Online seminary education is more and more popular because it allows you to remain in your day job while you pursue a possible vocational shift. If you’re already in ministry, online programs provide you with more education as you serve your congregation full time. We found that several seminaries also offer free courses and entire programs for non-credit, in an effort to provide complete accessibility for anyone in your congregation. In selecting the follow seminaries we looked at several criteria that included accessibility, organization of delivery 2016TopSeminariesBadge-onlineplatform, legacy of seminary in the marketplace prior to online classes, the convenience of scheduling classes, and cost, though less a factor. No one of these took precedence over another, but in addressing these areas in combination we feel this list reflects many, if not most, of the best programs currently available online (based in the United States). We’ve included several schools that offer extension and hybrid models (and there are many more of this kind) since that structure seems to work for many students who desire to learn with at least one foot in a more traditional environment. 

View our updated list for the Top 20 Online Theological Seminaries and Schools for 2017

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

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Gordon Conwell Theological Seminary

www.gordonconwell.edu/online/index.cfm

Gordon

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 of this program coming 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

 

Portland Seminary (George Fox University)

http://www.georgefox.edu/seminary/programs/mdiv/online.html

George-Fox

Summary

In our Distance Seminary Programs (SemD) you and your co-learners form a vibrant learning community by traveling through the degree program together as a close-knit cohort. Friendships begin at the Threshold orientation in Portland, Oregon, and continue to grow through engaging in online dialogue, face-to-face gatherings, social media, 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, though historically Quaker

Seminary Degrees

  • Master of Divinity

Tuition Costs

  • $533 per credit hour

 

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Regent University

success.regent.edu/online/

Regent

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

Though there is no formal denominational tie, Regent is evangelical and its geographical stamp as Virginia Beach and its founder being Pat Robertson, the school has strong leanings into the Southern Baptist denomination.

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)

 

Liberty University

www.liberty.edu/ms/libertyonlinedegrees/seminary.php

http://www.liberty.edu/online/

liberty

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

 

Dallas Theological

www.dts.edu/online-seminary-education

DTS

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

 

Trinity Evangelical Divinity School

divinity.tiu.edu/extension-sites-online/distance-education

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/)

Undergraduate Degree

  • BA in Christian Ministries

Graduate Degrees

  • Master of Arts: Theological Studies
  • Master of Arts: Educational Ministries

Tuition Costs

  • $365 per credit hour (Undergraduate)
  • $675 per credit hour (Evangelical Divinity School)

 

Reformed Theological Seminary

www.rts.edu/global

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

Graduate Degrees

  • Master of Arts: Biblical Studies
  • Master of Arts: Theological Studies
  • Master of Arts: Religion

Tuition Costs

  • $515 per credit hour

 

Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary

swbts.edu/academics/campuses/online

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

  • $250 per credit hour (Southern Baptist)
  • $460 per credit hour (Non-Southern Baptist)

 

Moody Bible Institute

https://www.moody.edu/moody-bible-institute-distance-learning/learning-venues/online-studies/

Moody

Summary

Moody’s ATS-accredited, fully online Master of Divinity degree includes a distinctive program focus on biblical languages. This degree will help you develop the biblical expertise and advanced preaching skills you need to communicate God’s Word with accuracy and relevance. Your courses will focus on topics such as 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)

 

Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary

https://www.gs.edu/academics/gateway-online/

Golden-Gate

Summary

Gateway Online allows students to pursue seminary education from anywhere, at any time. Every online class is asynchronous to fit your schedule. Through Gateway Online, students can pursue a variety of degrees and certificates without ever having to attend a physical campus.

Affiliation

Southern Baptist

Degrees

  • Master of Divinity
  • Master of Theological Studies
  • Master of Arts in Educational Leadership

Tuition Costs

  • $260 per credit hour (Southern Baptist)
  • $340 per credit hour (Non-Southern Baptist)

 

St. Joseph’s College

www.sjcme.edu/academics/programs/master-of-arts-theology/online

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

Undergraduate Degree

  • BA in Theological Studies

Graduate Degrees

  • Master of Arts in Theology
  • Master of Divinity

Tuition Costs

  • $322 per credit hour (Undergraduate)
  • $345 per credit hour (Graduate)

 

Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary

www.sebts.edu/distance/online

Southeastern

Summary

Innovative online classes include engaging lectures and interaction through threaded discussions and possible live class meetings. The content you will receive is designed specifically with Distance Learning students in mind. It is both accessible and convenient for your schedule. Classes at Southeastern deliver theological education and ministry training allowing you to stay in ministry and develop your skills through online education. At Southeastern, every classroom is a Great Commission classroom, whether it is online or on campus. Our classes will challenge you to have a heart for the nations and equip you to better serve in ministry.

Affiliation

Southern Baptist

Degrees

  • Master of Divinity
  • Master of Arts: Christian Studies
  • Master of Arts in Intercultural Studies
  • Master of Arts in Church Planting

Tuition Costs (Standard Rates)

  • $526 per credit hour (Master of Arts, Master of Divinity, and Master of Theological Studies)
  • $541 per credit hour (Master of Theology)

 

Grand Canyon University

www.gcu.edu/online

Grand-Canyon

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)

 

Abilene Christian University

http://www.acu.edu/online/academics.html

Abilene-Christian

Summary

Abilene. Anywhere. Further your education at a nationally recognized Christian university without having to relocate — all while balancing the demands of work, life, and your community. Our online degree programs were designed with busy working adults like you in mind. You’ll focus on one class at a time during six- or seven-week terms. And even though you might be somewhere else geographically, as an ACU online student, you’re part of a vibrant, virtual, Christ-centered community.

Affiliation

Evangelical (Founded by Churches of Christ)

Degrees

  • Master of Arts in Christian Ministry
  • Master of Divinity

Tuition Costs

  • $32,020 annually (Up to 36 hours)

OR

  • $1,334 per credit hour (includes Tuition and Required Fees)

 

Ohio Christian University

www.ohiochristian.edu/online-degree-programs

 

Ohio-Christian-

Summary

Ohio Christian University understands and supports your commitments to your family and career. OCU Online offers Associate and Bachelor programs designed for busy adults. These accredited and affordable programs are completed entirely online, with no campus visits or residency requirements. You take classes around your schedule.

Affiliation

Evangelical (Founded for the Churches of Christ)

Undergraduate Degrees

  • BA in Leadership and Ministry

Graduate Degrees

  • Master of Arts in Ministry

Tuition Costs

  • $420 per credit hour (Bachelor of Arts)
  • $330 per credit hour (Graduate Ministry Program)

 

Knox Theological Seminary

https://www.knoxseminary.edu/knox-online/

knox

Summary

Knox is based in Florida and is a younger school, founded in 1989 by James Kennedy as an outgrowth of Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church. They seem to offer an online experience that combines more video than other programs though that is also shifting and moving as many seminaries continually revise their delivery methods. Knox is also a very affordable option, and, like, Reformed Seminary, it is a great choice if you are wanting an education in the Reformed theological tradition. Unfortunately, their Master of Divinity program is only partially online.

Affiliation

Evangelical (Founded by Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church)

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

 

Multnomah Theological Seminary

www.multnomah.edu/home/online/online-seminary-programs/

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

Seminary Degrees

  • Master of Arts in Biblical Studies
  • Master of Arts in Christian Leadership
  • Master of Divinity
  • Master in Theological Studies

Tuition Costs (Seminary)

  • $500 per credit hour

 

New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary

http://www.nobts.edu/online/default.html

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

Undergraduate Degrees

  • BA in Christian Ministry

Graduate Degrees

  • Master of Divinity
  • Master of Theological Studies
  • Master of Arts (Biblical Studies)
  • Master of Arts (Theology)
  • Master of Arts in Christian Education
  • Master of Arts in Discipleship
  • Master of Arts in Missiology
  • Master of Arts in Pastoral Ministry
  • Spanish-Language Master of Theological Studies

Tuition Costs

  • $230 per credit hour (Undergraduate)
  • $255 per credit hour (Master’s Program)

 

Additional notable Seminaries offering online courses that combine with intensive in-class sessions

Tyndale Theological Seminary
tyndale.edu/students/open

Worth noting: “The Tyndale Open Campus (TOC) allows access to select Tyndale courses and course materials without any fees or assignment requirements. While the TOC cannot be used to take courses for credit toward degree programs, the course lectures and materials are identical to the materials in the for-credit Tyndale Cloud Campus.”

Covenant Theological Seminary
www.covenantseminary.edu/resources

Worth noting: “As an extension of our on-campus courses and lecture series, we offer more than 30 master’s-level courses for FREE online and through the Covenant Seminary app for iPhone, iPad, and Android, as well as many special lectures, interviews with ministry practitioners, sermons, and Q+A’s.”

Asbury Seminary
asburyseminary.edu/academics/distance-education/extended-learning-program/

Calvin Theological Seminary
www.calvinseminary.edu/academics/distance-learning/

Fuller Theological Seminary
fuller.edu/online

Talbot School of Theology
www.talbot.edu/distance/

Wesley Biblical Seminary
wbs.edu/academics/online-learning/

Westminster Theological Seminary
www.wts.edu/becoming/distance_programs.html

Denver Seminary
www.denverseminary.edu

*Note: We stated incorrectly in our Press Release that the free courses through Gordon Conwell were a part of the M.Div program.

 

 

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One Response

  1. Simon

    I love the training I received at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary! Glad to see they are being recognized for their kingdom ministry.