Resources For You: Graduate Programs

Thinking about pursuing a graduate degree in theology? How would you like a website that has a compilation of such schools with an easy alphabetical listing (by state) and direct links to each program? Tim Dalton has created such a website at http://theologydegreesonline.com

In his words: “My goal was to compile an unbiased and updated list of every school
that offers an online Theology degree in the US.  I felt the existing
lists were not comprehensive, easy to find, and many web sites have
outdated information and links.  I spent a lot of time building a useful
resource for theology students and would simply like to ask that you consider
linking to my site if you agree.  All the schools are listed on the front
page and lead directly to each program, additionally they are sorted by
state”.

Below is a page from the “California” category:

California Theology Campuses

West Coast Baptist College: West Coast Baptist College offers Online Master’s Degree in Bible. The Master’s Degree in Bible includes courses in individual book studies not taught generally on the undergraduate level such as Mosaic Writings, Gospel of John,Eschatology, Typology, Psalms, Proverbs, and Bible Geography and Archaeology. A 10,000 word thesis is also required on a practical area of ministry. For entrance into a Master’s degree program, a bachelor’s degree from a Bible or Christian college is required. Other situations will be considered on an individual basis.

Santa Clara University: Jesuit School of Theology at Santa Clara University offers Master of Divinity (M.Div.); Master of Arts (Common M.A.); Combined Master of Arts (M.A.)/Master of Divinity (M.Div.); Master of Theological Studies (M.T.S.); Master of Theology (Th.M.); Bachelor of Sacred Theology (S.T.B.); Licentiate in Sacred Theology (S.T.L.); Doctor of Sacred Theology (S.T.D.); and Master of Arts and Master of Arts in Biblical Languages (MABL). The M.Div. is a three-year academic and professional degree that meets the needs for both academic training and pastoral experience of those preparing for pastoral ministry in the Roman Catholic Church in the United States. This degree is the ordinary course of theological education and training for those preparing for ordination to presbyteral ministry.

University of Berkley: With 27 affiliates in 16 countries, University of Berkley has been the World Leader in International classroom and Online education since 1988. University of Berkley and its graduates or degree holders experience a universally high acceptance rate. The University offers Bachelor of Theology; Master of Theology and Doctor of Theology programs.

Vision Christian University: Vision Christian University offers Master of Arts in Christian Counseling (M.A.). The Master of Arts in Christian Counseling degree is designed to prepare the student for a specialized ministry in the counseling of individuals, couples, families and special focus groups within the context of the local church, para-church ministries, church-related agencies, or other religious settings. The program enables the student to employ integrative therapies: integrating proven, effective counseling methods, models and modalities, with sound biblical and theological principles. The vision of the church is to be a healing community. Hope for hurting individuals and families is an essential element of the Christian message. The MA program equips the student to help people realize personhood wholeness in every area of human life – spirit, mind, and body – and to facilitate marriage and family harmony and enrichment.

Biola University: Students can obtain graduate level credit toward an M.A. in Biblical and Theological Studies/Diversified through Talbot School of Theology’s new online courses. Designed specifically for Campus Crusade staff and available to other missionary organizations, these courses put students in the classroom with full screen video and with support from a Proctor online throughout the semester. In addition, a faculty member will answer any questions students have as they go through the course. These courses are essentially identical to Talbot’s seminary courses. The M.A. is a total of 66 units and includes teaching from renowned experts in the Old Testament, New Testament, Theology, Apologetics, and Philosophy. Specific emphases are selected by the student for more in-depth study.

Dalton has also compiled a list of answers to frequently asked questions about graduate school. Here is a small sampling:

Types of Theology Degree Programs

Many people are interested in expanding their religious knowledge with a degree in theology. You may wonder what types of theology degrees there are. Theology degrees are available at the bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral level. Here are just a few of the theology degrees available:

  • Bachelor of Arts in Theology (B.A.) This degree gives a good foundation in religious studies to anyone who wishes to combine a liberal arts education with a theological focus. This degree does not in and of itself prepare you for service in the church.
  • Master of Divinity (M.Div.) The M. Div. degree is the degree most often chosen by people who wish to prepare to be ordained ministers.
  • Master of Church Ministries (C.M.M.) This theology degree prepares people to enter specialized ministries within the church; for example, to serve as a youth leader or missions coordinator.
  • Master of Arts in Social Change (MASC) is a specialized theology degree for students interested in working with religious groups, non-profit organizations, schools, or media outlets.
  • Master of Arts in Pastoral and Spiritual Care (MAPSC) helps prepare students to work as chaplains in hospitals or in the military, or in hospice settings. The special needs of these care receivers requires special focus.
  • Master of Theological Studies (M.T.S.) This is a more academically inclined theology degree, designed to enrich the student’s religious education in preparation for college teaching or other scholarly pursuits.
  • Doctor of Ministry (D.Min.) The Doctor of Ministry degree is designed for experienced ministers, to help them enrich their own spiritual lives and those of the people they lead.

What sorts of skills might a student expect to learn in this degree?

When a student acquires a degree in theology, they learn all kinds of skills. Public speaking techniques, the ability to listen meaningfully to others, and the ability to analyze a religious text and interpret it for others to understand, are all important to someone involved in ministry. Students of Christian theology can expect to learn one or both major Biblical languages (Greek and Hebrew.)

What sorts of careers are common for students with this degree?

Theology students usually get involved in Christian ministry. Ministry has many different meanings and takes many different forms, so that doesn’t mean all theology students end up preaching on Sundays. Many do, choosing to serve as spiritual leaders, delivering sermons, and acting as a counselor to a church. However, many other interesting careers, including counseling, non-profit work, social work, community activism, and church leadership stem from getting a theology degree. Theology students may also pursue careers in education, since some private religious schools may prefer theology majors over traditional education majors.

What types of classes are involved in this degree?

Most of the classes focus on Biblical and Christian study. The exact requirements will vary depending on the particular degree program. For example, in the M. Div. program at the Southern Methodist University Perkins School of Theology, 30 semester hours are spent studying basic theological studies, including twelve hours of classes about the Bible and six hours in Christian history. Some classes cover the basics of giving a sermon, while others focus on spirituality and social issues.

The above is just a very small sampling of the type of information included on the website. I encourage you to check it out! http://theologydegreesonline.com

Thank you Tim!

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