Students who are interested in pursuing a career in ministry or graduate study in Religion in a seminary or divinity school are encouraged to consider three types of opportunities at Maryville College:
- courses that develop academic skills and background knowledge that provide the foundation for success in graduate school,
- service and internship opportunities that provide practical experience and exposure to the world of ministry,
- and vocational discernment activities through the Center for Calling and Career and the Campus Minister’s Office.
Seminaries and graduate schools in Religion do not have a required curriculum that students must complete before entering. In fact, students from a wide variety of majors can and do attend seminary. What is most important is developing the ability to read texts carefully and analytically, think critically about concrete and abstract problems in relation to historical and social contexts, and communicate effectively both orally and in writing. Though a major in Religion or Philosophy is not essential, it is important to become familiar with the Bible and central themes in Christian thought, to gain an introductory understanding of basic concepts and historical background in Western philosophy, and to become acquainted with diverse religions and cultures. Every student begins to develop these skills and knowledge through The Maryville Curriculum, MC’s required core courses. Though students can hone these skills and further develop these forms of literacy in a number of different fields, majors in the humanities (religion, philosophy, history), English literature, or the social sciences (sociology, economics, political science) are particularly recommended.
Students interested in exploring ministry are encouraged to participate in worship and service activities coordinated by the Center for Campus Ministry and the Campus Minister’s office, to pursue the Certificate program in Ministry and Church Leadership, and to apply for ministry internship opportunities.
The Center for Calling and Career offers a number of avenues for investigating one’s sense of calling and the array of possible vocations that might be a good ‘fit.’ Each fall, the Campus Minister takes a group of students considering a vocation in ministry on a seminary trip where they can become acquainted with a variety of types of seminaries and divinity schools. Members of the Religion and Philosophy faculty also welcome the opportunity to support students in their exploration of possible vocations in ministry or other fields.