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Children's Ministry

  • Available as major (B.S. degree) and minor
    This major has been approved by the Course of Study Advisory Committee to meet educational requirements for ordination as an elder/deacon in the Church of the Nazarene.

    A box of toys near the door of your office. “Veggie Tales” in your DVD player. A glass of juice on your desk. Yes, you must be a children’s minister. A high energy, high commitment, highly rewarding way to serve the Lord.

  • Top qualification for entering children’s ministry? 1. A desire to help children fall in love with the Lord. 2. A willingness to help their parents become the spiritual leaders in their homes.

    In children’s ministry, you work with a church staff to provide a climate for the spiritual growth of children and their families. You help make sure that the message and method are consistent with the church’s mission and values.

    In today’s world, children need and want more than Sunday School, children’s church and VBS. With your help and guidance, they will take God with them into every activity of the week. And they will return to you on Sunday with the hunger to know more about Him.

    Finding creative ways to get God’s Word into the hearts and minds of children — in a language they can understand, i.e., technology, sports, music, movement — is the challenge. Even with all the materials so readily available, the children’s minister is still the point person for research and implementation.

    Leading volunteers is one of the main keys to success in children’s ministry. Recruiting, training, organizing, encouraging, troubleshooting are all part of the job. A team approach with you as the coach will take you far.

    Children’s safety is becoming a greater concern in our churches. Planning, implementing and overseeing safety procedures will be a primary part of your work.

    Our children are the Church of today and tomorrow. They deserve our respect, love and dedicated effort to help them grow into the men and women God created them to be. Take the lead in that process.

    At Olivet, you can:  

    • Study pastoral care/counseling, Christian education, child development, spiritual formation.
    • Learn the foundations and issues of children’s ministry from professors with actual ministry experience.
    • Volunteer with area churches. Gain your own practical ministry experience. Find out if this is the area of ministry for you.
    • Love kids whom others may not take time to love — whether in a developing country overseas, or in the urban centers of Kankakee, New York or Chicago.
    • Hear directly from children’s ministry experts about exciting new ways to reach the youngest of God’s family.
    • And so much more!

    Putting knowledge to work

    Community ministry experience and a full summer internship are part of the degree requirements.
    In the summer of your final year, you are assigned to a church for ministry with a seasoned children’s pastor as your mentor.
    Missions in Action (M.I.A.)[link to M.I.A. page] sponsors student mission trips to serve people living on the continents of Asia, Africa, South America as well as in the U.S.


    To be successful in children’s ministry, you need: 

    • dependability
    • patience
    • love for children and their families
    • concern for others
    • joy when working with volunteers
    • good planning and organizing skills
    • strong communication skills
    • openness and eagerness to try new approaches and ideas
    • creativity

    Possible careers include: children’s minister, children’s ministry director, children’s pastor, coordinator of children’s ministry, children’s and family minister

    Children’s Ministry is within the School of Theology and Christian Ministry.