Christian Apologetics, M.A.


The Master of Arts - Christian Apologetics degree is 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 a Christian worldview reverently, with intelligence, confidence and compassion. The program fosters personal spiritual growth and maturity through guided study of the Scriptures and theology, mutual encouragement in the Christian life and intellectual rigor.

Program Description

The program incorporates knowledge and perspective from many academic disciplines and provides stimulating graduate education for those who wish to engage unbelievers effectively in the world of ideas.
The curriculum is accessible to students who may have little or no formal academic training in biblical studies, theology or philosophy.

Many of the courses in this program are available in a distance learning format that combines short-term campus visits with distance learning. The distance learning program is designed to make the Christian Apologetics degree available to students who cannot relocate to Southern California for the regular residential program. Alternative scheduling is often employed for enhanced instructional effectiveness.

Some courses taken via distance learning have special materials fees. CSAP 521 MD, CSAP 522 MD, and CSAP 550 MD have materials fees of $45. CSAP 601 MD, CSAP 602 MD, and CSAP 603MD have materials fees of $125. CSAP 699 has a course fee of $200.

Independent Study Courses

Independent study courses offer lectures from audio recordings and additional study materials by outstanding theologians, apologists and biblical scholars. On-campus Master of Arts – Christian Apologetics students are limited to 6 independent study credits in their degree program while distance learning students are limited to 12 credits.

This program offers distance learning courses. Courses, seminars, conferences, and related learning experiences generally are scheduled in the evening and on the weekends for the convenience of working adults. Courses are usually seven weeks in length with classes meeting once per week in the evening. Alternative scheduling often is employed for enhanced instructional effectiveness.

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, so as to offer an effective 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

  • Students must have completed all bachelor’s 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 must have a bachelor’s degree conferred from a regionally accredited institution prior to the start of the second term.
  • 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 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 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 deemed comparable. Core courses may be waived on the basis of two comparable undergraduate courses, with grades of "B" or better in both courses. All degree components, except for CSAP 699, 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/July.
  4. Complete the entire program in no more than seven years.
  5. Meet with department 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 Admission, Enrollment and Graduation Requirements section.)

Curriculum Requirements

Program Courses
CSAP 510Apologetics Research and Writing1
CSAP 628Why God Allows Evil2
CSAP 691Seminar: In Defense of the Resurrection2
Biblical Studies
CSAP 521Survey of Genesis–Malachi3
CSAP 522Survey of Matthew–Revelation3
CSAP 527Hermeneutics and Bible Study Methods3
CSAP 529Scripture: Authority, Canon and Criticism2
CSAP 541Essential Christian Doctrine I2
CSAP 542Essential Christian Doctrine II2
CSAP 550Historical Theology3
Elective Courses
Apologetics Electives10
Apologetics or University Electives6
Total Credits39