Master of Arts (Bible Exposition)

Program Description

The Master of Arts with a concentration in Bible Exposition — available fully online, on campus or in a blend of both formats — offers you an academically rich, spiritually transformative study of the Scriptures that prepares you for a wide range of vocational callings.

Through this highly flexible program, you’ll experience a deep dive into both the Old and New Testaments, including each book’s history, genre, purpose and cultural background. As you develop skills in exposition and teach, you’ll become proficient at interpreting and applying passages by understanding their genre, ancient meaning and modern significance.

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.

Bible Exposition Specialization Learning Outcomes

As a result of this program, the student will:

  1. Be able to identify the basic contents, backgrounds, and purpose of each book of the Old and New Testaments.
  2. Be able to explain the general history and cultures relevant to the study of the Old and New Testament.
  3. Be able to interpret and apply passages of the Old and New Testaments through use of the grammatical-historical method, including understanding the contribution of genre to the passage‚ ancient meaning and modern significance.

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). 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. Additionally, applicants should have completed an accredited course in Old Testament survey and in New Testament survey prior to matriculation. To meet the prerequisite, students must have received a C or higher in approved undergraduate or graduate survey courses from a regionally accredited institution. If the prerequisite courses are not completed prior to matriculation, the student is required to take TTBE 519 and TTBE 520 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 13–14 credits per semester, allowing the program to be completed in two years.

  2. Students without previous undergraduate courses in Old Testament Survey and New Testament Survey must take TTBE 519 and TTBE 520 in addition to the standard curriculum.

  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 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.)

Specialization Requirements

Program Structure

The academic program leading to the degree Master of Arts with a specialization in Bible Exposition 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 this specialization online, on-campus, or by a combination of those two modalities.

Combined B.A. - M.A. Program

Students in Biola University's Bachelor of Arts in Bible, Theology, and Ministry with a concentration in Bible Exposition may take graduate courses in their senior year, allowing the completion of a Bachelor of Arts and a Master of Arts in an accelerated format. See the Bachelor of Arts in Bible, Theology, and Ministry for the undergraduate portion of the accelerated B.A. - M.A. program.

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
New Testament Survey
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
Bible Exposition Specialization Courses
TTBE 530Elementary Principles of the Biblical Languages3
TTBE 745World of the Old Testament3
TTBE 780Teaching Scripture2
TTBE 790Bible Exposition Capstone1
TTNT 701The World of the New Testament3
Elective Courses
Bible Exposition elective courses covering OT6
Bible Exposition elective courses covering NT6
General elective courses (TTOT, NT, BE) 16
Total Credits49

Students may take up to 6 graduate elective credits in other schools of Biola University with advisor's approval. Elective courses covering OT may include TTBE 602, TTBE 604, TTBE 650, TTBE 722, TTBE 731, TTBE 750, and TTBE 760. Elective courses covering NT may include TTBE 610, TTBE 620, TTBE 630, TTBE 722, TTBE 726, TTBE 732, and TTBE 770.