Best Online Master’s in Theology | TheBestSchools


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With new technology redefining the world of higher education, it is now easier than ever to complete a Master's in Theology online.

Flexibility, the convenience of working from your home or local ministry, and the opportunity to save both time and money are all motivating students nowadays to pursue master's degrees in Theology, Divinity, Ministry, Christian Spirituality, and related fields, online.

The Best Online Master's in Theology Programs

  1. Lincoln Christian University

    Lincoln, IL

    LCU was established in 1944 as Lincoln Bible Institute. It boasts eight varsity sports teams.

    LCU's master's in theology enables graduates to pursue a career as a Christian education minister, missionary, college professor, or writer. Some of the courses for this theology masters include systematic theology, understanding contemporary mindsets, and Christianity throughout the ages. Students must also do electives comprising 18 credits. Electives include subjects like church history, apologetics, and theology.

    Applicants must submit their online application with an LCU written essay, plus an essay for a Dmin degree. They must also provide two Christian Character Reference Forms.

  2. Franciscan University of Steubenville

    Steubenville, OH

    FUS was founded in 1946 and was originally referred to as the College of Steubenville. Its initial students were GIs who served in World War 11.

    This master's degree is offered in a threefold delivery format. Students can study 100% online asynchronously, on campus, or in a hybrid fashion. It's recommended but not necessary for students to possess a BA in theology in religious studies. Students without former theological training must complete background courses.

    Applicants must submit their official college transcripts. They must also complete their MA application form and provide three letters of recommendation.

  3. Multnomah University

    Portland, OR

    Founded in 1936, MU represented 35 denominations thus far. It comprises core values such as cultural engagement, academic excellence, and church partnership.

    This online master's in theology degree enables students to specialize in intercultural studies and systematic and historical theology. Courses span over two years. Some of the courses include patristic and medieval theology, theology of cultural engagement, contemporary theologies, and reformation and post-reformation theology. Students must complete 48 credits and maintain a minimum 3.0 GPA.

    Applicants must submit two reference forms, and pay a $40 non-refundable application fee.

  4. University of Dallas

    Irving, TX

    UD was established in 1956 as a private, liberal arts institution. It boasts graduate students from 24 nations and 43 US states.

    The master's in theology here offered by the Braniff Graduate School comprises 30 credits. Coursework includes 24 credits, a thesis, and a seminar of 6 credits. Students must also be able to read a modern or classical language. Students must complete a written and oral examination as well.

    Applicants need an undergraduate degree in theology major. If not, they must enroll in courses to obtain a background in theology.

  5. University of Northwestern-St Paul

    Saint Paul, MN

    A Christian liberal arts university, UNW was established in 1902. Its radio ministry, Northwestern Media currently boasts 21 stations.

    The master's in theology program includes 36 credits. Students can complete MAT online. Required courses here include ethics, the history of Christianity, biblical theology of the old and new testaments, and biblical hermeneutics. The degree includes elective courses comprising four credits, and a graduate certificate in Christian studies worth 16 credits.

    Applicants must be Christian. They must also display a minimum cumulative 3.0 GPA for previous bachelor's degrees and graduate studies.

  6. Regent University

    Virginia Beach, VA

    Regent was founded in 1977. It currently boasts over 27,000 alumni. Regent melds biblical studies with worship nights and choral concerts.

    The theology master's is available in a 100% online delivery format. Students must complete 48 credits to graduate. Upon graduation, students can interpret the Bible critically and train others in ministry. Some of the core courses here include pastoral theology, biblical hermeneutics, cosmogony and anthropology, and an introduction to biblical languages.

    To apply, students must possess bachelor's degree. They must also provide a writing sample and college transcripts.

  7. Newman University

    Wichita, KS

    A private liberal arts Catholic institution, NU was established by the Adorers of the Blood of Christ. It contains more than 30 organizations and clubs.

    The master's in theology offered here include online programs with some on-campus requirements. NU offers the MTS and MA degree in theology. For MTS, students must complete 30 credits. Core courses consist of 27 credits and electives, three. Courses for MTS include liturgy and the RCIA, the God who pursues, foundations of moral theology, and the fourfold gospel.

    Applicants must submit official transcripts from the college they obtained their bachelor's degree. They must also submit a personal statement of 700 words.

  8. Concordia University-Irvine

    Irvine, CA

    CUI was founded in 1976. It currently serves more than 4,000 enrolled students.

    The master's in theology degree at CUI consists of 32 credits. Students can complete their degree in 2.5 years at $630 per credit. Christ College offers this degree. Some of the courses for this degree include a survey of historical theology, a seminar in biblical theology and exegesis, and systematic doctrinal theology.

    Applicants must provide a statement of intent, plus two references. They must also provide an official transcript documenting that they received a bachelor's degree.

  9. Liberty University

    Lynchburg, VA

    A private evangelical institution, Liberty was founded in 1971. Students can enjoy Campus Recreation memberships enabling access to a bowling alley and fitness center.

    Liberty's 100% online master's theology degree requires 30 credits for completion. Students can complete the program in 1.5 years. The program holds accreditation by the Commission on Accrediting of the Association of Theological Schools (ATS). Students can specialize in homiletics, Christian apologetics, global studies, or theology.

    Applicants must complete a divinity questionnaire, and provide proof of their proficiency in English.

  10. University of Valley Forge

    Phoenixville, PA

    Founded in 1939, UVF serves students from 37 states and 14 international countries. It offers six master's, 10 associate, and 40 bachelor degree programs.

    The master of arts in theology degree offered here comprises 36 credits. Students must complete a research project of six credits. Some of the courses necessary for completion include cross-cultural theology, art and science of biblical interpretation, spirituality and philosophical thought, and the interface of theology and psychology.

    Students who want to transfer their credits must provide transcripts, and request a transcript review, before admission.

Best Online Master's

Online Master's in Theology Programs Ranking Guidelines

We ranked these degree programs based on quality, curricula, school awards, rankings, and reputation.

Our Methodology

Here at, we take the trust and welfare of our readers very seriously. When making our school and program rankings, our top priority is ensuring that our readers get accurate, unbiased information that can help them make informed decisions about online education. That's why we've developed a rigorous ranking methodology that keeps the needs of our readers front and center.

Our proprietary, multi-criteria ranking algorithm analyzes key data indicators — as collected by the federal government — for each school or program. What data we use depends on the focus of each specific ranking, but in all cases, our ranking methodology is impartial: Schools cannot buy better rankings at TBS.

While specific criteria under consideration can vary by ranking, there are a few data points that we value most highly. They are affordability, academic quality, and online enrollment. Below, we break down our algorithm to help you understand what you're getting when you use one of our rankings.

  • Academics
  • Affordability
  • Online Enrollment

Data Sources

The data used in TBS rankings comes primarily from the federal government, and much of it is provided by the schools themselves. We aggregate and analyze this data to build our rankings.

The Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) is our primary source. Its data comes from annual surveys conducted by the U.S. Department of Education's National Center for Education Statistics (NCES). Every college, university, or technical school with access to federal financial aid must participate in these surveys, which include questions about enrollment, graduation rates, finances, and faculty qualifications. This is publicly available data, which you can access yourself through the College Navigator.

Additionally, because we value a personal touch and the professional experience of our staff and Academic Advisory Board, we vet all results and adjust rankings as necessary based on our collected knowledge of schools and degree programs. Depending on the ranking, we may obtain additional input from, subject matter experts, prior TBS ranking lists, or other sources we deem relevant to a particular ranking.

Breakdown of Our Rankings Methodology

About Our Ranking Factors

Here at TBS, we value what you value: quality education, affordability, and the accessibility of online education. These factors guide all of our program rankings.

Each of these factors are further broken down into weighted subfactors. For example, retention rates are weighted more heavily than availability of program options because they are a better indicator of student success.

We chose the following factors for our rankings because of their influence on learning experiences and graduate outcomes. However, students should always balance our rankings against their personal priorities. For instance, a learner who needs a fully online program may prioritize online flexibility more than our rankings do. Our rankings are designed to help you make a decision — not to make a decision for you.

Academics - 75%

Affordability - 15%

Online Enrollment - 10%

In all our school rankings and recommendations, we work for objectivity and balance. We carefully research and compile each ranking list, and as stated in our advertising disclosure, we do NOT permit financial incentives to influence rankings. Our articles never promote or disregard a school for financial gain.

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