Theology Schools and Programs
A theology degree program could help you increase your knowledge about the tenets of your faith, lead a congregation, provide spiritual guidance or minister to those in need. Learn about where you can find these programs and admission requirements.
What You Should Know
Theology schools offer varying programs in religious studies that can prepare students for careers in ministry, religious leadership, and theological education. Students can choose to pursue a bachelor's degree or to extend their education into master's or doctoral programs. Those interested in theology schools can expect to learn about the principles and history of faith, ethics, and ministry.
|Courses||Principles of faith, history of the church, ministerial practice, missionary practice, church and society|
|Programs||Faith specific programs (Baptist, Catholic, etc.), general theology, divinity|
|Degrees||Bachelor's, Master's, PhD; undergraduate and graduate certificates also exist|
What Types of Theology Schools Are There?
Theology schools such as Bible colleges and Christian liberal arts colleges often offer baccalaureate and post-baccalaureate degrees. In some cases, the entire school is devoted to formal education specific to a particular faith, such as Baptist, Catholic or Lutheran. Theology schools that offer only graduate-level study in theology usually are part of a larger college or university, typically one that's private.
There are numerous organizations that accredit theology schools of various faiths. Among them are the Association of Theological Schools, which accredits graduate-level academic and professional ministry programs, and the Association for Biblical Higher Education, which accredits postsecondary schools that focus on preparing graduates for hands-on ministry careers.
Here are examples of some theology schools where you might find a program that's right for you:
- Ohio Dominican University (Columbus) - Catholic
- Dallas Theological Seminary (TX) - Undenominational
- Boston College (MA) - Catholic
- Sioux Falls Seminary (SD) - North American Baptist
- Chicago Theological Seminary (IL) - United Church of Christ
What Degree Could I Earn?
Theology schools might offer bachelor's, master's or doctoral degrees. You also can pursue undergraduate or graduate certificate studies. Common areas of study include theology, leadership and ministry; specializations might include family therapy, youth ministry and social justice ministry. Counseling is another field in which theology schools often offer certificate or degree programs.
As an undergraduate student, your degree options might include a Bachelor of Theology, Bachelor of Applied Theology or Bachelor of Arts in Theology. Graduate choices can include a Master of Divinity, Master of Arts in Applied Theology, Master of Theological Studies, Certificate in Theological Studies or Ph.D. in Theology and Education.
What Are Common Admission Requirements?
To enter an undergraduate program in theology, you'll typically need a high school diploma. Graduate programs generally require completion of a bachelor's degree program, and some schools might require that you've studied theology. For some master's degree programs in theology, you already must have a master's degree in divinity.
What Might I Learn?
Bachelor's and graduate-level programs usually cover similar subjects, although graduate programs typically allow for greater depth of study or specialization. Your coursework likely will cover principles of Christianity in general and of your faith in particular. You'll also learn about the history of Christianity and your faith and the application of both to modern life. Common classes include Bible study, the church and society, Christology and theology. A practicum or work requirement is typically required of all theology students. These topics might also be considered:
- Ministerial practices
- Mission work