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Doctorate in Applied Theology

Why Earn Your Applied Theology Degree at Saint Leo University?

Saint Leo's online Doctor of Theology in Applied Theology at Saint Leo University is a rigorous scholarly degree for those engaged in ministry or education within the American Catholic Church and other ecclesial contexts. Through this program, students will critically engage theological methods, contexts, concepts, and practices.  This theological formation will assist our students in developing more rigorous research, writing, and communications skills that are oriented toward how to apply these skills and content knowledge to real world theological situations.  It is aimed at continued professionalization for those who are already actively shaping the church of the 21st century

The 60-credit hour online Doctor of Theology in Applied Theology program explores:

  • Students will be able to demonstrate knowledge of the content and methods of applied theology.
  • Students will be able to apply theological knowledge to ministerial, educational, and/or other professional contexts.
  • Students will be able to integrate the questions and insights of the Catholic intellectual tradition with the challenges and opportunities of the contemporary world
  • Students will be able to conduct research in applied theology

This is the only accredited Th.D. offered fully online by a Catholic university in the United States. What better place to study theology than at Florida’s oldest Catholic college? With centuries-old roots in the Benedictine tradition, we welcome all curious thinkers, regardless of faith background.

The program will also include brief residences in July. The first cohort (Fall 2023) will have their first residency in July 2024, but the second cohort (Fall 2024) will also have their first residency in July 2024.  

Learning Experience:
Est. Time to Complete:
4 years
Credit Hours:
60 hours
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Doctor of Theology in Applied Theology  Program Details

The skills mastered in this program prepares students to grow their careers in ministry, education, publishing, and non-profit sectors.  Students entering the program will already be engaged in careers in these fields, and the program is meant to help them develop new skills and content knowledge while deepening existing ones. 

Degree Requirements

60 credit hours, which include 42 hours of coursework, comprehensive exams, and a dissertation


  • A 3.5 or higher GPA in a master of theology program (e.g. MA, MTS, or M.Div.) or related field
  • Two letters of recommendation from instructors or professional colleagues
  • Current résumé or curriculum vitae
  • Statement of professional goals, including specific area of interest
  • 10-15 page writing sample
  • Official transcripts of undergraduate and graduate degrees
  • Four years of documented, related work experience
  • What are the benefits of earning your theology degree online?

    Saint Leo University’s online learning experience provides a well-rounded education with the flexibility to tailor your course of study to meet your individual needs. We know our students have lives outside school, and we seek to meet them where they are. Online students can count on receiving excellent academics as well as opportunities for hands-on learning.

    Learn about the Online Experience

    Visit Online Admissions

  • Taking online classes has afforded me the opportunity to learn while maintaining a job. They give me some flexibility to study at times that work more cohesively with my schedule and allow me to utilize resources such as the library 24 hours a day.

    Bentley Streat | Hayes, VA

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Career Outlook

Throughout this program, you will receive plenty of professional development opportunities, discipline knowledge from expert professors, and support from the Saint Leo community. All this together means that you will be ready to strengthen your career and improve your community following your graduation."

  • Saint Leo University students in Psychology classroom
  • What skills you will learn?

    You may come to the program with different beliefs and objectives from your classmates, or perhaps with no background in academic theology, but you will also leave spiritually enriched, with a critical knowledge of biblical, systematic, historical, pastoral, and moral theology.

What can you do with a Doctor of Theology in Applied Theology degree?

Earning the Th.D. in Applied Theology will aid graduates in a number of different career paths, including but not limited to:

  • Director of Religious Education
  • Higher Education Administration
  • Parish and Diocesan Management
  • Non-Profit Leadership
  • Catholic Schools Administration

What are the top theology degree jobs?

Career Salary
Director religious activities $63,390 per year
Clergy $56,560 per year
Religion teacher $90,160 per year

From the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2020.

College of Arts & Sciences

  • Saint Leo University - Kirk Hall
  • The College of Arts and Sciences at Saint Leo University offers students a broad education that lays a durable foundation for critical and independent thinking. The essential spirit of the liberal arts is a cornerstone of the varied degree programs. From biology to English to sociology, students enjoy a nice selection of in-demand degree programs for all interests.

    Learning takes place both in and out of the classroom. Students travel to Europe through our cultural immersion courses, research unique plant species while trekking through the Peruvian Amazon, and attend film screenings and poetry readings. With highly experienced professors who bring a wealth of practical knowledge to the classroom, students are prepared to work in a variety of rewarding fields. The College supports more than 30 degree programs across University Campus, education centers in five states, and online.

    Explore the College of Arts & Sciences