Doctor of Theology in Religious Education

Learn about the program requirements for a doctorate degree in religious education. Explore education prerequisites, courses of study and research opportunities. Schools offering Christian Studies degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Can I Earn A Th.D. in Religious Education?

Most colleges that offer a doctorate in religious education are Christian and Jesuit colleges. Doctorates in religious education are usually offered as Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) degrees, not as a Doctor of Theology (Th.D.) degrees. Through a Ph.D. program, you'll spend time on the history and theories of religious studies.

To enter into a Ph.D. program, you're expected to have already earned a master's degree in theology, religious studies or a similar subject. Some colleges urge you to be a minister of the faith, a lifelong learner and a meditative researcher. Upon graduation you'll have earned an education degree and be able to teach Christian or Jesuit beliefs.

Degree TypesDoctoral programs in religious education typically award Ph.D. degrees
Common Course TopicsPhilosophy, religious thought, children's ministry, gospels, church leadership
Online AvailabilityWhile some religion courses may be offered online, most Ph.D. programs must be completed in person; post-master's certificates available online
Median Salary (2018) $71,890 (for all postsecondary philosophy and religion teachers)*
Job Outlook (2016-2026) 12% growth (for all postsecondary philosophy and religion teachers)*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

What Will I Study?

A Ph.D. program focuses on the study of research methodologies and teaching techniques. Upon completion of the program, you should be able to look for work researching and writing about religion or teaching religion at seminaries and colleges. Once you have completed the program, you should be able to convey the themes and messages of the gospels and of the Old Testament through writings.

Through this program, you'll be able to examine faith and theology with a critical eye. Through research of history, gospels, philosophy, spirituality and religious thought, you should be able to come to the conclusions you seek. During your matriculation, you'll prepare and write your dissertation while studying subjects such as children's ministry, the Old Testament, the New Testament, church leadership, church history, spirituality in the arts, human development and spiritual studies.

Can I Earn It Online?

Ph.D. programs in religious education is extremely rare online. Because it is the doctorate level, most universities prefer you to complete your work on campus and with an internship. Your focus is to learn how to research and teach religion. With teaching practicums and guided research activities, you'll need instructors to be close and readily available. Some religion courses are offered online, however these courses don't typically lead towards a Ph.D. degree. Post-master's certificates in religious education are available through online extension programs.

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:
The schools in the listing below are not free and may include sponsored content but are popular choices among our users. Tuition and costs will vary across programs and locations. Be sure to always request tuition information before starting a program.

Popular Schools

  • Regent University

    Regent University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Regent University:

    • Doctoral

    Online Programs Available

  • Liberty University

    Liberty University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Liberty University:

    • Doctoral

    Online Programs Available

  • Marquette University

    Campus Locations:

    • Wisconsin: Milwaukee
  • Yale University

    Campus Locations:

    • Connecticut: New Haven
  • Westminster Theological Seminary

    Campus Locations:

    • Pennsylvania: Glenside
  • Western Theological Seminary

    Campus Locations:

    • Michigan: Holland
  • Western Seminary

    Campus Locations:

    • Oregon: Portland
  • Harvard University

    Campus Locations:

    • Massachusetts: Cambridge
  • Wesley Theological Seminary

    Campus Locations:

    • Columbia (D.C.): Washington
  • Virginia Union University

    Campus Locations:

    • Virginia: Richmond