Top Theology Graduate Schools

Explore the typical characteristics of a school with a strong graduate program in theology. Read about three schools with theology programs, and review the degrees in this field that you could pursue at each school. Schools offering Ministry degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Should I Look for in a Top Theology Graduate Program?

Many theology schools are accredited by the Association of Theological Schools' (ATS) Commission on Accrediting. This agency ensures the quality of its member schools by outlining program content and faculty experience criteria. You may also want to consider programs whose extracurricular opportunities match your career goals. Do you plan on ministry or faith-based work? The best schools frequently offer internship or volunteer programs for future clergy.

Are you are interested in a teaching or research career? Consider a school that offers concentrations in your area of interest. Several top schools also offer dual-degree programs for those seeking careers in law, public policy, business or social work. You may also want to look for schools with distinguished faculty members, research opportunities and extensive library resources.

What Are Three Top Theology Graduate Programs?

The University of Chicago in Illinois

The private University of Chicago (UC) tied for third among national universities for 2019, according to U.S. News & World Report. Students may pursue dual master's degree programs in divinity and public policy, law or social service. Divinity School doctoral candidates choose from ten areas of concentration such as religion and the human sciences, constructive studies in religion, historical studies in religion and Islamic studies. The school's Martin Marty Center provides students with research and internship opportunities through projects such as the Christian Scholars Research Program, the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life and the Public Religion Project. Available degrees include:

  • Master of Arts in Divinity
  • Master of Arts in Religious Studies
  • Master of Divinity
  • Doctor of Philosophy in Divinity

University of Notre Dame in South Bend, IN

The University of Notre Dame, a national Catholic university, tied for 18th among national universities for 2019, according to U.S. News & World Report. The Department of Theology offers ATS-accredited master's and doctoral theology degrees for students interested in teaching at the high school or collegiate level. You can focus your studies on biblical studies, history of Christianity, systematic theology and liturgical studies. Potential doctoral concentrations also include Christianity and Judaism in antiquity or world religions and world church.

The department's divinity programs prepare students for ordained ministry in the Roman Catholic Church through local and international field experiences in schools, hospitals and parishes. You can also participate in volunteer and research programs through the Notre Dame Center for Liturgy or the Center for Catechetical Initiatives. Graduate degrees include the following:

  • Master of Arts in Theology
  • Master of Divinity
  • Master of Theological Studies
  • Master of Arts in Early Christian Studies (offered through Department of Classics)
  • Doctor of Philosophy in Theology

Vanderbilt University in Nashville, TN

For 2019, U.S. News & World Report ranked Vanderbilt University tied for 14th among national universities. Vanderbilt's Divinity School programs are accredited by the ATS.

If you're interested in a teaching or research career, graduate fields of study include the Hebrew Bible and ancient Israel, New Testament and early Christianity, historical studies and Jewish studies. Vanderbilt also offers dual-degree programs in divinity and business administration, law, medicine and nursing. Divinity and theological studies programs are available for students who want to pursue a career in ministry.

Students have access to biblical texts and online bibliographies through the Divinity Library. Practicum and research opportunities for future ministers are available through the Kelly Miller Smith Institute on Black Church Studies and the Program in Theology and Practice. Graduate degree options include the following:

  • Master of Arts (cross-disciplinary)
  • Master of Arts in Religion
  • Doctor of Philosophy in Religion

More Schools That Offer Theology Degrees

College/UniversityInstitution TypeLocationEstimated Graduate In-State Tuition*
Harvard University4-year, PrivateCambridge, MA$47,000
Fuller Theological Seminary4-year, PrivatePasadena, CA$20,000
Duke University4-year, PrivateDurham, NC$55,000
Emory University4-year, Private Atlanta, GA$42,000
Moody Bible Institute4 year, PrivateChicago, IL$8,000
Yale University4 year, PrivateNew Haven, CT$42,000
Wake Forest University 4-year, PrivateWinston-Salem, NC$39,000
Dallas Theological Seminary4-year, Private Dallas, TX$17,000
Princeton Theological Seminary4-year, Private Princeton, NJ$22,000

*Source: NCES, U.S. Department of Education

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:

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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:

    • Master

    Online Programs Available

  • Regent University

    Regent University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Regent University:

    • Doctoral
    • Master

    Online Programs Available

  • Yale University

    Campus Locations:

    • Connecticut: New Haven
  • Xavier University of Louisiana

    Campus Locations:

    • Louisiana: New Orleans
  • Xavier University

    Campus Locations:

    • Ohio: Cincinnati
  • World Mission University

    Campus Locations:

    • California: Los Angeles
  • Winebrenner Theological Seminary

    Campus Locations:

    • Ohio: Findlay
  • Westminster Theological Seminary in California

    Campus Locations:

    • California: Escondido
  • Harvard University

    Campus Locations:

    • Massachusetts: Cambridge
  • Westminster Theological Seminary

    Campus Locations:

    • Pennsylvania: Glenside