Master of Arts in Biblical Studies

The MA in Biblical Studies degree program will enable you to engage in depth the historical and cultural contexts, overarching narratives, theological themes, and critical issues of the Bible, as well as attend to the ethical implications of the interpretation of Scripture. Unlike the MDiv in Biblical Studies, which is designed for people who wish to prepare for ordained ministry or a doctoral program that requires an MDiv, this program is for people who are interested in an academic career or a non-ordained teaching position.

This program may be a good fit for you if you are interested in pursuing:

  • A Ph.D. in biblical studies in preparation for work as a professor at a seminary, divinity school, or college
  • A career in a variety of Christian ministry contexts, including a role as a Christian education director or a non-ordained pastor, or an associate pastor with a teaching role
  • A career as a teacher in a private high school


Concentration Learning Outcomes

In addition to achieving the core MA degree learning outcomes, a graduate of the MA in Biblical Studies program will be able to:

  • interpret a selected biblical passage from multiple historical and contemporary perspectives and using one or more critical methods, demonstrating understanding of the influence of their own situatedness on that interpretation;
  • conduct a personal theological interpretation of a selected biblical text that demonstrates understanding of the influence of their own situatedness on that interpretation and that engages the situatedness of contemporary readers from a context different from their own;
  • critically interpret, analyze and reflect on a selected 1st–17th Century Christian or 18th–20th Century theological text or perspective in its historical context as well as through the lens of modern questions and challenges;
  • apply basic knowledge of biblical Hebrew to the exegesis of a given biblical text; and
  • apply knowledge of the meaning in the original language of selected New Testament texts to the critical interpretation of, analysis of, and reflection on those texts.


United’s MA at a Glance

  • 36 credits
  • Eleven 3-credit courses plus a 3-credit thesis, or ten 3-credit courses plus a 6-credit thesis
  • Can be completed in two years if you take a full-time course load (24 credits per year) and complete your thesis in approximately one trimester
  • All MA concentrations can be completed entirely via distance learning; many courses can be taken completely asynchronously


Program Course Guide Sheet for Academic Year 2023-2024

Religious Texts 2
Introduction to Religious Texts
One of two biblical Religious Texts courses:
Hebrew Bible
New Testament
Theological Tradition 2
Invitation to Theology: Truth, Goodness, and Beauty
Choose one:
History of Christian Theologies
History of Modern Theologies
Ethics/Justice 2
Choose one:
Christian Ethics
Comparative Religious Ethics
Choose one:
Queer and Trans Theologies
Black and Womanist Theologies
Academic Contextualization 5
Second of two biblical Religious Texts courses:
Hebrew Bible
New Testament
Biblical Exegesis
Choose one:
Biblical Hebrew
New Testament Greek
One additional Religious Texts course
One elective course
Academic Skills 1 MA Thesis



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