What is the difference between a Theological Seminary, Divinity School, Bible College and Bible Institute?

God has called you to serve Him, and now you need biblical and theological preparation to pursue that call.

A variety of educational options are available to you, ranging from theological seminaries and divinity schools to Bible colleges and church-based training programs. What do you look for in a school that best suits your ministry objectives? The following guide may be helpful in determining your next important steps.

Theological Seminary

A theological seminary educates students for leadership roles in Christian ministry, such as pastors, missionaries, church planters, counselors and other avenues of service to the Church. Its curriculum places strong emphasis on study and understanding of the Bible and theology, spiritual formation and practical tools for church ministry.

Divinity School

A divinity school is usually affiliated with a university. Like a law or medical school, a divinity school is essentially a theological division within a larger university. Its students can take courses unrelated to theological education. Some are more focused on the academic study of religion and Christianity, preparing students to serve in academic, religious and non-sectarian settings, while others are more pastorally-focused.

Theological seminaries and divinity schools provide graduate level education, offering degrees such as Master of Divinity, Master of Arts in religion, Master of Christian Counseling and many more. A bachelor’s degree is required for admission. Divinity and theological schools are typically accredited by a federal agency, and are eligible for federally-funded student loans.

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