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A bachelor's degree in theology provides graduates with in-depth religious knowledge that leads to both spiritual and secular careers.

Graduates can work in roles such as senior pastor, minister, theology professor, and hospital chaplain. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that theology and religious professors at colleges, universities, and junior colleges make a median annual salary of just under $70,000.

Best Online Bachelor's in Theology Programs 2020
#1 Saint Joseph's College of Maine Standish, ME
#2 DeSales University Center Valley, PA
#3 Moody Bible Institute Chicago, IL
#4 Indiana Wesleyan University-National & Global Marion, IN
#5 Southwestern Assemblies of God University Waxahachie, TX
#6 Lincoln Christian University Lincoln, IL
#7 Oral Roberts University Tulsa, OK
#8 Palm Beach Atlantic University West Palm Beach, FL
#9 The Baptist College of Florida Graceville, FL
#10 Montreat College Montreat, NC

Featured Online Schools

Studying theology also opens the door to careers as high school teachers, social and community service managers, and youth workers. Online theology programs often involve interactive components, group discussions, and collaborative projects.

This guide ranks the best online theology degrees in the country. We also cover important information for prospective students, such as common careers and potential salaries for graduates.

Best Online Bachelor's in Theology Programs

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

Saint Joseph's College of Maine is a Catholic liberal arts college that offers more than 25 online programs. The school's online bachelor of arts in theological studies focuses on Roman Catholic tradition and ministry. The program prepares graduates to work as deacons, pursue advanced degrees in theology or pastoral ministry, and fulfill other roles within Catholic churches.

The 128-credit program includes general education, core, major elective, and general elective courses. Learners study Catholic doctrines and scripture, liturgical and sacramental theology, and Catholic moral theology and social principles. A fast-track option allows graduates to move directly into the university's master of arts in theology or master of divinity programs.

The online theology degree includes courses such as introduction to the New Testament, fundamentals of Catholic moral theology, and fundamentals of Christology. Theological studies electives include world religions, introduction to the Judeo-Christian tradition, and foundations of Catholic spirituality.

Full-time students can complete the program in four years, and courses are offered both asynchronously and synchronously. Prospective students must submit transcripts with a minimum 2.0 GPA. Transfer credits must come from accredited institutions.

DeSales University View School Profile $$$$ Center Valley, PA 71% DeSales University is regionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE).

DeSales University was founded by a congregation of Roman Catholic priests and brothers known as the Oblates of St. Francis in 1964. DeSales' accelerated bachelor of arts in theology follows the traditions of Christian humanism with a focus on anthropology.

The 120-credit program includes general education, elective, major, and core classes. Learners study the philosophical foundations of theology; the relationship between faith and reason; and how to articulate theology in terms of scripture, doctrine, ethics, and history. The online theology degree includes classes in moral theology, faith and reason, pastoral theology, and intermediate theology.

Applicants need a high school diploma or equivalent. Students can transfer up to 75 credits from regionally accredited colleges and universities toward the degree.

Moody Bible Institute View School Profile $$$ Chicago, IL 58% Moody Bible Institute is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

Founded in 1886, Moody Bible Institute is a Christian institution with an enrollment of about 3,400 students every year. Moody offers an online bachelor of science in theological studies that prepares graduates for careers in ministry or outside of the church.

Moody's 120-credit, online theology degree teaches students how to think in theological terms when reading the Bible. Students learn how to help others understand theology and create action plans to improve religious literacy within churches. Core classes include interpreting scripture, social and behavioral sciences, and methods for biblical theology.

The online bachelor of science in theological studies features concentrations in Christian thought and spiritual formation. The Christian thought concentration focuses on historical theology, the relationship between philosophy and theology, and theological reflection. The spiritual formation concentration covers theology and practice in the past and present, theological ethics, and discipline in spiritual formation.

Applicants need a high school diploma or equivalent with a minimum 2.0 GPA. They must also identify as a born-again Christian and be active in an evangelical Protestant church.

Indiana Wesleyan University-National & Global View School Profile $$$$ Marion, IN 37% Indiana Wesleyan University is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

Indiana Wesleyan University is the largest private university in the state. This Christian institution offers more than 120 liberal arts and professional programs, about 90 of which are offered online. The online bachelor of science in biblical studies prepares students for ministry positions in Christian churches and para-church organizations. The program qualifies graduates to pursue master's-level studies in divinity and ministry.

The 120-credit program includes general education, prerequisite, elective, major, and core courses and a capstone project. The curriculum uses a Wesleyan-Arminian perspective that focuses on understanding the Bible and Christian faith.

Prerequisite courses include basic Christian doctrine, inductive Bible study, and New Testament survey. Core courses include Christian spirituality, synoptic gospels, and acts of the apostles. Full-time students can complete the biblical studies major in three years. Applicants must hold a high school diploma or equivalent and submit transcripts.

Southwestern Assemblies of God University View School Profile $$$$ Waxahachie, TX 44% Southwestern Assemblies of God University is regionally accredited by Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

Established in 1927, Southwestern Assemblies of God University is a private Christian university and seminary in rural Texas. SAGU offers more than 70 online undergraduate programs, including an online bachelor's in theological studies. The program prepares graduates for faith-based careers or graduate study.

The 120-credit program includes general education, elective, and major courses. The curriculum focuses heavily on the Bible, biblical proclamation, theology, philosophy, and church history. Courses include systematic theology, biblical preaching, and biblical Hebrew. Students must take one general biblical studies course each semester, choosing from courses like Bible study, authentic Christianity, and New Testament literature.

SAGU requires all applicants to provide evidence of being a born-again Christian. They must also submit high school transcripts demonstrating a minimum 2.0 GPA.

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

Founded in 1944, Lincoln Christian University is a private institution that offers six online degrees, including a bachelor of arts in Christian ministry. The program prepares students for careers in pastoral ministry, missionary work, and Christian education.

The 120-credit program includes general education, elective, faith-based core, and Christian ministries requirements. Students learn how to communicate biblical beliefs, demonstrate cultural empathy, apply ministry skills, and model Christ-like character.

Faith-base core classes include systematic theology, basic Christian beliefs, and introduction to Christian worldviews. The bachelor's in Christian ministry also requires courses in church administration, Christian leadership, and foundations of Christian ministry.

Applicants must submit high school transcripts; ACT, SAT, or CLT scores; a written essay; and a Christian character reference.

Oral Roberts University View School Profile $$$$ Tulsa, OK 57% Oral Roberts University is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

Oral Robert University, founded in 1963, is a private, evangelical liberal arts university. ORU offers 49 online certificate, bachelor's, master's, and doctoral programs. The online bachelor of arts in history and philosophical theology examines historiography, theology, and philosophy methodologies as they relate to Christianity.

The 124-credit program includes general education, core, major, and elective classes. Students learn how historical traditions influence Christian theology and study the intersections of philosophy and theology.

Major courses include Christian apologetics, history of Christianity, and modern theology. Students also take cognate courses on topics like theological research, hermeneutics, and sermon preparation and preaching. Graduates can work as ministry workers and apologetics instructors.

Full-time students can complete the theology degree in four years. Applicants must hold a high school diploma or equivalent and submit transcripts and ACT or SAT scores.

Palm Beach Atlantic University View School Profile $$$$ West Palm Beach, FL 53% Palm Beach Atlantic University is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

Palm Beach Atlantic University -- founded in 1968 -- is a private, Christian university that offers six online programs. The online bachelor of arts in Christian studies includes 120 credits of general education, technology, Christian studies, and elective coursework.

Students in this program deepen their understanding of scripture and Christian thought, engage in ethical reflection on contemporary issues, and learn basic disciplines of Christian discipleship and service. Core studies address a variety of faith-based topics, including worship, Christian thought, and spiritual formation. Learners can customize the degree through electives like inner-city church, interpreting the Bible, and evangelism and apologetics.

Students can begin classes in the fall or spring. Candidates must complete an online application and submit official high school transcripts and ACT, SAT, or CLT scores.

The Baptist College of Florida View School Profile $ Graceville, FL 62% The Baptist College of Florida is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

Established in 1943, The Baptist College of Florida is a private, Christian college that offers an online bachelor of arts in biblical studies. The 120-credit program includes 33 general education credits, 12 biblical and theological foundation credits, 66 biblical studies credits, and six elective credits.

The program teaches students how to interpret biblical passages and apply them in ministry settings. Classes include the doctrine of creation, biblical hermeneutics, and personal evangelism. The program uses an asynchronous format, allowing students to balance their studies with personal and professional obligations.

Applicants must hold a high school diploma with a minimum 2.5 GPA and submit a personal recommendation and ACT or SAT scores.

Montreat College View School Profile $$$$ Montreat, NC 43% Montreat College is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

Founded in 1916, Montreat College is a private, Christian liberal arts institution that offers 12 online undergraduate and graduate programs, including a bachelor of science in Bible and religion. Students in this program receive practical training in preaching, spiritual formation, and church administration.

The 120-credit program takes four years of full-time study to complete and prepares students for careers in ministry, education, law, criminal justice, psychology, and counseling. The program also prepares students for graduate study.

Courses cover Christian doctrine, the history of Christianity, and biblical interpretation. Classes in administrative ministry and organization provide students with the knowledge and skills needed to oversee ministry programs.

Prospective students must hold a high school diploma with a minimum 2.75 GPA and must submit transcripts and ACT, SAT, or CLT scores. Montreat College considers applicants who don't meet minimum standards on a case-by-case basis.

Best Bachelor's

Online Bachelor's in Theology Degree Program Ranking Guidelines

We selected the following degree programs based on quality, curricula, school awards, rankings, and reputation.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Can I Do With a Bachelor's in Theology?

Graduates with a bachelor's in theology can work as clergy members, educators, social workers, and professors of religious studies. The degree also prepares graduates to pursue master's and doctoral programs.

What Type of Degree Is Theology?

A theology degree examines religion, history, and anthropology, preparing graduates for diverse career opportunities.

How Long Does It Take to Get a Bachelor's Degree in Theology?

A bachelor's degree in theology typically takes four years of full-time study to complete, though this can vary by enrollment status and learning format.

What Is the Best Online Theology School?

TheBestSchools.org ranked Saint Joseph's College of Maine as the top online theology bachelor's degree in the country, though the best program for your personal needs may be different.

Can I Study Theology Online?

Yes, students can earn a theology degree online. Potential majors include theology, biblical studies, and Christian ministries. Web-based classes often involve interactive group discussions and collaborative projects.

What Kind of Jobs Can I Get With a Theology Degree?

Graduates with a bachelor's degree in theology can work in roles such as educator, clergy member, social worker, and religious studies professor.

What Is a Bachelor's in Theology Degree?

A bachelor's degree in theology explores the many facets of religion. Students examine spiritual texts; strengthen their theological thinking skills; and study the history, ethics, and rituals of faiths from around the world, though programs based in the U.S. typically focus on Christianity. They may also learn about present-day issues facing religions; visit faith communities; and explore ancient languages, such as Hebrew, Latin, and Greek.

An online bachelor's in theology degree typically takes four years of full-time study to complete.

Theology majors often take courses in biblical theology, ethics, homiletics, cultural studies, and humanities. Courses may include biblical concepts and principles, historical foundations of religion, and methods of interpreting biblical scriptures.

An online bachelor's in theology degree typically takes four years of full-time study to complete. Some schools offer accelerated programs, which may take two years or less to finish with continuous full-time enrollment. Applicants typically need a high school diploma or equivalent.

Graduates know how to serve faith communities, interpret religious texts, and analyze social and historical trends.

What Can I Do With a Bachelor's in Theology Degree?

A bachelor's in theology prepares graduates for secular, religious, and government employment and to pursue advanced degrees. Graduates can work as ministers, lead international missions, or help others through community service programs. They may also teach religious studies at colleges and universities.

Some graduates use a bachelor's in theology to seek master's degrees in theology, ministry, or Christian spirituality. Others complete online master's in biblical and pastoral counseling programs or master of divinity degrees. Many of the highest-paying careers in theology require master's degrees.

Theology and religious professors at colleges, universities, and junior colleges -- which require a master's-level education -- can make over $129,000 per year, according to the BLS.

Theology Careers

A bachelor's in theology prepares graduates for immediate employment in faith-based professions, allowing them to become missionaries, lay leaders, and seminarians. Graduates may also work as private high school teachers, social and community service managers, and social workers. Below, we cover several common careers and potential salaries for graduates with online theology degrees.

Private High School Teachers

Private high school teachers plan lessons, grade assignments, and prepare students for standardized tests. They also maintain records, enforce administration policies, and adapt teaching methods to meet various students' needs.

Private school teachers typically need at least a bachelor's degree, while public school teachers often need additional credentials. Teachers also need strong interpersonal skills, patience, and adaptability.

Median Annual Salary

$60,320

Job Outlook (2018-2028)

4%

Marriage and Family Therapists

Marriage and family therapists evaluate and treat mental, behavioral, and emotional disorders and help address relationship issues. They may meet one-on-one with clients or treat couples and family members together.

Family and marriage therapists typically need a specialized master's degree, which usually takes two years to complete as a full-time student, and state licensure. These professionals need strong problem-solving, interpersonal, and communication skills.

Median Annual Salary

$50,090

Job Outlook (2018-2028)

22%

Social and Community Service Managers

Social and community service managers create and oversee programs that benefit the public. They may oversee budgets and policies, hire and train staff, and collect program data to analyze effectiveness. They may also participate in speaking engagements and meet with potential donors.

Social and community service managers typically need at least a bachelor's degree in social work, urban studies, public administration, or a related field. The position requires skills in analytics, leadership, and time management.

Median Annual Salary

$65,320

Job Outlook (2018-2028)

13%

Social Workers

Social workers support individuals, families, and communities through counseling, advocacy, and reporting services. Direct-service social workers work one-on-one with clients to address their needs, personal situations, and goals. Clinical social workers diagnose and treat mental, behavioral, and emotional disorders and collaborate with clients, doctors, and healthcare professionals to create treatment plans.

Direct-service workers typically need a bachelor of social work degree, while clinical social workers need a master of social work and a state license. Social workers need cultural sensitivity, empathy, and organizational skills to succeed.

Median Annual Salary

$49,470

Job Outlook (2018-2028)

11%

Substance Abuse Counselors and Behavioral Disorder Counselors

Substance abuse and behavioral disorder counselors may work with patients one on one or in group settings, identifying challenges and developing treatment plans to address them. Counselors often refer clients to job placement services, support groups, and other resources to help aid their recovery.

Educational requirements range from a high school diploma and certification to a master's degree and licensure, depending on the counselor's type of work and state regulations. These professionals need cultural sensitivity, empathy, and a desire to help others.

Median Annual Salary

$44,630

Job Outlook (2018-2028)

22%

Clergy

Clergy members are religious leaders, typically working with a wider community. Their responsibilities include leading worship, offering spiritual guidance, and sharing religious insight. They may also read from sacred texts, provide faith-based comfort to congregants, and perform other spiritual roles.

The requirements to work as a clergy member vary by religion, but these professionals typically need at least a bachelor's degree in theology or a related area. They also need strong public speaking, communication, and listening skills.

Median Annual Salary

$48,990

Job Outlook (2018-2028)

8.2%

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