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Doctoral in Theology

Theology programs focus on religious traditions, behaviors and beliefs. The programs also instruct students about how religion is practiced and its role in society. Theology degrees are offered by several campus-based as well as distance learning schools. Graduates may find work in church or look for opportunities in the education sector. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employment of Philosophy and Religion Teachers (postsecondary) is anticipated to increase between 2012 and 2022.

Students can work towards undergraduate or graduate degrees and acquire leadership, problem-solving and communication skills to become ministers or teachers. The bachelor's degrees generally require four years for completion while the master's degrees can be earned in 1-2 years. The enrollment status of the students can help to determine the duration of a program. Students may focus their degree in ministerial leadership, divinity, personal ministries, biblical studies or pastoral counseling.

Doctoral in Theology
Doctoral degrees are advanced programs that generally require 5-7 years to complete depending on the route that the students take. These programs allow students to learn about the methodological approaches to the study of religion. These degrees prepare candidates for advanced work in academia, churches or seminaries. Students in these programs get a chance to develop advanced research techniques. The doctoral program generally includes a dissertation as well.

Students in these programs may learn about medieval religion and culture, modern religion and culture, issues in American Catholicism and other related subjects. They can also choose an area of specialty such as Bible studies, Old Testament, New Testament, the philosophy of religion, Christian history or church history. The doctoral in theology curriculum may include topics such as Christianity in Africa, biblical heritage, perspectives on western culture, biblical history and Hebrew language.

Online Theology Degrees
In addition to traditional campus based schools, various distance learning schools also offer degrees in theology. The online programs are similar to the degrees offered at traditional schools expect for the difference in learning techniques and format. Students in the regular programs study in traditional classrooms while candidates in online courses study from any location of their choice with the help of computers or the internet. Students are not bound to attend classes at fixed schedule as in the case with traditional degree programs. In fact, they can study anytime that may fit their personal schedule. The online programs in theology can particularly be useful for those engaged in part-time or full-time employment or are looking for a career switch and advancement.

Admissions Requirements
A bachelor's degree is required to enroll in a Doctoral in Theology program. Candidates may also have to provide letters of recommendation and statement of intent. In addition, students may also have to submit standardized test scores and a resume.

Career Prospects
Graduates of theology degrees may become ministers, researchers or teachers in colleges and universities. These professionals may guide or instruct students or others about religious beliefs and practices. They may also provide counseling to people in need. Compensation depends on the type of work, location and experience. BLS reports that as of 2011, the median annual wage of Philosophy and Religion Teachers (postsecondary) teachers was $71, 620.

States with the highest employment level in this occupation:



Employment per thousand jobs

Location quotient

Hourly mean wage

Annual mean wage

California 16600.111.2618.1337720
Florida 11300.141.6817.9737370
Illinois 9600.161.9217.937240
Texas 7600.070.7816.6234570
New York 6500.070.8520.1241840


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