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Master of Arts Degree in Biblical Studies



Sacred Scripture is the word of God as it is put down in writing under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit (Dei verbum 9).

Master of Arts in Biblical Studies

But, this word of God is expressed in human words that are in every way like other human words, just as Jesus, the Word made flesh, is like other men (Dei verbum 13). This means that interpretation of scripture requires two things: a) knowledge of the condition of the sacred authors' times and cultures, the literary genres in use at those times, and the modes of feeling, speaking and thinking then current; and b) reading and interpreting scripture in light of the same Spirit by whom it was written (Dei verbum 12).

The Athenaeum's Master of Arts in Biblical Studies degree equips students with the knowledge of the scriptural authors and their cultural context necessary to understand the Bible, along with skill in interpreting the Bible in light of the Holy Spirit. Graduates of the program will have master's-level ability to study and teach Biblical Studies and will be prepared to pursue doctoral studies if they wish.



Course and research requirements

In order to complete these course requirements, students must be able to take courses during the day.



Comprehensive Examination

After completing all course requirements, students take a comprehensive examination. The exam is divided into two parts. The first part is a three-hour written examination on biblical studies, consisting of objective and essay questions. The second part is a 30-minute oral defense of one's major research before a board of three faculty members, including the director of the research. The student must pass both parts of the examination.



Prerequisites for Admission to the Program

In order to apply, a candidate must have completed a Bachelor of Arts degree with a 3.0 average. The candidate also must have already earned 12 semester credits in theology.




Application and letter of recommendation forms are available below for download or from the registrar's office.

Master Of Arts Application Form

Master Of Arts Letter Of Recommendation Form

Someone interested in Biblical Studies, but not in a full master's degree, may take many of the Athenaeum's biblical studies courses individually.

Percentage of students admitted each year who have graduated:










Five-year total




Average time from admission to graduation:  4.2 years

Percentage of students admitted each year who are still enrolled:






Three-year total



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