Top Universities for Theology, Divinity & Religious Studies in 2017 | Top Universities

Top Universities for Theology, Divinity & Religious Studies in 2017

By Craig OCallaghan

Updated March 26, 2020 Updated March 26, 2020

Discover the top theology, divinity & religious studies schools based on the QS World University Rankings by Subject 2020.

This year’s QS World University Rankings by Subject allows students to compare universities in four new subjects for the very first time. One of these new additions to the rankings is theology, divinity & religious studies. 100 top universities from over 20 countries have been included in this first-ever theology ranking, so there are plenty of brilliant options if this is an area of study which potentially interests you.

Read on for the top 10 universities in the world as well as a summary of the best universities for theology around the world, or click here to view the full table.

Top 10 universities for theology, divinity & religious studies in the world
Based on the QS World University Rankings by Subject 2017
1 Harvard University United States
2 University of Oxford United Kingdom
3 Durham University UK
4 University of Cambridge UK
5 Boston College US
6 Yale University US
7 Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam Netherlands
8 Duke University US
9= Katholieke Universiteit Leuven Belgium
9= Princeton University US

Top universities for theology, divinity & religious studies in the US and Canada

29 of this year’s top 100 universities for theology are based in the US, including half of the top 20. Outside of the top 10 there are respectable placings for the University of Chicago (12th), University of California, Berkeley (UCB) (15th), University of Notre Dame (16th), Stanford University (=20th) and University of California, Los Angeles (=20th).

Canada only has five representatives on the list, but two of those are in the top half. The University of Toronto, ranked 11th, just misses out on a top ten spot, and they’re joined in the top 50 by McGill University at 29th.

Top universities for theology, divinity & religious studies in Europe

As well as dominating the top five, the United Kingdom is extremely well-represented further down the rankings with 12 universities in the top 50. As well as Oxford, Durham and Cambridge, the Scottish duo of the University of St Andrews and the University of Edinburgh also feature in the top 20 (they’re ranked 18th and 19th respectively).

On the continent, Germany and the Netherlands are the only other European countries to feature in the top 100 more than twice. Germany has eight representatives in this year’s ranking, with their two highest-performers tied in 13th place. They are the Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen and the Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg. The Netherlands has six universities in the top 100, five of which are in the top 50. Outside of the top 10, the highest-ranked is Leiden University in joint 32nd.

Belgium, Denmark, Sweden and Switzerland all have two universities each in this year’s ranking. Both of Belgium’s are in the top 20 with 17th placed Université Catholique de Louvain (UCL) joining Katholieke Universiteit Leuven. Denmark’s highest-performer is the University of Copenhagen at 38th, while all four of the universities from Sweden and Switzerland are ranked 51-100.

Austria, Finland, France, Italy, Norway and Spain are all represented by one university on the list. Of those six universities, all are ranked 51-100 except for the 39th placed University of Oslo.

Top universities for theology, divinity & religious studies in Asia and the Middle East

Four Malaysian universities appear in this first-ever ranking of theology courses, with the International Islamic University Malaysia (IIUM) earning bragging rights over their compatriots.

There is one university from each of Israel, China and South Korea in this year’s ranking. Respectively, they are the Hebrew University of Jerusalem (23rd), the Renmin (People’s) University of China (51-100) and Yonsei University (51-100).

Top universities for theology, divinity & religious studies in Australia & New Zealand

Six Australian universities feature in this year’s ranking, four of which are in the top 50. Monash University come top of the pile in 26th place, with the Australian Catholic University (36th), Deakin University (48th) and the University of Sydney (49th) just behind them. Only one representative from New Zealand makes the top 100, and that’s the University of Auckland, ranked 51-100.

Top universities for theology, divinity & religious studies elsewhere in the world

Two more countries are represented in the rankings this year: Chile and South Africa. Three South African universities are all ranked 51-100: Stellenbosch University, University of Cape Town and University of Pretoria. By comparison, Chile only has one institution on the list but it’s ranked higher than all three South African universities. The Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile is ranked an extremely respectable 30th.

This article was originally published in March 2017 . It was last updated in March 2020

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