Top Divinity Schools in the U.S.

Jan 08, 2020

Learn about courses and degree requirements at three top schools of divinity. Find out about program concentration options and rankings that make these schools stand out.

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  • 0:03 School Overviews
  • 0:44 Harvard University
  • 1:22 University of Chicago
  • 1:48 Abilene Christian University
  • 2:24 Top Divinity Schools

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School Overviews

Several top-ranked colleges in the country have superlative divinity programs with multiple degree options. A number of other schools are also noted for their divinity programs. Graduate divinity schools combine theological study with fieldwork in congregations, hospitals, and local communities to prepare students to become ministers, chaplains, and church leaders. Some undergraduate degrees are also available in a field related to divinity. Many national and regional schools that are ranked highly by U.S. News & World Report have divinity schools or programs, including Harvard University, the University of Chicago, and Abilene Christian University.

Harvard University

School Highlight: Harvard University Divinity School's mission is to create first-rate scholars ready for professional ministry and religious leadership.

Harvard University in Cambridge, MA is the #2 university in the nation, as of 2020, ranked by U.S. News & World Report. The Harvard Divinity School offers three master's degree programs, including a Master of Theological Studies and a Master of Theology. Dual-degree programs are available with schools like the Harvard Business School, Harvard Law School, and the Tufts University Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy. A doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) program is also offered.

University of Chicago

School Highlight: The University of Chicago was tied for 6th-best national university by U.S. News and World Report for 2020.

The University of Chicago in Illinois allows students to major or minor in religious studies. Three master's degree programs are offered as well, including a Master of Arts in Religious Studies and a Master of Divinity. There is also a Ph.D. program for advanced study and research.

Abilene Christian University

School Highlight: Abilene Christian University has specialized institutes for missionary training and church ministry.

Abilene Christian University in Abilene, TX tied for 12th place on the list of best universities in the Western region by U.S. News & World Report for 2020. This private institution offers a Bachelor of Arts in Bible and Ministry and a minor in ministry and vocation. A number of master's degrees are offered, too, such as Master of Arts in Theology, Master of Divinity, online Master of Divinity, and online Master of Christian Divinity. A Doctor of Ministry is also available.

Top Divinity Schools

Here are some additional schools that offer premier divinity programs:

School Name Location Distinction
Boston College Chestnut Hill, MA The Theology and Ministry Library is the nation's largest Catholic theology library
Campbell University Buies Creek, NC The World Religions and Global Cultures Center hosts lectures and other events
Duke University Durham, NC Contains the Duke Divinity School, which was founded by the United Methodist Church and has students from over 50 Christian denominations
Emory University Atlanta, GA Offers 12 degrees and 7 certificates offered
University of Notre Dame Notre Dame, IN Catholic students in the Master of Divinity program get 100% tuition support
Vanderbilt University Nashville, TN Has the oldest interdenominational divinity school in the South
Wake Forest University Winston Salem, NC Food, Faith, and Religious Leadership Initiative helps students learn about supporting congregations' basic food needs
Yale University New Haven, CT Yale Divinity School is affiliated with the Berkeley Divinity School and the Institute of Sacred Music

Here we've learned about schools with first-rate divinity programs. These top colleges typically have a myriad of undergraduate and graduate degrees along with other benefits to give students the best education and career opportunities.

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