The Complete List of Online Master of Divinity Degrees

man reading Bible with phone and notebook

The master of divinity, or MDiv, is a professional graduate degree for people pursuing vocational ministry—usually a career as a pastor or theologian. The MDiv is the most common graduate degree for people pursuing a calling in ministry. Almost half of all students attending an ATS accredited college or seminary are pursuing a master of divinity.

In some denominations, this professional degree is a prerequisite for leadership positions. It provides a thorough education in subjects that pastors and ministry leaders need to have an in-depth understanding, and it opens the door to advanced theological research degree programs such as a master of theology (ThM), doctor of theology (ThD), or doctor of philosophy (PhD) degree.
Every accredited MDiv program covers four key areas of study:

  • Religious heritage
  • Cultural context
  • Personal and spiritual formation
  • Capacity for ministerial and public leadership

But that doesn’t mean every master of divinity program is the same. The courses you take, the quality of the teaching, length of the program, and the theological perspective you’ll be most exposed to depend on the school you choose. Some schools will also offer concentrations, giving you the ability to decide how you’d like to focus your studies.

While there are more than 270 graduate schools accredited by the Association of Theological Schools (and plenty of seminaries with other accreditations) most of them don’t offer degree programs online. And of those that do, it’s usually slim pickings—the online selection isn’t nearly as robust as the on-campus selection.

A lot of graduate schools only offer partially or mostly online programs, and require at least a short residency on campus. But some can be completed fully online, without uprooting your family or spending weeks or months away from home.

We tracked down every online master of divinity program and gathered the key information, so now all you have to do is decide which factors are most important to you. You can sort these schools by estimated tuition cost, denomination, accreditation, length, state, number of concentrations, or how much of the program is online. Click the name of a school to get a quick rundown of what sets it apart. Below the table, you’ll find more information about each school.

NameStateTuitionAccreditationDenominationLengthOnlineConcentrations
Western SeminaryOregon$13,000ATS
CAATS
NCCU
Baptist82 creditsMostly2
Moody Theological SeminaryIllinois$13,000ATS
HLC
Non-denominational90 creditsFully1
Southeastern Baptist Theological SeminaryNorth Carolina$5,000ATS
SACS
Baptist81 creditsFully4
Grand Canyon UniversityArizona$7,000ATS (associate member)
HLC
Non-denominational82 creditsMostly0
New Orleans Baptist Theological SeminaryLouisiana$5,000ATS
SASC
Baptist84+ creditsFully0
Liberty UniversityVirginia$5,500SACSNon-denominational75-93 creditsFully22
Southwestern Baptist Theological SeminaryTexas$11,000ATSBaptist92 creditsFully28
Luther Rice SeminaryGeorgia$6,000ABHE
TACCS
Baptist90 creditsFully1
Wayland Baptist UniversityTexas$11,000SACSBaptist81 creditsFully0
Northwest Nazarene UniversityIdaho$9,000ATS (associate member)
NCCU
Nazarene75 creditsFully3
Chicago Theological SeminaryIllinois$17,500ATS
HLC
United Church of Christ75 creditsMostly4
Gateway SeminaryCalifornia$6,000ATS
WASC
Baptist90 creditsFully2
Midwestern Baptist Theological SeminaryMissouri$5,500ATSBaptist81-96 creditsFully5
Rockbridge SeminaryMissouri$5,500DEACNon-denominational76 creditsFully0
Regent UniversityVirginia$9,000ATS
SASC
Interdenominational72 creditsFully11
Bethel UniversityMinnesota$10,000ATS
HLC
Baptist78 creditsFully0
Denver SeminaryColorado$10,000ATS
HLC
Non-denominational78 creditsFully0
Crown CollegeMinnesota$9,000HLCChristian and Missionary Alliance72 creditsFully10
Iliff School of TheologyColorado$20,000ATS
HLC
Methodist120 creditsMostly6
Knox Theological SeminaryFlorida$10,000ATSNon-denominational90 creditsMostly0
Talbot School of TheologyCalifornia$12,000ATS
WASC
Non-denominational79 creditsPartially6
Southeastern UniversityFlorida$12,000SACSAssemblies of God72 creditsFully0
Northwestern Theological SeminaryFlorida$1,000IACEANon-denominational90 creditsFully1
Southern Baptist Theological SeminaryKentucky$13,000ATS
SACS
Baptist88 creditsFully19
Corban UniversityOregon$8,000NWCCU
ASCI
Non-denominational85 creditsFully2
South Florida Bible CollegeFlorida$6,000ABHENon-denominational90 creditsFully3
Columbia International UniversitySouth Carolina$9,500ATS
ABHE
SACS
Non-denominational78 creditsFully4
Asbury Theological SeminaryKentucky$15,000ATS
SASC
Multi-denominational96 creditsFully11
Saint Joseph's CollegeMaine$8,000NEASCCatholic90 creditsFully0
Luther SeminaryMinnesota$16,500ATS
HLC
Lutheran90 creditsMostly7
Anabaptist Mennonite Theological SeminaryIndiana$14,000ATS
HLC
Anabaptist
Mennonite
80 creditsMostly3
United Theological SeminaryOhio$13,000ATS
HLC
Methodist78 creditsMostly7
University of DubuqueIowa$12,500ATS
HLC
Presbyterian75 creditsMostly0
Phillips Theological SeminaryOklahoma$11,500ATS
HLC
Christian Church82 creditsMostly0
Freed-Hardeman UniversityTennessee$10,500ATS
SASC
Churches of Christ87 creditsFully0
Amridge UniversityAlabama$12,000SASCChurches of Christ78 creditsFully0
Indiana Wesleyan UniversityIndiana$10,000ATS
HLC
Wesleyan75 creditsMostly0
Lexington Theological SeminaryKentucky$9,000ATSChristian Church76 creditsFully0
Anderson UniversitySouth Carolina$7,500SASCBaptist75 creditsFully0
Central Baptist Theological SeminaryKansas$6,500ATS
HLC
Baptist75 creditsFully0
Clarks Summit UniversityPennsylvania$6,500ABHE
MSHE
Baptist94 creditsFully8
Shiloh UniversityIowa$3,000DEACNon-denominational74 creditsFully0
Heritage Christian UniversityAlabama$4,000ABHEChurches of Christ75 creditsMostly6
World Mission UniversityCalifornia$4,500ATS
ABHE
TRACS
Non-denominational90 creditsMostly4
Piedmont International UniversityNorth Carolina$5,500TRACSBaptist72 creditsFully6
Virginia University of LynchburgVirginia$7,500TRACSBaptist90 creditsPartially0
Bethesda UniversityCalifornia$7,000TRACSN/A96 creditsFully0
University of Northwestern St. PaulMinnesota$9,000HLCNon-denominational76 creditsFully0
Faith International UniversityWashington$6,500TRACSInterdenominational136 creditsFully0
The King's UniversityTexas$8,000ABHE
TRACS
Reformed87 creditsFully0
Southern California SeminaryCalifornia$10,500TRACSNon-denominational96 creditsFully5
Hope International UniversityCalifornia$17,000WASCNon-denominational78 creditsFully7
Southwestern Assemblies of God UniversityTexas$10,500SASCAssemblies of God72 creditsFully8
Sioux Falls SeminarySouth Dakota$15,500ATS
HLC
Baptist75 creditsMostly0
Nazarene Theological SeminaryMissouri$10,500ATSNazarene76 creditsMostly0

1. Western Seminary

Armstrong Hall at Western Seminary
Image source: M.O. Stevens

Location: Portland, Oregon
Denomination: Conservative Baptist Association of America
Tuition: about $13,000 per year
Length: 82 credits
Online: Mostly
Accreditation:

  • The Association of Theological Schools
  • Northwest Commission on Colleges and Univerities

Concentrations: 2

Western Seminary’s master of divinity program is almost fully online. Only three courses have to be completed on campus. Rather than requiring you to adhere to the seminary’s own statement of faith, MDiv candidates form their own statement of faith, so they can prepare for ministry wherever God leads them. Students get specialized training in Greek and Hebrew through one of Western’s two “tracks”:

  • Exegetical: Learn to read the Bible in its original languages.
  • Functional: Learn grammar and syntax, then use Bible software to gain vocabulary and parse Greek and Hebrew text.

Whichever track you choose, you’ll get a free copy of Logos Bible Software Gold, giving you a massive theological library and a suite of advanced Bible study tools.

2. Liberty University

Liberty University campus
Image source: Liberty University

Location: Lynchburg, Virginia
Denomination: Non-denominational
Tuition: about $5,500 per year
Length: 75–93 credits
Online: Fully
Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools
Concentrations: 22

While Liberty University lacks ATS accreditation, this conservative college is at the forefront of online education. (They’re one of the best online schools in the US.) Liberty has the widest selection of online degree programs of any college, so it’s no surprise that their MDiv has an ample selection of specializations. The school is generous about transfer credits as well (you can transfer up to 75 percent of your degree from somewhere else), and if you already have a strong grasp of the Bible, Greek, Hebrew, or theology, you may be able to test out of some classes.

Here are the specializations offered in Liberty University’s online MDiv program:

  • Biblical studies (75 credits)
  • Biblical languages (75 credits)
  • Biblical languages (90 credits)
  • Chaplaincy (75 credits)
  • Christian apologetics (75 credits)
  • Christian leadership and church ministries (75 credits)
  • Christian ministries (75 credits)
  • Church history (75 credits)
  • Community chaplaincy (non-thesis, 93 credits)
  • Community chaplaincy (thesis, 93 credits)
  • Discipleship ministries (75 credits)
  • General (75 credits)
  • Global studies (75 credits)
  • Healthcare chaplaincy (non-thesis, 93 credits)
  • Healthcare chaplaincy (thesis, 93 credits)
  • Homiletics (75 credits)
  • Leadership (75 credits)
  • Military chaplaincy (non-thesis, 93 credits)
  • Military chaplaincy (thesis, 93 credits)
  • Pastoral counseling (75 credits)
  • Theology (75 credits)
  • Youth and family ministries (75 credits)

3. Moody Bible Institute

Moody Theological Seminary campus
Image source: The Association of Theological Schools

Location: Chicago, Illinois
Denomination: Non-denominational
Tuition: about $13,000 per year
Length: 90 credits
Online: Fully
Accreditation:

  • The Association of Theological Schools
  • Higher Learning Commission

Concentrations: 1

Moody Bible Institute has five MDiv concentrations on-campus, but the pastoral studies track is the only one available online. You also have the option to blend an online and on-campus experience, but that’s still with the pastoral studies emphasis. The school says there are two internships built into the program, but it’s not clear if that means online students have to come to campus, or if you’ll be able to intern with a local ministry or church.

4. Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary

Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary campus
Image source: Visit Raleigh

Location: Wake Forest, North Carolina
Denomination: Southern Baptist Convention
Tuition: about $5,000 per year
Length: 81 credits
Online: Fully
Accreditation:

  • The Association of Theological Schools
  • Southern Association of Colleges and Schools

Concentrations: 4

Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary’s online MDiv degree program was created in direct response to mission workers. Many Southern Baptist missionaries wanted to deepen their knowledge of the theology, biblical Greek and Hebrew, pastoral leadership, and biblical counseling, but it’s hard to commute to a Baptist seminary from rural Guatemala.

Many missionaries need to choose between continuing their education and continuing their ministry. SEBTS doesn’t believe that needs to be the case, so they bring the education to people in ministry wherever they are.

SEBTS has online MDivs for those wishing to specialize in:

  • Advanced MDiv (61 credits)
  • Christian ministry (82 credits)
  • Missiology (85 credits)
  • North American church planting (82 credits)

The advanced master of divinity is recommended for those wishing to be pastors, and the Christian ministry concentration is designed to be more customizable, providing 12 credits of electives.

5. Grand Canyon University

Grand Canyon University campus
Image Source: Cox7

Locations:

  • Phoenix, Arizona
  • Scottsdale, Arizona
  • Albuquerque, New Mexico

Denomination: Non-denominational
Tuition: about $7,000 per year
Length: 82 credits
Online: Mostly
Accreditation:

  • Associate member of the Association of Theological Schools
  • Higher Learning Commission

Concentrations: 0

Grand Canyon University offers a pastor-focused online master of divinity program. While the classes can be completed online, there is a residency requirement built into the degree. These weeklong campus visits provide a “conference-style environment” at key points in the program.

6. New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary

New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary campus
Image source: New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary

Location: New Orleans, Louisiana
Denomination: Southern Baptist
Tuition: about $5,000 per year
Length: 84 credits
Online: Fully
Accreditation:

  • The Association of Theological Schools
  • Southern Association of Colleges and Schools

Concentrations: 0

On campus, New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary offers a wealth of concentrations for MDiv students. Unfortunately, online students can only choose the standard track. However, you can substitute some of the core classes for ones that align more with your calling. Additionally, there are 16 electives, so you can basically build your own concentration.

7. Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary

Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary
Image source: The Association of Theological Schools

Location: Fort Worth, Texas
Denomination: Baptist
Tuition:

  • Southern Baptist students: about $6,000 per year
  • Non-Southern Baptist students: about $11,000 per year

Length: 92 credits
Online: Fully
Accreditation: The Association of Theological Schools
Concentrations: 28

Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary’s online MDiv is primarily intended to prepare students to become pastors, but the vast selection of concentrations and plenty of electives make this a good choice, whatever your calling.

Here are the concentration options:

  • Administration
  • Biblical archaeology
  • Biblical counseling
  • Biblical theology
  • Chaplaincy
  • Children’s ministry
  • Christian school education
  • Church music
  • Church planting
  • Collegiate apologetics
  • Collegiate ministry
  • Ethics, philosophy, and apologetics
  • Evangelism
  • Family ministry
  • Hispanic studies
  • Islamic studies
  • Missions
  • New Testament
  • Old Testament
  • Pastoral ministry
  • Preaching
  • Recreation ministries
  • Student ministry
  • Teaching
  • Theological studies
  • Women’s ministry
  • Women’s studies
  • Worship

You can choose to take classes synchronously, tuning into the live on-campus sessions, or asynchronously, watching the recorded lectures on your own schedule. There are several practicums built into the program, and to complete these online, you’ll have regular interactions with a professor over email.

8. Luther Rice Seminary

Luther Rice Seminary campus
Image source: Georgia Encyclopedia

Location: Lithonia, Georgia
Denomination: Baptist
Tuition: about $6,000 per year
Length: 90 credits
Online: Fully
Accreditation:

  • Association for Biblical Higher Education
  • Transnational Association of Christian Colleges and Schools

Concentrations: 1

Every college and seminary degree from Luther Rice is available online—and they’ve been delivering online courses for more than 10 years. Students have two choices about how to complete their MDiv at Luther Rice. You can choose the standard track, which lets you apply your electives to any other master-level course at Luther Rice, or you can choose the biblical languages concentration.

The standard track gives you 24 credits to play with, and the biblical language track applies all of those to Greek and Hebrew. If you don’t go with the biblical languages concentration, there are no required courses in Greek or Hebrew. Still, it doesn’t have to be all or nothing. On the standard track, you can always use a couple electives to get an introductory understanding of these essential languages.

9. Wayland Baptist University

Wayland Baptist University campus
Image source: Wayland Baptist University

Locations:

  • Plainview, Texas
  • Lubbock, Texas
  • San Antonio, Texas
  • Wichita Falls, Texas
  • Amarillo, Texas
  • Altus, Oklahoma
  • Clovis, New Mexico
  • Albuquerque, New Mexico
  • Phoenix, Arizona
  • Sierra Vista, Arizona
  • Tucson, Arizona
  • Fairbanks, Alaska
  • Anchorage, Alaska

Denomination: Baptist
Tuition: about $11,000 per year
Length: 81 credits
Online: Fully
Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools
Concentrations: 0

WBU doesn’t offer any concentrations for online MDiv students, but the program does include three electives.

If you’re open to a hybrid program, Wayland Baptist University has 12 other campuses throughout the US (and one in Kenya). There could be one near you. And since Wayland Baptist University has a campus in Kenya, they can send professors and students to Africa for various sessions.

Note: To apply to the master of divinity program at WBU, you need to provide a letter of church endorsement, where a member of your church staff must confirm your involvement in the church.

10. Northwest Nazarene University

Northwest Nazarene University campus
Image source: Earl Swenson Associates

Location: Nampa, Idaho
Denomination: Nazarene
Tuition: about $9,000 per year
Length: 75 credits
Online: Fully
Accreditation:

  • Associate member of the Association of Theological Schools
  • Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities

Concentrations: 3

In the online MDiv program at Northwest Nazarene University, you’ll join a cohort of 12–20 other students. You’ll take your classes one at a time, keeping these same classmates over the years. Even though this is a shorter MDiv program (just 75 credits), the slower pace means it will take as long (or longer) than other programs. NNU says the program can be completed in “as little as 50 months, with most summers off.”

Almost half of your credits will go toward one of these specializations:

  • Missional leadership
  • Spiritual formation
  • Youth, children, and family ministry

While you don’t have to be a member of the Church of the Nazarene to be an MDiv student, the online program fulfills all academic requirements for ordination.

Fun fact: NNU was the first school with a fully online MDiv. program ever to be granted associate membership by the Association of Theological Schools.

11. Chicago Theological Seminary

Chicago Theological Seminary campus
Image source: University of Chicago

Location: Chicago, Illinois
Denomination: United Church of Christ
Tuition: about $17,500 per year
Length: 75 credits
Online: Mostly
Accreditation:

  • The Association of Theological Schools
  • Higher Learning Commission

Concentrations: 4

In Chicago Theological Seminary’s online master of divinity program, your coursework can be completed fully online, but there are two components that aren’t online. You’ll have to complete a 400-hour clinical pastoral education and a parish or community field placement. These hands-on experiences are coordinated through the director of theological field placement.

Four courses can go toward one of these concentrations:

  • Chaplaincy studies
  • LGBTQ studies
  • Interreligious engagement
  • Study of black faith and life

Here’s what one online MDiv student had to say about her experience at CTS:

Chicago Theological Seminary provides the necessary coursework to be ordained by:

  • United Church of Christ
  • United Methodist Church
  • Metropolitan Community Church

Note: CTS also has an online program that combines a master of divinity with a master of social work.

12. Gateway Seminary

Gateway Seminary campus
Image source: Eventbrite

Locations:

  • Ontario, California
  • Fremont, California
  • Denver, Colorado
  • Phoenix, Arizona
  • Vancouver, Washington

Denomination: Baptist
Tuition: about $6,000 per year
Length: 90 credits
Online: Fully
Accreditation:

  • The Association of Theological Schools
  • Western Association of Schools and Colleges

Concentrations: 2

Gateway Seminary’s master of divinity program has 13 concentration options, but only two of them are available to online students:

  • Biblical studies
  • Youth ministry

However, concentrations at Gateway Seminary only make up 10 of your 90 credits. The biblical studies concentration has six elective credits, and the youth ministry concentration has four. So even if you don’t have the same selection of concentrations as an on-campus student, you can still take a couple courses and cover a good chunk of another specialization.

Courses at Gateway Seminary are asynchronous, meaning there’s no required meeting time, so your classes fit into your life—not the other way around.

13. Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary

Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary campus
Image source: Vimeo

Location: Kansas City, Missouri
Denomination: Baptist
Tuition: about $5,500 per year
Length: 81–96 credits
Online: Fully
Accreditation: The Association of Theological Schools
Concentrations: 5

The standard online master of divinity program at Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary is 81 credits. If you want to take on a concentration, that’s going to add another 9–15 credits to your course schedule.

Here are the five concentrations you can choose from:

  • Christian education (90 credits)
  • Church planting (90 credits)
  • Counseling (96 credits)
  • Leadership (90 credits)
  • Youth ministry (90 credits)

The Christian education and youth ministry concentrations include three elective credits, and the leadership concentration has six. Church planting and counseling do not allow you to take electives. The standard MDiv track has nine elective credits.

Each concentration adds practicums to your curriculum, and the counseling concentration includes an internship as well. These still shouldn’t require you to come to campus, but you may need to work with a local church or ministry to complete them.

Midwestern encourages students to have some kind of face-to-face connection outside of the class. Every course has an “Online Connect” component that makes up 5 percent of your grade. Before the end of every term, you need to either: attend a conference hosted by Midwestern, meet with someone in your church, or write a report on a book faculty have selected for you. Whatever you choose, the intention is that you apply what you learn in every class.

14. Rockbridge Seminary

Rockbridge Seminary logo
Image source: LinkedIn

Location: Springfield, Missouri
Denomination: non-denominational
Tuition: about $5,500 per year
Length: 76 credits
Online: Fully
Accreditation: Distance Education Accreditation Commission
Concentrations: 0

If you’re not satisfied with your learning experience in the first course, Rockbridge will fully refund your tuition.

Every class at Rockbridge Seminary is available online. While their master of divinity program doesn’t offer concentrations, it does include 12 elective credits.

At some point during the program, you’ll build a portfolio based on your learning objectives to demonstrate your proficiency. (This could be part of the reason why 91 percent of Rockbridge Seminary graduates are actively serving in ministry.)

Here’s what one graduate had to say about their online experience at Rockbridge:

Note: The only biblical language course in the curriculum is one that teaches you how to use Bible software to understand Greek and Hebrew.

15. Regent University

Regent University campus
Image source: Regent University

Location: Virginia Beach, Virginia
Denomination: Interdenominational
Tuition: about $9,000 per year
Length: 72 credits
Online: Fully
Accreditation:

  • The Association of Theological Schools
  • Southern Association of Colleges and Schools

Concentrations: 11

Regent University School of Divinity offers an online MDiv program that blends elements of their master of theological studies and master of arts in practical theology programs.

Here are the 11 concentrations you can choose from:

  • Biblical studies
  • Chaplain ministry
  • Christian theology
  • Church and ministry
  • History of Christianity
  • Intercultural studies
  • Interdisciplinary studies
  • Marketplace ministry
  • Missional discipleship
  • Practical healing ministry
  • Worship and media

Regardless of the concentration you choose, there are optional practicums and internships if you’d like to get hands-on experience.

16. Bethel University

Aerial view of Bethel University campus
Image source: Bethel University

Locations:

  • St. Paul, Minnesota
  • San Diego, California

Denomination:
Tuition: about $10,000 per year
Length: 78 credits
Online: Fully
Accreditation:

  • The Association of Theological Schools
  • Higher Learning Commission

Concentrations: 0

Bethel University’s online MDiv program teaches you how to:

  • Interpret the Bible with maturity and discernment
  • Understand 20 centuries of theology and apply that wisdom to 21st-century life
  • Communicate God’s Word in inspiring and transforming ways
  • Develop cultural sensitivity so you can lead effectively in diverse settings
  • Guide people to reconciliation with God and others
  • Prepare for ordination in your denomination or setting

Want to know who you’ll be learning from? Bethel University’s MDiv faculty include esteemed scholars such as Dr. Mark Strauss and Dr. Jeannine Brown.

17. Denver Seminary

Denver Seminary campus
Image source: MOA Architecture

Locations:

  • Littleton, Colorado
  • Washington D.C.
  • Amarillo, Texas

Denomination: Non-denominational
Tuition: about $10,000 per year
Length: 78 credits
Online: Fully
Accreditation:

  • The Association of Theological Schools
  • Higher Learning Commission

Concentrations: 0

At Denver Seminary, engagement is a high priority for their online MDiv students. Every week, your course content will be coupled with an Interactive Learning Activity, which is typically some form of video chat with faculty and other classmates. Depending on the activity, you may be recording videos or discussing the content live. This is part of Denver Seminary’s “Next Generation Online Learning” program.

Additionally, you will have local field-based education to connect what you’re learning online with the world around you.

There are no concentrations in the online MDiv program, but depending on if you choose the three- or four-year track, there are 18–22 elective credits to work with. That’s about one fourth of your degree that’s open to whatever you want to study.

Here’s what an education at Denver Seminary could look like for you:

18. Crown College

Crown College campus
Image source: Crown College

Location: Saint Bonifacius, Minnesota
Denomination: Christian missionary alliance
Tuition: about $9,000 per year
Length: 72 credits
Online: Fully
Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission
Concentrations: 10

As an online MDiv student at Crown College, your theological education culminates in a “summative experience” where you’ll complete a supervised capstone project and a calling and vocational assessment. This is seven of your 72 credits.

15 of your credits come from either your choice of emphasis or general electives. The emphasis options are intended to help you craft your education to fit your calling.

Here are the concentrations available to online students:

  • Church development
  • Community development
  • Disaster and emergency management
  • Executive leadership
  • Intercultural ministries
  • International Christian education
  • Pastoral counseling
  • Pastoral leadership
  • Spiritual formation
  • Theological studies

It’s also possible for online students to graduate with both an MDiv and a master of arts in either Christian studies or ministry leadership.

19. Iliff School of Theology

Iliff School of Theology campus
Image source: Argooya

Location: Denver, Colorado
Denomination: United Methodist Church
Tuition: about $20,000 per year
Length: 120 credits
Online: Mostly
Accreditation:

  • The Association of Theological Schools
  • Higher Learning Commission

Concentrations: 6

The University of Denver’s Iliff School of Theology offers one of the most expansive online MDivs available. Nearly half of this 120-credit program comes from electives and other non-core classes, so you can shape your MDiv around your goals.

Two to three times a year, Iliff school of Theology’s online MDiv students meet at their Denver campus for “Gathering Days.” These on-campus visits last two to five days and provide an extended time for face-to-face classes, guest speakers, social events, getting to know your cohort, and prayer and worship.

Illif’s online MDiv includes a variety of certificate programs, which are essentially concentrations. These certificates are generally three or four courses (12–16 credits) each. Since Illiff’s MDiv has many elective credits built into the program, earning a certificate doesn’t have to increase the length of your degree.

Here are the graduate certificates online MDiv students can earn:

  • Anglican studies
  • General theological studies
  • Military chaplaincy ministry
  • Pastoral and spiritual care
  • Religion and social change
  • United Methodist studies

At some point during the program, you’ll participate in a 12-credit internship.

Note: If you’re seeking ordination as an elder in the United Methodist Church, one third of your MDiv needs to be completed on-campus.

20. Knox Theological Seminary

Knox Theological Seminary campus
Image source: Knox Theological Seminary

Location: Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Denomination: Non-denominational
Tuition: about $10,000
Length: 90 credits
Online: Mostly
Accreditation: The Association of Theological Schools
Concentrations: 0

At Knox Theological Seminary, about two thirds of your MDiv can be completed online, and the rest has to be finished on campus. There are no concentrations, but you get 21 credits of electives.

The master of divinity program includes a nine-month supervised internship.

Knox accepts a very small number of students into their MDiv program without a bachelor’s degree. Instead, they consider life experience and academic ability. (So if you’ve already been a pastor for a number of years and are finally going to school, this could be a good option.)

21. Talbot School of Theology

Talbot School of Theology building
Image source: Talbot School of Theology

Location: La Mirada, California
Denomination: Non-denominational
Tuition: about $12,000 per year
Length: 79 credits
Online: Partially
Accreditation:

  • The Association of Theological Schools
  • Western Association of Schools and Colleges

Concentrations: 6

Biola University’s Talbot School of Theology lets MDiv students take “up to 49 percent of the program online.” All students are required to complete a concentration.

Here are the six concentration options:

  • Evangelism and discipleship
  • Messianic Jewish studies
  • Missions and intercultural studies
  • Pastoral and general ministries
  • Pastoral care and counseling
  • Spiritual formation

Four Greek and four Hebrew courses are built into the standard curriculum, but if you’re already familiar with biblical languages you may be able to test out of the beginning courses.

To graduate, you have to complete a thesis or, if your advisor is OK with it, you can take six electives instead.

22. Southeastern University

Southeastern University campus
Image source: Southeastern University

Location: Lakeland, Florida
Denomination: Assemblies of God
Tuition: about $12,000 per year
Length: 72 credits
Online: Fully
Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools
Concentrations: 0

Southeastern University offers a fully online master of divinity program that takes two to three years to complete. There are no required courses in the biblical languages, but there are two Greek courses you can take as electives. (There are no online courses in Hebrew.)

There are 15 elective credits in the MDiv program, but they have to be applied to biblical studies or practical theology/ministry courses. Southeastern’s program culminates in either a thesis, practicum, or elective course (in pastoral ministry, theology, or Bible).

Most courses are in biblical studies and practical theology/ministry.

23. Northwestern Theological Seminary

Northwestern Theological Seminary logo
Image source: Northwestern Theological Seminary

Location: New Port Richey, Florida
Denomination: Non-denominational
Tuition: about $1,000 per year
Length: 90 credits
Online: Fully
Accreditation: International Association for Christian Educational Accountability
Concentrations: 1

Northwestern Theological Seminary has an extremely affordable online MDiv program that can be finished in less than two years, even without transfer credits. There’s one concentration available: ministry.

Almost one-third of the program is thesis work.

If you don’t already have a bachelor’s degree, you can enroll in an online dual bachelor’s/master’s degree program.

Fun fact: In lieu of tuition, you can pay a “Love Offer,” some of which goes towards international ministries. The amount has to fall within a specified range. (This isn’t a more affordable path to your education, but it does give you the opportunity to apply your resources differently.)

24. Southern Baptist Theological Seminary

Southern Baptist Theological Seminary campus
Image source: Southern Baptist Theological Seminary

Location: Louisville, Kentucky
Denomination: Baptist
Tuition:

  • Members of SBC churches: about $6,500 per year
  • Everyone else: about $13,000 per year

Length: 88 credits
Online: Fully
Accreditation:

  • The Association of Theological Schools
  • Southern Association of Colleges and Schools

Concentrations: 19

Southern Baptist Theological Seminary offers a fully-online MDiv program with a focus on biblical and theological studies. There are three remedial/prerequisite courses in biblical languages and writing. The rest of the curriculum falls under these categories:

  • Biblical and theological studies (42 credits)
  • Missions, evangelism, and ministry (27 credits)
  • Applied ministry (1 credit)

Students have 18 free elective credits which can be applied to a concentration. On campus, the program has 21 concentrations, but after speaking with a representative from SBTS we’ve confirmed that two of the concentrations on the website are not available to online students (worship ministry and biblical and theological studies).

Here are the concentrations you can choose:

  • Christian ministry (recommended)
  • Great Commission studies (recommended)
  • Apologetics
  • Biblical spirituality
  • Pastoral studies
  • Biblical counseling
  • Church and pastoral ministries
  • Church planting
  • Discipleship and family ministry
  • International church planting
  • International missions
  • Islamic studies
  • Itinerant evangelism
  • Leadership
  • Missions and Bible translation
  • Missions and biblical counseling
  • North American missions
  • Pastoral studies
  • Urban missions
  • Worldview and culture

SBTS recommends the Christian ministry and Great Commission studies concentrations for online students because they’re easiest to work into your course schedule. The other concentrations can be completed online, but it will take some planning to ensure you don’t wind up taking extra classes and lengthening your program.

25. Corban University

Aerial view of Corban University campus
Image source: Corban University

Location: Salem, Oregon
Denomination: Non-denominational
Tuition: about $8,000 per year
Length: 85 credits
Online: Fully
Accreditation:

  • Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities
  • Association of Christian Schools International

Concentrations: 2

Corban University lets you complete your master of divinity fully online or as a hybrid of online and on-campus courses. The program is designed to take three years full time.

There are two MDiv tracks: church ministry and biblical languages.

Corban University’s name has an interesting origin story, and it tells you a lot about the heart of the school.

26. South Florida Bible College

South Florida Bible College logo
Image source: South Florida Bible College

Location: Deerfield Beach, Florida
Denomination: Non-denominational
Tuition: about $6,000 per year
Length: 90 credits
Online: Fully
Accreditation: Association for Biblical Higher Education
Concentrations: 3

South Florida Bible College offers a fully online MDiv with three specialization options. 15 credits of your degree go towards one of these concentrations:

  • Ministry
  • Chaplaincy
  • New Testament exegesis and theology

You’re required to take two biblical language courses, but you can decide if you want to take Greek, Hebrew, or both.

While SFBC’s tuition is pretty low, they have a steep $150 online fee per course. That adds up to another $6,000 before you finish your degree.

Note: SFBC expects MDiv students to already have one year of beginning Greek under their belts. If you haven’t taken Greek before, a beginning Greek course will be added to your program.

27. Columbia International University

Columbia International University campus
Image source: Columbia International University

Location: Columbia, South Carolina
Denomination: Non-denominational
Tuition: about $9,500
Length: 78 credits
Online: Fully
Accreditation:

  • The Association of Theological Schools
  • Association for Biblical Higher Education
  • Southern Association of Colleges and Schools

Concentrations: 4

Columbia International University offers an online MDiv that can be completed in three years. There are four concentrations available, and you can switch between them at any time before you finish your degree.

Here are the concentration options:

  • Bible exposition
  • Global studies
  • Ministry studies
  • Muslim studies

You can learn more about each of the concentration options here.

In the second year of the program, online students begin an internship of their choice. There’s an internship course which walks students through the process, and a seminary mentor to help along the way, but it’s up to students to find an organization to intern for.

28. Nazarene Theological Seminary

Nazarene Theological Seminary campus
Image source: The Association of Theological Schools

Locations:

  • Kansas City, Missouri
  • Bethany, Oklahoma
  • Mount Vernon, Ohio
  • Quincy, Massachusetts
  • San Diego, California

Denomination: Church of the Nazarene
Tuition:

  • Nazarene students: about $9,500 per year
  • Everyone else: about $10,500 per year

Length: 76 credits
Online: Mostly
Accreditation: The Association of Theological Schools
Concentrations: 0

Nazarene Theological Seminary’s online MDiv focuses on five key subject areas:

  • Scripture
  • Church history
  • Theology
  • Philosophy
  • Foundations and practice of ministry

There are no specialization options, but you do have 12 elective credits.

NTS has a four week residency requirement, and online MDiv students spend one week on campus every fall. During this time, you’ll take three courses and participate in a retreat each year. This accounts for a total of 28 credits.

29. Asbury Theological Seminary

Asbury Theological Seminary campus
Image source: Oikonomia Network

Locations:

  • Wilmore, Kentucky
  • Orlando, Florida
  • Memphis, Tennessee

Denomination: Multi-denominational
Tuition: about $15,000 per year
Length: 96 credits
Online: Fully
Accreditation:

  • The Association of Theological Schools
  • Southern Association of Colleges and Schools

Concentrations: 11

Asbury Theological Seminary has a fully online MDiv program with a wide range of specialization options.

Here are the specializations you can choose from:

  • Church planting
  • Anglican studies
  • Aging and spirituality
  • Biblical studies
  • Christian discipleship
  • Christian leadership
  • Intercultural studies
  • Pastoral counseling
  • Spiritual formation
  • Theological studies
  • Youth ministry

Each specialization is 15 credits. You’ll also have nine elective credits to apply to other studies. If you want to pursue a specialization, you have to declare it before you finish one third of the program (32 credits). Choosing not to specialize will give you more elective credits (24 total).

If you have a religion major or minor from an accredited college, you can earn up to 18 credits towards your MDiv.

Note: You can combine your MDiv with a master of theological studies for a dual degree, which saves you 15 credits.

30. Saint Joseph’s College

Saint Josephs College Maine campus
Image source: Saint Joseph’s College

Location: Standish, Maine
Denomination: Catholic
Tuition: about $8,000 per year
Length: 90 credits
Online: Fully
Accreditation: New England Association of Schools and Colleges, Commission on Institutions of Higher Education
Concentrations: 0

At Saint Joseph’s College, you can get a fully online Roman Catholic education. About 24 credits focus on Catholic teachings, but the entire MDiv program is designed to “develop an understanding and appreciation of the Catholic faith with a specific emphasis on application in ministry.”

SJC’s MDiv doesn’t have any specializations, but you’ll have 18 elective credits.

Undergraduate SJC students can enroll in the MDiv “fast track option.” Ordained deacons can also enroll in the accelerated track, which saves 18 credits.

An optional residency summer allows you to complete the program faster. The program culminates in a three credit thesis.

31. Luther Seminary

Luther Seminary campus in winter
Image source: Roseville Visitors Association

Location: St. Paul, Minnesota
Denomination: Evangelical Lutheran Church in America
Tuition: about $16,500 per year
Length: 90 credits
Online: Mostly
Accreditation:

  • The Association of Theological Schools
  • Higher Learning Commission

Concentrations: 7

Luther Seminary lets MDiv students complete two thirds of their degree online through a distributed learning program. Twice a year, students spend two weeks on campus to work through the remaining third.

There are seven MDiv concentrations available through Luther Seminary, and it takes five or six classes to complete them.

Here are the concentrations:

  • Old Testament
  • New Testament
  • History of Christianity
  • Systematic theology
  • Spanish language for ministry
  • Children, youth, and family ministry
  • Congregational mission and leadership
  • Justice and reconciliation

Ten elective courses are built into the MDiv program, so in theory, you could complete two concentrations and still finish your degree in the standard time.

Like the on-campus MDiv, Luther’s online MDiv requires a one- year internship. Students are also required to go through a candidacy process, which varies depending on the denomination you intend to serve in.

Note: Luther Seminary doesn’t actually use a credit system like other schools. There are 30 classes in the MDiv program, and their academic catalog uses courses and credits interchangeably.

Case in point: “The M.Div. DL program follows the same comprehensive curriculum as the residential M.Div. program: a minimum of 30 courses, including required courses in the core curriculum. Up to 20.0 of the credits may be completed online. At least 10.0 of the credits must be completed on campus.”

We took the liberty of assuming these classes would be the equivalent of three credits each.

32. Anabaptist Mennonite Theological Seminary

Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary campus
Image source: The Association of Theological Schools

Location: Elkhart, Indiana
Denomination: Anabaptist, Mennonite
Tuition: about $14,000 per year
Length: 80 credits
Online: Mostly
Accreditation:

  • The Association of Theological Schools
  • Higher Learning Commission

Concentrations: 3

Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary offers a hybrid MDiv program through their distance learning program, called Connect. The degree includes three concentrations, which they refer to as majors.

Here are the three concentrations:

  • Pastoral ministry
  • Chaplaincy
  • Christian faith formation

53 credits are fully online, and 27 come from hybrid courses which require some time on campus. Twice a year, AMBS online students head to campus for week-long intensives.

Note: Courses in Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary’s MDiv program are available to “guest students” from other seminaries who are looking for specialized graduate-level courses.

33. United Theological Seminary

United Theological Seminary campus
Image source: United Theological Seminary

Location: Dayton, Ohio
Denomination: United Methodist Church
Tuition: about $13,000 per year
Length: 78 credits
Online: Mostly
Accreditation:

  • The Association of Theological Schools
  • Higher Learning Commission

Concentrations: 7

Online MDiv students at United Theological Seminary can complete their residency requirements in as little as four weeks. Most of your core courses are in “practice of ministry,” but you’ll also devote courses to biblical studies, church history and theology, and spiritual formation.

The master of divinity program includes three open elective courses, plus four electives you can apply toward a concentration.

Here are the seven concentration options:

  • Biblical interpretation
  • Preaching
  • Wesleyan and Methodist studies
  • Pastoral care
  • Charismatic studies
  • Ministry leadership
  • Church planting

If you don’t wish to choose a concentration, you can use these four electives on other courses, too.

Halfway through the program, you’ll be evaluated on your progress. By the end of the program, you’re required to have a graduate portfolio of your work.

34. University of Dubuque

Aerial view of University of Dubuque Theological Seminary
Image source: Telegraph Herald

Location: Dubuque, Iowa
Denomination: Presbyterian Church
Tuition: about $12,500 per year
Length: 75 credits
Online: Mostly
Accreditation:

  • The Association of Theological Schools
  • Higher Learning Commission

Concentrations: 0

University of Dubuque Theological Seminary offers a distance MDiv degree which can be completed mostly online.

Every August, you’ll head to campus for a two-week intensive where you’ll get to know the faculty and students who you’ll be learning from and with. UBTS uses a cohort model, so you’ll take courses with the same classmates throughout the program.

There are no concentrations in this online MDiv, but more than 25 percent of your credits (21) are electives.

Dubuque has offered this fully-accredited distance education MDiv for more than a decade.

Note: You won’t find UDTS listed under the Association of Theological Schools’ members, but the distance master of divinity program is an “ATS approved exception” because of their reduced residency requirement.

35. Phillips Theological Seminary

Phillips Theological Seminary campus
Image source: Phillips Theological Seminary

Location: Tulsa, Oklahoma
Denomination: Christian Church (or the Disciples of Christ)
Tuition: about $11,500 per year
Length: 82 credits
Online: Mostly
Accreditation:

  • The Association of Theological Schools
  • Higher Learning Commission

Concentrations: 0

Phillips Theological Seminary offers an online MDiv degree program that focuses on Bible, history, theology and ethics, and practical theology. There are no concentrations, but you get 15 elective credits. One third of the program has to be completed on campus.

All master’s programs at PTS start with the same four “portal courses”:

  • Interpretation matters
  • Context matters
  • Conversation matters
  • Vocation matters

These are “team taught,” interdisciplinary courses PTS believes are “essential for  pastoral formation, knowledge, wisdom, education, and ongoing leadership.” These courses will serve as touchstones throughout the curriculum.

36. Freed-Hardeman University

Freed Hardeman University campus
Image source: Freed Hardeman University

Location: Henderson, Tennessee
Denomination: Churches of Christ
Tuition: about $10,500 per year
Length: 87 credits
Online: Fully
Accreditation:

  • The Association of Theological Schools
  • Southern Association of Colleges and Schools

Concentrations: 0

Freed-Hardeman University offers a fully-online master of divinity degree with a broad curriculum. There are no concentrations, but students choose courses in each of the program’s major categories. You don’t have to follow a set course schedule and can focus your studies on the topics that interest you.

Here are the major categories of courses in the program:

  • Biblical languages
  • Old Testament
  • New Testament
  • Apologetics
  • Ministry
  • Missions
  • Historical/doctrinal
  • Other

FHU’s program is lighter on ministry than a lot of the others on this list, but it also offers a broader range of other subjects.

There is a supervised internship built into the program as well.

37. Amridge University

Amridge University logo
Image source: Know the Community

Location: Montgomery, Alabama
Denomination: Churches of Christ
Tuition: about $12,000 per year
Length: 78 credits
Online: Fully
Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools
Concentrations: 0

Amridge University is a distance-learning-only institution, and they offer a highly flexible online master of divinity. There are 13 required courses and 13 elective courses. There are no concentrations, but your electives can either come from an assortment of nine major course subjects or hone in on two of them.

There are no required biblical language courses, but Amridge recommends you use some of your elective courses on Greek and Hebrew studies.

Your final class is designed to synthesize everything you’ve learned throughout the program.

38. Indiana Wesleyan University

Indiana Wesleyan Seminary campus
Image source: Wesleyan Connect

Location: Marion, Indiana
Denomination: Wesleyan
Tuition:

  • Non-pastor: about $9,000 per year
  • Pastor: about $7,000 per year
  • Wesleyan pastor: about $5,000 per year

Length: 75 credits
Online: Mostly
Accreditation:

  • The Association of Theological Schools
  • Higher Learning Commission

Concentrations: 0

Indiana Wesleyan University offers a hybrid master of divinity program that requires about one third of your courses to be completed on campus in Marion, Indiana.

Here’s what they’d like you to know about their program:

“In addition to the specific Bible, theology, and church history courses, these foundational disciplines are integrated everywhere, every week, in every praxis course. One-fourth to one-third of the course work in the core praxis classes deals directly with biblical, theological and historical outcomes. They are woven into a tapestry of knowledge, skills, and dispositions that are exactly the mix of resources a pastor needs to bring to the immediacy of a ministry situation.”

If you’re a Wesleyan pastor, Indiana Wesleyan University winds up being one of the most affordable online master of divinity programs.

Like a couple of other schools on this list, IWU requires a letter of endorsement from your church. Additionally, you need to be involved in a ministry for the duration of the program.

39. Lexington Theological Seminary

Lexington Theological Seminary logo
Image source: Lexington Theological Seminary

Location: Lexington, Kentucky
Denomination: Christian Church
Tuition: about $9,000 per year
Length: 76 credits
Online:
Accreditation: The Association of Theological Schools
Concentrations: 0

Lexington Theological Seminary has a hybrid MDiv program with a unique course schedule. One third of the program needs to be completed on campus.

The degree program begins with a rapid-fire series of two-week courses. Along the way, students must pass “competency exercises” to advance to the next courses. This progression system is divided into three “levels”:

  • Apprentice
  • Journeyer
  • Master

The master level is where students complete a capstone project, which addresses an issue in your local congregation. Students work with local church leadership and LTS to devise several strategies to approach and solve the issue. This project involves extensive writing.

Throughout the MDiv program, courses vary in length from two, four, or eight weeks. There are numerous required classes, some of which are only worth half a credit. Most courses are available online, but some must be completed as part of 10-week intensives on campus.

There are no concentrations, but the program includes 28 elective credits.

40. Anderson University

Anderson University campus
Image source: Anderson University

Location: Anderson, South Carolina
Denomination: South Carolina Baptist Convention
Tuition: about $7,500 per year
Length: 75 credits
Online: Fully
Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools
Concentrations: 0

Anderson University offers an online master of divinity program through their School of Theology. Students can choose to take courses in standard 15-week terms, or accelerated 8-week terms.

Online classes at Anderson University meet online from 7:00 PM–8:00 PM once a week, but most of the course content is delivered asynchronously in videos and readings.

All courses fall under one of these categories:

  • Biblical studies (21 credits)
  • Theological studies (15 credits)
  • Ministry studies (39 credits)

There are no concentrations, but you get a total of 12 elective credits—three in biblical studies, three in theological studies, and six in ministry studies.

41. Central Baptist Theological Seminary

Central Baptist Theological Seminary campus
Image source: Faith and Leadership

Location: Shawnee, Kansas
Denomination: Independent Baptist
Tuition: about $6,500 per year
Length: 75 credits
Online: Fully
Accreditation:

  • The Association of Theological Schools
  • Higher Learning Commission

Concentrations: 0

Central Baptist Theological Seminary offers a fully-online master of divinity program based on five theological pillars:

  • Interpretation
  • Formation
  • Contextualization
  • Performance
  • Contextual learning

Woven throughout the curriculum are “contextual threads” which provide applications to cultural issues like:

  • Racial diversity
  • Cross cultural understanding
  • Social justice
  • Environmental theology
  • Sexual identity
  • Religious pluralism
  • Creative expression

There are no concentrations and no elective credits. While that means you don’t get to customize your education, it also means you don’t have to make choices. If you’re easily intimidated by too many options, this school could be a good pick.

Note: The website doesn’t say this program is online, but we contacted CBTS to confirm: the MDiv is fully online.

42. Clarks Summit University

Aerial view of Clarks Summit University campus
Image source: Clarks Summit University

Location: South Abington Township, Pennsylvania
Denomination: Baptist
Tuition: about $6,500 per year
Length: 94 credits
Online: Fully
Accreditation:

  • Association for Biblical Higher Education
  • Middle States Commission on Higher Education

Concentrations: 8

Clarks Summit University’s Baptist Bible Seminary offers an online MDiv degree that focuses on the biblical languages, theology, Bible, and church leadership.

There are eight concentration options which include an 18-credit paid internship. The internship can be completed locally.

Here are the concentration options:

  • Church education
  • Church planting
  • Global ministry
  • Military chaplaincy
  • Outreach pastor
  • Pastoral counseling
  • Pastoral leadership
  • Youth pastor

In addition to the internship, concentrations include anywhere from 7–20 credits in courses.

Note: In order to be admitted, you cannot be divorced, married to a divorced person, or separated from your spouse.

In order to graduate, you must agree to the doctrinal position of Baptist Bible Seminary within four years.

43. Shiloh University

Shiloh University logo
Image source: Shiloh University

Location: Kalona, Iowa
Denomination: Non-denominational
Tuition: about $3,000 per year
Length: 74 credits
Online: Fully
Accreditation: Distance Education Accrediting Commission
Concentrations: 0

Shiloh University is a distance-education-only institution, and they have an extremely affordable master of divinity program. In addition to the 74 credits in classes, students must accrue 400 hours of ministry experience over the course of the program (300 of which needs to be supervised).

SU’s MDiv program only requires you to take one course from either Greek or Hebrew, but you can use electives to increase your proficiency. Core courses fall under these four categories:

  • Theology research skills (3 credits)
  • Biblical studies (23 credits)
  • Church history and theology (15 credits)
  • Ministry practices (18 credits)

There are no concentrations, but you have 15 elective credits which you can apply to ministerial studies, biblical languages, or biblical studies.

44. Heritage Christian University

Heritage Christina University logo
Image source: Wikipedia

Location: Florence, Alabama
Denomination: Churches of Christ
Tuition: about $4,000 per year
Length: 75 credits
Online: Mostly
Accreditation: Association for Biblical Higher Education
Concentrations: 6

Heritage Christian University offers an online master of divinity through their distance learning program. All of the courses are online, but students need to come to campus for:

  • A weeklong introduction to graduate studies
  • Graduation exercises
  • Comprehensive final exams

You can make alternative arrangements for taking the final exams, but the other on-campus experiences are required.

Core course subjects revolve around “our religious heritage” and fall under these primary areas:

  • Our religious heritage (30 credits)
  • Contextualizing our religious heritage (12 credits)
  • The spiritual formation of a leader (6 credits)
  • Praxis in our religious heritage (27 credits)

Concentrations count towards nine of your credits in “praxis in our religious heritage.” Here are the six options:

  • Youth and family ministerial care
  • New Testament early Christian literature in ministry
  • Old Testament and the literature of ancient Israel/early Judaism in ministry
  • Theology and history of biblical interpretation
  • Greek
  • Hebrew

While Greek and Hebrew are offered as concentrations, HCU also requires five biblical languages courses in the core curriculum.

There is a practicum, which can be completed locally.

45. World Mission University

World Mission University logo
Image source: World Mission University

Location: Los Angeles, California
Denomination: Non-denominational
Tuition: about $4,500 per year
Length: 90 credits
Online: Mostly
Accreditation:

  • The Association of Theological Schools
  • Association for Biblical Higher Education
  • Transnational Association of Christian Colleges and Schools

Concentrations: 4

World Mission University offers an almost fully online master of divinity degree program. They have a pretty simple residency requirement: you just have to take one class on campus.

The 90-credit program is divided into five major sections:

  • Biblical studies (12 credits)
  • Theology/historical studies (24 credits)
  • Practical ministry studies (27 credits)
  • Field education (7 credits)
  • Open electives (20 credits)

Your open elective credits can go towards one of four special emphasis options:

  • Biblical preaching
  • Christian counseling
  • Church ministry
  • Church music

Before you can graduate, you must pass a comprehensive Bible exam and complete a final ministry project on an approved topic that interests you.

Note: While they don’t have regional accreditation, WMU has a stamp of approval from four major Christian accrediting bodies.

46. Piedmont International University

Piedmont International University campus
Image source: Winston-Salem Journal

Location: Winston-Salem, North Carolina
Denomination: Baptist
Tuition: $5,500
Length: 72 credits
Online: Fully
Accreditation: Transnational Association of Christian Colleges and Schools
Concentrations: 6

Piedmont International University offers two separate online master of divinity programs: languages and non-languages.

As you might expect, one of these includes biblical languages courses, and the other does not. The languages program requires two Greek and two Hebrew courses, and the non-languages program has additional biblical studies courses instead. This is the only significant difference between the two programs.

Both programs offer the same six concentration tracks:

  • Pastoral studies
  • Local church ministry
  • Language tools
  • Military chaplaincy
  • Hospital chaplaincy
  • Law enforcement chaplaincy

With a good score on the GRE, you can get into PIU’s online MDiv program without a bachelor’s degree!

47. Virginia University of Lynchburg

Virginia University of Lynchberg logo
Image source: Virginia University of Lynchburg

Location: Lynchburg, Virginia
Denomination: Baptist
Tuition: about $7,500 per year
Length: 90–96 credits
Online: Partially
Accreditation: Transnational Association of Christian Colleges and Schools
Concentrations: 0

Virginia University of Lynchburg offers an MDiv that can be completed partially online. Two thirds of the program must be completed on campus. Availability of online courses varies, so you’ll likely need to take online and on-campus courses throughout your studies.

Courses in the MDiv program fall under these 10 subjects:

  • Biblical studies
  • Church administration
  • Christian education
  • Church history and missions study
  • Theological studies
  • Homiletics
  • Interdisciplinary studies (includes field education)
  • New Testament
  • Pastoral care and counseling
  • Old Testament

There are two biblical language courses built into the curriculum.

Note: Virginia University of Lynchburg is a historical African American institution founded more than 130 years ago.

48. Bethesda University

Bethesda University campus
Image source: Best Value Schools

Location: Anaheim, California
Denomination: N/A
Tuition: about $7,000 per year
Length: 96 credits
Online: Fully
Accreditation: Transnational Association of Christian Colleges and Schools
Concentrations: 0

Bethesda University offers a fully online master of divinity which is designed to be completed in three years. The curriculum covers four main areas:

  • Biblical studies (33 credits)
  • Theological/historical studies (27 credits)
  • Practical ministry studies (30 credits)
  • Field education (6 credits)

There are no concentrations and no elective credits.

49. University of Northwestern St. Paul

University Northwestern St Paul campus
Image source: University Northwestern St. Paul

Location: Saint Paul, Minnesota
Denomination: Non-denominational
Tuition: about $9,000 per year
Length: 76 credits
Online: Fully
Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission
Concentrations: 0

University of Northwestern St. Paul has a unique online master of divinity program. It’s a dual degree program that can be completed in less than for years.

The MDiv program is technically only 40 credits, but UNSP’s master of theological studies is a prerequisite for their MDiv, so you’ll start with a 36-credit MATS degree program. It’s about the same amount of work as most MDiv programs (less than many on this list) but you walk away with two graduate degrees.

Surprisingly, even in this dual-graduate degree program, there are no required courses in the biblical languages. For the most part, the entire curriculum fits into these two categories: biblical studies and theological studies.

The MDiv curriculum culminates in a supervised internship which you can complete with a local church or ministry.

50. Faith International University

Faith International University campus
Image source: Northwest Christian Directory

Location: Tacoma, Washington
Denomination: Interdenominational
Tuition: about $6,500 per year
Length: 136 credits
Online: Fully
Accreditation: Transnational Association of Christian Colleges and Schools
Concentrations: 0

Faith International University offers one of the more robust online master of divinity degrees. At 136 credits, you can expect you’re going to get a little of everything, though it is a little lighter on practical ministry courses than some of the other programs.

Online MDiv students at FIU are required to take 6–8 biblical language courses.

There are no concentrations, but students have a high degree of choice throughout the program. In each major category of study, there are 20 credits of specific electives which allow students to choose courses within a subject, and there are 12 open elective credits as well.

Here are the general categories within the program:

  • Biblical studies/language (48 credits)
  • Theological studies (40 credits)
  • Ministry studies (36 credits)
  • Electives (12 credits)

Note: To be admitted, you must sign and agree with FIU’s statement of faith.

51. The King’s University

The Kings University campus at night
Image source: The King’s University

Location: Southlake, Texas
Denomination: Christian Reformed Church in North America
Tuition: about $8,000 per year
Length: 78–87 credits
Online: Fully
Accreditation:

  • Association for Biblical Higher Education
  • Transnational Association of Christian Colleges and Schools

Concentrations: 0

The King’s University offers an online master of divinity degree program that emphasizes practical ministry. The curriculum focuses on these four key areas:

  • Biblical studies (9 credits)
  • Practical ministry studies (27 credits)
  • Theological/historical studies (15 credits)
  • Biblical language (6 credits)

Additionally, you have 21 elective credits to use on other interests or fill out the categories above. There are no concentrations.

While the curriculum technically says there are only 78 credits in the program, there are three required prerequisite classes, and if you didn’t take similar courses in your undergraduate studies, you’re going to have to take these during your MDiv:

  • BIBL 1301 Old Testament studies (3 credits)
  • BIBL 1302 New Testament studies (3 credits)
  • BIBL 2301 Biblical background and interpretation (3 credits)

If you already have an undergraduate degree in some form of biblical/religious studies, odds are you can probably get out of those classes. Otherwise though, the program is 87 credits.

Note: A practicum is built into the practical ministry curriculum.

52. Southern California Seminary

Southern California Seminary campus
Image source: Great Value Colleges

Location: El Cajon, California
Denomination: Non-denominational
Tuition: about $10,500 per year
Length: 96 credits
Online: Fully
Accreditation: Transnational Association of Christian Colleges and Schools
Concentrations: 5

Southern California Seminary provides a 100 percent online master of divinity program with a focus on biblical studies and theology. There’s a supervised internship built into the program, and the curriculum culminates in a thesis paper.

There are four biblical language courses (two Greek and two Hebrew) and no electives. Here’s a basic overview of the curriculum:

  • Biblical studies (27 credits)
  • Theology and Christian philosophy (21 credits)
  • Biblical languages (12 credits)
  • Practical ministry skills (14 credits)
  • Research and thesis (7 credits)

Additionally, there are five concentration options, which appear to be 16 credits each:

  • Linguistics (biblical languages)
  • New Testament exegesis
  • Biblical exposition
  • Pastoral counseling
  • Church planting

53. Hope International University

Hope International University campus
Image source: Hope International University

Location: Fullerton, California
Denomination: Non-denominational
Tuition: about $17,000 per year
Length: 72–78 credits
Online: Fully
Accreditation: Western Association of Schools and Colleges
Concentrations: 7

Hope International University offers a fully online master of divinity program (with optional short-term residencies). About one third of the curriculum focuses on developing ministry skills.

The program is technically only 72 credits, but if you don’t have prior biblical or theological training, you’ll need to take an additional six credits of Bible courses before you can take most theology or Bible-related courses.

You’re required to take three biblical language courses. To fulfill most requirements, students can choose from several courses.

Additionally, there are seven concentration options:

  • Christian ministry and leadership
  • Church planting
  • Intercultural studies
  • Pastoral care
  • Spiritual formation
  • Worship ministry
  • Children, youth, and family

You’re required to take four courses within one of these concentrations.

54. Southwestern Assemblies of God University

Aerial view of Southwestern Assemblies of God University campus
Image source: Facebook

Location: Waxahachie, Texas
Denomination: Assemblies of God
Tuition: about $10,500 per year
Length: 72 credits
Online: Fully
Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools
Concentrations: 8

Southwestern Assemblies of God University has a regionally-accredited online master of divinity degree program.

There are no required courses in biblical languages, but every MDiv student at SAGU takes two counseling courses. There are 12 elective credits, which you can apply to a concentration.

Here are the eight concentration options in SAGU’s program:

  • Biblical languages
  • Biblical studies
  • Counseling
  • Chaplaincy
  • Intercultural studies
  • Family ministry
  • Pastoral theology
  • Theological studies

If you’re planning to pursue a PhD, SAGU’s master of divinity program has a thesis option, but keep in mind this replaces your concentration.

55. Sioux Falls Seminary

Sioux Falls Seminary campus
Image source: Oikonomia Network

Locations:

  • Sioux Falls, South Dakota
  • Omaha, Nebraska

Denomination: Baptist
Tuition: about $15,500 per year
Length: 75 credits
Online: Mostly
Accreditation:

  • The Association of Theological Schools
  • Higher Learning Commission

Concentrations: 0

Sioux Falls Seminary offers an online master of divinity that arranges biblical, theological, and ministry training under four major categories:

  • Knowledge (24 credits)
  • Character (21 credits)
  • Ability (21 credits)
  • Integrative courses (9 credits)

The program requires two annual intensive sessions on campus.

If you’re currently serving in a ministry position, The Kairos Project is a special distance-learning program designed for you. One of the projects’ more unique offerings are mentor teams. A faculty member partners with someone in your ministry and a personal mentor to help keep you on track and craft unique assignments that meet the required outcomes within your personal context. The Kairos Project still requires the two annual intensives on campus.

While there are no specializations listed, Sioux Falls said in an email, “Really we have unlimited specializations depending on the student’s context. We create individual development journeys.” Their MDiv program sheet says students can work with a professor to essentially create a concentration based on their interests.

Did we miss any online MDivs?

We tracked down every online master of divinity we could find. We called colleges. We emailed admissions offices. But schools add programs. College websites change—sometimes even the names of schools change, and all links to the old website break. (Looking at you, Gateway Seminary.) And we’re not perfect. So you might know of a program we haven’t heard of. If that’s the case, let us know so we can make this list more helpful for other people.

A quick note on accreditation

The National Student Clearinghouse Research Center claims that more than one-third of all college students transfer schools before graduating. This is where accreditation is really important. If the school you want to transfer to is accredited by a different organization, they may not accept the credits you earned at your previous school. (Or you’ll have to go through a lengthy process of proving you met the same requirements.)

The same is true for pursuing your graduate studies, or moving beyond your MDiv to doctoral studies. As you’re looking at where to start your MDiv, keep in mind that where you earned your bachelor’s affects where you can earn your master’s, and where you earn your MDiv affects where you can go next.

If you’re really attached to a school but aren’t sure if they will recognize your degree or accept your credits, call them and talk through your situation before you get too invested in the process.

Thankfully, you have so many options for where to get your online master of divinity that even if you decide that you need to transfer, there are plenty of other schools for you to finish at. Some of these programs will even let you transfer 75 percent of your degree from somewhere else.

The best school is really up to you

We listed every possible option because we can’t tell you which degree program is best for you. And you shouldn’t let anyone else try to tell you that either. This is a personal choice based on your personal goals and preferences.

As you weigh your options, think about what kind of leader you want to be. Some schools are heavy on practical ministry but light on biblical studies, or vise versa. Is learning to read the Bible in its original languages important to you? Do you need or want hands-on experience?

Your faculty play a huge role in the quality and focus of your education. Who do you want to learn from? If schools list their faculty, look them up. Find out what they’re experts in and what books they’ve written. Maybe even read them.

Choosing a school is a huge investment—both in terms of what it immediately costs you and how it affects your life. So take your time.

We hope this list has made your decision a little easier.

Ryan Nelson
Ryan has a B.A. in English Literature from Western Washington University. If he could rewind and go to college all over again, he'd do it a little differently. For now, he's living vicariously through people like you by helping you find the best online schools for your field.

6 Comments

  1. Jeffrey,
    Golden Gate Seminary changed its name last year to Gateway Seminary. As a result “Golden Gate” accreditation info does not show up in the WASC or ATS lists of accredited schools – Gateway Seminary does. All our degrees have been both WASC and ATS accredited for decades, and “Golden Gate” – now “Gateway” was one of the first schools to receive ATS approval to offer the entire MDIV online.
    Please update your info on http://gradlime.com/online-masters-divinity/
    If you have any questions feel free to contact me.
    Thanks

  2. Hi,

    I am from Nigeria. I need to pursue an MDiv degree from tuition-free accredited Bible / Theological institution in the USA.
    Can you please advise?

    1. Are you looking for an online MDiv program? We’ve listed every online MDiv program we could find. There are tuition-free schools in the US, some of which are accredited (but you’ll need to be careful to make sure that accreditation checks out), and a couple of them might have MDiv programs . . . but I don’t think you’re going to find a free program you can pursue online.

      I would think your best bet would be finding a school on this list that you’re interested in (try sorting by tuition cost), and then look into what sorts of scholarships they offer. You’ll probably need to call or email the school directly to see what they can do for your specific situation. I hope this helps.

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