By Dr. Tom Halstead & Dr. Abner Chou, School of Biblical Studies
Quite a few have asked our Bible faculty over the years, “Why should I get a Biblical Studies degree?” That’s a great question.
For those who desire to go into vocational ministry, there is no better place to be trained for a lifetime of faithful service. Ministry is a high calling and demands the best preparation (1 Tim 3:1). At TMU, you will not just read commentaries and other resources about the Bible but study under those who write them. We have professors who are experts in archaeology, apologetics, biblical languages, and biblical theology. We have a curriculum dedicated to the systematic study of the Bible with the highest view of God and Scripture. We are the only evangelical school that has a campus in Israel (IBEX) where you can study in the land of the Bible for a semester.
When you put the best teachers with a focused curriculum and an immersive experience, you have a winning program. That is why major seminaries and graduate programs for years have recognized our students to be the best. In fact, they often receive advanced standing at these schools. If you know you want to go into vocational ministry, you want the best preparation and we have worked hard to ensure you will have that here.
But what about the man or woman who isn’t necessarily committed to missions, or the person who doesn’t want to go into full-time ministry. Is it valuable for them to have a Bible degree? The answer is a definite YES. Employers are not just looking for people with expertise but a certain kind of person that they can shape to be useful for their company. They want people who can:
- think critically
- thoroughly investigate issues
- read carefully
- communicate clearly
- know how to learn
- submit to authority
have integrity and discipline
- and most of all: have a drive to do a task with excellence.
Those are the very skills we cultivate in every Bible major.
Our majors must discern through complex theological issues so they understand how to think critically.
They engage in research, understanding what it really means to investigate an issue thoroughly. They learn how to read the biblical text down to the very word in the original languages, which trains the way they read every document. They write research papers which equips them to communicate clearly and professionally. Biblical studies requires learning a variety of disciplines from history to language to philosophy. This helps every Bible major be those who know how to learn. We could add to the list how Bible majors are best poised to travel to our overseas programs like IBEX (in Israel), Turkey/Greece, and Italy. International travel gives one a competitive edge in this global society. Most of all, studying Scripture transforms lives and engrains convictions, ones that drive the highest work ethic, discipline, and desire to please God through honoring one’s employer.
In a world of entitlement, there is a qualitative difference in one who graduates from The Master’s University in Bible and employers can see this. Our graduates work in a variety of fields including ministry, education, software design, law, military, law enforcement, business management, and marketing.
Having said all of this, we need to remember that in light of God’s eternal plan, there is more to life than making money. A Bible major allows one to be a faithful witness in the work place, minister to one’s family, and provide leadership to help the church remain the pillar of truth for this generation (1 Tim 3:15). A degree here provides the content and skill so that we not only are provided for in this life but have a life lived well for God’s glory, a life of eternal influence