What is the Difference Between Theology and Divinity?
July 28, 2020
Interested in Christian studies and the difference between divinity and theology? Choosing to study to become a pastor can lead to a meaningful ministry in which you can serve God, lead a church, and make a difference in your community and the world. Choosing a vocation in which you lead a congregation can help to bring the Word of God to more people and more hope as well. As the pastor of a church, you can make an impact on families and individuals and assist them in making choices that can impact the direction of their lives.
Among the courses that prepare students for a vocation in the Church are methods to study the Bible and be an effective teacher. Students may examine the languages of the Old and New Testaments and choose areas of biblical study that will assist them in their vocation. However, you might ask yourself, “What is the Difference Between Theology and Divinity?”
What is Theology?
Theology is the study of religion. It examines what faith means to different people and cultures. Theologians think about and debate the nature of God, including the questions about the meaning of religion. More importantly theology is the study of God’s nature and the belief in religion. Theology has three distinct aspects:
- What God teaches us
- Doctrines that teach of God
- Paths that lead to God
There are many references in the New Testament that speak of supernatural beings appearing to humans to communicate truth and the promise of a Savior:
Luke 1:26 “God sent the angel Gabriel to the Virgin Mary, who was betrothed to Joseph, one of the descendants of David. The angel greeted Mary and told her that the Lord was with her, and she was favored by God.”
Luke 1:35 “The angel told Mary that the Holy Spirit would come upon her, and she would bear a holy child who would be called the Son of God.”
Matthew 1:20 “Joseph was troubled when he found out Mary would bear a child. An angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and told him not to be afraid to take Mary as his wife because the child was from the Holy Spirit.”
Christian theology is the study of Christian beliefs and practices. The Old and New Testaments are primary texts in this study. Theology makes it more productive to grasp the concepts of Christian doctrine and to make comparisons between Christianity and other religious traditions. Theologians can draw on their beliefs to facilitate reforms in the Church to bring people into the Christian faith. They also may draw on the resources of the Christian tradition to address needs within the Church and social needs in the community.
What is Divinity?
Divinity refers to the quality or nature of God’s being. In Christianity, divinity belongs to God alone. Orthodox Christians believe that Jesus is divine as well as human. Jesus is God and man, and the second person of the Trinity; the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. The Son, Jesus, is the radiance of all God’s glory. Divinity may be referred to as the study of one or more religions.
What are the Similarities?
While there are differences between divinity and theology, the terms in academia often are treated in a similar manner. This might cause confusion as you consider which area to pursue. Divinity is a reference to all things that come from God, which are considered sacred. Theology is the study of Gods or deities and religions based on beliefs.
From an academic perspective, courses in divinity and theology are a reference to studying traditions of Christianity from different viewpoints, which may be doctrinal, historical, or textual. Another similarity is the studies of divinity and theology both prepare students as teachers, in different contexts.
A master’s degree in divinity is often a stepping stone for assuming pastoral duties, equipping you to lead a church, ministry, parachurch organization or nonprofit. A master’s degree in theology is often a step toward pursuing a doctoral theology degree and specific study of Scripture and, perhaps, other religions.
What a Degree in Divinity Offers
When you have a calling to serve Christ in the Church or in the workplace, you may start with a theological studies and Christian ministry foundation. This provides a strong foundation in Bible and apologetics, as well as discipleship and church history. Your coursework will provide the skills that you need to be an effective Christian leader. The master’s level opens up further study and tools to help you experience spiritual transformation and prepare to develop others and lead the Church.
The faculty at Regent University helps students grow in faith, knowledge, and development of leadership skills needed to lead a church, teach, work in mission, or accept a position in the secular workplace. After graduation, students will have the training, skills, and knowledge that is needed for a Christ-centered vocation.
Did learning about the difference between theology and divinity interest you? Learn more about the different degree options for students in the field of Divinity and Theology offered at Regent University.
Bachelor of Biblical & Theological Studies
Regent University’s B.A. in Biblical & Theological Studies (offered online and on-campus in Virginia Beach) offers a strong foundation in Church history, how to understand and share God’s Word, and how to apply the Bible to contemporary issues.
Bachelor of Christian Ministry
The B.A. in Christian Ministry (offered online and on-campus in Virginia Beach) focuses on developing skills in coaching, mentoring and communication, as well as employing practical strategies for evangelism and missions.
Master of Divinity
Regent University’s Master of Divinity (offered online and on-campus in Virginia Beach) incorporates elements of the Master of Theological Studies and M.A. in Practical Theology to equip you to lead a church, ministry, parachurch organization or nonprofit. The M.Div. program can also lead to ordination or ministry licensure. You’ll become well-versed in Christian history, biblical writings and scriptural interpretations. Choose the concentration option that best meets your interests and ministry goals. Regent’s School of Divinity is accredited by the Commission on Accrediting of the Association of Theological Schools in the United States and Canada (ATS) and its M.Div. program is approved by it.
Master of Theology
Earn a fully accredited Master of Theology (Th.M.) degree online in just under two years, with no required on-campus residency. Through this post-graduate program, you will acquire specialized knowledge to enhance your professional competence in a specific area of study. Your focused studies, intensive research and methodology will equip you for greater ministry impact and prepare you for entry into a doctoral program.
Other degrees are available in Church Leadership, Apologetics & Cosmogony, Christian Spirituality & Formation, Practical Theology, Theological Studies, and Renewal Theology.
Regent University’s admissions counselors are ready to answer questions and help you work through financial aid so you can move ahead in this promising field. Whether you’re ready to take the leap, or simply want some more information, you can reach them at 800.373.5504.