Master of Arts (Apologetics)

Degree Overview

Vocational Calling

To prepare students to serve as a teacher, researcher, and/or writer in the field of Christian apologetics.

Program Outcomes

  1. Students will demonstrate their understanding of and ability to communicate biblical, theological, and historical truth in settings that require a defense of the Christian faith.

  2. Students will demonstrate critical and constructive thought processes in cultural and apologetic engagement.

  3. Students will demonstrate personal and spiritual maturity as Christian apologists.

  4. Students will demonstrate effective skills in research and writing.

For further information, please contact:

  • Dr. Lloyd A. Harsch (Program Supervisor)

  • Dr. Robert Stewart (Program Coordinator/Advisor)

Program Requirements

Master of Arts Core (33 hours)

Biblical Studies (15 hours)

course

hours

Interpreting the Old Testament 1

3

Interpreting the Old Testament 2

3

Interpreting the New Testament 1

3

Interpreting the New Testament 2

3

Advanced Greek Exegesis

OR

Advanced Hebrew Exegesis

3

Theological/Historical Studies (12 hours)

course

hours

Systematic Theology 1

3

Systematic Theology 2 

3

Baptist Heritage

3

Christian Ethics

OR

Biblical Ethics

3

Applied Ministry Studies (6 hours)
*One course from the Applied Ministry Studies section must be taken in a mentoring format

course

hours

Evangelism (M)

OR

Christian Missions (M)

3

Discipleship and Spiritual Formation (M)

3

Apologetics Core and Electives Component (15 hours)

Apologetics Core (9 hours)

course

hours

Christian Apologetics 

3

The Problem of Evil 

3

Logic 

3

Apologetic Electives (6 hours)

course

hours

Select 6 hours of electives from APOL, PHIL, or THEO courses

6

Summative Evaluation Component (3-4 hours)

course

hours

Choose one of the following options:

Complete the Theological Research and Writing Seminar**

OR

Complete an APOL PhD seminar***

OR

Complete a thesis****

3

4

4

Total Required: 51-52 hours

(M) Indicates course is available in a mentoring format, as well as other formats.

*One course from the Applied Ministry Studies section must be taken in a mentoring format.

**The Theological Research and Writing Seminar is the standard requirement for the summative evaluation component of the degree program. Students who demonstrate in T&H electives the necessary research and writing skills to excel in a PhD seminar or to complete the thesis component may seek approval to replace THSE6300 with the PhD seminar or Thesis options.

***Per ReDOC policy, admittance to a PhD seminar is contingent upon approval from the professor teaching the seminar, the T&H Division, the ReDOC Committee, and availability of space in the seminar. Students should seek approval during the semester before the seminar is offered, concurrent with ReDOC registration.

****After completing 30 hours in the degree program, a student may work with the Program Coordinator/Advisor to secure a faculty member who agrees to serve as the Thesis Advisor. The T&H Division must approve any request for the Thesis component. For more information about the MA Thesis, see the Master of Arts Thesis Guide.


Admissions Requirements

This is an advanced degree in apologetics and students are expected either to have a baccalaureate degree in religion or philosophy or significant course work in religious studies or philosophy before entering the program.

Before being admitted into the program, students are expected to have completed a total of at least15 transcript credit hours with a grade of "B" or above in apologetics, theology, historical studies, philosophy, and/or ethics. Of the 15 hours, students should have at least the following: 3 hours of undergraduate philosophy and 6 hours of undergraduate church history. In consultation with the Program Coordinator, students lacking equivalent coursework may be required to take one or more master's-level course(s) in the Theological and Historical studies Division that are outside of the degree program.

Students are expected to have a background in biblical languages to qualify them to take an Advanced Greek or Advanced Hebrew exegesis course. Students who lack undergraduate preparation in biblical Greek or Hebrew can be admitted into the MA (Apologetics), but will be required to take Greek 1 or 2 or Hebrew 1 or 2 as needed during their program of study.

Admission Process

Admission to the Master of Arts (Apologetics) requires the following:

  1. Applicants for the MA (Apologetics) degree must fulfill all the normal admission requirements for NOBTS, including the admission form, transcript, church endorsement, statement of call, medical clearance, TOEFL for international students, etc.

  2. Applicants must have earned a baccalaureate degree, normally with at least a 3.0 grade point average (GPA) on a 4.0 scale, from an institution accredited by a regional accreditation agency recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation or holding membership in the Association of Universities and Colleges in Canada, or the educational equivalent.

Admission to the MA (Apologetics) program requires additional approval by the Theological and Historical Studies Division. The following criteria will be used in reviewing applications for the MA (Apologetics) program:

  1. Applicants must submit a research paper on a topic in some area of theological studies for consideration by the Theological and Historical Studies Division. In some cases the division may require a personal interview with the applicant.

  2. Students should evidence the interests, aptitudes, and personal qualities necessary for the particular application of this degree.

The Theological and Historical Studies Division, in consultation with Admissions, shall determine the applicant’s suitability for admission and admit qualified candidates into the MA (Apologetics) program. Students with weak undergraduate preparation in a discipline may be required to take introductory courses or, in some cases, remedial work to insure minimum competency in that discipline.

The faculty recommends strongly that apologetics students attend the January Defend conference, which features some of the nation's top apologists. Students can earn up to six hours of course credit toward this degree each year through the Defend conference.

PhD Eligibility

Students who complete the MA (Apologetics) are eligible to apply for the PhD at NOBTS. Students should, however, refer to all current admission requirements for Research Doctoral Programs to ensure the MA (Apologetics) meets the criteria for specific majors.