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The 12 Best Online Religion Courses (2023 Reviews & Rankings)

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By My eLearning World

best online religion courses

The best online religion courses can allow you to explore different religions, their beliefs, and their histories from the comfort of your own home.

You can find online religion courses that focus on a specific religion, or you can find ones that offer a more general overview of different religious traditions.

If you want to learn about a specific religion, there are online courses that can teach you about Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, and more.

You can also find online religion courses that focus on the history of religion, comparative religion, or religious studies.

Whatever your interests are, there is sure to be a religion course available online that is right for you.

With hundreds of options available, sorting through all of the different courses that are out there can feel overwhelming, but we’re here to help.

We’ve reviewed and ranked the best online religion courses using a variety of important factors, including quality of content, instructor experience, enrollment fees, and student satisfaction.

Whether you’re looking for a comprehensive introduction to religion or a more in-depth exploration of a specific faith tradition, we can help you find the right course for your needs.


What are the Best Online Religion Courses?

Here are our top picks for the best religious courses online…


1. The History and Archaeology of the Bible (The Great Courses)

The History and Archaeology of the Bible (The Great Courses) The History and Archaeology of the Bible (The Great Courses)

Discover new insights from historians and archaeologists on the beloved narratives of the Bible.

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  • Instant Video: $40
  • Instant Audio: $40
  • DVD: $60
  • Subscribe & Stream 500+ Great Courses Starting at $7.50/month (Free 14-Day Trial)


Approximately 11 hours

These 24 in-depth lessons, which feature 47 video sequences, are tailored to convey the best knowledge about the history of the Bible.

The instructor of this course is Jean-Pierre Isbouts, who aims to bring Biblical narratives and their historical settings to life.

Professor Isbouts examines how the historical record and the scriptures are related.

He also highlights historical and archaeological findings that diverge from Biblical accounts.

What You Will Learn

  • Understand the scope of Biblical archaeology.
  • Study the arguments in Genesis by drawing on the myths of earlier religious traditions.
  • Examine the symbolic meanings in ancient architecture, starting with the well-known Saqqara Egyptian step pyramid.
  • Discover the purpose of the Mesopotamian Ziggurat (Tower of Babel).
  • Discover the remarkable tale of Joseph’s Egyptian servitude and eventual turn of events.
  • Learn about the twelve tribes’ geographic dispersal throughout Canaan, where armed adversaries frequently threatened them.


2. The Triumph of Christianity (The Great Courses)

The Triumph of Christianity (The Great Courses) The Triumph of Christianity (The Great Courses)

This course examines the extraordinary growth of Christianity over time from its origins to its spread throughout the Western world.

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  • Instant Video: $40
  • DVD: $60
  • Subscribe & Stream 500+ Great Courses Starting at $7.50/month (Free 14-Day Trial)


Approximately 11 hours

Explore The Triumph of Christianity to learn about the fascinating events that contributed to Christianity’s rise.

These 24 in-depth lectures delivered by Dr. Bart D. Ehrman uncover the rapid rise of Christianity from its inception in a Jewish world inside the Roman Empire to its dissemination across Europe.

You will learn about the historical occurrences that led to such an incredible accomplishment. Dr. Ehrman guides you through the world of the ancient Romans with the impartial perspective of a historian. He also analyzes what is known for sure and what is still up in the air.

Although Bart takes care to distinguish between history and religion, he helps you understand the theological arguments and discussions about the nature of Christ.

What You Will Learn

  • Discover the real Jesus, the Apostles Paul and Luke, and other historical Christian figures.
  • Different Pagan religions during the Roman era
  • Rise of Judaism and Christianity in the Roman era
  • Find out how the Acts book describes how Jesus’ apostles preached his statement far and wide.
  • Observe how Jesus’ apocalyptic message evolved into the Christian doctrine of salvation.
  • Keep an eye out for the church’s unification.


3. Holy Land Revealed (The Great Courses)

Holy Land Revealed (The Great Courses) Holy Land Revealed (The Great Courses)

Explore the history of the birthplace of Christianity and Judaism in this fascinating online course.

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  • Instant Audio: $30
  • DVD: $40
  • Subscribe & Stream 500+ Great Courses Starting at $7.50/month (Free 14-Day Trial)


Approximately 19 hours

The course is taught by Professor Magness, who gives an insight into the Holy Land where Christianity and Judaism were born.

The course discusses the various evidence and artifacts found in the region and how they relate to the scriptures.

The class is suitable for both beginners who have little knowledge of the Bible as well as those who want to deepen their understanding.

The course is available on both DVD and Audio.

It is recommended by more than 90% of the people for understanding the Holy Land and Cannan.

What You Will Learn

  • What do you understand by “Holy Land”?
  • How do history and archaeology differ from one another?
  • How trustworthy is the Hebrew Bible?
  • Discover the details of the Israelites’ entry into Canaan from the discoveries made by archaeologists.
  • Review the biblical characterizations of Jerusalem from the time of David, around 1000 B.C.E.
  • Discover details of daily life in the ancient Israelite kingdoms.
  • Consider how ornately open gates were constructed to defend cities like Gezer from intruders.
  • Learn more with this insightful examination of the Persian rule in the Holy Land.


4. World Religions Through Their Scriptures XSeries Program (edX)


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7 Months

The course is available on edX and is taught by professionals from Harvard University. It is a full-fledged program consisting of seven courses altogether.

From Hinduism to Sikhism, all major religions are discussed in this course. It’s a self-paced program where you can progress as per your schedule.

The intensive programs demand you to work at least 5-10 hours per week.

What You Will Learn

  • How to analyze the historical and contemporary roles of various world religions?
  • Internal variety and development of all the major religions and sacred texts.
  • What are the benefits and drawbacks of studying the sacred texts of various religions?
  • Look into the different scriptures to understand various contexts throughout history and culture.
  • Subtly read the world’s scriptures.
  • Which difficulties do diverse collections of scriptures pose to practitioners?
  • Why is Sikhism, the fifth-largest religion, so underappreciated in the West?
  • By examining sacred texts, literature, and recent works of media related to these religions, students will investigate these principles, religious views, and historical backgrounds.

5. Governing Religion: Global Challenges and Comparative Approaches (FutureLearn)


FutureLearn pricing starts at $27.99/month


3 Weeks

This course, by Future Learn, is for intermediate-level learners, which gets you a digital certificate upon completion.

As you study specific instances from European and non-European nations, you will consider various frameworks of ties in this course.

You will gain knowledge of the various models developed from previous nation-formation processes.

As you discuss the best models for policing religion and religious diversification today, you will also consider your own experiences and reflections.

There are thousands of students enrolled in these courses. You only need to allocate 3 hours per week to finish this course.

Students majoring or minoring in sociology, political science, or anthropology are welcome to enroll. Additionally, it might be helpful for journalists, civil society activists, and anyone interested in the interaction of religion and government.

You can interact with other students, exchange ideas, and participate in lively online discussions at every stage of the course.

What You Will Learn

  • Why are religion and religious pluralism still viewed as issues in today’s society?
  • What are the prevalent models for managing religion in Europe right now?
  • What are their advantages and disadvantages?
  • Understanding the state-religion interactions governed in the MENA region.
  • What laws and policies govern religion and religious diversification in Southeast Asia?
  • How can we deal with religious diversity?
  • What can we learn from the experiences of Europe and Asia?
  • How can we mutually benefit?


6. Four Interpretations of the Genesis Creation Story (Udemy)




1.5 Hours

An ongoing lecture series that combines science, philosophy, and religion will be included in this course by Udemy. One of the most significant subjects that this course covers is the creation of the universe.

Anyone curious about the relationship between the Bible and science or who wants to learn more about Jewish wisdom will enjoy this course.

Similarly, individuals interested in learning more about philosophy, science, or religion can also enroll in this course to expand their knowledge base.

Moreover, this course by Udemy requires no prerequisites, except enthusiasm for biblical interpretations.

Once you enroll in this course, you are entitled to lifetime access. These videos are available on both laptops and mobile phones.

What You Will Learn

  • What is religion?
  • How do various interpretations occur through Judaism?
  • What are science, philosophy, and mysticism?
  • Classical methods of interpreting Judaism.
  • What are verses of scripture?
  • How to approach text through philosophy?
  • According to contemporary science, what role do all of these interpretations play in how the universe first came into existence?
  • What is Kabbalah?


7. A Journey through Western Christianity: From Persecuted Faith to Global Religion [200 – 1650] (Coursera)


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46 hours

This course traces the remarkable growth of Western Christianity by the Roman Empire that happened back in the third century with the help of the Jesuits in the early modern era.

This course will help us investigate a religion’s dynamic and varied nature using a large cast of characters and by examining the magnificent Book of Kells, which monks meticulously crafted due to Vikings tormenting the English coast.

It will also help us contemplate Thomas Aquinas’ great Summa’s opening questions as we take in the blue light that streams through Chartres’ windows.

The course offers flexible deadlines per a learner’s schedule. The course is available in several languages, including English, Spanish, Arabic, etc.

This course by Coursera comes with a shareable certificate for beginner-level learners.

What You Will Learn

  • To study the interactions between the Roman Empire, which the Christian Church was a part of, and that period’s Christian community.
  • About ‘The Great Church.’
  • Development of Western Christianity
  • Who was Perpetua and her martyrdom in Carthage
  • Role of Celtic monks and missionaries
  • What is the Book of Kells
  • Augustine’s struggles and the North African Church
  • Role of reformers and crusaders
  • Understanding the diversity that took place in 200.
  • To study the ‘Conversion of Constantine.’
  • What is the nature of Christ?
  • How did the rise of Rome happen?
  • What is the Creed of Nicaea?
  • How has the journey through Western Christianity shaped the world?


8. Introduction to the Study of Religion (The Great Courses)


  • Instant Audio: $149.95
  • DVD: $269.95
  • Subscribe & Stream 500+ Great Courses Starting at $7.50/month (Free 14-Day Trial)


Approximately 12 hours

Professor Jones provides a lively introduction to religious studies in the course, Introduction to the Study of Religion.

He demonstrates how other disciplines, such as sociology, phenomenology, anthropology, and psychology, have tried to describe the dynamic interrelationships between people, cultures, and religions.

He also talks about how there has been a relationship between life, and death since the beginning of humankind.

Although the ideas that gave rise to the discipline were developed by thinkers who were firmly rooted in the traditions of Christianity and Western religion, these theories affect the research of academics who are deeply involved in studying every major religion in the world.

The course consists of 24 lectures that can be accessed on Audio or DVD. This platform, Great Courses, also offers a 144-page printed book for paperback lovers.

What You Will Learn

  • What is the notion of definitions?
  • Why do definitions vary?
  • Social theories of religion
  • How religion affects society
  • Understanding religions from an academic perspective.
  • How to use psychology and sociology to form religious theories?
  • What are the four approaches to studying religion?
  • To understand the complexity between religion and culture.


9. Zoroastrianism: History, Religion, and Belief (FutureLearn)




4 Weeks

The course is based on the book and exhibition, “The Everlasting Flame: Zoroastrianism in History and Imagination,” both of which are titled similarly.

To situate Zoroastrianism within the larger scheme of world religions, you’ll first examine its tenets. Next, you’ll look at the history of the faith from the beginning to the present.

To construct a more comprehensive picture of the religion, you will examine the community’s difficulties in this course and relate them to historical occasions.

You can interact with other students, exchange ideas, and participate in lively online discussions at every stage of the course.

Anyone interested in ancient and contemporary religions, particularly Zoroastrian religious practices and languages, should take this course. Anyone passionate about South Asian or Iranian studies will also find it interesting.

Moreover, the global Zoroastrian community will find this course super beneficial.

What You Will Learn

  • What are the main principles of the Zoroastrian faith?
  • What is the historical background of Zoroastrianism?
  • Understanding a few of the problems that Zoroastrian communities are currently facing.
  • Understanding the minority and majority aspects of Zoroastrianism.
  • Examining the sources used in the study of religion.
  • Investigation of the Avestan tongue.
  • Identify and define a few Avestan terms.

10. The Bible’s Prehistory, Purpose, and Political Future (Coursera)


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20 Hours

The course demonstrates the particular response given by biblical authors to defeat by progressing a demotic strategy. They believed that, in this way, the community will be positioned in the middle by collaborating through evocative holy scriptures, primitive Near Eastern scriptures, and doodling on a wide range of similar illustrations.

This course comes with flexible deadlines and on-demand videos.

You can get a certificate upon completing the course.

What You Will Learn

  • Understanding the historical significance of Israel’s geographic position between two important civilizational centers.
  • What is Egypt’s interest in Canaan (the biblical land)?
  • What is the historical setting in which the cultural structure of Israel and its locations first appear?
  • How did Egypt’s withdrawal from Canaan allow territorial states like Israel and Judah to emerge?


11. The Problem of Evil: Religion’s Greatest Challenge (Udemy)




1.5 Hours

The course is designed for Jewish people interested in learning about the Jewish religion. However, other individuals who want to learn about religion can also enroll in this course.

The course is taught by Michael Gold, a professor at Miami-Dade college. The course has no prerequisite and charges a reasonable fee. It has 1.5 hours of on-demand videos that can be watched on mobile and laptop.

The course offers certification upon completion, opening opportunities for you in the future.

What You Will Learn

  • Investigating the issue of evil and why it poses a problem for the traditional Western theistic religions.
  • Understanding Judaism’s perspective on evil in Western theistic faiths.
  • How can God, who is all-knowing, all-powerful, and all-good, allow a world where suffering exists?
  • Find solutions for Jewish tradition and, more broadly, in the Western tradition.
  • Finding rabbinic solutions to the issue of evil. Determining the true power of God


12. Introduction to Religions & Ecology (Coursera)


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Approximately 15 Hours

The first class in the series “Religions and Ecology: Restoring the Earth Community” focuses on the ecological aspects of different religious traditions worldwide. This course is intended to serve as a springboard for other classes.

It describes the origins of ecology as well as the nature of religion. The urgency of the climate crisis, global morality, and environmental justice are also highlighted in this course.

This course is for lifelong learners interested in learning more about world religions, ecology, and environmental professionals who want to excel in environmental protection and sustainable development.

What You Will Learn

  • Understanding of religions.
  • Different traditions in your religion.
  • Environmental activities in those traditions.
  • Who are environmental actors in a religion?
  • Who are policymakers and their role in religion?
  • How does the field of ecology emerge?
  • How do religious leaders play their role in environmental betterment?


A Final Word on the Best Online Religion Courses

If you’re someone who loves to study different religions and their customs, then you should definitely check out some of the best online religion courses.

These courses will help you understand different religions better and also introduce you to new ones.

And taking classes online offers a number of advantages over traditional in-person learning, such as being more affordable and flexible to your schedule.

So what are you waiting for? Start learning about the world’s religions today!

Have any questions about our guide to the best online religion courses? Let us know by commenting below.

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