Serve Christ in Ministry With an Online Master’s in Religion Degree (MAR)
Liberty University’s 100% online Master of Arts in Religion (MAR) degree is designed to prepare students entering ministry with an in-depth but practical study of theology, biblical studies, and ministry practice. An online MAR will better equip you to minister in your current and future roles.
Students in Liberty’s MAR program can more effectively pursue ministry in churches, parachurch organizations, and nonprofits while opening the door to further study at the graduate and doctoral levels. You will have the opportunity to immerse yourself in a program that provides a flexible degree plan tailored to your passions and needs.
Liberty University’s John W. Rawlings School of Divinity is accredited by the Commission on Accrediting of the Association of Theological Schools (ATS). Your divinity degree is approved by ATS and has met rigorous accreditation standards, so you can feel confident that your degree is both academically excellent and well-respected among churches, ministries, and nonprofit organizations.
Master of Arts in Religion vs Master of Divinity
Master of Arts in Religion (MAR)
- 60 credit hours
- Required specialization
- Fulfills most ministry role requirements
Master of Divinity (M.Div.)
- 75-93 credit hours
- Optional specialization or personalized electives
- Fulfills nearly all ministry role requirements
While these two programs do have some differences, they are both based on Christian evangelical theology. Either program can provide you with an advanced credential to get started in ministry or advance your knowledge and career options.
Plus, if you decide to pursue your MAR at Liberty, later you can potentially transfer up to 2/3 of your credits to a related M.Div.
Why Choose Liberty University’s Religion Degree?
Pursuing an advanced degree in religion can be a difficult task with years of coursework to fit into your busy schedule. As an accredited online Christian college, Liberty University’s master’s in religious studies online holds weight as a graduate program credential. Our divinity programs provide a 100% online path to ministry training from a regionally accredited university.
The online master’s degree in religious studies can equip you for ministry in a variety of fields. Through this program, you will dive deep into the Bible and learn to prepare sermons on important messages for your congregation or small group. You will deepen your personal theology studies through curriculum developed by Liberty University School of Divinity theologians such as Dr. Elmer L. Towns and Dr. Gary R. Habermas.
Our master’s degree in theology and religious studies can prepare you for successful ministry teaching and help you deepen your relationship with Christ.
What are the benefits of Liberty’s master’s in religion degree online?
- Unlike many other online Bible colleges or online seminaries, Liberty University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).
- Online divinity students can complete Institutional Challenge Exams (ICE) to get college credit for personal studies and expertise in ministry.
- Students who pursue the Master of Divinity (M.Div.) are permitted to transfer up to 2/3 of applicable credit hours from the online Master of Arts in Religion (MAR).
- Liberty’s online seminary offers divinity degrees at a graduate tuition rate of just $395 per credit hour for part-time students.
- Students attending full-time (9-15 credit hours) are eligible for a block rate of $2,750 per semester!*
*Credits taken below 9 and above 15 credit hours for the Master of Arts in Religion online are charged at the part-time rate.
Learn about historical and theological contexts of individual books of the bible with our Master of Arts in Religion (MAR) – Biblical Studies degree. This program can prepare you for roles in church and ministry settings. The knowledge you’ll gain in this program can help you teach biblical concepts to others with integrity.
Address the questions raised by believers and nonbelievers alike. You can learn to defend the validity of God’s Word by earning a Master of Arts in Religion (MAR) – Christian Apologetics. This degree can prepare you to work in a variety of ministry and outreach settings.
Our Master of Arts in Religion (MAR) – Church History can provide you with an in-depth look at the formation of the Christian church. Understanding the church’s beginnings can help you establish an effective ministry. You will deepen your knowledge of Scripture and learn about church history dating back to the Reformation.
Church Ministry in the Digital Age
Our Master of Arts in Religion (MAR) – Church Ministry in the Digital Age can provide you with a study of spiritual formation. Throughout this program, you will:
- Compose a discipleship ministry strategy for Christian ministry
- Develop a plan for personal growth and development
- Learn how to better defend the Christian faith in light of the digital age
Learn to use chaplaincy to provide pastoral care and biblical guidance with our Master of Arts in Religion (MAR) – Community Chaplaincy. You can learn techniques to counsel individuals in the U.S. military, parachurch ministries, businesses, and nursing homes.
Discipleship and Church Ministry
Learn to form biblical relationships and minister to others with our Master of Arts in Religion (MAR) – Discipleship and Church Ministry. Throughout this program, you can learn:
- Family discipleship dynamics
- How to build effective small group ministries
- What a properly structured church administration looks like
Evangelism and Church Planting
Our Master of Arts in Religion (MAR) – Evangelism and Church Planting degree can help you effectively serve in administrative and ministry capacities as your church grows. You will explore spiritual factors that contribute to church growth, evangelism practices, and church planting methods.
If you are interested in leadership positions in church or parachurch organizations, then our Master of Arts in Religion (MAR) – Leadership is for you. This program can help you gain an understanding of the fundamentals of church administration and ministry. Your courses will challenge you to lead effectively.
Next Generation Ministry
Learn to work with children and young people in a ministry setting through our Master of Arts in Religion (MAR) – NextGen Ministry cognate. You can be an example of an intentional ministry leader for children, adolescents, and their families. With the skills gained in this program, you can create more effective and fruitful ministries for decades to come.
Our Master of Arts in Religion (MAR) – Pastoral Counseling can give you a foundation in the psychological theories and techniques vital to providing godly counsel. You can learn about the integration of psychology with theology, premarital and marital therapy, and spirituality in counseling.
Gain the skills needed for effective leadership within the Church by earning our Master of Arts in Religion (MAR) – Pastoral Ministries degree. Your courses will focus on techniques integral in understanding prayer and ministry environments.
What Will You Learn in Our Online Master’s in Religious Studies?
Liberty University’s online master’s degree in religion contains extensive, well-rounded training in ministry, administration of Christian organizations, theology, and biblical studies. The core of the online master’s in religion provides in-depth religious studies of the Old and New Testaments, the history of Christianity, systematic theology, and the sermon preparation process.
Students who pursue the Master of Arts in Religion will also be prepared for an academic-focused career in writing and research. This can lead to further graduate studies through the Master of Divinity (M.Div.) or a doctoral program such as the online Doctor of Ministry (D.Min.). The online MAR is a well-balanced, thorough blend of academic and practical studies that will suit students pursuing active ministry as well as academic careers.
Potential Career Options for MAR Graduates
- Associate pastor
- Bible instructor
- Campus pastor
- Christian camp leader
- Christian educator
- Church administrator
- Communications liaison
- Cross-cultural educator
- Digital ministry leader
- Global mobilizer
- Humanitarian aid/relief worker
- Lay leader
- Ministry associate
- Non-licensed church counselor
- Nonprofit manager
- Worship leader
- Youth pastor
Highlights of Our Master of Arts in Religion
- We are recognized by multiple institutions for our academic quality, affordability, and accessibility. Our commitment to excellence also helped us rank in the top 10% of Niche.com’s best online schools in America. Earning your online degree from a nonprofit university with this kind of recognition can help set you apart from others in your field.
- Tuition for all undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral programs has not increased in 9 years. While many other online colleges have raised tuition, Liberty has been able to keep costs low as a nonprofit university.
- Liberty University’s seminary, the John W. Rawlings School of Divinity, has theologians and experienced ministry professionals who teach practical ministry skills while imparting deep theological concepts.
- To continue our mission of providing affordable education, electronic textbooks are included for all divinity courses* at no cost to you. As a full-time student, this could save you an estimated $800-2,000 per year on textbooks!
- Choose a specialized online ministry degree track that will provide knowledge-based studies or practice-focused skills.
*Electronic textbooks are not provided for courses that fall under departments outside the School of Divinity.
Online M.A. in Religion Program Information
Military Benefits for the Online M.A. in Religion
Liberty University is dedicated to providing world-class educational experiences to military students across the globe. Whether you are a current service member, discharged or retired from service, or the spouse of a service member or veteran, we are here to support you every step of the journey.
As a thank-you for your dedication and service to our country, Liberty is honored to serve and support you in your pursuit of online education by offering the following benefits:
- Tuition discounts – $275 per credit hour for graduate courses
- Discounted divinity block rate: $2,475 per semester – only $165/credit at 15 credit hours*
- Additional discount for veterans who serve in a civilian capacity as a First Responder (less than $625 per course)
*Credits taken below 9 and above 15 credit hours for the online Master of Arts in Religion are charged at the part-time rate.
Admission Requirements for Our Online M.A. in Religion
Applicants must have a regionally or nationally accredited bachelor’s degree with a 2.0 or above cumulative GPA for admission in good standing. Please visit our admission requirements page for more detailed admissions information.
All applicants must submit the following:
- Admission application
- Application fee*
- Contact information for one pastoral recommender
- Official college transcripts
- Unofficial college transcripts may be accepted with a completed official transcript request form**
- Proof of English proficiency (for applicants whose native language is other than English)
*There is no upfront application fee; however, a deferred $50 application fee will be assessed during Financial Check-In. This fee is waived for qualifying service members, veterans, and military spouses – documentation verifying military status is required.
**An official transcript is needed within 60 days of acceptance or before non-attendance drops for the first set of matriculated classes, whichever comes first.
At Liberty, we want to help you make the most of your prior education by allowing you to transfer in previously earned college credit. That’s why you can transfer in up to 50% of your total credits for a master’s or doctoral program!
Some restrictions apply. Please visit our Transfer Policy page for more information.