A master of arts in theology is a degree that takes an average of two years to complete and holders of this degree can go into ministry or a number of other careers. Many go into traditional liberal arts fields like writing or helping professions like counseling. Having the option to pursue this degree online while you continue to accrue professional experience (and retirement savings) is a fringe benefit of the present day.
If you have already completed your bachelor's degree either traditionally or online, you probably possess the scholastic aptitude to succeed at school in the digital realm. You likely already possess skills, such as deadline awareness and procrastination avoidance, as you embark on this journey. With those in your toolkit, and reasonably reliable internet, you are well on your way to academic success.
This list of the top 12 MAs in theology that are available online was made with total focus on the bottom line. There not being a large enough group to justify a ranking on several fronts, we compiled this list solely looking at cost. Schools are ordered by decreasing hourly tuition.
#1 – The Baptist College of Florida
Online MA in Christian Studies
The Baptist College of Florida's online master of arts in Christian studies is a 30-hour program with a core requirement of nine hours in graduate research and thesis; twelve hours in an area of concentration of either Biblical studies or Christian ministry; and nine hours of electives. Accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges, the Baptist College of Florida offers an online graduate tuition rate of $230 per credit hour. With a low student to faculty ratio of 9 to 1, the program utilizes a simplified online application with a $25 fee.
#2 – Virginia Baptist College
Online Master of Biblical Studies
Virginia Baptist College features an online master of Biblical studies degree that is program with two tracks: a non-language track composed of required and elective courses; and a language track composed of required courses, electives, and 12 credits of Hebrew and Greek studies. Coursework is offered in 8-week terms and admission to the 60 credit hour program requires a $25 application fee and various letters of recommendation. Virginia Baptist College asks for an online tuition rate of $250 per credit hour.
#3 – Luther Rice College and Seminary
Online MA in Christian Studies
Luther Rice College and Seminary has a 100% online master of arts in Christian studies degree that offers such courses as Systematic Theology and Introduction to Biblical Hermeneutics. Up to six credit hours may be transferred in from previous coursework. Admission to the 36 credit hour program requires official transcripts, completion of a Christian Character Reference form, a $75 application fee, and a Bible Content test to gauge basic Bible knowledge. Tuition goes at the rate of $274 per credit hour. Luther Rice College and Seminary is accredited by The Association for Biblical Higher Education, Commission on Accreditation.
#4 – University of the Cumberlands
Online MA in Christian Studies
The University of the Cumberlands has an online master of arts in Christian studies degree that is a 30-hour program with two key elements: Interaction with Influential Christian Leaders, through virtual classroom and web conferencing; and Development of Practical Skills for Ministry. The school offers an online tuition rate of $291 per credit hour for the online MA in Christian studies. The program requires transcripts showing a GPA of 2.5 or higher, a 500-word writing sample detailing your Christian experience and personal reasons for entering and completing the program, three reference letters, GRE or GMAT scores, and a $30 fee for consideration for admission. The University of the Cumberlands is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges.
#5 – Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary
Wake Forest, North Carolina
Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary's online Master of Divinity degree is an 81-84 hour program and offers eight options, including Ministry Leadership, International Church Planting, Christian Ethics, and Advanced Biblical Studies. The school offers students a graduate tuition rate of $298 per credit hour for this online MDiv program. The program requires one's signature on the Southeastern Covenant, completion of medical forms, two character references, recommendations from a pastor and a church, transcripts, and a criminal background check. Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary is doubly accredited by both the Commission on Accrediting of the Association of Theological Schools and the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges.
#6 – Ohio Christian University
Online MA in Ministry
At Ohio Christian University, the online master of arts in ministry degree is a 36-hour program with three available tracks: pastoral care and counseling; practical theology; and sport, recreation, and fitness in ministries. The program uses a brief, streamlined online application. Ohio Christian University features an online tuition rate of $338 per credit hour for the online MA in ministry and is accredited by both the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools and The Association for Biblical Higher Education, Commission on Accreditation.
#7 – Shasta Bible College and Graduate School
Online MA in Christian Ministry, Biblical Studies
The online master of arts degree in Christian Ministry, Biblical Studies at Shasta Bible College and Graduate School is a 36-hour program with required courses such as Contemporary Issues in Eschatology and Ecclesiology, Hebrew and Greek, and 18 units of electives. The program has a brief, streamlined, online application process and a $25 application fee. Shasta Bible College and Graduate School offers an online, graduate tuition rate of $350 per unit for this online MA in Christian ministry, biblical studies. Accreditation is provided by the Transnational Association of Christian Colleges and Schools, Accreditation Commission.
#8 – Saint Joseph's College
Online MA in Theology
Requiring 30-36 credit hours, St. Joseph's College's online master of arts in theology degree is rooted in Roman Catholic doctrine and life. The program has three specializations: Pastoral Theology; Sacred Theology; and Advanced Diaconal Studies. Admission to the program requires official transcripts but no application fee. $365 per credit hour for the online MA in theology is the tuition rate at St. Joseph's College. The regional accreditation required for students of this program to be eligible for federal financial aid is provided by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges, Commission on Institutions of Higher Education.
#9 – Liberty University
Online MA in Religion
Liberty University's online master of arts in religion degree is a sixty credit hour program with 13 specializations, including Biblical studies, church history, global studies, evangelism and church planting, pastoral counseling, and leadership. Admission to the program requires official transcripts, a GPA of 2.0 or higher, contact information for one pastoral recommendation, proof of English proficiency (for international students), and an application fee. Liberty University offers an online tuition rate of $458.33 per credit hour for the online MA in religion.
#10 – Beulah Heights University
Online MA in Religious Studies
The 36 hour online master of arts in religious studies degree at Beulah Heights University has an online tuition rate of $545.33 per credit hour. Application for admission to the program is submitted online, with official transcripts and a $50 fee. With a student to faculty ratio of 12 to 1, the program requires certain courses, such as Old Testament, New Testament, History of Christian Thought, and Theological Research and Writing. Beulah Heights University is accredited by the Association for Biblical Higher Education, Commission on Accreditation.
#11 – Indiana Wesleyan University
Online Master of Practical Theology
Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, Indiana Wesleyan University has an online master of practical theology degree that is a 36 credit hour program. 18 hours are chosen from the school's master of divinity program and an additional 18 hours come from theology, Biblical studies, and Christian history and ministry. Admission to the program requires official transcripts and a church endorsement form. For the online master of practical theology, Indiana Wesleyan University charges an online tuition rate of $534.20 per credit hour.
#12 – Kentucky Christian University
Online MA in Biblical Studies
Calling itself the "Great Commission University," Kentucky Christian University features an online master of arts in Biblical studies degree. This is a 36 hour program with core requirements of 18 hours: 15 hours of program options, which include Hebrew, Greek, Old Testament theology, and New Testament theology; and a three hour research requirement. Kentucky Christian University offers an online graduate tuition rate of $605 per credit hour for their online MA in Biblical studies. The program requires transcripts, three references (academic, employment, and minister), and a 1,000 word self-reflective essay. Accreditation is provided by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges.
This concludes the list of the 12 cheapest online MAs in theology for 2019.