How Much Does a Theology Degree Cost?

Date Published

May 22, 2023

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Published by Calvin Seminary

Congratulations! You’re interested in studying theology, and you’re starting to consider your options for obtaining a theology degree. Along the way, you may be wondering about the cost. That’s why we compiled this guide to costs associated with a theology degreeto offer clear answers to some of our prospective students’ most frequently asked questions. 

How Much Does a Theology Degree Cost?

When considering a theology degree, seminaries often have different costs associated with different programs. Learn more about Calvin Theological Seminary costs, which vary by program. 

Add Up Known Expenses

There are some basic expenses inherent to almost all theology degrees, including:

  • Tuition: The cost of courses will vary by institution, degree, and in some cases, delivery format (online vs. in person).
  • Textbooks: Students often need to purchase physical and/or digital texts, and other class materials. Some materials may be available through a seminary’s on-campus library and its connections. The Hekman Library of Calvin Theological Seminary is home to more than 7,500 items, and is well connected to libraries and databases from around Michigan, North America, and the world. Learn more about the Hekman Library’s expertly curated seminary collection.
  • Living expenses: Students who study on campus may need to account for costs related to relocating, transportation, and on- or off-campus housing. Subsidized housing options provided by Calvin Theological Seminary are designed with your budget in mind.

Subtract Income & Support

Available Income

Students use various resources to help cover the cost of a theology degree, including:

  • Your income: Some students work full- or part-time while pursuing their degree. Choose how many classes you want to take each semester to work around your job and other commitments.
  • Income of others: Students may have family or friends—such as a spouse, parent(s), or church members—who are willing to contribute financial assistance to support their seminary education. You may consider sending out a support request letter to gather one-time or monthly funds to help offset your seminary costs.

Financial Assistance

Thanks to the generosity of our donor community, financial support is available for students pursuing degrees at Calvin Theological Seminary.

  • Seminary scholarships: Most degree-seeking Calvin Theological Seminary students receive at least one scholarship.
  • Financial aid: Need-based financial aid may be given to qualifying students as grants or scholarships. 

External Funding

You may consider other sources of funding to support your seminary journey, including:

  • Church and/ or denominational funds: Some seminarians may qualify for funds from their home church or denomination.
  • Loans: After exhausting options that do not need to be repaid, students may also qualify for loans, which require repayment.

Other Resources

Some seminaries may offer other benefits related to finances:

  • Food and clothing resources: Calvin Theological Seminary has an on-campus food pantry and clothes closet to help seminarians. By having these tangible needs met, students have more time to focus on their studies and spiritual formation. 
  • Financial education programs: Calvin also provides free financial education for seminary students to help them balance their budgets and plan for a sustainable financial future.

Consider Potential Jobs with a Theology Degree

The sticker price of a theology degree may seem high at first glance, but this cost may be reduced through scholarships, especially when studying with Calvin Theological Seminary

Also, advanced degrees often open up potential opportunities for careers and other benefits that may be difficult to quantify, such as job satisfaction or work-life balance. 

What to Consider When You Find a Cheap Online Theology Degree

Calvin Theological Seminary’s tuition remains the same for online, hybrid, and in-person programs within the same degree. But, at some schools, theology degrees obtained online may be cheaper. You should do your research to determine if they are worth the price by evaluating a number of factors, such as:

  • Accreditation: It is important to verify that a cheap online theology degree, or any theology degree for that matter, is accredited. This helps to verify the quality of your coursework and can enhance the reputability of the school. In turn, accreditation can ensure the legitimacy of your credentials post-graduation.
  • Coursework: It is important to determine what an online theology degree will cover and how it compares to an in-person degree that may be slightly more expensive. At Calvin Theological Seminary, our online, hybrid, and in-person degrees offer the same world-class curricula across all delivery platforms. And, as mentioned earlier, your tuition price tag stays the same between programs!
  • Commitment: A cheap degree might end up costing more if it’s given in a format in which you’re not able to thrive, such as mandatory class times or difficult online exams. Be sure you know the details of your future coursework so that you can confirm the program is set up for student success.
  • Outcomes: As a prospective seminarian, you should research post-graduation outcomes. What do graduates of this program do after obtaining their degree? Choose a program that will help you reach your desired outcomes within your God-given calling. Still deciding between programs? Now is a great time to dive into our complimentary resource, Your Guide to the Seminary Search. Download this free guide instantly to help you discern which program is right for you.

Pursue an Affordable Theology Degree with CTS

Your theology degree is possible with the financial support of Calvin Theological Seminary. Apply today to be considered for our institutional scholarships.


Visit Calvin Theological Seminary’s Campus

We can’t wait to host you on campus! Schedule your visit today, or, if you need more time to find a date that works for you, please request information so we can continue the conversation about supporting your calling!