Best Online Master’s in Theology Degree Programs

Do you have a calling to serve in the ministry? You can begin by earning an online master’s in Theology. If you are finding it difficult to choose the best place to pursue your studies in theology, do not worry. We have put together a list of the best online master’s in Theology Programs to help make your search easier.

The theology field is not meant just for pastoral students, anyone who is interested in gaining an in-depth understanding of the use of theology to effectively address today’s challenging spiritual needs can also pursue this degree.

An online master’s in theology opens you to career opportunities in church leadership, lay ministry, missions, or pastoring. An online master’s in theology usually features 30 -60 credits and takes about a year or two to complete.

This article provides information on schools that offer the best online master’s in theology programs including admission requirements, career options for graduates, and degree offerings. Keep reading to explore our list of the best online master’s in theology degree programs.

Best Online Master’s in Theology Degree Programs

1. Columbia International University

Columbia International University offers a master of arts in theological studies to students with strong interests in research and biblical scholarship. This program is available in an entirely online format The master’s in theology features 48 credits of coursework and students enrolled full-time can graduate in 2 years.

This program emphasizes critical research and analysis which prepares theology scholars to create publishable work. Students are also taught to contextualize and interpret religious texts and critically assess and explain dogmatic and doctrine-based values and statements.

This program offers two learning tracks one is designed for students who do not have previous theology experience and the other is designed for degree-seekers with academic backgrounds in religious studies.

2. Lincoln Christian University
Lincoln Christian University was founded in 1944 as a biblical institute. Today, Lincoln Christian University ranks among the leading theology and spirituality schools in the United States.

The school offers an online master’s in theology which is an intensive program that includes 10-12 courses.

Core courses cover topics like the systematic relationships created by Christian doctrines, philosophical aspects of religious studies, and historical reviews of theology. Students who have undergraduate credits or degrees in a related field may qualify for advanced standing and graduate in a year and six months.

The school is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, the Association of Biblical Higher Education, and the Association of Theological Schools.

3. University of Dallas

The University of Dallas offers a master of theological studies through its School of Ministry. The school is a praxis-oriented Catholic institution of higher education.

Students are required to complete core courses alongside electives, which comprise about 40% of the degree’s 37 required credits.

Core courses explore Catholic rites, institutions, and dogma. Students undertake thorough examinations of scripture and church history. Electives cover religious and secular topics.

Students can choose a concentration in biblical theology or supplement their studies with business and/or liberal arts classes.

Students are required to complete a capstone project, which participants complete during their final semester; students conduct focused research on a faculty-approved topic.

Students are required to complete a rigorous annotated bibliography, designed to ensure students emerge with a thorough and complete grounding in essential texts and literature.

4. World Mission University

World Mission University located in Los Angeles, California was founded by religious scholar Dr. Dong Sun Lim. The college invites aspiring theologians and church leaders from around the world to advance their academic and spiritual development.

The school offers a master’s in theology with a 48-credit curriculum that helps students hone their biblical interpretation and critical analysis skills. Students are also taught to also apply the religious doctrine to daily situations and lead spiritual communities in professional capacities.

This program was designed to meet the needs of lay people aspiring to careers in religious service, the program is also suitable for established and emerging missionaries and pastors.

Students who have previously earned theology credits can earn advanced standing by transferring up to 50% of the total degree requirements.

5. Fordham University

Fordham University is located in the Bronx, New York City. The college offers one of the best online master’s in Theology degree programs through its Graduate School of Religion and Religious Education.

Online students can earn a master of arts degree in pastoral care, Christian spirituality, religious education, or pastoral studies.

The program’s offerings honor the Jesuit Catholic school’s founding mission statement of providing scholarship-oriented and academically competent religious education opportunities.

Fordham University and its Graduate School of Religion and Religious Education boast accreditations and affiliations with nine external agencies.

6. Biola University

Biola University located in Southern California offers an online master of arts in theology program through the Talbot School of Theology, which traces its history to 1908.

Students can choose between the  Greek and non-Greek concentration tracks. The Greek program provides enhanced instruction in Ancient Greek. This track offers students the opportunity to develop advanced abilities to read and interpret early Christian texts in the original languages they were written in.

Students are required to complete 49 credits, the master’s degree program can typically be completed in 2-4 years. Students in both tracks take classes like contemporary theology; Christ, humanity, sin, and salvation; and personal foundations for spiritual formation. Students are also required to complete a capstone seminar.

Biola is also accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission and the theology program holds accreditation from the Association of Theological Schools.

7. Creighton University

Creighton University located in Omaha, Nebraska combines the flexibility of online learning with traditional face-to-face instruction to offer a hybrid master of arts in ministry program. Students can complete more than half of their required credits online.

Creighton blends spiritual retreats into its ministry program, students embark on an eight-day journey of focused inner growth. The institution embraces its Jesuit Catholic roots, with instructors doubling as professional and spiritual mentors.

Courses are delivered in eight-week terms, and learners typically take the program by taking one class at a time. School terms run through the year and students complete campus residency requirements during the summer months.

8. Concordia University – Irvine

Concordia University Irvine offers an online master’s in theology program that emphasizes the practical applications of a degree in Christian religious studies. Available concentration options include research in theology, Christian education leadership, theology and culture, servant leadership, and youth ministry.

The class size is relatively small, each class contains 10-20 students, this size enables professors to offer personalized attention to learners.

Students are instructed on core courses like creeds and confessions, a survey of historical theology, and systematic doctrinal theology. They are also required to complete a thesis.

Many of the courses delivered in this program take synchronous and real-time delivery formats. The college welcomes learners from all religious affiliations and does not require applicants to have any previous theological training. GRE scores or any other standardized test scores are not required.

9. Franciscan University of Steubenville

Franciscan University of Steubenville located in Ohio makes use of the Franciscan model of higher education. This method values relationship-building and a sacramental approach to intellectual growth.

Students can choose from two specialization tracks catechetics and evangelization which is available exclusively on campus and canon law which is available to online learners. The Canon option provides the academic foundation required to pursue advanced studies at the Catholic University of America’s School of Canon Law.

Students enrolled in this master of arts in Theology program can tailor their delivery format by either opting for a hybrid or fully online program. Applicants are required to hold an undergraduate degree and submit three letters of recommendation.

10. Liberty University

Liberty University offers an online master of arts in religious education that features 60 credits of coursework. The program offers start dates throughout the year, an asynchronous delivery model, and eight-week terms. This online program offers a flexible and accessible education.

The program blends Old and New Testament perspectives and course content explores the doctrinal and dogmatic aspects of the Christian faith. This program is designed as a professional program with a strong academic focus, the program trains students for careers in ministry.

This program is offered through Liberty’s School of Divinity, which holds accreditation from the Commission on Accrediting of the Association of Theological Schools.

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