100% Online M.Th Degrees?


#1

Can anyone recommend any 100% online Masters degrees in theology that are regionally accredited and possibly ATS accredited? ATS accreditation isn't mandatory, but it's nice.

St. Leo University's M.Th degree in theology is 100% online and is regionally accredited. It is only 36 credits long and will also accept 9 pre-existing theology credits from Barry University.

Is anyone familiar with other graduate-level online theology degrees that are 100% online?

Catholic Distance University is not regionally accredited, so it's out. It is only nationally accredited aka DETC.


#2

Holy Apostles College & Seminary offers a 100% distance learning M.A. in Theology (not sure how different that is from an M.Th.). It is a 12 course/36 credit hour program. No previous experience in theology or philosophy is required as far as I understand. You do need to hold a bachelor's degree with a GPA of at least a 3.0, however. They are accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges.

Hope this helps!


#3

[quote="JMKC, post:2, topic:346265"]
Holy Apostles College & Seminary offers a 100% distance learning M.A. in Theology (not sure how different that is from an M.Th.). It is a 12 course/36 credit hour program. No previous experience in theology or philosophy is required as far as I understand. You do need to hold a bachelor's degree with a GPA of at least a 3.0, however. They are accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges.

Hope this helps!

[/quote]

Thanks for the heads-up. I had previously explored Holy Apostles. We also have a graduate from Holy Apostles who works in our diocese. He completed their 100% distance learning program (an MA in Theology with a concentration in bioethics).

Neither St. Leo nor Holy Apostles are ATS accredited, but they are both regionally accredited, so either is acceptable. There are not many ATS accredited degrees that are 100% online, but here is a list of ATS accredited schools that offer at least six online credits. I know of at least one Protestant university that offers an ATS accredited degree that is 100% online, but don't know of any Catholic ATS degrees that are 100% online. In another 10 years, there will probably be several more 100% online theology degrees because things are rapidly changing.

I guess I'll go with St. Leo because they will accept up to 9 transfer credits in theology, which I have. Holy Apostles will only accept 6 transfer credits. Both require a total of 36 credits to graduate with a Theology graduate degree. If I go with St. Leo, then it's one less required class to take.

The cost is comparable. Holy Apostles charges $975 per 3-credit class and St. Leo charges about $850 for a 3-credit class (their website says $1266, but there is a diocesan discount that isn't heavily advertised). Plus, with a Parrish scholarship, the St. Leo cost is about $450 per 3-credit class. The aggregate tuition will end up being around $5400 (excluding books) for an M.Th degree. The cost is good, but oh all that work! Groan!

So I guess St. Leo is it, possibly starting in fall of 2014, unless the Lord doesn't allow it or prompts me to go in a different direction.


#4

I suggest that you google it. I think there is also something wonderful with the classroom setting because you get to interact with your peers and learn quite a bit about your faith and more. I know some universities give students permission to do both. The MA at Concordia University in Montreal is very good. If you decide to do the thesis option, in theory you could complete the courses in one year and then work on your thesis from long distance. I imagine other universities also have this option as well.


#5

[quote="SecretGarden, post:4, topic:346265"]
I think there is also something wonderful with the classroom setting because you get to interact with your peers and learn quite a bit about your faith and more.

[/quote]

Agreed. While getting a previous secular in-resident graduate degree, the classroom interaction was dynamic and fulfilling because we all learned from each other. However, there are no M.Th degree programs in my area that are within driving distance. Subsequently, getting an online M.Th degree is the next best alternative -- as long as it is regionally accredited.

I have an in-resident graduate degree (secular) from a local state university, along with 100% online graduate degrees from other secular universities. There is a big debate on which is better: online or in-resident teaching methodologies. They are both excellent learning modalities in their own unique ways. They are also both challenging in uniquely different ways. For learning about the different research methodologies, it's probably best to go the in-resident route, but for learning about standard coursework, which can be outlined in a syllabus, the online route is equally efficient.

By no means am I an Einstein. I find the study of Theology to be extremely difficult, so far, because it's unlike anything I've ever done, even though I've read the entire bible from cover-to-cover and can quote almost any scripture. However, the study of Theology is much more then that because its study is a different paradigm that uses a part of the brain that, for me, has never been formally exercised. Studying Theology requires thinking outside the box. I would have NEVER enrolled in a Theology program, due to the complexity and rigor of the subject matter, but it was offered to me via a financial scholarship -- and that's how I got 9 credits deep into it, but unfortunately, that particular in-resident local program is being discontinued -- which is why I'm looking for an online regionally accredited Theology program to transfer to.


#6

Be careful and make sure these are accredited.


#7

[quote="adawgj, post:6, topic:346265"]
Be careful and make sure these are accredited.

[/quote]

Agreed.

Both St. Leo University online and Holy Apostles College and Seminary are "regionally accredited." However, they are not ATS accredited, although that may happen in the near future. The gold standard is regional accreditation and for theology degrees, ATS is a top notch programmatic accreditation. There was a time when ATS refused to accredit online programs, but that is rapidly changing, as is demonstrated by this list of ATS schools that offer some online courses.

Regionally accredited (and ATS accredited) programs will be educational disruptors in this century, just as the steamship disrupted the sail-ship industry in the late 1800s.

You can read more about the disruptive explosion of 100% online education here.


#8

Follow-up:

Programmatic ATS accreditors just authorized six (6) institutions to offer 100% online degrees in theology. You can read about it here:
ats.edu/uploads/resources/publications-presentations/documents/fully-online-degree-programs.pdf

Here are the institutions in alphabetical order:
Andover Newton Theological School (American Baptist)
Asbury Theological Seminary (Interdenominational)
Atlantic School of Theology (Interdenominational)
Bethel Seminary (Baptist General Conference)
Covenant Theological Seminary (Presbyterian Church in America)
Fuller Theological Seminary (Interdenominational)

There are over 50 Roman Catholic institutions with ATS accreditation, but none of them (yet) has a 100% online theology degree. Many Catholic institutions offer up to six 100% online courses, such as the The Catholic University of America. To see a list of all institutions that offer at least six 100% online theology courses, click here (but you’ll have to sort through them to find the Catholic ones).

St. Leo University offers a 100% online theology degree that is regionally accredited, but it is not (yet) ATS accredited. They have been notified to see if they want to pursue ATS accreditation.


#9

Here is a new 100% online masters degree through Franciscan University of Steubenville. It is an MA in Catechetics and Evangelization and here is the link:
franciscan.edu/graduate-catechetics/


#10

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