Online Bible and Clergy Programs

Updated November 2, 2022

Earning an online degree in bible study is a way to begin or further a career in ministry with the flexibility and autonomy available in online

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Students who are aiming for professions related to the clergy may be interested in pursuing degrees from online Bible schools. This guide covers important aspects of earning a theology degree such as choosing the type of program and a curriculum focus. Also included is advice for prospective online learners from a Christian ministry student. Armed with this information, students can select the online clergy school and degree that best meets their needs and lifestyle.

Online Bible Study Degrees

Distance learning programs are an effective option for students who are juggling personal and professional responsibilities. In most cases, classes are asynchronous, meaning that students can download and view course requirements at their convenience. While some disciplines require interaction with instructors, peers and others, students of online Bible and clergy schools frequently schedule phone and Skype appointments on their own time. On the occasion that students need to participate in real-time observation and interaction, they can work with churches and other organizations to set up visits.

In addition to the telephone and Skype, many online Bible study schools use online discussion boards and content management systems, such as Blackboard. Additional technologies may include Adobe Flash Player and Adobe Connect, which allow students to view lectures and communicate with instructors. In addition, Bible study and clergy degree programs often require numerous reading and reflection assignments. The organization of an online program allows students extra time and flexibility to complete their readings and studies.

Best Online Bible Schools and Programs

Earning an online degree in bible study is a way to begin or further a career in ministry with the flexibility and autonomy available in online learning. It's important to find a quality program; one that offers the history and connection that's needed to be successful in Christian ministry. We've compiled a list of some of the best schools for Bible study and provided them here for you so you can make the best decision possible about where you earn your degree.

#1 Online Bible and Clergy Programs

Veritas Baptist College

  • Greendale, IN
  • 4 years
  • Online

Veritas Baptist College's bachelor of ministry equips students for success in their field. Enrollees can connect with classmates and faculty through a virtual learning environment. Students can also pursue collaborative opportunities with students and faculty through research projects, internships, and externships.

Students benefit from academic advising, as well as other institutional resources, throughout their studies. To learn about student eligibility for scholarships, fellowships, and other financial aid opportunities, enrollees can meet with the financial aid office. The institution notes that 59% of all students are awarded aid, easing the costs of a degree.

Average Tuition
In-state
$5,760
Out-of-state
$5,760
Retention Rate
87%
Admission Rate
100%
Students Enrolled
225
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
Not provided
Accreditation
Yes Transnational Association of Christian Colleges and Schools

#2 Online Bible and Clergy Programs

Clarks Summit University

  • South Abington Township, PA
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Clarks Summit University, a private college, supports online study from its main campus in South Abington Township. The college also offers three bachelor's degree programs in online modality.

Of these programs, the Bible and theology bachelor of science degree stands out as a competitive option for students interested in a ministry-adjacent career. Students in the program connect with classmates and faculty through a virtual classroom environment, completing coursework and benefiting from relevant lectures. Students can pursue experiential learning opportunities, such as internships and externships, while completing coursework. Learners can modify their classes based on their specific career goals, while pursuing experiential learning opportunities to deepen their knowledge of the field.

Students can also take advantage of institutional resources, such as career services, and experiential learning opportunities to better prepare for their future career in ministry. These institutional supports contribute to the college's 88% graduation rate. Students can explore funding opportunities, such as scholarships and fellowships, and determine their eligibility by meeting with the financial aid office. According to the college, 100% of all enrollees receive financial aid.

Average Tuition
In-state
$26,082
Out-of-state
$26,082
Retention Rate
78%
Admission Rate
41%
Students Enrolled
771
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
64% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Middle States Commission on Higher Education

#3 Online Bible and Clergy Programs

Heritage Christian University

  • Florence, AL
  • 4 years
  • Online

Heritage Christian University, located in Florence, Alabama, connects 66 distance learners to competitive educational opportunities.

The bachelor of arts in biblical studies is an attractive option for working professionals and busy students seeking flexible study. Enrollees benefit from a supportive online learning community and rigorous education. Students complete coursework and attend industry-specific lectures while enrolled. Learners can modify their coursework to suit their career goals and pursue experiential learning opportunities to supplement their knowledge.

Career-centered workshops, academic advising, and other resources contribute to an 80% graduation rate. Students can meet with the financial aid office to discuss funding opportunities and determine eligibility. On average, 100% of all enrollees receive financial aid to defray the costs of education.

Average Tuition
In-state
$10,152
Out-of-state
$10,152
Retention Rate
100%
Admission Rate
24%
Students Enrolled
86
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
77% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Association for Bibical Higher Educaiton

#4 Online Bible and Clergy Programs

Colorado Christian University

  • Lakewood, CO
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Colorado Christian University, a private college located in Lakewood, Colorado, provides quality online education across more than 18 bachelor's degree programs. The school also supports 4,192 online students.

The bachelor's degree in biblical studies guides students interested in ministry towards industry-relevant skills and educational opportunities. In the program, students complete classes and attend lectures through a virtual classroom setting. Program coursework equips learners with foundational and advanced knowledge, preparing them for the demands of the field. Students can choose electives and modify their coursework to suit their interests.

While enrolled, students benefit from institutional support systems through career services, academic advising, and other offices. The college prioritizes the success of enrollees, boasting a 55% graduation rate. The financial aid office can connect students with internal and external funding opportunities. Of all students, 100% benefit from financial aid awards.

Average Tuition
In-state
$23,502
Out-of-state
$23,502
Retention Rate
83%
Admission Rate
Not provided
Students Enrolled
7,587
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
55% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission

#5 Online Bible and Clergy Programs

Moody Bible Institute

  • Chicago, IL
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

From its main campus in Chicago, Moody Bible Institute provides online educational opportunities to 1,265 distance learners worldwide. A leader in online education, the school supports 1,265 online learners.

The bachelor of science in biblical studies guides ministry students towards industry-relevant skills and educational opportunities. Students gain access to a supportive online learning community and connect with classmates and faculty through a virtual classroom environment. The curriculum combines foundational and advanced coursework, preparing students for the demands of a career in ministry. Students can modify their coursework to suit their career goals and pursue experiential learning opportunities to supplement their knowledge.

Students can also pursue experiential learning opportunities while receiving guidance from career services and academic advising. The institution reports a 67% graduation rate. The financial aid office can provide information on funding opportunities and help determine student eligibility. The college reports that 93% of all enrollees receive some form of financial aid.

Average Tuition
In-state
$11,200
Out-of-state
$11,200
Retention Rate
81%
Admission Rate
94%
Students Enrolled
3,009
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
42% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission

#6 Online Bible and Clergy Programs

Belhaven University

  • Jackson, MS
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Looking for a premier bachelor's degree program that suits your schedule? Consider Belhaven University. The college offers 51 bachelor's programs, with eight programs available online. 

The bachelor of arts in biblical studies connects students with a premier education, preparing them for a career in ministry. Students complete foundational and advanced coursework while attending industry-specific lectures in a virtual classroom environment. Students interested in furthering their industry knowledge can pursue research, internships, and externships. Enrollees benefit from professional guidance from academic advising, career services, and other institutional resources throughout their studies.

Eligible students can apply scholarships, fellowships, and other financial aid to their educational costs. Prospective students should speak with the financial aid office to determine eligibility.

Average Tuition
In-state
$25,826
Out-of-state
$25,826
Retention Rate
64%
Admission Rate
49%
Students Enrolled
4,574
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
48% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

#7 Online Bible and Clergy Programs

Amridge University

  • Montgomery, AL
  • 4 years
  • Online

A leader in online education, Amridge University offers competitive online degree programs for students seeking flexible study.

The bachelor of arts in biblical studies is one of several top-ranked programs, preparing students for the demands of their chosen field. Students in the program also connect with classmates and faculty through a virtual classroom environment. Learners gain industry-relevant knowledge through general and advanced coursework. Enrollees can also pursue research, internships, and other experiential learning opportunities to prepare them for a career in ministry. Enrollees benefit from institutional resources, such as career services and academic advising, throughout their studies.

The college reports that 100% of all enrollees receive some form of financial aid. Interested students can explore scholarships and eligibility requirements through the financial aid office.

Average Tuition
In-state
$9,000
Out-of-state
$9,000
Retention Rate
Not provided
Admission Rate
Not provided
Students Enrolled
833
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
Not provided
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

#8 Online Bible and Clergy Programs

Clear Creek Baptist Bible College

  • Pineville, KY
  • 4 years
  • Online

Consider Clear Creek Baptist Bible College's bachelor of arts in ministry program. A leader in online education, the college supports 91 online students from its main campus in Pineville, Kentucky.

The bachelor of arts in ministry provides flexible study options for students seeking to advance in the ministry field. Students also connect with classmates and faculty through a virtual classroom environment. Here, students gain knowledge of ministry-specific topics through completing foundational and advanced classes. Students hoping to advance their understanding of the field can pursue internships, externships, and other experiential learning opportunities. Enrollees receive support from career services, academic advising, and other institutional resources while in school.

The college boasts numerous internal and external funding opportunities available to eligible students, reporting that 100% of all enrollees receive aid. Students interested in learning more about funding and eligibility requirements can meet with the financial aid office.

Average Tuition
In-state
$8,700
Out-of-state
$8,700
Retention Rate
57%
Admission Rate
Not provided
Students Enrolled
123
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
74% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

#9 Online Bible and Clergy Programs

Johnson University

  • Knoxville, TN
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Johnson University, a private college, supports online study from its main campus in Knoxville. The Tennessee-based institution makes bachelor's degree programs available for online study, reaching 496 distance learners.

The bachelor's degree in Bible and theology is a wise choice for working professionals and busy students hoping to advance in the ministry field. The Bible and theology program connects students with a robust online learning community. Students benefit from rigorous curriculum, consisting of foundational and advanced coursework. Students can also pursue collaborative opportunities with students and faculty through research projects, internships, and externships.

The institutional resources available through the college contribute to student success. These institutional resources contribute to student success, reflected in the college's 63% graduation rate. Students can meet with the financial aid office to discuss funding opportunities and determine eligibility. Of all students, 97% benefit from financial aid awards.

Average Tuition
In-state
$15,480
Out-of-state
$15,480
Retention Rate
74%
Admission Rate
53%
Students Enrolled
1,037
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
48% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

#10 Online Bible and Clergy Programs

Mount Vernon Nazarene University

  • Mount Vernon, OH
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Mount Vernon Nazarene University offers a customizable education to students seeking to advance in their field. A leader in online education, the private college reaches 895 distance learners worldwide in six subject areas.

The bachelor of arts in Christian ministry connects students with industry-relevant skills applicable towards a career in ministry. Students also benefit from a supportive learning community, facilitated through an online classroom environment. Students complete coursework relevant to the field, with the option to choose electives and modify their courseload based on their career goals. Learners can also pursue internships, externships, and other experiential learning opportunities to prepare for the demands of the field. The college promotes student success through academic advising, career workshops, and other resources.

Enrollees can explore their eligibility for scholarships and other forms of financial aid in consultation with the financial aid office. 

Average Tuition
In-state
$21,047
Out-of-state
$21,047
Retention Rate
79%
Admission Rate
73%
Students Enrolled
2,205
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
41% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission

#11 Online Bible and Clergy Programs

God's Bible School and College

  • Cincinnati, OH
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Students looking for a convenient, quality online education should consider God's Bible School and College. A leader in online education, the school supports 291 online learners.

Students in the bachelor of arts in Christian ministry program benefit from robust study, competitive opportunities, and a supportive online learning community. Once enrolled, students connect with classmates and professors through a virtual classroom environment. Learners can work with their academic advisor to modify their course schedule and choose electives that suit their academic and career goals.

A leader in student success, the college boasts a 49% graduation rate. The financial aid office can provide information on funding opportunities and help determine student eligibility. According to the school, 100% of all degree-seekers are awarded financial aid.

Average Tuition
In-state
$6,000
Out-of-state
$6,000
Retention Rate
89%
Admission Rate
53%
Students Enrolled
347
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
84% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission

#12 Online Bible and Clergy Programs

Welch College

  • Gallatin, TN
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Looking for a convenient, quality online education? Welch College, located in Gallatin, Tennessee, offers four online bachelor’s degree programs.

Students in the bachelor of science in theological studies program benefit from a robust curriculum, competitive opportunities, and a supportive online learning community. The program connects students across a virtual classroom setting, enabling collaboration across distance. Students complete coursework and attend industry-specific lectures while enrolled. To deepen their knowledge of the field, students can pursue collaborative learning opportunities, such as research projects and internships.

Students can access academic advising, career services, and other institutional resources throughout their studies. Career-centered workshops, academic advising, and other resources contribute to a 53% graduation rate. The financial aid office can provide information on funding opportunities and help determine student eligibility. Of all degree-seekers, 74% receive some form of financial aid.

Average Tuition
In-state
$19,582
Out-of-state
$19,582
Retention Rate
73%
Admission Rate
Not provided
Students Enrolled
426
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
9% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

#13 Online Bible and Clergy Programs

Regent University

  • Virginia Beach, VA
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Students seeking a career in ministry can pursue a flexible bachelor's degree through Regent University. The college offers 37 bachelor's programs, with 32 programs available online. Of these online programs, the bachelor of arts in biblical and theological studies stands out as a competitive option for students hoping to advance in the ministry field.

The biblical and theological studies degree connects students with industry-relevant skills applicable towards a career in ministry. The program connects students with colleagues and faculty across a virtual classroom environment, enabling interactive study despite distance. Students can pursue experiential learning opportunities, such as internships, to experience the demands of a ministry-adjacent career. Students can access personal and professional guidance through career services, academic advising, and other institutional offices throughout their education.

Eligible students can receive internal and external funding opportunities to defray the costs of their degree. Students can meet with the financial aid office to discuss eligibility requirements and explore available aid.

Average Tuition
In-state
$17,220
Out-of-state
$17,220
Retention Rate
78%
Admission Rate
86%
Students Enrolled
10,365
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
92% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

#14 Online Bible and Clergy Programs

Barclay College

  • Haviland, KS
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Students looking for a quality online education in theology should consider Barclay College's biblical studies degree. The private college connects 119 distance learners to competitive educational opportunities.

Students interested in a ministry career will find the flexibility of the biblical studies degree a wise choice. Learners can choose to pursue ministry-relevant coursework either full- or part-time. The curriculum combines foundational and advanced coursework, preparing students for the demands of a career in ministry. In consultation with their academic advisor, students can modify courses, choose electives, and pursue internships and other experiential learning opportunities.

Students can also take advantage of institutional resources, such as career services, and experiential learning opportunities to better prepare for their future career in ministry. The institution reports a 49% graduation rate. Students can meet with the financial aid office to discuss funding opportunities and determine eligibility. The institution notes that 100% of all students are awarded aid, easing the costs of a degree.

Average Tuition
In-state
$16,000
Out-of-state
$16,000
Retention Rate
65%
Admission Rate
51%
Students Enrolled
225
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
53% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission

#15 Online Bible and Clergy Programs

Indiana Wesleyan University-Marion

  • Marion, IN
  • 4 years
  • Campus

Indiana Wesleyan University-Marion's programs, such as the bachelor of science in biblical studies, equip students with the skills needed to succeed in their field of choice. Students gain access to a supportive online learning community and connect with classmates and faculty through a virtual classroom environment. The program curriculum equips students with industry-specific knowledge, preparing them for the demands of the field. Students can also pursue collaborative work with colleagues and faculty members, such as faculty-driven research projects.

Students can also pursue experiential learning opportunities while receiving guidance from career services and academic advising. The institution reports a 71% graduation rate. Prospective students can learn more about funding opportunities through the financial aid office. The college reports that 100% of all degree-seekers receive some form of financial aid to help offset the costs of a degree.

Average Tuition
In-state
$27,296
Out-of-state
$27,296
Retention Rate
79%
Admission Rate
67%
Students Enrolled
3,165
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
19% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission

#16 Online Bible and Clergy Programs

Johnson University

  • Kissimmee, FL
  • 4 years
  • Campus

Johnson University's bachelor's degree in ministry leadership enables flexible study through an interactive online learning environment. Ministry leadership students attend lectures and complete coursework through a virtual classroom setting. The program curriculum equips students with industry-specific skills and knowledge, preparing them for the demands of a ministry career. While completing coursework, students can pursue experiential learning opportunities, such as internships, to further their knowledge of the field.

Students can access academic advising, career services, and other institutional resources throughout their studies. The institution reports a 32% graduation rate. Students should speak with the financial aid office to explore funding opportunities and determine eligibility. Of all enrollees, 100% are awarded financial aid.

Average Tuition
In-state
$15,480
Out-of-state
$15,480
Retention Rate
46%
Admission Rate
31%
Students Enrolled
182
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
17% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

#17 Online Bible and Clergy Programs

LeTourneau University

  • Longview, TX
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

LeTourneau University offers an industry-relevant education to undergraduate students looking to advance in their field. The private college offers 73 bachelor's degree programs, 19 of which can be pursued online. The online modality benefits students seeking flexible study.

Students seeking a career in ministry will find the bachelor's degree in biblical studies and ministry a wise option. The virtual learning environment fosters interactive learning and collaboration. The program curriculum consists of foundational and advanced coursework, covering topics relevant to the ministry field. Students can work with faculty members on research projects or pursue internships and other experiential learning opportunities throughout their studies. Students receive guidance through career services, academic advising, and other institutional resources during their time at LeTourneau University.

Eligible students can receive internal and external funding opportunities to defray the costs of their degree. Interested students can discuss eligibility requirements with the financial aid office.

Average Tuition
In-state
$30,520
Out-of-state
$30,520
Retention Rate
76%
Admission Rate
45%
Students Enrolled
3,150
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
60% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

#18 Online Bible and Clergy Programs

Oral Roberts University

  • Tulsa, OK
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

From its main campus in Tulsa, Oklahoma, Oral Roberts University supports online education options, reaching 622 distance learners through 13 remote bachelor's degree programs.

Students in the bachelor of arts in biblical literature program benefit from robust study, competitive opportunities, and a supportive online learning community. The program connects students across a virtual classroom setting. The program curriculum equips students with general and advanced knowledge, preparing them for the demands of a ministry career. Depending on their career goals, students can modify their coursework and choose electives.

Throughout their studies, students can access institutional resources, such as career services and academic advising. These resources contribute to the institution's 55% graduation rate. Students interested in scholarships, fellowships, and other funding opportunities should meet with the financial aid office. The institution notes that 99% of all students receive some form of financial aid.

Average Tuition
In-state
$28,998
Out-of-state
$28,998
Retention Rate
81%
Admission Rate
68%
Students Enrolled
4,160
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
15% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission

#19 Online Bible and Clergy Programs

Lee University

  • Cleveland, TN
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Lee University, located in Cleveland, Tennessee, provides a premier online education across nine bachelor's degree programs. 

Of these programs, the bachelor of arts in Bible and theology stands out as a competitive option for students interested in a ministry-adjacent career. Once enrolled, students complete coursework and connect with classmates through a virtual learning environment. Based on their specific career goals, students can customize their classes and pursue experiential learning opportunities, such as internships.

Students can also pursue experiential learning opportunities while receiving guidance from career services and academic advising. These institutional supports contribute to the college's 60% graduation rate. Students may be eligible for internal and external funding opportunities made available through the college. According to the institution, 98% of all students are awarded aid.

Average Tuition
In-state
$18,120
Out-of-state
$18,120
Retention Rate
78%
Admission Rate
82%
Students Enrolled
5,189
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
14% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

#20 Online Bible and Clergy Programs

Southwestern Assemblies of God University

  • Waxahachie, TX
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Consider Southwestern Assemblies of God University's bachelor's degree in biblical studies. The private institution offers 39 bachelor's degree programs, 28 of which are online. 

The biblical studies program enables students to learn at their own pace, allowing for part- or full-time study. The program facilitates interactive learning through a virtual classroom environment, where students can work and collaborate with colleagues and faculty. Learners complete industry-relevant coursework while connecting with classmates and faculty across a virtual classroom environment. Enrollees can also pursue research, internships, and other experiential learning opportunities to prepare them for a career in ministry. The college connects students with resources geared towards student success, such as career services, academic advising, and other offices.

Eligible students can receive internal and external funding opportunities to defray the costs of their degree. Students interested in learning more about funding and eligibility requirements can meet with the financial aid office.

Average Tuition
In-state
$20,496
Out-of-state
$20,496
Retention Rate
67%
Admission Rate
88%
Students Enrolled
2,050
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
70% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

Overview of Traditional and Online Bible Study Degrees

Many denominations require clergy members to hold at least a bachelor's degree in theology or a closely related area. An associate degree can provide a background in church history, missions, evangelism and how to live according to Biblical principles. In a bachelor's program, students gain a more comprehensive understanding of the Bible and biblical languages. Graduates have a deeper comprehension of scriptures and the will and purpose of God for the individual. Students pursuing graduate degrees examine spirituality and historical studies of religions, and learn how to lead others on their journey with God.

Program Highlight: Online Bible School — Bachelor's Degree

Designed to prepare graduates to provide Christian counseling, teach scriptures and explore the history of the church, many online Bachelor of Arts in Biblical Studies degree programs require 120 credit hours to complete. Motivation is key to success, as it takes a great deal of discipline and time management to balance an online clergy school along with professional and personal obligations.

During an online Bible degree program, students typically explore biblical applications in ministry, frameworks for Christian service, specific scriptures and pastoral counseling. Examples of courses may include the history of Christianity, Israel's early history, psychology, spiritual formation, studying the Bible, Pauline literature, theology, biblical studies and Christine doctrine. Cross training is provided through general education and elective courses, such as research writing, oral communication and philosophy. Some online programs require students to complete apprenticeships or mentoring before graduating. Combined with specialized programs, such as Christian counseling or pastoral ministry, many online clergy degree programs could be used to prepare students to sit for ministry licensing exams.

Spotlight Interview

Barbara K.

Degree: Bachelor's Degree in Christian Ministry
Mode: Online

Q. What has been the biggest benefit of distance learning at your college?

The biggest benefit for me is being able to attend a Christian college and not have to depend on anyone to get me there. I am a disabled veteran and unable to drive due to low vision and other health issues. It's a very unpredictable lifestyle, as I never know when my health will dictate the course of any given day. It also gives me a sense of independence, which is something I am often unable to experience. I feel grateful to have the opportunity to receive the same degree as someone who attends on campus. I feel blessed that I am able to develop meaningful relationships from the comforts of my home.

Q. What role has technology played in your online program and courses?

It amazes me how group projects are pulled together with the many forums available to communicate, such as Skype. From textbooks to dictionaries, journals to encyclopedias, and Word documents to Power Points, it is all just a click away, and lectures can be viewed several times. With phone apps and wireless Internet, I am able to take my work everywhere I go, such as doctor visits or trips to the VA. Graduating high school in the 90s, when “technology” meant typewriter, I have found modern technology to be very beneficial.

Q. How does your online program help prepare you for a career after graduation?

With the help of my advisor, I am able to take classes that will fulfill the requirements for my degree while also being useful in my ministry after I graduate. My online program has been helpful in developing my career path by suggesting electives that might otherwise be career-specific, which encourages me to keep an open mind and trust in God's will for me. The online program also provides information regarding employment opportunities.

Associate Online Bible Study and Clergy Degree

An associate degree in Bible study and clergy can provide servant-leaders with a solid theological base, preparing them to lead, teach and minister a congregation. Many students complete the degree within two years, although part-time students may take longer to graduate. The first year of online Bible study school provides students with tools to master general education, biblical foundations and biblical doctrines. In the second year, students learn more about the history of the church as well as the reliability of the Bible. Below is a list of just a few possible courses in a Bible study or clergy associate degree program.

  • Life, Ministry and Teachings of Jesus

    Studies the Judeo-Christianity of the Apostolic Period and interprets Gospels through verse-by-verse analysis.
  • Acts and the Writings of Paul

    Studies the Judeo-Christianity of the Apostolic Period and interprets Gospels through verse-by-verse analysis.
  • Acts and the Writings of Paul

    Explores early church history, focusing on the ministry of Apostle Paul.
  • Principles of Christian Living

    Discusses the purpose of human life, focusing on life choices, interpersonal relationships, health-related values and more.
  • Old Testament Survey

    Emphasizes the Hebrew Scriptures to give students a background in the New Testament.
  • Introduction to Biblical Doctrine

    Provides a broad understanding of the church's beliefs on topics such as the Holy Bible, God, the Gospel, salvation, holy days and festivals, the Sabbath and more.

Online Bible Study and Clergy Degree — Bachelor's

Classifications of a bachelor's degree in Bible study varies from school to school. For example, some colleges grant Bachelor of Arts degrees, while others award Bachelor of Science degrees. However, the coursework and outcomes are fairly consistent. A bachelor's degree in Bible study and clergy gives students a more advanced understanding of the church and its beliefs than two-year options in the same field. Full-time students can potentially complete the program in four years. This more in-depth, advanced curriculum of an online Bible study degree program includes some of the following classes.

  • Old Testament Survey II

    Explores the Prophets, including the background, content, teachings and meaning of each book.
  • Christian Leadership

    Focuses on foundations of leadership skills, challenges and case studies.
  • Introduction to Biblical Languages

    Provides an introduction to Greek, Hebrew and Aramaic, with an emphasis on the original languages.
  • Introduction to Church History

    Looks at the history of the church of God from apostolic times to present day.
  • Biblical Text

    Emphasizes translations of the Bible while discussing the authority, inspiration, canonization and criticism of the text.
  • Epistles of Paul

    Focuses on the Apostle Paul's life and writings.
  • General Epistles and Revelation

    Teaches students to analyze, read, understand, explain and expound on biblical writings.
  • History of Christianity

    Discusses the history of Christianity from the first century to the Protestant Reformation in the 16th century.

Online Bible and Clergy Degree — Master's Level

A master's degree in Bible study and clergy can prepare the graduate for a leadership role in a church or ministry program. Those who already hold a bachelor's degree usually complete the program in two years. Several types of programs are available to meet various personal and professional goals. In general, students who want to continue their education with a doctorate degree choose to enter a research-based master's program, while those looking to enter the workforce pick a non-thesis program that requires them to pass a comprehensive assessment to graduate.

An enrollment counselor or academic advisor can assist new students in choosing a particular track or concentration. Most master's programs are personalized to meet each student's interests and goals. The list below represents just one possible combination of classes a master's program might entail.

  • Interpretation of the Old Testament

    Students learn about the Pentateuch and Former Prophets as well as the history and cultural context of ancient Israel. They also learn about the Latter Prophets and poetic literature.
  • Interpretation of the New Testament

    Explores and interprets the New Testament writings, with emphasis on the historical, literary and theological dimensions of the biblical books.
  • Christian Ethics

    Explains the nature and foundation of Christian ethics and how they relate to social issues.
  • The Church and Public Policy

    Focuses on lobbying skills and advocacy.
  • Non-Profit Leadership and Management

    Designed for students who plan to work in non-profit agencies and social service organizations.
  • Church and Community Leadership

    Teaches about church-community partnerships and visits various sites of people in need.
  • Nonviolent Strategies of Social Change

    Analyzes strategies to impact empowerment of the local church, organizations and individuals.
  • Community Ministries and Religious Education

    Seminar-style course discusses educational beliefs and the challenges of a holistic approach to religious education.

Online Bible and Clergy Degree — Ph.D. Level

A doctorate in Bible study and clergy or a similar field gives practicing church and community leaders advanced skills to further their careers and professional activities. As the most advanced level of learning in the field, Bible doctorate programs are designed for experienced practitioners who already hold a master's degree. Students frequently complete a PhD program in about three years, and may be required to make several on-campus visits throughout the course sequence.

PhD programs are similar to master's programs in that doctorate students usually take a number of master's classes to fulfill graduation requirements and can customize their curriculum to meet their individual goals and interests. Those specializing in Christian education focus on the history and methodology of teaching religious studies, while others may concentrate on the more research-based track of religious history. The primary difference between master's and doctorate programs is the amount and depth of research required for each class.

What Can You Do With Online Bible and Clergy Degrees?

A degree in religious studies can be applied in many diverse career paths. Graduates of theology programs may choose to work as a minister or other church leader, youth educator, religious professor or counselor, or in a public service role. Theology graduates generally share a desire to help others and strengthen their communities.

Bible and clergy program graduates may wish to transition into the careers below, though these typically involve some additional training:

  • Counselor

    Help others work through personal and professional challenges using the biblical principles learned in a clergy program. In this capacity, counselors are often affiliated with the church.
  • Educational Director

    Work in conjunction with the church to educate youth and young adults about ministry and the teachings of God.
  • Biblical/Religious Studies Professor

    Teach religious studies in a sectarian school or university.
  • Minister/Chaplain

    Teach the beliefs of a specific church or ministry to a congregation and provide spiritual guidance.

The careers listed above are only a few that those with a theology degree can pursue. Clergy and bible study is an ever-changing field, adapting to the needs of those in the community.

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