Theological & Ministerial Studies

2022 Theological & Ministerial Studies Degree Guide

Do you enjoy speaking to large groups of people? Do you have a strong faith and enjoy spreading the word of God? A degree in Theological and Ministerial Studies may be for you.

While the theology part of this field allows you to learn about religion and the role it plays in everyday life, the ministerial part prepares students to attend a seminary or other religious program to become ordained as a minister or religious leader. You will take classes in biblical studies, religious studies, philosophy, sociology, history, literature, anthropology, and foreign languages to prepare for a career within the church.

If you are interested in learning about world religions, you may want to major in general Theological Studies. However, some colleges offer areas of specialization that include Divinity/Ministry, Pre-Theology Studies, Rabbinical Studies, and Talmudic Studies. These areas allow you to focus on the aspect of theology and ministry you are most passionate about.

Theological & Ministerial Studies Degrees Shrinking in Popularity

#55 Most Popular Major
15.1k Degrees Awarded
-20.3% Increase in Graduates

Theological & Ministerial Studies was the 55th most popular major in the 2019-2020 school year. Colleges in the United States reported awarding 15,051 degrees in this year alone. This 3,056 less than the prior year, a decrease of 20.3%.

There are 476 schools offering degrees in theological and ministerial studies in the United States. Our 2022 Best Theological & Ministerial Studies Schools ranking analyzes 175 of these schools to determine the best overall colleges for theological and ministerial studies students. Explore this or one of our many other custom theology rankings further below.

Requirements for Getting a Degree in Theological & Ministerial Studies

Students who choose to pursue a career as a minister or religious leader should have strong interpersonal and communication skills. You will be expected to speak in front of large groups as well as counsel individuals.

A degree in this field often leads to a full time job in a variety of fields. While those who wish to become ordained will be expected to attend religious ceremonies on the weekends and during the week along with their other responsibilities, graduates who pursue a different career may work more typical work hours. The work environment varies depending on the occupation you pursue.

Theological and Ministerial Studies students should pursue an internship or summer job or volunteer with their church or congregation. This will give students experience working for a religious group and help them decide which career path they want to follow.

Getting Accepted Into a Theological & Ministerial Studies Program

theological and ministerial studies degree applicants generally need have finished high school or their GED. Many schools may also have GPA and SAT/ACT score minimums that must be met. Specific theology careers may require a certain level of degree attainment or additional certifications beyond that.

Theological & Ministerial Studies Degree Types

Theology degree levels vary. Theological & Ministerial Studies programs offered by schools range from a to a , which is the highest theology degree you can get. How long it takes to complete some common theology degree levels is shown below.

Degree Credit Requirements Typical Program Length
Associate Degree 60-70 credits 2 years
Bachelor’s Degree 120 credits 4 years
Master’s Degree 50-70 credits 1-3 years
Doctorate Program required coursework including thesis or dissertation At least 4 years

A master's degree is the most common level of education achieved by those in careers related to theology, with approximately 39.9% of workers getting one. People currently working in careers related to theology tend obtained the following education levels.

Level of Education Percentage of Workers
Master’s Degree 40.5%
Doctoral Degree 36.8%
Bachelor’s Degree 12.0%
Post-Doctoral Training 6.2%
Post-Baccalaureate Certificate 4.0%

83.7% of theology workers have at least a master's. See the chart below for the most common degree level workers in theological and ministerial studies have received.


This of course varies depending on which theology career you choose.

Theology Careers

Below Average Number of Jobs
$36.9k Average Starting Salary
9% Growth Job Outlook 2016-26

Graduates with a degree in in Theological and Ministerial Studies have gone into a variety of fields. While those focusing on Ministerial Studies usually go on to become ordained as religious leaders, other Theological graduates are counselors, teachers, lawyers, church administrators, and healthcare professionals. This field is growing at an average rate.

Solid Growth Projected for Theology Careers

Want a job when you graduate with your theology degree? Theological & Ministerial Studies careers are expected to grow 8.5% between 2016 and 2026.

The following options are some of the most in-demand careers related to theological and ministerial studies.

Occupation Name Projected Jobs Expected Growth
Clergy 263,800 8.2%
Religious Workers 57,300 7.7%
Philosophy and Religion Professors 35,700 12.3%

How Much Money Do People With a Theology Degree Make?

Theological & Ministerial Studies graduates between 2015-2017 reported earning an average of $36,911 in the 2017-2018 timeframe. Earnings can range from as low as $8,100 to as high as $96,600. As you might expect, salaries for theology graduates vary depending on the level of education that was acquired.


High Paying Careers for Theology Majors

Salaries for theological and ministerial studies graduates can vary widely by the occupation you choose as well. The following table shows the top highest paying careers theology grads often go into.

Occupation Name Median Average Salary
Philosophy and Religion Professors $82,420
Clergy $53,290
Religious Workers $35,860

Getting Your Theological & Ministerial Studies Degree

With over 1,358 different theology degree programs to choose from, finding the best fit for you can be a challenge. Fortunately you have come to the right place. We have analyzed all of these schools to come up with hundreds of unbiased theology school rankings to help you with this.

Theological & Ministerial Studies is one of 7 different types of Theology & Religious Vocations programs to choose from.

Theology Focus Areas

Major Annual Graduates
Divinity/Ministry 6,905
Theology 5,846
Other Theological & Ministerial Studies 1,820
Pre-Theology/Pre-Ministerial Studies 321
Rabbinical Studies 159

View All Theology Concentrations >

Majors Similar to Theology

Related Major Annual Graduates
Biblical Studies 4,250
Pastoral Counseling & Specialized Ministries 3,028
Missionary Studies 1,393
Religious Education 1,336
Theology & Religious Vocations (Other) 1,274

View All Theology Related Majors >


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