Last Updated on September 1, 2023Online Diploma Course in Orthodox Theology: Providing Access to Religious Education in the Digital Age
With the advancements in technology and the rise of e-learning, various educational institutions and organizations have diversified their programs to offer online courses in different disciplines. In the realm of theological education, the availability of an online diploma course in Orthodox theology has brought about a multitude of opportunities for students and individuals interested in deepening their understanding of this ancient faith. This article aims to explore the benefits and advantages of online theological education in the context of Orthodox Christianity.
The Need for Online Theological Education:
Orthodox Christianity has a rich history, and its theological teachings are both profound and complex. Traditional theological education often necessitates physical attendance at seminaries or institutes, limiting access to those who can afford the time and resources required
A Bachelor of Theology or BTh is a 3-year under-graduate course which has been designed to equip students for Christian ministry and to lead people with spiritual discipline and knowledge. The program seeks to provide a thorough understanding of the life and teaching of Jesus Christ.
Students who have completed their 12th with an aggregate of minimum 50% marks are eligible for this course. Students who have obtained an ATA diploma in theology are also eligible for this course.
ATA is Asia Theological Association. The association is responsible for providing quality theology education through various christian missionaries and seminaries. It offers various diploma and degree programs on Theology.
Key Highlights of BTh course
- Full Form: Bachelor of Theology
- Duration: 3 years
- Eligibility: 12th from a recognized board
- Admission Process: Merit based
- Top Colleges: Discipleship Bible College, Grace Bible College, Hindustan Bible Institute & College, etc
- Average course fees: INR 10,000 to INR 1,00,000 per year.
- Job Options: Healthcare Worker, Relief Worker, Religious Teacher, Children Pastor, etc
- Average Salary Package: INR 3 to 5 Lakhs
- Top Recruiting areas: Educational Institutes, NGO’s, Workplace, Religious Organisations, Financial and Legal Firms, Charities, Churches, Schools etc
Online Diploma Course In Orthodox Theology
Admission to the course is mainly offered on a merit based criteria. However there are some colleges which conduct a written test or personal interview round pertaining to the teachings mentioned in the holy bible.
The table given below mentions some of the top colleges offering Bachelor of Theology courses.
|ATA (Asia Theological Association) 2020 Rank||College Name||Admission Process||Average Annual Fees (INR)|
|21||Discipleship Bible College||Merit based||INR 29,000|
|36||Grace Bible College||Merit and test based||INR 13,400|
|40||Hindustan Bible Institute & College||Direct admission||INR 20,000|
|43||India Bible College And Seminary||Direct admission||INR 19,910|
|–||Bethel Bible Institute||Merit based||INR 25,800|
The average tuition fee charged by the colleges or universities for this course ranges from INR 10,000 to 1 Lakh, it depends on the type of the institution.
After the successful completion of this course, the student will be a graduate who has knowledge in theological studies. They can work in NGOs, as priests, etc.
An initial BTh Salary of around INR 3 lakhs can be expected by any fresh graduate of the course. It is based on the experience level of the graduate.
Bachelor of Theology Admission Process
- Admission to the course is mainly offered on a merit based criteria. However there are some colleges which conduct a written test or personal interview round pertaining to the teachings mentioned in the holy bible.
- Most of the colleges have online application systems. But some colleges do prefer offline registration by the candidates.
- Application is processed based on the marks obtained by the candidates in the qualifying examination along with their character certificates and letter of recommendation.
Bachelor of Theology Eligibility
Students who wish to pursue this course must meet up with the following eligibility criteria.
- One must have passed their 12th examinations with a minimum 50% marks from any recognized board.
- Applicants who possess a diploma in theology are also eligible for this course.
Online Diploma Course In Orthodox Theology
Bachelor of Theology Entrance Exams
Admission to the course is mainly offered on a merit based criteria. However there are some colleges which conduct a written test or personal interview round pertaining to the teachings mentioned in the holy bible. No separate entrance exam is conducted for admission into this course.
How to Get Admission in a Good BTh college?
- Follow all the rules and regulations regarding the admission process carefully without any mistake.
- Make sure all the required documents are there and that those documents are up to date.
- In case of doubt, call the management and get updated information.
- Ensure that you attempt your board exams well.
- Attend seminars and biblical classes to gain more awareness about the religious theories.
Bachelor of Theology: What is it about?
- The course is beneficial to the students as it provides an opportunity for an intellectually rigorous study of the Christian faith from the perspective of Christian traditions and thought.
- The course also provides a thorough grounding where it recognizes the diversity of the Christian tradition.
- It also focuses on exegesis and hermeneutics and related subjects in Christian Theology.
- The course equips students to study the Bible, so they are in a position to explain what it says and means.
- This course is perfect for those who want to learn more about spirituality and how churches, etc. came into existence.
- This course will also equip students with the skills to teach others regarding spirituality and the simple way of life.
Bachelor of Theology: Course Highlights
The following table shows some of the major highlights of this course in India.
|Full Form||Bachelors of Theology|
|Examination Type||Semester/Year wise|
|Eligibility||50% in 12th|
|Admission process||Merit based|
|Course fees||INR 10,000 to INR 1 Lakh|
|Average Salary||INR 2 to 3 Lakhs|
|Top Recruiting areas||Educational Institutes, NGO’s, Workplace, Religious Organisations, Financial and Legal Firms, Charities, Churches, Schools etc|
|Job position||Healthcare Worker, Relief Worker, Religious Teacher, Children Pastor, etc|
Why study Bachelor of Theology?
- The course helps one to fulfill their spiritual longings.
- Students extensively learn about the concepts of theology. They are taught the implementations of these concepts in one’s day to day life.
- The course comes with various career opportunities. Students can either choose to work or to pursue further education in the respective field.
- The course imparts a wide variety of skills. Some of the skills imparted through the course are critical thinking, clear writing, problem solving and analysis of social and historical trends.
B.Th vs. B.Div
Sometimes knowing about different courses helps one in selecting the right one. To ease the process, two similar looking courses have been compared below based on various parameters.
B.Th vs. B.Div.
B.Th and B.Div. are two similar looking courses. But the subjects and insights they offer are different. For making the difference quite visible, these two courses have been compared based on various parameters.
|Full Form||Bachelor of Theology||Bachelor of Divinity|
|Course Overview||It’s an under-graduation degree which will give you an in-depth understanding of the disciple of theology and how the church functions, it’s origin and history, etc.||It’s an undergraduate degree program which caters to one’s spiritual quest. It imparts knowledge about religion and various aspects related to it.|
|Average Annual Fees||INR 10,000 to 1 Lakh||INR 20,000 to 2 lakhs|
|Average Annual Salary||INR 2 to 3 lakhs||INR 2 lakhs to 5 lakhs|
|Top Job Profiles||Healthcare Worker, Relief Worker, Religious Teacher, Children Pastor, etc||Pastor, Religion Leader, Educator, Scholar, and such.|
|Top Recruiting Areas||Educational Institutes, NGO’s, Workplace, Religious Organisations, Financial and Legal Firms, Charities, Churches, Schools etc||Churches, schools, Warner university, Indiana Wesleyan university, etc|
|Colleges||Logos College Of Theology, Madras Assembly Of God Bible College, Maharashtra Bible College, New Life College, Olive Theological Institute||Aizawl Theological College, DHIU, Faith Theological Seminary, Dharma Jyoti Vidya Peeth, Southern Asia Bible College|
WHAT ARE THE BEST TUITION FREE BIBLE COLLEGES?
|College of the OzarksPOINT LOOKOUT, MO||Based in the picturesque community of Point Lookout, Missouri, College of the Ozarks offers free tuition to students through a combination of grants (state and federal), scholarships, and its own work education program. Styling itself as “Hard Work U,” the university earns nationwide acclaim for its work education program, which includes over 100 jobs that students can take to pay for their education.All students must work at least 15 hours per week at on-campus sites, such as the childcare center, computer lab, and museum. Students must also complete two 40-hour work weeks each year during breaks from classes. Students can pay for room and board in addition to tuition by working for six weeks during the summer term.College of the Ozarks offers Bible study groups, mission trips, and ministry-related retreats. The school maintains an affiliation with the Presbyterian Church.||VISIT SITE|
|2||Barclay CollegeHAVILAND, KS||Based out of Haviland, Kansas, Barclay College is an evangelical, Quaker-affiliated school. Originally opened in the early 20th century as the Kansas Central Bible Training School, Barclay stays true to its origins by preparing graduates for Christ-centered leadership and service positions.The school offers faith-based bachelor’s degrees including Christian elementary education, youth ministry, and pastoral ministry, and provides associate degrees such as biblical studies. Barclay also offers faith-based master’s programs, including Quaker studies, family ministry, and spiritual formation.The school awards full-tuition scholarships to all accepted students who agree to live on campus. Barclay can offer these scholarships thanks to generous donations from alumni, supporters, and advocates for debt-free education. The school currently enrolls about 200 students, providing plenty of opportunity for close student-faculty interaction.||VISIT SITE|
|3||St. Louis Christian CollegeFLORISSANT, MO||Based in suburban St. Louis in the city of Florissant, Missouri, St. Louis Christian College maintains affiliation with the Restoration Movement (Christian Churches and Churches of Christ). This affiliation informs much of the school’s coursework, theology, and doctrine. The school stays small by design, providing an 8-to-1 student-to-faculty ratio to the approximately 100 students who take courses at SLCC each year. Most students at SLCC enroll in the biblical studies program.Though SLCC does not offer free tuition for all four years, the college’s NexGen+ Leadership Program provides certain students with two years of free tuition, allowing them to earn an associate degree for free. All applicants must meet three qualifications: a 2.5 minimum high school GPA, first-time college student status, and U.S. citizenship.|
|4||Central Christian College of the BibleMOBERLY, MO||Located on a spacious, 40-acre campus in Moberly, Missouri, Central Christian College of the Bible offers bachelor’s and certificate programs in ministry-related fields. The college offers 100 full-tuition scholarships to new and transfer students each academic year.Students can renew the scholarship by meeting the following conditions: a 2.0 minimum GPA, completion of 90% of the school’s Christian service project hours per semester (four hours per week), and 80% attendance at chapel services. At times, the school also awards full-tuition scholarships to returning students who did not originally earn the scholarship when they enrolled.Central Christian holds national accreditation from the Association for Biblical Higher Education, which is approved by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation.|
What Can I Do with a Bible Degree?
Many people who study biblical studies go on to earn graduate degrees (MDiv, MAR, ThM) and become pastors. A degree in biblical studies will provide a biblical and theological framework that will help prepare you to serve as a leader and visionary in the church, society, and world.
Here are a few different options:
- Associate Pastor
- Children’s Pastor
- Youth Pastor
- Teaching Pastor
- Community Life Pastor
- Spiritual Development Pastor
A Christian missionary is anyone who is commissioned by the Lord to make disciples. While many Christians think that missionaries are people who leave their homes and go to a developing nation to evangelize, missionaries come in all shapes and sizes.
There are many missionaries who go to “First World” countries to witness and build a community in Christ. Some are long-term missionaries who work in community development or plant churches. Others are short-term missionaries and spend time teaching English as a form of ministry.
As all Christians are called to be ambassadors of Christ, a degree in biblical studies will prepare anyone seeking to preach, teach, and share the gospel in order to transform the lives of others.
Many churches have full-time staff members, and a degree in biblical studies can help secure a job as a director of a branch of ministry in the church. As directors lead teams, make decisions, and work closely with other church members, it is important that they have a biblical foundation upon which to base their decisions.
There are many different kinds of directors in the church:
- Christian Education Director
- Children’s Programs Director
- Vacation Bible School Director
- Youth Director
- Worship Director
- Women’s Ministry Director
Some biblical studies majors go on to become teachers. To teach in the public school system, you will have to earn certifications from the State. However, some private schools, including many Christian schools, do not require teacher certification, so a degree in biblical studies will provide you with a model for Christian education and give you a leg up on your competitors.
Those who major in biblical studies spend much of their time reading, writing, analyzing, and interpreting Scripture. As a result, many go on to find employment as writers and editors. A degree in biblical studies can help you become a writer and editor for both Christian and non-Christian magazines, newspapers, and various online platforms.
A chaplain is typically a minister who provides religious services and counsel. If you feel called to serve as a minister but want to focus on a specific ministry, consider working as a chaplain. As a chaplain, you can serve a variety of contexts depending on your gifts and passions. You can work in places like the following institutions:
- US Military (Army, Navy, Coast Guard, Marine Corps, Air Force)
- Professional Sports Teams
- Police/Fire Department
Human Service Worker
Many students who are interested in majoring in Bible have a heart for serving those in need and pursue further education to work in counseling and social services fields. Some popular careers in these fields include the following:
- Case Worker
- Family and Child Social Worker
- Substance Abuse Counselor
- Probation Officer
- School Guidance Counselor
- Public Health Social Workers
- Mental Health Counselor
- Clinical Psychologist
If you have a strong interest in the Christian faith and have a desire to help and serve others, a degree in biblical studies may be right for you. Although many people think that biblical studies majors only go on to become pastors, your college major can lead you to many jobs, fields, and even to graduate school to pursue another vocation or specialization
13 TIPS FOR STUDYING THE BIBLE FOR BEGINNERS OR EXPERIENCED BELIEVERS
- Get the right Bible translation. I have only ever met one person who preferred the King James Bible over all others. It is hard to read and most of it doesn’t make sense to modern English speakers. Let’s just get that right out in the open. Most churches that I’ve been to use the NIV, and that is a sound and solid translation that is well respected. I’ve heard that the ESV is considered the most accurate translation according to the ancient languages, but I personally prefer the NLT. Some people really like The Message. The NLT and The Message are paraphrased translations which mean they weren’t translated word for word which makes them both slightly less accurate but also worlds more readable. The ICB (International Children’s Bible) translation is another paraphrased translation that removes some of the wordiness of the text and uses clear, concrete language intended for children but helpful for adults too.
You can go to Bible.com to read many different translations of the same verse or verses and get a feel for which you prefer. My point in telling you all this is that there are dozens of translations, and they vary widely, but they are ALL good and valid ways to read and study the Bible.
- Get the right Bible. I personally really like this illustrated NLT study Bible, but I’ve also included an assortment of Bibles that I have and recommend at the bottom of this post. (Full disclosure: I may have a problem with buying Bibles. A girl can never have too many, right?) Choose a translation that you like, one that makes sense to you, and buy a paper Bible in that translation.
I am a digital girl for most things, but I like to read the Bible in paper. Somehow, it makes more sense to me when I can read, highlight, and write in the margins. I like to be able to put dates next to the verses that I’ve studied so that the next time I am led to those same passages, I can look back and remember what I learned the last time.
- Don’t be afraid to write in your Bible. I’ve dabbled in Bible journaling over the years, and that involves coloring in the Bible and sometimes over top of the text. (I have a special Bible just for that and don’t do it in my normal study Bible.) But even if you don’t go that far, writing notes and dates in your Bible is important for consistent Bible study. Another important act is highlighting or underlining in your Bible. (Here’s a good Bible highlighter that won’t bleed through the pages.) You need a way to mark passages that were important to you. After reading The Circle Maker, I also started circling God’s promises in my Bible and writing the dates on which I noticed them.
- Start small. The first time I ever really read the Bible, I signed up for a Bible in 90 Days challenge. I’m not even kidding. I jumped in with both feet and read the Bible for 2 hours a day at first, and then I petered out somewhere around First or Second Chronicles. I’m amazed that I got as far as I did for as much work as it was. Don’t be like me. Start with a goal to read the Bible one chapter a day or for 10 minutes a day. Once that becomes a habit, you can always up your game if you’re able or rest comfortably knowing you’re doing what you can. But if you start with an overly ambitious goal and don’t hit it a few times, you more than likely will give up.
- Schedule Bible study. What you plan to do, you do. What you wish you’ll do, you never get around to doing. Have you ever noticed that? Schedule a time to do your Bible reading and studying, and then anchor that time to something you already do. For me, I read and study the Bible after I write in my journal. I do both of these things right before I start work in the morning, at my desk in my home office. I like starting my day with the Bible, but when I was a teacher, I often ended my day with the Bible. It doesn’t matter when you do it, only that you do it. The anchoring step is important here. It’s hard to get your brain to establish a new habit without an anchor. The anchor is like a trigger that reminds your conscious brain that it’s supposed to do something. So perhaps your anchor could be that you study the Bible right after breakfast or after lunch or right before you shower or whatever. Just choose something that you always do and make a point to always study the Bible along with that other thing.
- Get your stuff together. This is a big beginner mistake. Whenever you’ve decided to do your Bible study, you likely will not do it unless all your materials are in the same place at the same time. So get it all together and put it in the place where you’ll study. Make sure you have your Bible, a pen or pencil, your devotional or Kindle, and anything else you think you might need, all sitting in your spot, ready to go.
- Pray before studying. In my Bible study, A Grateful Heart, I have listed out a prayer every day before the study begins. I pray this same prayer every single time I sit down to study the Bible, and you are welcome to use it too. I wrote it some years ago, and it makes sense to me. I ask God to join me in the study and to open my heart and my eyes to the message He has for me. It is a small thing, but I think it makes a difference.
There’s also a really nice prayer in Jen Hatmaker’s book called A Modern Girl’s Guide to Bible Study. I wrote it in the beginning of my journaling Bible, but it is a lot longer and I often forget about it. So I just pray the prayer above which I have memorized.
- Avoid rules. Christianity is not about rules, no matter what some people say. Being a Christian, a follower of Jesus Christ, is about having a personal relationship with Him. Yes, He calls us to read and study His Word. That is true. But He does not say “Thou shalt read 3 chapters of the Bible per day.” Doesn’t that sound ridiculous? I said above that you should start small, and I totally mean that. If you can only manage to read one verse a day, then read one verse. It was one more verse than you read yesterday, right? It counts.
In A Grateful Heart (sample page pictured above), I suggest a passage to read, always a chapter or less, and a verse or two to write. I’ll get to writing more below, so hold on to that, but the reading is always relatively short. I think that’s important. We are busy people, and we don’t have time to sit and read our Bibles for 30 or 40 minutes a day. It would be nice if we did, but we don’t. We can manage whatever we can manage, and that is good enough. Don’t let yourself get trapped in what you should have done so that you fail to do what you could have done.
- Write scripture. As a former high school teacher with a Master’s degree in education, I can tell you all about the research showing that handwriting helps you to retain information infinitely more than reading it alone, but the research would probably be boring as heck. Instead, let’s leave it at that. Writing matters. Make it a habit to handwrite whatever verse or verses you choose to focus on each day. (Not necessarily the entire passage you read, but just a verse or two that stuck out to you and felt significant.) Keep a journal for this purpose because that will help you to look back and see what you were thinking about at different times. It will be a record of your walk with The Lord.
- Consider a daily devotional. A devotional is a collection of short, Bible-focused passages that you can read to get a bite-sized piece of the Bible to think about as you go through your day. Most of the time, they include a scripture reference and short (a paragraph up to a couple of pages) reading and then a prayer. You can use A Grateful Heart as a daily devotional for the two weeks of the study, and I highly recommend that. The daily lessons tie back to the reading passages and give you a place to springboard into your own study. After you’ve finished A Grateful Heart, you may like to move on to Jesus Calling or Jesus Always, two of my favorites. I read both every day to see which resonates and spurs me on to further study, and they both minister to my heart in different ways. If you’d like more suggestions for great devotionals, I have included a bunch that I’ve personally used in my Amazon shop.So now that you’ve got a Bible and a devotional, and you’re all set to go. What’s next?Or, you’ve finished A Grateful Heart. What’s next?A big mistake that beginners often make is to just open the Bible to a random page and put their fingers down on a random verse and start reading. They don’t know what else to do. (Please tell me I’m not the only person who tried that aimless method at least once before.) But that is not a good method.What follows are three additional methods to choose a passage that you can use to read and learn scripture.
- Choose a theme. I have published more than a dozen topical Bible verses lists on everything from disappointment to anger to loneliness to joy to miracles to grace. If you poke around in the Bible study section of the blog, you will find them. Another great resource for these topical lists is my Printables Vault where you can find every Bible study printable I’ve ever published, including all the topical lists and A Grateful Heart. (They are all included in one price for the vault.) Wherever you choose to get your list of verses, the key to studying thematically is to choose one verse per day, starting at the top. Look up the verse and read the verses before and after it to get a solid idea of what the whole passage is saying. What message does God have for you in these words? Write the verse or verses that are meaningful to you in your journal, on paper with a nice pen. Pray over them and ask God to open your eyes to His message. Write the date in the margin and try one of the Bible study methods here to explore the verse or passage.
- Choose a book. I love the book of Philippians and also the Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John). They are easy books to read, especially for beginners, and they pack a powerful punch. Nearly every verse in each is important and personally meaningful. All five are in the New Testament which is the part of the Bible about Jesus, and the Gospels are the books about his life from birth to death and beyond. The New Testament (for the most part) is much easier to read than the Old Testament, and I have always enjoyed it more (except for Genesis which is my favorite book). Start in the New Testament and select a book to read. If you’re using a study Bible, it will have resources at the beginning of each chapter that will help you to understand who wrote the chapter, when, and why. Then you can move on to actually reading the verses a little at a time.
- Start at the beginning. At one point, I purchased a chronological study Bible and intended to read through the Bible from the beginning to the end in chronological order. (The Bible is not written in chrono order so this involves a fair amount of shaking things up.) I got about a third into it and petered out in my daily commitment (about as far as I did that time of the Bible in 90 Days), but I picked it up not long ago and restarted. Starting at the beginning is nice in a way because you start out with a bang: Genesis is one of the most interesting and action-packed books of the entire Bible. But then you move into the laws of Moses and all the sacrifices and whatnot of Leviticus, and all that can be hard to plow through. If you decide to start at the beginning and find your mind wandering and commitment waning as you get through those laws and procedures and sacrifices, feel free to change it up and read something else. Remember, there are no rules, right? This is probably my least favorite way to study the Bible, just because of those chapters near the beginning that are so hard for me.
How much does a Biblical Studies make?
Just in case you need a simple salary calculator, that works out to be approximately $24.95 an hour. This is the equivalent of $998/week or $4,324/month.
While ZipRecruiter is seeing annual salaries as high as $126,000 and as low as $16,000, the majority of Biblical Studies salaries currently range between $34,500 (25th percentile) to $59,000 (75th percentile) with top earners (90th percentile) making $93,500 annually across the United States. The average pay range for a Biblical Studies varies greatly (by as much as $24,500), which suggests there may be many opportunities for advancement and increased pay based on skill level, location and years of experience.
Based on recent job posting activity on ZipRecruiter, the Biblical Studies job market in both Lagos, NG and throughout the entire state of is not very active as few companies are currently hiring. A Biblical Studies in your area makes on average $51,894 per year, or the same as the national average annual salary of $51,894. ranks number 1 out of 50 states nationwide for Biblical Studies salaries.
What are Top 10 Highest Paying Cities for Biblical Studies Jobs
We’ve identified 10 cities where the typical salary for a Biblical Studies job is above the national average. Topping the list is Richmond, CA, with Stamford, CT and Bellevue, WA close behind in the second and third positions. Bellevue, WA beats the national average by $9,795 (18.9%), and Richmond, CA furthers that trend with another $11,602 (22.4%) above the $51,894 average.
Importantly, Richmond, CA has a moderately active Biblical Studies job market with only a few companies currently hiring for this type of role.
With these 10 cities having average salaries higher than the national average, the opportunities for economic advancement by changing locations as a Biblical Studies appears to be exceedingly fruitful.
Finally, another factor to consider is the average salary for these top ten cities varies very little at 9% between Richmond, CA and Glendale, CA, reinforcing the limited potential for much wage advancement. The possibility of a lower cost of living may be the best factor to use when considering location and salary for a Biblical Studies role.
|City||Annual Salary||Monthly Pay||Weekly Pay||Hourly Wage|
|San Francisco, CA||$59,512||$4,959||$1,144||$28.61|
|Santa Clara, CA||$58,648||$4,887||$1,128||$28.20|
What are Top 5 Best Paying Related Biblical Studies Jobs in the U.S.
Analyzing some similar jobs related to the Biblical Studies job category, we found that Bible Study jobs have average salaries greater than Biblical Studies jobs.
Significantly, Bible Study jobs pay 21.5% ($11,150) more than the average Biblical Studies salary of $51,894. If you’re qualified, finding work as a Bible Study may help you make more money than that of the average Biblical Studies position.
|Job Title||Annual Salary||Monthly Pay||Weekly Pay||Hourly Wage|
|Bible Study Teacher||$50,855||$4,238||$978||$24.45|
|Senior Bible Teacher||$49,450||$4,121||$951||$23.77|
|Independent Bible Church||$48,565||$4,047||$934||$23.35|
Bachelor’s Degree in Biblical Studies
The Bachelor of Arts in Biblical Studies degree program will equip you to interpret the Bible for yourself and others. Your ability to understand and apply the Bible will be enhanced through historical and contextual exploration of scripture. This degree is available in a traditional classroom setting, as well as online. The online biblical studies degree option gives you the flexibility of completing assignments on your schedule.
Creation, sin, reconciliation, and hope within a historical and contextual exploration of Scripture
The goal for graduates of the Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in Biblical Studies degree program is not to master the Bible, but rather to be mastered by the Bible and to be servants of God to those with whom you come in contact. This degree not only allows you to understand and study the Bible, it also provides a foundation for seminary, various ministry positions, missions, social service, and/or for personal spiritual development.
- 120 total credit hours (39 in major core)
- Courses are taken one at a time and are typically completed in five-week blocks
- CCU’s generous transfer credit policies help you accelerate your degree completion
- Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission
Three graduate-level courses have been designated as appropriate substitutes for certain bachelor’s in Biblical Studies coursework. Having successfully taken these designated courses in the bachelor’s program, and upon acceptance into the master’s program, students can apply those credits toward the M.A. in Biblical Studies or M.A. in Theological Studies. This provides a head start in the master’s program for select students.
What is a Biblical Studies degree?
Your range of study will span the history of Israel in its ancient near Eastern context, the poetry and wisdom literature of the Jewish bible, and a survey of the major and minor prophets of the Old Testament. You’ll investigate the life and teachings of Jesus Christ as revealed in the gospel accounts.
Within this Biblical Studies degree, you’ll explore the development of the early Church and its theology, including the epistles of Paul and the other New Testament writers, while considering how interpreters address problem passages. You’ll learn apologetics — giving a rational defense of the Christian faith — from historical and philosophical perspectives as well as from textual examination to discover the reasons for why you believe what you believe. Your bible study and teaching skills will grow as a result of courses that will introduce you to effective tools and methods.
Biblical Studies degree program benefits
- The Biblical Studies degree program is specially designed for adult students who are busy with work and family commitments.
- Earn your Biblical Studies degree online. Online courses typically run for five weeks and weekly assignments may be completed around your schedule.
- Small class sizes encourage individualized learning and networking.
- Students have direct access to professors who are also professionals in the field.
- Take advantage of CCU’s generous transfer credit policies to accelerate your degree!
Theology Professor Requirements for College
Education is just about the most important requirement for becoming a theology professor. Professors must obtain a high school diploma and a four-year college degree. The college degree could be in religion or in another subject area. Theology professors must also obtain master’s level education. Some professors hold master of divinity degrees, while others opt for master of theology degrees. While some institutions will hire a theology professor with only a master’s level degree, most schools require that the candidate possess a Ph.D. or Th.D. in an area such as theology, systematic theology, applied theology or pastoral theology. Some hiring institutions also like to see a high GPA in a student entering her first professorship.
Theology professors generally need some teaching experience before a hiring institution will consider them for a position. Most graduate students get the opportunity to be a teaching assistant sometime during their education. Others may lead bible studies or Sunday school classes in their congregations, or volunteer their teaching services for a community education course. Many graduate theology students also participate in presenting seminars on subject matters pertaining to their theses and get teaching experience in this way. A candidate with a good theological education, high GPA and lots of teaching experience will have a better chance at landing a job than someone who has no teaching experience at all.
Expertise and Passion
Seminaries and other institutions of higher learning want to hire theologians who have an expertise and passion for their subject areas. They may be interested in reading the candidate’s doctoral thesis, or in how many books and articles a particular candidate has published. Theology professors need to have special knowledge to offer their students and a passion that is contagious and makes the students want to learn more. Many hiring institutions will have candidates preach in chapel, perform a series of lectures or even teach a class or two in order to get a feel for how he interacts with students and fits into the community.
Biblical Studies vs. Theological Studies, What is the difference?
Biblical studies is the study of the Bible. I’m not trying to be cute in stating what seems to be the obvious. What I mean is summed up well by Danny Daley (popscholarblog). Biblical studies “is primarily concerned with the foundational, base-level ‘meaning’ of passages or sections of the biblical texts (known as ‘exegesis’), as well as the developments and circumstances regarding Judaism and early Christianity.” So, the focus of biblical studies is the book known as the Bible – its Biblical language, literature, nature, history, composition, authors, etc. Biblical studies also includes the study of the cultures in which the human biblical writers lived as well as the study of various books which contribute to a broader textual understanding of our English Bible and the Christian faith. Those texts include weirdly named books such as the Septuagint, Apocrypha, and Dead Sea Scrolls. The bottom line though is that biblical studies focuses on the Bible as a book.
Theological studies is topical. Meaning, an approach to theological knowledge (found primarily in the Bible) that involves arranging the data into well-ordered categories and frameworks. That’s a pretty sterile sentence, but an example will add life to it. The doctrine of God is one of those “well-ordered categories” and involves arranging all the biblical data – “whole-Bible ideas,” as Daley writes – which describe who God is and what He does. Sub-categories provide deeper order. Assumed in this task is that God has revealed certain data about Himself which can be gleaned throughout Scripture. So, a doctrine of God project would involve discovering what Genesis says about God’s character and work, what Exodus says, all the way through what Matthew, Mark, and Revelation say. Then, that data would be arranged in such a way as to be faithful to the entire Bible and to make sense to a curious reader (thus, history and other attendant disciplines are considered, too), answering questions about who God is and what He does. “God is holy” is a data point which would be expressed in various ways throughout both the Old Testament and the New Testament, resulting in theological sub-categories like “God is holy in how He loves people,” “God is holy in how He provides for His creation,” and “God is holy in how He redeems people.” We’re still talking about those “whole-Bible ideas,” but they’re just arranged topically.
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 & 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.
Virginia Baptist College
Virginia Baptist College is a Christian school located in Fredericksburg, Virginia. Bible focused minors are in music, church office management and youth ministries. Adults who feel called to serve in ministry at the local church and vocational ministry levels can enroll in the Bachelor of Ministry program. Bible is one of the concentrations in the program. Church ministries, pastoral studies and church business are other concentrations. Graduate Bible studies are delivered through the Master of Ministry, the Master of Biblical Studies and the Master of Christian Education programs. These are online degree programs that take four to five years to complete
Clarks Summit University
LocationSouth Abington Township, PA
Clarks Summit University specializes in undergraduate and graduate seminary instruction. Many of the programs are fully online. Flexible schedules make it easier for working adults to take the classes. Educational material is delivered via lectures, reading materials, research and class discussions that are pushed out via the university’s website. Course curriculums generally cover areas like the New Testament, multicultural church planting and theology. If students enroll in the Master of Divinity, they must complete a one year internship before they graduate. The Master of Theology requires the completion of a 12 week residency
Heritage Christian University
Heritage Christian University is committed to preparing students to serve God in the field and in the church. Instructors at the school have been educating adults for more than 40 years. The Bachelor of Arts in Biblical Studies is a 128 hour degree program where courses like psychology, the New Testament, the Torah, elementary Greek and ministry in the local church are taught. Students enrolled in the Master of Divinity program do so through the Ezell Institute of Biblical Research. Focus of the Master of Arts and the Master of Science programs are Christian scriptures, languages, theology and biblical texts. It takes approximately 36 hours to graduate with a master’s degree.
Piedmont International University
Piedmont International University is a faith based postsecondary school that awards undergraduate and graduate degrees in biblical studies. The Bachelor of Arts in Christian Ministry degree has a double minor. It also offers an accelerated bachelor’s and master’s option. Key areas of the 130 hour degree include general ministry, biblical languages, church education and counseling. At Piedmont International University, the Master of Arts in Biblical Apologetics and the Master of Ministry degrees are taught entirely online. Students can also participate in Project Jerusalem initiatives and help establish churches in urban communities.
Colorado Christian University
Lakewood, Colorado is home to Colorado Christian University. Founded in 1914, the university is based in grace and truth. More than 6,000 students attend the school. Among the school’s 50 majors and minors are the Bachelor of Arts in Biblical Studies and the Master of Arts in Biblical Studies. Classes are taught in subjects like theology, social service, missions and the Gospels. The bachelor’s degree is a 120 credit hour program, while the master’s degree is a 39 credit hour program. Residencies are completed at the school’s Lakewood campus. Both on campus and distance education options can be selected.
The Seeds Are Planted
Bible colleges are institutions of postsecondary education that feature extensive study of the Bible accompanied by curricular and co-curricular emphasis upon personal devotion and consecrated service. The Bible college movement originated during the time of North America’s Third Great Awakening. Early Bible institutes emerged as both products of and catalysts for revival and missionary movements. The first such institutions include Nyack Missionary Training Institute, founded by A.B. Simpson in 1882, and Moody Bible Institute, founded by D.L. Moody in 1886. These earliest Bible institutes typify the character and origin of scores of other such institutions that proliferated across the North American continent during the latter two decades of the 19th century and the first three decades of the 20th century.
A Commitment to Watering the Seeds of Change
Bible college founders were fueled by a variety of cultural and ecclesiastical currents expressing response to theological drift, spiritual malaise, and secularizing influence. By the late 19th century, North American theological schooling and theological scholarship had embraced European scholasticism and enlightenment rationalism as exemplified by Wellhausen’s documentary hypothesis. Higher criticism and its accompanying a priori rejection of the miraculous, including the miraculous nature of divine revelation, became the new epistemological and methodological orthodoxy. The scientific community rushed to assert that Darwin’s theory of natural selection had rendered a literal biblical understanding of immediate and recent Divine creation intellectually untenable. Moreover, a growing number of evangelical churches and denominations embraced dispensational pre-millennialism as popularized in the Scofield Reference Bible, issuing in greater emphasis upon eschatological urgency and pragmatism in Gospel proclamation.
Most Bible colleges began entrepreneurially. In form and function, they reacted to arid intellectualism and academic convention. Their curricula, typically developed by academy outsiders, emphasized devotional dispositions and practical ministry development. They often had little in common other than a staunch commitment to make the Bible the central subject and object of study and to motivate and mobilize Christian witness. As a reactionary movement, their curricula typically varied greatly from the curricular conventions of their secular and Christian liberal arts college counterparts, most of which were rooted in scholastic European and Colonial notions of intellectual breadth and liberal education. Beginning with Johnson Bible College (TN) and Columbia Bible College (SC), non-formal and non-collegiate Bible institutes gradually evolved into degree-granting postsecondary institutions. The establishment in 1947 of the American Association of Bible Colleges (see Association for Biblical Higher Education) further shaped the movement through collective adoption of curricular norms and conformity to external quality standards associated with postsecondary education. Beginning in the 1960s, Bible colleges began to earn regional accreditation. This achievement ironically marked the degree to which Bible colleges had earned academic legitimacy and launched evolutionary currents affecting the mission and curricula of many Bible colleges. By the 1980s, many notable Bible colleges had begun to disassociate themselves from the movement. Many of today’s North American Christian liberal arts institutions have roots in the Bible college movement.
A Harvest of Workers
Research, although sporadic, has consistently found that Bible college graduates comprise a disproportional percentage of North American evangelical protestant missionaries and clergy. Moreover, a variety of student outcomes research has consistently disproven the perception that Bible colleges are academically inferior to other Christian and secular higher education sectors. Bible college graduates consistently gain admission to and excel in advanced degree studies. Although many perceive that the movement has waned, conservative estimates suggest that as many as 1,000 Bible colleges and Bible institutes currently operate in North America, enrolling upwards of 100,000 students. Jack Hayford, Francis Chan, Wayne Cordeiro, John Piper, and R.C. Sproul represent just a few of the notable contemporary instruments of biblical revival, cultural renewal, and missional reorientation out of whose ministries a new wave of institutions of biblical higher education is emerging.