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MABS


The M.A. in Biblical Studies is a 36 credit hour graduate degree program, designed to allow students to pursue in-depth training in Biblical Studies.

Course Formats

Courses are pursued through a combination of on-campus, correspondence, and travel-study courses. The program is designed to give students maximum flexibility in progressing through the degree while also strategically offering instruction in the format best suited for effective educational training. With these available formats, the entire degree may be earned without relocating to Southern California.

Courses which are only offered on-campus–because of their unique advantage in a traditional classroom setting–are pursued through our intensive courses (courses which meet intensively for 1 week on campus in July and from a distance the rest of the term–formerly known as our “Summer Intensive Program”). Twenty four (24) units must be completed on campus. The remaining 12 units are completed by correspondence or travel-study format.

Intensive courses (available only during the Summer term only) are designed to serve those in various parts of the world who are entrenched in their current ministries and without the ability to relocate to Southern California. These summer term courses extend from May to August, but intensive lectures and classroom dialogue are conducted in a single week period always scheduled during the last two weeks of July. Preparatory and follow-up studies surround the intensive week. Students are encouraged to take four courses each summer (which include two weeks of intensive class meetings) in order to complete the on-campus requirement in 2 1/2 years.

During the fall and spring terms, students will take their correspondence courses or travel-study courses.

Program Length

The program is optimally completed in two to four years, but program length may depend on the student’s own schedule and external commitments. Typically, students complete their course work in a three to four year period. The degree *must *be completed within six years of enrollment.

Program Framework

The M.A. in Biblical Studies is awarded to students who successfully fulfill the requirements of the following courses.

Required Courses (Credits)

  • BTS500: Introduction to Biblical Studies (2)

  • BTS501: Hermeneutics (2)

  • BTS511: Creation and Covenant (2)

  • BTS512: History of the Covenant People (2)

  • BTS513: Prophecy and Prophets in Context (2)

  • BTS515: Worship and Wisdom (2)

  • BTS520: History of Acts and the Early Church (2)*

  • BTS521: Historical Background of the New Testament (2)

  • BTS522: Life, Ministry and Theology of Christ (2)

  • BTS523: Life, Ministry and Theology of Paul (2)

  • BTS524: General Epistles and Revelation (2)

  • BTS551: Central Themes in Biblical Theology (2)

  • BTS571: Contemporary Issues in Theology (2)

  • BTS572: Seminar in Applied Biblical Studies (2)

  • IBEX570: Physical Geography of Israel (2)**

Finally, all students will be required to complete a comprehensive written examination which will evaluate the student’s depth of biblical and theological knowledge and mastery of MABS program learning outcomes.

*BTS520 may be substituted with the BTS530 Religion and Culture of Turkey and Greece correspondence course. **IBEX570 may be substituted with the BTS510 Land of the Bible online course.

Elective Course (Credits)

The student will take 6 additional elective credits course, related to his specific research or ministry interests.

Suggested Schedule for Degree Progress

Remote Library Access

In order to facilitate research from off campus locations, the library provides remote access to many of The Master’s College’s online databases. This access allows the student to search the available databases from any computer off campus that has an Internet connection. Currently, The Master’s College has over 20 databases available with remote access. Students are welcome to contact the library directly if they need help with their research needs.

BTS500 - INTRODUCTION TO BIBLICAL STUDIES - 2 units

A graduate seminar focusing on the foundational issues in the field of Biblical Studies. Seminar topics include inspiration, origin, authority, canonicity, transmission, and translation. Students will be exposed to the assumptions of critical scholarship related to the Bible and an evangelical response to those assumptions. Issues of special introduction to selected portions of the Old and New Testaments will be treated with particular attention to the conclusions of modern “higher criticism.”

BTS501 - HERMENEUTICS - 2 units

A graduate seminar focusing on hermeneutical theory and practice related to the biblical text. Attention is given to the philosophical and literary foundations that describe relationship between author, text, and reader; the interpretive methodologies that are applied to various Scriptural genres; and the application of interpretive theory to specific passages of Scripture.

BTS511 - CREATION AND COVENANT - 2 units

A graduate seminar focusing on the biblical-theological study of the Pentateuch. Emphasis will be given to the foundational themes of creation and covenant as essential to biblical theology; the exploration of critical issues of authorship and composition, the discussion of interpretive options for crucial passages, and the formative influence of creation on the current public debate on origins and age of the earth.

BTS512 - HISTORY OF THE COVENANT PEOPLE - 2 units

A graduate seminar focusing on the history of Israel from the period of the patriarchs through the Babylonian exile. Emphasis will be given to placing the history of Israel against the backdrop of the ancient Near East, from the perspective that God used the nations surrounding Israel to accomplish His purposes for her and orchestrated world history around her. Further attention will be given to the historical method and historiography concerning ancient Israel. The current public debate on the status and legitimacy of modern Israel will also be considered.

BTS513 - PROPHECY AND PROPHETS IN CONTEXT - 2 units

A graduate seminar focusing on the Old Testament prophetical literature with attention given to historical backgrounds and context, internal message, theological themes, and issues of criticism.

BTS515 - WORSHIP AND WISDOM - 2 units

A graduate seminar focusing on the worship and wisdom literature of the Old Testament and its application to the contemporary church and the sanctification of every believer. Issues like the problem of pain, the value of worship, and the reason the wicked prosper will be addressed. The student will learn to seek answers to life in the true worship of God and in the wisdom of God provided in these books.

BTS521 - HISTORICAL BACKGROUND OF THE NEW TESTAMENT - 2 units

A graduate seminar focusing on the history, literature, and culture of the Inter-testamental period through the first century A.D.

BTS522 - LIFE, MINISTRY, AND THEOLOGY OF CHRIST - 2 units

A graduate study of the earthly life and ministry of Jesus Christ, including His role as Messiah and as Son of God. Special attention will be given to the Jewish historical and cultural background of His life, the implications of His true humanity, and the modern alternative theories about the facts and meaning of His life.

BTS523 - LIFE, MINISTRY, AND THEOLOGY OF PAUL - 2 units

A graduate seminar focusing on the writings of Paul. Attention is given to historical and cultural settings, messages, theological themes, and analysis of selected passages.

BTS524 - THEOLOGY OF GENERAL EPISTLES & REVELATION - 2 units

A graduate seminar focusing on the theology of General Epistles and the Revelation. Emphasis will be placed on critical issues relating to authorship, acceptance into the canon, historical settings, messages, theological themes, and interpretive problems. Special emphasis will be placed on the high priesthood of Jesus Christ as seen in Hebrews and the eschatology of 2 Peter 3 and the Book of Revelation.

BTS571 - CONTEMPORARY ISSUES IN THEOLOGY - 2 units

A culmination seminar that seeks to integrate biblical studies with Christian faith and ministry. Students will use an evangelical theological method to address contemporary trends and emphases in theology confronting the contemporary Christian church. Students will be exposed to a wide diversity of theological literature and perspectives within and beyond the evangelical spectrum.

BTS572 - SEMINAR IN APPLIED BIBLICAL STUDIES - 2 units

A graduate seminar focusing on the application of biblical studies to the life of the believer. Attention will be given to the priority of Christ-likeness, the process by which this occurs in the life of the believer, and the role of discipling towards this objective. The uniqueness of the biblical process of change will also be addressed.

BTS531 - PRACTICUM IN BIBLICAL LEADERSHIP - 2 units

A faculty-directed independent study focusing on a biblical theology and philosophy of leadership. Attention will be given to examples of leaders in the Bible and an examination of the concept of spiritual leadership. Students will be expected to articulate a philosophy of leadership and provide evidence of applying that philosophy in a specific facet of their own ministry.

BTS533 - PRACTICUM IN DISCIPLESHIP - 2 units

A faculty-directed independent study focusing on the analysis of discipleship models and the application of Scriptural principles in the discipleship process.

BTS535 - PRACTICUM IN YOUTH MINISTRY - 2 units

A faculty-directed independent study focusing on the analysis of contemporary youth culture and ministry. Emphasis will be given to finding biblical solutions to the needs and challenges of contemporary youth culture.

BTS536 - PRACTICUM IN CHILDREN’S MINISTRY - 2 units

A faculty-directed independent study focusing on the theory, methodology and practice of Biblically-based Christian education to children. Attention will be given to the preparation and teaching of Bible lessons that are age and culture appropriate; the recruitment, training and supervision of volunteer teachers; the development and administration of ministry programs; and the assessment of curricula. The student will be involved in a supervised and evaluated ministry project as part of the course.

BTS537 - PRACTICUM IN WORSHIP - 2 units

A faculty-directed independent study concerning the principles and practices of worship. Attention will be given to a biblical definition of worship, biblical paradigms of worship, styles of worship, leading in worship, hymnody and hymnology, and current issues in worship.

BTS538 - PRACTICUM IN TEACHING - 2 units

A faculty-directed independent study concerning the principles and practices of effective teaching. Emphasis will be placed on teaching technique, the learning process, and basic curricular design.

BTS539 - PRACTICUM IN MISSIONS - 2 units

A faculty-directed independent study concerning principles and practices of Biblically-based mission work. Emphasis will be placed on evaluating mission boards, the mission program of the local church, a survey of the biblical basis of missions, cross-cultural communication, mission strategy, the call and preparation of the missionary, and the role of sending organizations. Some consideration will also be given to one or more contemporary issues, such as urban ministries, student ministries, and creative access to closed countries.

BL501 - ELEMENTARY GREEK I - 4 units

Designed for beginners in Greek and includes a thorough study of the pronunciation and acquisition of a working vocabulary; exercises in translation from Greek to English as well as from English to Greek. Translation of selected passages of the Greek New Testament.

BL502 - ELEMENTARY GREEK II - 4 units

Designed for beginners in Greek and includes a thorough study of the pronunciation and acquisition of a working vocabulary; exercises in translation from Greek to English as well as from English to Greek. Translation of selected passages of the Greek New Testament.

BL511 - ELEMENTARY HEBREW I - 4 units

Elementary Hebrew I is the first semester of a one year introduction to Biblical Hebrew. Emphasis in the course is on accurate pronunciation, the recognition of noun and verb forms, the understanding of simple narrative syntax, vocabulary acquisition and translation of simple narrative texts.

BL512 - ELEMENTARY HEBREW II - 4 units

This class builds upon the knowledge acquired in Elementary Hebrew I and is offered as a D.S. for approved students. Please contact the Bible Office for more information.

BL551 - SEMINAR ON THE EPISTLE TO THE ROMANS - 3 units

An in-depth exposition of Romans, with careful attention to the meaning, implication, and application of the text.

BTS554 - APOLOGETICS - 2 units

A survey of the main approaches to apologetics and examination of evidences for the Christian faith from such fields as science, history, archaeology, and philosophy.

BTS555 - ETHICS - 2 units

A survey of the main approaches to ethics and issues in personal ethics, such as moral responsibility, decision making, honesty and conscience; and topics in special ethics such as war, abortion, euthanasia, genetic engineering, and church-state relations.

BTS556 - WORLD RELIGIONS - 2 units

A study of major non-religious systems in the world. The claims of each will be compared with the absolute Truth and adequacy of biblical faith.

BTS557 - RELIGIONS OF AMERICA - 2 units

A study of the most prominent modern religions native to America, with particular reference to their historical backgrounds and doctrinal positions.

BTS599 - THESIS - 4 units

This is a guided independent research paper. The special problem or area of investigation must be precisely stated in written form, pursued under faculty supervision, and approved by the chairman of the Biblical Studies Department. A fully documented research thesis of 100-120 pages in length is required for this course.

IBEX570 - PHYSICAL GEOGRAPHY OF ISRAEL - 2 units

An examination of the physical geography of the land of Israel with attention to regional structure, geology, and topography; with a view to the development of communication lines and settlement.

IBEX598 - CULTURES & RELIGIONS OF THE MIDDLE EAST - 2 units

A field-based exploration of the cultural, religious, and ethnic diversity of the land of Israel. Special attention is given to religious and cultural distinctives of the major ethnic communities and monotheistic religions of the region.

In order to be considered for enrollment to the M.A. program at The Master’s University, the following eligibility requirements must be met by the applicant. The administration and faculty of the College reserve the right to withdraw the privilege of enrollment or to place a student on probation if, after enrollment, the student proves to be lacking in these qualifications.

Spiritual

  • Testimony of faith in Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord.

  • Demonstration of submission to the will of God and obedience to the Word of God.

  • Possession of the personal and spiritual gifts necessary for counseling and discipleship (deacon/deaconness qualified).

  • Recommendation by church leaders and other people who have had significant contact with the applicant.

  • General agreement with the doctrinal statement of The Master’s College.

Academic

The goal of the academic admission requirements is to ensure that students who enter the program are a theological match with the university’s doctrinal position, and that they have the academic capability and prerequisite preparation to successfully complete and benefit from the coursework they will be required to take.

  • Bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited college or university (official transcript required). The prospective student must have a cumulative grade point average of 3.0 or above on a 4.0 scale for all undergraduate work. The student will be expected to maintain a 3.0 average in the M.A. program, with no grade less than a C.

  • It is highly recommended that a student’s undergraduate program be strong in a liberal arts emphasis, including courses in literature, history, and philosophy.

  • While an undergraduate degree in Biblical Studies is not required for entrance into this program, applicants will still be required to demonstrate a threshold level of biblical and theological knowledge in order to be admitted to the program. This requirement can be satisfied by either of the following:

    • Complete 18 semester units of undergraduate coursework in biblical studies with a GPA of at least 3.0 that includes at least 6 units of New Testament (N.T.), 6 units of Old Testament (O.T.), and 6 units of Christian Theology.

    • Complete a three-part comprehensive entrance examination in O.T., N.T., and Christian Theology to certify a level of theological knowledge necessary for graduate study. There is a $30 fee for the entrance exam.

    • Note: Applicants who fail a section of the entrance examination (N.T., O.T., or Christian Theology) may choose to retake that section of the exam or complete 6 units of undergraduate coursework with a minimum GPA of at least 3.0 in that subject area in order to be admitted to the program.

Application Requirements

The following documents must be submitted in order to apply to The Master’s University:

  1. Application for Graduate Admission (Online)

  2. Application fee ($50)

  3. Supplementary personal statements

  4. Official transcripts indicating the completion of a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited college or university

  5. Reference forms: academic, pastoral (or other lay-leader), and personal (forms provided with application)

Application Deadlines

The Master of Arts in Biblical Studies at The Master’s University is a three term program. The core courses are offered on the campus of The Master’s College each summer during the last two full weeks of July. Twenty four (24) units must be completed on campus. The remaining 12 units are completed by correspondence or travel-study format. The application deadlines are:

  • Summer Term - March 1

  • Fall Term - July 1

  • Spring Term - November 1

Applications may be submitted after the deadline, but we cannot guarantee that they will be given equal consideration with those submitted on time.

Transfer Credits

Any graduate from TMU’s undergraduate Biblical Studies major program who has earned at least 36 credits of Bible will be allowed a maximum of six (6) credits of advanced standing in the program. A student transferring from another graduate program will be allowed credit for a maximum of six (6) credits for courses that correspond to those offered in the MABS program. Decisions regarding advanced standing and transfer credits are only determined through the transcript review step of the application process by the faculty chair of the MABS program in consultation with the Registrar.

International Students

The Master’s University is authorized under Federal law to enroll nonimmigrant alien students. Students from abroad are welcome, provided they meet the admission requirements of the College. For applicants, for whom English is a second language, a minimum score of 100 is required on the TOEFL exam in order to be considered for admission. While all classroom instruction is conducted in English, the administration, faculty and staff attempt to be sensitive to the needs of our international students. As foreign students’ legal needs are different from those of U.S. citizens, there are additional requirements. Foreign students are urged to contact the Office of International Student Advancement to obtain the appropriate information.

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