Science and Religion, M.A.

Mission

The Master of Arts - Science and Religion degree is designed to provide individuals with the essential background in theology, history and philosophy necessary to integrate evangelical Christianity with modern science.

Program Description

The curriculum is designed for students who already have some background in the sciences; consequently the course work emphasizes the critical tools from other disciplines that are necessary for providing the proper context and foundation for understanding and working comfortably with issues that relate to both Christianity and the sciences. Special seminars focus on current theological issues within specific scientific disciplines so that students will understand the contemporary dynamic and learn to integrate their thinking in a mentored setting. The program fosters in students a mature and informed Christian worldview from which to serve the Lord and to relate to secular colleagues in the sciences.

This program is available in a format that combines distance learning and on-campus learning in an academically robust manner. This is a proven method of education that is designed to make the Master of Arts - Science and Religion available to students who cannot relocate to Southern California for course work. Some short-term campus visits are required during the summer, offering the opportunity to interact with faculty, fellow students and preeminent guest scholars and lecturers.
Courses are usually seven weeks in length with some on campus classes meeting once per week in the evening. Alternative scheduling is often employed for enhanced instructional effectiveness. Some courses taken via distance learning have special materials fees. CSSR 514 MD, CSSR 519 MD, and CSSR 520 MD have materials fees of $45.
 

Independent Study Courses

Independent study courses offer lectures from audio recordings and additional study materials by outstanding theologians, scientists, apologists, and biblical scholars. Science and Religion students are limited to 12 independent study credits in their degree program.

Program Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of the Master of Arts - Science and Religion, students will be able to:

  1. Demonstrate an intellectual foundation in the historical, philosophical and theological issues that are relevant to the natural sciences, particularly where these disciplines interface with religious topics (ULO 1).
  2. Demonstrate communication skills for presenting arguments in a winsome and gracious manner (ULO 2).
  3. Identify a discipline-specific topic from the natural sciences and articulate how it interfaces with religion (ULO 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.

Admission Requirements

Applicants must have completed all bachelor’s requirements, with a minimum grade point average of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale, prior to the start of the program and must have a bachelor’s degree conferred from a regionally accredited institution prior to the start of the second term.

This degree should normally be in a natural science (physics, chemistry, biology or related field), engineering, mathematics, computer science; or in anthropology, psychology or related fields. Students with a baccalaureate in any field will be considered if their career or ministry path involves a strong scientific interest (e.g., science journalism, campus ministry).
Applicants must submit a brief written statement outlining their vocational objectives and how the degree might relate to those objectives.

Graduation Requirements

  1.  Satisfactorily complete 39 semester credits as outlined in the curriculum below.
  2.  Maintain a 2.5 average with no grade below a "C" in all courses to be credited toward graduation.
  3.  Students are placed on academic probation if their grade point average for any semester falls below 2.5 and will remain on probation as long as the single semester or cumulative grade point average remains below 2.5. Probation students are granted one semester in which to bring their academic work up to the required level (2.5) for continuance in the program. A student cannot graduate while on probation.
  4.  Complete a minimum of 24 credits in the degree program at Biola University.
  5.  All degree components must be completed as graded courses. Students taking courses in the distance learning format are expected to  participate in our on-campus summer lectures for two weeks in June.
  6.  Up to 15 credits of graduate credits may be transferred into the program for classes deemed comparable. Core classes may be waived on the basis of two comparable undergraduate courses, with grades of "B" or better in both classes.
  7.  Complete the entire program in no more than seven years.
  8.  Meet with department academic advisor and Graduate Graduation Counselor in the Office of the Registrar one year prior to graduation to declare intent to graduate. (See Graduate Graduation Check description in the Admission, Enrollment and Graduation Requirements section).

Curriculum Requirements

Program Courses
Religious Studies
CSSR 510Research Methodologies1
CSSR 514History of Christian Thought3
CSSR 516Authority of Scriptural Traditions2
CSSR 519Old Testament/Hebrew Literature3
CSSR 520New Testament Literature3
CSSR 541Christian Thought I2
CSSR 542Christian Thought II2
Science and Religion
CSSR 529Historical Perspectives in Science and Religion2
CSSR 530Darwin, Evolution, and Design2
CSSR 631Modern Physics, Cosmology, and Design2
CSSR 651Intelligent Design Seminar2
Philosophy Overview 1
CSSR 540Metaphysics and Epistemology3
CSSR 547Philosophy and Theology of Science3
Elective Courses
Science and Religion, Philosophy, or Religious Studies9
Total Credits39