13 Best Online Theology Doctoral Programs | Programs, Requirements, Cost

If, as a theology enthusiast, you wish to obtain a higher degree in theology from the comfort of your home, then online theology doctoral programs are exactly what you need to attain that height.

In the Christian faith, some feel called to share the Word of God as pastors, evangelists, and preachers who appear on stage or in the media as public figures.

However, some feel the call to spread the gospel differently as teachers, writers, and researchers.

For them, a doctorate of theology provides the credentials they require to teach in seminaries, colleges, or universities, spread the word, and help students to understand the Bible better and the Christian faith, respectively.

The advanced study of divinity can be cheaper, faster, and more convenient if you choose from online promotion in theological programs.

This article will discuss the Best online theology doctoral programs in 2023; Programs, Requirements, and Cost.

Online Doctorate in Theology

Online doctoral students in theology (Dr. Theol., D.Theol., D.Th., Th.D.) are ultimately academic specialists who focus on belief-based topics and organized religions.

In their Divine Studies, students typically specialize in the New and Old Testaments, practical theology, and religious communities and culture. The academic curricula at the doctoral level convey unique and advanced knowledge and skills that strengthen the enlightenment of scripture among students.

This program focuses heavily on religion, theology, and spirituality. It aims to allow participants to think critically about religion and spirituality in academic and global affairs.

Students can pursue one of several exciting courses, including theoretical and practical philosophy, history of religion and theology, political management, logic, history of philosophy, and management of social processes.

Individuals who have completed this program typically can read, memorize, and analyze large amounts of extensive materials, appreciate ideals they do not fully understand, and have a strong analytical mindset.

Each of these characteristics can be useful in the professional and private life of graduates.

What is Theology?

Theology is the academic study of the divine, commonly referring to Christian theology in the United States. After completing an online doctorate in theology, graduates can pursue careers in ministry and management.

Theological curricula at the doctoral level provide students with specialist knowledge and unique skills and, at the same time, strengthen their understanding of scripture.

A doctoral degree offers insights into theological topics and qualifies graduates for high-level positions and leadership roles, including post-secondary teaching positions at colleges and universities.

What do Online Doctorate graduates in Theology do?

Theologians are published authors and contributors whose research and knowledge are considered valuable. They also land careers as clergy, such as pastors, priests, ministers, and directors of the religious and religious community.

Many combine research and teaching into their profession. Theology professors at colleges and universities.

How much do Online Theology Graduates earn?

Money is not the best motivator to become a godly servant leader, but those mentioned above are cheap online theology Ph.D. Deals that cost less than $13,000 a year could pay off financially.

According to the Georgetown Center on Education and the Workforce, average lifetime earnings increase from $2.67 million to $3.25 million with a master’s doctorate.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that in May 2019, 243,900 U.S. clergymen earned an average annual wage of $49,450. Post-secondary philosophy and religion teachers made significantly more, with an average income of $77,420 a year.

Salary.com’s median wage was $61,881 for religious directors, $93,303 for pastors, and $52,584 for Christian counselors. PayScale shows that annual salaries for non-profit directors also rise to $119,044.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) estimates that post-secondary teacher employment will increase by 15% between 2016 and 2026.

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Best Theology Schools in the World | 2023

How long does an Online Doctorate in Theology take?

The time it takes to complete a PhD in Theology online depends on factors including graduation and residence requirements, field study components, and transfer credits.

While most full-time students can get a doctorate. In online theology in four years, the completion time varies depending on the program structure, pace, and delivery method.

Asynchronous programs generally take less time than synchronous programs. The asynchronous course offers coursework at your own pace and flexible deadlines. Students review the teaching materials and do the tasks as they see fit.

Although flexible, asynchronous programs require commitment and strong organizational skills. In contrast, synchronous, cohort-based programs offer structural and faculty support. These programs focus on student collaboration and group learning.

Because of their stricter structure and timing, cohort-based programs tend to take longer.

Online Theology Doctoral Program Requirements

Theology Ph.D. Programs require approximately 37-48 credit hours, which can be completed within 5-10 years. This timeframe takes courses, research, and exams into account.

At the end of the program, students must pass written and oral exams and defend their dissertations. Some online programs may require short-term campus visits in conjunction with online courses.

Students need a computer and internet access to use the online class management systems. Instructors combine traditional texts with audio and video presentations.

Classmates and teachers communicate by phone, email, and online chat rooms.

Here is the list of the online theology doctoral programs available for you;

  • Liberty University, Lynchburg, Virginia
  • Faulkner University, Montgomery, Alabama
  • Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, Fort Worth, Texas
  • Moody Bible Institute, Chicago, Illinois
  • Clarks Summit University, Clarks Summit, Pennsylvania
  • Regent University, Virginia Beach, Virginia
  • Colorado Theological Seminary, Wheat Ridge, Colorado
  • Northwestern Theological Seminary, New Port Richey, Florida
  • Trinity College of The Bible & Theological Seminary, Newburgh, Indiana
  • Johnson University, Knoxville, TN
  • Lexington Theological Seminary, Lexington, Kentucky
  • Cavalry University, Kansas City, Missouri
  • Evangelical Seminary, Myerstown, Pennsylvania

Liberty University, Lynchburg, Virginia

Online Ph.D. In Theology and Apologetics

The Doctor of Philosophy in Theology and Apologetics offered by Liberty University is one of the country’s most flexible and convenient programs to obtain the highest level of educational expertise for studying Christian ministry.

The intensive online doctoral program is designed to train pastors, Christian writers, and pastors to act as faculty members in academic institutions and biblically and theologically conscious leaders for society and the community.

The university uses online courses and an intensive learning format on campus to immerse students in theology, apologetics, church history, and other diverse divinity studies.

Students must have 57 credit hours to earn this degree. You can make your degree in three years, depending on the pace of learning.

Graduates of the Ph.D. in theology and apologetics are the cornerstone of LU’s mission and an answer to the call of the Great Commission.

You can end up in potential careers as university professors, senior pastors, university administrators, ministerial directors, or professional Christian scholars.

Acceptance Rate: 30%

Graduate Tuition: $8,051 per year

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

Faulkner University, Montgomery, Alabama

Online Ph.D. Program in Biblical Studies

Faulkner University offers a Ph.D. in Biblical Studies, providing students with high-quality Christian education and work. The university offers extensive academic study achievements with biblical solid integration.

This online doctoral program offers general study achievements in Bible studies and concentrated study achievements in archaeology, Bible interpretation, evangelical background, history of religion, and theology.

Introductory courses, a six-course core program, six electives, and a dissertation are the main prerequisites for completing this online doctoral program. Students must have 54 semester hours to earn this degree.

This online doctoral program graduates receive the necessary knowledge in the critical areas of biblical education with the necessary preparation for scientific ventures.

You will be able to build a fulfilling career in research, teaching, and other various areas of service.

The Ph.D. in Biblical Studies can be completed in four to five years, depending on the student’s learning period.

Acceptance Rate: 51%

Graduate Tuition: $9,450 per year

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)

Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, Fort Worth, Texas

Online Doctor of Philosophy Program

The Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary offers a Ph.D. in Flex Ph.D. Program format. Students can access reading materials and research seminars with synchronous flexibility via the AdobeConnect platform.

Students interested in this unique learning format must obtain written approval from their underage and significant tutors. This written approval must also be given to the Ph.D. be presented. Office for registration purposes.

This online program emphasizes acquiring specialist knowledge in a theological principle and competence in non-Biblical and biblical languages ​​through critical assessment skills and quality research.

A dissertation must demonstrate the student’s ability to develop a viable research task, conduct research independently, and write in a clear context.

Graduates of the Ph.D. The program is prepared with the essential skills to serve as teachers in various areas of theology, as chaplains, pastors, authors, and ministerial leaders.

They can understand the basics of theology, ministry, and pastoral care more deeply, with the mission to respond to their calling for the common good.

Acceptance Rate: 53%

Graduate Tuition: $12,600 per year

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

Moody Bible Institute, Chicago, Illinois

Moody Bible Institute Online Doctoral Students The degree in theological studies has a solid foundation in past and present biblical theology, enabling them to improve theological competence in their churches and communicate theology everywhere.

Holders of this degree typically seek or pursue a career in the ministry to earn a degree.

To qualify for entry as a freshman, an applicant must be a high school graduate with a GPA of 2.0 for academic courses, a GED holder, or a graduate of a home school.

Home students must submit either an official certificate of their studies or a GED with a minimum score of 225.

Transfer students must meet all general entry requirements and have a good reputation at their last secondary school.

Acceptance Rate: 62%

Graduate Tuition: $9,728 per year

Admission Requirements

  • The theology doctorate online program applicants should hold a master’s of divinity from an ATS-accredited school and at least a 3.0 GPA.
  • Applicants should also have at least three years of post-master ministry experience or significant experience before graduate studies.

Clarks Summit University, Clarks Summit, Pennsylvania

Online Doctor of Philosophy Program with a Focus on The Areas of Old Testament, New Testament, Systematic Theology, or Bible Exposition

Clarks Summit University has a Ph.D. in philosophy that allows students to engage in thorough research and writing actively.

This online program is explicitly aimed at mission educators, pastors, teachers, and international academic leaders who aspire to biblical and theological studies to have an active teaching ministry.

This non-resident program has one-week modules on campus and a mix of classroom lectures and distance learning. It requires 60 credit hours that already include a doctoral thesis.

It can be earned without affecting a student’s professional environment. Graduates of this online doctoral program are trained to be career-ready. They are founded and shaped in the conviction that the aspects of the postgraduate course are training centers for future career measures.

They have a range of official, pastoral, and theological skills acquired during their training as part of the comprehensive CSU courses of their respective concentration.

They also get a more profound academic learning experience in education, literature, organizational management, the Bible, and counseling from a systematic biblical point of view.

Acceptance Rate: 55%

Graduate Tuition: $6,480 per year

Regent University, Virginia Beach, Virginia

Online Ph.D. In Renewal Theology Program

The Regent University Doctor of Philosophy in Renewal Theology is taught modularly with online courses and a two-week stay on the Virginia Beach campus per semester.

It suits working people because it enables them to earn their doctorate while maintaining and continuing their personal and professional context.

Students receive teachings to expand their knowledge by researching the spiritual and academic aspects of Bible study, theology, and history.

Students spend 22 weeks across the entire online program. They can publish their original research results on selected topics such as the Renewal Movement, the Holy Spirit, or charismatic gifts.

A total of 48 credit hours are required for this online promotion. Degree. Graduates of the Ph.D. Regent University in Renewal Theology is associated with leadership skills and a laid foundation that serve as practical tools for applying knowledge to their chosen careers.

With a focus on renewing the Pentecostal church, graduates can combine the study of church history and theology with a commitment to revival and evangelism in their respective churches or ministries.

Acceptance Rate: 81%

Graduate Tuition: $12,726 per year

Admission Requirements

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

Colorado Theological Seminary, Wheat Ridge, Colorado

Online Doctor of Theology in Christian Counselling Program

The Colorado Theological Seminary has a doctorate in theology in Christian counseling that provides a solid biblical foundation for learning counseling for individuals so that they can help church members with their needs and concerns.

This online doctoral program focuses on Christian counseling and the theoretical foundations of the program’s coursework. Graduates are also prepared for the National Christian Counselors Association (NCCA) license exams.

The 40-credit doctoral program is entirely online, so dedicated students can earn their degrees without sacrificing their church or ministry responsibilities.

Graduates are provided biblical knowledge and specialist knowledge of the Christian religion and Christ-centered studies through the supervision of qualified, well-known teachers and mentors.

They are adequately prepared and developed with the ministry’s skills and values ​​to exercise their calling or profession in accordance with the mission and vision of the seminar.

Acceptance Rate: 95%

Graduate Tuition: $5,043 per year

Admission Requirements

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

Northwestern Theological Seminary, New Port Richey, Florida

Online Doctor of Theology in Apologetics Program

The Northwestern Theological Seminary offers a doctor of theology in apologetics that provides a concrete understanding of the apologetic principles for further study or general educational progress.

This online Th.D. The program aims to prepare students for some instruction, disciplined reflection, and the scientific improvement of an entire function in theology.

A fully online program allows pastors or lay ministers to graduate at their own pace and will. The school has the lowest tuition fees for any online school with a Th.D. in the country. Students must earn 48 credit hours to earn this program.

Graduates of this online Th.D. The program is familiar with Christian values, principles, and moral education to carry out their pastoral duties based on the seminar’s goal.

They are taught with a wide range of expertise as pastoral ministers who want to focus on an educational methodology to call their appointment as a lay ministers or pastoral ministers.

Acceptance Rate: 95%

Admission Requirements:

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

Trinity College of The Bible & Theological Seminary, Newburgh, Indiana

Online Ph.D. Program in Theology (Th.D.)

Trinity College’s doctorate in theology focuses on online learning designed for busy laypeople and pastors who want to graduate while leading or serving their respective churches.

The university offers comfort, flexibility, and cost-effective training so that students can enroll at their own pace at any time. This online doctoral program is designed to strengthen students’ skills in research and writing about the Bible and theology.

The Doctor of Theology is offered in five specializations with individual introductory courses. A dissertation is required for all online theology doctoral programs. A total of 49-semester credits are required for this degree.

The graduates are prepared for promising careers in teaching, writing, and research centers and in church or pastoral management. They are men and women endowed with a Christian worldview of excellence and leadership in life and professional and academic excellence in their endeavors.

They are also ready to effectively teach the Word of Jesus in their ministry and tackle 21st-century problems related to Christian challenges.

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

Johnson University, Knoxville, TN

Online Ph.D. Leadership Studies: Philosophy and Theology of Leadership Concentration

Johnson University is a private, non-profit art and science institution of the Restoration Movement expanding beyond its 175-acre site in Kimberlin Heights. Florida and ExtendEd study online for 1,031 royals.

According to Forbes magazine, Johnson is America’s 56th financially most suitable private school. College Factual also recognized JU as the 11th most popular theological study program.

Headed by Dr. Jon Weatherly started the School of Bible & Theology’s philosophy and theology of leadership concentration for the online doctorate. Leadership studies.

The four-year program has been part of the Center for Global Studies since 2008 and deals with clergymen with value-based dissertation research in Christian scriptures.

The $ 50 application will be accepted annually through June 15 or November 15 by post-master scholars with a minimum average of “B” and GRE values ​​above the 50th percentile.

Acceptance Rate: 100%

Graduate Tuition: $8,100 per year

Admission Requirements:

  • Online Admission Application
  • $50 Non-refundable Application Fee
  • Official Transcript of Records

Lexington Theological Seminary, Lexington, Kentucky

Pastors can do their Ph.D. online through the Department’s Lexington Theological Seminary. The ministry’s online doctorate takes 30 semester hours, 24 of which include the required courses and electives. A final project makes up the remaining six hours.

Required courses include community leadership through adaptive change and interpreting contemporary cultural contexts. Electives deal with topics from practical and classic disciplines. Students must complete two electives on the Lexington, Kentucky, campus.

During the final project, the students devote six semester hours to solving a problem or problem in theology.

Acceptance Rate: 100%

Graduate Tuition: $8,000 per year

Admission Requirements:

  • The theology doctorate online program applicants should hold a master’s of divinity from an ATS-accredited school and at least a 3.0 GPA.
  • Applicants should also have at least three years of post-master ministry experience or significant experience before graduate studies.

Cavalry University, Kansas City, Missouri

Ph.D. In Bible and Theology Online

Cavalry University is committed to excellence in preparing men and women to live and serve in the Church. This Kansas City, Missouri, University offers nearly 50 degrees in different disciplines, focusing on the Bible.

Students wishing to do a Ph.D. in Theology will be happy to know that a Ph.D. in Bible and Theology is now available at Cavalry University with the option to track it online or from one of its regional locations.

This study program aims to produce outstanding exegetes of the Bible in their original language and theologians who will be able to contribute to the biblical worldview. Graduates are expected to serve both the Academy and the Church as researchers in biblical and theological studies.

Depending on the length of the biblical language courses, students may have to complete an achievement within 60 and 78 credit hours.

Acceptance Rate: 100%

Graduate Tuition: $7,000 per year

Admission Requirements

  • Complete an application with written personal testimony
  • Pastoral and personal references
  • Resume
  • Possess a Master of Arts in Bible and Theology, a Master of Divinity, or a Master of Theology with a minimum GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale.
  • Provide transcripts for all undergraduate and graduate work
  • Pass proficiency examinations in Hebrew and Greek or take Biblical language classes
  • Provide a writing sample (research paper, journal article, book, etc.)
  • Oral interview with the program director

Evangelical Seminary, Myerstown, Pennsylvania

Online Doctor of Theology Degree

The Evangelical Seminary prides itself on its commitment to biblical faithfulness, regardless of whether its students study pastoral care, leadership, marriage, and family therapy, or spiritual education.

Her doctoral degree in theology combines traditional components, such as core courses and dissertations, with non-traditional aspects, such as specialist readings and research courses.

It requires the same number of credits and timeframes as a ministerial doctor but with more excellent theological reflection and academic credibility. Students can choose from seven research paths, including mission theology, pneumatic theology, biblical theology, and others.

It only takes three years to complete the course with a 39-credit requirement. It is fully accredited with no mandatory GRE or MAT.

Acceptance Rate: 100%

Graduate Tuition: $7,000 per year

Online Theology Doctoral Programs – FAQs

what is required for a successful doctorate program in theology?

In most doctorate of theology programs, a minimum of 2 years or 30 credit hours of full-time coursework is required for the degree beyond the master’s degree. Pick classes that also help your dissertation and the research and papers you will complete.

What can I do with a theology doctorate?

Individuals with doctoral degrees in theology often work to address social issues and the needs of vulnerable populations. Some start or join missionary programs that serve underprivileged communities, assisting them with access to basics like water, health care services, or education.

What should I expect from a theology doctorate?

The doctorate in theology focuses heavily on research. Many schools, such as Harvard and Northwestern, do not require a graduate degree in religion as a prerequisite for admission into their doctoral programs. Students who successfully defend their dissertations are awarded a doctorate in theology.

How long does Ph.D.? Take?

The decision to pursue a Ph.D. after getting your Master’s degree is difficult. A Ph.D. is a considerable undertaking emotionally, mentally, and financially. It takes 3-4 years to complete, during which you are on a pretty basic stipend (ok, you’re poor).


Not many schools offer a doctorate online because students must do extensive study work. Nevertheless, online doctoral programs in theology provide the same rigorous academic achievements as their stationary colleagues.

This is ideal for adult learners who do not have the luxury of attending traditional campus courses.


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