Biblical and Theological Studies, B.A.

Mission

The mission of the Bachelor of Arts in Biblical and Theological Studies is to provide the student with a foundational knowledge of the history, literature, and theology of the Old and New Testaments, of systematic and historical theology, and of methods for further biblical and theological studies — equipping men and women in mind and character to impact the world for the Lord Jesus Christ.

Degree Program

A Bachelor of Arts in Biblical and Theological Studies is offered upon the completion of the University baccalaureate and major requirements. Obtaining a degree with this major requires 39 credits.

Program Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of the Bachelor of Arts in Biblical and Theological Studies, students will be able to:

  1. Identify the basic contents of all books of the Old and New Testaments, including the ancient world contexts of the Bible. Apply the biblical teaching for Christian faith and practice, and for biblical-theological research, through advanced principles of sound interpretation (ULO 1 and 2).
  2. Analyze the biblical text in original language study (either Greek or Hebrew) using biblical and theological research tools with discernment of quality sources for valuable written reports or sermons (ULO 1 and 3).
  3. Explain the major doctrines of Christianity from an evangelical perspective, including their biblical basis and canonical progression, historical development, diverse perspectives, and contemporary relevance (ULO 1).
  4. Describe a personal relationship with God in a maturing Christian faith and practice, and demonstrate leadership ability by examining additional theological issues as they relate to doctrine, life, and ministry (ULO 2 and 3).

Each Program Learning Outcome (PLO) listed above references at least one of the University Learning Outcomes (ULO 1, 2, 3), which may be found in the General Information section of this catalog.

Major Requirements

General Education Requirements
The following are the general education requirements for B.A. Biblical and Theological Studies majors (not those in the Preaching and Pastoral Ministry concentration). For the student’s general education Foreign Language requirement, the student must choose 12 credits from either Greek or Hebrew.
Greek:
Elementary Greek Grammar I
Elementary Greek Grammar II
Intermediate Greek Grammar and Exegesis I
Intermediate Greek Grammar and Exegesis II
Hebrew:
Elementary Hebrew Grammar I
Elementary Hebrew Grammar II
Intermediate Hebrew Grammar I
Intermediate Hebrew Grammar II
General Bible Requirements
All students must complete 30 credits of Biblical and Theological Studies including:
Biblical Interpretation and Spiritual Formation
Foundations of Christian Thought
Old Testament History and Literature
New Testament History and Literature
Theology I
Theology II
Early Christian History - Acts
Integration Seminar
Select 6 credits of 300/400-level Bible electives
Residency Requirement
Biola has a residency requirement for biblical studies. Of the 30 credits of Bible required of all students, 15 credits must be taken at Biola. Students may petition the Office of the Registrar for an exception to this rule. Transfer credit, credit for prior learning, or credit by examination may not be used to fulfill the minimum residency requirement. Majors other than Biblical and Theological Studies or Christian Education may count a maximum of 30 Bible credits toward graduation
Core Requirements
The following are the core requirements for B.A. Biblical and Theological Studies majors (not those in the Preaching and Pastoral Ministry concentration). Majors must complete the general Bible requirements (excluding the two electives) plus:
BBST 301Biblical Studies Research Seminar3
BBST 311Biblical Backgrounds3
BBST 312Principles of Interpretation3
BBST 413Biblical Theology Seminar3
BBST 414Systematic Theology Seminar3
BBST 455Pauline Theology: Romans3
HIST 321History of the Christian Church3
Elective Requirements
Select 18 credits of 300/400-level Biblical and Theological Studies (BBST) electives.18
In addition to the major requirements, students are encouraged to select a specialization of 12–14 credits outside the department and/or sufficient electives to complete the minimum of 130 credits for the degree
Total Credits39

Concentration

Preaching and Pastoral Ministry

The Concentration in Preaching and Pastoral Ministry is designed to equip students for leadership and preaching in church or parachurch settings. It is also designed to prepare students to pursue the accelerated B.A. + M.A. in Preaching and Pastoral Ministry. In addition to the learning objectives of the B.A. in Biblical and Theological Studies, this concentration aims to produce graduates who:

  • are developing in spiritual and emotional self-awareness and health;
  • can prepare and present sermons demonstrating biblical accuracy, oral clarity and contemporary relevance;
  • understand the leadership skills needed to guide Christian communities in the tasks of the church: making and growing disciples, worshiping, praying, and impacting the broader community.

Upon successful completion of the Preaching and Pastoral Ministry concentration, students may enter into the Preaching and Pastoral Ministry concentration in the M.A. in Christian Ministry and Leadership (M.A. PPM), and complete it in an accelerated format. The Preaching and Pastoral Ministry Concentration is a specialized concentration that allows students to begin taking graduate courses in the senior year, and thus complete a B.A. and an M.A. faster.

Admission into Biola University does not guarantee admission into the Preaching and Pastoral Ministry Concentration of the B.A. in Biblical and Theological Studies. Entry into this concentration requires the student to do the following:

  1. Submit an application to the department of Biblical and Theological Studies at the end of the freshman year or the beginning of the sophomore year.
  2. Earn an overall GPA of 3.0, and grades of "B" or higher in any coursework taken so far that will be used toward the M.A. PPM: BBST 103, BBST 105, BBST 109, BBST 110, BBST 251, BBST 254, BBST 312, BBST 413; two BBST 300/400 electives; BLGR 101, BLGR 102, BLGR 201,BLGR 202. Failure to earn a "B" or higher in one of these courses will result in the student not receiving credit towards their entry into the M.A. PPM.
  3. Be involved in some form of Christian service demonstrating a sense of call or desire to pursue ministry.

The senior year of this concentration includes both graduate and undergraduate courses. In order to begin the senior year portion of the concentration, students must complete the following:

  1. Maintain adequate involvement in the program's co-curricular mentoring and spiritual formation activities during the sophomore and junior year.
  2. Continue involvement in Christian service during the sophomore and junior year.
  3. Earn grades of "B" or higher in all coursework that will be used toward the M.A. PPM: BBST 103, BBST 105, BBST 109, BBST 110, BBST 251, BBST 254, BBST 312, BBST 413; two BBST 300/400 electives; BLGR 101, BLGR 102, BLGR 201, BLGR 202. Failure to earn a "B" or higher in one of these courses will result in the student not receiving credit for that course upon entry into the M.A. PPM.
  4. Apply and be admitted to Talbot's M.A. in Christian Ministry and Leadership with a concentration in Preaching and Pastoral Ministry program. One of the required letters of recommendation must come from the director of the Preaching and Pastoral Ministry program.

Students who are not admitted into the senior year portion of the B.A. PPM may return to the non-concentration B.A. in Biblical and Theological Studies, where no credits will be lost or wasted.

For more information on the graduate curriculum, see the M.A. in Christian Ministry and Leadership, Preaching and Pastoral Ministry concentration.

General Education Requirements
For the student's general education Foreign Language requirement, the student must take 12 credits of Greek.
Elementary Greek Grammar I
Elementary Greek Grammar II
Intermediate Greek Grammar and Exegesis I
Intermediate Greek Grammar and Exegesis II
Concentration-Specific Requirements
Students enrolling in the Preaching and Pastoral Ministry concentration will take the following core courses in place of the Core Requirements section listed above. All students in this concentration must complete the General Bible Requirements listed above (excluding the two electives) plus:
BBST 301Biblical Studies Research Seminar3
BBST 311Biblical Backgrounds3
BBST 312Principles of Interpretation3
BBST 413Biblical Theology Seminar3
BBST 414Systematic Theology Seminar3
BBST 455Pauline Theology: Romans3
Graduate Coursework
Seniors in the Preaching and Pastoral Ministry concentration may take the following graduate courses during their senior year:
TTHT 514Historical Theology Survey3
TTNT 604Exegesis in the Gospels3
or TTNT 605 Exegesis in the Epistles
TTPT 591Introduction to Field Education1
TTPT 592Field Education II0
TTPT 609Expository Preaching3
TTPT 610Contemporary Biblical Preaching3
TTSF 501Introduction to Spiritual Theology and Formation3
TTSF 503Personal Foundations for Spiritual Formation3
Elective Requirements
Select 15 credits of 300 or 400 level BBST electives. One course must be a New Testament elective and one must be an Old Testament elective.15
Total Credits52