8 Best Online Schools for Doctorate in Theology (D.Th.) Degree Programs 2019

doctorate in theology

Online Doctorate in Theology (Dr. Theol., D.Theol., D.Th., Th.D.) students are ultimately bound to be academic specialists focusing on faith-based topics and organized religions. In their Divine Study, students usually specialize in the New and Old Testaments, practical theology, and religious communities and culture. The doctorate-level academic curricula impart specialized and advanced knowledge and skills that reinforce scriptural enlightenment in students.

Doctors of Theology are published writers and contributors whose research and insights are deemed valuable. They also land careers as clergy members such as pastors, priests, and ministers, as well as, religious and faith community directors. Many combine research and teaching as their profession. Theology professors in colleges and universities, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, earn up to $117,940 annually depending on their experience, designation, and location.

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Methodology:

Upon graduation, those who have earned an impressive Doctors of Theology degree from any of the below mentioned schools emerge as highly capable and skilled professional contributors to the field. Also, for additional consideration, we mention in detail each of the online school program’s admission requirements, credit-hour and core program information, program duration, fast-track completion options, if any, as well as retention and acceptance rates.

As each school is unique, we have listed them in random order. Our profiled list of the 8 Best Online Schools for Doctorate in Theology for 2019 showcases the academic institutions in America that:

  • Stand out because of their rigorous and comprehensive coursework structure in the topic of Theology,
  • Provides Financial Aid options and ease of Credit Transfers,
  • Offers various types of Doctoral degrees in Theology; designed to fit your needs and your career requirements,
  • Providing graduates with credentials for teaching at the university level, research, pastoring, Christian writing, and leading community outreach, and more,
  • Gains extensive knowledge in the study of the Bible; such as, Religious History, Biblical Interpretation, Biblical Archaeology and Backgrounds, in addition to, Theology and more,
  • Promotes a sincere passion for Christ and the most effective methods of spreading the Word to others through research, writing, teaching, and global missions,
  • 100% Online & Hybrid format availability, (most likely, requiring some on-campus attendance),
  • Instructed by experienced missionaries or theologians committed to spreading the Word, with an extensive online support system and mentors to help you through the dissertation process,
  • Properly Accredited.

If you would like to learn more, please see our Methodology page.

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FAULKNER UNIVERSITY

ONLINE PH.D. PROGRAM IN BIBLICAL STUDIES

faulkner university

Program Standouts: Faulkner University offers a Ph.D. in Biblical Studies that provides students quality Christian education and ministry. The university delivers well-rounded academic coursework with strong biblical integration. This online doctorate program has general coursework in biblical studies and concentrated coursework in archaeology, biblical interpretation, evangelical backgrounds, religious history, and theology. Foundational courses, six-course core program, six electives, and a dissertation are the primary requirements for completion of this online doctoral program. Students must have 54 semester hours to earn this degree. The Ph.D. in Biblical Studies can be completed in four to five years depending on the student’s timeframe of learning.

Campus Location: Montgomery, Alabama

Accreditation: Faulkner University has earned certification from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

Retention Rate: 57%

Acceptance Rate: 51%

Admission Requirements:

  • Completed Online Application
  • Master’s degree in Biblical Studies from an accredited institution
  • Official Transcript of Records
  • Master’s degree with a GPA of at least 3.0
  • 1,500-word Goals Statement
  • Three Letters of Recommendation
  • TOEFL Score Minimum of 500 (For international students)

Program Core Components:

  • Biblical Scholarship and Christian Ministry
  • Advanced Studies in Biblical Theology
  • Advanced Studies in Restoration Theology
  • Advanced Studies in Biblical Languages
  • Advanced Studies in Religious History

Degree Outcomes:

Graduates of this online doctorate program are provided with the essential knowledge in the critical areas of biblical education with the needed preparation for scholarly undertakings. They will be able to establish a fulfilling career in research, teaching, and other diverse fields of ministry.

LEARN MORE ABOUT FAULKNER UNIVERSITY’S ONLINE PH.D. PROGRAM IN BIBLICAL STUDIES

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LIBERTY UNIVERSITY

ONLINE PH.D. IN THEOLOGY AND APOLOGETICS

Liberty University

Program Standouts: The Doctor of Philosophy in Theology and Apologetics program offered by Liberty University is one of the nation’s most flexible and convenient programs to pursue the highest form of educational expertise for Christian ministry studies. The intensive online doctorate program is designed to train pastors, Christian writers, and pastors to serve as faculty members in academic institutions as well as biblically and theologically aware leaders for the society and community. The university utilizes online coursework, and an on-campus intensive learning format to immerse students in theology, apologetics, church history, and other diverse divinity studies. Students must have 57 credit hours to earn this degree. They can earn their degree in three years average varying on their learning pace.

Campus Location: Lynchburg, Virginia

Accreditation: Liberty University has earned accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

Retention Rate: 72%

Acceptance Rate: 30%

Admission Requirements:

  • Admission Application
  • $50 Application Fee
  • Professional Vita
  • Graduate Record Exam test scores
  • Official College Transcript of Records
  • Letter of Intent
  • Writing Sample
  • Three Letters of Recommendation
  • Ph.D. Questionnaire
  • Proof of English Proficiency

Program Core Components:

  • Bibliology
  • Apologetic Method
  • Seminar in Theological Method
  • Miracles
  • Research Methods and Teaching in Christian Higher Education

Degree Outcomes: Graduates of the Ph.D. in Theology and Apologetics are the keystone of LU’s mission and, a response to the call of the Great Commission. They can land in potential careers as university professors, senior pastors, university administrator, ministry director, or professional Christian scholar.

LEARN MORE ABOUT LIBERTY UNIVERSITY’S ONLINE PH.D. IN THEOLOGY AND APOLOGETICS

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TRINITY COLLEGE OF THE BIBLE & THEOLOGICAL SEMINARY

ONLINE PH.D. PROGRAM IN THEOLOGY (Th.D.)

trinity college

Program Standouts: The Doctor of Theology degree offered by Trinity College is focused on online learning specially designed for busy lay leaders, and pastors who want to pursue their degrees while leading or serving their respective churches. The university provides convenience, and flexibility as well as provide low-cost education so students can enroll anytime at their own pace. This online doctorate program is designed to strengthen the students’ skills in research and writing on the Bible and theology. The Doctor of Theology is offered in five specializations with individual foundational core courses. A dissertation is required for all online doctorate programs of Theology. A total number of 49-semester credits is required to earn this degree.

Campus Location: Newburgh, Indiana

Accreditation: Trinity College of the Bible & Theological Seminary has garnered accreditation from the National Association of Private Nontraditional Schools and Colleges.

Retention Rate: 67%

Acceptance Rate: 100%

Admission Requirements:

  • Online Admission Application
  • $65 Non-refundable Application Fee
  • General Education Development (GED) Exam Scores
  • Master’s degree from an accredited institution
  • Official Transcript of Records

Program Concentrations:

  • Biblical Theology
  • Pastoral Theology
  • Systematic Theology
  • Nouthetic Counselling
  • Theological Apologetics

Degree Outcomes:

Graduates are prepared for promising careers in teaching, writing and research centers, and church or pastoral leadership. They are men and women who are equipped with a Christian worldview of excellence and leadership service in life as well as professional and academic excellence in their endeavors. Also, they are prepared to teach the word of Jesus effectively in their ministry and tackle 21st-century issues concerning Christian-based challenges.

LEARN MORE ABOUT TRINITY COLLEGE OF THE BIBLE & THEOLOGICAL SEMINARY’S ONLINE PH.D. PROGRAM IN THEOLOGY

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COLORADO THEOLOGICAL SEMINARY

ONLINE DOCTOR OF THEOLOGY IN CHRISTIAN COUNSELING PROGRAM

colorado theological seminaryProgram Standouts: Colorado Theological Seminary has a Doctor of Theology in Christian Counseling that provides a robust Biblical foundation of learning in counseling for individuals so that they can aid parishioners with their needs and concerns. This online doctorate program puts prominence on Christian counseling and the theoretical foundation that make up the course works of the program. Also, it prepares graduates for the National Christian Counselors Association (NCCA) licensure examinations. The 40-credit doctorate program is entirely online, so dedicated students can earn their degree without compromising their obligations and duties in their churches or ministries.

Campus Location: Wheat Ridge, Colorado

Accreditation: Colorado Theological Seminary receives accreditation from the Accrediting Commission International for Schools, Colleges and Theological Seminaries.

Retention Rate: 87%

Acceptance Rate: 95%

Admission Requirements:

  • Completed Online Application
  • $100 Non-refundable Application Fee
  • Past Ministry Involvement
  • Salvation Testimony
  • Education and Ministry Goals

Program Core Components:

  • Christian Counselling I and II
  • Epistles of John
  • Creation Therapy
  • Covenants
  • Counselling, Psychology and the Christian

Degree Outcomes:

Graduates are equipped with biblically sound knowledge and expertise on the Christian religion and Christ-centered studies through the mentoring of qualified notable teachers and mentors. They are adequately prepared and developed with ministry skills and values to be able to practice their vocation or profession according to the seminary’s mission and vision.

LEARN MORE ABOUT COLORADO THEOLOGICAL SEMINARY’S ONLINE DOCTOR OF THEOLOGY IN CHRISTIAN COUNSELING PROGRAM

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NORTHWESTERN THEOLOGICAL SEMINARY

ONLINE DOCTOR OF THEOLOGY IN APOLOGETICS PROGRAM

northwestern theological seminary

Program Standouts: Northwestern Theological Seminary offers a Doctor of Theology in Apologetics that provides a concrete understanding of apologetic principles for continuing studies or general educational advancement. This online Th.D. program aims to prepare students for some teaching instructions, disciplined reflection, and the scholarly enhancement on a concentrated function in theology. A fully online program allows working pastors or lay ministers to pursue their degree at their timeframe and convenience. The school has the lowest tuition costs of any online schools offering Th.D. in the country. Students must earn 48 credit hours to earn this program. 

Campus Location: New Port Richey, Florida

Accreditation: Northwestern Theological Seminary has received accreditation from The International Association for Christian Educational Accountability.

Retention Rate: 72%

Acceptance Rate: 95%

Admission Requirements:

  • Completed Online Application
  • Official Transcript of Records
  • Master’s degree related to the religious or secular majors 

Program Core Components:

  • Introduction to Systematic Theology
  • Old Testament Survey
  • Apologetics I and II
  • Bible Study Methods
  • New Testament Survey

Degree Outcomes:

Graduates of this online Th.D. program are instilled with the Christian-based values, principles, and moral upbringing so that they can deliver their pastoral duties based on the seminary’s goal. They are taught with a broad set of expertise as pastoral ministers who want to focus on an educational methodology to their calling as lay ministers or pastoral ministers.

LEARN MORE ABOUT NORTHWESTERN THEOLOGICAL SEMINARY’S ONLINE DOCTOR OF THEOLOGY IN APOLOGETICS PROGRAM

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REGENT UNIVERSITY

ONLINE PH.D. IN RENEWAL THEOLOGY PROGRAM

regent university

Program Standouts: Regent University’s Doctor of Philosophy in Renewal Theology is conveyed in a modular format with online courses and two weeks of on-campus residency in Virginia Beach every semester. It is suitable for working individuals since it allows them to earn their doctoral degree while serving and continuing their personal and professional career context. Students are provided with teachings to advance their knowledge through exploring spiritual and academic aspects of biblical studies, theology, and history. Students spend 22 weeks of residency throughout the online program. They have the opportunity to publish their original research in their chosen topics such as Renewal movement, the Holy Spirit, or charismatic gifts. A total number of 48 credit hours is required to earn this online Ph.D. degree.

Campus Location: Virginia Beach, Virginia

Accreditation: Regent University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

Retention Rate: 72%

Acceptance Rate: 81%

Admission Requirements:

  • Admission Application
  • $50 Non-refundable Application Fee
  • Clergy Recommendation Form
  • Completed Admissions Questionnaire
  • Academic Writing Sample
  • Unofficial College Transcripts
  • Government-Issued ID

Program Concentrations:

  • Biblical Studies
  • Practical Theology
  • Church History
  • Christian Theology

Degree Outcomes:

Graduates of Regent University’s Ph.D. in Renewal Theology are integrated with leadership skills and a lay foundation that serve as practical tools in the application of knowledge in their chosen career pathways. With a focus on Pentecostal renewal, graduates can combine the study of church history and theology with a commitment to revival and evangelism in their respective churches or ministries.

LEARN MORE ABOUT REGENT UNIVERSITY’S ONLINE PH.D. IN RENEWAL THEOLOGY PROGRAM

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SOUTHWESTERN BAPTIST THEOLOGICAL SEMINARY

ONLINE DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY PROGRAM

southwestern baptist theological seminary

Program Standouts: Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary provides a Doctor of Philosophy in Flex Ph.D. program format. Students have access to reading materials and research seminars with synchronous flexibility through the AdobeConnect platform. Students who are interested in this unique learning format must obtain written approval from their minor and significant supervisors. Also, this written approval must be submitted to the Ph.D. office for registration purposes. This online Ph.D. program puts importance in the attainment of expertise in a theological principle as well as competence in non-biblical and biblical languages through critical evaluative capabilities, and quality research. A dissertation is required to demonstrate the student’s ability to develop a viable research assignment, pursue research works in relative independence, and write with clear context.

Campus Location: Fort Worth, Texas

Accreditation: Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary garnered accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

Retention Rate: 82%

Acceptance Rate: 53%

Admission Requirements:

  • Completed Online Application Form
  • Bachelor’s degree, and a Master’s degree in biblical and theological studies from a regionally accredited educational institution
  • Grade Point Average (GPA) or 3.3 or higher
  • One Substantial Research Paper

Program Concentrations:

  • Pastoral Studies
  • Biblical Studies
  • Ethics and Philosophical Studies
  • Theological Studies

Degree Outcomes:

Graduates of the Ph.D. program are prepared with the essential skills to serve as teachers in several specialized areas of theology, as chaplains, pastors, authors, and ministry leaders. They can understand the foundations of theology, ministry, and pastoral on a deeper level with the mission to respond to their calling in the greater good.

LEARN MORE ABOUT SOUTHWESTERN BAPTIST THEOLOGICAL SEMINARY’S ONLINE DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY PROGRAM

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CLARKS SUMMIT UNIVERSITY 

ONLINE DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY PROGRAM with a Focus in the areas of Old Testament, New Testament, Systematic Theology, or Bible Exposition

clarks summit university

Program Standouts: Clarks Summit University has a Doctor of Philosophy that gives students the competent ability to actively engage in thorough research and writing. This online Ph.D. program is specially designed for missionary educators, pastors, teachers, and international academic leaders who desire to pursue biblical and theological studies to have an active teaching ministry. This is a non-resident program with one-week, on-campus modules as well as a hybrid of both classroom lecture and distance learning. It requires 60 credit hours that already includes a doctoral dissertation. It can be earned without compromising a student’s professional ministry setting.

Campus Location: Clarks Summit, Pennsylvania

Accreditation: Clarks Summit University receives accreditation from the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

Retention Rate: 62%

Acceptance Rate: 55%

Program Concentrations:

  • Bible Exposition
  • Old Testament
  • New Testament
  • Systematic Theology

Degree Outcomes:

Graduates of this online Ph.D. program are trained to be career-ready. They are grounded and molded in the belief that the aspects of post-graduate studies are training grounds for future career endeavors. They have the range of ministry, pastoral and theological skills acquired during training under CSU’s comprehensive coursework of their respective concentrations. Also, they are provided with a deeper academic learning experience in education, literature, organizational leadership, Bible, and counseling from a systematic biblical aspect.

LEARN MORE ABOUT CLARKS SUMMIT UNIVERSITY’S ONLINE DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY PROGRAM
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