By OCC Staff
Imagine obtaining a master’s degree and boosting your career prospects in just one year. Sound too good to be true? Thanks to various degree programs those interested in advancing their careers in theology and ministry can earn a master’s degree in theology in what is sure to seem like no time at all. That’s why Online Christian Colleges went on the hunt for the fastest theology degree programs that can be completed online, on a flexible schedule, from anywhere in the world. We searched a variety of programs and schools — from accelerated to just full-time, from seminaries to large universities — and found these: the 10 fastest online master’s in theology for 2020.
1. Liberty University
The fastest online master’s in theology we could find was that offered by Liberty University. The university’s online Master of Theology degree program can be completed so quickly in just 18 months when pursued full time. It’s specifically designed for those who have already completed a Master of Divinity or similar degree. Students may choose from six different specializations, including Global Studies and Christian Apologetics, to name but a couple. The coursework is asynchronous, allowing students to complete each class on their own schedule.
2. Lincoln Christian University
Another online theology master’s degree which can be completed in just 18 months is at Lincoln Christian University. It’s designed to be broad and applicable to a variety of endeavors. Lincoln Christian’s online Master of Arts in Theology consists of coursework in Christian, historical, systematic, and philosophical types of theology. Students who have already earned an undergraduate degree in theology may be able to graduate in even less time. However, It’s though this is determined on a case-by-case basis.
3. Saint Joseph’s College of Maine
Saint Joseph’s College of Maine, a Roman Catholic university, offers its online Master of Arts in Theology to anyone, anywhere in the world. It’s ideal for Christians intent on deepening their faith, as well as for Catholic deacons and lay ecclesial ministers. This online degree program is rooted in a solid theological foundation of Catholic doctrine. Students may choose to specialize in one of three concentrations: pastoral theology, advanced diaconal studies, and sacred theology. Full-time students may complete the master’s degree program in just 18 months, though part-time options are also available.
4. Campbellsville University
Campbellsville University prides itself on the flexibility it offers its students. That is especially true of Campbellville’s online Master of Theology. This program can be completed in about two years, much faster than most programs. All coursework is asynchronous, so busy students with jobs and families are able to study at times that best suit them. In addition to the required core, students may choose between three focus areas: Biblical Studies, Pastoral Leadership, and Theological Studies. Campbellsville’s curriculum is taught from a Protestant perspective with a slight Baptist angle.
5. Franciscan University of Steubenville
Only 30 Catholic universities in the United States boast a faculty made up entirely of those who have met canon law requirements for the mandatum. One such university is Franciscan University of Steubenville, which offers an online Master of Arts in Theology and Christian Ministry. This degree program consists of flexible, asynchronous coursework, and can be completed 100% online in as little as two years. As they complete the MA, students may choose from two concentrations: Catechesis and Canon Law. There is also a research-intensive track best suited for those intent on a future doctoral degree.
6. Gonzaga University
Students interested in studying theology from a Jesuit perspective would do well to consider Gonzaga University. Gonzaga offers an MA in Theology & Leadership which can be completed entirely online in as little as two years when pursued full time. One reason for this quick turnaround is Gonzaga’s unique academic calendar, which divides semesters into two eight-week sessions. Students interested in an online degree program at Gonzaga should note that online students are required to spend a total of eight days on campus during the summer.
7. Missouri Baptist University
No matter what your motivation for obtaining a master’s in theology, Missouri Baptist University’s degree program probably has you covered. The school’s online Master of Arts in Christian Ministry is designed to accommodate a variety of career goals. Students may choose between four concentrations: Apologetic Studies, Biblical Language, Pastoral Ministries, and Urban Ministries. Students may also choose to develop their own focus area. Uniquely, students may only graduate from the program once they have completed a relevant internship.
8. Regent University
Regent University’s Master of Theology is designed specifically for students who have already earned a master’s degree in divinity or similar, and who intend to advance to a doctoral program. The degree can be completed entirely online in only two years. It covers such topics as apocalyptic literature, advanced research methodologies, and renewal theology, among other subjects.
9. Hope International University
While most online master’s in theology degree programs are fastest for those who have an undergraduate background in theology or divinity, that’s not the case with Hope International University. Hope International’s online Master of Divinity does not require past Biblical study, yet can still be completed in as few as 30 months. An impressive seven concentration options are available, including Church Planning, Spiritual Formation, and Intercultural Studies, to name a few.
10. Cornerstone University
Online Master of Theology
Students who have already completed a Master of Divinity or similar are welcome to apply for Cornerstone University’s Master of Theology degree. The degree can be completed entirely online. The program consists of courses on Biblical theology, grammar and translation, and Old Testament Exegesis. Students may choose to specialize in either Old Testament or New Testament. Both options include 30 credit hours of coursework, a thesis, and a professional practicum.
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