Top Schools for Religion and Theology

When selecting a college or university, it is important to have an idea of how programs stack up against each other. The following are some of the top options for a religion or theology degree, including traditional and online-only programs:

Notre Dame
The University of Notre Dame is a private Catholic research university that was started by a priest in 1842. U.S. News & World Report ranked the school 19th among national universities in 2012. The school's library system is one of the 100 largest in the United States. Notre Dame's Department of Theology offers several degrees to its students, including a general undergraduate degree in theology and a joint undergraduate degree in theology and philosophy. The theological graduate programs include a Master of Divinity (M.Div.), a Master of Theological Studies (M.T.S.) and a Master of Sacred Music (MSM). You can also pursue an M.A. in Theology and a Ph.D. in Systematic Theology.

Loyola University of Chicago, IL
Loyola University was established in 1870 and originally named St. Ignatius College. Loyola University was ranked as a Top National University and Best Value School by U.S. News & World Report in 2012. The university's Department of Theology offers two Bachelor of Arts degrees in theological studies and religious studies. The department also offers a Master of Arts (M.A.) program with four different concentrations, including Biblical studies, Biblical languages and literature, Christian ethics and theological studies, all of which have distinct curricula. Students can also pursue a Ph.D. in Integrative Studies that has three specializations: ethics and theology, new testament and early Christianity and theological pedagogy.

Liberty University Online
Liberty University is one of the nation's leading Christian colleges, Liberty offers numerous online theology degrees, such as Associate or Master's in Theology, as well as Pastoral Counseling, Sacred Theology, or Worship. These programs can often be completed much faster than their campus counterparts from the convenience of your home PC.

Colorado Christian University
Colorado Christian University has emphasized developing students' minds and spirits for almost 100 years now. As students complete classes for their intended degree, students will integrate their ethics and morals into their business and career decisions. The Bachelor of Arts in Biblical Studies is offered online and accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.

Boston College
The Jesuits established Boston College in 1863. U.S. News & World Report ranked the school 31st among national universities in 2012. Boston College's School of Theology and Ministry opened in June 2008 and offers many unique degree options, most at the graduate level. Students can earn a post-undergraduate Bachelor of Sacred Theology (S.T.B.) if they already have a B.A. or B.S. in another field. The school also offers an M.Div., an M.T.S., an M.A. in Theology and Ministry, a Master of Education (M.Ed.) in Religious Education, a Master of Theology (Th.M.) and a summer-only M.A. in Pastoral Ministry (M.A.P.M.) program. The Ph.D. program offers specializations in Christian history, systematic theology, Biblical studies, theological ethics and comparative theology.