Best Online Master’s in Theology 2021

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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

Lincoln Christian University true View School Profile Lincoln, IL 71% 59% 45% Lincoln Christian University is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

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.

Franciscan University of Steubenville true View School Profile Steubenville, OH 77% 72% 37% Franciscan University of Steubenville is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

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.

Multnomah University true View School Profile Portland, OR 63% 82% 38% Multnomah University is regionally accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU).

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.

University of Dallas true View School Profile Irving, TX 66% 47% 24% The University of Dallas is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

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.

University of Northwestern-St Paul true View School Profile Saint Paul, MN 63% 39% 50% The University of Northwestern – St. Paul is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

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.

Regent University View School Profile Virginia Beach, VA 59% 80% 91% Regent University is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

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.

Newman University View School Profile Wichita, KS 54% 21% 25% Newman University is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

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.

Concordia University-Irvine View School Profile Irvine, CA 63% 60% 62% Concordia University is regionally accredited by the WASC Senior Colleges and University Commission (WSCUC).

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.

Liberty University View School Profile Lynchburg, VA 50% 60% 90% Liberty University is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

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.

University of Valley Forge View School Profile Phoenixville, PA 53% 77% 60% The University of Valley Forge is regionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE).

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.

Truett McConnell University View School Profile Cleveland, GA 43% 19% 51% Truett McConnell University is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

A private Baptist institution, TMU was established in 1946. It currently offers eight graduate programs.

Students need to complete 60 credits for this master's degree in theology. The degree consists of various concentrations. Students can choose to specialize in either biblical studies, women's studies, missiology, or local church ministry. A few of the common courses across concentrations include Baptist history, hermeneutics, theology, and biblical languages.

Applicants must possess a minimum cumulative 2.50 GPA on a 4.0 scale. They must also possess a bachelor's degree and provide a church endorsement form.

Saint Joseph's College of Maine View School Profile Standish, ME 63% 61% 50% Saint Joseph's College of Maine is regionally accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE).

SJC serves as a Catholic, liberal arts university. It sees an average of almost 2,000 enrollments per year.

The theology masters offered here consists of a 100% online and asynchronous curriculum. The curriculum spans over three concentrations, namely sacred theology, pastoral theology, and advanced diaconal studies. Courses offered in the sacred theology specialization contain 30 credits. Some of the courses include theology of the sacraments, the trinity, ecclesiology, and foundations in Catholic theology. Students must complete a master's thesis of three credits.

Students can apply by completing and submitting an online application form.

University of Holy Cross View School Profile New Orleans, LA 49% 62% 48% The University of Holy Cross is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

Holy Cross was founded in 1841. It boasts18 student organizations and more than 65 programs.

The master's degree in Catholic Theology program offered here contains 36 credits. Students must complete core courses in the development of moral theology, biblical theology, and ecclesiology. Electives comprise 12 credits. Students must also complete a research seminar as a thesis, as well as a theology thesis. They must also do two professional practicums of three credits each.

Applicants must submit an immunization record or a waiver if they do not possess a record. They must also submit three letters of recommendation and a CV.

St John's University-New York View School Profile Queens, NY 61% 39% 22% St. John's University – New York is regionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE).

St. Johns was established in 1870. It currently boasts more than 190, 000 alumni.

The master's degree in theology offered here comprises 33 credits. St. John's College of Liberal Arts and Sciences offers the program. Students can choose from three specializations. These include pastoral theology, biblical studies, and historical or theological studies. Students must complete one course common to each concentration, plus five courses in their chosen specialization. Students must complete a thesis on one of their three electives.

Applicants must possess a bachelor's degree with a cumulative GPA of 3.0, and a personal statement.

Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary View School Profile Wake Forest, NC 50% 46% Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

SEBTS was opened in 1950. It currently serves more than 4,700 students and comprises five graduate programs.

Graduates can pursue a career in teaching, research, or doctoral studies with this theology master's. The program requires 24 credits for completion. A GPA of 3.0 must be maintained for students to graduate. Every student must select a major from concentrations like theological studies, biblical studies, or applied theology.

Students must submit transcripts showing satisfactory completion of a Master of Divinity degree or graduate theological degree with an equivalent theological background.

Trinity International University-Illinois View School Profile Deerfield, IL 46% 63% 15% Trinity International University – Illinois is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

TIU offers programs to 60 countries. It comprises seven schools and 28,160 alumni.

Students enrolled for the master's degree in theology must complete a capstone of 2 credits in theological studies. Some core courses in the biblical concentration include the history of Christianity, an introduction to the Old Testament, and an introduction to the New Testament.

Courses in the theological concentration include theology on the God of the gospel. Core courses for the historical concentration include spiritual formation for ministry and field education.

Applicants must possess a minimum 2.5 GPA on a 4.0 scale for their bachelor's. Students with lower GPAs must submit a MAT or GRE score.

Saint Leo University View School Profile Saint Leo, FL 45% 55% 74% Saint Leo University is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

Saint Leo enrolls more than 2,400 students per year on its liberal arts Catholic campus, established in 1889.

The master's in theology here comprises 36 credits for completion. Some of the courses offered for this degree include Christian ethics, philosophical foundations for theology, theology orientation, and ecclesiology. Students must also complete electives of nine credits.

Students must possess a bachelor's degree. They must also submit an application form and transcripts from the college they graduated from.

Campbellsville University View School Profile Campbellsville, KY 40% 32% 76% Campbellsville University is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

CU was established in 1906 as a Christian institution. It offers free tuition to first-time and full-time Pell-eligible Kentucky students with a cumulative high school GPA of 3.0.

The master's in theology consists of 10 courses and 30 credits for completion. It contains three concentrations focusing mainly on theological studies, biblical studies, and pastoral leadership. Some courses from each concentration include the general letters, leadership development, and gospel and postmodernism.

Applicants must provide a reference letter from a minister and an academician. They must also conduct an interview with the school.

Houston Baptist University View School Profile Houston, TX 40% 54% 33% Houston Baptist University is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

HBU first opened its doors in 1960. It boasts a nearly 200-acre campus.

The online master's theology degree offers four degree tracks. Students can choose from the entrepreneurial, biblical languages, theological studies, or biblical studies track. Some courses include theological inquiry, Christian readings, entrepreneurship and new venture development, and hermeneutics. Tuition for this online degree is $585 per credit along with a $250 fee per semester for online learning.

Applicants with a bachelor's degree must submit their official college transcripts to the Online Graduate School. They must also produce a CV and personal statement.

Holy Apostles College and Seminary View School Profile Cromwell, CT 60% 24% 83% Holy Apostles College and Seminary is regionally accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE).

Holy Apostles reaches students throughout the USA and in 14 countries. It was founded in 1956, and currently serves 425 graduate students and 229 undergraduate students.

The master's in theology offers eight 100% online concentrations. Some of the concentrations include bioethics with and without the NCBC certificate, church history, moral theology, and sacred scripture. Core courses for its moral theology concentration include synoptic gospels, and one and triune God.

Applicants must pay an application fee of $50. They must also display a 3.0 GPA for former degrees, and provide two letters of recommendation.

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.

If you have questions about our ranking methodology, please feel free to connect with our staff through contact page.

We thank you for your readership and trust.

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