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Why Pastors should pursue an MBA (Master of Business Administration) instead of DMin (Doctorate of Ministry)

This article is not for everyone and I am sure many will disagree with my statement.  Not everyone is cut out to pursue additional degrees after the MDiv.  But if one is considering pursuing a DMin, I am addressing this article to you.

I am starting my second semester pursuing my MBA (completed 11 hours so far).  I have earned my MDiv with Biblical Languages from SWBTS in 2001 and have completed 13 hours toward my DMin at Beeson Divinity School.  Since 2001, I have pastored a total of 3 churches.   I am pursuing my MBA at Kennesaw State University as a part of the University System of Georgia’s WebMBA program.  100% online degree in 18 months.

I LOVED my MDiv theological training at SWBTS and had an outstanding experience learning how to rightly divide the Word of God.  My argument is I believe it would be wise for a Pastor to consider pursuing an MBA instead of a DMin degree.  Listed below are the classes I will take as a part of my MBA for me to graduate.

My class list:

  • Human Behavior in Organization
  • Managerial Accounting
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Global & International Business
  • Managerial Decision Analysis
  • Strategic Marketing
  • Managerial Finance
  • Management Information System
  • Production & operations Management
  • Business Strategy

Why I believe pastors should consider pursuing their MBA over their DMin.  In my opinion . . .

1)      MBA is a more functional degree in leading a church than a DMin—With budgets, buildings, capital campaigns, church plants, marketing of the church, MBA will be far more practical than taking additional theology courses.

2)      MBA is respected and translates better to the congregation—I believe congregational members will better understand their pastor’s skill set if he adds an MBA than just additional theological graduate hours in pursuing a DMin.  It allows the pastor to better navigate the dangerous “waters” of running a nonprofit organization.  We are called as Christians to be “Innocent as doves, wise as serpents.”

3)      Education from an MBA will allow you to become more strategic in the organizational structure of a church—learning people is vital in leading a church.  Obviously following God’s leading in all things we are to use our brains in strategizing outreach, becoming entrepreneurial in planting churches, and intentional in our missions.

4)      MBA diversifies one’s education—I would argue understanding the business side of running an organization is a blind spot for many pastors with a solely theological degree background.

5)      Provides an education which can translate well bivocationally—businesses and nonprofits understand MBAs but (from experience) cannot fully understand or really respect how difficult MDiv degrees are.  As more and more churches are having to have bivocational pastors, it would provide the pastor the tools he needs to find another job easier than if he had a DMin.

In conclusion, in my opinion pursuing an MBA over a DMin will better sharpen a pastor to be a wise steward of God’s resources, become more skilled in equipping the saints for the work of the Gospel, and provide better strategy for the growth of the church of God.