Affordable Online Associate in Theology Degrees

As an academic study of the Christian faith and tradition, theology is a discipline typically reserved for aspiring clergy members or those seeking careers in other religious organizations. However, the critical reasoning and thinking skills developed in theology programs are valued in a variety of secular industries. Additionally, by exposing students to diverse cultures and social groups, theology nurtures an empathic perspective that is useful in many non-religious fields.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, graduates with associate in theology degrees receive competitive salaries in home healthcare services and many advance to careers in education. There are thriving markets for people with a theology degree in states such as California, New York, Florida, Colorado, and Texas, and current estimates place future job growth for religious workers nationwide at six percent.

Earning an online associate degree in theology is ideal for those balancing work and family commitments. It is also a cost-effective way for students to transfer into a four-year degree program. The following ranking features accredited schools and universities, providing prospective students quality program options to pursue their degree. If you’re interested in earning an online associate in theology, and you value the flexibility of an online program, be sure to take a look at these top schools.


10 Affordable Online Associate in Theology Degrees
Rank School Score Toggle Content
1

Grace College of Divinity

Value Score 7.32
Average Tuition $4,080
Students Receiving Financial Aid 90%
Net Price $3,532
Graduation Rate 40%
Student to Faculty Ratio 6:1
Retention Rate 83%
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 100%
Number of Online Programs 1

GCD in Fayetteville, North Carolina, is founded on the principles of leadership, worship, ministry, and family life. The college offers an online associate degree in theology: an associate of divinity degree, which is usually completed over two years. Of the 60 required credit hours, 55 consist of classes featuring practical applications of the Christian message, such as counselling and communication skills. The curriculum deepens students’ knowledge of the Old and New Testaments, church history, and hermeneutics. Students also complete a practical leadership assessment.

Applicants with prior college experience must provide ACT or SAT scores. The application for admission emphasizes the student’s Christian character, conduct, and conversion experience. Students may transfer in up to 60 approved credits from other colleges or universities.


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2

Piedmont International University

Value Score 7.30
Average Tuition $8,850
Students Receiving Financial Aid 100%
Net Price $13,671
Graduation Rate 40%
Student to Faculty Ratio 7:1
Retention Rate 74%
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 80%
Number of Online Programs 3

PIU is based in Winston-Salem, one of the oldest Christian cities in North America. PIU offers a cost-effective online theology degree: an associate of arts in Bible. PIU offers financial aid to over 96% of its students, awarding about one million dollars annually, and boasts a student–teacher ratio of 9-to-1.

Full-time students complete the online associate degree in two years, and most progress to four-year programs. Part-time options are available. The required 64 credit hours include courses featuring in-depth studies of the Old and New Testaments and classes that develop students’ mastery of hermeneutic tools such as dispensationalism. The curriculum emphasizes Baptist history and requires seven credits of ministry education.

Applicants must hold a minimum 2.0 GPA, an ACT composite score of at least 17, or a minimum combined SAT score of 1230.


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3

Nazarene Bible College

Value Score 7.17
Average Tuition $10,800
Students Receiving Financial Aid 100%
Net Price $13,037
Graduation Rate 40%
Student to Faculty Ratio 9:1
Retention Rate 100%
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 89%
Number of Online Programs 4

NBC has prepared Christians to evangelize, disciple, and minister since 1967. Based in Colorado Springs, the college offers a low-cost online associate degree in theology. The associate of arts degree in ministry offers three concentrations—Christian educational ministries, church ministries, and Hispanic pastoral ministries—allowing students to customize their degrees according to their personal career goals and the needs of their communities. Available courses range from global evangelism to preaching to children.

Of the 64 required semester hours, 32 must be completed through NBC. Nine credits are devoted to Bible knowledge and theology. NBC students may extend their associate degree by 11 courses to become ordained within the Church of the Nazarene. The associate degree is approved for federal educational benefits for military veterans.


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4

Gods Bible School and College

Value Score 6.72
Average Tuition $6,000
Students Receiving Financial Aid 87%
Net Price $7,839
Graduation Rate 46%
Student to Faculty Ratio 11:1
Retention Rate 67%
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 59%
Number of Online Programs 2

Based in Cincinnati, Ohio, GBSC offers two online associate degrees in theology. Both programs typically require two years to complete.

The associate of arts in Bible and theology focuses on the Old Testament and the Pentateuch, as well as the New Testament and the life of Christ. This broad theology foundation allows graduates a wide range of education and career options. The associate degree requires 60 credits, 30 of which are in general education.

The associate of applied science in ministerial education is primarily intended for students preparing to pursue a BA in ministerial education. The degree offers eight tracks and requires 68 credits, including 11 credits of ministerial education, with a strong emphasis on biblical studies. This program also requires nine credits of preaching experience.


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5

The Baptist College of Florida

Value Score 6.71
Average Tuition $9,600
Students Receiving Financial Aid 97%
Net Price $8,539
Graduation Rate 40%
Student to Faculty Ratio 11:1
Retention Rate 76%
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 58%
Number of Online Programs 3

BCF in Graceville, Florida, was founded in 1943 and offers an affordable online associate degree in theology. Online students have access to BCF’s distance sites in Orlando and Jacksonville.

BCF’s associate of divinity degree requires 66 credit hours and is delivered in an asynchronous format, with 21 credits devoted to developing practical skills necessary to work as a Southern Baptist minister in an autonomous local church. Along with a ministerial practicum, students take courses in pastoral leadership, preaching, and the preparation of sermons. Students complete 18 credits in scripture and the history of theological study. The required 21 credits of general education include psychology and communication.

BCF offers student support facilities and initiatives in line with the State of Florida Department of Education's Commission for Independent Education.


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6

Northwest University

Value Score 5.23
Average Tuition $27,700
Students Receiving Financial Aid 96%
Net Price $17,524
Graduation Rate 51%
Student to Faculty Ratio 10:1
Retention Rate 82%
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 11%
Number of Online Programs 3

NU in Kirkland, Washington, was founded in 1934. Among the university’s more than 70 programs is an associate degree in theology. Available fully online, the associate in ministry leadership degree is an affordable option for nontraditional students.

Students often use the program to prepare for a BA in church leadership or for postgraduate studies in theology. Students develop skills in exegesis and realize their vocations. NU runs the church partnership program initiative, which provides benefits for members of churches involved in ministry internships, such as scholarships for master’s-level students.

Applicants should hold a minimum 2.3 GPA. Those without SAT or ACT scores will be asked to complete an entrance exam. NU’s online programs are not available to residents of Connecticut, DC, Florida, Kentucky, Massachusetts, or Wisconsin.


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7

Warner University

Value Score 5.05
Average Tuition $19,154
Students Receiving Financial Aid 100%
Net Price $14,722
Graduation Rate 40%
Student to Faculty Ratio 17:1
Retention Rate 72%
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 52%
Number of Online Programs 2

WU, based in Lake Wales, Florida, is a Christian university founded on the key values of service, integrity, knowledge, wisdom, and growth. These values inform WU’s associate degree in theology. WU’s affordable associate of science in Christian ministry is delivered online and is offered in standard and accelerated formats.

At the standard pace, students complete two courses every eight weeks, including at least 30 credit hours of general education courses. The associate degree is designed to prepare students for WU’s BS in Christian ministry.

WU offers several financial assistance options and scholarships. Applicants should hold a minimum GPA of 2.0 and be at least 23 years of age. WU requires recommendations supporting the student’s Christian character.


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8

Ohio Christian University

Value Score 4.89
Average Tuition $17,490
Students Receiving Financial Aid 96%
Net Price $16,184
Graduation Rate 33%
Student to Faculty Ratio 12:1
Retention Rate 67%
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 58%
Number of Online Programs 5

Founded in 1948, OCU is an established center of Christian learning based in Circleville, Ohio. OCU currently educates about 4,000 students and has a student–teacher ratio of 10-to-1. The university is accredited by four separate bodies.

OCU offers low-cost online theology degree programs, including the associate of arts in Christian ministry with a biblical studies concentration. The degree is delivered in an asynchronous format. The biblical studies concentration requires 12 credits comprising four five-week courses. Courses cover subjects such as the acts of the apostles, the Pauline epistles, and the Pentateuch. As a degree in ministry, the program teaches students to take on a lifelong faith-based initiative and to facilitate the delivery of God’s word.


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9

The King's University

Value Score 4.49
Average Tuition $11,940
Students Receiving Financial Aid 90%
Net Price $18,192
Graduation Rate 40%
Student to Faculty Ratio 13:1
Retention Rate 61%
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 41%
Number of Online Programs 1

Based in Southlake, Texas, TKU is a modern university founded by Dr. Jack Hayford, former senior pastor of The Church On The Way. The university is partnered with the nondenominational Gateway Church. TKU seminary focuses on spirit-filled evangelism and Christlike servanthood.

TKU offers an affordable theology degree online: an associate of Christian ministries, which grounds students in Christian history from a Pentecostal perspective. The program requires 62 credit hours, 18 of which cover subjects such as the Old and New Testaments and the history of Pentecostal charismatic movements. Major courses emphasize practical skills and knowledge, such as counseling and transformational teaching. The online associate degree requires a ministry seminar practicum, and 23 hours of general education include ministerial skills such as leadership development.


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10

Epic Bible College

Value Score 3.97
Average Tuition $8,964
Students Receiving Financial Aid 67%
Net Price $19,090
Graduation Rate 33%
Student to Faculty Ratio 9:1
Retention Rate 50%
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 47%
Number of Online Programs 1

Founded in Sacramento, California, Epic develops students’ spiritual, academic, and practical skills. The college offers two theology degrees online.

The AA in Christian studies requires 95 units, including 23 credit hours of core Bible and ministry studies and 8 credits of electives chosen from more than 20 biblical studies course options. The biblical studies electives are also available to students earning an AA in ministerial studies with an emphasis in biblical studies. Open to students of both programs are courses in literature-based subjects, such as Hebrew history and the early and medieval Church, as well as classic theological disciplines, such as homiletics, hermeneutics, and apologetics.

The AA in Christian studies requires 64 credits of general education, 14 humanities credits from the worship arts curriculum, and 18 social sciences credits from biblical counseling courses.


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