Online graduate programs in theology typically result in a Master of Theology or Master of Arts in Theology. Most programs are taught completely online; however, some institutions require students to attend on-campus lectures or earn credits by completing a residential session or field internship. Programs typically focus on a particular Christian denomination, and students explore topics in pastoral theology, Biblical studies and religious history from that perspective. Before enrolling in a master's degree program, prospective students must have previous theological education.
Master's Degree in Theology
Through an online Master of Theology program, students build on their knowledge of previous theological education to specialize in a particular area of ministry. Major topics of study include pastoral care, Bible teachings and church history. These programs are intended to provide students with the theological foundation to serve the spiritual needs of people in their communities.
Program Information and Requirements
Because most programs require students to get their assignments, participate in discussions and submit their homework online, students should have access to a computer with a high-speed Internet connection. Many courses use traditional textbooks, software and online streaming to educate students.
Master's degree students examine key areas of theological study including Christian texts, traditions and ethics. Students develop advanced skills and proficiencies in religious and theological knowledge and practice.
Teaching the Bible
This online course provides an overview of the methodologies used in teaching the Bible to others. Special emphasis is placed on interpreting how the Bible can play a role in a person's personal and professional life.
Students examine the role and characteristics of Christian leadership. Topics of study include understanding the spiritual life of a leader, developing a vision and communicating in a ministerial context.
Basics of Christianity
Students develop a foundational understanding of fellowship, peace, prayer, worship, healing, heaven and hell. Course topics cover scripture readings, the Holy Spirit and faith towards God.
Graduates with a master's degree in theology often become members of the clergy and leaders within the church. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the median annual wage for clergy was $44,250 in May 2015 (www.bls.gov).
Those who graduate with a master's degree may continue their education at the doctoral level. Completing a doctoral program in theology qualifies individuals for research and academic positions in colleges and universities. Doctoral degree programs may be available online as well.
In online master's degree programs in theology, students engage in advanced studies of the fundamental concepts of Christianity and their applications in today's world. Graduates can seek leadership positions within the church or continue their studies at the doctoral level.