The 12 Best Online Religious Studies Bachelor’s Degree Colleges Of 2021

Best Online Schools for Bachelor’s Degree In Religious Studies Badge

The goal of a Bachelor’s Degree in Religious Studies program is to fully equip students with practical knowledge and principles on theological concepts, world religions, and religious traditions. The courses are aimed at helping students achieve a detailed understanding of the relationship between religion and world cultures.

As distance education is now a viable option for earning a degree, many have decided to pursue Religious Studies as online students. The length of time it takes to complete the online degree program may vary depending on the specific area of specialization and the academic requirements for completion; however, full-time students typically finish the program in four years. Some online students earn their diploma in less than four years provided that they have acceptable transfer credits from previous work or life experience.

Why Choose a Degree in Religious Studies?

The Religious Studies degree is an excellent choice for individuals who wish to pursue spiritual ministry in faith-based non-profit organizations, religious institutions, and churches. Religious Studies graduates become priests, lay ministers, pastors, assistant pastors, worship leaders, music directors, youth pastors, children’s pastors, church administrators, or pastoral care staff. Others pursue careers in religious publications.

Some graduates opt for community service by taking an active part in or overseeing religious groups, charitable organizations, and religious education centers. As the degree is also ideal for people seeking to blend spiritual and academic enrichment, graduates of Religious Studies online programs pursue teaching as a profession in universities and colleges. As such, it is not uncommon that academic instructors of Theology, Philosophy, and religion-related subjects are Religious Studies graduates.

Choosing an Online Bachelor’s Degree in Religious Studies

Whether you are drawn to religious studies because of your faith or your fascination with religion’s cultural aspect, then a degree in religious studies is a great option for you! The online bachelor’s degree in religious studies programs is accessible from the associate to the doctoral degree level and in several key areas like the Biblical studies, comparative religion, ministry, intercultural studies, and Christian studies. The skills you acquire will lead you to have a career in the clergy, education, missions, social service, and even in the business industry.

All aspiring students of religious studies should find an online program with institutional accreditation to guarantee that you get a high-quality education and service. Pursuing an online degree in religious studies will help you continue to serve your local church or even a non-profit agency while weighing a more balanced home, work (if you are a working student), and school life.

cc methodology

We have ranked 10 of the country’s best online schools that offer Bachelor’s Degree programs in Religious Studies. We gathered pertinent data and ranked their academic programs based on our parameters. In particular, we considered the program’s courses, features, tuition, and financial aid options. We also highlight the unique features of each online program. The colleges and universities are listed and ranked in random order.

Please visit our Methodology page to get in-depth information.

Liberty University

Liberty University Online Programs - religious studies program

Liberty University is a private academic institution that features an online Bachelor of Arts in Religion degree program. The goal is to educate students on the biblical foundations for ministry or pastoral leadership. Lessons and discussions are centered on biblical doctrines, theology, and Christian philosophies. The program also aims to sharpen students’ critical-thinking and research skills. Major courses deal more research methods in religious studies and theological scripture interpretation.

Location

Lynchburg, Virginia

Accreditation

  • Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACS)
  • Association of Theological Schools

Program Features

  • 120 credits required to complete for 8 weeks
  • multiple start dates
  • completion of research or praxis-based capstone project
  • minors include church ministries, Christian counseling, biblical studies
  • college credits can come from prior learning, professional or life experience (evangelism, youth ministry activities)

Course Options

  • Biblical and Educational Studies
  • Christian Leadership and Management
  • Religion
  • Biblical and Theological Studies
  • Christian Counseling
  • Christian Ministries
  • Evangelism

Admissions

  • official high school transcripts
  • supporting documents

Tuition

  • $360 per credit hour (full-time tuition)
  • $435 per credit hour (part-time tuition)

Financial Aid

Special chaplaincy programs, discounts, and scholarships for military personnel, scholarship grants, loans, federal work-study, external aid sources

What’s unique about the program

One aspect unique to Liberty University is that it offers the most number of course options in Religious Studies. The program can be completed 100% online.


Saint Leo University

St Leo University - religious studies program

Saint Leo University offers an online Bachelor of Arts in Religion degree program. It aims to provide students with a solid foundation of the Christian faith. Another goal of the program is to prepare students for ministry and theology-related work. Students may also explore other disciplines relating to religious studies.

Location

St. Leo, Florida

Accreditation

  • Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) Commission on Colleges
  • Association of Theological Studies

Program Features

  • flexible coursework and schedules
  • weekly deadlines for projects and assignments online
  • internships
  • peer ministry
  • service trips to orphanage centers

Course Options

  • Religions of the Old World
  • History of Christianity
  • History of Philosophy
  • Christian Morality
  • Christian Social Justice
  • Old and New Testaments

Admissions

  • letter of recommendation
  • standardized test results

Tuition

  • $470 per credit hour/$11,280 per year (civilian tuition)
  • $250 per credit hour/$6,000 per year (military tuition)

Financial Aid

Federal, private, and state loans, grants, work-study opportunities, institutional scholarships

What’s unique about the program

Online students may focus on other courses and co-curricular activities while earning their online degree. Saint Leo was ranked as the 71st best regional university in the South due to its focus on internships and external activities related to the degree program.


American Public University

American Public University - religious studies program

American Public University (APU) offers an online program for Bachelor of Arts in Religion degree. Its objective is to introduce students to the many facets of religious thought, expression, and interpretation. Students also learn the history of major religions around the world and understand religious practices from a global perspective. The program is 100% online.

Location

Charles Town, West Virginia

Accreditation

  • Higher Learning Commission
  • Council for Higher Education Accreditation
  • Association of Theological Schools

Program Features

  • 120 credits required for completion
  • 90 maximum transferable credits
  • degree program can be completed in 4 years (full-time)

Course Options

  • Celtic Christianity
  • Religious Cults
  • Religious History
  • Influences of Myths and Rituals
  • Black Religion in America
  • Religions of the Middle East
  • Religious Existentialism

Admissions

  • Official transcripts from previous schools
  • Completed assessment tests

Tuition

$270 per credit hour

Financial Aid

Grants, scholarships, private loans, military and veterans’ scholarships, employer benefits

What’s unique about the program

American Public University’s online degree program is hailed as one of the most affordable. APU has also been consistently ranked as one of the best universities in the country as its program focuses on a wide range of religions and practices worldwide. The courses also expose students to the theological foundations of religion so they gain greater knowledge on the political, spiritual, and cultural facets of religion.


Lee University

Lee University Online - religious studies program

Lee University’s School of Religion emphasizes quality, cost-efficiency, and Christian virtues. Through its online Bachelor of Arts in Theology degree program, the university aims to develop an authentic Christian community. Religious Studies program instills Christian virtues in students through a state-of-the-art online learning program.

Location

Cleveland, Tennessee

Accreditation

  • Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACS)
  • Association of Theological Schools

Program Features

  • 120 credits of theology required to complete in 4 years
  • completion of 52 credits of general education coursework aside from major requirements

Course Options

  • Bible Study Methodologies
  • Fundamental Theological Concepts
  • Applied Christian Ethics
  • Research on Johannine literature and the Pentateuch

Admissions

  • high school minimum GPA of 2.0
  • composite score of 17 or above ACT
  • SAT total score of 900
  • $25 nonrefundable application fee
  • documentation of vaccinations

Tuition

  • $250 credit payment for undergraduate programs (military men and first responders)
  • 50% undergraduate tuition discount

Financial Aid

Lee scholarships, Endowment scholarships, federal loans, private loans

What’s unique about the program

Lee University is known for its high academic standards. It takes pride in its roster of competent Religious Studies professors.


Arizona State University

Arizona State University Online - religious studies program

Arizona State University (ASU) offers an online Bachelor of Arts in Religious Studies degree program. It aims to provide students comprehensive and cost-efficient education. This Religious Studies program is 100% online; students are not required to be on-campus for classes or events.

Location

Tempe, Arizona

Accreditation

  • North Central Association of Colleges and Schools
  • Association of Theological Studies

Program Features

  • topics covered: diversity of religions, religion’s effect on human history, social and cultural contexts
  • main focus of the program is Religion, Culture, and Public Life
  • 120 total credit hours for completion
  • 40 total classes
  • 7.5 weeks per class

Course Options

  • Global Contexts
  • Practice and Representation
  • Modernity
  • Approaches to Religion
  • Cultural diversity
  • Ritual, Symbol, and myth

Admissions

  • should be top 25% of the class
  • minimum of 3.0 GPA on the equivalency exams
  • individual review
  • standardized test scores

Tuition

  • $490 per credit hour
  • no additional program fees
  • 100% refund for students within first week of a 7.5-week term

Financial Aid

Scholarships, grants, loans, federal work-study, and outside sources

What’s unique about the program

ASU is recognized for its prestigious student scholars. Its Religious Studies program has been ranked the most innovative.


Wayland Baptist University

Wayland Baptist University - religious studies program

Wayland Baptist University features an online Bachelor of Arts in Religious Education degree program. It is ideal for students who plan to enroll in graduate studies later on or work as a leader in religious organizations. This B.A. online degree program aims to provide sufficient experience and competency through flexible online classes. The comprehensive coursework lets students obtain adequate experience that is deemed essential to their career path.

Location

Plainview, Texas

Accreditation

  • Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
  • Association of Theological Schools

Program Features

  • small online class sizes (average online class size of 16 students)
  • 124 total credit hours for completion
  • 42 hours required from upper-level courses
  • 39 hours required on core courses

Course Options

  • Old and New Testament History
  • Spiritual Formation
  • Biblical Interpretation
  • Philosophy and Ethics
  • Theology
  • Adult Ministry in the Church
  • Christian Leadership

Admissions

  •  $35 non-refundable application fee
  •  standardized test scores

Tuition

$348 per credit hour

Financial Aid

Federal and state grants, loans, and work-study; federal, state, institutional scholarships, military benefits

What’s unique about the program

Wayland Baptist University is regarded as the best university in the western region. The online B.A. program is based on the historical, theoretical, and practical foundations of Christian educational ministry, students can participate in family ministry and youth internships.


University of California Berkeley

University of Berkeley California - religious studies program

The University of California Berkeley offers an online Bachelor of Arts in Religious Studies program, which is a Liberal Arts major. Students gain new knowledge on religious disciplines on a global scale. The program curriculum includes analysis of cross-cultural occurrences within and among various religions.

Location

Berkeley, California

Accreditation

  • Western Association of Schools and Colleges
  • Association of Theological Schools

Program Features

  • flexible online classes
  • competent professors and advisers
  • notable courses include religious and philosophical connections, philosophy and public theology

Course Options

  • Buddhism
  • Hinduism
  • Judaism
  • Islam
  • Christianity

Admissions

  • GPA (official high school transcript)
  • extracurricular activities
  • student employment history
  • volunteer activities
  • letters of recommendation from counselor and teachers

Tuition

$13,878 per semester

Financial Aid

Federal, state, institutional, and private grants, scholarships, work-study programs, loans

What’s unique about the program

The University of California Berkeley does not require online students to have extensive religious background or prior knowledge on religion to enroll. A standout in the courses is that which explores the link between religious and philosophical knowledge in history, philosophy, and other disciplines.


Toccoa Falls College

Toccoa Falls College - religious studies program

Toccoa Falls College is a private, nonprofit, Christian liberal-arts institution. Included in its online offerings are a Bachelor of Science in Biblical Studies, as well as a Bachelor of Science in Ministry Leadership. The goal of these degree programs is to provide online students with sufficient knowledge, experience, and skills in order to become effective leaders in religious-based organizations. Each class offered at Toccoa Falls College has a biblically and theologically centered approach to education.

Location

Toccoa Falls, Georgia

Accreditation

Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC)

Program Features

  • Multiple start dates
  • 126 total credit hours of completion
  • 8 weeks per course
  • Small Online class sizes, maximum 25
  • Leadership specialization courses available
  • 18 hours of Bible and Theology
  • 18 hours of Humanities
  • 12 hours of Social Sciences
  • 9 hours of Computer, Math, and Sciences
  • 39 hours of Biblical Studies

Course Options

  • Foundations of Spiritual Formation
  • Hermeneutics & Advanced Hermeneutics
  • Introduction to the Old Testament & Intro to the New Testament
  • Variety of Old Testament and New Testament upper level electives
  • Church History
  • Apologetics
  • Theology & many upper level Theology electives
  • Communication for Ministry Leadership
  • Small Group Leadership

Admissions

  • personal testimony
  • College and/or High School Transcripts
  • SAT, ACT, CLT courses

Tuition

$350 per credit hour

Financial Aid

Institutional scholarships, PELL grant, GTEG, HOPE Scholarship, Zell Miller Scholarship, federal loans, federal work-study programs, Church Matching grant

What’s unique about the program

Toccoa Falls College was ranked one of the best colleges in the southern region. Its online bachelor’s degree programs, including in both bachelor’s Ministry Leadership and Biblical Studies, are top-rated. The college applies its high on-campus academic standards to its online course offerings.

NOTE: Text provided by Toccoa Falls College


Southeastern University

Southeastern University Online Learning - religious studies program

Designed for students “who have a passion for children’s ministry, missions, or another part of the body of Christ”, the Bachelor of Science in Ministerial Leadership online degree program is offered at Southeastern University. The online B.S. program has a Christ-centered liberal arts curriculum. Students attend online sessions for at least 8 weeks.

Location

Lakeland, Florida

Accreditation

  • Southern Association of Colleges and Schools
  • Association of Theological Schools
  • Program Features
  • 37 hours General education core courses
  • 21 hours Biblical and theological studies
  • 34 hours Ministerial leadership studies
  • 29 hours General electives

Course Options

  • General Education
  • Behavioral and Social Sciences
  • Social Science
  • History and Government
  • Business
  • Humanities
  • Literature
  • Mathematics

Admissions

  • Official transcripts from high school and all colleges and universities attended
  • ACT or SAT I scores

Tuition

$390 per credit hour

Financial Aid

FAFSA, scholarships, grants, payment plans

What’s unique about the program

Ministerial Leadership education seeks to help students understand and appreciate “God and His creation, human creativity, as well as reason and our place of responsibility as stewards in the world God has made.” With education and training in Biblical interpretation, preaching, and counseling, Southeastern University students are prepared to do ministerial work.


Regent University

Regent University - religious studies program

Regent University has three online bachelor’s degree programs on religious studies, namely, Bachelor of Arts in Biblical and Theological Studies, Bachelor of Arts in Christian Ministry and a Bachelor of Arts in Christian Leadership and Management. Each of these degrees aims to prepare and train students for pastoral leadership.

Location

Virginia Beach, Virginia

Accreditation

  • Southern Association of Colleges and Schools
  • Association of Theological Schools (ATS)

Program Features

  • flexible classes and coursework
  • competent and dedicated faculty members, advisors, and mentors
  • BA Biblical and Theological Studies degree programs are subdivided into Biblical Studies and Theological and Historical Studies

Course Options

  • Biblical and Theological Studies
  • Christian Ministry
  • Wisdom Literature
  • Christian Leadership
  • Global Christianity

Admissions

signed community life form

Tuition

$395 per credit hour (online tuition)

Financial Aid

Federal loans, state grants, private and institutional grants, loans, scholarships.

What’s unique about the program

Regent University is one of the most affordable Christian universities in the United States. It is also one of the top ATS-accredited seminaries in the country. It also offers a unique variety of coursework such as American Church, Epistles, Global Christianity, Psalms, prophets, and Wisdom Literature, to name a few.