Originally called Baptist Bible College & Seminary until April 2015, Clarks Summit University is a private, nonprofit Christ-centered school that's charging our list's lowest average price of $6,480 for 1,220 Defenders from 29 states who enroll on the 141-acre Scranton Metro campus and online. CSU was ranked 18th for affordability by SR Education Group and second for safety by Business Insider nationwide. Niche also applauded Clarks Summit for America's 25th best religious studies programs. Accredited by the ABHE since 1956, the Baptist Bible Seminary trains post-grads for Biblical text interpretation with its Online Doctor of Philosophy in Theology. The 60-credit, non-resident program coordinated by Dr. Kenneth Gardoski builds on M.Div. training with 13-week online courses that require one-week residencies in South Abington Township. Original dissertation research follows within Ph.D. candidates' concentrations for Old Testament, New Testament, Systematic Theology, or Bible Exposition.
5 Most Affordable PhD in Theology Online Programs
Engaging in advanced study of divinity can be cheaper, faster, and more convenient when you pick from online Ph.D. in theology programs. Theology doctorates online are the highest academic degrees granted by seminaries for biblical scholars to fulfill God’s vocational callings to critique and defend scriptural writings.
As Proverbs 15:14 proclaims, “The discerning heart seeks knowledge.” Whether you’re studying Christianity, Judaism, Islam, or another organized religion, Ph.D. theology online curricula will open your spiritual mind for careers in preaching, teaching, and researching. Taking voluntary steps toward doctorates places post-grads among an elite list of Drs. like David N. Hempton, Gregory E. Sterling, and Yolanda Pierce. According to The Christian Post, 94 percent of doctoral-trained pastors strongly agree that their degree was worth the investment.
Accredited Online College Programs
Top 5 Most Affordable PhD in Theology Online Programs
Giving deserved praise to cheap online theology PhD degrees began with our intensive research using the National Center for Education Statistics’ College Navigator. We utilized the search terms for advanced degrees in Biblical and theological studies available primarily by distance education. Our staff then used Internet search engines to identify any theology doctorates online missing from our results. Academic quality is key to Grad School Hub, so we only considered ranking schools with CHEA-recognized regional accreditation. Many also possess additional approval from the Association of Theological Schools (ATS) or Association for Biblical Higher Education (ABHE). Next, we recorded the average graduate in-state tuition for all seven online colleges in our initial pool. The following are the five top-notch, affordable theology online Ph.D. degrees arranged from highest to lowest price.
Ranking Low-Cost Online Theology Ph.D. Programs
Other Theology Ph.D. Online Degree Offerings
Although the following didn’t meet all of our ranking criteria, these are some extra PhD theology online programs to consider:
Online Ph.D. in Christian Thought and Theology
Average Graduate Tuition: $4,770 per year
Doctor of Theology in Christian Counseling Online
Average Graduate Tuition: $5,043 per year
Online Ph.D. Theology Program
Average Graduate Tuition: $16,500 per year
Online Doctor of Theology (Th.D.) Degree
Average Graduate Tuition: $23,020 per year
Life-Earned Experience Doctorate in Theology Online
Average Graduate Tuition: N/A
What Types of Theology Doctorate Online Programs are Offered?
Every online theology doctorate takes post-grads on a mentally, spiritually, and emotionally rigorous journey to universities’ uppermost echelon, but different types do exist. Perhaps the most globally recognized option is the Doctor of Philosophy. Theology online Ph.D. degrees are geared toward theoretical research for studying the nature of the divine. Another academic equivalent is the Doctor of Theology (D.Th.), which focuses on critical reflections of sacrosanct scriptures with the divinity school’s ecclesiastics. Doctor of Ministry (D.Min.) degrees are applied, professional programs rarely found online for theologians concerned solely with practice in Church-related vocations. Doctoral study also offers great independence for online students to specialize in diverse disciplines, such as Old Testament studies, dogmatics, Christian ethics, religious pedagogy, Judaic or Islamic studies, ecumenism, and church planting.
Which Careers Benefit From an Online Theology Ph.D.?
Attaining a terminal theology Ph.D. online degree will certify your spiritual expertise for limitless careers involved with interpreting sacred doctrines like the Torah and Vedas. Although only a Master of Divinity (M.Div.) is required, doctoral training can assist with passing Bible, religious tradition, and Hebrew or Greek exams needed for ordination. The 24/7 access of online doctorate programs allows faithful laity to master Church catechisms and transition into the clergy. Job possibilities are abundant with doctorates, especially when combined with credentials like Evangelical Theological Society membership or United Methodist Professional Certification. Let’s review some popular careers held by theology online PhD graduates below:
Theology Professor: The United States’ nearly 200 divinity schools, such as Fuller Theological Seminary, Holy Cross Greek Orthodox Seminary, and Moody Bible Institute, rely on godly scholar-practitioners to share knowledge from their PhD theology online. Professors will usually conduct spiritual research, prepare lectures, moderate religious debates, grade students’ papers, review recent journal literature, lead missions trips, perform collegiate chapel services, and provide ministerial job development.
Religious Minister: Finishing an online theology doctorate exceeds the requirements to preach sacred text to congregants as a priest, rabbi, deacon, pastor, imam, or other clergy member. The Pew Research Forum found that 60.8 percent of Americans identify as “religious,” so ministers are needed to prepare sermons, lead prayer, study scripture, coordinate spiritual education, provide moral guidance to parishioners, perform religious rites, fundraise for the ailing, and attend congregation conferences.
Executive Nonprofit Director: Clergy putting online Ph.D. theology principles to practice could become presidents of religious-based nonprofits like Catholic Charities, Samaritan’s Purse, Lutheran World Relief, Operation Blessing, and Hadassah. Executive directors would receive the biggest C-suite responsibilities of developing the board of directors, overseeing charitable campaigns, applying fundraising tactics, creating annual budgets, approving employee contracts, and aligning goals to scripture.
Biblical Librarian: Adding an online theology PhD to library science training might lead seminary scholars toward the maintenance of holy, revered writings like the New Testament, Koran, Tanach, and Book of Mormon. These special librarians collect religious materials, organize spiritual archives, catalog reference materials, assist patrons with research, develop online book databases, review videos or other media for shelving, prepare budgets, train assistants, and schedule talks with leading theologians.
Spiritual Life Director: A UCLA study from the Higher Education Research Institute found that 80 percent of American college students had attended religious services in the last 12 months. Spiritual life directors work on-campus to coordinate nondenominational activities that deepen residents’ connections to God. Daily duties include coordinating chapel ministries, teaching Bible classes, planning spiritual retreats, scheduling feast day events, building volunteer partnerships, and counseling students for discipleship.
How Much Do Theology PhD Online Graduates Earn?
Money isn’t the best motivator for becoming a God-fearing servant leader, but the above cheap online theology Ph.D. degrees costing less than $13,000 annually could pay off financially. According to Georgetown’s Center on Education and the Workforce, average lifetime earnings rise from $2.67 million to $3.25 million with master’s to doctoral progression. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the 243,900 U.S. clergymen and women earned a mean annual wage of $49,450 in May 2016. Postsecondary philosophy and religion teachers made significantly more with mean income of $77,420 each year. On Salary.com, median pay was $61,881 for religious activities directors, $93,303 for pastors, and $52,584 for Christian counselors. PayScale shows annual salaries rising up to $119,044 for executive nonprofit directors too.
What is the Job Outlook After Ph.D. Theology Online Programs?
Economic reports on the pastoral pipeline show that hiring opportunities after an online theology PhD will be above average. In June 2017, The New York Times published Pew Research showing that America’s clergy leaders have a median age of 57. Aging pastors leaving for retirement will likely exacerbate several denominations’ shortages. For instance, the Evangelical Lutheran Church reports that the number of affiliated clergy has dropped from 9,105 to 6,868 since 2005. The Catholic Church warned that the ratio of parishioners to priests hit an all-time high of 3,126:1 in 2012. Theologians choosing the higher education route are also in large demand since the Bureau of Labor Statistics expects 12 percent job growth for 3,900 religious faculty jobs during the next decade. Market yourself for scriptural success without breaking the bank by selecting from inexpensive online Ph.D. in theology programs.
This concludes our ranking of the five most affordable online PhD in theology programs.
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