Online Pastoral Degree Programs

Different degree levels can be found online to suit your career goals as a pastor. Read this article to find out more about your training options and the types of classes that these programs offer. Schools offering Pastoral Ministry degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Degrees in Pastoral Training are Available Online?

An online Associate of Arts in Theology degree program takes approximately one to three years to complete. It includes courses on the Old Testament and New Testament. By taking 15 credits per semester, you can complete the degree in two years.

Online Bachelor of Arts in Theology degree programs are available for students who wish to serve the Catholic Church in their ministry. These programs focus on a strong theological foundation that is based on orthodox Roman Catholic doctrine. Such a program will prepare you to work as a deacon of the church and is a stepping stone to graduate study.

A master's degree program in theology taken online is designed to help students have a better understanding of the Bible. In such a program, you will learn how to apply the message of the Bible to everyday life. The program prepares you for Christian service and leadership in the community.

Doctoral degrees are generally not offered online. Some schools have coursework that can be completed online after residency requirements are met.

Distance Learning OpportunitiesAssociate's, bachelor's, and master's degree programs are available online; doctoral programs are available in hybrid form, but rare
Common CoursesAssociate's: biblical studies, ethics
Bachelor's: Christology, church history
Master's: biblical hermeneutics, ministry
PrerequisitesAssociate's/Bachelor's: acceptable high school GPA; age requirements may also be in place
Master's: completion of a bachelor's in a related field, acceptable collegiate GPA
Post-Graduation OptionsAssociate's: further your education
Bachelor's: work as a deacon or pastor
Master's: work as a counselor or theology teacher

What Will I Learn In These Degree Programs?

An associate's degree focuses on training in the Old and New Testaments. You will read various books in the Bible, such as Genesis, Psalms, Isaiah, Romans, Act, and Revelations. You will learn about the New Testament, study ethical issues, and learn about the harmony of the gospels.

A bachelor's degree program in theology teaches you the fundamentals of moral theology, church history, and Christology. You will be introduced to Catholic doctrine and the Old and New Testaments. You will learn about liturgy, the sacraments, and the foundations of Catholic spirituality. You will explore ecumenism theology and social teaching.

Coursework in a master's-level theology program covers topics such as the New and Old Testaments, Bible study, biblical hermeneutics, academic research techniques, ministry in the church, and spiritual formation. Language requirements allow you to explore either Greek or Hebrew and introduce you to biblical languages.

What Are the Requirements?

An associate's degree program requires a high school diploma or GED equivalent. Age requirements are often in place, with schools requiring a new student to be at least 18 years old. Bachelor's degree programs have similar admissions requirements. Schools often require a cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 2.0 or higher for admission.

Master's degree programs require a baccalaureate degree from an accredited college in a closely related field. Schools offering master's degree programs have GPA requirements. If you do not meet the GPA guidelines, you may have the option of taking introductory coursework to demonstrate your academic abilities before being formally admitted to a program.

What Will These Degrees Prepare Me For?

An associate's degree is often a stepping stone to a higher degree. A bachelor's degree will prepare you to be a church deacon or lay ecclesial pastor. Work may be found in churches, hospitals, retreat centers and social service agencies. You may find a position as a chaplain or spiritual leader. A master's degree will qualify you for work as a counselor, assistant professor of theology, family counselor or director of development in a theology school.

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

  • Colorado Christian University

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

    Popular programs at Colorado Christian University:

    • Master
    • Bachelor Degrees
    • Associate Programs

    Online Programs Available

  • Saint Leo University

    Saint Leo University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Saint Leo University:

    • Bachelor Degrees
    • Associate Programs

    Online Programs Available

  • New England College

    New England College responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at New England College:

    • Bachelor Degrees
    • Associate Programs

    Online Programs Available

  • Biola University

    Biola University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Biola University:

    Online Programs Available

  • Regent University

    Regent University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Regent University:

    • Doctoral
    • Master
    • Bachelor Degrees

    Online Programs Available

  • Southern New Hampshire University

    Southern New Hampshire University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Southern New Hampshire University:

    • Bachelor Degrees

    Online Programs Available

  • Indiana Wesleyan University

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

    Popular programs at Indiana Wesleyan University:

    • Bachelor Degrees
    • Associate Programs
    • Certificates

    Online Programs Available

  • Keiser University

    Keiser University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Keiser University:

    • Bachelor Degrees

    Online Programs Available

  • Purdue University Global

    Purdue University Global responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Purdue University Global:

    • Bachelor Degrees

    Online Programs Available

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