Also known as divinity schools, theology schools are educational institutions meant to educate students in scripture, theology and to prepare them to serve as priests, teachers, professors, pastors, and clergymen after they’re conferred with their theology degree. The study of theology is generally part of history, part of anthropology, and part of philosophy. While students can opt for just a degree, a theology master’s degree carries more weight and opens a lot of doors especially if you want to further the scope of your practice. As demand for this program grows, more schools are introducing it as part of their offered programs. You can obtain a theology Master’s degree through in-person classes or online.
Why You Should Pursue a Masters in Theology
While studying theology is itself rewarding, many people are often concerned with career options. As one of the best courses, a Master’s degree in theology teaches valuable skills to make the students competitive in both secular and religious careers. Given that it’s affordable and accessible, it’s a course that you can even pursue at the comfort of your home. It allows you to explore how religious practices and beliefs shape the world.
Top 5 Masters in Theology Programs
|1||Drew University||Madison, New Jersey|
|2||Baylor University||Waco, Texas|
|3||Williamson College||Franklin, Tennessee|
|4||The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary||Louisville, Kentucky|
|5||University of Northwestern – St. Paul||Saint Paul, Minnesota|
Additional reasons to study theology:
- Theology keeps us humble. When studied well theology humbles the student.
- Everything in life is theological. Unlike other disciplines, everything we encounter in life seeks to ask and answer questions.
- Theology makes one aware of his or her views. This way, he can hold unto them better
- Theology builds and inspires. Humans have special gifts that can only be brought out when inspired. Theology does exactly this.
- Theology makes one all rounded. Whether you are intending to be a teacher, pastor, or businessman, there are things you learn in theology that make you all rounded.
- Ministers become eligible to serve in senior management roles both in and outside the church when they have a graduate degree, including being able to lecture at colleges and universities.
Apart from working in the church, a Master’s degree in theology prepares one for other secular jobs. Careers open to those who pursue theology are not limited to theology but include excellent opportunities such as social workers, teachers, counselors, journalists, historians, and writers.
If you need help finding a college or university that offers you a degree of preference we can help. Click here to search for your favorite program. Below is a list of the best schools offering masters in theology.
Best 13 Masters in Theology Programs
Located in Madison USA, Drew University offers a competitive program designed for students desiring to become ordained pastors and ministers, congregational leaders, chaplains in hospitals, and community leaders and organizers. It has a Wesleyan and tradition and teaches a 78 credit program. The program is also great for people seeking to mold their leadership skills with sound Christian doctrine and tradition and must not follow a traditional path to becoming ministers. The program provides a variety of options for classroom attendance, online conference video calls, and off-campus activities. The program can be completed in less than 2.5 years but it is normally completed in 3 years to allow for intensive study.
The M.Div program at Baylor University is an intensive but elaborate one that covers several aspects of graduate theology. The main areas of focus are preaching and worship, Christian teachings, religious leadership, spiritual formation, lifelong learning, and Global evangelical missions. In addition to the 72-hour core credits, students also get a chance to do 15 elective units, where they can take 12 of their elective hours in a specialized area which earns them a graduate certificate in addition to the M.Div qualification. The program is very balanced and should interest most theology degree holders.
The Master of Theological Studies (M.T.S) is a 48-hour program that is fully certified and recognized which introduces the student to the basic ideas of theology studies. It is also very affordable and comes with a big advantage to students who would later like to take an M.Div program. A student in the M.Div program with more than 12 hours of credits can change to the M.T.S program and have an assessment of their fee with a view to reducing it.
Williamson College is located in Franklin USA. It has one of the shorter programs with a very respectable acceptance rate. The Master’s of Arts Program in Theology is one that can be accessed by both laypeople and those in ministry. One does not necessarily have to have a theology degree to enroll in the program. The program has a total of 14 courses including Moral Theology, Philosophy Theology, and Comparative Theology. Students are able to receive financial assistance through federal student loans and private/alternative loans. Scholarships are also available.
The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary
The second Master’s of Arts program on the list, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary offers a rigorous program with options to complete some of the courses both online and on-campus. It is designed to be explored by a wider variety of church officers in worship, pastoring, mentorship among others. It is a basic program with a curriculum that is both functional and practical and which is affordable for most students, both from the US and outside.
University of Northwestern – St. Paul
The Master of Arts in Theological Studies (MATS) program is offered at a very reasonable cost at University of Northwestern – St. Paul. It includes such courses as Biblical Hermeneutics, History of Christianity, Apologetics, and Theological Prolegomena. Graduates of this program will be prepared to teach in a church or academic setting. Only 36 credits are required to earn this master’s degree, and the student to teacher ratio of 14:1 is one of the best in the country. The MATS degree can be completed online or on Northwestern’s beautiful lakeside campus in as little as 18 months.
The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary
The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary features a second time, only this time with its M.Div program. This program is designed for theologian undergraduate students who wish to take their ministry preparation to the next level. The program offers various concentrations such as Biblical Studies, Pastoral Studies, Ethics and Philosophy, and even Biblical Spirituality. The program combines both online and campus options with options to do full time or part-time. The school boasts a selection of some of the most seasoned professors who have made great contributions to the ministry. Some of the concentrations are available completely online for those who are so inclined. The school also has close ties with the Billy Graham School of Theology for advanced M.Divs.
The M.Div program at Maitripa College is refreshingly different. It offers the program with a Buddhist approach although it does not restrict admissions to students who profess the Buddhist faith. The program uses both scholastic training and contemplative training to impart practical spiritual solutions to modern-day challenges. The training is geared towards teaching students to have a burden for humanity with a desire to alleviate suffering and make the world a better place. There is especially a lot of depth in areas of philosophy, meditation practices, and methods. The program is both part-time and full time, and full-time students can apply for scholarships and have to take a minimum of 7 credits per semester.
Criswell College is found in Dallas Texas. It offers a comprehensive Master’s of Arts in Theological and Biblical Studies program. The school focuses more on three main areas of scholarship namely Old Testament, New Testament, and Christian Doctrine. It does so by teaching biblical languages, the basic components of the Christian tradition. Graduates of Criswell College proceed to careers such as religion professors, ministers, missionaries, and teachers in religious institutions.
Yale Divinity School
Being one of the oldest divinity schools in the country, Yale Divinity School (YDS) offers a very trusted program. It boasts some of the best professors in the world with an impeccable work ethic and the ability to leverage decades of experience. The quality of education is right up there with the best schools in the country. There are five different areas giving the student different possible combinations and the number of credits to take. The students are required to take credit hours in a non-Christian religion and other credit hours in a class dealing with diversity and inclusiveness, as a clear sign of progressiveness.
Cardinal Stritch University
The Master in theology program from Cardinal Stritch University is designed for students with a wide range of pursuits and career goals, from education and catechetics to preparation for a doctoral degree in religious studies, theology, or a related field. Rooted in the Catholic and Franciscan tradition, the M.A. in Religious Studies is a 30-credit program that does not particularly focus on the religious doctrines but on the realities of life. In this case, students are mentored to develop religious skills that are relevant to contemporary society while also reflecting on the ancient biblical teachings. Courses in the Master of Arts in Religious Studies program are generally scheduled in the evenings to accommodate working students.
The Masters of Theology and Ministry offered at Welch College is designed for graduates desiring to add more theological knowledge to help them advance in their religious careers. The 33-semester-hour M.A. degree is an advanced degree, with a hybrid format, that focuses on developing skills and knowledge in the area of Christian ministry. You will study under faculty members who are gifted scholars with specialties in a broad range of disciplines and are experienced in ministry. In this case, you’ll be mentored and trained to apply biblical content in your daily life. The emphasis is on building theological experience that not only impacts you but the school community as well as the general society. The Master of Arts in Theology and Ministry is regionally and nationally accredited.
Asbury Theological Seminary
Asbury Theological Seminary’s 96-hour Master in theology degree offers more than a biblical and theological foundation of Scripture. It equips you to be a transformative preacher and leader in your congregation-based ministry. As you complete your degree, you will develop a solid knowledge of the scripture and other spiritual theories that will not only enable you to grow spiritually but also impact the lives of others by sharing the knowledge with them. In addition, you’ll be able to perform anthropological studies that will enable you to interpret scriptures well as develop new preaching methods.
Masters in Theology Ranking Methodology
These rankings were based on the analysis of best software data from the U.S. Department of Education’s College Scorecard and the respective university websites. The schools were ranked based on tuition amounts and the duration it takes to complete the program. Both factors were accorded 50 points and each school was assigned points based on how it compared with others on tuition amounts and graduation rates. The points earned for both ranking factors were then added together to get each school’s total score. In cases where there was a tie, the acceptance rate was also considered as a factor for ranking.
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