Many graduate certificate programs in biblical studies can be earned entirely online and are often completed in a single semester. The coursework includes the study of the Old and New Testaments in the Bible, theology and modern discipleship.
Program Information for Graduate Certificates in Biblical Studies
These 12- to 30-credit hour graduate certificate programs include core courses on biblical interpretation and specific books of the Bible. Elective course options may allow students to examine topics ranging from Christian doctrines and evangelical methodology.
Principles of Biblical Interpretation
In a course like principles of biblical interpretation, students could examine scripture from a historical point of view. Students also learn how to understand verses in the framework of the Bible as a whole. Hermeneutical methods for interpretation (post-modern or typological, for example) and modern-day applications of scripture are also typically addressed in this course.
Old Testament Studies
A common core requirement for a graduate certificate program in biblical studies is a course like Old Testament studies. In this class, students examine the culture, context and content of each of the 39 Old Testament books of the Bible. In-depth analysis and exposition are given on important figures and timelines in the Old Testament. Students could also research the inspiration of the Old Testament and learn how Messianic prophecies impacted religious life.
New Testament and Theology
In coursework like New Testament and theology, students study the 27 books of the New Testament and how they relate to the understanding of God. Oftentimes in this course, an emphasis is placed on the Messiah and the teachings of Jesus Christ. The apostle Paul's writings are examined and considered in their context and culture, and New Testament principles are reviewed for application in today's world.
This type of class illuminates the biblical role of the church and the responsibility of its members to the community at large. Students learn to apply biblical knowledge to real-life situations, often with a focus on how to live like Jesus Christ exemplified. Exploring God's calling for believers, this class explains evangelism.
The discipline of systematic theology aims to arrange the tenets and doctrines of Christianity in a formulated and coherent whole. This course cements the scriptural basis for many of the typical mainstream Christian beliefs. Several subjects of basic doctrine are examined in the context of scripture and cross-referencing evidence. Some topics might be: the infallible Word of God, the Messiah and redemption of man, and the second coming of Jesus Christ.
Admissions Information for Graduate Certificate Programs in Biblical Studies
Typically, online graduate certificate programs in biblical studies require a bachelor's degree for admission, and some schools also require prerequisite coursework in philosophy or theology. However, with biblical studies programs that requirement varies greatly from one school to the next. Many of these programs require at least two reference letters, one of which might need to be from a pastor or member of the clergy. Biblical studies programs also require official transcripts and a statement of faith, but these programs usually do not require the GRE.
A graduate certificate program in biblical studies can be earned online and involves in-depth coursework in the study of God and the Bible. Admission requirements are often less rigorous than for degree programs, but character references may still be required.