Every ministry student is concerned about 3 things:

How will I develop into who God is calling me to be?
How can I get a job doing what I’m called to do?
How am I going to pay off my student debt?

The Kern Ministry Program develops ministry students who are
deeply formed, better trained, with less debt.

Deeply Formed

The Kern Ministry Program equips future pastors through deep spiritual formation, leadership development, ministry skills, and robust community-building opportunities.

  • Group mentoring in the form of weekly cohorts, students of similar graduation year, meeting weekly for spiritual formation and leadership development.
  • One-on-one coaching by a faculty member, upperclassman Kern student, or a local pastor for intentional guidance in your personal formation. 
  • Retreats for deeper formation and community development as a Kern cohort.

Better Trained

The Kern Ministry Program develops better-trained students who are more hireable upon graduation in three ways: 

  • Two degrees in five years. An undergraduate ministry degree* can be completed in three years and a Master of Practical Theology—an advanced Master's of Divinity equivalent—in two years,* giving you an advanced ministerial education in significantly less time.
  • Practical ministry experience. The fifth year of the program (the second year of the Master’s degree) transitions to an online education experience that pairs with a 12-month residency program at an approved "teaching church." Students gain ministry experience through local church practicums, on-campus ministry opportunities, and a semester-long church Internship.
  • Professional networking. The bonds students make throughout the five-year program will become key pastoral connections and a strong professional network to support ministry upon graduation.

Less Debt

It is more affordable to receive the 2 degrees in 5 years through the Kern Ministry Program than it is to complete 1 undergraduate degree in 4 years. This is accomplished through:

  • Savings from finishing an undergraduate degree in 3 years.
  • An annual undergraduate scholarship of up to $1,000 per year, in addition to other undergraduate scholarships (see below for award amount per GPA).
  • A $191/credit-hour scholarship during the Master's degree, amounting to just over $12,000.


Next Steps


Upon acceptance to Indiana Wesleyan University, the Kern Ministry Program application is accepted at any time.


Upon receipt of the application, Kern staff will reach out to schedule an interview, either on-site at IWU or a video call.


Kern staff will contact the applicant directly regarding admittance into the program. Freshmen Kern Cohorts begin each Fall semester, and current IWU students will begin participating in their respective cohort immediately.


Eligible Majors

Eligible undergraduate majors for the Kern Program include:

Christian Ministries
Youth Ministries + Pastoral Ministries
Children’s Ministries + Pastoral Ministries
Worship Ministries + Pastoral Ministries
Christian Education + Pastoral Ministries
Global Ministries + Pastoral Ministries
Community Development + Pastoral Ministries
Pastoral Counseling and Care + Pastoral Ministries

Contact Us

Eddy Shigley  |  edward.shigley@indwes.edu

General Contact  |  kern@indwes.edu