Purpose: The M.A. degree is designed to provide a foundational understanding of one of four designated areas - Old Testament, New Testament, Historical Theology, and Systematic Theology - as a basis for further graduate study or general educational purposes. (See the division system in the Course Descriptions .)
Emphasis: The focus is on scholarly research, with special attention to writing a thesis or guided research.
Intended Educational Outcomes: Master of Arts graduates are expected to:
- Demonstrate the ability to research and to write a major scholarly work in a selected area of specialization.
- Demonstrate reasonable exegetical skills in the interpretation of Scripture. This will equip students to understand God and God’s will at the highest level for both personal spiritual formation and the teaching of others.
Time Frame: The M.A. is a 48-hour degree that normally takes two years or less for a full-time student. Students admitted with advanced standing may complete the program in as few as 36 hours.
Residency: At least 6 hours must be taken on the Harding School of Theology campus. One of the two on-campus courses must be BMIN 5990 , which is taken within the first nine hours. It will include a retreat at the end of each intensive course. In semesters where the course is available only on a weekly basis the retreat will be near the end of the term. The other required on-campus course will be chosen by the student in consultation with their advisor.
Undergraduate GPA: A student whose undergraduate grade point average is between 2.30 and 2.70 may be admitted on probation to the M.A. program. Probation will be removed upon successfully completing 18 semester hours of graduate courses with a grade point average of 3.00.
Advanced Standing: The School grants up to 12 hours of advanced standing toward this degree if the student successfully passes an examination based on his/her undergraduate course work.
Transfer Credit: At least 24 semester hours must be taken from Harding School of Theology. As many as 24 hours of graduate credit from another acceptable institution may be applied toward course work requirements, subject to approval of the Admissions Committee. Any advanced standing hours awarded will count against the 24 hours allowed in transfer.
Language Requirement: One year of Greek or Hebrew at the undergraduate level with a grade of C or better is required, or the student may take Hebrew BOLD 5090 and BOLD 5091 or Greek BNEW 5310 and BNEW 5311 for graduate credit. (Students who concentrate in Old Testament must take additional course work in Hebrew; for the New Testament area, additional work is required in Greek.)
Testing: Psychological, career and other types of testing may be used for guidance purposes.