It is known as a master’s degree in theology when it focuses on advanced study of theology as part of a graduate program. By including courses in topics such as religious texts, traditions, and rituals in your degree program, you will be able to prepare yourself for a career in teaching, research, or religious leadership.
For this degree program, you may have to complete a certain amount of theology-related courses or credits, as well as write a thesis or complete some other significant research project for the degree to be awarded.
What is a Masters in Theology?
An MTh or ThM (Master of Theology) is a graduate-level academic program that focuses specifically on the study of theology, which is the systematic study of God, religious beliefs, and interpretations of religious texts and traditions.
While a Master of Religious Studies has a broad interdisciplinary approach, a Master of Theology typically has a more specialized focus and usually focuses on theological concepts, doctrines, and religious thought within a specific religious tradition or across multiple traditions.
What does a Masters in Theology do?
A Master’s in Theology (MTh or ThM) equips graduates with a deep understanding of theological concepts, religious beliefs, and the interpretation of religious texts. This degree program can lead to various opportunities and roles within religious institutions, academia, counseling, and more. Here are some potential career paths and roles that individuals with a Master’s in Theology can pursue:
- Religious Leadership:
Many graduates go on to serve as religious leaders, such as pastors, priests, ministers, rabbis, imams, or other clergy members within their respective faith communities. They provide spiritual guidance, lead worship services, and engage in pastoral care for their congregation.
- Theological Education:
Graduates may become educators, teaching theology, religious studies, or related subjects at seminaries, religious schools, colleges, and universities. They may also contribute to curriculum development and theological research.
- Counseling and Chaplaincy:
A Master’s in Theology can prepare individuals for counseling and chaplaincy roles. They may work in hospitals, prisons, military settings, and other institutions, providing emotional and spiritual support to individuals facing challenging circumstances.
- Religious Research:
Graduates can engage in theological research, contributing to the understanding and development of religious ideas, doctrines, and practices. They may write books, articles, or scholarly papers, and participate in academic conferences.
- Interfaith Dialogue and Community Outreach:
With a strong theological foundation, individuals can engage in interfaith dialogue and work to promote understanding and cooperation among different religious communities. They may also participate in community outreach and social justice initiatives.
- International Relations and Diplomacy:
Some individuals leverage their theological understanding to contribute to international relations, conflict resolution, and diplomacy, particularly in regions with religious diversity and conflicts.
- Personal Spiritual Development:
While not a career in the traditional sense, a Master’s in Theology can also be pursued for personal enrichment and spiritual growth. Graduates may apply their knowledge to enhance their own faith journey and engage in meaningful discussions within their religious community.
What are the different types of Masters in Theology programs?
You can select the master’s degree in theology program that best suits your interests and objectives from among the many various options that are offered. The following are a few instances of the various kinds of master’s in theology programs:
Master of Arts (M.A.) in Theology
The study of religion and religious beliefs is the main subject of this graduate-level degree program. This degree often involves training on religious texts and traditions, ethics, and social justice in addition to theological concepts and principles. Additionally, you will have the chance to study religion and write papers about it.
Master of Science (M.S.) in Theology
The scientific study of religion and religious beliefs is the main focus of this graduate-level curriculum. This degree often involves courses in religious principles and concepts together with coursework in research methodologies and data analysis. Additionally, you will have the chance to study religion and write papers about it.
Master of Theological Studies (M.TS.)
A graduate degree program that focuses on the study of religion and religious beliefs is called a Master of Theological Studies (MTS). This degree often involves training on religious texts and traditions, ethics, and social justice in addition to theological concepts and principles. Additionally, you will have the chance to study religion and write papers about it.
Master of Theology (Th.M.)
ThM programs concentrate on advanced study in a particular branch of theology, such as biblical studies, systematic theology, or historical theology. This curriculum often includes instruction in a particular area of theology as well as instruction in writing and research techniques. Additionally, you will have the chance to study religion and write papers about it.
Overall, there are many different types of master’s degree in theology programs available, and you can choose the program that best fits your interests and goals. Whether you are interested in a general program that covers a wide range of topics in theology, or you are interested in a more specialized program that focuses on a specific area of theology, you can find a program that meets your needs.
Are there different concentrations of Masters in Theology programs?
There are many different types of master’s degree in theology programs available, and you can choose a program that offers a concentration in a specific area of theology that interests you. Some examples of different types of master’s degree in theology concentrations include:
- Biblical Studies:
The study of the Bible and its interpretation is the focus of a concentration in biblical studies. You will gain knowledge of the Bible’s content and background as well as the various approaches and techniques used by scholars to interpret the Bible. Additionally, you will have the chance to delve deeper into the study of particular Bible books or themes.
- Systematic Theology
The study of the fundamental ideas and tenets of theology is the topic of a concentration in systematic theology. You will gain knowledge of the attributes of God, the function of religious writings, the development of theological thinking, and how to critically and analytically evaluate theological concepts. Additionally, you will get the chance to delve deeper into a few themes or topics of systematic theology.
- Historical Theology
The study of the development of religion and theology is the focus of a concentration in historical theology. You will discover how theological concepts and religious practices have changed over time, as well as how theology has affected and been influenced by historical occurrences and cultural changes. Additionally, you will have the chance to go deeper into the history of theology by studying particular eras or historical people.
- Religious Education
The study of teaching and learning in religious situations is the focus of a concentration in religious education. You will gain knowledge of the principles and methods of religious education as well as the manner in which it can promote the intellectual, moral, and spiritual growth of people and communities. Additionally, you will have the chance to delve deeper into a number of religious education-related themes or problems.
- Ethics and Social Justice
The link between theology and ethics, as well as how religious practices and beliefs might affect moral judgments and social justice issues, are the main topics of the concentration in ethics and social justice. You will discover how to use your theological knowledge to advance justice and equality in society and how to apply theological concepts to actual ethical conundrums. Additionally, you will have the chance to delve deeper into a number of issues or topics related to social justice and ethics.
What are the courses included in the Master of Theology program?
It is possible for you to take a variety of courses as part of your master’s program in theology, including some of the following:
- Advanced Theological Methods
A course like this can cover a wide range of subjects such as writing, critical analysis, and the study of religion in relation to the methods and approaches used in the study of a certain subject.
- Theology and Ethics
Among the topics that will be discussed in this course are the role of religion in moral decision-making, the relation between theology and social justice, and religious beliefs’ impact on ethical behavior. This course focuses on the interaction between the two disciplines and how religion influences ethical behavior.
- Theology and Culture
As part of this course, you will learn how theology interacts with the cultural context in which it is practiced. It might cover subjects such as the influence of religion on culture, how religion interacts with various religious traditions, and how religion has shaped literature, art, and other facets of culture.
Best Masters in Theology Online
You should explore reputable institutions that offer comprehensive programs in theological studies when considering pursuing a Master’s degree in Theology. Students in these programs will gain a deep understanding of religious history, philosophy, and concepts. Although program offerings have evolved since then, the following institutions are recognized for their Master’s programs in Theology:
With a concentration in Theology, Boca University offers an online Master of Arts degree. There are two tracks: Greek and Non-Greek. Greek students learn Greek. Students must have a minimum GPA of 3.0 and submit official transcripts, essays, and references. The WASC Senior College and University Commission accredits Biola University.
Students can earn a Master’s in Theology online through Campbellsville University. Courses are 8 weeks long and typically complete in 2 years. There are three specialization options: Biblical Studies, Pastoral Leadership, and Theology. In addition to submitting an essay and two letters of reference, Campbellsville University requires a bachelor’s degree.
Master’s programs in theology at Fordham University include Pastoral Studies. The program requires 36 to 60 credits. Other graduation requirements vary as well. Fordham University requires two letters of reference, all official transcripts, a resume, and a personal statement in addition to an interview. Fordham University is accredited by the Middle States Association Higher Learning Commission.
Applicants must complete 30 credits from core courses and 3 to 7 electives for the Master’s in Theology and Christian Ministry online. The Franciscan University of Steubenville is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and requires a minimum GPA of 3.0 to graduate. Candidates must have a bachelor’s degree and a minimum GPA of 3.0 to apply.
Masters in Theology and Master’s in Theology and Ministry are available online at Fuller Theology Seminary. Students must complete 80 credits in order to graduate, which takes 4 years to finish. The Western Association of Schools and Colleges Senior College and University Commission has accredited Fuller Theological Seminary with a GPA of 2.7 or higher. The application requires an essay and three references.
Among the three degrees Harding offers are Master of Arts in Theology, Master of Arts in Christian Ministry, and Master of Divinity. There are 48 credit requirements for both Master of Arts programs, and 78 credits for the Master of Divinity. Harding is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, so applicants need to supply four references, including two from professors, one from a minister, and one from a character.
For a Master of Theology online, Liberty University requires 30 credit hours. Each course is 8 weeks long. It takes 1.5 years to complete the program. If you don’t want to write a thesis, you can do a capstone instead. In order to get admitted, you have to have a GPA of 3.0, a pastoral recommendation, and a divinity questionnaire. Liberty University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
The Master’s in Theology program at Lincoln Christian University is only 10 to 12 courses long. You have to have a 2.5 GPA or higher to get into it. There’s also a requirement of an online application, two essays, and two character references from Christian leaders. Lincoln Christian University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
Applicants can start the Master of Arts in Bible and Theology at six different start dates throughout the year. To graduate, 36 credits must be completed. An online application, official transcripts, a personal essay, and a recommendation from a pastoral or professional reference are required. Northwest University is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.
You can get a Master of Theology from Regent University in just two years. It takes 24 credits to graduate. Students can pick a concentration from four options, such as Church History or Biblical Studies. Regent University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, so applicants need to apply online and submit an admissions questionnaire and an academic writing sample.
Online Master’s in Theology from Saint Joseph’s College of Maine. You need to apply and send official transcripts to be considered. It usually takes a year and a half to finish. Saint Joseph’s College is accredited by the New England Commission on Higher Education, Inc., so you can pick one of three specializations to add to your degree: Pastoral Theology, Sacred Theology, or Advanced Diaconal Studies.
You can earn a Master of Theology online from Saint Leo University. Graduates get 36 credits, with 9 credits being theology electives. You need a bachelor’s and a minimum GPA of 3.0. You need to send official transcripts, a recommendation, and a statement of your professional goals. Saint Leo University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
What can you do with a Masters in Theology?
A master’s degree in theology can prepare you for a variety of careers in the field of religion or related fields. Some examples of the different fields you might be able to work in with a master’s degree in theology include:
You might be able to work as a professor of theology or religious studies in a college or university if you have a master’s degree in theology. You might be expected to instruct classes in theology, religious history, or other relevant fields. You might also have the opportunity to do research and publish the results in scholarly journals.
- Religious organizations:
After earning your master’s in theology, you could be eligible to work for a church, synagogue, mosque, or other institution that is religious. You could be able to act as a spiritual advisor and supporter for the people of your congregation, or you might be able to take on other responsibilities like management or outreach.
- Non-profit organizations:
If you have a master’s in theology, you might be able to work for one that prioritizes social justice or religious problems. You might be able to work in a variety of positions, such as developing programs, raising money, or advocating, and you might be able to utilize your theological knowledge to guide your work and have a beneficial impact on your neighborhood.
- Government organizations:
If you have a master’s degree in theology, you could be eligible to work for a government body that deals with religious or faith-based issues. You might be able to work in a variety of capacities, such as research, outreach, or policy creation, and you might be able to use your theological understanding to guide your work and have a good influence on your neighborhood.
Frequently Asked Questions
- How long does it take to get a masters in theology?
A Master’s in Theology (MTh or ThM) program’s duration and credit requirements can vary according to the institution and program. The Master’s in Theology program typically takes between one and two years to complete full-time. However, if pursued part-time, it can take even longer.
- How many credits for a masters in theology?
Depending on the curriculum and whether there is a thesis or other major project, credit requirements can range from 30 to 60 credits or more.
- Is an MA in theology worth it?
When you’re looking for a career in religious leadership, education, counseling, or academic research, a MA in Theology can be worth it, since it gives you in-depth knowledge, enhances your employability, and helps you grow professionally and personally. Before you get the degree, be sure to think about your career goals, your financial investment, and your passion for theological study carefully.