Top Schools for Theological Studies Master's Degree Programs

Many top-ranked universities offer master's degrees in theology and religious studies. The University of Chicago, Vanderbilt University and the University of Notre Dame all offer programs equivalent to theological studies. Continue reading to explore their programs. Schools offering Ministry degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Popular Theological Studies Master's Schools

Students wishing to earn a Master's Degree in Theological Studies have a number of different program options, depending on their career goals and specific interests. The University of Chicago, Vanderbilt University and the University of Notre Dame are among the institutions offering these programs.

Important Information About This Field of Study

Possible Careers Christian author, ministry worker, missionary, pastor, professor, theologian
Online Availability Some programs available entirely online
Prerequisites Graduate Records Exam results, 4-year Bachelor's degree
Concentrations Jewish studies, Hebrew Bible, New Testament & early Christianity
Median Salary (2018) $71,890 (for philosophy and religion teachers, postsecondary)*
Job Outlook (2016-2026) 12% (for philosophy and religion teachers, postsecondary)*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

University of Chicago's Master of Arts in Religious Studies

The University of Chicago - tied for 3rd best university in the nation in 2019 by U.S. News and World Report - offers a Master of Arts in Religious Studies, which can be completed in two semesters. The program is designed for students who are seeking an advanced theological education but do not wish to pursue a doctoral degree in theology. Students must take courses on foreign language, biblical studies, theological histories, divinity research and analysis of biblical concepts.

Before completing the program, students must display proficiency in German or French. An oral exam with faculty members determines a student's academic, career and personal objectives. Many courses expand on traditional theology concepts by introducing philosophical, psychological and societal elements of religion. Other courses include:

  • Freedom and Identity in Theology
  • Theology and Feminist Theories
  • Christianity De-Theologized
  • Ministry Studies

Vanderbilt University's Master of Arts in Religion

In 2019, U.S. News and World Report rank tied Vanderbilt as the 14th best university in the country. The Divinity School was established in 1875 and now offers several advanced theology degrees, including a Master of Arts in Religion. The degree program is intended for students looking to become theological educators as well as for those preparing to pursue a doctorate in theology. Students can choose from two-degree paths, focusing on a specific area of interest or choosing a cross-discipline program that provides an all-encompassing theology education. Areas of speciality include homiletics and liturgics, historical studies, biblical languages, religious histories and ethics in theology.

In addition to traditional theology courses, students must become proficient in a foreign language or be able to pass the ETS Graduate School Foreign Language Test before graduation. Interactive theological colloquiums and research projects append classes, allowing students to work alongside faculty members as they conduct independent studies. The program includes courses on:

  • Religious Sociology
  • Theological Ethics and Morals
  • Societal Ethics
  • Philosophies of Theology

University of Notre Dame's Master of Theological Studies

Ranked the 18th best university in the nation in 2019 by U.S. News and World Report, the University of Notre Dame offers a Master of Theological Studies through its Department of Theology. Students choose from five areas of concentration: biblical studies, history of Christianity, moral theology, liturgical studies and systematic theology. Each concentration provides a balanced exposure to the many aspects of theology, including biblical languages, concepts and analysis.

Students gain proficiency in theological studies through seminars, traditional courses, faculty colloquiums and independent research. Before completing the program, students must pass a reading and fluency exam in either German or French, as well as an oral exam conducted with theology board members. The program terminates upon completion of four semesters and 48 credits. Graduates are qualified to pursue theological teaching jobs with high schools, churches and private religious organizations.

Additional Schools Offering Master's Degree Programs in Theological Studies

  • Liberty University
  • Harvard University
  • Yale University
  • Marquette University
  • St. Louis University
  • University of San Francisco

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:

    • Master

    Online Programs Available

  • Colorado Christian University

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

    Popular programs at Colorado Christian University:

    • Master

    Online Programs Available

  • Regent University

    Regent University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Regent University:

    • Master

    Online Programs Available

  • Liberty University

    Liberty University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Liberty University:

    • Master

    Online Programs Available

  • Xavier University

    Campus Locations:

    • Ohio: Cincinnati
  • World Mission University

    Campus Locations:

    • California: Los Angeles
  • Winebrenner Theological Seminary

    Campus Locations:

    • Ohio: Findlay
  • Xavier University of Louisiana

    Campus Locations:

    • Louisiana: New Orleans
  • Westminster Theological Seminary in California

    Campus Locations:

    • California: Escondido
  • Yale University

    Campus Locations:

    • Connecticut: New Haven