Master of Arts (Theology)
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:
- Integrate a sound understanding of Scripture with the contents of their respective emphasized disciplines (ULO 3).
- Explain the major doctrines of Christianity, including their biblical basis and contemporary relevance (ULO 1).
- 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).
- 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.
Theology Specialization Learning Outcomes
As a result of this program, the student will be able to explain the major doctrines of Christianity, including their biblical basis, historical development, and contemporary relevance, and assess non-evangelical doctrines from an evangelical perspective.
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 as elective credits during their program.
All applicants must submit a written statement outlining their vocational objectives and how the degree might relate to those objectives.
- 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.
- Students without previous courses in Old Testament Survey and New Testament Survey must take TTBE 519 and TTBE 520, which are not for credit unless taken in place of elective credits.
- Complete the online introduction to theological research and writing by the end of the second semester.
- 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.
- 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.
- Obtain a 3.0 average with no grade below a "C-" in all courses to be credited toward graduation.
- Complete the entire program in no more than five years.
- 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.)
The academic programs leading to the degree Master of Arts with a specialization in Theology is comprised of 49 credits, including:
- Biblical and theological foundations.
- Spiritual Formation Focus (SFF).
- Academic specialization in one of four disciplines requiring biblical language studies, or general studies in which biblical languages are not required.
- 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 Theology 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.
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.
Biblical Languages Requirement
The Hebrew courses listed below are required for the Hebrew track. 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 credits in any department at Talbot (3 or 6)
The Greek courses listed below are required for the Greek track. Qualifying examinations to test out of TTNT 501 or TTNT 502 are available to all interested students. Depending on exam results, a student may enroll directly into TTNT 502 or TTNT 503. For any language courses waived by a qualifying examination, the student should take an equal number of credits in any department at Talbot (3 or 6).
|Old Testament Survey 1|
|New Testament Survey 1|
|TTBE 517||Hermeneutics and Bible Study Methods||3|
|TTSF 501||Introduction to Spiritual Theology and Formation||3|
|TTSF 503||Personal Foundations for Spiritual Formation||3|
|TTSF 504||Spiritual Formation, Vocation, and the Disciplines||1|
|TTSF 505||Talbot Spiritual Direction I||0|
|TTSF 506||Talbot Spiritual Direction II||0|
|TTTH 521||Theology I: God, Scripture, Creation||3|
|TTTH 522||Theology II: Christ, Humanity, Sin, Salvation||3|
|TTTH 623||Theology III: Spirit, Church, Last Things||3|
|Theology Specialization Courses|
|TTHT 505||Patristic and Medieval Theology||3|
|TTHT 506||Reformation and Modern Theology||3|
|TTTH 709||Contemporary Theology||3|
|TTTH 765||Theology Capstone Seminar||3|
|Select one of the following:||3|
|Cults of America|
|World Religions and New Religious Movements|
|Select either the Hebrew, Greek, or Bible Exposition option below||15|
|Elements of Hebrew I|
|Elements of Hebrew II|
|Introduction to Hebrew Exegesis|
Select 6 credits of General Elective courses 2
|Beginning Greek I|
|Beginning Greek II|
|Introduction to Exegesis|
Select 6 credits of General Elective courses 2
|Bible Exposition Option|
|Elementary Principles of the Biblical Languages|
Elective courses from TTBE, NT, OT (Select 3 approved credits)
Select 9 credits of General Elective courses 3
May be used to fulfill the specialization electives.
Students may take up to 6 graduate elective credits in other schools of Biola University with advisor's approval.
Students may take up to 9 graduate elective credits in other schools of Biola University with advisor's approval.