Science and Religion, M.A.

Mission

The Master of Arts – Science and Religion degree is designed to provide individuals 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.

The entire MA degree can be completed online with no campus visits. However, some, 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 Science and Religion Lectures in Residence” that takes place on campus during the summer as well as occasional 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. CSSR 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 – 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 degree 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 bachelor’s degree 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 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.
  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 except for CSSR 681 and 699.
  6. Up to 15 credits of graduate credits may be transferred into the program for classes deemed comparable. Advanced standing credits may be granted on the basis of comparable undergraduate courses with grades of “B” or better. Consult admissions counselor for more information.
  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
Science and Religion Core
CSSR 529Historical Perspectives in Science and Religion2
CSSR 530Darwin, Evolution, and Design2
CSSR 631Modern Physics, Cosmology, and Design2
CSSR 651Intelligent Design Seminar2
Religious Studies Core
CSSR 510Research Methodologies1
CSSR 516Authority of Scriptural Traditions2
CSSR 519Old Testament/Hebrew Literature3
CSSR 520New Testament Literature3
CSSR 541Christian Thought I2
CSSR 542Christian Thought II3
CSSR 638Psychology of Belief I2
CSSR 639Psychology of Belief II1
Philosophy Overview
CSSR 540Metaphysics and Epistemology3
CSSR 547Philosophy and Theology of Science3
Elective Courses (see Department for advising and approval of elective courses)8
Total Credits39