Christian Apologetics, M.A.


The Master of Arts – Christian Apologetics is an academic degree designed for individuals who desire academic and practical preparation for proclaiming and defending the historic doctrines of the Christian faith. Students are prepared to articulate the Gospel and the Christian worldview with intelligence, respect, confidence, and compassion. The program is multidisciplinary in scope and it fosters personal spiritual growth and maturity through guided study of the Scriptures and theology, mutual encouragement in the Christian life, and academic rigor. The degree has proven to be excellent training for a range of cutting edge Christian ministries.

Program Description

The program presents knowledge and perspective from a number of key academic disciplines and provides stimulating graduate education for those who wish to effectively engage unbelievers and skeptics at all levels in the world of ideas. The curriculum is designed to be accessible to students who may have little or no formal academic training in biblical studies, theology, or philosophy, and a significant expansion in knowledge for those who do have such background.

The entire MA degree can be completed online with no campus visits. However, many, but not all, of the courses in the program can be taken on campus as well. All students are encouraged to attend the one-week “Advanced Apologetics Lectures in Residence” that take place on campus during the summer as well as special weekend seminars on campus. These opportunities are designed to enhance personal engagement with faculty and fellow graduate students for deeper learning and ministry enhancement.

Some courses taken via distance learning have special course fees. CSAP 601, CSAP 602, and CSAP 603 each have a fee of $75 per course. CSAP 699 has a fee of $100 per credit. Students are limited to 6 credits of independent study and/or arranged coursework in their degree program.

Program Learning Outcomes

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

  1. Build an intellectual framework to demonstrate students' understanding of the faith and formulate responses to future challenges (ULO 1).
  2. Demonstrate Christ-like character in defense of the gospel (ULO 2).
  3. Argue effectively to correct misconceptions about historic Christianity; answer the perennial problems that are offered to discredit Christianity intellectually; and make the case proactively that it is reasonable to put one's faith in Christ (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 normally will have completed all bachelor’s degree requirements with a grade point average (GPA) equivalent to a B or higher in all undergraduate study prior to the start of the program and normally will have a bachelor’s degree conferred from a regionally accredited institution prior to the start of the second term. Applicants who do not possess a Bachelor of Arts degree or its academic equivalent from an accredited institution may still apply and may be provisionally admitted at the discretion of Talbot School of Theology.
  • One pastoral and at least one character reference.
  • Official transcripts from all colleges and universities attended. Transcripts must be official, that is, mailed directly from your previous colleges and/or universities in a sealed envelope, sent electronically, or physically delivered in an untampered envelope sealed by the institution to the Biola Office of Graduate Admissions.

Note: Official documents for admission or evaluation become part of the student’s academic file and normally cannot be returned or copied for distribution.

Graduation Requirements

  1. Satisfactorily complete at least 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. 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.
  3. Complete a minimum of 24 credits in the degree program at Biola University. Up to 15 credits of graduate work may be transferred into the program for courses determined to be comparable. Advanced standing may also be granted for appropriate undergraduate coursework determined to be comparable to required graduate-level classes. Consult your admissions counselor for more information.
  4.  All degree components, except for CSAP 696 and CSAP 699, must be completed as graded courses.
  5. Complete the entire program in no more than seven years.
  6. Meet with department advisor and graduate academic records and degree specialist in the Office of the Registrar one year prior to graduation to declare intent to graduate. (See Graduate Graduation Check description in Admission, Enrollment and Graduation Requirements section.)

Curriculum Requirements

Program Courses
Apologetics Core
CSAP 510Apologetics Research and Writing 11
CSAP 529Scripture: Authority, Canon, and Criticism2
CSAP 625Philosophy of Religion (Capstone Project for program is the term paper for CSAP 625.) 22
CSAP 626Ethics2
CSAP 628Why God Allows Evil2
CSAP 629Scientific Apologetics2
CSAP 651Comparative Religions 32
CSAP 691In Defense of the Resurrection2
CSAP 696Apologetics Practicum1
Biblical and Theology Core
CSAP 521Old Testament Survey3
CSAP 522New Testament Survey3
CSAP 541Essential Christian Doctrine I2
CSAP 542Essential Christian Doctrine II3
CSAP 638Spiritual Formation and the Life of the Mind I2
CSAP 639Spiritual Formation and the Life of the Mind II1
Elective Courses
Apologetics Electives (see Department for advising on elective courses)9
Total Credits39

It is highly recommended to take this in the first or second semester of the program.


Students normally should take CSAP 625 during their last year in the program.


CSAP 653, CSAP 654, CSAP 655, or CSAP 656 will also count for CSAP 651.