Online Theology Schools

Learn what you should consider when finding and selecting an online school for your theology studies, such as a school's accreditation status and whether it admits laypersons as well as clergy members. Explore some of the fields of study offered through online theology schools. Schools offering Ministry degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Online theology schools are numerous. Degree programs exist at the associate's and bachelor's degree levels, in addition to doctoral programs. Other options include certificate and diploma programs, lasting anywhere from three-to-18 months.

Are All Theological Schools the Same?

According to the National Center for Education Statistics' College Navigator database, there are more than 500 institutes of higher learning offering theology programs in the U.S. Though schools from a variety of faiths may offer theology programs, the College Board says that most programs are available through Catholic schools. The College Board further states that theology programs at Catholic schools may give students the opportunity to study other religions. You may not have to attend a school that correlates with your personal religious beliefs, or the faith you wish to study, in order to study a particular religion.

Though it is more common to find theology programs through schools with on-campus programs only, you can study theology online. However, not all of these online schools are accredited. The Association for Biblical Higher Education (ABHE) states that some good Bible colleges (also known as institutes of biblical higher education) have opted out of the accreditation process. However, the Association says, accreditation is a good way to determine potential quality in an educational institution.

What Should I Consider in Choosing a School?

Some theological schools include a seminary or other program for those wishing to enter the clergy. Others offer theology degrees to laypeople wishing to earn a degree or certificate in this area. If you want to become a priest, rabbi, imam or other type of spiritual leader, you may want to make sure the school you attend offers the right training. According to the College Board, other factors to consider include the type of religious community you will be entering and the distribution of gender among theology faculty.

The ABHE has a directory of accredited schools that offer distance-learning or online degree programs and courses. The Transnational Association of Christian Colleges and Schools (TRACS) lists schools offering undergraduate and graduate degrees on campus and online. The Commission on Accrediting of the Association of Theological Schools (ATS) offers a directory of schools in North America that offer postgraduate theological education. The schools listed in the ATS directory are separated into categories, including Catholic, Protestant, Protestant denomination, interdenominational, multi-denominational and non-denominational.

All schools on the lists are either accredited by their respective association or are candidates for accreditation. ABHE, TRACS and ATS state that they are approved as accrediting agencies by the U.S. Department of Education and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation.

Which Degrees are Offered Online?

At the undergraduate level, diploma, certificate, associate's degree and bachelor's degree programs in theology are all available. One school offers online diplomas in theology and ministry and online certificates in Bible and theology. The same school also offers Associate of Arts and Bachelor of Arts degrees in specializations like Bible and theology, religious education and intercultural studies. Another school offers a certificate in theological studies in addition to four other certificates in topics like missions and biblical studies. The Bachelor of Arts seems to be the most common undergraduate theology credential available online.

Graduate degrees available online are not necessarily in theology, but in fields like Christian ministry and religion. Theology is typically a component of these programs. At the master's degree level, the Master of Arts (M.A.) is the most common online degree in this area of study. One school offers an online Master of Arts in pastoral theology, while another offers its M.A. in Christian ministry. Both programs emphasize theological study and clerical duties.

One school offering an online Doctor of Ministry degree presents the program completely online, with the exception of four on-campus courses. These courses are presented in an intensive format that takes a week to complete. Theology topics are covered in these courses, including ministerial theology and critical analysis of theology.

Which Schools Offer Online Diplomas in Theology?

Choose from online diploma programs that require 33-79-credit hours of study, with coursework includes Biblical studies, church history, and ministry leadership. A graduate diploma is another option, since online options for a diploma in theology are sparse.

  • Oral Roberts University offers an online Bible Institute Diploma of Theological Studies program.
  • Gateway Seminary offers an online Diploma in Theology program.
  • Ashland Theological Seminary offers an online Graduate Diploma in Historical and Theological Studies.

Which Schools Offer Online Certificates in Theology?

Online certificate programs in theology last anywhere from a three-to-18 months. Depending on which area of study you are considering, there should be a certificate program to suit your interests.

  • Gordon Conwell offers an online Certificate in Christian Studies program.
  • Oral Roberts University offers an online Bible Institute General Studies Certificate program.
  • Princeton Theological Seminary offers an online Certificate of Theology and Ministry and an online Certificate in Youth and Theology program.

Which Schools Offer Online Associate's Degrees in Theology?

Choose from online programs that include 60-64-credit hours of study. Learn about areas of interest like Old and New Testament, theology training, and hermeneutics.

  • Regent University offers an online Associate of Arts degree program in Christian studies.
  • Liberty University offers an online Associate of Arts degree program in religion.
  • Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary offers an online Associate of Divinity degree program.

Which Schools Offer Online Bachelor's Degrees in Theology?

These programs are offered in 120-credit hour online formats. Coursework at this level includes theological writing, systematic theology, and theological research.

  • Regent University offers an online Bachelor of Arts degree program in biblical and theological studies.
  • Catholic Distance University offers an online Bachelor of Arts degree program in theology.
  • Liberty University offers an online Bachelor of Science degree program in religion.

Which Schools Offer Online Master's Degrees in Theology?

There are plenty of online master's degrees to choose from. Study in Christian ministry, leadership or other theology and ministry programs.

  • Gordon Conwell offers an online Master of Arts in Christian Ministries and an online Master of Arts in Christian Leadership degree program.
  • Fuller Theological Seminary offers an online Master of Arts degree program in theology and ministry.
  • Columbia International University offers an online Master of Arts degree program in theological studies.

Which Schools Offer Online Doctoral Degrees in Theology?

Choose from Doctor of Philosophy programs in theology, or various Doctor of Ministry programs in areas that are relevant to theological studies. Consider a three-year Doctor of Philosophy program, with flexible options in video web conferencing; these programs include dissertations.

  • Liberty University offers an online Doctor of Philosophy degree program in theology and apologetics.
  • Regent University offers online Doctor of Ministry degree programs in Christian leadership and renewal; clinical pastoral education; community transformation; military ministry; and ministry leadership coaching.
  • Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary offers online Doctor of Philosophy degree programs in theological studies, systematic theology, historical theology, theology and worship, and other related areas of concentration.

Learn about theology through a number of online programs that award certificates, diplomas, and degrees. Study the Bible, learn how to conduct theological research, and participate in live web chats in order to obtain your degree.

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

  • Grand Canyon University

    Grand Canyon University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Grand Canyon University:

    Online Programs Available

  • Indiana Wesleyan University

    Indiana Wesleyan University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Indiana Wesleyan University:

    • Doctoral
    • Master
    • Bachelor Degrees
    • Associate Programs
    • Certificates

    Online Programs Available

  • Johns Hopkins University

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    Popular programs at Johns Hopkins University:

    • Master

    Online Programs Available

  • South University

    South University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at South University:

    • Doctoral

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  • Keiser University

    Keiser University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Keiser University:

    • Bachelor Degrees

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  • Penn Foster High School

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    Online Programs Available

  • Argosy University

    Argosy University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Argosy University:

    • Bachelor Degrees

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  • Southern New Hampshire University

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    Popular programs at Southern New Hampshire University:

    • Bachelor Degrees

    Online Programs Available

  • Abilene Christian University

    Abilene Christian University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Abilene Christian University:

    • Master

    Online Programs Available

  • Excelsior College

    Excelsior College responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Excelsior College:

    • Master
    • Bachelor Degrees
    • Associate Programs

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