What You Should Know About This Degree
There are a few different types of institutions where you can complete a master’s in theology. These include traditional four-year universities, which may or may not have a religious affiliation; Bible colleges, which use the Bible as the focal point of education; and seminaries, which focus on graduate-level education for those interested in pursuing ministry leadership roles. You can also choose a school based on its denomination, including Catholic, Baptist, or Jesuit.
Before selecting a school, consider what religious affiliation and type of institution most closely aligns with your interests and career goals.
Individuals typically pursue a master’s degree in theology as preparation for a career as a ministry leader in their respective faith. As such, students should have a desire to work with people, be comfortable with public speaking, and have strong organizational and leadership skills. Consider your natural aptitudes when deciding if a career in ministry is right for you.
Another career option is teaching at the postsecondary level. While a master’s may qualify you for some postsecondary teaching positions, others may require a doctorate degree. You may also wish to pursue a doctorate if you are planning on focus on scholarship and research. Thinking about your long-term plans can help you now as you select a master’s program and budget for your continued education.
Here are some questions to ask when researching Online Master’s in Theology programs:
- Does this program offer the specialization that I want? Depending on your personal interests and career goals, you may want to pursue a specialization as part of your degree. Popular specializations within theology include pastoral counseling, scripture, religious education, and more. If there is an area in which you would like to focus your studies, be sure to select a program that gives you that option.
- Are there any in-person requirements? Even if a program offers all coursework online, they may still require in-person attendance for residencies or experiential learning components. Before enrolling in a program, be sure to review the curriculum carefully to find out if you will be expected to visit campus or participate in in-person experiences at any point during the program so you can plan to accommodate them in your schedule or budget.
During the research process, you should also gather your application materials and start thinking about how you will fund your master’s degree. Financial aid resources include student loans, scholarships, assistantships, grants, and tuition assistance benefits from your employer if you are currently working.