Rankings

Cheapest Online Master’s Degree in Biblical Studies

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Updated: January 22, 2024, Reading time: 13 minutes

Person scanning through the bible while books, notebooks and a cup of tea is laid out on a table

Earning a master’s degree in Biblical Studies online has become a practical choice for those looking to deepen their understanding of scripture without breaking the bank. The affordability and flexibility of online programs mean you can enhance your theological knowledge around your existing responsibilities. 

Whether you’re involved in ministry, interested in academic research, or seeking personal growth through structured biblical study, an online master’s degree can provide a quality education at a cost that respects your budget.

Cheapest Online Master’s Degree in Biblical Studies

Select institutions offer comprehensive online biblical studies programs that are not only rich in academic quality but are also among the most affordable options available. Choosing one of these affordable programs ensures you’re equipped to explore the theological depths without the stress of heavy financial burdens.

Holy Bible placed on a lectern

Below are the most affordable universities you can attend online to earn your master’s degree in theological studies.

Campbellsville University

Campbellsville University is a private Christian university located in Campbellsville, Kentucky. It is known for its strong emphasis on Christian values and offers a range of undergraduate and graduate programs across various disciplines. The university fosters a close-knit community and focuses on providing a holistic educational experience.

The M.Th. program at Campbellsville University is a 30-credit hour program designed to equip students for various Christian ministry roles. The program offers three concentrations: Biblical Studies, Pastoral Leadership, and Theological Studies. Students can also choose an elective track to further personalize their studies.

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The Master’s University and Seminary

The Master’s University and Seminary, based in Santa Clarita, California, is known for its commitment to biblical inerrancy and a strong doctrinal stance. It offers a range of undergraduate and graduate programs with a focus on theology, biblical studies, and related fields.

The Master of Arts in Biblical Studies (MABS) is a fully online graduate program that provides systematic, graduate-level study of the Old and New Testaments. The program also examines major categories of Christian theology with an emphasis on contemporary societal issues.

The program emphasizes a thorough biblical and theological understanding of Scripture, prioritizing Bible exposition and theology courses. It aims to integrate biblical studies with Christian faith and ministry.

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Belhaven University

Belhaven University is a private Christian liberal arts university in Jackson, Mississippi. With a commitment to integrating faith and learning, Belhaven offers a wide range of undergraduate and graduate programs. It is recognized for its quality education and commitment to the Christian worldview.

The M.A. in Biblical and Theological Studies at Belhaven is designed to deepen understanding of the Christian faith, offering insights into the history, interpretation, and meaningful explanation of scripture. This online program is ideal for those already involved in ministry and seeking a better grasp of their faith.

The program partners with Third Millennium Ministries, offering an innovative multimedia curriculum. It’s notably affordable, with discounted tuition at $199 per credit hour, and provides flexibility with 100% online delivery and seven-week course terms. This is the cheapest tuition compared to any other school on our list, making it a great option if you’re on a really tight budget.

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Liberty University

Liberty University, located in Lynchburg, Virginia, is a well-known Christian university. It offers a range of undergraduate and graduate programs and is recognized for integrating faith with learning across its curriculum. Liberty has been a leader in distance education since 1985 and is known for its commitment to biblical principles.

The Master of Arts in Theological Studies at Liberty University is a 36-credit hour program, which can be completed residentially or online. The program is designed to provide an in-depth study of theology, the Old and New Testament, and the history of Christianity. It’s suitable for those aspiring to roles in ministry, missions, education, or further theological studies.

The program offers the flexibility of online learning and the option to tailor electives to students’ specific interests. It also provides hands-on ministry experience and networking opportunities with various organizations.

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Columbia International University

Columbia International University (CIU), located in Columbia, South Carolina, is known for its strong biblical and theological emphasis. It offers a range of undergraduate, graduate, and seminary programs focused on ministry, missions, and related fields.

CIU’s Master of Arts in Theological Studies is a program designed to provide comprehensive theological education. It covers topics like the Old and New Testaments, hermeneutics, and various theological and ethical issues. This degree is suitable for those seeking roles in Christian leadership, education, counseling, or further academic pursuits.

The program focuses on personal and spiritual growth, cultural competence, and the applicability of theology in various professional contexts. It aims to provide an understanding of diverse worldviews and effective communication across cultures.

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Abilene Christian University

Abilene Christian University (ACU) is a private Christian university in Abilene, Texas. Known for its commitment to Christian values and academic excellence, ACU offers a wide range of undergraduate and graduate programs. The university is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

The Master of Theological Studies in Theology at ACU is designed to provide rigorous academic training in theological research and scholarship. This two-year program, consisting of 48 credit hours, aims to equip students with skills and knowledge to engage in and advance theological practices in various spheres, such as the church, academy, and society.

The program is distinctive for its integration of Christian tradition with contemporary scholarship. It emphasizes developing skills in critical and constructive engagement with Christian traditions and fosters research, writing, and critical thinking abilities.

In terms of tuition, ACU is the most expensive option on our list, especially compared to universities like Belhaven or The Master’s University.

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Understanding Online Master’s Degrees in Biblical Studies

Pursuing an online Master’s degree in Biblical Studies offers a flexible path to deepen your theological knowledge and prepare for a range of ministry-centered careers.

Accreditation and Credibility

When considering an online Master’s degree in Biblical Studies, ensuring the program is accredited is essential. Accreditation confirms that the education provided meets specific quality standards and that employers and other institutions will recognize your degree. For instance, the program at Liberty University is accredited by the ATS Commission on Accrediting. 

Curriculum Overview

The curriculum in an online Biblical Studies program typically entails systematic studies of the Old and New Testaments, theological principles, church history, and biblical languages. Master’s programs, such as the one offered by The Master’s University, usually include courses designed to help you accurately handle the Word of God, equipping you for leadership roles within the church.

Finding the Cheapest Programs

To ensure you’re getting the best value for your education in biblical studies, compare program costs and explore available financial assistance. Here’s how to find the most affordable options for your online master’s degree.

Cost Comparison of Various Institutions

When looking into online master’s degrees in biblical studies, tuition fees can vary significantly. The median annual tuition for these degrees is around $10,710. This contrasts with the overall median cost of an online master’s across various subjects, which is closer to $14,278. Some programs even start as low as $3,582 per year.

Scholarships and Financial Aid Options

You’re not limited to the sticker price; scholarships and financial aid can reduce the cost of your master’s degree. Research your options, such as getting federal financial aid, institution-specific scholarships, or work-study programs. Even though you’re completing your master’s degree online, you can still apply for work-study programs, so don’t immediately cross that off the list.

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Remember to check the deadlines for these financial aid options and prepare your applications accordingly.

Career Opportunities with a Master’s Degree in Theological Studies

Earning your master’s degree in theological studies opens up several career paths tailored to your passion for religious academia and service. Your advanced education doesn’t just deepen your understanding of theology; it provides practical avenues to apply your knowledge in the workforce.

Faith-Based Roles

Academic Positions

Nonprofit Work

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Other Opportunities

Your master’s degree can also position you for roles in research, faith-based media, or as an ethical advisor in corporate environments. Opportunities vary widely, often intertwining with public service, education, and community leadership, allowing your work to reflect your values and scholarly achievements.

Application Process and Requirements

The application process is straightforward, allowing you to take a leap towards academic and spiritual growth. Here are the essential steps and documentation that are usually required to get started.

Admission Criteria

Required Documentation

Remember, specific criteria and documentation may vary between institutions, so always check the precise requirements of the online master’s program you’re considering.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Does the Cost of an Online Master’s in Theology Compare to Traditional On-Campus Programs?

The cost of an online master’s in theology can often be more affordable than traditional on-campus programs. Online programs may offer lower tuition rates and reduce expenses related to commuting, housing, and campus fees.

How Long Does It Take To Get a Masters in Biblical Studies?

The time to complete a master’s in biblical studies typically ranges from one to three years. For example, at Belhaven University, full-time students usually complete the required 36 credit hours in about two years.

What Is the Difference Between an MA in Bible Studies and MDiv?

An MA in Biblical Studies is a scholarly approach focusing on in-depth scripture study and academic research, while a Master of Divinity (MDiv) is a professional degree that prepares individuals for pastoral ministry and may include counseling, leadership, and liturgy alongside biblical studies.

Conclusion

Choosing an affordable online master’s degree in biblical studies can be a significant step forward in your academic and career aspirations. Remember that while affordability is key, ensuring that the program provides a robust educational experience to meet your goals is equally important.

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