Master's degree programs in biblical studies are generally meant for individuals who are interested in pursuing a career in a ministerial capacity. In some online programs, prospective students can transfer as many as twelve graduate credits to the program. While many master's programs in biblical studies are completely online, a few of them may give students the opportunity to complete three or five-day intensive learning sessions on campus.
Typical Courses in Online Master's Degree Programs in Biblical Studies
Master's degree programs in biblical studies that are offered online can require between 36 and 60 credit hours. Usually, full-time students can earn their master's degree in two years while part-time study may take twice as long.
Courses that focus on the Old Testament are designed to introduce students to its content and background. In some courses, students will particularly focus on the first five books, which are also known as the Pentateuch. Students may also learn about the authors of the books in the Old Testament, when they were written, and their likely purpose.
In courses on the New Testament, students may learn about parables and prophecy as well as interpretation of these books of the Bible. Along with learning about the authors of the books in the New Testament, students may also learn how themes in the books were developed. Some of these courses may also focus on textural criticism and the synoptic problem.
The main purpose of courses in hermeneutics is to expose students to the fundamental principles behind biblical interpretation. In some cases, students may learn about the history of interpretation and discuss the various approaches to interpretation that currently exist. Some of these courses may also include important tools in Bible study as well as Bible-based software.
Courses of this nature tend to concentrate on specific books in the Bible that were written by certain authors such as Paul or Jude. When studying the epistles, students may explore not only the content of the books but also the context and interpretation as well. Students may also learn how to analyze the structure, cultural background, and theological contribution of the epistles.
Research Methods and Writing
Research methods and writing courses might teach students how to conduct the research necessary for their biblical studies thesis as well as how to write a research paper in general. Students may receive guidance on how to select the topic of their thesis and how to design their research. These courses may also cover the use of computerized databases, research styles, and accepted styles for a thesis paper.
General Admission Requirements for Online Master's Degree Programs in Biblical Studies
Applicants to online master's degree programs in biblical studies will need to have an undergraduate degree from an accredited college or university. Some of these programs may ask for a minimum GPA of 2.0. The application process for online biblical studies master's degree programs may require prospective students to prove their moral character by completing a divinity questionnaire or an interview. Along with their application, persons may need to submit character references, school transcripts, a statement of purpose, and a history of their ministerial work.
Online master's degree programs in biblical studies can require up to 60 credit hours and are meant to prepare students to work in a ministerial field. Some of the topics that may be covered in these programs include the Old Testament, the New Testament, and the epistles.