Education

Best Online Divinity Degree Programs of 2022

Learn more about the top Divinity programs, what to expect, job prospects, and how to choose the program that’s right for you.

Divinity degrees are interdisciplinary programs that combine the study of religion, theology, and ministry. Divinity degrees can prepare students for a variety of careers in the clergy, including pastors, priests, and chaplains.

Divinity degrees offer a broad overview of religion, covering topics such as the history of religion, the Bible, and religious ethics. Students in divinity degree programs learn about the different aspects of religious belief and practice, and how to apply those beliefs to the real world.

How to Choose the Right Divinity Program

When choosing a divinity program, there are many factors to consider. The first is the type of degree you want to earn. You can choose between a Bachelor of Arts, a Bachelor of Science, or a Bachelor of Divinity. Each type of degree has its own advantages and disadvantages.

The Bachelor of Arts degree is the most common type of degree earned by divinity students. It typically takes four years to complete and requires the completion of general education courses in addition to courses in the divinity field. The Bachelor of Science degree is similar to the Bachelor of Arts degree, but with a greater focus on the science and mathematics courses required for the degree. The Bachelor of Divinity degree is the most advanced type of degree offered in the divinity field. It typically takes four years to complete and requires the completion of a thesis in addition to coursework.

The next factor to consider is the cost of the program. Divinity programs can be expensive, so it is important to consider the cost of tuition, room and board, and other associated expenses. Many programs offer scholarships and financial aid to help offset the cost of the degree.

The third factor to consider is the length of the program. Most programs take four years to complete, but some offer accelerated tracks that allow students to complete the degree in less time.

The fourth factor to consider is the location of the program. Many divinity programs are located in rural areas, so students need to consider the cost of living in the area and the availability of jobs after graduation.

The fifth factor to consider is the accreditation of the program. Accreditation is important because it ensures that the program meets the standards set by the divinity field.

The final factor to consider is the career options available after graduation. Many divinity graduates go on to work in the clergy, but there are also many other career options available.

Best Online Bachelor’s in Divinity Programs

The best online programs for Divinity ranking is based on key statistics and student reviews using data from the U.S. Department of Education. Some of the metrics influencing how the rankings are determined include graduation rate, average salary for graduates, accreditation, retention rate, and cost.

Rank 1
Franciscan University of Steubenville
Steubenville, OH

The Bachelor of Arts in Theology from Franciscan University of Steubenville is a 100% online program that seeks to deepen students’ understanding and love of God. The program is focused on the Catholic faith and is designed to help students appreciate the beauty of God’s revelation in Jesus Christ and through the Holy Spirit. Additionally, the program offers the opportunity to earn a Master of Arts in Theological Studies degree through the 4 +1 program.

Rank 2
Indiana Wesleyan University-Marion
Marion, IN

The Bachelor of Science in Biblical Studies from Indiana Wesleyan University-Marion focuses on the study of Scripture using the inductive Bible study approach. Students will learn about the background, genre, contents, and theological themes of various books and blocks of the Bible. They will also learn about the cultural and philosophical dynamics that influence the interpretation and application of Scripture. The program will prepare graduates to serve in ministry positions that emphasize preaching and teaching the Bible.

Rank 3
Arizona State University
Tempe, AZ

The Bachelor of Arts in Religious Studies – Religion, Culture and Public Life degree from Arizona State University is designed to help students understand how religion impacts societies throughout the world. The curriculum includes an emphasis on analyzing how different religions inform decision-making in aspects of human life, ranging from appearance to attitudes about mortality and sexuality. Through their coursework, students explore how religious understanding shapes communication, entertainment, reasoning, socialization, and work.

Rank 4
University of Central Florida
Orlando, FL

The Bachelor of Arts in Religion and Cultural Studies from University of Central Florida is an online program that helps students understand religious traditions from around the world and how they have impacted society. The curriculum includes courses on world religions, philosophy, and humanistic traditions. Students will have the opportunity to study specific religious traditions, key figures in world religions, the topic of religion in popular culture, and theory in the humanities. The degree program culminates in a capstone project or senior research project.

Rank 5
Florida International University
Miami, FL

The Bachelor of Arts in Religious Studies from Florida International University is an interdisciplinary degree that provides students with a thorough study of the history, beliefs, and practices of the world’s religions. The curriculum is comparative and cross-cultural, with a focus on peace and conflict, and gaining a deeper understanding of communities of multiple religious faiths.

The program requires a total of 120 credits for completion, with 36 credits specifically in religious studies courses. Students must take a capstone course covering advanced methodology in the study of religion.

Rank 6
Belhaven University
Jackson, MS

The online Bachelor of Arts in Biblical Studies at Belhaven University provides students with a Biblical foundation for life and for ministry. The program is designed for students to grow academically in their knowledge of God’s Word, spiritually in their relationships with Jesus Christ, and practically in their preparation for ministry. All classes are taught from a Christian worldview, and the curriculum includes Old and New Testament studies, Biblical interpretation, and Christian doctrine. The program is 124 credit hours and can be completed 100% online.

Rank 7
Loyola University New Orleans
New Orleans, LA

The Bachelor of Arts in Ministry and Theology from Loyola University New Orleans is a 120-credit program that is designed to shape compassionate, faithful leaders. The program integrates theology with a practical approach focused on the Bible, spirituality, culture, and ethics. The courses are flexible and taught by experts with the goal of preparing graduates to serve their communities effectively. The program also allows students to choose from a number of electives in order to tailor the degree to their specific interests and career goals.

Rank 8
St. Thomas University
Miami Gardens, FL

The Bachelor of Arts in Religious Studies from St. Thomas University is an online degree designed for adult learners who have already completed some college coursework. The program is a rigorous and reflective foundation in religious studies that is fundamental to effective leadership in the 21st Century. The curriculum covers topics such as Catholicism, World Religions, the New Testament, and Christian Moral Decision Making.

Rank 9
Houston Baptist University
Houston, TX

The Bachelor of Arts in Theological Studies from Houston Baptist University is a flexible program that is designed to prepare students for a variety of careers in the church or other religious organizations. The program emphasizes the depth and breadth of Christian theology, both historically and in the contemporary world. Students will take courses in hermeneutics, Old and New Testament theology, the history of Christianity, and systematic theology. In addition, students will have the opportunity to study a biblical language, such as Greek, Hebrew, or Latin. The program also includes a Senior Seminar course.

Rank 10
Colorado Christian University
Lakewood, CO

The Bachelor of Arts in Biblical Studies degree from Colorado Christian University is a flexible program that can be completed online or in a traditional classroom setting. The program focuses on the history of Israel, the poetry and wisdom literature of the Jewish Bible, and the major and minor prophets of the Old Testament. Students will also study the life and teachings of Jesus Christ as revealed in the gospel accounts. Additionally, the early Church and its theology will be explored, including the epistles of Paul and the other New Testament writers.

What to Expect From an Online Bachelor’s in Divinity Program

Students enrolled in a bachelor’s in divinity program can expect to take courses that focus on religious studies and theology. The degree typically takes four years to complete and may require 120 credits. Many programs also include an internship component to give students real-world experience.

The coursework for a bachelor’s in divinity program covers a wide range of topics, including the Bible, Christian history, and religious ethics. Students also learn about the different denominations of Christianity and other world religions. In addition to coursework, many programs require students to complete a capstone project or thesis.

To be successful in a bachelor’s in divinity program, students should have strong critical thinking and writing skills. They should also be able to effectively communicate their thoughts and ideas.

Common Divinity Courses

A divinity degree program will typically offer a range of courses that explore religious faith and its history, texts, and traditions. The following is a list of five courses that are often found in divinity degree programs.

Introduction to Ministry

This course is an introduction to the many facets of ministry. Students will explore the various types of ministry, the call to ministry, the role of the minister, and the skills necessary for effective ministry. The course will also cover the history and theology of ministry, as well as the ethical and practical issues ministers face. Upon completion, students should have a better understanding of ministry and what it entails, and be better equipped to pursue a career in ministry.

Christian Ethics

This course covers the major ethical theories and their application to Christian thought and practice. Emphasis is placed on the relationship between ethical theory and the development of a Christian ethic, the role of the Bible in Christian ethics, and the application of ethical theory to specific moral issues. Upon completion, students should be able to apply major ethical theories to the development of a Christian ethic and specific moral issues, and analyze the strengths and weaknesses of various approaches to Christian ethics.

History of Christianity

This course covers the history of Christianity from its origins in the Jewish world of late antiquity through the Reformation. Emphasis is placed on the major persons, events, movements, and ideas that have shaped the Christian tradition. Upon completion, students should be able to demonstrate knowledge of the major persons, events, movements, and ideas that have shaped the Christian tradition.

Theology

This course is an introduction to the study of God and religious truth. It covers the major topics of Christian theology, including the nature of God, the nature of human beings, sin and redemption, and the nature of the church. The course also surveys the history of Christian theology, from the early church to the present day. Upon completion, students should be able to articulate the major beliefs of Christianity and to critically engage with theological arguments.

Principles of Biblical Interpretation

This course covers the major principles and methods for interpretation of the Bible. Emphasis is placed on developing skills in hermeneutics, including historical, linguistic, and cultural analysis. Upon completion, students should be able to apply major principles and methods of interpretation to specific biblical passages.

Career Options for Divinity Graduates

Graduates of Divinity programs work in a variety of fields and industries, including ministry, education, publishing, and counseling. They may also work in fields such as social work, chaplaincy, and hospital administration.

Minister

Ministers lead religious services, provide counseling and guidance to congregants, and perform other duties related to their faith. They may also be involved in their community, working to address social ills and support charitable causes. Ministers typically work for a church, synagogue, temple, or other house of worship, but some may also work for a nonprofit organization or in the public sector.

Chaplain

Chaplains are clergy members who provide religious and spiritual guidance to people in a non-religious setting. They might work in a hospital, hospice, the military, a prison, or another institution. In some cases, chaplains might also provide support to the families of patients or residents. Chaplains typically have a deep understanding of a variety of religious traditions and are trained to provide support to people from all backgrounds.

Church Administrator

Church administrators are responsible for the daily operations of a church. This can include everything from handling the finances and budget to maintaining the church property and overseeing the staff. Church administrators might also be responsible for developing and implementing programs and initiatives aimed at growing the church, such as outreach efforts and community service projects. In larger churches, there may be multiple administrators, each with their own area of focus.

Religion Teacher

Religion teachers typically work at the elementary, secondary, or postsecondary level. They develop and teach courses on world religions, such as Christianity, Judaism, Islam, and Hinduism. The job might involve teaching about the history of a religion, its central texts, and its major figures. It could also involve teaching about the religion’s contemporary practices and its impact on politics, culture, and society. Religion teachers must be familiar with a variety of religious traditions and be able to teach about them in an objective, unbiased way.

Missionary

Missionaries work to spread the teachings of their chosen faith. They may travel to foreign countries to share their message with people who have never heard of it before, or they may work in their own communities to help those who have drifted away from the faith. Missionaries typically work for a church or other religious organization, but some may be self-employed. Missionaries typically work with a team of other missionaries and may also work with local clergy.

Insights From a Divinity Graduate

Beckett Lindsey is a Pastor at Redeemer Presbyterian Church. He has a bachelor’s degree in divinity from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary. Beckett has over 10 years of experience in ministry and pastoral care.

ClimbtheLadder: What were the biggest takeaway(s) you got from your Divinity program that you may not have gotten otherwise?

Beckett Lindsey: The biggest takeaway I got from my Divinity program was the importance of self-care. In ministry, you are constantly giving of yourself to others and it can be easy to forget to take care of yourself.

My program taught me the importance of taking time for myself, so that I can be the best possible version of myself for my congregation.

ClimbtheLadder: What are the most rewarding aspects of your career? What are the most challenging aspects of your career?

Beckett Lindsey: The most rewarding aspects of my career are being able to help people through difficult times in their lives and being a part of a community. The most challenging aspects of my career are the long hours and being on call 24/7.

ClimbtheLadder: What was the most challenging course you took? What advice would you give to students who are about to start this course?

Beckett Lindsey: The most challenging course I took was Systematic Theology. It was challenging because it required me to synthesize a lot of different information from a lot of different sources. My advice to students who are about to start this course is to be patient with yourself. It’s okay if you don’t understand everything right away. Just keep working at it and eventually it will all come together.

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