Classical Theology, M.A.


Classical Theology exists to train students to read the Christian Scriptures and to retrieve the theological riches of the classical Christian tradition for the sake of contemporary appropriation in intellectual life, spiritual formation, and in service to the church and Christian witness in the world.

Program Learning Outcomes

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

  1. Analyze and synthesize the works of classical Christian theologians for the sake of retrieval (ULO 1).
  2. Analyze and synthesize the doctrines of the Christian faith using key theological convictions, habits, and strategies undergirding classical theology (ULO 1 and ULO 3).
  3. Analyze and interpret biblical texts with theological awareness and in conversation with the history of Christian interpretation (ULO 1)
  4. Appropriate the spiritual/formational insights of classical theology in personal, academic, and social contexts (ULO 2).

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 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).

Graduation Requirements

  1. Satisfactorily complete 36 credits as outlined in the curriculum requirements below.
  2. Complete the online introduction to theological research and writing by the end of the second semester.
  3. Submit an acceptable thesis.
  4. At least 21 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.
  5. Obtain a 3.0 average with no grade below a "C-" in all courses to be credited toward graduation.
  6. Complete the entire program in no more than five years.
  7. Meet with a 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 the Admission, Enrollment and Graduation Requirements section).

Program Structure

The academic program leading to the degree Master of Arts - Classical Theology includes 36 credits structured to include:

  1. Courses introducing the integrative methods and goals of the program and the disciplines of self-knowledge and personal formation
  2. Courses in Christian doctrines (Common Places)
  3. Courses in major theologians (Master Practitioners)
  4. Courses in books of the Bible (Sacred Page)
  5. Thesis

Talbot Course Equivalencies (for Master of Arts - Classical Theology students pursuing other Talbot degrees)

Institution Courses

TTCT 501 Catechetical Institution is equivalent to TTSF 501 Introduction to Spiritual Theology and Formation. 

TTCT 503 Aretaic Institution is equivalent to TTSF 503 Personal Foundations for Spiritual Formation.

Common Places

TTCT 601-620 (see below for course titles): any three courses/9 credits in Common Places meets TTTH 521, TTTH 522, and TTTH 623.

Master Practitioners

TTCT 621-640 (see below for course titles): any two courses/6 credits in Master Practitioners will meet two of the following courses: TTHT 505TTHT 506, or TTHT 514.

Sacred Page

TTCT 641-660 (see below for course titles): any three courses/9 credits in Sacred Page will meet 9 credits of electives.

Biblical Reasoning

TTCT 701 Biblical Reasoning: Thesis First Draft/3 credits 

TTCT 702  Biblical Reasoning: Thesis Final Draft/2 credits 

TTCT 701 and TTCT 702 together meet TTBE 517.

Advanced Standing

Due to the integrative nature of the Master of Arts - Classical Theology, advanced standing is usually not granted.

Curriculum Requirements

Each course must be completed with a "C-" or above.

Institution Courses
TTCT 501Catechetical Institution4
TTCT 503Aretaic Institution3
Common Places
Choose 3 from the following:9
Common Places: Scripture
Common Places: The Triune God
Common Places: Christology
Common Places: Atonement
Common Places: Anthropology
Common Places: Pneumatology
Seminar 1
Master Practitioners
Choose 2 from the following:6
Master Practitioners: Irenaeus and Athanasius
Master Practitioners: Augustine
Master Practitioners: Anselm
Master Practitioners: Thomas Aquinas
Master Practitioners: Martin Luther
Master Practitioners: John Calvin
Master Practitioners: Jonathan Edwards
Seminar 1
Sacred Page
Choose 3 from the following:9
Sacred Page: Genesis
Sacred Page: Deuteronomy
Sacred Page: Psalms
Sacred Page: Isaiah
Sacred Page: Matthew
Sacred Page: John
Sacred Page: Romans
Sacred Page: Ephesians
Sacred Page: Hebrews
Seminar 1
Biblical Reasoning
TTCT 701Biblical Reasoning: Thesis First Draft3
TTCT 702Biblical Reasoning: Thesis Final Draft2
Total Credits36

 May be taken multiple times with different content.