Degree in Theology- Where?! Help?!


#1

I really, really desire to get a degree in theology. I’m studying as best I can on my own (for pleasure, I love learning, and theology and history are my two passions), but I’m to the point I really need “directed” learning, if that makes any sense. I’ve been procrastinating on getting an “official” education for a few years now, and feel a constant push to finally act upon this.

An internet search for a degree in theology (or any other degree) will bring up a list of universities, most of which the degree isn’t worth the paper it’s printed on. (at least in my opinion). My husband is in the military, so we move every two-three years. Are there any online universities at all that provide a valuable degree in theology?

Thanks for any help!
Jennie


#2

Welcome to CAF, Jennie.

I don’t know if they have distance learning programs, but a few schools to investigate would be Catholic University of America, University of Dallas, and Franciscan University, Steubenville, OH.


#3

I've heard the U of Dallas has a good distance ed degree in theology, but I can't claim to have any first hand knowledge of it.


#4

Welcome to CAF, Jennie! :wave:

National Catholic Register regularly publishes their Catholic Identity College Guide. It's a good place to start to get an idea of which Catholic universities take their Catholic identity the most seriously. This doesn't mean that any college not on the list is utterly depraved. But you definitely want to do your research.

A few questions you need to ask yourself:

First, why do you want a degree? Is it just for personal edification or do you want to pursue working for the Church as your full-time means of employment? Depending upon your goal, you may be content to simply audit some distance learning courses rather than pursue a degree.

Next, what degree are you seeking (BA, MA, STL, PhD, STD, etc.)? Do you already have a bachelor's degree in something else? If you already have a bacehlor's degree, that tends to make it simpler in pursuing a Theology degree in particular. If not, then you have to take all the Gen Eds so that you have a well-rounded bachelor's degree. :)

If you plan on eventually getting a PhD (or STD), then that might effect where you go for your MA (or STL).

Finally (and please don't answer this one here at CAF), take a good look at your financial situation and the financial side of things. Some places can give you more scholarship money than others.

Franciscan University of Steubenville has a great Distance Learning program (if you're going for the MA). Plus they have Scott Hahn in residence. ;) Their program is more distance than online. Basically, they send you all the pre-recorded lectures and you mail in your assignments. AFAIK, there is no interactive online component. They also give you the option to buy the courses for non-credit (which is cheaper).

Catholic Distance University is another possibility. They seem to offer a variety of formats for their courses. I don't have any first-hand knowledge of their program, but a look at their faculty list shows many very reliable names (and a few that I might avoid). You'd just have to plan ahead and do your research.

I could go on, but I don't want to overwhelm you. :o Feel free to PM me if you have any other questions.


#5

as far as i know, CUA is the only plac where you can get ecclesiastical theology degrees(STB, STL, STD)

other school have theology, but with civil degrees


#6

[quote="Montalo, post:5, topic:201331"]
as far as i know, CUA is the only plac where you can get ecclesiastical theology degrees(STB, STL, STD)

other school have theology, but with civil degrees

[/quote]

CUA?? What does the acronym stand for?


#7

Wow! Thanks for all the help.

To answer earlier questions: I desire I degree because I feel that would provide the best overall knowledge. Picking classes here and there is an interesting concept, and might work, but I want to make sure I don’t miss seriously important topics/classes just because I don’t know that I need to know that (if that makes any sense).

I do NOT have any sort of degree. I was a nuclear chemist in the Navy, and have a ton of engineering credits, etc. But I will need to take the classes (such as music, art, all that stuff).

But I am a bit confused. From what I read above, I could have a bachelors in something completely non-religion related, and then pursue a master’s in theology?
If I get a bachelors in theology (is that even an option? or can you only master in that?), can I not go on and get a master’s in theology?

Thanks so much everyone!
Jennie


#8

Oh, to answer another question someone asked:
I'm a freelance writer, and while I post articles on religion with my level of knowledge, but a degree and/or college courses would not only increase my knowledge, but improve my writing on this topic.


#9

[quote="SCiZ, post:6, topic:201331"]
CUA?? What does the acronym stand for?

[/quote]

CUA = Catholic University of America

There are other "branches" of CUA that you can get pontifical degrees from as well. The John Paul II Institute is one. It focuses on Marriage and Family Studies (and boasts such alumn as Christopher West and Mary Beth Bonacci).


#10

[quote="JLandsberger, post:7, topic:201331"]
To answer earlier questions: I desire I degree because I feel that would provide the best overall knowledge. Picking classes here and there is an interesting concept, and might work, but I want to make sure I don't miss seriously important topics/classes just because I don't know that I need to know that (if that makes any sense).

[/quote]

You could still look at the required courses for a degree and simply audit those courses if you want the "overall package". Not that I'm trying to discourage you from getting a degree, but I just mention it as an option.

[quote="JLandsberger, post:7, topic:201331"]
But I am a bit confused. From what I read above, I could have a bachelors in something completely non-religion related, and then pursue a master's in theology?

If I get a bachelors in theology (is that even an option? or can you only master in that?), can I not go on and get a master's in theology?

[/quote]

You can get an MA in theology even with a completely unrelated bacehlor's degree. I know a lot of Franciscan University grads, and most of them did not get their bachelor's in theology. People had degrees in everything from Math and Engineering to Psychology and English to Biology and everything in between. Some were even MBA's. In these cases, you simply have to take a few "catch up" undergrad level theology and philosophy courses before you proceed with the grad level theology courses.

Of course, you can get a bachelor's in theology, too. You could also get a bachelor's in catechetics (aka "religious education") as well if you want to know the nuts and bolts of passing on the faith. I'm not sure if you could get a bachelor's degree online, though. CDU offers a Bachelor's completion program, but you have to have 90 credit hours and all your Gen Eds taken care of (because they only teach theology-related courses).


#11

[quote="Montalo, post:5, topic:201331"]
as far as i know, CUA is the only plac where you can get ecclesiastical theology degrees(STB, STL, STD)

other school have theology, but with civil degrees

[/quote]

I believe that there are other pontifical universities in the U.S.(e.g. Boston College) offering degrees in sacred theology, but that only C.U.A. has the authority to grant degrees in canon law.


#12

I don't know of any undergrad programs, but, when you get to that point, I highly recommend one of the two of the following: Holy Apostles Seminary or Franciscan University.

God bless.


#13

[quote="JLandsberger, post:1, topic:201331"]
I really, really desire to get a degree in theology. I'm studying as best I can on my own (for pleasure, I love learning, and theology and history are my two passions), but I'm to the point I really need "directed" learning, if that makes any sense. I've been procrastinating on getting an "official" education for a few years now, and feel a constant push to finally act upon this.

An internet search for a degree in theology (or any other degree) will bring up a list of universities, most of which the degree isn't worth the paper it's printed on. (at least in my opinion). My husband is in the military, so we move every two-three years. Are there any online universities at all that provide a valuable degree in theology?

Thanks for any help!
Jennie

[/quote]


#14

I just applied to St Joseph's Maine online B.A Theology I am interested in other options too but hae decided to look at online options - Good Luck! Theresa


#15

I'm attending UD currently, and can say that the theology program is solid and totally in line with the Magisterium. Some of my sisters have gone through the program at Steubenville, and it is also top notch. I have known sisters in other orders who have gone through CUA, and it has its pros and cons.

I'll say a prayer for you!


#16

Thank you Sister please could you explain the other abbreviations? I assume UD is University of Dallas I will look into that program - thanks so much.


#17

UD is University of Dallas. CUA is Catholic University of America in Washington D.C. It's a nice campus, but I'm told that some of the professors there are still finding their way back from some fairly liberal ideas. The Dominican House of Studies is across the street, and they are awesome!


#18

[quote="Young_Thinker, post:11, topic:201331"]
I believe that there are other pontifical universities in the U.S.(e.g. Boston College) offering degrees in sacred theology, but that only C.U.A. has the authority to grant degrees in canon law.

[/quote]

I stand corrected, but the number is still few

I do think the point about Canon Law stands, however


#19

I just applied at University of New Orleans at Loyola - you can look it up under Loyola Institute of Ministry - they have undergrad through PhD online and on campus. They are awesome. It is Catholic - run by a Jesuit order. God bless and I will add your husbands intentions to my prayers.


#20

[quote="Montalo, post:18, topic:201331"]
I stand corrected, but the number is still few

I do think the point about Canon Law stands, however

[/quote]

All right.


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