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Top Schools for Theology

Find out what top schools offer undergraduate and graduate programs in theology. Read about the numerous degree options available at four 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. View article »

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94% college-bound high school students
…said it was important to communicate with colleges during the search process. (Source: Noel-Levitz 2012 trend study)
  • 0:03 School Information
  • 0:56 Loyola University Chicago
  • 1:50 University of Notre Dame
  • 2:34 Boston College
  • 3:35 Barry University
  • 4:06 Top Theology Programs

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Video Transcript

School Information

Many top-rated schools offer theology programs, including Loyola University, University of Notre Dame, Boston College, and Barry University. These programs are available at the undergraduate and graduate degree levels.

Theology is a broad field that encompasses the study of Judaism, Buddhism, Islam, and Christianity, among other religions. The schools on this list were chosen based on their variety of degree offerings and concentrations in theology. All of the schools detailed offer programs from the bachelor's to the doctoral level. Students who successfully complete one of these programs may be qualified for a work in a religious or spirituality-based vocation. With a graduate degree in theology, students may also become college professors.

Loyola University Chicago

School Highlight: Loyola is one of the largest Jesuit Catholic universities in the U.S.

Loyola University Chicago was ranked as the 47th best value school among national universities by U.S. News & World Report for 2017. The university's Department of Theology offers Bachelor of Arts degrees in theological studies and religious studies. The department also offers a Master of Arts in Theology 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 Ph.D. in Integrative Studies with one of three specializations, such as ethics and theology, New Testament and early Christianity, or theological pedagogy.

University of Notre Dame

School Highlight: Theology scholars have worked with the Dead Sea Scrolls.

The University of Notre Dame is a private Catholic research university that U.S. News & World Report ranked as tied for 15th among national universities for 2017. Notre Dame's Department of Theology offers several relevant programs, including a general degree in theology and a joint degree in theology and philosophy. Graduate programs in theology include a Master of Divinity, Master of Theological Studies, and Master of Sacred Music. You can also pursue a Master of Arts in Theology and a Ph.D. in Systematic Theology.

Boston College

School Highlight: The School of Theology and Ministry follows the Catholic Ignatian tradition.

U.S. News & World Report ranked Boston College 31st among national universities for 2017. This school is located in Chestnut Hill, MA. 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 if they already have a B.A. or Bachelor of Science in another field.

The school also offers a Master of Divinity, a Master of Theological Studies, a Master of Arts in Theology and Ministry, and a Master of Education in Religious Education. Other options include a Master of Theology and a summer-only Master of Arts in Pastoral Ministry. The Ph.D. program offers specializations in Christian history, systematic theology, Biblical studies, theological ethics, and comparative theology.

Barry University

School Highlight: This school has chapters of the Theta Alpha Kappa and the Phi Sigma Tau honor societies.

Barry University in Miami, FL, offers bachelor's, master's, and doctoral degree programs in theology. Doctoral students are ordained in Roman Catholic, Eastern and Greek Orthodox, and Protestant denominations. Graduate assistantships may be available, and a discount is offered to graduate students who are engaged in full-time ministry.

Top Theology Programs

These schools also offer a variety of theology programs:

School Name Location Distinction
Catholic University of America Washington, D.C. Catholic school teachers can obtain a tuition waiver
Harvard University Cambridge, MA Houses the Center for the Study of World Religions
Pepperdine University Malibu, CA Fosters student-led ministries
Providence College Providence, RI Houses the Center for Catholic and Dominican Studies
Vanderbilt University Nashville, TN Hosts the Cal Turner Program for Moral Leadership in the Professions (CTP)
Yale University New Haven, CT Publishes Reflections, a theological magazine

Students have many considerations when choosing a school for theology, such as a school's rankings, degree options, and specializations. The schools in this article all offer a strong selection of programs for aspiring theology students.

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