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 a diploma, a theology degree carries more weight and opens a lot of doors especially if you want to practice. As demand for this program grows, more schools are introducing it as part of their offered programs. You can obtain a theology degree through in-person classes or online.
Why You Should Pursue a Degree in Theology
While studying theology is itself rewarding, many people are often concerned with career options. As one of the best courses, a 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 Theology Degree Programs
|Boston University School of Theology
|Liberty University College
|Oral Roberts University – College of Theology & Ministry
|The University of Chicago Divinity School
|University of Notre Dame
|Notre Dame, Indiana
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.
Apart from working in the church, a 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.
15 Best Schools Offering A Degree in Theology
Boston University School of Theology
Boston University was founded as a Methodist university around 1839. Although it’s maintained by the Methodist Church, their influence has recently gone down. Famous for its dialogue, students are taught by Jewish and Muslim professionals. They reiterate that students will receive teaching that may not be focused on biblical revelation. With some notable alumni such as Martin Luther King, Andy Couch, and Vincent Pearl, it’s perhaps one of the best universities out there. After graduation, most students pursue careers in social work, advocacy, ecological justice, interfaith dialogue, and peacemaking.
Liberty University College
Liberty University is not only the largest Evangelical Christian University but also one of the largest seminaries. One of the things that make it impressive is the kind of education it offers. Best known for its conservatism, it’s often referred to as the holiest university. It currently welcomes students in different denominations. However, it mainly serves a congregational and Baptist constituency. Featuring over 90 areas of study, they allow you to customize your degree so it matches your calling. Their degrees are also meant to help you gain real-world experience through internships and other organizations.
Oral Roberts University – College of Theology & Ministry
Founded in 1963, Oral Roberts University was established to educate the whole person. As one of the best universities, it promises a Christ-centred thorough education. It’s the best place for pursuing intellectual discovery, advancing knowledge, and developing a lifelong friendship. It also prepares students for a lifelong mission. As a comprehensive university dedicated to student outcomes it provides up to 76 undergraduate programs, 12 master level programs, and 2 doctoral degree programs. Going beyond the textbooks, the university equips students with real-world projects, internships, and practical assignments. More so, it’s one of the largest and most influential Christian universities.
The University of Chicago Divinity School
The University of Chicago is perhaps one of the best schools for religious studies. As a matter of fact, most theology professors in the USA hold their degrees from this school. It has an incredible list of scholarly works and some of the best professors in the country. Although the school was originally a Baptist school its studies now cover disciplines such as Hinduism and Buddhism. Apart from the higher learning commission of North America, it’s also accredited by The Commission on Accrediting of the Association of Theological Schools in The United States and Canada. Plus, they offer residential scholarship programs cultivation
University of Notre Dame
Notre Dame is a Roman Catholic school that also accepts Mormons, evangelicals, Muslims, and students of any background and faith. As a decidedly religious, 93% of its students identify as Christians. With one of the most respected theology programs, it actively supports many programs and church organizations. Considered as the heart of education and faith, those who attend the school of theology are usually respected for their beliefs. Those who want to engage in scholarly research and early church studies will find the university quite beneficial. However, if you want to go the pastoral ministry route it may not be the best place to be.
Tracing its origin in 1838, Duke University is currently one of the leading institutions in education and research. Located in North Carolina, it comprises Duke University and Duke University Health System. Its mission is to offer a superior liberal arts education and prepare students for skilled and ethical service. Its intent is to instill certain habits of mind such as an appetite for discovery, creative problem solving, and critical thinking. As the spiritual center of great research, Duke University Divinity School’s aim is to prepare innovative Christian leaders for the world. If you are looking for a school with theological expertise and interdisciplinary experience it’s the right option.
University of Iowa
Founded in 1847, the University of Iowa is one of the oldest institutions of higher learning in the Midwest. As a member of the Association of American Universities (AAU) since 1909 and the Big 10 Conference since 1899, the University of Iowa is globally recognized as among the best research universities (R1) in the United States. Founded in 1927, the Department of Religious Studies at the University of Iowa is the first such department at a public university in the US. It offers undergraduate, MA, and Ph.D. programs. All its programs place religion in a broad cultural and intellectual context, and aim to advance students’ ability to think, speak, and write with care about important matters. Students are encouraged to use what they learn to educate the public about cultural and religious diversity. Additionally, courses in the department focus on the impact of technology on religion and general humanity.
University of Northwestern – St. Paul School of Theology and Ministry
University of Northwestern – St. Paul offers both undergraduate and graduate degrees in their School of Theology and Ministry. These programs equip students for careers in the church, Christian education, nonprofit organizations, and intercultural ministry. The School of Theology and Ministry develops Christ-centered learners and leaders who will invest in others and impact the world. Unlike other universities, they emphasize hands-on experience as a way of improving skills and discovering strengths. Students are connected with leadership opportunities, international internships, study trips, and theological conferences. Undergraduate degrees may be combined with an accelerated master’s degree to save 1 year of graduate school tuition. There are designated scholarships for students in the School of Theology and Ministry, in addition to financial aid.
*Reflects tuition cost only. Additional fees may apply. Visit here for a full breakdown of costs: https://unwsp.edu/admissions/tuition-fees/undergraduate-tuition-fees/
Indiana University Bloomington
Founded in 1820, Indiana University is one of the oldest universities in the US. Its strength lies in things such as creativity, innovation, and academic freedom. Over the past two centuries, they’ve nurtured several leaders and doers in various fields. Their religious studies students are equipped to understand the rapidly changing world while learning a lot about other aspects. The studies also imbue students with the ability to assess traditions, diverse actions, and values. Those who want to broaden and deepen their understanding of the diverse mysteries and richness have found it a good place to study. By creating a career-focused learning experience, it allows its students to move forward with confidence.
University of Dayton
As a Catholic University, the University of Dayton has a spirit that ignites boundless curiosity in search of the truth. It pushes its students to go beyond the answers and use their knowledge to make an impact. Apart from turning big dreams into bold moves, they adapt to meet the needs of the world. Situated on the banks of the Great Miami River in southwest Ohio, this university has never been boring. There is always something to do. The best part is that it’s rooted in faith and dedicated to the common good. To increase their affordability and enhance students’ success they’ve implemented a bold approach to eliminate unnecessary charges.
Colorado Christian University
Colorado Christian University was founded in 1914 in Colorado. It offers more than 50-degree options for post-secondary students, and more than 80-degree options for graduate students and adults through the college of undergraduate studies and college of adult and graduate, respectively. It is ranked among the best universities because of the top-notch education it offers to thousands of students. Also, it offers both degrees and certificates for those who would like to improve in their biblical knowledge, plus it has an organizational management degree for those interested in Christian leadership and theological graduate degree.
Harvard University is found in Cambridge, Massachusetts. It was founded in 1636 as a Congregationalist/puritan organization that trained ministers for ages. This university’s goal is to uplift its students in both leadership roles [government, religion, and service] and the academic study of religion. Additionally, it offers 5-degree programs that include; master of divinity [MDiv], master of theological studies [MTS], master of theology [ThM], doctor of philosophy [Ph.D.], and master of religion and public life [MRPL]. However, since there are sudden changes in minor requirements yearly, it should be best for applicants to analyze and become confident with the current program essentials before making a decision on which is the best fit for their academic goal.
While it was founded in 1701 as a collegiate school, Yale University’s reach is both international and local. Its ideal task is to upgrade the human condition, encourage cultural sensitivity, dig into secrets of the universe, and direct the next world leaders. It has students’ groups and activities that make its students engaged and active. However, as a collegiate school in the USA, it is the third-oldest college of higher education. They motivate their students to venture into the educational landscape by visiting strange areas of knowledge to uncover new passion that could lead them in a distinct direction.
Houston Baptist University
Houston Baptist University offers both online and on-compass course options. It provides students with necessary knowledge in theology, philosophy, and apologetics, with the help of biblical texts and classic language through reading and engagement. Students are prepared to communicate clearly and display sound reasoning as their ideal target. Besides being among the highly ranked schools, it has the lowest tuition in the nation, with no concealed fee.
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 per year and graduation rate. 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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