The Master’s University is excited to announce the launch of five new emphases in the Master of Arts in Biblical Studies degree program. The five areas of focus are Biblical Languages, Theological Studies, Missions, Women’s Ministry and Music and Worship.
Mitch Hopewell, Dean of Online Learning at TMU, said the goal was to better serve students and offer more guided programs — and more choices — for those interested in pursuing an MABS degree. “We want to honor the service of the lay minister by providing appropriate educational opportunities,” he said.
“Typically, the distance education program focuses on the adult learner. Our bible programs are unique in that those people are serving the church. We have a high mission to serve our churches through training our students.”
Because students are taking these classes part-time, the program has been built for students to take one course at a time.
There are 14 core classes that are required for each student and four elective courses within each emphasis. Each course is two credits for a total of 36 credits needed to obtain the degree. Students earn a Master of Arts in Biblical Studies with an emphasis in one of the five areas of focus.
One course to note among the 14 required courses looks at the historical and geographical context of the land of the Bible. This class is not offered in other programs. Most students opt for the video series version of the course which explores various Biblical sites in and around Jerusalem, but some students choose to travel there through the IBEX program and spend two weeks there for credit.
Dr. William Varner is program chair for the online MABS program at Master’s and is pleased to move to the new structure for the degree offering. “It moves from a generic Biblical Studies degree to allowing students to focus on their desired specialty,” he said.
Varner said, “Students can view the Biblical Languages and Theological Studies emphases as possible steps to a doctorate degree. On the other hand, we do not have required courses in preaching or pastoral theology, and these emphases are not necessarily a path for people to become senior pastors.”
The other three emphases, Missions, Women’s Ministry and Music and Worship are designed to equip students for areas within the church and Christian ministry where they are currently serving. Varner said the goal is to offer a degree that helps students be “better equipped to do what they are already doing.”
Women’s Ministry is the most recent addition to the mix. Hopewell said, “It’s an important constituency within a church and deserves its own emphasis. How a church ministers to the women of a church is unique and the people leading that need the right training.”
Speaking about the Music and Worship emphasis Hopewell said, “When you look at the church, one of the most influential teachers after the teaching pastor is the worship pastor. The one that leads them to the Father for worship. We wanted to provide an attractive option for people to extend their study of the bible with the right emphasis.”