Top Schools for Theology

Find out what top schools offer undergraduate and graduate programs in theology. Read about the numerous degree options available at three of these top schools, and use the table at the end of the resource to see what other colleges and universities in the United States offer programs in theology.

School Information

Theology is a broad field that encompasses the study of Judaism, Buddhism, Islam and Christianity, among other religions. The degree programs offered by the three universities detailed below range from the bachelor's to the doctoral level, which can include the opportunity to pursue a concentration in an area of special interest. All three schools have been cited in the past by U.S. News & World Report in their list of nationally ranked universities. Students who successfully complete one of these programs may be qualified for a work in a religious or spirituality-based vocation; a graduate degree may lead to a position as a college professor.

Top U.S. Schools with Theology Programs

1. Loyola University in Chicago, IL

Loyola University was ranked as a Top National University and Best Value School by U.S. News & World Report in 2012. The university's Department of Theology offers Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) degrees in theological studies and religious studies. The department also offers a Master of Arts (M.A.) program with four different concentrations, including Biblical studies, Biblical languages and literature, Christian ethics and theological studies, all of which have distinct curricula. Students can also pursue a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Integrative Studies with one of three specializations, such as ethics and theology, New Testament and early Christianity or theological pedagogy.

2. University of Notre Dame in Notre Dame, IN

The University of Notre Dame is a private Catholic research university that U.S. News & World Report ranked 19th among national universities in 2012. Notre Dame's Department of Theology offers several relevant programs, including a general undergraduate degree in theology and a joint undergraduate degree in theology and philosophy. Graduate programs in theology include a Master of Divinity (M.Div.), Master of Theological Studies (M.T.S.) and Master of Sacred Music (MSM). You can also pursue an M.A. in Theology and a Ph.D. in Systematic Theology. Notable university features include one of the 100 largest library systems in the United States.

3. Boston College in Chestnut Hill, MA

U.S. News & World Report ranked Boston College 31st among national universities in 2012. Boston College's School of Theology and Ministry offers many unique degree options, mostly at the graduate level. For example, students can earn a post-undergraduate Bachelor of Sacred Theology (S.T.B.) if they already have a B.A. or Bachelor of Science in another field.

The school also offers a M.Div., an M.T.S., an M.A. in Theology and Ministry and a Master of Education (M.Ed.) in Religious Education. Master of Theology (Th.M.) and summer-only M.A. in Pastoral Ministry (M.A.P.M.) programs are also available. The Ph.D. program offers specializations in Christian history, systematic theology, Biblical studies, theological ethics and comparative theology.

List of Ten Good Theology Schools in the U.S.

School Name Distinction Location
Barry University Has chapters of the Theta Alpha Kappa and Phi Sigma Tau honor societies Miami, FL
Boston College School of Theology and Ministry follows the Catholic Ignatian tradition Chestnut Hill, MA
Catholic University of America Has a tuition waiver for Catholic school teachers Washington, D.C.
Harvard University Houses the Center for the Study of World Religions Cambridge, MA
Loyola University Largest Jesuit Catholic university in the U.S. Chicago, IL
Pepperdine University Fosters student-led ministries Malibu, CA
Providence College Houses the Center for Catholic and Dominican Studies Providence, RI
University of Notre Dame Theology program has a special focus on Latino spirituality Notre Dame, IN
Vanderbilt University Houses the Turner Center for Church Leadership and Congregational Development Nashville, TN
Yale University Publishes 'Reflections', a theological magazine New Haven, CT

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