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    Q: What’s the most common degree for entering the clergy?

    A: Most people obtain a Master of Divinity (MDiv) or Master of Arts in Religion (MAR).

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Online Seminary Schools – What to Expect

Are you interested in theology, philosophy, spirituality, and religion? Then seminary may be the perfect degree for you. The following is a guide of what to expect from online seminary programs, as well as the differences to expect when taking the coursework online versus in person.

The first thing you should know about seminary is that there are a wide range of schools and programs out there. You should research schools that interest you before applying so you know if their theological understanding, denomination, and curriculum fit with your philosophy in life and what you hope to learn and do with a seminary degree. Many schools have very particular philosophies, even about subjects that appear to be the same. Thankfully, with the wide range of appeals each school has, students can easily find a school and program most tailored to what they believe. Many schools outline what makes their program unique and include a comprehensive overview of their philosophies.

Additionally, if you’re interested in an online seminary degree then it’s also important to look for programs that are accredited by the Association of Theological Schools. Online seminary programs are a great way to gain a thorough understanding of the application of religion to everyday life for the self and communities.

How Does Online Education Work?

Online education is great because you can continue your day job or stay at home with your family all while obtaining a degree. You can work on materials on your own pace, and you can choose how many classes you want to take during a given semester and it is less impeding on the day-to-day aspects of life. Because of the ability to learn at your own pace, many quickly run through easy material and are able to spend more time working on more difficult and longer work.

Online seminaries are built for you to have a great educational experience right from your personal computer. Most seminaries have services and support systems that are offered 24 hours a day in case you have any technical problems. Additionally, professors are connected through email or services such as Moodle, and often reply to your questions promptly. Online seminary students also have access to seminary libraries and theology materials, which helps fill the void that online learning usually has. By providing students with access to digital resources, they’re able to fully utilize their learning potential.

Though you’re getting your degree from home, online seminary classes can still be very interactive, many times more-so than being lectured at. Often professors will engage students through discussion boards of Skype lectures and discussions. Additionally, they will have you help peer-edit student’s papers and sometimes they’ll even find opportunities for you to interact with students who are based on campus. It’s a great way to not feel like anything is missing from the college experience, but still enables those enrolled to have the flexibility to still manage their lives sufficiently. Taking online seminary classes also allows for less commuting time, which enables students to get more hands on experience through internships or apprenticeships.

Degrees Offered through Online Seminary Schools

Typically seminary degrees are advanced degrees, such as a masters or doctorate. Most people attend seminary upon completion of an associate or bachelor’s degree. Seminary degrees enhance a student’s ability to impact communities and further work to promote change through religious contexts. Getting a master’s online affords theologians the opportunity to pursue other endeavors, such as mission work, while getting a degree. It’s important to understand the particularities of getting this degree online, since many of the jobs relating to theology are incredibly interactive with people. The following are the most common degrees offered by online seminary schools, though every school has a variance in the name and title in these standard degrees:

  • Master of Divinity (MDiv)
  • Master of Theology (ThM)
  • Masters of Arts (MA in…)
    • Biblical Studies
    • Christian Thought
    • Counseling
    • Missionary Work
    • Social Work
    • Theological Studies
    • Religion
    • Youth Ministry

Online Seminary Schools and Related Programs

Finding an online seminary school or even an online program from a seminary school can be challenging if you don't know where to look. If your end-goal is to enter some form of ministry though, several online schools do offer programs in religion and ministry. The colleges below are accredited schools that are also Christian universities offering such programs. By enrolling in an accredited degree program, you'll learn the skills necessary to work for a religious organization, lead a congregation, teach others about a specific faith, and much more.

Liberty University Religion: Pastoral Counseling (MA) Master of Theology Doctor of Ministry Liberty University is not only one of the largest Christian schools, with over 70,000 students currently enrolled, it is among the biggest schools in the US overall. Liberty offers a diverse range of theological programs including the Master of Theology and Doctor of Ministry programs. These programs prepare you for Christian ministry in church and organization settings.
Indiana Wesleyan University Seminary Cert - Leadership Seminary Cert - Worship Arts Seminary Cert - Church Health and Revitalization Seminary Cert - Children, Youth and Family Indiana Wesleyan University is based in Marion, Indiana. The school has a rich history and has been in operation since 1920. IWU offers several certificates in Seminary Studies like Leadership that cover which is designed for students interested in religion, church ministry, Bible studies, or they are pursuing their master's degree.
Bob Jones University Biblical Counseling (MA) Bibical Studies (MA) Bob Jones University is a private, non-denominational Protestant university in Greenville, South Carolina in 1927. Bob Jones offers two degrees related to biblical studies. The first is an MA in Bibical Studies program that is designed for students wanting to obtain their degree quickly, and the second is the MA in Biblical Counseling program which focuses more on counseling and psychology from a thoroughly biblical perspective.
Grand Canyon University Divinity (MDiv) Christian Studies (BA) Christian Studies: Biblical Studies (BA) If you are interested in Christian ministry, Grand Canyon University has several paths you can choose from to get there. If you are continuing your education, the school offers a master's degree in divinity, a BA in Christian Studies, or a BA in Biblical Studies.

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