Home Academics Undergraduate Majors

Theology and Christian Leadership

Theology and Christian Leadership examines connections between belief and practice in everyday life. They help organizations put values into action and study the role of faith in society.

Combining classes in religion with electives in psychology, sociology, music, multimedia, and more, our program will equip you to design a major or minor appropriate for your interests and career goals.

Deepen your understanding of the world

Our program will equip you to design a major or minor appropriate for your interests and career goals. Through a study of Theology and Christian Leadership, we invite you into the world’s oldest, newest, strangest, and most urgent questions of human meaning, in relation to the staggering breadth of the universe, the world’s beauty and pain, and the most intimate depths of the soul.

Pursue your areas of passion

You’ll begin your program of study by selecting an area of specialization:

  • Children, Youth, and Family Ministry
  • Not for Profit & Social Sector
  • Spirituality and the Arts

In addition, two you’ll pursue an internship with an organization that will allow you to develop yourself as a leader. You’ll also participate in a seminar of 4-8 students to integrate experiences in the classroom into your self-understanding as a leader.

At a Glance

Degree Type

Bachelor of Arts




College of Arts and Science

Next Steps

Interested in this major? Here's what you can do next:

The Curriculum

With challenging and relevant courses, outstanding faculty, small class sizes, and an emphasis on hands-on learning, the theology and christian leadership program will position you to succeed in your chosen career.

Program Details

Find out what it takes to earn a degree in theology and christian leadership and explore the courses.

Emphasis Areas

Customize this major to your interests by taking courses in an area of focus:

Children, Youth and Family Ministry

Prioritizes spiritual capacity, cultural relevance, vocation, and relationships at every developmental age within a framework of asset-based community development.

See description
Not for Profit & Social Sector

Prepares students to be organizational and civic leaders who think theologically, collaboratively, and critically in order to deliver effective advocacy, policy work, and social services.

See description
Spirituality and the Arts

Engages arts of all kinds as spiritual traditions and practices, strengthening and amplifying artistic practice in service of community, contemplation, and transformation.

See description

Highlighted Courses

Get familiar with some of the courses you might take in this major.

RLTH 315: Classical Hebrew Lang/Lit

This course is the first of a two-semester sequence of study leading to a reading knowledge of the Hebrew Bible/Old Testament and other ancient Hebrew texts. Basic Hebrew grammar and vocabulary are studies in conjunction with questions of the literary, religious, and linguistic culture of ancient Israel and early Judaism.

See description
RLTH 320: Bible in the Ancient World

This course surveys biblical writings and examines them in their ancient social, political, and cultural contexts. Students learn comparative methods of literary and historical interpretation with special attention to how reconstructions of the ancient world affect our understanding of these writings.

See description
RLTH 321: The Bible and the Contemporary World

The Bible is an enduring expression of the Jewish and Christian faiths. It is put to myriad uses and read in a fascinating variety of ways in many different contexts. This course explores the Bible in contemporary history, interpretation, social and political life, theology, and the arts, paying special attention to both its materiality and the way its themes are engaged by communities around the world.

See description
RLTH 334: The American Religious Experience

The course traces the historical role(s) of religion in the United States of America from Native American religious traditions, through the dominance of Christianity in its multiple expressions, to the modern-day reality of pluralism. Themes include but are not limited to the relationship between religion and politics; the importance of the U.S. as a land of (religious) opportunity; religion and money; pluralism as a religious idea and/or challenge; and social frameworks such as class, sports, gender and sexuality.

See description
RLTH 391: Children, Youth and Family Ministry

Through course readings, guest speakers, and self-reflection, students will be introduced to the theologies, approaches, and organizational models of ministry with children, youth, and families. Students will investigate the analyses of others through written assignments and exams and will construct their own articulations of the purpose and practice of ministry. By hosting guest speakers, practicing theological skills, and locating resources, students will relate their own identities and leadership styles to the identities and leadership styles of fellow classmates and scholar-practitioners.

See description
RLTH 392: Christian Liturgy and Worship

An introduction to the Christian liturgical tradition, particularly that of Western Christianity. It will include some comparison with non-Christian religious customs, and will give importance to the development of worship in the Protestant traditions. The course's approach is historical, but it may also include some practical training if appropriate to student needs. Christian hymnody and liturgical music will also be introduced, with an emphasis on the distinctive Lutheran contributions in those areas.

See description

Recommended Minors

Want to add even more value to your degree? Consider one of these minors to gain a unique combination of skills and perspectives.

The Experience

We offer hands-on opportunities that give you the freedom to explore your passion through real-world work and prepare for a fulfilling career.

Student photo

I absolutely love seeing different interpretations of religion because it really forces you to become open-minded. When I first started at Cal Lutheran, I had a very black and white understanding of Christianity, but while being here, it has simply amazed me how religion—not exclusive to Christianity—impacts our experience on earth.

Stephanie Ramos '22
Theology and Christian Leadership and Multimedia Major

Career Paths

Most of our graduates have combined multiple academic fields into their major or minor, which prepares them for a variety of careers focused on interpersonal engagement. Many alumni continue onto graduate studies related to sexuality, arts, theology or management, while other alumni work as teachers, counselors, camp directors, non-profit leaders, and pastors.

Potential Careers

Philosophy and Religion Teachers, Postsecondary

Teach courses in philosophy, religion, and theology. Includes both teachers primarily engaged in teaching and those who do a combination of teaching and research.

See description


Conduct religious worship and perform other spiritual functions associated with beliefs and practices of religious faith or denomination. Provide spiritual and moral guidance and assistance to members.

See description

Directors, Religious Activities and Education

Coordinate or design programs and conduct outreach to promote the religious education or activities of a denominational group. May provide counseling, guidance, and leadership relative to marital, health, financial, and religious problems.

See description

Educational, Guidance, and Career Counselors and Advisors

Advise and assist students and provide educational and vocational guidance services.

See description

Education and Childcare Administrators, Preschool and Daycare

Plan, direct, or coordinate academic or nonacademic activities of preschools or childcare centers and programs, including before- and after-school care.

See description

Fundraising Managers

Plan, direct, or coordinate activities to solicit and maintain funds for special projects or nonprofit organizations.

See description

Looking for more career paths? Search these related areas to discover more options.

This page includes information from O*NET OnLine by the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration (USDOL/ETA). Used under the CC BY 4.0 license. Some occupations listed above may require a related graduate degree.

How We Prepare You for Success

We have 20,000+ employer contacts for jobs and internships, with over 200 listings posted each week.

Our excellent career counselors in the Career Services center will get in touch with you during your very first term on campus. They offer over 50 workshops each year on resume writing, interviewing, salary negotiations, applying to graduate schools, and other critical skills to help you begin your career successfully.

After you graduate from Cal Lutheran, you receive free access to Career Services for life, as a valued member of our alumni family.

Learn more about career outcomes

of Cal Lutheran graduates find a job or enroll in graduate school within nine months

Cost & Financial Aid

We work with students and families to make sure everyone who is admitted to Cal Lutheran can afford it.

Tuition & Fees

You and your family might have questions about how you’ll cover the costs of college. We can tell you this — it costs less than you think.

Read our financial aid guide

Scholarships & Grants

We offer a range of awards based on academic merit and financial need. This is money that does not need to be repaid.

View scholarships and grants

Financial Aid

If you're new to the financial aid process, you probably have a lot of questions. But don't worry — we're here to help guide you all the way.

Learn about financial aid

I'm Interested!

Let us know and we'll send you information about our academics, campus life, the admission process, and more!

Check mark icon

Level Up Your College Search

Check out our college success guides to help you navigate the search process.

5 Tips for Applying to College

Learn how to look good when applying to colleges, with personal tips to stand out from Cal Lutheran admission counselors.

How to Afford College

Read this guide to minimize costs as you save for college during high school — learn all about scholarships, financial aid, FAFSA, and more!

How to Choose a College Major

Your major will be a significant part of your academic experience. How do you pick the right one?