Master of Arts (Theology)

Director: Alan Hultberg, Ph.D.

Mission

The mission of the Master of Arts is to produce biblically, theologically, and spiritually discerning Christian thinkers who can serve the body of Christ in lay, parachurch or academic ministries. The Master of Arts program provides both a general biblical, theological, and spiritual foundation for reflection and a specialized focus on a discipline crucial to fulfilling Talbot's mission and from which students can serve or go on for advanced study. These disciplines include Bible Exposition, Biblical and Theological Studies/Diversified, Biblical and Theological Studies in the Eurasian Context (Kyiv extension only), New Testament, Old Testament, Philosophy, Spiritual Formation, and Theology.

Program Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of the Master of Arts, students will be able to:

  1. Integrate a sound understanding of Scripture with the contents of their respective emphasized disciplines (ULO 3).
  2. Explain the major doctrines of Christianity, including their biblical basis and contemporary relevance (ULO 1).
  3. Students will be able to demonstrate abilities relevant to personal spiritual formation, including an understanding of spiritual theology, knowledge of God & self, relational skills, and an understanding of their vocation (ULO 1, 2, 3).
  4. Perform and report research in their respective disciplines at a level sufficient to begin a doctoral program (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.

Theology Specialization Learning Outcomes

As a result of this program, the student will be able to explain the major doctrines of Christianity, including their biblical basis, historical development, and contemporary relevance, and assess non-evangelical doctrines from an evangelical perspective.

Admission Requirements

Applicants must possess a Bachelor of Arts degree or its academic equivalent from an accredited college with a minimum grade point average of 3.0 (on a 4.0 scale). Additionally, applicants should have completed an accredited course in Old Testament survey and in New Testament survey prior to matriculation. If the prerequisite courses are not completed prior to matriculation, the student is required to take TTBE 519 and TTBE 520 as elective credits during their program.

All applicants must submit a written statement outlining their vocational objectives and how the degree might relate to those objectives.

Graduation Requirements

  1. Satisfactorily complete 49 credits as outlined in the curriculum requirements below. The rate of progress for many students is 12–13 credits per semester, allowing the program to be completed in two years.
  2. Students without previous courses in Old Testament Survey and New Testament Survey must take TTBE 519 and TTBE 520, which are not for credit unless taken in place of elective credits.
  3. Complete the online introduction to theological research and writing by the end of the second semester.
  4. Submit an acceptable capstone project, as determined by the department of specialization. Students will receive specific directions about their capstone project from their respective departments.
  5. At least 24 of the total credits required for the degree program must be completed in residency at Biola. Advanced Standing, Reduction and transfer credit are not considered residency credits.
  6. Obtain a 3.0 average with no grade below a "C-" in all courses to be credited toward graduation.
  7. Complete the entire program in no more than five years.
  8. Meet with a 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.)

Specialization Requirements

Program Structure

The academic programs leading to the degree Master of Arts with a specialization in Theology is comprised of 49 credits, including:

  1. Biblical and theological foundations.
  2. Spiritual Formation Focus (SFF).
  3. Academic specialization in one of four disciplines requiring biblical language studies, or general studies in which biblical languages are not required.
  4. Additional elective courses determined by the student in consultation with the advisor.

Students may complete the specializations in Bible Exposition, Old Testament, New Testament, Philosophy, and Theology online, on-campus, or by a combination of those two modalities.

Advanced Standing

Applicants who have taken undergraduate courses in biblical or theological studies may request advanced standing based on collegiate work. See Talbot Admissions Requirements for details. Note: if master's level courses are given advanced standing based on undergraduate coursework, some Ph.D. programs may require additional graduate courses in order to meet doctoral program requirements.

Curriculum Requirements

Prerequisite Courses
Old Testament Survey 1
New Testament Survey 1
Program Courses
TTBE 517Hermeneutics and Bible Study Methods3
TTSF 501Introduction to Spiritual Theology and Formation3
TTSF 503Personal Foundations for Spiritual Formation3
TTSF 504Spiritual Formation, Vocation, and the Disciplines1
TTSF 505Talbot Spiritual Direction I0
TTSF 506Talbot Spiritual Direction II0
TTTH 521Theology I: God, Scripture, Creation3
TTTH 522Theology II: Christ, Humanity, Sin, Salvation3
TTTH 623Theology III: Spirit, Church, Last Things3
Theology Specialization Courses
TTHT 505Patristic and Medieval Theology3
TTHT 506Reformation and Modern Theology3
TTTH 709Contemporary Theology3
TTTH 765Theology Capstone Seminar3
Select one of the following:3
Apologetics
Cults of America
World Religions and New Religious Movements
Select either the Greek or Non-Greek option below15
Greek Option
TTNT 501Beginning Greek I3
TTNT 502Beginning Greek II3
TTNT 503Introduction to Exegesis3
General elective courses6
Non-Greek Option
TTBE 530Elementary Principles of the Biblical Languages3
Elective courses from TTBE, NT, OT3
General elective courses 29
Total Credits49