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Career and Education Opportunities for Ministers in Columbia, South Carolina

Columbia, South Carolina provides a wide variety of opportunities, both career and educational, for ministers. About 250 people are currently employed as ministers in South Carolina. By 2016, this is expected to grow by 17% to about 290 people employed. This is better than the national trend for ministers, which sees this job pool growing by about 12.7% over the next eight years. Ministers generally conduct religious worship and perform other spiritual functions associated with beliefs and practices of religious faith or denomination.

Income for ministers is about $19 per hour or $41,300 per year on average in South Carolina. Nationally, their income is about $20 hourly or $41,730 yearly. Compared with people working in the overall category of Religious Services, people working as ministers in South Carolina earn less. They earn more than people working in the overall category of Religious Services nationally. People working as ministers can fill a number of jobs, such as: pastor, bishop, and pastoral counselor.

The Columbia area is home to twenty schools of higher education, including three within twenty-five miles of Columbia where you can get a degree as a minister. Ministers usually hold a Bachelor's degree, so you can expect to spend about four years studying to be a minister if you already have a high school diploma.

CAREER DESCRIPTION: Minister

Minister video from the State of New Jersey Dept. of Labor and Workforce Development

In general, ministers conduct religious worship and perform other spiritual functions associated with beliefs and practices of religious faith or denomination. They also provide spiritual and moral guidance and assistance to members.

Ministers pray and promote spirituality. They also read from sacred texts such as the Bible or Koran. Equally important, ministers have to ready and deliver sermons and other talks. They are often called upon to administer religious rites or ordinances. They are expected to share data related to religious issues by writing articles or teaching. Finally, ministers perform administrative duties such as overseeing building management, ordering supplies, contracting for services and repairs, and supervising the work of staff members and volunteers.

Every day, ministers are expected to be able to speak clearly. They need to articulate ideas and problems.

It is important for ministers to organize and lead regular religious services. They are often called upon to conduct special ceremonies such as weddings and confirmations. Somewhat less frequently, ministers are also expected to share data related to religious issues by writing articles or teaching.

They also have to be able to participate in fundraising efforts to support congregation efforts and facilities and organize and engage in interfaith and recreational efforts sponsored by or pertaining to their religion. And finally, they sometimes have to administer religious rites or ordinances.

Like many other jobs, ministers must have exceptional integrity and have a strong concern for others.

Similar jobs with educational opportunities in Columbia include:

  • Religious Activities Director. Direct and coordinate activities of a denominational group to meet religious needs of students. Plan, direct, or coordinate church school programs designed to promote religious education among church membership. May provide counseling and guidance relative to marital, health, and religious problems.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Minister Training

Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary - Columbia, SC

Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary, 4201 N Main St, Columbia, SC 29203-5898. Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary is a small school located in Columbia, South Carolina. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 146 students. Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary has 2 areas of study related to Minister. They are:

  • Theology/Theological Studies, master's degree and post-master's certificate which graduated seven and three students respectively in 2008.
  • Divinity/Ministry, professional degree which graduated 35 students in 2008.

W L Bonner College - Columbia, SC

W L Bonner College, 4430 Argent Ct, Columbia, SC 29203. W L Bonner College is a small college located in Columbia, South Carolina. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 60 students. W L Bonner College has 4 areas of study related to Minister. They are:

  • Theological and Ministerial Studies, Other Specialties, one to two year which graduated 6 students in 2008.
  • Pastoral Studies/Counseling, bachelor's degree.
  • Youth Ministry, one to two year and bachelor's degree which graduated zero and two students respectively in 2008.
  • Theology and Religious Vocations, Other Specialties, one to two year and bachelor's degree which graduated five and one students respectively in 2008.

Columbia International University - Columbia, SC

Columbia International University, 7435 Monticello Rd, Columbia, SC 29203-1513. Columbia International University is a small university located in Columbia, South Carolina. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 929 students and an admission rate of 85%. Columbia International University has 8 areas of study related to Minister. They are:

  • Theology/Theological Studies, master's degree which graduated 26 students in 2008.
  • Divinity/Ministry, professional degree which graduated 19 students in 2008.
  • Pre-Theology/Pre-Ministerial Studies, bachelor's degree.
  • Theological and Ministerial Studies, Other Specialties, doctor's degree which graduated 9 students in 2008.
  • Pastoral Studies/Counseling, master's degree which graduated 1 student in 2008.
  • Youth Ministry, bachelor's degree which graduated 14 students in 2008.
  • Pastoral Counseling and Specialized Ministries, Other Specialties, master's degree and post-master's certificate which graduated three and zero students respectively in 2008.
  • Theology and Religious Vocations, Other Specialties, master's degree which graduated 5 students in 2008.

CERTIFICATIONS

Preventing Disease Transmission: A two-hour training module for employers and employees who, while on the job, may be exposed to blood or other body fluids that could cause infection.

For more information, see the American Red Cross website.

LOCATION INFORMATION: Columbia, South Carolina

Columbia, South Carolina
Columbia, South Carolina photo by Akhenaton06

Columbia is located in Richland County, South Carolina. It has a population of over 127,029, which has grown by 9.2% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Columbia, 86, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Columbia cost $142,700 on average, which is well below the state average. In 2008, four hundred thirty-four new homes were built in Columbia, down from seven hundred the previous year.

The three most popular industries for women in Columbia are educational services, health care, and public administration. For men, it is educational services, public administration, and accommodation and food services. The average commute to work is about 18 minutes. More than 35.7% of Columbia residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 14.3%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Columbia is 16.1%, which is greater than South Carolina's average of 12.0%.

The percentage of Columbia residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 41.6%, is less than both the national and state average. Progressive Church, Bishop Memorial African Methodist Episcopal Church and Lutheran Seminary are among the churches located in Columbia. The largest religious groups are the Southern Baptist Convention, the United Methodist Church and the Catholic Church.

Columbia is home to the Booker T Washington Center and the Longstreet Annex as well as Irwin Park and Columbia Historic District II. Shopping centers in the area include Five Points Shopping Center, Market Place Shopping Center and Columbiana Centre Shopping Center. Visitors to Columbia can choose from Marriott Columbia, Hampton Inn Columbia-SE-Fort Jackson and Embassy Suites Hotel for temporary stays in the area.