are invested in student’s academic and spiritual growth.

Alumni of the Pastoral Ministries (Kern) Program are serving across the United States as church planters, teaching pastors, youth ministry directors, children’s pastors, worship leaders, world missions leaders, and more. You can also find our alumni serving in Australia, Czech Republic, the Middle East, and to the ends of the earth.

Why pursue my Pastoral Ministry degree at IWU?

Follow the Call at IWU: Called to Community

Community is essential to spiritual growth and faithfulness in ministry. That’s why we prioritize spiritual formation and community events. Every academic program includes a time set aside in your schedule for connecting with classmates and faculty to grow in love of God and love of neighbor. We grow strongest when we grow together through spiritual disciplines and community.

The Called Collective is a social network for teens who are called to ministry. Connect with other teens and with staff in the School of the Theology and Ministry who are excited to equip you to follow your call.

The Follow the Call Retreat gathers all first-year students every September for a time of community building, spiritual growth, and preparation for academic programs.

The Deeper Life Retreat takes the whole School of Theology and Ministry off campus in winter for a time of seeking a deeper experience of God’s spirit together.

Community events like cookouts, intramurals, Super Bowl watch parties, and game nights keep students connected to each other. There’s a seat saved for you in this community.

What will you study in this Pastoral Ministry program?

Follow the Call at IWU: Called to the Classroom

Every major is designed with the needs of the local church, and global church in mind. Your classes equip you for ministry, not only in the future, but right now as you practice what you’re learning. Theory and practice come together for deep understanding in courses like Ministry in Context and Evangelism & Discipleship. Classes like Inductive Bible Study and Systematic Theology prepare you to not only know what you believe, but be able to share the faith with others through through preaching, teaching, and writing. Challenge yourself to learn Greek and Hebrew. Discover a passion for theology or church history. Learn how to preach sermons, share the gospel, plan worship services, and lead small groups that invite people into a transformative relationship with Jesus Christ.

Follow the Call at IWU: Called to Campus

You’re not just preparing for ministry in the future; you’re serving in ministry right now. STM students lead small groups, serve as spiritual life coordinators in the dorms, lead worship in chapel and at other worship events, and are athletic team chaplains.

STM students take the lead for Fusion and Never Too Young, two events that bring thousands of high school and middle school students from churches to campus to encounter Jesus Christ and grow in faith. At IWU, you aren’t just learning about ministry through education; you’re doing ministry.

After Graduation

Follow the Call at IWU: Called to the Church

Students who are preparing for ordination in The Wesleyan Church meet all ordination requirements by adding the Pastoral Ministries second major to their specialized first major. We work closely with Education and Clergy Development and local District Boards of Ministerial Development to make sure ministerial students are on track for licensure and ordination. We also coordinate with the Church of the Nazarene and the Global Methodist Church, and can support students through other denominational process as well.

STM students are serving in churches around Grant country during the school year, and around the country in the summer. Whether as a volunteer, intern, or staff member, you’ll have opportunities to serve the local church. Students lead worship, teach children’s Bible classes, lead small groups, plan youth camps, lead mission trips, and so much more.

Churches, mission organization, and camps are present weekly in the STM building to connect with students and recruit interns and staff. We make it easy to find a church home near campus, summer and semester internships, pastoral residencies, and leadership and staff positions.

Follow the Call at IWU: Called around the World

Every summer dozens of students hit the road with our Summer Ministry Teams [hyperlink to youth ministry events page], leading camps across the United States. This life-changing experience of ministry and fellowship is an amazing way to practice what you’ve been learning through service and live into the calling of pastoral ministries.

The Summer in the Holy Land Program, led by Dr. Brian Bernius, is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to encounter the people and places of the Holy Land. Experience locations you’ve only read about in the Bible and meet people doing ministry in one of the most complex geo-political contexts in the world. You can earn up to 12 course credits and meet requirements in several majors and minors. The Holy Land Program is offered in odd years.

Intercultural Engagement in Ghana, led by Dr. DJ Coleman, takes students to West Africa to expand their vision of the global church and participate in inter-religious dialogue with Muslims. Students visit Accra and Tamale and engage with missionaries and local spiritual and civic leaders. This program is offered during May term in even years.

The Next Internship through Global Partners, the missionary organization of The Wesleyan Church, sends student interns around the world to discern a calling to long-term mission service and to partner with missionaries in the field. Students have recently served through missions in Bosnia, Istanbul, Cambodia, and more.

What Makes IWU Different?

Education Pioneer

IWU has provided on-campus education for more than 100 years.

Rooted in Christ

Faith-integrated curriculum and a commitment to changing the world.

Superior Support

Center for Student Success for counseling, tutoring, and more!

After Graduation
Potential Careers

  • Lead Pastor
  • Youth Pastor
  • Children's Pastor
  • Discipleship Pastor
  • Pastoral Counselor
  • Military Chaplain
  • Hospital Chaplain
  • Missionary
  • Non-Profit Administrator

Work in Various Industries

  • Industry

Program Requirements

The Pastoral Ministries Second Major must be combined with a first major in the School of the Theology and Ministry. It is not a standalone major. Students apply for admission and continuation in the Pastoral Ministries (Kern) Program to be eligible for scholarship funding, and must be accepted to the major in their final year through an application and approval process. Pastoral Ministries students are required to earn a C or higher in these courses for final acceptance to the program: BIL-101, BIL-102, REL-200, REL-270, THE-101 for admission to the program.

In addition to IWU graduation requirements, students must earn a 2.5 minimum GPA in the Pastoral Ministries Second Major.  Students must also earn a C or higher in these courses to graduate with the B.S. in Pastoral Ministries: BIL-101, BIL-102, BIL-202, THE-101, THE-233, REL-200, REL-240, REL-270.

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Indiana Wesleyan University is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission (HLC),, 312-263-0456. Other accreditations and associations of Indiana Wesleyan University are available at

Take the Next Step

Ready to jumpstart your career? Apply now! Or, if you have any questions about the program, contact us via the Request Info button.

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