Top 3 Online Doctor of Divinity Degrees for 2022

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Religious Studies doctorate holders typically work as college professors. A master’s degree qualifies you as an associate professor at a community college, but a doctorate is required for full professorships in Theology or Religion. However, there are other career pathways that you can choose from upon graduation. According to Payscale, the average earnings for people with divinity doctorates is $63,000.

A Doctor of Divinity is an education that is an honorary degree. It is ideal for professionals pursuing a career in teaching or seeking advanced knowledge and expertise in this area of study. This graduate degree is awarded to those who devote their lives to theological studies or community improvement and contribute significantly to the field of Ministry.

Suppose you want a Doctor of Philosophy in theology-related areas like Ministry, Christian education, and Bible Education. Bear in mind that these programs are different and will usually take a longer time to complete. University and seminary programs offer these programs, which emphasize independent research and end with a publishable dissertation. According to the U.S News and World Report’s federal statistics, Ph.D. programs typically require up to six years of study. A doctorate in Divinity also involves dissertations, but in comparison, the coursework is shorter, and the study requirements are less stringent. 

The divinity school or seminary may allow you to obtain a doctorate. And thankfully, due to advanced technology and convenient distance learning platforms, some programs are offered entirely online. One of the requirements of earning your doctoral degree in Divinity is completing an original research project. Your dissertation will be based on that research. Throughout the doctoral process, you will work with a faculty advisor from whom you can seek guidance and advice. A panel of experts would evaluate your project.

Some students remain active in their local churches after graduating from a divinity school. Others go on to lead religious organizations or nonprofits. With a Ph.D. or professional doctorate in Divinity, you can also teach college classes, serve as a college administrator, write books, and conduct research.

RELATED: The 12 Best Online Religious Studies Bachelor’s Degree Colleges Of 2022

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Doctor of Divinity courses

What is a Doctor of Divinity?

A Doctor of Divinity (D.Div.) is an honorary degree awarded to professionals who have distinguished themselves in ministry. Some institutions may require incoming students to prove their lengthy service in the ministry to qualify for such advanced education. Therefore, it is unlike the typical graduate degree you receive after taking a set course of college courses and completing a dissertation. It is a highly regarded award. And although this might not be entirely similar to other graduate degrees, you can have excellent credentials and track record when you finish and complete a doctor in divinity education. 

While a DDiv degree can give you the title “doctor,” you cannot earn the same benefits from those who have gained a Philosophy doctorate like a Doctor of Ministry or a Doctor of Theology. However, because of your more extended ministry service or more significant impact on society, you may acquire a DDiv, which might not be awarded to students of Ministry and other fields. 

What Careers Await a Doctor of Divinity?

A doctoral degree may be of interest to you so that you can be able to serve your local faith community more effectively. With a doctorate, you could be able to faithfully interpret sacred texts for parishioners and guide them in their spiritual paths. Doctoral studies could enhance your congregational work. Many ministry professionals move into academia after completing their doctorates. If you graduate from this program, you may teach religion or ministry classes at a community college, a four-year school, or a university.

You might also have time to conduct research and write like a professor. With a doctorate, one can write books, write magazine articles, or survey different demographics about their beliefs and faith practices. In most cases, these tasks are carried out in collaboration with a university or another organization. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, a clergy member makes a median annual salary of $51,940.

College professors sometimes go on to hold leadership positions in higher education. They could get promoted to deans, chief academic officers, or provosts. However, these opportunities may require more years to build credentials and connections in the school community. It is precious for students preparing for ministry roles to earn a divinity degree from a religious college.

Churches and college campuses are not the only places where ministry occurs. Doctoral degrees can also prepare you for leadership roles in nonprofit organizations. You can do this by being the director of a nonprofit organization or serving as the chief officer of a community agency. After all, public service emphasizing Christian values can be performed in any sector. As well, a divinity degree can be an asset to a job as a counselor. Another job to consider when you have a DDiv is becoming a marriage counselor or family therapist. Keep in mind, though, that these jobs typically require licenses from your state. 

Why Take a Doctor’s Degree in Divinity Online?

Since so many jobs are available without a master’s degree in Divinity, you may wonder why you need to dedicate so much time to a graduate-level degree. The vast majority of divinity jobs require a master’s degree, and even if one isn’t required, it gives you a competitive advantage over other applicants. You can also easily beat your competition with a graduate degree if you need to compete for a job. An advanced degree in Divinity offers a higher salary and job security. Check out more reasons why you need to take a doctor’s degree in Divinity online:

  • Online learning means a versatile and flexible learning method for you.

Earning a doctor’s degree online is a great solution for those with full-time jobs and no time to devote to classes regularly. Students can take courses at their own pace and have more flexibility during their studies. The process of earning a degree online can be challenging, but if you are prepared, you can make it easier. 

It is easy to keep track of your assignments by filling out a calendar or planner since most online courses include a syllabus detailing when all assignments are due. Taking a few online classes and getting into the rhythm of things will help you develop your time management skills.

  • You get more value from a doctorate in Divinity.

The value of experiential learning far exceeds the value of distant book learning. It doesn’t matter how much knowledge you have if you don’t know how to apply it in the real world. A doctorate in Divinity will allow you to use your learnings in real life and real life. Whether you apply it as a member in your congregation or apply your learnings during internships, you’ll need to utilize experiential learning at all times. 

  • It lets you earn a formal degree.

You have all demonstrated your commitment to the Lord Jesus Christ in the years you have worked and the lives you have touched. By earning your Doctor of Divinity, you can now authenticate and document your distinguished life of ministry. By combining your previous credits earned and your real-life portfolio, you can expedite your time to acquire a divinity doctorate. Obtain your Doctor of Divinity in the shortest possible time by utilizing your past studies and experiences.

  • It allows you to preach and share God’s Word.

God’s heart desires to bring never-ending, life-altering, beautiful communication to as many of His children as possible. The more comfortable you become with your daily conversations with Jesus, the more likely you will naturally want to share this ability with others in your life who need it. And you can be the instrument for God’s mission. 

  • It grows your spirituality.

All of the courses you’ll learn are somehow based on teaching you how to hear the voice of God effortlessly and consistently. When you increase this skill, you also accelerate your spiritual energy and strengthen your faith more and more. Through various courses, this program will aid in building a stronger relationship with your Creator. 

Divinity Doctoral Degree

How Long Does it Take to Get an Online Doctoral Degree in Divinity?

Depending on your learning pace and schedule, an online doctoral degree in Divinity usually takes 3 to 5 years to be completed. This includes time spent in the classroom. However, you will probably spend most of your time working on your dissertation in your doctoral process. However, there are accelerated programs that you can choose from, which may only take 24 to 36 months to finish. A program that does not require a dissertation can be less time-consuming and finished earlier than usual. Programs that do not require a dissertation can generally be completed within three years of full-time study.

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A Doctor of Divinity is an award carefully given to those who deserve the title. As you may have qualified because of your long years of ministry service, it’s indeed a significant step to strengthen your credentials and explore other career opportunities. Divinity schools, seminaries, and institutions offer students quality and meaningful educational journeys as they acquire the doctor of divinity degree.

Our Best Online Doctor of Divinity Degrees list emphasizes Bible, Ministry, Christianity, and Theology coursework offerings. These can further develop your skills to lead God’s followers further and educate younger students about God and His Word. Our list also includes the credit hours needed for completion, and their unique offerings, which can influence why you choose the specific institution. Although this doctorate is not a formal academic degree compared to a Ph.D. in Ministry, this education can help you reach your personal and professional goals. 

Check out our Methodology page for more information.

List of the Best Online Doctor of Divinity Programs in 2022

Master’s International University of Divinity

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Qualified senior clergy can apply for this competency-based doctorate. The program accepts applicants based on their achievements. As part of earning the degree, students demonstrate what they already know and are doing and validate their knowledge and expertise in Biblical competencies. An ecclesiastical doctorate has no intention of competing with a traditional academic or professional doctorate. Nevertheless, the unique method for earning the degree makes it distinct and adds to its meaning and dignity as the world’s oldest and most widely recognized senior Christian ministerial degree.


  • Evansville, Indiana


  • Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools

Program Features:

  • Requires 30 credits for completion

Course Options:

  • Old Testament Competency
  • New Testament Competency
  • Orientation and Ministry Validation
  • Theological Competency

Admission Requirements:

  • Must not be younger than 40 years old
  • BS Degree from an acceptable institution
  • Should have served at least 15 years in Christian ministry
  • Must hold licensure, commissioning, or ordination from a recognized ecclesiastical body or church


  • $180 / credit

Financial Aid:

  • Monthly payment plans
  • Spouse tuition benefit

What’s Unique About The Program:

  • Self-paced, 100% online, and flexible
  • There is no semester, quarter, or term structure; the course can be started at any time of the year.

Christian Leadership University

Best Online Doctor of Divinity Programs in 2021 2

The value of experiential learning trumps that of book learning. This program will focus on providing you with opportunities to apply what you learn in real-life settings. Most courses for those seeking a Ph.D. in Divinity are typically selected from the Theology, Ministry, and Bible concentrations. Instead of following a predetermined, one-size-fits-all degree program, you can take the courses according to your pace and preference. You will get to design and customize your Doctor of Divinity program with Christian Leadership University.


  • Cheektowaga, New York


  • Christian Accreditation International

Program Features:

  • Offers three concentration choices: Theology, Bible, and Ministry
  • Requires 60 credits for completion
  • Includes a doctoral dissertation

Course Options:

  • Major Prophets
  • Poetry Books
  • Epistles and Revelation
  • Acts and Epistles
  • Principles of the Kingdom

Admission Requirements:

  • Online application form
  • Student Release form


  • $100 / credit

What’s Unique About The Program:

  • CLU offers a variety of courses for you to choose from.
  • Requires an internship or practicum.
  • You can earn up to 50% of your Divinity Doctorate by combining life experience credit with transfer credits from other schools.

Southern National Theological Seminary

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This Doctor of Divinity program provides students with a comprehensive knowledge of the Bible and its teachings and reveals the connections between the Bible and history and culture. Among the topics covered will be the study of other world religions and how they have played, and continue to play, a vital role in the cultures and societies in which they are prevalent.


  • Saint Petersburg, Florida


  • Accrediting Commission For Biblical Higher Education

Program Features:

  • 60 credits required for completion
  • Generally takes 2 to 3 years but can be completed in 24 to 36 months as an accelerated program

Course Options:

  • Christianity, Mission, and Expansion
  • Table Talk – Martin Luther
  • Sketches of Jewish Social Life
  • The Worship of God
  • The Gospels

Admission Requirements:

  • Online application form
  • Biblical Evaluation test
  • Personal reference


  • See details on the Registration Page after clicking the “Donate Now” button

Financial Aid:

  • Subsidized or full scholarship
  • Tuition assistance
  • Monthly payment options

What’s Unique About The Program:

  • Southern National Theological Seminary students are required to complete tests and examinations—supervised and unsupervised.
  • Self-study format
  • Students must attend six online live “Critical Thinking” classes to complete the said course.

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