Bachelor of Divinity

Accredited Bachelor of Divinity programs are not common in the United States. More common are Bachelor of Theology programs. To learn about the differences between these options and to check what degree programs are available in divinity, continue reading. Explore the possible courses available in these programs, and review the career options for graduates. Schools offering Chaplaincy degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Will I Learn in a Bachelor of Theology?

You can earn a Bachelor of Arts in Theology or a Bachelor of Theology. Through a theology program, you'll study the history of religion and ways to teach religion. Other courses will teach you to read, understand and interpret the Old and New Testaments of the Bible and other religious texts. You may have to learn a Biblical language, such as Hebrew or Greek. Some courses you could take might deal with:

  • Life in Biblical times
  • History of Ancient Israel
  • Introductory doctrine and theology
  • Children's Ministry
  • Philosophical and religious perspectives of the world
  • History and practice of worship
  • The Synoptic Gospels
  • Theological studies

Common Undergraduate Theology Courses History and practice of worship, religious pedagogy, study of religious texts and languages, introductory doctrine
Graduate Level Divinity M.Div.: Advanced study of Christian texts, Christian ethics, engagement with world religions, leadership skills
Theology vs. Divinity Theology is the study of religion in a research capacity, whereas a degree in divinity is preparation for ministry.
Programs in Divinity are only available at graduate level.
Careers B.A. in Theology: ministry roles including youth worker, deacon, or Biblical interpreter
M.Div.: pastor, priest, or further theological studies

What Can I Learn Though a Master of Divinity?

No accredited Bachelor of Divinity programs are offered in the U.S., but you can find several Master of Divinity (M.Div.) programs. Through the master's degree in divinity, you'll receive advanced study in Christian texts as well as studying theology at an advanced level. You'll also develop leadership skills, which you may be required to develop by working in a leadership setting, possibly at a parish. Some programs make concentrations available, such as Ancient Near-Eastern languages and literature, history of Christianity, theological studies, preaching and worship or youth and family ministries. Possible courses could include:

  • Hebrew fundamentals
  • Exegesis of the New Testament
  • Engagement with world religions
  • Christian ethics
  • Calvinism

What Is the Difference Between a Degree in Theology and a Degree in Divinity?

In short, a degree program in divinity is designed to prepare you for ministry. Degree programs in theology are designed to prepare you for examining religious doctrines in a research capacity, for a ministry career in a specific area of theology or for advanced studies. Accredited degree programs in divinity in the United States are available as master's and doctoral degrees, but not as bachelor's degrees. For undergraduate study, theology degree programs are available as bachelor's degrees, as well as master's and doctoral degrees at graduate level.

How Can I Use These Degrees?

A Bachelor of Theology can lead you to numerous roles in ministry, such as a deacon, a Christian camp director, a church youth worker or a director of Christian youth education. You could also become a Biblical interpreter. A master's degree in divinity could lead to a career as a pastor or a priest. If you earn a master's degree in theology, which is generally pursued after an M.Div., you could go into theological research and specific areas of ministry, or you could pursue doctoral degrees in ministry or theology.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

  • 1. Degree Options:

Popular Schools

  • Kaplan University

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  • University of Northwestern-St Paul

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    • Minnesota: Saint Paul
  • University of Fort Lauderdale

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    • Florida: Lauderhill
  • Tennessee Temple University

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    • Tennessee: Chattanooga
  • Piedmont International University

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    • North Carolina: Winston Salem
  • Valley Forge Christian College

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    • Pennsylvania: Phoenixville
  • Oral Roberts University

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    • Oklahoma: Tulsa