As a Seventh-day Adventist institution, Washington Adventist University readily offers Christian education to those of similar and differing faiths and denominations worldwide. WAU’s Religion Department is committed to that aim, serving as the center for Biblical teaching and discovery. Provided with the best opportunities to foster their knowledge, faith, and love of God, Religion students graduate prepared to serve their community and take on the modern world.
The Religion Department currently offers two Bachelor of Arts degrees: a BA in Theology and BA in Religion. For students who feel called to be pastors, earning a BA in Theology would greatly help them towards a future career in pastoral ministry. It is a very structured degree with a specially designed curriculum to prepare students for pastoral leadership and ministry and fulfill prerequisites needed to take on a Master of Divinity (MDiv) degree. Earning a Master in Divinity is recommended by the North American Division (NAD) and General Conference (GC) to become a working pastor.
On the other hand, the BA in Religion is designed to be more flexible than its counterpart. Students who decide to enter this program usually do so to gain a solid foundation in religion and another area of study. This degree is designed to work integrally with other disciplines and is customized to suit the students’ intentions. In combination with a minor or another major, those who graduate with this degree often work as counselors, chaplains, Bible teachers, and more. In the scenario that a student studying for a BA in Religion should change their mind and want to work towards a career in pastoral ministry, they can do so, but with the expectation to compensate the courses needed to be at their academic best to receive their MDiv. The career possibilities are endless with either degree–they are also excellent choices for an undergraduate degree in liberal arts, as classical literature arts courses heavily populate both degrees.
Students in WAU’s Religion Department have the invaluable opportunity to study with faculty who shape the world, both as pastors and pioneers of the Seventh-day Adventist church and the Chrisitan faith. Each of the professors works closely with students while also contributing to global projects–one of their more recent projects resulted in the translation of the Bible into the Russian language, which has immensely impacted Russian culture.
Students are trained as missionaries, evangelists, and pastors with a focus on urban ministry. WAU is located right in the middle of several cities, allowing students to experience the dynamics of city life and its diverse cultures and preparing them to live, work, and lead out through ministry in similar regions. During their time at WAU, students will have the chance to intern and mentor under leading pastors in the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area from a pool of hundreds of Seventh-day Adventist churches. Being in proximity to the headquarters of the NAD and GC, WAU is also at the center of Seventh-day Adventist administrative bodies. Students will have access to global resources and be able to attend presentations and interact with presenters and guests who come to the GC.
Each year, WAU organizes mission trips around the world to places like the Philippines, Honduras, and Puerto Rico, where many students become involved in teaching, evangelizing, and engaging in mission outreach. On-campus, students can join several clubs and organizations and have the unique opportunity to serve the student community as class pastors and in the Student Association as the Religious Vice President.
The Religion Department is always working towards expanding the resources and opportunities available to their students. For the upcoming Fall semester, the department will be offering several exciting courses in collaboration with the Honors College. Also, currently, they are planning to provide urban internships to students over the summer months. These internships will immerse students into successful urban ministry projects across the Columbian Union.
Regardless of your religious background, the WAU Religion Department welcomes you to campus, where faculty and staff are dedicated to your academic and spiritual growth. God has brought each of us to WAU for a purpose. Therefore, we should continue to pursue each opportunity to learn and grow in our faith to the best of our ability. The Religion Department is Ready For You!