Master's in Biblical Studies Degree Programs

Oct 21, 2019

A master's in biblical studies takes an in-depth look into the Bible and other Christian texts. This degree can prepare students for work in a variety of ministry or pastoral types of careers. Keep reading to learn more about typical coursework and admission requirements.

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The master's degree in biblical studies typically focuses on biblical principles and analysis of the Bible. Through critical reflection a student could learn about the church, Christian life, and society. These programs can refine academic skills and expand a student's theological and societal knowledge base.

Admission Requirements for a Master's in Biblical Studies

A master's in biblical studies often requires a 2.5 GPA for admission into the program, although some may accept students under conditional terms with a lower grade point average. Universities and colleges offering this program typically require official transcripts, and some will ask for a written statement of purpose. These programs do not usually require a student to have an undergraduate degree in any specific area.

General Information about Biblical Studies Master's Programs

In a biblical studies master's program, students can learn about the landscape, culture, and ethnic history of the people in the Bible. Generally, these programs require about 36 credit hours to complete. However, some schools offer longer, more extensive programs, of up to about 60 credits. Although you will find some variety between schools, the following are examples of typical course offerings.

Introduction to the Old Testament

This kind of course can introduce students to the background of the Old Testament in the Bible. It could cover critical issues in the text through closely studying the books in the first portion of the Bible. Lessons might address how the flow of these books are related, and students may analyze the connections throughout the Old Testament.

Introduction to the New Testament

This type of course could be organized in a similar fashion as the introductory Old Testament class. Students can learn about the New Testament and analyze the importance of the second portion of the Bible. Background information of the New Testament could be studied and read, with students identifying themes and connections.

Biblical Hermeneutics

Biblical hermeneutics typically takes a critical look into texts that help to decipher the Bible. This sort of course might focus on genres of writing in the Bible, with students being required to look at content that helps them develop a method or process for critically interpreting the Bible. This kind of class might cover specific passages that have raised debate among biblical studies professionals.

Greek and Hebrew

A program that offers a more focused look into biblical studies may require learning languages such as Greek and Hebrew. Students could explore how to use these language skills to analyze ancient texts from different cultures. Some programs might expect only basic level skills in these languages, while others may require several classes for each.

Biblical Studies Capstone/Thesis

A capstone or thesis course might ask a student to reflect on their graduate experience throughout the program. A thesis may have students work closely with an academic advisor to prepare a lengthy document on a specific, researched topic. For a capstone, a student may be asked to analyze critical issues and show through coursework that they have mastered the program content.

A master's in biblical studies typically focuses on the Bible and various related texts. This sort of program often requires about 36 credit hours and might include a capstone course or thesis.

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