Master of Arts in Theology

Master of Arts in Theology

Dive into the Word and strengthen your mission with greater biblical knowledge and leadership skills with the Master of Arts in Theology program, powered by Vanguard University, in partnership with Jakes Divinity School (JDS). 

The Master of Arts in Theology degree is fully accredited and delivered 100% online to fit your busy schedule. You will learn from faith-filled educators who are dedicated to creating a unique online learning experience for you as you work toward your master’s in theology.

Prepare for your ministry and for leadership roles in your community. Receive personalized career counseling so you are ready for your God-ordained calling and to help make the world a better and more faithful place.

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Take one course at a time in manageable 7-week modules
Learn from distinguished scholars, pastors, and community leaders
Meet peers and professors at twice-a-year residency opportunities
Fulfill your calling while maintaining your life commitments
Deepen your understanding of the Word and prepare to lead

What can you do with a theology degree?

The master’s in theology program will prepare you for fulfilling work in churches, schools, and the faith community at large. Reach your career goals with the knowledge, connections, and renewal of self you will gain through this theology degree.

More than an academically rigorous online theology course, this program gives you the opportunity to learn from leading Christian scholars through a divinity school that reflects the inspiring life and multi-faceted career of founder Bishop T.D. Jakes.

Thrive in your ministry by earning a theology degree that includes built-in, peer-to-peer moral and academic support through our JDS Ambassador program. Grow your leadership skills by becoming an Ambassador while you are in the master’s in theology program.

Online theology courses allow you to maintain your commitments while you pursue your degree. Take one course at a time — each seven weeks — so that you can manage your master’s in theology studies while you continue to carry out your ministry calling.

Make global connections with students and Spirit-filled scholars from around the world. By earning your theology degree through our partnership, you will cultivate networks in the faith community — deep and lasting connections that can lead to incredible opportunities.

With an average of 15 students or fewer in your online theology courses, you will learn directly from leading Christian scholars. These connections with your professors and peers will help you succeed at JDS and lead into your dynamic future.

As part of the JDS community, you are never on your own. Attend in-person residencies twice a year to meet and develop strong bonds with other JDS faculty, staff, and students. Learn from top ministry leaders from around the world at these inspiring events.

Ask questions, get feedback, and engage in discussions about diverse theological perspectives through Jakes Divinity School Town Halls. These engaging events are scheduled regularly at the discretion of the JDS president.

Be inspired and empowered by JDS founder and chancellor Bishop T.D. Jakes through his exclusive master class sessions. You will learn from him as he shares biblical insights and practical wisdom from his many years of preaching, teaching, and leading.

What can you do with a Master in Theology?

Powered by Vanguard, the master’s in theology gives you the spiritual knowledge and connections for fulfilling careers in the ministry — or to continue your studies at the doctoral level. You will develop leadership skills and be empowered to make a positive impact in the world — wherever you are led.

What jobs can you get with a Master in Theology? Theology degree graduates become: 

  • Archeologists 
  • Counselors
  • Historians
  • Humanitarians
  • Journalists
  • Nonprofit workers
  • Senior pastors
  • Social workers
  • Teachers
  • Theology professors
  • Writers

Career Outlook with a theology degree

Most job categories for graduates with a theology degree are projected to grow an average of 5% during the next 10 years, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Get started on your online theology degree

Take the next steps toward enrolling in the theology master’s program so you can make an impact in your community. If you have questions after you review our FAQs, please call us at 1-866-85-MYJDS (1-866-856-9537) or email

Apply Today

Submit your application online today for the master’s in theology degree. See the application requirements below for more information.

Explore Financial Aid

Seek assistance to obtain your theology degree by applying for federal loans, grants, and/or scholarships. Begin with completing the FAFSA and use School Code: 001293 for Vanguard.

Request More Information

If you want an admissions counselor to reach out to you with more information about the theology degree, please submit this form.

Core Courses:
33 credit hours
$585 per credit hour

Electives Courses
12 credit hours
$585 per credit hour

Exit Option:
3 credit hours
$585 per credit hour

48-51 credit hours


To learn more about how to apply for the theology degree, visit JDS admissions.

Submit an online application.

  • Official college transcripts
    • All official transcripts should be submitted as follows:
      • Physical transcripts can be sent to the address below and must be in a sealed envelope from the school remitting the transcript to be accepted:
        Vanguard University
        School for Professional Studies
        55 Fair Drive
        Costa Mesa, CA, 92626
      • Electronic transcripts can be sent to: and (must be sent from a third-party Safe Sender, such as eScrip or Parchment to be accepted).
  • Reference Forms
    • Download and complete the Reference Form.
    • In addition to the forms, two letters of recommendation must be submitted by both a pastoral and academic reference. Email the documents to with the subject “JDS References – (Your first and last name here)”.
  • Personal Statement
    • Write a detailed statement of purpose describing your reasons for pursuing a graduate degree (include vocational reasons), as well as how your faith is related to this decision. Email your personal statement to
    • Statement must be a minimum of 250 words.
  • Resume
    • Please provide a detailed resume and email it to with the subject “JDS Applicant Resume – (Your first and last name here)”.

Core Courses (33 units):

  • Systematic Theology: Christology, Anthropology, Soteriology
  • New Testament Theology and Exegesis
  • Old Testament Theology and Exegesis
  • Biblical Exegesis and Expository Preaching
  • Systematic Theology: Pneumatology, Ecclesiology, and Eschatology Systematic Theology: Theological Method, Revelation, and Theology Proper
  • Seminar in Old Testament
  • Christology in the New Testament
  • Church and Contemporary Moral Issues
  • Theology and Theory of Leadership
  • Theology and Ministry in a Post-Modern Context


Elective Courses (12 units):

Old Testament

  • Beginning Hebrew I
  • Beginning Hebrew II
  • Intermediate Hebrew I
  • Intermediate Hebrew II
  • Old Testament Ethics
  • Special Topics
  • Individual Study in Old Testament

New Testament

  • Beginning Greek I
  • Beginning Greek II
  • Intermediate Greek I
  • Intermediate Greek II
  • Parables of Teaching
  • New Testament Ethics
  • Special Topics
  • Individual Study in New Testament

Theology and Ethics

  • Special Topics
  • Individual Study in Theology and Ethics


  • History of Spirituality
  • Spiritual Formation
  • Spiritual Direction
  • Change and Strategic Planning
  • Team Development and Conflict Management
  • Leadership and Character Development
  • Mission and Culture in Theological Perspective
  • Special Topics

Field Education

  • Field Education in Student Ministries
  • Field Education in Church Administration
  • Field Education in Worship Leadership
  • Field Education in Family Life and Small Group Ministries
  • Field Education in Pastoral Leadership Ministries

Exit Options (3-6 units):

Integrative Seminar Option
Directed Reading Option

  • Exit Option and Design Proposal
  • Directed Reading

Master’s Thesis Option

  • Exit Option and Design Proposal
  • Master’s Thesis

Estimated tuition costs based on 2022-2023 tuition rates.

  • $585 per credit hour
  • 48-51 units
  • Technology fee: $200 per semester
  • Graduate Program Fee: $200 per semester

The degree is offered online with some face-to-face opportunities for learning, networking, and hands-on experience. All of Jakes Divinity School students will have face-to-face residency opportunities twice a year. The first is during the International Leadership Summit each spring of a given degree program. Students will arrive on site of the summit the Sunday evening prior and remain for a week until the end of the summit. The second residency will likely take place in Dallas, TX, at Jakes Divinity School in the fall of each year.

PLEASE NOTE: We are not eligible to accept students from the states of Alabama, Arkansas, Connecticut, Delaware, Georgia, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Maryland, Minnesota, Nevada, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, Utah, Vermont, Wisconsin, and Wyoming in degrees powered by Vanguard University

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Does the program allow financial aid?

Yes. You have the option of applying for federal loans, grants and/or scholarships.

How can I apply for Financial Aid?

Complete a FAFSA application and use School Code: 001293 for Vanguard.
Click here to complete a Spanish FAFSA application.

Are there admissions deadlines for financial aid?

Yes. Please refer to the financial registration deadline and academic registration dates made available through your JDS Enrollment and Student Services Coordinator.

Who is eligible for financial aid?

Federal guidelines generally require students to be enrolled in a minimum of 6 units/semester hours to use federal financial aid. Students are not eligible to use federal financial aid (FAFSA) if starting in Module 3 of any semester. If starting in Module 3, students will only be enrolled in 3 units (1 course). Students can still be admitted for Module 3 of a semester and pay out of pocket for tuition.

What is the course format?

Each of our online courses are to be taken 1 class each 7 weeks.
Students are also encouraged to participate in two residencies per year – the International Leadership Summit and the JDS Symposium.

Are there any prerequisites for this program?

Applicants will need to have a Bachelor’s degree from an accredited university in order to be considered for the MAT program.

Can I still apply for the program if I live out-of-state?

Yes. However, our JDS partner school, Vanguard University, does not accept applicants who reside in: Alabama, Connecticut, Delaware, Georgia, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Maryland, Minnesota,  Nevada, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, Utah, Vermont, Wisconsin, and Wyoming. You may contact a JDS Enrollment and Student Services Coordinator to discuss other program options that may fit your needs.

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