It is a high calling to shepherd Christ's church. Could God be calling you to this Biblical responsibility?

The Pastoral degree at Appalachian Bible College is specially designed to prepare you for service in local church leadership. Receiving an accredited double major in Bible / Theology and Pastoral studies will shape your mind and heart for a Christlike approach to all aspects of a pastor’s ministry, with particular emphasis on expository preaching.

The ABC Advantage

Our Program

Pastor-teachers need to "rightly divide the word of truth" (2 Tim. 2:15). With this focus in mind, the Pastoral degree at Appalachian Bible College will equip you for expository preaching — preaching that rightly interprets Scripture in its literary context and historical setting, while convincing the listener to believe and obey God’s Word.

In the days of celebrity Christianity, you will learn a counter-culture model of servant leadership at ABC. Faculty with pastoral experience will guide you in studying what constitutes a Biblically-sound local church and how to lead by example.

The Pastoral degree at ABC provides training in doctrinal and practical matters of pastoral ministry. You will be taught

  • sermon preparation and delivery
  • professional and ethical behavior
  • how to perform weddings, funerals, and baptisms
As a graduate, you will be well-prepared for candidacy and ordination.

Choose one of four concentrations in the Pastoral Degree:

  • Biblical Counseling Learn skills for expository preaching and individual counseling

  • Biblical Languages Four semesters of Greek and one of Hebrew for accredited seminary preparation and the ability to benefit from more advanced commentaries and studies

  • Youth & Family Best combination of classes to prepare for ministry to all ages of the family

  • Worship Prepare to lead a church and place a high priority on Biblical worship

Our Faculty

Mr. John Stiles

Mr. John Stiles - Chair of the Pastoral Ministry Major

Over the last 35 years, God has allowed me the privilege to serve Him as a youth pastor in Pennsylvania, an overseas church planter in Peru, and a senior pastor in Maryland and West Virginia. In addition, I have been teaching pastoral students at ABC and MOBC, our Bible college within maximum-security prison. All these life experiences with many different types of people have prepared me to pour into the lives of the next generation of pastors—men who are desperately needed to reach our world with the gospel of our Lord Jesus.

Connect with me!


Pastoral students are required to do an internship with an experienced local church pastor. This internship may be during a summer or over two semesters during school. The pastor you work with provides the college with a written assessment of your work.

The opportunity to be mentored is invaluable! When Jesus trained his disciples he did it "on the job." Your internship can also make the classroom more invigorating as it raises questions from your own experiences.

Why Pastoral?


Large or small, every local church needs godly male leadership. Ever since its inception ABC has been training servants for pastoral ministry. You will learn to:

  • understand and uphold doctrines related to the Church
  • study and proclaim God’s Word effectively
  • provide effective church leadership
  • participate in evangelism
  • promote missions around the world
  • provide Biblical counseling
  • conduct church business, worship services, church ordinances, weddings and funerals, pastoral care, and other pastoral duties

The Pastoral degree will let you study under the guidance of seasoned pastors who can mentor you in all aspects of pastoral life.

Career Ministry Opportunities

  • Pastor
  • Associate Pastor or Assistant Pastor
  • Pastoral Care & Discipleship
  • Institutional Chaplain
  • Senior Adult Ministry
  • Seminary Student

Objectives & Outcomes

You will be trained in… Leading to…
sermon development based upon an accurate exposition of the Scriptures challenging hearers to align themselves with God's truth.
doctrinal and practical issues a pastor will face in ministry resolving individual and church issues in a manner that pleases the Lord.
helping the congregation to see the need for both evangelism and discipleship implementing them in ways that are both Scripturally sound and God-honoring.

Pastoral Courses

What's Next?

Something BIG is coming to ABC