Online Christian Studies Degree Program Information

Research online Christian studies courses and programs. Find out what you can learn in these courses and what you'll need in order to participate in online learning to determine if it's right for you.

Essential Information

Online degrees in Christian studies are common and can often be completed entirely through distance learning courses. Some hybrid programs require that students visit campus periodically to meet with instructors or make presentations. Programs are available at the associate's, bachelor's and master's degree levels.

These online programs include courses in advanced Bible study, theology and world religions. Students looking to join the clergy should check with the denomination in which they wish to be ordained to see what education is required. Online-only programs may not be sufficient for students seeking to become ministers or priests.

Associate's Degree in Christian Studies

An online associate's degree program in Christian studies introduces students to biblical studies and ministry, along with providing students with a deeper knowledge of different religions and the issues that surround them. In addition to general education coursework, students take classes covering core topics, such as prominent figures and events of the Old and New Testament.

Information and Requirements

Online associate's degrees in Christian studies can be offered entirely online, though some programs may provide optional missionary opportunities. Associate's degree programs usually involve two years of study for students who are taking courses full-time.

Technical requirements vary, though all distance students will need access to a computer with an Internet connection. Students may also need to meet hardware and software requirements, such as a word processor and media player.

Course Topics

Core coursework in this program teaches students about the principles of Christianity, religions of the world and the leadership roles found in ministry. Students also complete general education courses in math, science and the humanities.

Students in distance programs can access lectures, tests, quizzes and assignments through the school's website. Students can also use message boards and e-mail to communicate with instructors and classmates.

Theological Principles

A course in theology introduces students to the fundamentals of the Christian belief system. Students examine topics including sin, human nature and the work of Jesus and the Holy Spirit.

Christian Ministry

Christian ministry explores the different means and methods of providing Christian outreach through community programs and missions. Students also learn about strategies used in team ministry and models for organizational growth.

World Religions

A course in world religions looks at the belief systems of other cultures, including their development and how they influence each other. Topics also cover Christian influences on other religions.

Biblical Studies

Biblical studies covers both studying the Bible itself and teaching the Bible in different settings. Students learn about biblical interpretation and teaching methods used with different age groups.

Mission of Christianity

A course covering the mission and message of Christianity examines the focus and message of Christianity through Hebrew, Roman and Greek teachings. Students learn about the historical developments of Christianity through research and various themes used in synoptic gospels.

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Bachelor's Degree in Christian Studies

A Christian studies bachelor's degree program prepares students to use their knowledge of biblical studies and theology to teach different audiences about Christianity. In addition to general education requirements, students in a bachelor's degree program also take courses that cover leadership, communication and global perspectives surrounding religion.

Information and Requirements

Online bachelor's degree programs involve the same amount of study as on-campus programs and usually take students four years of full-time study to complete. Many programs consist entirely of online courses so students never need to visit campus.

Students will need reliable access to a computer with a high-speed Internet connection. Other technical requirements can include software needed to access course documents and videos.

Course Topics

Coursework in a bachelor's degree program in Christian studies includes general education requirements as well as core courses that provide students with a background in the Christian worldview and application of Christian teachings.

Coursework, including lectures and assignments, can be accessed and submitted through the school's website. Students can also network with other students using message boards and speak with instructors using e-mail and phone conferences.

Historical Perspectives

A course in historical perspectives offers students an introduction to the Old Testament. Students study the books of the Bible, the history of the Hebrew people and the influences of the Old Testament on modern Christianity.

History of Christianity

A course on the history of Christianity covers significant events that have affected Christianity and its geographical expansion from the New Testament era into the present. Topics also cover the Protestant Reformation, heresies, the Papacy and problems of the church.

Spirituality for Christian Leaders

A course in spiritual development for Christian leaders focuses on personal character formation, with focus on habits and values. Students learn to become spiritual leaders with the ability to inspire, inform and incite others.

Modern Christian Leadership

Christian leadership introduces students to the administrative skills needed to run a successful organization, along with examining how values affect decision making. Topics include ethics, environmental issues, cross-cultural leadership and community issues.

Systemic Theology

A course in systemic theology covers the major doctrines of Christianity and their development through time. Additional topics cover Christian philosophies and Christianity's relationship with other religions.

Master's Degree in Christian Studies

Further classes in the Bible and Christian principles can be found in an online master's degree program in Christian studies. Students learn the fundamentals and applications of biblical and religious knowledge, along with how to become effective religious leaders. Some programs may allow students to focus their studies in specific areas, such as youth ministry or pastoral ministry.

Information Requirements

Coursework for a master's degree in Christian studies can be completed entirely online and typically requires 36 credit-hours of study for graduation. Students can generally complete master's degree programs in two years. Some master's programs allow students to transfer related credits from an undergraduate degree program.

Students completing their master's degree through distance education will need to have access to a computer with an Internet connection. Students may also need software, such as Microsoft Office and Windows Media Player, to view and complete coursework.

Course Topics

Coursework in a master's degree program features in-depth study of Old and New Testament books as well as classes in forms of Christian ministry. Programs may be offered with a concentration in a subject such as Christian leadership. Students can access assignments and course materials online through the school's website.


Students in a leadership course learn the various methods of encouragement and conflict resolution used to lead people. The class covers leadership with both individuals and groups in a variety of settings.

Christian Worldview

A course covering the Christian worldview examines and contrasts both religious and secular viewpoints. The role of different viewpoints in Christianity's mission is also explored.

Spiritual Mentoring

Students in a spiritual mentoring course learn about their own spiritual development. They then learn to apply what they learn about themselves to the process of assisting others with spiritual issues.


Biblical hermeneutics covers biblical interpretation and its application in ministry. Students also examine Biblical language in this course.

Career Information

Associate's Degree in Christian Studies

Graduates with an associate's degree are prepared to enter jobs working as church administrators, program directors or youth ministers. As of 2016, program directors working in non-profit settings earned a median annual salary of $51,381, while the median annual salary for youth directors who work in churches was $33,186, according to

Bachelor's Degree in Christian Studies

Graduates of an online bachelor's degree program in Christian studies are prepared to work in the clergy, church administration or youth ministry, as well as missionary work. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics ( reports that clergy members in May 2015 earned a median annual salary of $44,250. Pay was higher for those working in government positions.

Master's Degree in Christian Studies

Christian studies master's degree graduates are able to take a number of leadership roles in churches, religious organizations and other areas. They may lead a church or a regional area for a particular denomination. Degree-holders can also become teachers to shape the growth of future religious leaders.

Christian studies programs are available at the associate's, bachelor's and master's degree levels completely online for students wishing to work in church administration, youth ministry and more. Topics of study vary according to degree level, but may include things like spiritual mentoring, history of Christianity and Biblical studies.

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