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Master of Arts in Sports Ministry

The Master of Arts degree in Sports Ministry is a unique, 100% online master’s degree designed for individuals working in ministry-related athletic organizations who desire a master’s degree as part of their continuing education and development. This degree provides students with tools to minister effectively within their specific contexts. It draws together components from the disciplines of exercise science, theology, and ministry, in order to provide students with the necessary skills to meet both the physical and spiritual needs of today’s athletes.

We are a member of The Association of Church Sports and Recreation Ministries.

A Program with a Purpose

The online master’s degree in Sports Ministry was born out of interest from area professionals who view athletics as a form of ministry and who desire to provide practical training for students to serve within their current vocation.

“What we want to do is give our students the tools to minister effectively. The Master of Arts in Sports Ministry is for someone who sees a career in sports as more than a career; it is an opportunity for ministry. This program is very exciting because it is an opportunity to help individuals improve their knowledge and skills, increase their marketability from a practical standpoint, and be well-equipped for lives of service and ministry while pursuing their passions.” -Dr. Roy Millhouse, Chair of the Theology and Ministry Department, Sterling Magazine, Fall 2017, 14

Our Program Is:

Accelerated: You can complete the program in just over 1 year (15 months).

Affordable: The online graduate program has an affordable tuition rate of $400 per credit hour.

Flexible: The 100% online format allows you to complete the entire program off campus.

We Are Connected:

We are a member of The Association of Church Sports and Recreation Ministries.

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Sports Ministry Master of Arts – Application Process and Requirements

(For complete details on program requirements and admissions processes, see the graduate catalog.)

  1. Complete and sign an application for graduate admission, including the $25 application fee. The application fee is required before submitting your recommendation letters or essay. Submit the $25 application fee to the Admissions Office.
  2. Submit an official transcript from all post-secondary institutions attended. Transcripts are “official” only when being sent directly to Sterling College from the degree granting institution. Transcripts sent to students are considered “unofficial” but may be used in transfer evaluation
  3. Submit a personal letter of interest stating reasons and influences for deciding to pursue a graduate degree in Sports Ministry.
  4. Submit essays in response to the MA in Sports Ministry Applicant Questionnaire. ( template attached here )
  5. Submit three letters of recommendation, one of which must come from a recent or current supervisor or faculty.
  6. Participate in an interview with graduate program faculty. (The interview may be held remotely.)

Submissions for Sports Ministry Graduate Program admissions process may be sent to:

Sports Ministry Admissions
125 W. Cooper
Sterling, KS 67579

OR email:

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The master’s degree consists of 31 credit hours of coursework, covering topics such as Bible study and worldview, theology of sport, coaching methods, and ethical issues in leadership. These courses complement the practicum and internship, the capstone components of the program.

This course will introduce students to the Sport Ministry program and highlight distinctions of the Sport Ministry program at Sterling College. An introduction to online learning will be covered and the writing style and other research tools utilized throughout the program will be introduced.

This course examines the major themes of the Old and New Testaments through the study of selected passages, ranging from Genesis to Revelation. It provides an overview of the covenants of the Old Testament, the ministry, death, and resurrection of Jesus, and the establishment and growth of the early church in the New Testament.

This course introduces the students to the importance of individual Bible study and connecting that study to real-life issues. It begins with the methodology and preparation for teaching others effectively and then uses those methods to explore issues of developing a Christian worldview for interpreting the world and ministering to the world.

This course examines the history and development of theology as it pertains to sport and play. It will provide a historical perspective on connections between sport, spirituality, and theology. It will also focus on developing a Biblical view of contemporary sport, recreation, and play. During the course, students will wrestle with the practical ramifications of how their beliefs affect performance, coaching, and competition. Students will also gain a perspective on various opportunities, organizations, and movements which facilitate ministry in the competitive arena.

Students should enroll in this course the first fall semester after entering the program. During this course you will work closely with the instructor to develop appropriate plans and goals for both the practicum and internship.  Significant time will also be allocated to reviewing writing styles and formats as well as APA style citation expectations.  Upon completion of this course, you will be proficient in your professional writing style and APA citation skills.  All students will leave this course with a specific plan for both their practicum and internship.

This course examines both past and present methods of coaching both individual and team athletics. It will provide an overview of numerous topics, and while providing an historical perspective of training methods, will focus on current innovations and developing skills and strategies. The focus of the course will be the evaluation, analysis, and synthesis of existing and new coaching methods.

This course explores the different parts of effective ministry, including evangelism, apologetics, and discipleship. Students will learn how to share the Christian faith, how to dialogue with skeptics, and how to help Christians mature in their faith. Students will learn various methods and evaluate their own ministry in order to develop a plan for growth and improvement.

This course focuses on principles and methods of organization, administration, and leadership in both church, para-church, and non-church organizations. Special attention will be given to biblical leadership principles and their practical application in administrative roles. This course will identify specific challenges of both directing and leading groups and ministries as well as developing strategies and tools to meet those challenges.

Students will delve into ethical theory as it relates to sport recreation and ministry, analyzing ethical dilemmas that students may face in the field. Using various approaches, students will then explore Christian strategic leadership and how it can positively affect organizational success. Special attention will be paid to Christ’s style of leadership evident in the Gospels. Upon completion of the course, students will be equipped with tools to lead organizations from a Biblical standpoint.

The practicum is about developing materials to teach students or peers. It is a developmental research project in which the student will use secondary data (journal articles) to develop an educational tool or resource for a specific target population. The student can develop something as elaborate as a class, or as simple as a one-hour presentation. What is evaluated is the development of the educational tool, not the presentation of the tool or resource to the target population. The target population must be realistic in that the student must be able to describe them, but not necessarily meet them or actually deliver the educational material to them.

This course focuses on the psychological and sociological challenges of coaching and mentoring athletes in the 21st century. This class will focus on understanding and coaching athletes who are part of the “post-millennial” generation, and bring their own patterns of thinking and behavior to the competitive arena. During the course, students will both learn what the characteristics and dynamics of the current generation, especially as they relate to sport and play. They will also both develop strategies to effectively motivate, lead, and communicate with athletes who see the world differently than previous generations as well as analyze the effectiveness of these strategies.

The Internship is a personal, experiential activity. It is a directed field experience. It is very similar to an independent study in that you will define the goals and objectives for the class. The student will spend a minimum of 80 hours learning a skill or something unfamiliar from an expert. The student must find a mentor who will certify that the student can spend the 80 hours with him or her, and a facility or institution where the student can spend the time in the learning activity. The student can do this experience at his or her place of employment, but it cannot be in an area that the student is paid for. The experience could be a missions trip out of country or within country.

The student will write a final paper detailing the internship experience and connecting it to what has been learned throughout the course.

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Is my state eligible for Sterling College's Online Program?

California IS ELIGIBLE, though the map indicates “no.”
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Sports Ministry Faculty

Dr. Andrew Giorgetti
Instructional Designer and Program Director for Sports Ministry

Dr. Roy Millhouse
Assistant Professor of Biblical Studies; Chair of Theology & Ministry

Dr. Lindsey Saenger
Assistant Professor of Exercise Science, Co-Department Chair of Exercise Science

About Sterling College

Sterling College is a Christ-centered, four-year college located in Sterling, Kansas, with a mission to develop creative and thoughtful leaders who understand a maturing Christian faith.

Sterling College Online Learning has delivered quality online distance learning programs and courses to people in the United States for over ten years. Sterling ranks exceptionally well as an online Christian college, priding itself in Christ-centered, quality, affordable education.

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