List of Seminaries with Online and Distance Education

Ryan Burns —  November 10, 2007

So, I figure it would be good to work on a list of seminaries offering online and distance education degrees. Now, keep in mind that almost every school that offers a distance education will require, at least, some residential classes. This list will only include programs that are accredited or are currently in the accreditation process, and allow you to complete 90% of your degree off campus:

Ryan Burns

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Ryan Burns is on staff at Redemption Hill Church in Richmond, VA. He also runs a church jobs website to help connect churches and ministers.

19 responses to List of Seminaries with Online and Distance Education

  1. The cool thing about most seminaries though and their required amount of “campus class” is that a J-term counts towards meeting that requirement. For example, Southern Seminary wants 24 on-campus hours. That is basically 8 classes amounting to a total of 8 weeks on campus if done during the J-terms. Granted, those classes are a bit rough (I took a J-term class at MidWestern 3 years ago) but it is definitely a worthwhile endeavor for distance students.

    What is more, the seminaries usually offer cheap(er) rates for those students needing a place to stay while attending a J-term class.

  2. “J-term”?

    That’s a new one for me.

    Please define for me all our good readers out there.

  3. A “J-term” is a week long class during the months of January, June, and/or July. You go to class for 8-10 hours a day. You do all of your reading before you show up for the week. Usually, you write a paper after the class and sometimes you take an exam.

    Basically, you cram a semester into one week. The downside is you lose any decent discussion time and you don’t really get to know the professor very well let alone your fellow students. The upside for those who are distance students, it counts towards campus hours and it only takes a week per “semester.” You could potentially do 3-6 a year depending on how suicidal you want to be!

    This link (http://www.sbts.edu/pdf/deil/JTerm4.pdf) will take you to an example J-Term schedule at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. I think you will have to copy/paste it. Hope this helps.

  4. Here is the website for Christ Theological Seminary out of the Reformed Presbyterian Church of the United States (RPCUS) which is my denomination. I will be a ministerial student there starting in the Fall. Tuition is free for pre-ministerial students! One must only pay for the cost of books. Anyways, check it out!

  5. You missed one: Amridge University in Montgomery, AL – it’s MDiv is ATS accredited and they offer online programs both on the undergraduate level and post-grad, with multiple concentration options.

  6. I don’t think Amridge is considered ATS accredited; it is an associate member, but not full, which might create a problem if transferring or going on for further studies elsewhere.

  7. I live in Anchorage AK and looking to take an online degree program. I have looked at George Fox, Boise Bible College, Liberty, all way out of my price range. I was thinking of going to Colorado Theological Seminary. They have the degree program I want, their price for tuition is more in my price range and the degree is online. I was wondering if anyone has gone there or currently enrolled. That can give me guidance. My minister is trying to get me to do a course where you have to take a week or two and fly to the school to complete class. I have a family a disabled wife with Multiple Sclerosis, and my wife and her ex’ husband have the child custody agreement where they can’t move out of Anchorage. So, needless to say an online degree is my only way. If anyone wants to look at CTS their web site is http://www.seminary.ws Please let me know if the school is good or if I should keep looking.

  8. Greetings Scott. I am President and Co-founder of Colorado Theological Seminary. We have a number of students from Alaska. Feel free to give me a call toll free at 1-866-45-BIBLE ex 703 and we can chat.

    Our mission is to offer affordable and accessible Christian degree and certificate programs by distance learning. We don’t ask for any big up front fees. We charge tuition by the course. So, if for some reason we don’t meet your needs, you are not out big bucks. Approx. 60% of our students are already in the ministry. Thank you and be blessed.

  9. I’ve been studying at Colorado Theological Seminary. The program they have set up is very good. ATS is not the only accreditation game in town. There are several others recognized by the US Department Of Education that service Seminaries. Most places where you would use a seminary degree will not require accreditation from the US DOE. So, if you are interested in a quality education that won’t require you to give up your first born child’s inheritance in payment, then Colorado Theological Seminary would be my recommendation.

    Grace & Peace

  10. Liberty is a great seminary and offers a full online program. They are regionally accredited, but I don’t believe that it is ATS accredited. You could check to be sure though.

  11. I am preaching in pakistan but my wish is that i get more education of Bible for glory of God but every college demand money which i do not have So is it possible i get seminary and ministry support in Pakistan .

    • For those seeking biblical education but are not necessarily looking for an advanced degree, consider Third Millennium Ministries. Our goal is simple, biblical education, for the world, for free. Right now, we are working on producing material in five different languages: English, Arabic, Chinese (Mandarin), Spanish and Russian. New series are being released every quarter and are available for download at our website, http://www.thirdmill.org.

  12. I have had a nightmare with two so called great on-line universities. So I am very cautious now…
    Unfortunately I do not know of any theological seminaries in a descent driving distance from my home in Monroe Michigan.
    I am looking for a nondenominational seminary where the teachings are rich and holy spirit lead.
    Is Colorado Theological Seminary something that carries enough weight to use in the world; for any sort of ministry work? This is vague, because I have only received through prayer that I need to establish a solid biblical degree and then go from there.
    Thank You, Emily Webb

  13. Emily, have you looked into Ashland Theological Seminary, which has an extension in Southfield Michigan? It has seminarians from over 70 denominations and is fully accredited as a Theological School and as a university. I have found it to be both Spirit lead and academically honest.

  14. Does anyone know who Rockbridge Theological Seminary is accredited with they aren’t showing up in the current ATS database but maybe I’m missing something?
    Thanks.

    • @Matthew

      Rockbridge is working towards accreditation with the North Central Association. ATS does not accredit any fully online institutions, of which Rockbridge Seminary is.

  15. I have been researching for an online or even distance learning program to take. Believe me, anything ATS is WAY out of range as far as price. There are variances and some say, “well, with this-or-that scholarship and loan, it’s not really that much.” Well, yes, anything more than $300 or $400 for a 3 hour course is too much, at least for my limited circumstances. I’m 42 yo, am still paying tens of thousands of dollars of student loans for me and my ex-wife and i’m not even sure as to how i’m going to use the degree (I feel the calling, just not sure yet as to what it is in), and i’ll have a daughter starting college in a couple years as well. Seminary, like most US education, is insane as far as tuition goes. And of course if one seeks feedback about an “unaccredited” program, especially that is not ATS, the ATS supporters come out of the woodwork as to how much one will regret an “unaccredited” program. I’m not expecting “free” tuition, but come on, on online, quality program could be offered for $100 per hour, even by an ATS program, in my opinion. The problem is, they could not keep that same accreditation if they “lowballed” the other ATS schools and did that.

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  17. Jared, I attend Luther Rice Seminary out of Georgia. They are a non-residential seminary who specializes in distance ed. They are not ATS accredited, but like you said, ATS schools are price prohibitive and have residential requirements. Luther Rice is TRACS accredited, DOE accredited, and Federally accredited to take part in Federal student aid. I am in the M.Div program…it’s 90 credits…and they DON’T have a language requirement, although I plan to start with Greek and move onto Hebrew if they offer it. Credits are $203 with a $45 tech fee…I paid $1380 for 2 classes in the fall and spring. Most Master’s level classes are 3 credits. They are accredited to offer D.Min. degrees as well.

    I hope this helps…I thoroughly enjoy my studies…and I have received great support and encouragement online.

    Take care.

    Kim