Top 20 Online Theological Seminaries and Schools for 2017

Online Seminaries and schools are quickly becoming a preferred way to earn a degree or certificate. Certainly there are stereotypes that hinder students from pursuing the options more actively. One reason students shy away from online seminaries is the perception the courses lacking accountability, given the flexibility. However, we’ve found that the biggest advantage for online seminaries is the possibility of pursuing a Master of Divinity, Master of Arts, Master of Science, or even in some cases, a Bachelor’s degree in Christian Studies while maintaining a full-time job! And, if you can stick to a schedule and organize your week, the flexibility might become a shared advantage to online classes.

Top 20 Online Seminaries and Schools for 2017

This curated list is brought to you by: Sharefaith Church Websites

Note: Our top 20 Online Seminaries and Schools are listed in alphabetical order. All tuition expenses are estimates. Other expenses such as application fees and graduation fees are not listed.

 

 

 

 

 

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Indiana Wesleyan University

Indiana Wesleyan University - Top Online Seminaries

Summary

Indiana Wesleyan University is an evangelical Christian comprehensive university that is committed to liberal arts and professional education. U.S. News & World Report ranks Indiana Wesleyan University as “one of the best Master’s universities in the Midwest.” They equip you with needed skills, “to meet the challenges of our rapidly changing world,” their website says. The online program is designed for adults who wish to pursue or complete their college education from the convenience of their own computer.

Affiliation

Evangelical

Undergraduate Degrees

  • Bachelor’s in Biblical Studies

Graduate Degrees

  • Master’s in Theological Studies

Seminary Degrees

  • Master of Divinity
  • Maestria en Divinidad
  • Master of Arts in Ministry
  • Master of Practical Theology

Abilene Christian University

Abilene-Christian

Summary

For more than 100 years Abilene Christian University has served students in Texas. Their online programs provide, “ flexibility, convenience, and accessibility. The programs are designed to allow our students to balance their work, school, and family responsibilities without sacrificing one for another.”

Affiliation

Evangelical (Founded by Churches of Christ)

Degrees

  • Master of Arts in Conflict Resolution and Reconciliation
  • Master of Arts in Christian Ministry
  • Master of Arts in Global Service
  • Master of Divinity

Tuition Costs

  • $600 per credit hour

Bethel Seminary of Bethel University

Bethel - Online Seminaries

Summary

They’ve created programs that work for busy seminary students, understanding that, “students are at different phases of life that present challenges within their schedules,” says their website. They want to provide options which meet your demands. They offer fully online programs as well as online programs with intensives. Students in online programs with intensives work on assignments, interact with faculty, and engage in online discussion. Twice a year, students meet together on campus for one week of intensive classes.

Affiliation

Baptist

Degrees

  • Master of Arts in Christian Thought
  • Master of Arts in Theological Studies
  • Master of Divinity
  • Master of Arts in Ministry

Tuition Costs

  • $498 per credit hour


Dallas Theological Seminary

Dallas Theological Seminary - Top Online Seminaries

Summary

Their motto is, “You don’t have to uproot to attend seminary. DTS has fully online programs designed to immerse you in the Gospel story in all 66 books of the Bible and prepare you to serve wherever God calls you.” Dallas is well established with a history of almost 100 years and a reputation for educating pastors for service throughout the world.

Affiliation

DTS is strongly evangelical but is not aligned with a particular denomination. In terms of a theological particularity, dispensationalism is expressed in Article V of the beliefs they hold.

Degrees

  • Master of Biblical and Theological Studies
  • Master of Arts: Christian Studies

Tuition Costs

  • $533 per credit hour

Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary

Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary - Top Online Seminaries

Summary

Gordon-Conwell offers several programs online including a unique track called the Dimensions of Faith program which provides theological education for free (non-credit)*. It is part of their Ockenga Institute which exists, “to equip the church for renewal, global outreach, and cultural transformation.” Because this program comes from an exceptional seminary, Gordon-Conwell makes the top of our list. Besides their main campus in Hamilton, MA, they have sites in Boston, Jacksonville, and Charlotte.

Affiliation 

Evangelical

Degrees

  • Master of Arts in Christian Ministry
  • Master of Arts in Christian Leadership

Tuition Costs

  • $510 per credit hour

Grand Canyon University

Grand Canyon University - Top Online Seminaries

Summary

Grand Canyon offers flexible start times and a number of emphases including urban, youth and worship. The traditional campus is located in Phoenix. They also have five additional satellite campuses.

Affiliation

Evangelical (Founded by Southern Baptists)

Undergraduate Degrees

  • BA in Christian Studies: Biblical Studies
  • BA in Christian Studies: Youth Ministry
  • BA in Christian Studies: Global Ministry
  • BA in Christian Studies: Philosophy
  • BA in Christian Studies: Worship Leadership
  • BA in Christian Studies: Media and Production Ministry

Graduate Degrees

  • Master of Divinity
  • Master of Divinity: Global Ministry
  • Master of Divinity: Worship Leadership
  • Master of Arts in Christian Leadership
  • Master of Arts in Christian Ministry
  • Master of Arts in Urban Ministry
  • Master of Arts in Youth and Family Ministry

Tuition Costs

  • $470 per credit hour (Online and Professional Studies)
  • $330 per credit hour (Master of Divinity)
  • $500 per credit hour (Online and Professional Studies)

Knox Theological Seminary

Know Theological Seminary - Top Online Seminaries

Summary

“Disappointed by other online seminary programs that only provide audio lectures and leave you on your own to learn?” they ask on their website. “Overwhelmed by the idea of moving and leaving your ministry context to attend a residential seminary program?” Knox offers an online program and seminary experience that is, “quality, affordable, and accredited.” They have a partially online Master of Divinity and Doctor of Ministry and Master of Arts in Biblical and Theological Studies (MABTS), and a fully online Master of Arts in Christian and Classical Studies (MACCS).

Affiliation

Reformation

Degrees

  • Master of Arts in Biblical and Theological Studies
  • Master of Arts in Christian and Classical Studies
  • Master of Divinity (Partial Degree)

Tuition Costs

  • $410 per credit hour

 


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Liberty University

Liberty University - Top Online Seminaries

Summary

Liberty is the largest seminary online. It has many programs and specifications. As the forerunner in delivering education remotely (first through tape/CD correspondence and now online), they offer a well-organized format. Along these lines, they offer, “a comprehensive support system available to aid in your success, including an assigned academic advisor, an online writing center, free 24/7 access to online tutors, a private Facebook community to network with your peers, and online ministries.”

Affiliation

Liberty is strongly evangelical. Founded by Southern Baptist Minister Jerry Falwell, it has a strong Baptist heritage though it is not formally affiliated with the convention. Not unlike other evangelical choices, Liberty adheres to a strict pre-tribulation doctrine.

Undergraduate Degrees

  • BS in Biblical Educational Studies
  • BS in Religion Biblical and Theological Studies
  • BS in Religion Christian Ministries
  • BS in Religion Evangelism

Graduate Degrees

  • Master of Arts in Christian Ministry
  • Master of Arts in Divinity
  • Master of Arts in Music and Worship Studies
  • Master of Arts in Pastoral Counseling
  • Master of Arts in Religion
  • Master of Arts in Theological Studies
  • Master of Arts in Theology
  • Master of Arts in Worship Studies
  • Master of Divinity
  • Master of Religious Education

Tuition Costs

  • $390 per credit hour (Undergraduate)
  • $565 per credit hour (Graduate)
  • $2,750 block rate (Rawlings School of Divinity

Moody Bible Institute

Moody Bible Institute - Top Online Seminaries

Summary

Moody’s ATS-accredited, fully online Master of Divinity degree includes a distinctive program focus on biblical languages. This degree helps you develop the biblical expertise and advanced preaching skills to communicate God’s Word with accuracy and relevance. Courses focus on topics of Hebrew and Greek, Bible analysis, biblical and systematic theology, pastoral practices, church history, ministry leadership and narrative preaching. Two internships are built into the curriculum to help you apply what you’ve learned in real-life settings.

Affiliation

Evangelical

Undergraduate Degree

  • BS in Biblical Studies
  • BS in Ministry Leadership
  • BS in Theological Studies
  • BS in Theology and Cultural Engagement

Degrees

  • Master of Divinity
  • Master of Arts in Biblical Exposition

Tuition Costs

  • $330 per credit hour (Undergraduate)
  • $420 per credit hour (Graduate)

Multnomah Theological Seminary

multnomah

Summary

Multnomah has a great reputation and dates back to 1936. Based in Portland, Oregon, they offer several fully online programs as well as a master of divinity hybrid program. They have a more time-condensed model for their online courses which last (an intensive) eight weeks. The FAQ is more helpful than others, answering many concerns about online class instruction and the general expectations.

Affiliation

Evangelical

Degrees

  • Master of Arts in Biblical Studies
  • Master of Arts in Theological Studies

Tuition Costs

  • $475 per credit hour

New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary

New-Orleans

Summary

Known as NOBTS, the seminary is in the work of providing innovative delivery systems, preparing our students for ministry through innovative delivery systems. They are in the family of Southern Baptist seminaries, though our research suggests NOBTS is much more affordable whether you’re Baptist or not. NOBTS have become a leading choice in online programming as they live out that call, “whether God is calling you as a pastor, missionary, counselor, youth minister, educator, worship leader, apologist, or something else entirely.”

Affiliation

Southern Baptist

Degrees

  • Master of Divinity
  • Master of Theological Studies
  • Master of Arts

Tuition Costs

  • $210 per credit hour (Baptist)
  • $360 per credit hour (non-Baptist)

Ohio Christian University

Ohio-Christian-

Summary

Ohio Christian has two concentrations in their master’s program, Pastoral Care/Counseling, and Practical Theology. Similar to many schools today that has invested in online education, Ohio Christian has many more students online. Their residential campus in Circleville, Ohio has 500 students while they educate more the 4,000 students online.

Affiliation

Evangelical (Founded for the Churches of Christ)

Degrees

  • Master of Arts in Ministry

Tuition Costs

  • $330 per credit hour


Portland Seminary (George Fox University)

Portland Seminary - Top Online Seminaries

Summary

The Distance Seminary Programs (SemD) is, “a vibrant learning community,”  says their website. You are divided into cohorts in an effort to form community, with the start of your time in what they call a”Threshold orientation” in Portland. Then, your cohort grows together through online dialogue, face-to-face gatherings, social media interaction, symposia events, and student-led face-to-face activities. “Studios” are specially tailored learning environments where you will delve deep into your chosen specialization. In your studio, you will learn alongside a small group of students who share your specialization interest, and with faculty members or denominational leaders uniquely qualified to facilitate learning in your area.

Affiliation

Evangelical

Seminary Degrees

  • Master of Divinity

Tuition Costs

  • $533 per credit hour

Reformed Theological Seminary

Reformed

Summary

Reformed is a seminary designed differently than most. They were shaped by a convenient delivery model for a long time, offering classes on eight campuses from Florida to Texas to New York City. If you desire a seminary education from the Reformed perspective, RTS is a great choice and one that you may be able to engage in a hybrid model, especially if your aim is a master of divinity. So be sure to check out all their locations for more program offerings.

Affiliation

Evangelical

Degrees

  • Master of Arts
  • Certificate Programs

Tuition Costs

  • $475 per credit hour

Regent University

Regent University - Top Online Seminaries

Summary

With classes starting every eight weeks, Regent makes it very convenient to take classes. They have a tremendous variety of emphases. Their website says, “Regent is vested in versatility. We give you the flexibility to choose how you’d like to incorporate our courses into your schedule, whether it be on campus or online – another element to ensure you obtain your degree in a timely fashion.” The ease of sign-up and course pages seems to live up to this statement.

Affiliation

Interdenominational

Undergraduate Degrees

  • BA in Christian Ministry
  • BA in Biblical & Theological Studies

Graduate Degrees

  • Master of Divinity
  • Master of Arts in Practical Theology
  • Master of Theological Studies
  • Master of Theology

Tuition Costs

  • $395 per credit hour (Undergraduate)
  • $495 per credit hour (Graduate)

Saint Leo University

St.-Leo

Summary

Saint Leo University is a Catholic, liberal arts-based university serving people of all faiths. Founded in 1889, the university has expanded to 16,000 if you count its residential Florida campus and other extension and online students. Its MAT program provides,  “a solid foundation and broad introduction to the major disciplines of academic theology from the perspective of Roman Catholic Tradition and within the ecumenical setting of contemporary theological research and dialogue.”

Affiliation

Roman Catholic

Degrees

  • Master of Arts in Theology

Tuition Costs

  • $450 per credit hour

Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary

Southeastern

Summary

Southeastern is in the family of Southern Baptist schools that include Southern and Southwestern. They are a younger school founded in 1950 and based in Wake Forest, North Carolina. They offer a good amount of helps to get started with your education for the computer novice in the hopes that their education will benefit you no matter where you are in the world. The school also offers a small list of free classes that might motivate you to try out this mode of learning.

Affiliation

Southern Baptist

Degrees

  • Master of Divinity
  • Master of Arts
  • Master of Theological Studies
  • Master of Arts in Church Planting
  • Associate of Divinity

Tuition Costs

  • $316 per credit hour (Baptist)
  • $630 per credit hour (non-Baptist)

The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary

southern

Summary

Southern, as it’s called for short, offers more than 160 courses online and many more in a hybrid format with intensive weekends on their Louisville campus or nine other satellite sites. It is the flagship seminary of several within the denomination.

Affiliation

The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary is affiliated with–you guessed it–the Southern Baptist denomination and therefore at the forefront of evangelicalism as it is the largest US denomination. Southern Baptists are known for a staunch autonomy of the local church.

Degrees

  • Master of Divinity

Tuition Costs

  • $267 per credit hour (Baptist)
  • $534 per credit hour (non-Baptist)

Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary

Southwestern

Summary

Like Southern in Louisville, Southwestern offers many programs and has an excellent reputation. Based in Fort Worth and Houston, Texas, the school is one of the largest in the world with more than 42,000 graduates since its founding in 1908.

Affiliation

Southern Baptist

Degrees

  • Master of Divinity
  • Master of Arts in Christian Education
  • Master of Theological Studies
  • Maestría en Estudios Teológicos (completely in Spanish)
  • Master of Theological Studies + Missions

Tuition Costs

  • $220 per credit hour (Baptist)
  • $440 per credit hour (non-Baptist)

St. Joseph’s College

St.-Joseph's

Summary

St. Joseph’s is located in Standish, Maine, and is Maine’s online Catholic college. The online Master of Arts in Theology program is, “rooted in Roman Catholic doctrine and life, and fully in accord with the magisterium, serves Catholic deacons and lay ecclesial ministers in their families, parishes, diocesan agencies, hospitals, workplaces, retreat/spiritual centers or social service agencies.”

Affiliation

Roman Catholic

Degrees

  • Master of Arts in Theology

Tuition Costs

  • $340 per credit hour

Trinity Evangelical Divinity School

Trinity

Summary

Trinity (or TEDS) has a longstanding reputation of exceptional faculty that represent the gamut of Protestant denominations. Though a certificate is only available completely online, they have eight satellite campus sites beside their main campus in Deerfield, IL,  where you offer can complete other programs in a hybrid model.

Affiliation

TEDS is the flagship university of the Evangelical Free Church of America. They are strongly evangelical with an objective to invite many opinions to the table under a 10-point statement of faith. (http://divinity.tiu.edu/who-we-are/statement-of-faith/)

Degrees

  • Certificate in Christian Studies

Tuition Costs

  • $635 per credit hour

 

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