A number of established colleges and seminaries offer free online theology courses, as do several free correspondence course websites. Theological beliefs and traditions vary from one institution to another, according to an institution's historical beliefs and background. Many online course offerings come from the Protestant or Catholic traditions, though you may study other religions at many of their institutions.
Free Courses: A Theological Seminary and Trinity Seminary
In the Protestant tradition, Free Courses: A Theological Seminary For Free Online Correspondence Courses offers course offerings that include Bible & Science I and II, Historical Apologetics. Reliability Of The Canon and Revelation And The Pagans. No application is necessary. Trinity Seminary (which requires an application) offers masters and doctoral degrees, with free apologetics courses in Christian Apologetics, Biblical Archeology, Muslim Apologetics, Objections to Gospel, Postmodernism, and Witnessing. Free course materials include e-books and CDs.
Covenant and Northwestern Theological Seminaries
Part of the Worldwide Classroom, Covenant Theological Seminary's website describes itself as "Bible-based" Evangelical in orientation. It offers more than 20 free online courses on Ancient and Medieval Church History, Apologetics and Outreach, and Biblical Theology. With an international student base, Northwestern Theological Seminary also describes itself as an evangelical seminary and offers accredited online programs. Students can complete their diploma courses in periods of 12 weeks up to one year.
Notre Dame and Brigham Young
The historically Catholic University of Notre Dame offers online courses such as Faith and the African American Experience; Islamic Societies of the Middle East and North Africa: Religion, History and Culture; Latino Theology and Christian Tradition; Jews and Christians Throughout History. Free materials include text, lectures and assignments. From the Mormon tradition, Brigham Young University offers free courses online, which its website describes as including "teachings of the Living Prophets, Book of Mormon courses and Doctrine and Covenant courses."
Gresham College in the UK has offered free public lectures since it was founded in 1597. Current free online course offerings include: Religion and the Scientific World View, Demonisation and Witch Hunts in Religion, Romancing Jesus, and Hawaiian Religion. Religion and theology lectures are available online in audio and video format.
Yale and Utah State
Yale University offers a free online introductory course on the Christian Old Testament. The course offers several methodologies for biblical interpretation, with a special focus on history and culture. You can download class sessions in either audio or video format. Utah State University offers an Anthropology of Religion class online, which studies religion as "a cultural phenomenon." Free course materials include textbooks, video lectures and quizzes.
- Free Courses: A Theological Seminary For Free Online Correspondence Courses
- Trinity: For Everyone Who Desires to Study Theology
- Worldwide Classroom: Select From More Than 20 Free Courses
- Northwestern Theological Seminary: Online Seminary
- Education-Portal.com: 5 Universities Offering Free Theology and World Religions Courses Online
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