Master of Arts (Old Testament)


The mission of the Master of Arts is to produce biblically, theologically, and spiritually discerning Christian thinkers who can serve the body of Christ in lay, parachurch or academic ministries. The Master of Arts program provides both a general biblical, theological, and spiritual foundation for reflection and a specialized focus on a discipline crucial to fulfilling Talbot's mission and from which students can serve or go on for advanced study. These disciplines include Bible Exposition, Biblical and Theological Studies/Diversified, Biblical and Theological Studies in the Eurasian Context (Kyiv extension only), New Testament, Old Testament, Philosophy, Spiritual Formation, and Theology.

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.

Old Testament Specialization Learning Outcomes

As a result of this program, the student will:

  1. Have a developing appreciation of the Old Testament through application of skills in the areas of Hebrew language, exegesis, and the historical-cultural setting of the Old Testament.
  2. Have a developing appreciation for the value of studying Old Testament Hebrew for a better understanding of God’s written word. It is expected that the graduate will use an exegetical methodology for the Old Testament on a regular basis throughout his or her lifetime.
  3. Be able to research the Old Testament using the exegetical tools of Hebrew language and archaeological and historical studies. It is expected that the insights into the biblical text will be more original and better supported as a result of the exegetical method.
  4. Be able to help others understand the textual history, historical accuracy, and key critical issues of the Old Testament in light of the latest findings and based on a thoroughly biblical worldview.

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). Additionally, applicants should have completed an accredited course in Old Testament survey and in New Testament survey prior to matriculation. If the prerequisite courses are not completed prior to matriculation, the student is required to take TTBE 519 and TTBE 520.

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 12–13 credits per semester, allowing the program to be completed in two years.
  2. Students without previous courses in Old Testament Survey and New Testament Survey must take TTBE 519 and TTBE 520, which are not for credit. TTBE 520 may be taken in place of general elective credits.
  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

Competency Requirement

Students must pass TTOT 603, TTOT 604, and TTOT 703 with a “C-” or better to progress to any course for which TTOT 603, TTOT 604, or TTOT 703 is a prerequisite or receive approval from the department chair.

Program Structure

The academic program leading to the degree Master of Arts with a specialization in Old Testament 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. Students must include one Semitic language course (TTOT 731 or TTOT 733) and one Old Testament Seminar (TTOT 791).
  5. Additional elective courses determined by the student in consultation with the advisor.

Students may complete the specializations in Bible Exposition, Old Testament, New Testament, Philosophy, and Theology 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 Old Testament 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.

Hebrew Language Requirement

The language courses listed below are required. Qualifying examinations to test out of TTOT 603 or TTOT 604 are available to all interested students. Depending on exam results, a student may enroll directly into TTOT 604 or TTOT 703. For any language courses waived by the qualifying examination, the student should take an equal number of Hebrew or Semitic language credits in the Old Testament department (3 or 6).

Curriculum Requirements

Prerequisite Courses
Old Testament Survey
New Testament Survey 1
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
Old Testament Specialization Courses
TTOT 603Elements of Hebrew I3
TTOT 604Elements of Hebrew II3
TTOT 703Introduction to Hebrew Exegesis3
TTOT 720Critical Issues in Old Testament Studies3
TTOT 722Hebrew Exegesis 22
TTOT 745World of the Old Testament3
TTOT 799Old Testament Capstone1
Elective Courses
Old Testament elective courses9
General elective courses3
Total Credits49

Students may count TTBE 520 toward their general elective courses.


Must be taken for 2 credits, may be taken for 3 credits with the remaining credit counting toward electives.