Top Graduate Theology Programs in the United States
Top Graduate Theology Programs: Your Guide to the Best Graduate Programs in Religious Studies (MA & PhD)
One of the best places to find a personalized ranking for graduate theology programs is on Phds.org. You may also be interested in member schools from the Association of Theological Schools.
Possible questions or factor to consider for future theology graduate students:
1) Desired program(s) of study
2) Desired focuses and professors
3) Program size & flexibility & diversity
4) Location & logistics meet your needs
5) Other criteria like financial support/aid
6) Opportunities for service, publication, and career advancement
7) Cultural fit with program
Here is one professor’s perspective on top theology/religious studies programs.
Given that disclaimer, the top-ranked PhD programs in Religious Studies in the US, in approximate order, are:
University of Chicago
Princeton [I assume this is Princeton Theological Seminary]
University of Virginia
University of Pennsylvania
University of California at Santa Barbara
UNC Chapel Hill
University of Iowa
U Wisconsin, Madison
Florida State U
The top Masters programs are:
University of Missouri, Columbia
Miami University in Ohio
University of Colorado
University of Kansas
University of Arizona
(I’m not sure how these masters programs in theology as supposed to be added to the mix. I think they are top masters programs without a PhD programs–so isn’t as helpful as an overall ranking of programs)
Here are some of the top as well as some ranking & commentary from R.R. Reno the editor of the theological/philosophical publication First Things on some others seminaries which may not be worth your time, money, or resources. (link)
Averageish to Honorable mention: Fordham, St. Louis University, and Boston College
Other reviews of notable theological seminaries:
But I keep coming back to the problem of theological vocation. At Chicago, Yale, and Harvard, orthodox Christian theology is marginal at best.
I don’t tend to recommend the University of Virginia or Brown or Columbia or other doctoral programs that might have one or two fine professors. The danger is that a young graduate student will find him or herself slowly socialized into the role of the tentative intellectual outsider who downplays the theological dimension in order to be in on the conversation.
R.R. Reno, features editor at First Things, is a professor of theology at Creighton University.
Graduate theology programs repped and recommended in the comments section by First Things readers:
Baylor University Theological Seminar
Boston College School of Ministry and Theology
University of Virginia Religious Studies
Saint Louis University
Chicago University Divinity School
Yale University Graduate Religious Studies
along with Princeton Theological Seminary
Notre Dame University Graduate Programs in Theology
and Duke Divinity School
Finally, the list of available programs in theology at Grad Schools.com is quite extensive. I think the PhD.org ranking methodology may be a better filter–but Grad Schools.com will allow you to cast a wider net (in addition to any narrow targeting at PhDs.org).
Check out the comments section for an approximate ranking of graduate seminaries and religious studies programs from an anonymous professor. If you have any recommendations with regard to the best graduate programs in religious studies and theology–feel free to leave a comment. If I’ve made any errors–I apologize in advance. I hope this helps you begin your search in a constructive fashion as you search for the best theology program for your needs.