Tampa School of Theology with Degree Program Overviews

Research theology and religious studies courses in and around Tampa, Florida, where there are six colleges within 38 miles that offer programs. Read an overview of degree programs, admission info and program requirements for three of these schools and decide which program is right for you.

Tampa Area Schools with Theology Degree Programs

Prospective theology students in the Tampa, Florida, area have several options when it comes to choosing a theology program. This article profiles three schools located within 45 minutes of the city center. There is also a table in the article that presents important statistics with which to compare the schools.

  • The University of South Florida is the closest option, with its main campus located four miles from downtown Tampa. The university provides both undergraduate and graduate programs in religious studies.
  • About 25 miles away in Saint Petersburg, Eckerd College offers a bachelor's degree in religious studies.
  • Students can also check out Florida Southern College, located just over 31 miles away in Lakeland. This private school is associated with the United Methodist Church and offers a bachelor's degree in religion.

Comparison of Schools

The right school can be just as important as the right academic program. Get more information about each of the three featured schools and compare statistics to help make the optimum choice.

University of South Florida - Main Campus Eckerd College Florida Southern College
School Type 4-year, public 4-year, private, not-for-profit 4-year, private, not-for-profit
Total Enrollment (2017) 43,540* 2,037* 3,055*
Campus Setting Large city Large city Midsize city
Tuition & Fees (2017-2018) In-state: $6,410, out-of-state: $17,324* $43,044* $34,774*
% of Students Receiving Some Form of Financial Aid (2016-2017) 89%* 98%* 100%*
Acceptance Rate (2017) 45%* 73%* 51%*
Retention Rate (2017) Full-time: 90%, part-time: 77%* Full-time: 82%; part-time: 20%* Full-time: 80%, part-time: 40%*
Undergraduate Graduation Rate (2011) 71%* 70%* 63%*
Distance from Downtown (Driving Time) 10.5 miles (18 mins) 27.5 miles (31 mins) 37.3 miles (43 mins)

Source: *National Center for Education Statistics.

University of South Florida - Main Campus

The University of South Florida is a 4-year, public research university that enrolls more than 40,000 students annually. The school offers both undergraduate and graduate degrees. Students who are interested in religious studies have one undergraduate major and a graduate program available to them.

Bachelor of Arts in Religious Studies

Undergraduate students who wish to major in religious studies will take 36 credit hours of religious studies courses. Students study major religious texts and world religions. Students who qualify can participate in the honors program with this major.

Master of Arts in Religious Studies

Students who wish to be accepted to this program will need to submit three letters of recommendation, a writing sample, a statement of intellectual interest, and GRE scores. Students complete 30 credit hours on either a thesis track or a non-thesis track. Some of the major areas of research covered in this program include Christianity, Buddhism Mysticism, and Judaism.

Eckerd College

Eckerd College is a private, 4-year school that grants bachelor's degrees. The school enrolls more than 2,000 students annually. It opened in 1960 and occupies more than 180 acres in St. Petersburg. Students interested in theology should consider Eckerd's religious studies major.

Bachelor of Arts in Religious Studies

Religious studies majors learn about major religions and theology from an academic and historical perspective. All students take introduction to religious studies and choose from courses involving Biblical studies, non-Western religions, and historical and theological studies. Students are also required to complete a senior comprehensive exam that includes an oral component, scholarly paper, and several written exams.

Florida Southern College

Florida Southern College is a private, 4-year college that enrolls around 3,000 students. The college is affiliated with the United Methodist Church. Students who are interested in theology may want to consider Florida Southern's religion major.

Bachelor of Arts in Religion

Students who major in religion at Florida Southern College study Christianity and other world religions. Students take courses like basic Christian beliefs and religious ideas. Religion students also have the opportunity to study abroad in counties such as Italy, Greece, or Israel.

Other Options

Theology students in the Tampa area may also want to look at Southeastern University in Lakeland, a little more than 30 miles from Tampa.


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