There are numerous graduate certificates in biblical studies available for those wishing to pursue a post-graduate level of education centering on the Bible. Programs vary in length, set up, requirements, and prerequisites.
Typical Program Requirements for a Graduate Certificate in Biblical Studies
Graduate certificate programs in biblical studies range from 12-21 credit hours and rarely take longer than two years to complete. Some are offered fully online, some are hybrid, and some are at brick and mortar institutions. Courses are usually broken into 3 credit-hour blocks. Below are some typical course topics covered in these programs.
Courses centering on the Old Testament could have several different scopes. Some will focus on the interpretation of the language of the texts. Other courses might focus on the people, places, and events discussed in the Old Testament.
New Testament courses focus on the New Testament section of the bible and often center around the life of Jesus and the aftereffects of His life. Courses could address the literal translation and meanings of certain passages and books in the New Testament. On the other hand, courses might examine relevant people and events from the New Testament.
Other Books in the Bible
Some courses will focus on specific books in the Bible. Romans, Corinthians I and II, Daniel, and Ezekiel are all examples of the subject matter of some courses in biblical studies. Classes often examine these texts in terms of history, relative interpretation, and the meaning for ministries. Books may be compared in order to gain a fuller understanding of their presence in the Bible as a whole.
Courses may center around the life of Jesus or His disciplines. Some history texts look at the geography at the time of Jesus's life and after. Other history courses are concerned with a more macro-level look at the time period. History of certain churches and schools of thought are also subjects that could be covered in a history course in a graduate certificate of biblical studies program. These courses could take an anthropological approach to studying the Bible and may be founded more in evidence-based science versus speculation.
Hermeneutics and interpretation of holy texts are examples of the foci of some courses students could take in biblical studies. Other courses could look at the organizational behavior and systems of the Christian faith. Understanding the philosophical underpinnings of the Bible and its study may be an important part of the core material for these programs.
Program Admittance Requirements for a Graduate Certificate in Biblical Studies
Graduate certificate programs in biblical studies may require several items for the application: transcripts, letters of recommendation, GRE scores, resumes, and personal statements are the common ones. Some schools may require a statement as to the applicant's religious faith; each school has specific guidelines. Interviews may also be scheduled as well as entrance examinations. Graduate level certificates typically require a bachelor's degree to be conferred before the start of graduate level studies. A 2.5-3.0 GPA may be required in the applicant's undergraduate studies, depending on the program to which he or she wishes to apply.
Graduate certificates in biblical studies are readily available, whether it be online or in person. Requirements vary, but the focus of study for these 12-21 credit programs centers around the interpretation and history of the Bible.