Intersection of Life and Faith

10 Best Online Seminary Schools: Get Your Theology Degree Online

  • Caroline Madison Crosswalk.com Contributing Writer
10 Best Online Seminary Schools: Get Your Theology Degree Online

Here are 10 of the top Online Seminary Schools in America perfect for an online degree in Theology.

Choosing a good school for pursuing your graduate degree with a biblical focus can be a challenge—especially if you prefer the flexibility of an online program. Not all schools offer the same quality and online resources. In no particular order, here are some of the top online seminaries to consider.

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1. Liberty University (Rawlings School of Divinity)

1. Liberty University (Rawlings School of Divinity)

Location: Lynchburg Virginia

Enrollment: 4,849 (2018) 

Denominational Affiliation: Evangelical

Average Tuition (after aid): $25,000

For More Information, visit https://www.liberty.edu/online/

This private, evangelical Christian university in Lynchburg, Virginia, includes seventeen colleges and is one of the top five online universities according to BestColleges.com. It was founded in 1971 by Jerry Falwell and started offering distance learning fourteen years later. In March 2015, Liberty merged their seminary and undergraduate School of Religion to form the Rawlings School of Divinity. 

With expansive transfer options and more than 90 areas of study, Rawlings offers many opportunities for distance learners. Courses run for eight weeks and offer eight annual start dates, providing the flexibility working students need. Full-time students receive a discounted seminary block rate of $2,750 (applies to 9-15 hours) per semester. Students can also cover up to thirty credit hours through exams given on course content. Online resources include a writing center, tutorial videos, live webinars, and study aids.

Liberty University states its mission clearly: “Hard work, courage, and integrity define our faith, so we don’t just equip students with a degree — we Train Champions for Christ who impact the world.”

(Photo by Leah Seavers via Liberty.edu)

2. Reformed Theological Seminary

2. Reformed Theological Seminary

Location: Jackson, Mississippi (original campus)

Enrollment: 1,079 (2018) 

Denominational Affiliation: Protestant, Evangelical

Average Tuition: $12,456

For More Information, visit https://rts.edu/campuses/global/

Reformed Theological Seminary (RTS) was founded in 1966 with its original campus in Jackson, Mississippi. Today, the school has campuses in Orlando, Charlotte, Washington D.C., Atlanta, Houston, Dallas, New York City (partial degree), and Brazil. Believing in the principle that “no one should have to go deep into debt in order to study God’s word,” RTS offers 71 percent of all students some form of financial aid. 

There are 40 online courses available year-round with both audio and video components that accommodate multiple learning styles. Students can earn a Master of Arts in biblical studies, theological studies, or religion.

According to the website, “The mission of Reformed Theological Seminary is to serve the Church by preparing its leaders, through a program of graduate theological education, based upon the authority of the inerrant Word of God, and committed to the Reformed Faith.”

(Photo of RTS Logo)

3. Columbia International University (Columbia Biblical Seminary)

3. Columbia International University (Columbia Biblical Seminary)

Location: Columbia, South Carolina

Enrollment: 225 (2018)

Denominational Affiliation: Multiple Protestant Denominations

Average Tuition (after aid): $20,000

For More Information, visit http://www.ciu.edu/online-degrees/academic-programs

Founded in 1923, Columbia International University is ranked #4 of 172 Best Colleges for Religious Studies in America (Niche) and #12 in Best Value Schools (U.S. News) The school’s seminary, Columbia Biblical Seminary (CBS), offers 25 flexible programs with a focus on students’ backgrounds, goals, and God’s Great Mission. 

CBS’s online degree options include theological studies, Bible exposition, counseling, and youth ministry leadership. Their mission is “to assist the church in equipping Great Commission Christians for culturally-relevant ministry among the nations.”

(Photo from CIU.edu)

4. Regent University

4. Regent University

Location: Virginia Beach, Virginia

Enrollment: 1,089 (2018)

Denominational Affiliation: Interdenominational Evangelical

Average Tuition (after aid): $18,000

For More Information, visit Regent.edu

Located in Virginia Beach, Regent University is a private Christian Liberal Arts university comprising seven schools and two colleges. Founded by “Pat” Robertson in 1978, it is now ranked as the #18 Best Online Colleges in America (Niche) and #2 Best Online Colleges in Virginia. According to U.S. News, Regent is also growing faster than many of its competitors. 

Online students at Regent’s seminary can pursuie several degree programs, including Christian Spirituality and Formation, Ministry, and Theology. Some courses have modular (on-campus residencies lasting a week or weekend) built into them, offering students an opportunity to enjoy Virginia Beach and meet other students and faculty. Accredited by the Association of Theological Schools and approved to offer many of their study programs with minimal residency requirements, Regent is on a mission to raise up “Christian leaders to change the world.”

(Photo via Regent.edu)

5. The Master’s University (The Master’s Seminary)

5. The Master’s University (The Master’s Seminary)

Location: Sun Valley, CA

Denominational Affiliation: Non-denominational

Enrollment: 598

Average Tuition (after aid): $26,000

For More Information, visit https://www.masters.edu/online/

The Master's University, founded in 1927, is a non-denominational school located in California a mere 30 miles from Los Angeles. John MacArthur served as president from 1985 until June 2019 (longer than any other president) when he relinquished his role to John Stead. TMU is ranked #51 in Regional Universities West and #12 in Best Value Schools (U.S. News).

The Master’s Seminary (TMS) was established in 1986 and now offers an online Master of Divinity program that emphasizes a thorough knowledge of Biblical language for the purpose of expository preaching. Working in partnership with local churches through several distance locations, TMS not only provides online classes but also a unique, two-way live stream to connect distance students with the main campus and professors. 

Their website states, “The mission of The Master’s University is to empower students for a life of enduring commitment to Christ, biblical fidelity, moral integrity, intellectual growth and lasting contribution to the Kingdom of God worldwide.”

(Photo from Masters.edu)

6. Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary

6. Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary

Location: Kansas City, Missouri

Enrollment: 1,821

Denominational Affiliation: Southern Baptist

Average Tuition (after aid): $14,000

For more information, visit https://www.mbts.edu/degrees/online-studies/

Founded in 1957, MBTS includes a graduate school, a school of doctoral programs, and an undergraduate college. Of the more than 1,800 graduate students studying at MBTS, nearly half are enrolled exclusively online. 

The school offers a variety of online graduate programs including Christian counseling, leadership, discipleship ministries, and missions. There are seven eight-week terms available annually in these programs. 

Midwestern Seminary’s mission is to “[serve] the church by biblically educating God-called men and women to be and make disciples of Jesus Christ.” Working toward that aim, they have awarded more than 3,500 theological degrees.

(Photo from mbts.edu)

7. Moody Bible Institute (Moody Theological Seminary)

7. Moody Bible Institute (Moody Theological Seminary)

Location: Plymouth, Michigan

Enrollment: 686 (2018) 

Denominational Affiliation: Evangelical

Average Tuition (after aid): $20,000

For More Information, visit moodybible.org and moody.edu

Moody Bible Institute was founded in 1886 by the evangelist Dwight L. Moody. While the main campus is in Chicago, Illinois, MBI also runs a school of aviation in Spokane, Washington, and a theological seminary in Plymouth, Michigan. Niche rated the school at #18 of 358 Best Christian Colleges in America. 

Moody Theological Seminary (MTS) offers two online programs: Master of Divinity and Master of Arts (Biblical Studies). Through eight-week courses, students will learn more about the Bible, how to apply biblical truths, and the best way to communicate the truth of Scripture to today’s seekers. 

MBI’s hope is that “Together, we can impact and enrich the globe by actively living out God's Word.” 

(Photo from Chistianitytoday.com)

8. Gordon Conwell Theological Seminary

8. Gordon Conwell Theological Seminary

Location: Hamilton, Massachusetts

Enrollment: 1,696 (2018)

Denominational Affiliation: Multi Denominational, Evangelical

Average Tuition: $20,000

For More Information, visit https://gordonconwell.edu/online/

In 1969, Reverend Billy Graham helped guide the merging of Conwell School of Theology in Pennsylvania and Gordon Divinity School of Massachusetts, providing the Northeast with a strong seminary. GCTS has four campuses: Hamilton (main campus), Boston, Charlotte, and Jacksonville. 

While all the school’s degrees can be completed up to 50 percent online, GCTS currently offers only one 100 percent online program: Master of Arts in Christian Studies. As of early 2018, they have partnered with the Digital Theological Library to give their more than 1,600 students access to thousands of databases, books, journals, articles, and eVideos. 

With a student body representing over 85 denominations, GCTS has a mission “to prepare men and women for ministry at home and abroad.”

(Photo from gordonconwell.edu)

9. Biola University (Talbot School of Theology)

9. Biola University (Talbot School of Theology)

Location: La Mirada, California

Enrollment: 1,320 (2017)

Denominational Affiliation: Interdenominational

Average Tuition (after aid): $31,000

For More Information, visit https://www.biola.edu/talbot/academics/online

Biola University was founded in 1908 as the Bible Institute of Los Angeles. Almost 50 years later, Dr. Louis T. Talbot established Biola’s seminary, the Talbot School of Theology. Niche ranked Biola #30 of 138 Best Christian Colleges in America and #12 of 1,692 Most Conservative Colleges in America

Students enrolled at Talbot School of Theology can earn a Master of Arts with a focus in Bible exposition, Old Testament, New Testament, or theology. Courses include video lectures, discussion, and live conferences. Potential students who want to know more about what the distance learning programs are like can find sample videos and course material on the school’s website. 

Biola states their purpose clearly: “The mission of Biola University is biblically centered education, scholarship and service — equipping men and women in mind and character to impact the world for the Lord Jesus Christ.”

(Photo from Biola.edu)

10. The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary

10. The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary

Location: Louisville, Kentucky

Enrollment: 3,157 (2017)

Denominational Affiliation: Southern Baptist

Average Tuition: $18,860

For More Information, visit https://www.sbts.edu/online/

Founded in 1859 in South Carolina, Southern Baptist Theological Seminary (SBTS) is the oldest of six seminaries associated with the Southern Baptist Convention. Students who are also members of a Southern Baptist church receive tuition at half price. Ranked #20 of 172 Best Colleges for Religious Studies in America (Niche), this seminary is also the largest ATS-accredited seminary in the world. 

SBTS offers online degree programs in Apologetics, Biblical Counseling, Christian Ministry, Great Commission Studies, and Theological Studies with courses provided in 8-week terms. A sample class offered on their website can help students decide if online learning at SBTS is right for them. 

According to their website, “the mission of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary is to be totally committed to the Bible as the Word of God, to the Great Commission as our mandate, and to be a servant of the churches of the Southern Baptist Convention by training, educating, and preparing ministers of the gospel for more faithful service.”

(Photo from sbts.edu)


No matter how big or small, each of these schools has something different and valuable to offer. We hope you find one that has the right resources for you and helps you reach your goals. 

Caroline Madison is a freelance editor and writer with a passion for the written word and a special interest in telling and reading stories that present biblical truths in fresh ways. She also enjoys writing flash fiction, drawing pencil portraits, and playing the piano. 




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