9 Best Schools with Online Bachelor’s in Theology in 2023

Online Bachelor's in Theology - featured image

A Theology program will prepare students for careers as missionaries, ministers, or educators. Some graduates work for nonprofit organizations built on Christian principles. While a bachelor’s degree in theology might be the best fit for people who wish to build a stronger spiritual life, biblical and theological studies also offer a lot of unseen opportunities for students interested in the field but are willing to think outside the box.

Online Bachelor's in Theology - fact

Traditionally, theology students study in campus-based programs. But over the years, as opportunities for online higher education continue to expand across disciplines, we can see a lot of online theology programs today, allowing thousands of learners to pursue their professional and spiritual callings remotely.

Today, we can see a lot of accredited colleges offering online bachelor’s in theology degree programs. These schools allow online students to work on their theology degree at their own pace– something very convenient for students who have full-time jobs to help pay for their tuition. Online programs are generally more affordable because distance learners will no longer have to set aside some budget for transportation or living expenses.

Take a look at this: Best Schools with Online Bachelor’s in Philosophy

Quick Summarization

An online Bachelor’s in Theology degree is designed to equip students with a valuable and intensive knowledge of religious concepts and Christian practices. Students interested in the program are exposed to the core definition of Theology degrees– the study of both religious beliefs and of God.

An online Theology degree focuses on the foundation of Christian studies. While the discipline is generally broad, an online bachelor program will shed light on biblical and theological studies through the coherence of theological and practical knowledge.


This list of the 10 best online theology degrees features the schools that offer the best theology degrees for distance learners. After careful research, we came up with this list based on several factors.

  • Delivered as a 100% online or hybrid-format program with minimal campus visits,
  • Features relevant coursework that explores the fundamentals of Theology and addresses current issues, including religious beliefs, church history, Christian faith, Christian leadership, ministry leadership, youth ministry, and Christian ethics,
  • Provides experiential learning opportunities that establish trusted partner programs and networking connections within the sector,
  • Facilitated thru excellent virtual learning platforms,
  • Handled by professors with terminal degrees in Theology, and relevant professional experience,
  • May offer fast-track completion options and transfer credit programs,
  • Offers affordable tuition, financial aid, and scholarships to qualified students,
  • Holds the relevant regional accreditation ensuring high-quality online Theology programs at the undergraduate level.

Read our Methodology to know more about our ranking process.

9 Best Schools Offering Online Theology Degree Programs

Christian Leadership University

Christian Leadership University

Christian Leadership University is a Revelation-based school of higher education that offers several online classes, making Christian education easily available to those who seek it. The school’s academic offerings are very diverse, with associate’s, bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degree programs rooted in Christianity.

The main goal of this Christian school is to engage students in courses that allow personal, first-hand, and experiential encounters with God. One of its online programs is the Bachelor’s Degree in Theology, a 100% online degree designed to encourage students to experience the life-changing power of God’s voice.

  • This online bachelor’s degree program is to promote theological studies that not only help students understand religion but also transform their lives in so many ways.
  • Some of the courses in this online degree program include Bible Research Methods; Basics of Christianity; and Law and the Spirit.
  • Thru this online degree program, students enrolled will be able to present God’s Word in a way that everybody can understand with depth and clarity. This also helps students develop a deeper relationship with God.
  • This Christian university also guides its online students through a step-by-step process of receiving divine revelation and allowing God to shape the students’ theology.

Christian Leadership University offers a fast-track degree completion option of up to 50%. Students may bring in up to 50% of their degree through a Life Experience Portfolio and transcripts from other seminaries or colleges.

CLU is accredited by Christian Accreditation International.

Nazarene Bible College

Nazarene Bible College

Nazarene Bible College is a private college in Colorado Springs, Colorado. This Nazarene Bible school, affiliated with the Church of the Nazarene offers all its programs online except for Christian Counseling. Its online Bachelor of Arts in Ministry, Major in Bible and Theology is offered to students who are interested to earn a degree in preparation for graduate work to support ministry in fields that support the mission of the church and the redemptive work of God or in a related content area.

  • This online theology program provides intensive training in the study of Christian scripture and the theological content that flow from scriptural sources.
  • Thru this biblical higher education, theology graduates will gain an advanced understanding of biblical literature. They will have strong exegetical skills and will have a more advanced theological understanding that they can use in social issues and contemporary ministry leadership.
  • Those who wish to become elders in the Church of the Nazarene may be ordained as deacons provided that they fulfill the education requirements. They will take additional coursework, including Leadership of Christian Educational Ministries, The Practice of Christian Ministry, and Pastoral Care and Counseling, among others.
  • After completing this online degree program, students must be able to recognize and articulate the Bible content, and they are expected to use the various methods and resources for interpreting the Bible.

Nazarene Bible College is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Biblical Higher Education and approved by the Association of Christian Schools International.

Saint Joseph’s College of Maine

Saint Joseph's College of Maine

Saint Joseph’s College of Maine is a Catholic school located in Standish, Maine, and is the only Catholic college in the state. It was founded by the Sisters of Mercy in 1912 and run by a lay and religious Board of Trustees. The school became coeducational in 1970, and just six years after, it started to offer distance learning programs for working adults.

The school offers 40 majors, minors, and partnership programs on campus, with an average class size of 14. Through Saint Joseph’s College online, students have more than 30 academic programs to choose from, leading to bachelor’s and master’s degrees, as well as certificates and associate degrees.

Saint Joseph’s College of Maine offers a Bachelor of Art in Theological Studies that is delivered 100% online. This online bachelor’s degree is rooted in Roman Catholic ministry and theology and is designed for those who are involved with diocesan agencies, parishes, retreat/spiritual centers, religious organizations, hospitals, and social service agencies.

  • This online religious education offers quality and accredited theological education for people who are seeking to serve the Catholic Church and society’s needs.
  • Students enrolled in this online college education will be equipped with a solid understanding of their faith. This biblical studies program is an excellent preparation for future diaconal candidates, deacons, deacon wives, and diaconal candidate wives.
  • To earn this online bachelor’s in theological studies degree, students must complete 128 credit hours.
  • This program provides students with the practical skills and critical thinking skills they need to prepare them for further studies, especially in pastoral ministry studies and theology.
  • Aside from the core courses, students will also acquire in-depth knowledge in theology studies, a deeper understanding of one’s encounter and personal faith with God, and practical skills for Christian and ministry leadership.
  • Present undergraduate students can also go for the fast-track program into the Master of Divinity or Master of Arts in Theology.

Students enrolled in this online bachelor’s in theological studies will have the chance to enroll in the fast-track accelerated program option that allows them to substitute up to four of their graduate-level Theology courses for their undergraduate-level equivalents, and have their graduate Theology courses count towards both the undergraduate and graduate degrees. This will help them save money and time in completing their master’s degree.

Saint Joseph’s College of Maine is New England Commission of Higher Education-approved.

Brescia University

Brescia University

Brescia University is a Roman Catholic college in Owensboro, Kentucky. This private, liberal arts institution was originally founded as a junior college for women. Today, it is now a coeducational institution that offers undergraduate and master’s programs.

At Brescia University, students have the option to choose from over 50 academic programs and minors to pursue their passion. They also offer several online bachelor’s degrees, including the Bachelor of Arts in Theology with an Emphasis on Pastoral Studies. Offered through BU online, this bachelor’s degree program is convenient for working adults who can’t find the time to go to traditional brick-and-mortar schools.

  • This online theology program provides distance learners with high-quality and efficient delivery of theology and pastoral ministry studies courses and is suitable for ministers and church volunteers who wish to complete their theology degrees.
  • Students will gain an appropriate level of understanding and knowledge in the fields of pastoral ministry and theology.
  • These diocesan education and formation programs meet the National Association of Lay Ministry competency expectations.
  • To prepare for theology careers, this online bachelor’s in theology aligns with the “Basic Standards of Readiness” of the National Directory for the Formation, Ministry and Life of Permanent Deacons.
  • Students taking general education requirement (GER) credit courses will earn a basic understanding of Catholic theology.

The online courses in theology and ministry of Brescia University have been offered for over five years. This expertise, alongside Brescia University’s expert faculty, makes for a seamless and truly rewarding experience.

Brescia University is a Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission-approved school.

Lee University

Lee University

Lee University is a Cleveland, Tennessee-based Christian school that used to be the Church of God Training School until a small Bible institute was established later. Today, Lee University is home to over 100 top-tier degree programs in a student-focused, Christ-centered campus environment that features the best global perspectives programs and dynamic spiritual and social engagement events and opportunities.

This Christian-centered liberal arts campus also offers online bachelor’s programs, including the Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Science in Bible and Theology degree program under the university’s School of Religion.

  • These online bachelor’s degrees provide students with a foundational understanding of theological and biblical knowledge.
  • The program delves into church history, church ministry, and religious studies as a whole.
  • This online degree program focuses on theological and biblical fundamentals for those students who desire to continue in further theological study or proceed later in graduate programs.
  • By the end of this online program, students should be able to articulate knowledge of the fundamental tenets and texts of the Christian faith and demonstrate basic knowledge of the Bible.
  • Theology graduates should be able to articulate a clear knowledge of theological and biblical principles, the Old and New Testaments, as well as Christian doctrine.

Some of the core courses in this theology online education include:

  • Biblical Study Methods
  • Biblical/Theological Foundation
  • Holy Spirit Doctrine
  • Humanities

This is a 120-credit degree that can be completed in four years. Lee University is SACSCOC-accredited.

Campbell University

Campbell University

Buies Creek in North Carolina is home to Campbell University, a private institution that provides a transformational learning experience toward servant leadership and equips them with the habits and skills to make a difference.

It is a Christian liberal arts school offering at least 150 majors and minors in undergraduate and graduate studies. It also has 20 bachelor’s degrees, 8 associate degrees, one graduate studies, and one certificate program offered 100% online, including the Bachelor of Arts in Christian Studies.

  • For those who are presently working in faith-based organizations or those who wish to further their understanding and education in Christian studies, or even beginners on the way to a future ministry career, this online program will provide students with the foundational knowledge and tools they need.
  • The online coursework will strongly focus on developing an understanding of church history, church ministry, biblical studies, basic beliefs of Christian faith, theology, world religions, and ethics.
  • Students graduate from the program after completing 124 credit hours.
  • Most of the students enrolled in the program are those who have a ministry calling and prefer to continue their education in a divinity school.
  • Online distance learners get to develop a more solid and deeper understanding of Christian beliefs and faith, and the roles they play in all aspects of life.
  • No matter which program option students choose, they will find exciting ways in discerning their calling to faith-based careers, explore their faith, and come to a richer and stronger understanding of their respective beliefs.
  • This program emphasizes interpretation and critical thinking skills to produce competent theologians.
  • This biblical studies degree provides a solid foundation in the concepts, vocabulary, and personalities specific to the field of Christian studies.

Campbell University offers a one-of-a-kind approach to religious studies by providing students enrolled in the program with introductory courses in World Religions and Philosophy. The school is accredited by the Association of Theological Schools.

Hampton University

Hampton University

Hampton University is considered one of the finest colleges in the entire US. This historically black university was originally an agricultural and industrial school established by Black and White leaders of the American Missionary Association. Today, it is one of the best private schools knowns for its stellar academics, strong athletics program, and beautiful student body.

The school has at least 80 academic programs at the undergraduate and graduate levels to help students reach their career goals and exceed their dreams. Hampton University also offers several online programs, including a bachelor’s degree in Religious Studies. This program is suitable for those who are seeking to learn about the core courses and principles of theology.

  • The program curriculum in this online degree program provides a solid core of theological, biblical, and pastoral courses reinforced by a strong foundation in liberal arts.
  • Students will sharpen their skills needed in the field which will prepare them for advanced studies, especially in theology and religious education. This will also widen their choices in the careers that put significant on an informed religious consciousness.
  • Graduates become competent professionals in the fields of medicine, law, business, and government.
  • While the first few years are focused on the introduction of Religious Studies, the higher years will be more about learning the finer details about the field of religious studies and theology. Courses in the higher years include:
    • The Life and Teachings of Jesus
    • Pastoral Care and Counselling
    • Religious Traditions

Hampton University is SACSCOC-accredited.

Kansas Christian College

Kansas Christian College

Kansas Christian College is a private Christian college located in Overland Park, Kansas, and is affiliated with the Church of God. The main purpose of this college is two-fold: to train young people for service who love the Lord, and to lead them into the blessed experiences of sanctification and salvation.

Kansas Christian College is comprised of three academic divisions: General Education, Bible and Theology, and Professional Studies, and offers both on-campus and fully online education at the associate’s and bachelor’s levels. KCC has a bachelor’s degree in leadership and ministry that is offered 100% online.

  • Like most Christian private schools, KCC is particular with its perspective on the Christian life as a ministry, and this can be seen in the leadership and ministry degree with a pastoral ministry emphasis.
  • This is for those who plan to provide leadership for their local church or lead various religious organizations.
  • Students will be able to explain the biblical purpose of the local church and the critical roles that pastors play within the local church.
  • The program develops the leadership skills of students in a local church setting and is divided into four core courses: Bible and Theology, General Studies, Professional Studies, and Senior Portfolio in Leadership and Ministry.
  • Through the core courses, students develop a solid understanding and foundation in biblical studies, history, and literature. As they progress through the program, they will learn more about the life of Christ and its importance in the gospels.
  • This is a 120-credit hour course that costs $400 per credit hour. Federal financial aid and other forms of scholarships are available.

Kansas Christian College is an Association for Biblical Higher Education Commission on Accreditation-accredited school.

Regent University

Regent University

Regent University in Virginia Beach is consistently named one of the best Christian colleges in the country. At Regent, students will gain character, skills, and the knowledge to help change the world. Whether students pursue an associate, bachelor’s, master’s, or doctoral degree, everybody is supported by faculty and peers who are committed to everybody’s success.

Regent University has more than 150 areas of study on-campus and online. It is one of the very few schools that offer online theology programs, through its Bachelor of Arts in Biblical and Theological Studies.

  • This bachelor’s degree in theological studies provides students with a firm foundation in theology, practical ministry, and biblical studies.
  • This theology degree also gives students an appreciation of the context, history, and the message of the Bible.
  • Like many online Christian theology degrees offered by many Christian colleges, this Bachelor’s degree in theology is taught from a Christian Renewal perspective. Students will further develop their knowledge of God’s Word as they apply them to contemporary issues and other religions.
  • Students are prepared for ministry roles, as well as graduate school or seminary studies in areas like the Bible, Church history, and theology.
  • This is a 120-credit course that can be completed in four years. Federal financial aid and various scholarship opportunities are offered as well.

Regent University is approved by the SACSCOC.

Reasons Why One Should Study Theology and Religious Studies

If you are passionate about theology and religious studies, there are several reasons why a theology degree can help you a lot, whether it is learning valuable skills or boosting your employability. Here are some of the most compelling reasons why a degree in theology and religious education is a wise option.

Deepen your understanding of society.

For the longest time, religion has been deep-rooted directly within humankind. Religion has a huge impact on all cultures around the world. By learning the depths of theology and religious study, students can broaden their knowledge of the world and how people work.

Learn about a highly relevant field.

Theology and Religious Studies will always remain relevant and is far from being outdated. This field is very important and pertinent. Almost every day, there is something related to religion on the news. There is also a constant demand in specific fields for those who are sufficiently educated in this area.

Combine Theology expertise with other disciplines.

Theology and Religious Studies are partly a study of culture and of how humans live, which is why the field fuses many different disciplines. This means that Christian schools and universities offer course combinations with other areas like arts, literature, philosophy, history, politics, and psychology.

Theology encourages Debate and Reflection.

In Theology and Religious Studies, students are always challenged to think deeply about specific topics within the subject area. There are lots of room for scientific questioning and skepticism, thus if you love to philosophize over theories or think about the future, a degree in theology might be suitable for you.

Get the option to study overseas.

Theology and Religious Studies programs encompass global religion which explains why many universities offer study abroad opportunities. Through overseas study, students get to immerse themselves in different cultures and obtain a broader understanding of the field.

Access to numerous work opportunities.

Degree holders of Theology and Religious Studies have so many career opportunities, including social work, law, teaching, and medicine. You will also gain lots of skills that you can apply to different sectors and professions. Skills include research, critical thinking, presentation, communication, and interpretation.

Concentrations in Online Theology Degrees

Ministry Administration and Leadership

This concentration provides students with the applications and knowledge needed to serve faith communities. Common coursework includes best practices in ministry administration, nonprofit business principles, homiletics and expository preaching, church governance, revival strategies, and church planting. This bachelor’s degree in theology concentration also emphasizes interpersonal skills in developing inclusive ministries, addressing race, gender, youth, disabilities, and other special needs.

Pastoral Ministry and Counseling

Through this theology degree concentration, students will have mental health training and learn counseling techniques to provide emotional support, psychological therapy, and spiritual guidance to people in a variety of settings, from religious organizations to religious-affiliated agencies, to church congregations.

Pastoral ministers usually hold a bachelor’s degree in theology, and most of them continue their education at the master’s level in counseling or psychology to obtain state licensure.

Religious Education

This is a very common concentration offering among online theology programs. Here, students are prepared to create and administer church education programs for children and adults. They will also learn more about the religious curriculum used at elementary and high school levels in church-sponsored schools. Coursework includes catechetical, biblical, and other types of instruction aligned with a particular faith or denomination.

Common Courses in Online Theology Degrees

Every school imposes its preferred theology degree requirements as these will reflect the particular tenants of the faith-based institution and its corresponding program goals. But in general, theology programs have foundational core courses, followed by electives and major requirements like biblical studies, theological ethics, church history, pastoral counseling, and ministry leadership. Other common courses are:

Biblical Studies in the Old and New Testament

This presents an overview of the context and message of the canonical books of the Old and New Testaments.

Church History

This course is where students are provided with theological and historical training for future careers as ministers, church leaders, and educators. This also explores the history of the Church and Christianity both in the US and across the globe.


This is an introductory course for students who are interested to land ministry roles, or those who plan to pursue graduate work, presents the fundamental ideas of apologetics, the apologetic method, the relationship between reason and faith, major world views, and challenges to Christian faith.

Introduction to Ministry

Students will learn about the challenges and responsibilities of contemporary church ministry. They will learn leadership principles, managerial and organizational practices, administrative procedures, ethics, and counseling.

Pastoral Counseling

Students integrate and use psychological and theological principles of pastoral counseling and care. They will use case studies in different areas including marriage, bereavement support, family and marriage counseling, and ministries intended for youth and other special populations.

Additional info to consider: Best Schools with Online Bachelor’s in Ministry

Frequently Asked Questions

How long does an online Bachelor’s in Theology take?

Online bachelor’s degrees in Theology are more manageable alternatives to traditional campus-based programs. Most online programs require 120 credits to graduate. Those who enroll full-time can complete the degree in theology in just four years or less. For schools that offer accelerated programs, it will only take students to complete the program in just two years, or even less.

How much does an online Bachelor’s in Theology cost?

The cost of online Theology programs considerably varies by school. Tuition ranges from $8,000 to almost $26,000 annually, with wide variations between private schools and public institutions. Most schools also charge higher fees for out-of-state students, although we can still find online programs offering flat tuition fees for all students regardless of their state residency.

What are the common careers for Theology bachelor’s degree graduates?

An online Theology bachelor’s degree allows students to connect their religious values to a wide array of careers. On top of the most common career paths in church ministry and leadership, graduates can also pursue professional and vocational interests in nondenominational, nonprofit, and secular settings as chaplains, pastoral counselors, administrators, or educators.

Key Points to Ponder

  • A bachelor’s degree in Theology serves as a good stepping stone to advanced graduate studies in disciplines that point to religion or faith.
  • Degree holders of Theology can pursue careers not only for themselves but also for the greater good, committing to becoming religious school teachers and leaders.
  • A Bachelor of Theology degree is useful for people who plan to pursue careers in religious studies or ministry.

Before you go, check out these schools: Best Online Christian Colleges

Malcolm Peralty
Chief Editor