Find Your Degree
Sponsored Schools

Master of Divinity Online: Top 30 Values

In this article we rank the 30 top value online master of divinity degrees. The concern of affordability is heightened for students seeking an online MDiv since this degree is most often sought as a step to further one’s education to better serve as clergy, professor, chaplain, or other spiritual calling. Increased earnings potential is not a particular consideration for students of a degree program whose graduates most often serve in non-profit organizations.

Top Offerings for Master of Divinity Online – Methodology

We reviewed approximately 100 online master of divinity programs listed by reputable sites like the National Center for Educational Statistics (NCES) College Navigator. We narrowed our original pool of schools to find the top 30 values. We calculated value by applying the following criteria: Raw affordability (the total cost–tuition and fees–listed by NCES College Navigator), ranking from a major publication like U.S. News and World Report, and accreditation. The ranking was decided primarily by the cost of tuition and fees. In fact, 26 schools and online MDiv programs on our list offer graduate tuition and fees less than $20,000 per year, and 10 schools offer programs costing less than $10,000.

Below is our list of the top 30 values for master of divinity online programs.

#30 – Central Baptist Theological Seminary

Online Master of Divinity

Shawnee, Kansas

Website

Central Baptist Theological Seminary - Master of Divinity Online- Top 30 Values

75 credits required for the Master of Divinity online degree at Central Baptist Theological Seminary.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $45,750

Central Baptist Theological Seminary offers students a master of divinity online that can be completed in four years. The institution is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission to confer bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees to students who complete the requirements. The program includes 75 credits including courses such as biblical interpretation, creativity in public ministries, foundations for seminary studies, and media for ministry development. The program utilizes video-conferencing where students synchronously interact with peers and professionals for an engaging session. The entire program is completed online with no campus residential requirements, making it an excellent choice for working professionals seeking a graduate degree with rigorous curriculum and flexibility.

#29 – Gateway Seminary

Online Master of Divinity

Ontario, California

Website

Gateway Seminary - Master of Divinity Online- Top 30 Values

A fully online program! Gateway Seminary – master of divinity online degree.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $24,750

Gateway Seminary’s master’s in divinity online is a 90-credit program that can be completed fully online for students with an accredited bachelor’s degree. Students can graduate in three years by following the institution’s recommended schedule of classes. Gateway offers several concentration areas based on the student’s academic or vocational interests. Concentrations for online students include biblical studies, Christian counseling, educational leadership, intercultural studies, ministry to women, missiology, and youth ministry. Graduates go on to a number of careers including pastor, missionary, church administration, chaplain, and more. The degree is fully online and designed for individuals seeking a graduate degree without interrupting their professional or personal commitments.

#28 – Iliff School of Theology

Online Master of Divinity

Denver, Colorado

Website

Iliff School of Theology - Master of Divinity Online- Top 30 Values

Requires short visits to campus – Iliff School of Theology – master of divinity online program.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $20,169

Iliff School of Theology offers one of the top online MDiv programs designed for working professionals seeking to enhance their knowledge and skills to increase their career path in ministry or for those seeking a career change. The program is offered almost entirely online combined with short visits to campus just 2-3 times per year for weekend intensive classes and praxis coursework. The program takes three years to complete and focuses on helping graduates be prepared for ministry careers in the 21st century. Graduates go on to careers as pastors and pastoral leadership, chaplains, advocacy and non-profit administration, and higher education. Featured classes include ancient and emerging practices, feminist theology, Hebrew Bible, and New Testament literature.

#27 – Fuller Theological Seminary

Online Master of Divinity

Pasadena, California

Website

Fuller Theological Seminary - Master of Divinity Online- Top 30 Values

The master’s in divinity online program at Fuller Theological Seminary takes 2.5 to 3 years.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $20,140

Fuller Theological Seminary offers a master of divinity online designed for individual seeking graduate coursework without interrupting their professional and personal obligations or those who do not live in an area with an accredited seminary school. Admission to the fully online program includes three reference letters (one must be from a pastor), essay response, and official transcripts. Coursework includes Greek tools for biblical interpretation, Hebrew tools for biblical interpretation, Old or New Testament exegesis, and practices of vocation formation. The 120-credit program can be completed in just 2.5-3 years. Students take courses from fully trained faculty with degrees from institutions such as Harvard, Yale, and more.

#26 – Oblate School of Theology

Online Master’s in Spirituality

San Antonio, Texas

Website

Oblate School of Theology - Master of Divinity Online- Top 30 Values

GRE required! Oblate School of Theology’s master’s in spirituality online.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $19,800

Oblate School of Theology is an excellent option for those looking for online divinity programs. The program is accredited by the Association of Theological Schools and requires students to complete the GRE and have successfully completed nine hours of undergraduate theology and nine hours of undergraduate philosophy courses. The 36-credit program can be completed in just two years for full-time students and 3-4 years for those attending part-time. Core classes include biblical foundations of spirituality, classical Christian writers, fundamental principles of spiritual direction, and reading religious experience and discernment of spirits. All of the courses can be completed entirely online.

#25 – Chicago Theological Seminary

Online Master of Divinity

Chicago, Illinois

Website

Chicago Theological Seminary - Master of Divinity Online- Top 30 Values

Chicago Theological Seminary is offering leaders its MDiv online program.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $19,392

Chicago Theology Seminary offers a master’s in divinity online designed for individuals to assume leadership responsibilities within a religious organization or community capacity. The program can be completed fully online and includes several concentrations such as chaplaincy studies, LGBTQ studies, interreligious engagement, and study of Black life and faith. In addition to coursework, students are required to complete two field placements, which provides hands on education and practice putting to use what is taught within the curriculum. Chicago Theological Seminary is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and the Commission on Accrediting of the Association of Theological Schools to confer degrees.

#24 – Luther Seminary

Online Master’s in Divinity

Saint Paul, Minnesota

Website

Luther Seminary - Master of Divinity Online- Top 30 Values

Concentrations offered! Luther Seminary – master of divinity online!

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $17,670

Luther Seminary provides a master of divinity online that includes distance coursework and a one-year internship applying the content that was learned in the classroom. The program provides a great amount of flexibility as students can now take courses while completing their field studies. The program features 30 credits with concentrations in Old Testament, New Testament, history of Christianity, systematic theology, Spanish language ministry, congregational mission and leadership, and justice and reconciliation. Admission requirements include statement of faith, three recommendations including one from a pastor, teacher, and non-family member, and transcripts. Students are not required to submit test scores to apply.

#23 – The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary

Online Master of Divinity

Louisville, Kentucky

Website

The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary - Master of Divinity Online- Top 30 Values

Courses run eight weeks! Southern Baptist Theological Seminary – master of divinity online program.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $17,338

The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary offers an online master’s in divinity to prepare its graduates to serve in several different ministerial contexts within religious organizations, community groups, higher education, and more. The program offers courses within 8-week terms allowing students to maintain their current professional and personal obligations. The admission process requires students to submit an application, pastoral recommendation, and transcripts from all postsecondary institutions. Candidates typically receive an admission decision within 3-5 business days. Courses may include apologetics, biblical counseling, Christian ministry, and great commission studies. The flexibility of the degree makes it an excellent option for working professionals.

#22 – Regent University

Online Master of Divinity

Virginia Beach, Virginia

Website

Regent University - Master of Divinity Online- Top 30 Values

Accredited and ranked! Regent University – Master of Divinity online program.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $16,179

Through its School of Divinity, Regent University offers an accredited online MDiv for those seeking to serve society through Christian teachings. The program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of the Association of Theological Schools. Admission requirements include a bachelor’s degree in any field from a regionally accredited institution, transcripts, admission questionnaire, and minimum 2.75 GPA. Courses may include coming of world Christianity, foundation for biblical mission, leadership in church and ministry, and Regent foundations for graduate success. U.S. News and World Report ranks Regent University #201 in national universities in its 2019 comprehensive list of institutions.

#21 – Asbury Theological Seminary

Online Master of Divinity

Wilmore, Kentucky

Website

Asbury Theological Seminary - Master of Divinity Online- Top 30 Values

A flexible program – Asbury Theological Seminary master of divinity online!

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $16,110

Asbury Theological Seminary’s master’s program is one of the top value online divinity programs in the country designed for working professionals seeking a graduate divinity degree that allows for flexibility without sacrificing academic rigor. Candidates who are admitted to the program find the coursework allows them to maintain their personal and professional commitments. There are twelve tracks to choose from such as Anglican studies, aging and spirituality, biblical studies, Christian leadership, and more. Courses may include basic Christian doctrine, care of persons, New Testament introduction, and the theology of John Wesley. Students who received a major or minor in religion from an accredited institution may receive up to 18 credits toward the degree.

#20 – George Fox University

Online Master of Divinity

Portland, Oregon

Website

George Fox University - Master of Divinity Online- Top 30 Values

Accredited & regionally ranked! George Fox University’s master’s in divinity online program.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $15,504

George Fox University offers an online master’s in divinity that ranks as one of the top value programs of its kind. The program requires students to complete 78 semester hours, with the average time to completion being four years based on taking 8 credits per term in fall and spring semesters. The institution is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities and the Association of Theological Schools. Upon matriculation, students can choose from several concentrations such as biblical studies, chaplaincy, Christian history and theology, intercultural studies, and much more. Core classes may include engaging the Old Testament, interpreting the New Testament, New Testament introduction, and Old Testament introduction. George Fox is ranked #24 in regional universities West by U.S. News and World Report.

#19 – Western Seminary

Online Master of Divinity

Portland, Oregon

Website

Western Seminary - Master of Divinity Online- Top 30 Values

A bachelor’s degree required for admission! Western Seminary’s master’s in divinity online program.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $14,700

Western Seminary offers a master of divinity online for individuals seeking a flexible and rigorous education designed for working professionals who need to take online classes due to personal obligations or geographic location. Courses include applied pastoral counseling caring for people in a broken world, gospel responses to contemporary challenges, living as the community of the Spirit, and taking the gospel to diverse cultures. Admission standards require students to have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution at the regional level as well as a 2.5 GPA with a liberal arts background of courses. The program is appropriate for individuals currently working in ministry or those seeking a career change. Western Seminary welcomes individuals of all academic and professional backgrounds.

#18 – Southeastern University

Online Master of Divinity

Lakeland, Florida

Website

Southeastern University - Master of Divinity Online- Top 30 Values

Southeastern University’s master’s in divinity is a fully only degree program.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $13,155

Southeastern University provides a master’s in divinity online designed for individuals seeking careers in full-time ministry. The 72-credit program includes 12 core classes and 12 elective classes. To apply, candidates need to have successfully completed a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution, an academic professional recommendation, one Christian recommendation, transcripts, and a writing sample of at least five pages. Courses include biblical exposition of faith integration, introduction to the background and theological themes of the Old Testament, introduction to New Testament literature and history, and special topics in biblical studies. U.S. News and World Report ranks Southeastern #107 in regional universities South.

#17 – Amridge University

Online Master of Divinity

Montgomery, Alabama

Website

Amridge University - Master of Divinity Online- Top 30 Values

For working professionals! Amridge University – master’s in divinity online program.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $13,000

Amridge University provides individuals with a top value online master’s in divinity designed for those seeking a full-time career working in ministry. The program’s theology is Christian based. The 78-credit program allows students to transfer in up to 42 semester hours from another program or institution upon approval. Students must complete the degree with a minimum 3.0 GPA and successfully complete a written comprehensive exam. Sample courses may include history of the Bible, introduction to biblically related research, introduction to pastoral counseling, and leadership vision and values. The degree can be applied to a variety of contexts and organizations such as youth services, hospitals, military, criminal justice, educational institutions, and more.

#16 – University of Dubuque

Online Master of Divinity

Dubuque, Iowa

Website

University of Dubuque - Master of Divinity Online- Top 30 Values

University of Dubuque’s master of divinity is a top online program.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $12,600

The University of Dubuque offers one of the top value online divinity programs designed for working professionals seeking to further their ministerial career or move into full-time ministry. The program includes courses such as Christian leadership in context, interpreting the New Testament, interpreting the Old Testament, nurturing wholeness in Christ, and starting missionary communities. The distance degree program offers the same curriculum as the on-campus degree. Students are only required to come to campus for a two-week intensive at the onset of the program in August to meet their peers and professors. For its 2019 rankings, the University of Dubuque is ranked #106 in regional universities Midwest by U.S. News and World Report.

#15 – Houston Baptist University

Online Master of Divinity

Houston, Texas

Website

Houston Baptist University - Master of Divinity Online- Top 30 Values

Entirely online master’s in divinity degree – Houston Baptist University.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $12,200

Houston Baptist University offers online divinity programs, including the master of divinity. The master’s program may be completed entirely online and serves as preparation for vocational ministry. Seventy-two credit hours build upon the foundations of biblical studies, practical theology, and systematic theology. Courses include apologetics, biblical languages, and philosophy. Admission to the program requires official transcripts and an undergraduate degree from an accredited institution. In addition to the online application and transcripts, a personal statement between 300 and 500 words are required. Houston Baptist offers affordable tuition and lands a top spot on our list of online MDiv programs.

#14 – Indiana Wesleyan University

Online Master of Divinity

Marion, Indiana

Website

Indiana Wesleyan University - Master of Divinity Online- Top 30 Values

Ranked with U.S. News! Indiana Wesleyan University’s master’s in divinity online program.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $11,563

Indiana Wesleyan University’s master’s in divinity online degree program is a 75-credit hour innovative degree built around local church ministry and designed for individuals pursuing careers in ministry. The program is taught by faculty teams who weave Bible, church history, and theology into the curriculum. Foundational courses include cultural contexts of ministry, global Christian history, introduction to Christian theology, the missional church, and the Bible as Christian scripture. An earned bachelor’s from a regionally accredited college or university and 2.5 undergraduate GPA is required to qualify for admission. U.S. News and World Report ranks Indiana Wesleyan #32 in best regional universities in the Midwest and #67 in best value schools.

#13 – Denver Seminary

Online Master of Divinity

Littleton, Colorado

Website

Denver Seminary - Master of Divinity Online- Top 30 Values

The master of divinity online degree at Denver Seminary takes 3-4 years to complete.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $11,010

Denver Seminary’s master of divinity online degree program consists of 78 credits and is accessible entirely online. Admission requirements include a regionally accredited bachelor’s degree, cumulative GPA of 2.5, and completion of the application and all documents. The degree takes three to four years to complete, and students work at their own pace. Courses include epistles and revelation, history of Christian movement, introduction to mentored formation, New Testament Greek, and thinking biblically and theologically. Electives and an oral examination must also be taken and completed prior to graduation. Denver Seminary is a fully accredited institution that ranks high on our list for affordable online master’s in divinity degree programs.

#12 – Freed-Hardeman University

Online Master of Divinity

Henderson, Tennessee

Website

Freed-Hardeman University - Master of Divinity Online- Top 30 Values

A six-hour internship required! Freed-Hardeman University’s master’s in divinity online program.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $10,620

Freed-Hardeman University’s online divinity programs include the master’s in divinity. This fully online graduate program offers web-conferencing courses designed to prepare students for work as preachers, church leaders, and ministers. The program consists of 81 hours of coursework and a six-hour internship. Requires courses include advanced apologetics, advanced introductions to the Old and New Testament, elementary Greek and Hebrew, history of apologetics, ministerial counseling, and suffering and the human condition. The school is accredited and ranked by major publications. In fact, U.S. News and World Report ranks Freed-Hardeman #39 in best regional universities in the South and #10 in best value schools.

#11 – Northwest Nazarene University

Online Master of Divinity

Nampa, Idaho

Website

Northwest Nazarene University - Master of Divinity Online- Top 30 Values

Ranked by U.S. News! Northwest Nazarene University – online master’s in divinity.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $10,320

Northwest Nazarene University’s online master’s in divinity program prepares students for careers in church leadership, ministry, or theology. The program offers three concentrations that help students tailor their degree to fit areas of interest. These concentrations include missional leadership, spiritual formation, and youth, children, and family ministry. NWU has the historic distinction of being the first university to offer a fully online program granted full membership by the Association of Theological Schools, which accredits the graduate degree. Also, the school is ranked by major publications. In fact, U.S. News and World Report ranks NWU #52 in best regional universities in the West.

#10 – Lexington Theological Seminary

Online Master of Divinity

Lexington, Kentucky

Website

Lexington Theological Seminary - Master of Divinity Online- Top 30 Values

Study all areas of ministry! Lexington Theological Seminary – master’s in divinity online!

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $9,420

Lexington Theological Seminary offers one of the most affordable online divinity programs on our list. The program consists of 76 credit hours of work, touching on all areas of ministry. Courses cover topics in biblical and vocational foundations of the teaching ministry, church history, congregation as context, interpreting the scripture for the church, leading the church through care, and succeeding in seminary. A final capstone project is required to satisfy degree requirements. The capstone project is presented to an assessment team for evaluation near the end of the student’s academic career. Lexington offers one of the cheapest online master’s in divinity programs on our list.

#9 – Anderson University

Online Master of Divinity

Anderson, South Carolina

Website

Anderson University - Master of Divinity Online- Top 30 Values

Ranked & accredited – Anderson University’s master’s in divinity online program.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $9,309

Anderson University’s online divinity programs include the master of divinity. This program is open to students serious about earning an advanced degree that will serve as the foundation needed for ministry. Also, the program prepares students for doctoral studies in ministry and theology. Courses are taught by university faculty members who have academic credentials and real-world experience in theology, ministry, and divinity. Courses include biblical languages, church leadership, and church organization. The program also includes an internship to ensure students receive hands-on learning. U.S. News and World Report ranks Anderson #65 in best regional universities in the South.

#8 – Corban University

Online Master of Divinity

Salem, Oregon

Website

Corban University - Master of Divinity Online- Top 30 Values

Church ministry or biblical languages! Corban University’s master’s in divinity online program offers two concentration areas.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $9,056

Corban University’s master of divinity online degree program offers two concentrations and is designed for working and busy students. You can choose your own program pace and schedule. Full-time students finish in just three years, while part-time students have longer to complete their degree. Concentration options allow students to tailor their degree toward areas of interest in church ministry or biblical languages. Corban is ranked by major publications like U.S. News and World Report. In fact, U.S. News ranks the school #64 in regional universities in the West and #31 in best value schools.

#7 – Saint Joseph’s College of Maine

Online Master of Divinity

Standish, Maine

Website

Saint Joseph's College of Maine - Master of Divinity Online- Top 30 Values

Ranked by U.S. News & World Report! Saint Joseph’s College of Maine – master’s in divinity online.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $8,982

Saint Joseph’s College of Maine offers an online MDiv degree program that is both affordable and convenient for working students. The curriculum offers a theological education for individuals wanting to serve the needs of the Catholic Church. The divinity program is rooted in the teachings of Jesus Christ and the Sisters of Mercy heritage. Also, there is an accelerated track that allows students to work at a quicker pace. This track also prepares students for ministerial work within the church. The school is ranked with major publications like U.S. News and World Report. In fact, U.S. News ranks St. Joseph’s #142-#187 in best regional universities in the North.

#6 – Moody Bible Institute

Online Master of Divinity

Chicago, Illinois

Website

Moody Bible Institute - Master of Divinity Online- Top 30 Values

Flexibility! Moody Bible Institute’s master of divinity online program.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $8,390

The Moody Bible Institute offers a master of divinity online degree program designed for working students who need a flexible learning schedule. The program offers five emphasis options that allow students to tailor their degree to meet specific career goals or interests. Emphases include pastoral studies, ministry leadership, spiritual formation and discipleship, TESOL, and interdisciplinary studies. Two internships are built into curriculum, and all courses are taught online. Some of the required courses include biblical and systematic leadership, church history, Greek and Hebrew studies, and pastoral practices. U.S. News and World Report recognizes Moody Bible Institute as an unranked school. However, various online programs have received top 150 rankings.

#5 – Liberty University

Online Master of Divinity

Lynchburg, Virginia

Website

Liberty University - Master of Divinity Online- Top 30 Values

75 credit hours! Liberty University – Master of Divinity online.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $8,333

Liberty University’s online divinity programs include the master of divinity. This 100% online divinity degree is designed to prepare students for professional Christian ministry within the local church and spiritual organizations. The program offers several specialization areas so that students may tailor their degree toward personal interests or to meet career goals. Specializations include biblical studies, biblical languages, chaplaincy, church history, global studies, healthcare chaplaincy, pastoral counseling, or youth and family ministries, to name a few. Courses are delivered entirely online, and the program consists of 75 credit hours. The program takes two years to complete on average. U.S. News and World Report ranks Liberty #230-#301 in best national universities.

#4 – Clarks Summit University

Online Master of Divinity

South Abington Township, Pennsylvania

Website

Clarks Summit University - Master of Divinity Online- Top 30 Values

One-year paid pastoral internship! Clarks Summit University’s master’s in divinity online.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $7,800

Clarks Summit University’s online master’s in divinity is a professional degree designed for those pursuing leadership roles in ministry. The program emphasizes the study of biblical languages, ministry, and theology with specialty courses and core curriculum. Academics are rigorous and can be completed entirely online. Students choose between a 12-credit hour, one-year paid pastoral internship or integrative ministry project designed to provide ministerial experience. The program also prepares students for advanced study and a doctoral degree. Clarks Summit offers several doctoral programs for those who wish to pursue an advanced degree. Clarks Summit is one of the most affordable schools on our list to offer an online MDiv.

#3 – Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary

Online Master of Divinity

Kansas City, Missouri

Website

Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary - Master of Divinity Online- Top 30 Values

Highly affordable – Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary – master of divinity online program.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $6,335

Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary offers an online master’s in divinity, which is the basic seminary degree for college graduates. The program is designed for individuals who anticipate ordination and want to serve as pastors, associate pastors, missionaries, or evangelists. The foundational core includes a variety of classes like Baptist history, elementary Hebrew, elementary Greek, introduction to hermeneutics, principles of preaching, and theology. Several concentrations are also available in areas of ministry. These concentrations allow students to tailor their divinity degree. Concentrations include biblical languages, church planting, leadership, women’s ministry, and youth ministry. Midwestern Baptist is one of the most affordable institutions on our list.

#2 – New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary

Online Master of Divinity

New Orleans, Louisiana

Website

New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary - Master of Divinity Online- Top 30 Values

Entirely online! The master’s in divinity at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $6,288

The master of divinity online programs at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary can be completed entirely online. The Master of Divinity offers a distance learning track that consists of 84 hours. This program is designed to serve a wide variety of ministerial callings, including campus ministry, chaplaincy, pastoral ministry, and youth ministry. Classes are delivered entirely online, and there are no residential meetings or on-campus requirements. Affordability lands the New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary on our list of top value divinity programs. The school also offers a number of closely-related degree programs in pastoral ministry, missiology, biblical studies, and theological studies.

#1 – Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary

Online Master of Divinity

Wake Forest, North Carolina

Website

Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary - Master of Divinity Online- Top 30 Values

Accredited and affordable! Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary – #1 most affordable master of divinity online program.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $5,830

The master of divinity online programs at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary include several degree pathways and specializations. Students may earn degrees in advanced divinity, Christian divinity, missiology, North American church planting, and preaching and pastoral ministry. The advanced divinity program is designed to prepare pastors, missionaries, and other church personnel for a life of effective Christian leadership. Courses are delivered online and taught by qualified faculty with years of experience in the field of ministry. Southeastern Baptist is accredited and ranked as the most affordable school on our list to offer master of divinity online programs.

––––––––––––––––––––––––––––

Frequently Asked Questions

What can I do with a master of divinity online degree?

An individual with a master of divinity can pursue a wide array of occupations that focus on spirituality and religion. The vast majority of divinity degrees in the United States focus on Christianity and its related principles.

Most individuals graduating with the master of divinity pursue full-time ministry work as a pastor or clergy member where they lead worship services and perform leadership duties for the organization. Additionally, a large portion of time is spent providing spiritual and personal guidance to members of the church’s congregation.

Moreover, clergy also spend time performing religious ceremonies such as weddings and funerals. In addition, graduates also move into careers as worship leaders where they provide expertise and guidance over the religious organization’s performing arts activities, including directing the music ministry. As technology advances, more worship leaders and pastors are involved with multimedia platforms to augment the performance aspect of the religious service.

Full-time church leadership is far from the only career path for divinity graduates. Individuals can pursue occupations as chaplains within hospitals and correctional facilities. Hospital chaplains often minister within an interfaith environment providing support and guidance to patients and their family members. They may perform specific religious duties related to their own religious affiliation such as last rites. Correctional facility chaplains provide religious guidance and counseling to inmates and family members.

How much can I make with a master of divinity online degree?

According to the Occupational Outlook Handbook published by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual wage of clergy is $47,100 while the mean (average) annual wage is $50,800. For context, the average annual salary for all occupations is just over $38,000, so individuals with a master of divinity can expect to make approximately $12,000 more per year than the average individual.

Our research showed wages can vary slightly according to occupational context. Nearly 60% of clergy work for religious organizations, which pay an annual mean wage of $49,220. This is the third lowest industry wage compared to other sectors that employ clergy, although the difference is minimal. The highest paying sectors include general medical and surgical hospitals that pay $52,740 and $52,040 respectively. Skilled nursing facilities pay a competitive wage of $49,320 while community organizations pay the lowest overall mean annual wage of $40,600.

As with most other occupations, geographic location is a salient factor in determining annual wages. The District of Columbia pays the highest mean wage for clergy with an annual salary of $63,680. Washington and California rank second and third with respective annual wages of $62,050 and $60,070. West Virginia pays the lowest overall annual wage of $39,660.

What are the admission requirements for master of divinity online degree programs?

Admission requirements for online master of divinity are much different than other academic disciplines given the unique nature of the curriculum and career requirements. The majority of programs all require similar application components for all candidates such as bachelor’s degree, transcripts, minimum undergraduate GPA, and letters of recommendation.

There is some variance when looking at admission requirements at seminary schools versus traditional colleges and universities. For example, it is not uncommon for colleges and universities to require GRE test scores as part of the application process compared to seminary and theology schools that most often do not require test scores.

Similar to other online graduate programs, divinity candidates are required to submit multiple letters of recommendation. The main difference is that divinity programs nearly across the board require students to have at least one letter from a religious leader such as a pastor, priest, or clergy with direct knowledge of the applicant’s spiritual capacity, character, and commitment to faith.

Additionally, students are often required to respond to an application prompt where they discuss their commitment to faith. It is also common for students to sign a commitment to their faith as part of the application. Most programs do not require work or academic experience to apply for graduate divinity programs.

How long does it take to earn a master of divinity online degree?

Our research indicates divinity programs take longer than the average online graduate program. Most graduate programs geared toward working professionals take approximately two years to complete, with some taking just 12-18 months to finish. Most divinity programs can take anywhere between 3-4 years to finish depending on enrollment level. Given the nature of the work, students need to have intense training and knowledge concerning doctrine and how it applies in the real world when helping their stakeholders. As such, students undergo intense training to understand the history and concepts of the Christian faith.

In addition to curriculum courses, students typically have to spend a minimum of one year in the field learning the duties and functions of the job and how course content applies to real-world contexts and situations. Most programs integrate the internship or field experience as the last portion of the program, while others allow students to simultaneously take classes during the internship.

As with most online degrees, time to completion is largely predicated on enrollment level of the student. Programs generally allow students to keep their professional lives intact while they pursue the degree on either a full or part-time basis. Full-time students generally complete the degree within 3-4 years, while part-time students take up to 5-7 years to complete the degree.

What is the job outlook for individuals with master of divinity online degrees?

Graduates of online divinity degrees face average employment prospects compared to all other occupations. For context, the average growth rate from 2016-2026 for all jobs is 7%. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, clergy-related occupations are expected to increase by 8% during the same ten-year time period.

Increased demand is fueled largely by current ministry and clergy professionals reaching retirement age. A large number of current employees are approaching retirement, which means a significant contingent of job openings is expected. In terms of occupational demand decrease, many areas of the United States are becoming less religious and are relying less on the services of clergy members. Additionally, large-scale religious scandals and political divide have negatively impacted church attendance and interest in ministry work.

Graduates willing to relocate to high population centers and metro areas will see their employment chances increase. Specifically, New York, California, and Oregon employ the largest numbers of clergy in the United States. In terms of occupation density, Oregon has by far the highest clergy professionals with 2.43 clergy out of every 1000 jobs. Montana and New York come in second and third with an occupational density rate of 1.42 and .88 per 1000 current jobs.

CVO Staff
June 2019

This concludes our list of the 30 best values for online master of divinity programs 2019.

Web Analytics