Religious faith is very important to many people and some choose to make it their career. In order to do so a college education is often required. A distance learning degree in theology can allow an individual the opportunity to open his heart, mind and soul while continuing to work and care for his family. These programs not only allow students to go at their own pace but usually cost much less than traditional degrees.
While many professions emphasize accreditation in order to obtain certain licensing or certifications, theology degrees usually do not encounter this as being an obstacle to careers. The only times this can be an issue is if a certain denomination has specific requirements for its ministers or church workers. Before pursuing a degree it’s best to check with local religious officials. If accreditation is important to a student for a particular career he can be sure that any school in the U.S. designated as a university is accredited. This allows students to apply for financial aid or student loans to help pay tuition and other costs.
Types of Theology Degrees
The types of theology degrees that can be obtained are:
Very few people obtain an Associate’s degree and instead opt for a Bachelor’s degree. Usually this would require four years but because most theology degrees give credit for life experience the time needed for completion is usually much shorter. Those that seek a Master’s degree can choose from a Master of Arts or the more popular Master of Divinity. Doctorate candidates usually receive a standard Ph.D. but some get a Th.D. or Doctor of Theology instead.
Theology Degree Courses
Courses taken in this program are meant to remind students that they are not just choosing a career path but also a life path. The best preparation for a theology degree is to emphasize classes in history, sociology and civics. Studying the development and history of world religions will help lay a foundation upon which a successful education can be had. As with other online programs internet access is required to participate in lectures and presentations. Courses taken include:
- Basics of Religion
- Church Leadership
- Contemporary Religious Issues
- Bible Interpretation
These courses give students an ability to interpret Scripture and manage church ministries and programs within a religious setting.
Benefits of Online Theology Degree
Besides fitting one’s studies around work and family responsibilities, online theology degrees offer a unique benefit of being able to study theology aimed at the student’s particular religious beliefs. This can be important if a person’s religious views are in a minority or if no local school offers courses for that religion.
Careers for Theology Degree Graduates
Graduates of these online programs are authorized to perform such basic religious acts as last rites, weddings, sermons and baptisms. There are many career opportunities in this field such as:
- Medical facilities
- Youth Ministry
- Campus Ministry
- Musical Direction
- Christian Education
Many of these jobs while being fulfilling often come with low pay and sometimes few if any benefits such as health insurance. Ministers often have housing provided for them and their families depending upon the size of the church.
As more people seek answers to life’s questions theology degrees will gain in popularity and allow graduates to seek their life’s calling.