theology degree requirements

Theology Degree: Requirements, Costs, Career Options & Salary |

A theology degree is a good place to start for anyone wanting to pursue their faith, whether as a minister, a pastor, or a youth worker. … Students learn a wide variety of skills through theology, like critical thinking, clear writing, problem solving, and analysis of social and historical trends.

The Bachelor of Theology degree is awarded after the completion of the study of theological disciplines, usually taking between 3 and 5 years.

Through academic study, the Bachelor of Theology provides students with culturally relevant ministry, ministerial training, and spiritual and professional formation. Through analogies of statements of truth, theologies, and doctrines, students will develop the ability to use interpretation to evaluate elements of theological thought. Students will develop analytical, writing, leadership, and communication skills as part of the Bachelor of Theology program. Coursework for Bachelor of Theology will likely include such topics as systematic theology, biblical theology, Greek or Hebrew, and homiletics. Graduates with a Bachelor of Theology are prepared to be educators at religious institutions.

If you want to further your understanding of religion and its interpretation of the universe, then a Bachelor of Theology may be waiting for you.

theology degree online

Online Theology Degrees 2021

Online theology programs engage enrollees in academic explorations of religious texts, religious practice, and ministry. United States online theology programs often align with specific Christian traditions and serve students seeking ministry and church administration careers within particular denominations. However, some theology schools online offer a more general, nondenominational approach. A few online theological schools focus on Islamic or Judaic traditions.

Theology online degree graduates often work as clergy, church administrators, religious educators, or social and community service managers. Graduates with additional training in psychology or counseling often choose careers as mental health counselors or marriage and family therapists. Degree-holders usually work for churches, community organizations, or church-affiliated schools. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) indicates that clergy earn a mean annual salary of $55,190 and enjoy a projected 4% job growth rate between 2019-2029.

Getting into a theology online program usually requires a high school diploma or associates in theology and a minimum 2.0-3.0 GPA. Many good colleges and universities seek applicants with above-average SAT or ACT scores. Some theology schools online require satisfactory prerequisite coursework and recommendation letters for acceptance into the major.

Theology Degree Requirements

(Theology as a First Major: 11 COURSES — 33 CREDITS; Theology as a Second Major: 9 COURSES — 27 CREDITS)


THEO 151 Biblical Sources: Old Testament
THEO 152 Biblical Sources: New Testament
(A student who declares the Theology major after having taken THEO 153 Key Biblical Themes may substitute that COURSE for either THEO 151 or THEO 152 with permission of the department chair)

THEO 150 Catholic Theological Perspectives
THEO 154 Mystery of God: Belief and Unbelief
THEO 155 The Church
THEO 157 Who Is Jesus?

THEO 160 Christian Ethics
THEO 164 Christian Social Ethics

THEO 350: Historical Theology: Early and Medieval
THEO 450: Historical Theology: Modern and Contemporary
Plus any two of the following:

THEO 460/461/461 Seminars in Biblical Studies (Topical)

THEO 470/471/472 Seminars in Moral Theology (Topical)
THEO 490/491/492 Seminars in Systematic Theology (Topical)

THEO 150 Catholic Theological Perspectives
THEO 154 Mystery of God: Belief and Unbelief
THEO 155 The Church
THEO 157 Who Is Jesus?
THEO 158 Spiritual Practicies/Spiritual Quests
THEO 159 Topics in Systematic Theology
THEO 160 Christian Ethics
THEO 163 Christian Marriage
THEO 164 Christian Social Ethics
THEO 165 Environmental Ethics
THEO 168 Theology and Service
THEO 169 Topics in Moral Theology
THEO 270 Worship
THEO 271 Protestant Christianity
THEO 272 Eastern (Orthodox) Christianity
THEO 273 Jewish Life and Thought
THEO 288 Bioethics
(A student taking Theology as a second major is required to take only 9 Courses (27 CREDITS) and can choose any one free elective.)


1. One COURSE from each of the following categories (9 CREDITS)
Biblical Studies: CORE 251, 252 or 253
Systematic Theology: CORE 250, 254, 255, 256, 257 or 259
Moral Theology: CORE 260, 261, 263, 264, 265, or 269

2. Three additional courses (9 CREDITS)
These courses are to be chosen in consultation with the department Chairperson. A student may choose: a general minor; a minor in biblical studies, systematic theology, or moral theology; or a minor relating theology to his or her major (biology, philosophy, political science, etc.).

*Any two of the six courses in the theology minor should be 3XX-4XX level courses.

what can a woman do with a theology degree

By Reverend Becca Stevens
A Conversation with Becca Stevens of Thistle Farms - Crazy Good Turns

It is a radical experience to explore theology. A degree in theology demands we step out of our boundaries as prophets as we seek universal truths. An education in ministry empowers people to preach those truths to others.

The first school in the U.S. founded specifically for women’s higher education was Troy Female Seminary, opened in New York in 1821 by women’s rights activist Emma Willard. The self-taught Emma wanted young women to have a complete education equal to that of their male peers. She went on to develop new curriculum beyond “finishing schools” and fought for a more robust and serious education for girls.

I believe that when women explore theological studies, they are on a journey to make a difference in society, much like Emma Willard.

Willard, the sixteenth of seventeen children, displayed an early passion and penchant for learning, and was encouraged by her farmer father to learn to read and think for herself. He included her in dinner-table discussions of politics, philosophy and mathematics, subjects then reserved for men.

In 1819, Willard wrote A Plan for Improving Female Education based on her ideas and experiences, including a proposal that a women’s seminary be funded equally to the investment in male education, and presented it before the New York legislature. The legislature did not respond, believing women’s education went directly against God’s will.

The reasons and roadblocks vary, but even today, while the majority of university students in America are female, when it comes to theological studies, women remain a minority.

I was a math major as an undergraduate. I was drawn to theological studies because of the injustices I was witnessing as an intern at Bread for the World, an organization in D.C. working on legislation to feed hungry children. I was raised on Social Security to supplement my mother’s income at a day care center. I understood the real violence of poverty, and I wanted to reach out to faith communities to make a difference. The notion of theological training and ordination seemed like it would give me the freedom and the tools to work towards a more just society.

During seminary I learned about saints like Howard Thurman, Dorothy Day, Charles Strobel and others who lived into the truth of love’s healing power in the world. Reading and reflecting on their work, along with the radical nature of love I studied in scripture, helped lead me to create Thistle Farms, a community of women who have survived prostitution, trafficking and addiction. We were never a faith-based organization, but our mission statement says we believe that love is the most powerful force for change in the world.

I began to believe that mission statement during my theological studies and learned how to organize and lead around that truth. We have grown into not just residential services for survivors, but the largest social enterprise run by survivors in the U.S., including Artisan studios making thistle paper, a café, a national network of sister communities, and a global marketplace with 25 partners.

Without theological education, I would not have had the models, the biblical arguments, the connections, and the time to discern my call to start this community. It has grown into a movement for women’s freedom that is impacting legislation, media, and thousands of women’s lives every year.

theology degree jobs

Religious Jobs

The most obvious choice for the student of theology is to pursue a job in theology. A background in theology can open doors for those who want to become:

  • Ministers
  • Priests
  • Missionaries
  • Theology or religion professors
  • Clergy member
  • Teacher at a religious school

In the course of studying theology, students will not only achieve the skills and degree often required for such positions, they will also make valuable connections. Professors of theology are often well-connected to religious institutions and are able to provide the advice and contacts that can open the door to jobs in theology. It is important to note that many of the careers in theology listed above require additional, advanced study in theology.

Secular Jobs

Of course, the careers open to the student of theology are not limited to religious ones. Theology can also provide excellent opportunities for students who want to pursue secular work. Here are just some of the careers that theology and religious studies students might pursue:

  • Teachers
  • Social workers
  • Ethicists
  • Non-profit workers
  • Counselors
  • Journalists
  • Writers
  • Historians

All of these careers require the sort of writing, critical analysis, and/or compassion that theology can teach.

International Jobs

International students or students interested in going abroad may find that jobs in theology are especially useful for finding work internationally. Whether you want to work as a professor, run your own congregation, or work as a missionary, each of the these jobs offers the chance for unique and meaningful international work.

International students who major in theology are also well-prepared for secular international jobs. A background in theology or religious studies can help students who want to pursue a career as:

  • Archaeologists
  • Anthropologists
  • Non-governmental organization workers
  • Humanitarian workers
  • International social workers
  • Diplomats