The Best Online Master of Divinity (MDiv) Degree Programs

TBS Staff Writers
by
Updated October 19, 2023
A master of divinity online gives students the flexibility to balance their studies with personal and professional obligations.

Are you ready to discover your college program?

Master of divinity degree (MDiv) programs prepare graduates for ministry careers.

Graduates can lead congregations in worship services and provide pastoral care for their communities. They can also counsel individuals and groups on personal issues, matters of faith, and religious responsibilities. Clergy members make a mean annual salary of over $63,000.

During an MDiv program, graduate students build leadership, theological, and pastoral skills. Pursuing a master of divinity online gives students the flexibility to balance their studies with personal and professional obligations. Online degrees also allow students to attend top programs in the country without relocating.

Featured Online Schools

Loading...
Loading...Learn More
Visit Site
Loading...
Loading...Learn More
Visit Site
Loading...
Loading...Learn More
Visit Site

20 Best Online MDiv Degree Programs

#1 The Best Online Master of Divinity (MDiv) Degree Programs

Harding University

  • Location-markerSearcy, AR
  • 4 year
  • Campus + Online
Average Tuition
  • In-State$20,010
  • Out-of-state$20,010
  • Retention Rate85%
  • Acceptance Rate61%
  • Students Enrolled4,879
  • Institution TypePrivate
  • Percent Online Enrollment12%
  • AccreditationYes
#2 The Best Online Master of Divinity (MDiv) Degree Programs

Southeastern University

  • Location-markerLakeland, FL
  • 4 year
  • Campus + Online
Average Tuition
  • In-State$25,620
  • Out-of-state$25,620
  • Retention Rate65%
  • Acceptance Rate48%
  • Students Enrolled9,894
  • Institution TypePrivate
  • Percent Online Enrollment48%
  • AccreditationYes
#3 The Best Online Master of Divinity (MDiv) Degree Programs

Clarks Summit University

  • Location-markerSouth Abington Township, PA
  • 4 year
  • Campus + Online
Average Tuition
  • In-State$26,082
  • Out-of-state$26,082
  • Retention Rate78%
  • Acceptance Rate41%
  • Students Enrolled771
  • Institution TypePrivate
  • Percent Online Enrollment64%
  • AccreditationYes
#4 The Best Online Master of Divinity (MDiv) Degree Programs

Multnomah University

  • Location-markerPortland, OR
  • 4 year
  • Campus + Online
Average Tuition
  • In-State$26,440
  • Out-of-state$26,440
  • Retention Rate52%
  • Acceptance Rate53%
  • Students Enrolled635
  • Institution TypePrivate
  • Percent Online Enrollment44%
  • AccreditationYes
#5 The Best Online Master of Divinity (MDiv) Degree Programs

University of Northwestern-St. Paul

  • Location-markerSaint Paul, MN
  • 4 year
  • Campus + Online
Average Tuition
  • In-State$31,580
  • Out-of-state$31,580
  • Retention Rate82%
  • Acceptance Rate92%
  • Students Enrolled3,525
  • Institution TypePrivate
  • Percent Online Enrollment50%
  • AccreditationYes
#6 The Best Online Master of Divinity (MDiv) Degree Programs

Abilene Christian University

  • Location-markerAbilene, TX
  • 4 year
  • Campus + Online
Average Tuition
  • In-State$36,250
  • Out-of-state$36,250
  • Retention Rate79%
  • Acceptance Rate61%
  • Students Enrolled5,292
  • Institution TypePrivate
  • Percent Online Enrollment37%
  • AccreditationYes
#7 The Best Online Master of Divinity (MDiv) Degree Programs

Moody Bible Institute

  • Location-markerChicago, IL
  • 4 year
  • Campus + Online
Average Tuition
  • In-State$11,200
  • Out-of-state$11,200
  • Retention Rate81%
  • Acceptance Rate94%
  • Students Enrolled3,009
  • Institution TypePrivate
  • Percent Online Enrollment42%
  • AccreditationYes
#8 The Best Online Master of Divinity (MDiv) Degree Programs

Anderson University

  • Location-markerAnderson, SC
  • 4 year
  • Campus + Online
Average Tuition
  • In-State$26,130
  • Out-of-state$26,130
  • Retention Rate80%
  • Acceptance Rate69%
  • Students Enrolled3,543
  • Institution TypePrivate
  • Percent Online Enrollment44%
  • AccreditationYes
#9 The Best Online Master of Divinity (MDiv) Degree Programs

Crown College

  • Location-markerSaint Bonifacius, MN
  • 4 year
  • Campus + Online
Average Tuition
  • In-State$26,480
  • Out-of-state$26,480
  • Retention Rate64%
  • Acceptance Rate50%
  • Students Enrolled1,522
  • Institution TypePrivate
  • Percent Online Enrollment68%
  • AccreditationYes
#10 The Best Online Master of Divinity (MDiv) Degree Programs

Hope International University

  • Location-markerFullerton, CA
  • 4 year
  • Campus + Online
Average Tuition
  • In-State$32,250
  • Out-of-state$32,250
  • Retention Rate72%
  • Acceptance Rate37%
  • Students Enrolled1,130
  • Institution TypePrivate
  • Percent Online Enrollment50%
  • AccreditationYes
#11 The Best Online Master of Divinity (MDiv) Degree Programs

Liberty University

  • Location-markerLynchburg, VA
  • 4 year
  • Campus + Online
Average Tuition
  • In-State$15,417
  • Out-of-state$15,417
  • Retention Rate81%
  • Acceptance Rate51%
  • Students Enrolled85,586
  • Institution TypePrivate
  • Percent Online Enrollment92%
  • AccreditationYes
#12 The Best Online Master of Divinity (MDiv) Degree Programs

Olivet Nazarene University

  • Location-markerBourbonnais, IL
  • 4 year
  • Campus + Online
Average Tuition
  • In-State$36,080
  • Out-of-state$36,080
  • Retention Rate77%
  • Acceptance Rate58%
  • Students Enrolled4,317
  • Institution TypePrivate
  • Percent Online Enrollment58%
  • AccreditationYes
#13 The Best Online Master of Divinity (MDiv) Degree Programs

Anderson University

  • Location-markerAnderson, IN
  • 4 year
  • Campus + Online
Average Tuition
  • In-State$30,700
  • Out-of-state$30,700
  • Retention Rate69%
  • Acceptance Rate63%
  • Students Enrolled1,567
  • Institution TypePrivate
  • Percent Online Enrollment28%
  • AccreditationYes
#14 The Best Online Master of Divinity (MDiv) Degree Programs

Cornerstone University

  • Location-markerGrand Rapids, MI
  • 4 year
  • Campus + Online
Average Tuition
  • In-State$25,360
  • Out-of-state$25,360
  • Retention Rate79%
  • Acceptance Rate78%
  • Students Enrolled1,998
  • Institution TypePrivate
  • Percent Online Enrollment26%
  • AccreditationYes
#15 The Best Online Master of Divinity (MDiv) Degree Programs

Oral Roberts University

  • Location-markerTulsa, OK
  • 4 year
  • Campus + Online
Average Tuition
  • In-State$28,998
  • Out-of-state$28,998
  • Retention Rate81%
  • Acceptance Rate68%
  • Students Enrolled4,160
  • Institution TypePrivate
  • Percent Online Enrollment15%
  • AccreditationYes

Best Online Programs

Masters in Divinity

2024


The Best Schools

Online Master’s in Divinity Programs Ranking Guidelines

We ranked the following programs based on factors like quality, faculty strength and publications, reputation, and rankings.

Choosing an Online MDiv Program

Prospective MDiv students should consider several factors when researching potential programs. We cover several important considerations for prospective learners below.

  • Program Cost: In addition to researching tuition cost per credit, students should research any online learning fees, graduation fees, and book costs when determining the total cost of a prospective program.
  • Transfer Policies: Many programs offer transfer credits for prior academic work, military training, and professional experience. Programs with generous transfer credit policies can save students time and money on a degree.
  • School Size and Type: Students should consider factors such as average class size, online student support services, and a school’s alumni network when seeking the best program for their needs.
  • Program Length: An online MDiv program typically takes three years to complete, but some programs offer accelerated timelines.
  • On-Campus Requirements: Some online MDiv programs incorporate on-campus requirements, which students should ensure they can meet before committing to a program.
  • Thesis, Fellowship, and Work Requirements: Some online MDiv degree programs have thesis or internship requirements. Students should choose a program with requirements aligned with their career goals.

What Is a Master of Divinity Degree?

Online master of divinity programs prepare graduates for ministerial leadership roles in churches, social service agencies, hospitals, and the military. Most MDiv programs require three years of full-time study. During that time, students take courses on topics like ministry studies, religious studies, ministry experience, and scriptural interpretation. Graduate students may also study religious traditions outside of their own faith. Some MDiv programs conclude with a capstone project, research paper, or senior seminar.

Applicants to master of divinity programs typically need a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution. They must also submit essays on their religious faith and reasons for pursuing the degree. Some programs set prerequisite undergraduate courses for admission.

What’s the Difference Between a Master of Theology and a Master of Divinity Degree?

Both master of theology and master of divinity programs include coursework on religious traditions, theology, and biblical studies. However, master of theology programs emphasize academic pursuits, including textual analysis and theological theory, while master of divinity programs focus on preparing graduates for leadership roles in ministry.

During a master of theology program, students may conduct original research and write a master’s thesis. In MDiv programs, graduate students build the leadership and administrative abilities necessary for providing pastoral care to a congregation. Divinity school may also incorporate field experiences.

After earning a master of theology, graduates can enter a doctoral program or pursue academic or research positions. A master of divinity leads to ministerial roles, such as pastor, chaplain, or spiritual counselor.

Divinity Careers

Master of divinity programs prepare graduates for religious leadership roles, like minister, pastor, or preacher. Students also gain pastoral and counseling skills that prepare them for roles like military chaplain or spiritual counselor. In addition to clergy positions, graduates can pursue careers as community service managers, high school teachers, and college professors.

The following list outlines several common careers and potential salaries for graduates.

Frequently Asked Questions

Learn more, do more.

More topic-relevant resources to expand your knowledge.
0