Master of Arts (Biblical Studies)

Degree Overview

Vocational Calling

To prepare students for research degrees in biblical studies for the purpose of teaching, research, or writing in various fields of biblical studies. Students may choose from concentrations in Old Testament and Hebrew, New Testament and Greek, or Biblical Interpretation.

Program Outcomes

  1. Students will demonstrate their understanding and ability to interpret and communicate accurately biblical, theological, and historical truth.

  2. Students will demonstrate spiritual, moral, and ethical maturity through their studies and relational experiences in the program.

  3. Students will demonstrate improved skills in research and writing in Biblical Studies.

For further information, please contact:

  • Dr. Charlie Ray III (Program Supervisor and New Testament Coordinator/Advisor)

  • Dr. Archie England (Old Testament Coordinator/Advisor)

Program Requirements

Master of Arts Core (33 hours)

Biblical Studies Competency (15 hours)

course

hours

Encountering the Biblical World

3

Greek 2* 

3

Hebrew 2 *

3

Advanced Greek for Exegesis 

3

Advanced Hebrew for Exegesis 

3

Theological and Historical Studies Competency (12 hours)

course

hours

History of Christianity: Early-Medieval 

OR

History of Christianity: Reformation -Modern

3

Baptist Heritage

3

Systematic Theology 1 

3

Systematic Theology 2 

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

Concentration of Study (12 hours)

An area of concentration should be declared no later than the beginning of third semester of course work in order to fulfill the requirements for the concentration and write a satisfactory thesis. Students may choose a concentration in one of the following areas:

New Testament and Greek (12 hours)

course

hours

Select TWO 6000-level Greek Exegesis courses

6

Select TWO 6000-level Biblical Studies courses 

6

Old Testament and Hebrew (12 hours)

course

hours

Select TWO 6000-level Hebrew Exegesis courses

6

Select TWO 6000-level Biblical Studies courses 

6

Biblical Interpretation (12 hours)

course

hours

Advanced Hermeneutics

OR

Biblical Theology

3

Select any 6000-level Hebrew Exegesis course

3

Select any 6000-level Greek Exegesis course 

3

Select any 6000-level Biblical Studies course 

3

Summative Evaluation Component (3-4 hours)

Course

hours

Students may choose one of the following options:

Complete the Biblical Studies Writing and Research Course

3

Complete an Old Testament or New Testament PhD seminar***

4

Complete a Thesis***

4

Free Electives (6 hours)

COURSE

HOURS

These electives may be taken in biblical studies or in other disciplines.

6

Total Required: 54-55 hours

(M) Indicates course is also available in a mentoring format.

*Students with 12 hours of undergraduate credit in Hebrew or Greek may be eligible to receive credit for Greek 2 or Hebrew 2 through the Accelerated MDiv Program.

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

***Students must have approval from the division in order to complete either of these options. Students must have demonstrated the necessary research and writing skills to excel in a PhD seminar or to complete the thesis component. Entrance in the PhD seminar is contingent upon approval from the professor teaching the seminar and availability of space in the seminar. Completion of a thesis is dependent on securing an advisor.

Admissions Requirements

This degree presupposes undergraduate preparation in the area of biblical studies. Before being admitted into the program, students are expected to have completed 6 hours of undergraduate Greek; 6 hours of undergraduate Hebrew; 6 hours of undergraduate coursework in BOTH Old Testament and New Testament (including survey); as well as 3 hours of undergraduate coursework in biblical interpretation. Students are expected to have completed theses classes with a "B" or better in each class. Students with the required undergraduate credit hours in Hebrew and Greek may be eligible to receive transcripted credit for Greek 1 and Hebrew 1 through the seminary's Accelerated Programs.

Students lacking the required undergraduate coursework may be required to take any or all of the following Master's level classes before being admitted to the program: Interpreting the Old Testament 1, Interpreting the Old Testament 2, Interpreting the New Testament 1, Interpreting the New Testament 2, Greek 1, Hebrew 1.

Admission Process

Admission to the Master of Arts (Biblical Studies) requires the following:

  1. Applicants 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.

  3. Applicants must meet the admission requirements listed above before applying to the program.

  4. Applicants must submit a research paper on a topic in some area of biblical studies for consideration by the Biblical Studies Division. In some cases the division may require a personal interview with the applicant.

  5. The Division of Biblical Studies, in consultation with the Registrar, will evaluate the transcript of the applicant. Students should evidence the interests, aptitudes, and personal qualities necessary for the particular application of this degree. 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. Students with strong undergraduate preparation in a discipline may be eligible for advanced standing and may therefore take advanced electives in that discipline rather than the introductory courses in that discipline.

Thesis Guidelines

For more information about the MA Thesis, see the Master of Arts Thesis Guide.

PhD Eligibility

Students who complete all the degree requirements of the MA (Biblical Studies) are eligible to apply to the PhD at NOBTS in the majors of Biblical Interpretation, Old Testament, or New Testament. Students who choose to major in other disciplines may be required to take other prerequisite courses as required in those majors.