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Earning an Online Masters in Religious Studies

Earning an Online Masters in Religious Studies degree may be a good opportunity for you to gain a deeper understanding of your faith and its related religious

texts. Online master’s degree programs in this field may focus on anything from Christian leadership to youth ministry. With so many specializations available, you might want to read more if you think earning a Online Masters in Religious Studies may be the perfect step for you to take in your education and career path.

What Skills and Qualities Are Useful for an Online Masters in Religious Studies?

First, before pursuing a Master’s of Christian Studies, you may want to know if you possess skills that could be useful in the field. If not, you may want to be prepared to work on improving the following abilities:

  • Active Listening
  • Speaking
  • Service Orientation
  • Social Perceptiveness
  • Coordination
  • Reading Comprehension

If you think you have or could develop these skills, you may want to keep reading to find out more about Online Masters in Religious Studies Programs. 

Basics of Online Masters in Christian Studies Degree Programs

Master’s degrees, generally, may be earned as a graduate-level degree, and might take around 2 years to complete[iii]. This can vary depending on the program, though, so you should be sure to request as much information as possible from any school before considering enrollment.

To enroll in an Online Masters in Religious Studies program, you might need to meet certain criteria. These may vary between schools and programs, but some of the possible requirements could include:

  • An undergraduate degree
  • A minimum GPA in previous studies
  • A certain score on an exam such as the Graduate Management Admissions Test (GMAT) or the Graduate Record Examination (GRE)

Make sure to contact any school you’re interested in so that you can be sure of its admissions policies.

Specializations in a Online Masters in Religious Studies

Depending on the school, online Master’s Degree Programs in Christian Studies might allow students to choose an area of focus. These could help students narrow down their studies and prepare to pursue a certain career path. Here are some possible concentrations students may come across:

Christian Leadership: Coursework in this area of focus might help students learn how to be a community leader and how to deal with crises in Christian groups.
Urban Ministry: If you’re interested in pursuing a career as a minister in an inner city location, you may be interested in this potential concentration. Students may learn how to deal with issues that could arise in these locales.

Youth Ministry: Students who might choose to focus on youth ministry may be looking to pursue a career as a youth minister, working with children and young adults.
Keep in mind that different schools may offer different areas of focus. You can contact the school for information on what they might offer.

Coursework for M.A. in Religious Studies Programs

You may be interested in what classes could potentially be part of earning a Master’s Degree in Christian Studies online. There may not be a simple answer, as coursework could vary based on school, program, or area of focus. That being said, here are some subjects that could potentially be covered in a Christian Studies Master’s Program: 

  • Homiletics, or the study of preaching or sermonizing
  • Old Testament
  • New Testament
  • Hermeneutics, dealing with the analysis of the Bible
  • Mentoring

For more detailed information on courses, you may have to contact schools directly to find out about their curricula. 

Possible Careers to Pursue After Earning a Christian Studies Master’s Degree

Earning a Master’s Degree in Christian Studies online may help students pursue certain religious careers. Here are some details on a few careers it might be possible to pursue:


These religious leaders are responsible for performing the various rites and spiritual functions connected with their faith. They may prepare speeches on relevant topics, read from sacred texts, as well as lead prayers. As necessary, they provide moral guidance and spiritual advice to congregation members and other religious leaders. 

According to O*Net, 67% of those working as clergy had earned a Master’s Degree.  The median annual salary for the position in 2015 was $44,250, and there was expected to be average growth in employment between 2014 and 2024[vi]

Religious Activities Directors[vii]

Religious directors may be primarily responsible for the daily operations of a church organization. These tasks might include scheduling events, coordinating with congregation members, recruiting volunteers for ministry support, and promoting the organization’s activities. They may also provide religious and general guidance to their organization members. Some job titles that could fall under this field may include Adult Ministries Director, Children's Ministries Director, Christian Education Director, or Religious Education Coordinator.

Though the typical entry-level education for an adult ministries director might normally be a Bachelor’s Degree[viii],  10% of workers in this role had earned a Master’s Degree, according to O*Net.  In 2015, the median salary for this occupation was $38,780. [x]

Starting Out

If you think earning an Online Masters in Religious Studies might be a good step for you, get started right away! Luckily, you can begin to research right here on, by taking a look at our sponsored listings. If any program speaks to you, reach out to the school to get more information on admissions criteria, possible areas of focus, or potential coursework. 

[i] [ii] [iii][iv] [v] [vi][vii][viii] [ix] [x]