In this ranking, we examine the best value colleges for online theology programs in 2016.
Whether you’re a spiritual student who feels out of touch with her faith or an intrepid scholar with a curiosity about world religions, you might consider picking a major in religious studies. Not for the faint of heart, these online theology programs will ask you to look at the world from a completely different perspective. Study some of the oldest texts known to man while exploring some of society’s biggest questions. Look for new meaning in old Biblical passages while building a strong proficiency in classical languages. Although it might not be the most applicable degree for the current job market, theology can prepare you for a life of satisfaction and security that money simply can’t buy. And students of all budgets, ages, and interest levels can benefit from a theology degree program by enrolling in one of the country’s many religious online colleges. These distance education programs are making the study of religion an accessible, convenient option for many – and are helping students close the gap between their education and their faith.
10. Brescia University
Online Bachelor of Arts in Theology
Brescia University’s Online Bachelor of Arts in Theology program emphasizes pastoral studies to prepare students for a life of leadership and service within the Christian church. In addition to adhering to the expectations of the National Association of Lay Ministry (NALM), Brescia is also accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. This convenient program also earns a top online theology programs ranking from Affordable Colleges, proving that Brescia delivers an education that will have a positive impact on your future as well as your wallet.
Net Price: $10,795/yr
9. University of Valley Forge
Online Christian Ministries Degree
Formerly known as Valley Forge Christian College, the University of Valley Forge has a reputation as a top-notch spiritual resource for students of faith. Students of Valley Forge’s theology online degree program can therefore expect a measured dose of instruction in biblical studies, education, and Christian ministry topics. This 100%-online program is perfect for students with busy schedules who want to start working right away. Seven-week course modules allow students to focus on a single course at a time without slowing them down, and graduation is possible within just 36 months of registration!
Net Price: $21,953/yr
8. Gardner-Webb University
Online Bachelor of Science in Religious Studies
At Gardner-Webb University, not all who wander are lost: GWU’s Online Bachelor of Science in Religious Studies degree completion program offers adult and other non-traditional students the opportunity to pick up with their degree right where they left off, without ever having to enter a classroom. Through studies in biblical interpretation, philosophical discourse (think Descartes and Aquinas), and the history of Christian theology, students in this affordable online theology degree program develop the robust critical thinking and communication skills they need. Graduates can then carry these assets with them into church work, social agencies, and/or advanced education programs.
Net Price: $22,988/yr
7. Saint Leo University
Online B.A. in Religion
The advantages to earning a bachelor’s degree in Religion are numerous—personal and spiritual growth; increased faith and biblical understanding; and a marketable education are just a few—but the path to get there can be expensive and inconvenient, especially for working students. Saint Leo University’s affordable online theology degree program offers the best of both worlds: all the educational advantages of a traditional degree without any of the hassle. Fascinating coursework in Christian Social Justice, the History of Philosophy, Religions of the Worlds, and Foundations of Christian Faith prepare students to be courageous thinkers, whether their trajectory is parish ministry or academia.
Net Price: $19,466/yr
6. DeSales University
Online Theology Degree
Following a long tradition of Christian humanism, DeSales University provides students seeking a religion degree online with a rigorous education that is just as useful as it is convenient. DeSales’ first Basic Requirement in their curriculum is a writing composition sequence, followed by Modes of Thought (think literature, science, philosophy, and math) and Cultural Literacy (humanities, intercultural studies, and foreign language) modules. Coupled with 16 courses in Theology, including a required internship/independent study, this curriculum provides a foundation in the liberal arts and a specialization in religion that is a standout on this list.
Net Price: $28,660/yr
5. Eastern New Mexico University
Online Bachelor of Science or Bachelor of Arts in Religion
Pursuing an online Bachelor of Science or Bachelor of Arts in Religion at Eastern New Mexico University is a bit like taking a trip back in time. In addition to studying the state of contemporary religion and its role in the world today, students in ENMU’s online theology degree study biblical Greek and Hebrew to take a closer look at the foundational texts upon which their faith is built. In fact, many students take this pursuit so seriously that the program boasts numerous recipients of the Zondervan Award for excellence in these biblical languages.
Net Price: $10,428/yr
4. Judson College
Online Religious Studies Degree
Few experiences can deepen a Christian scholar’s relationship with and understanding of God, the Bible, and the Church like an advanced degree in Religious Studies. That’s why so many graduates of Judson College’s online Religious Studies degree program go on to work in local churches. You’ll also find Judson alumni traveling the world on mission trips and teaching religion in classrooms. And with a general education core driven by Christian principles, many graduates who have earned their theology degrees online find promising careers in secular fields such as public education, healthcare, government, and business.
Net Price: $14,289/yr
3. Hampton University
Online B.A. Degree in Religious Studies
A bachelor of arts in Religious Studies is more than just a piece of paper; it’s a document of an achievement and an experience that you’ll remember forever. Hampton University now offers their accredited theology degrees online, which means that an entire curriculum of biblical, theological, pastoral, and liberal arts coursework is just a click away. In addition to the personal benefits of this degree, Hampton’s unique program can qualify students for ministerial work of all kinds. Many graduates also take a path to advanced study by attending seminary or divinity school.
Net Price: $22,529/yr
2. Palm Beach Atlantic University
Online B.A. in Ministry
The rural pastor is a powerful allegory in our modern times—a man of deep purpose and spirituality reaching out to the geographically isolated. By offering inexpensive online theology programs, Palm Beach Atlantic University is able to provide much-needed theological training for rural pastors and those who are otherwise unable to commit to a traditional classroom-based education. Palm Beach’s online curriculum is identical to the in-class one in both its curriculum and faculty, preparing students to either join a ministry or lead their own. Students are educated in biblical, theological, historical, and “practical” studies, which allows them to find careers as diverse as ministry, mission work, evangelism, chaplaincy, and human services.
Net Price: $20,056/yr
1. The King’s University
Online Bachelor’s in Religious Studies
The King’s University brings its 150-year Christian heritage to bear on all of its degree programs, and the online Bachelor of Science in Religious Studies is no exception. From the study of Ancient Greek (the original language of the New Testament) to travel abroad opportunities for archaeological research just outside of Jerusalem, this program offers unparalleled depth in its exploration of the foundations of Christianity. King’s also provides upper-level coursework through its theology online degree completion program. In just 16 months, you can finish the remainder of this theology degree through distance education. This convenient structure makes King’s program one of the best online theology programs for students who want to learn more about their faith.
Net Price: $21,856/yr
This concludes our ranking of the top 10 values in online theology programs for 2016, but be sure to see Theology Programs Online: More Top Values 2016 for the complete list.
See our methodology page for more information about how we calculated this ranking.
By CVO Staff
Published June 2016
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