2018-2019 Catalog 
    Jun 22, 2024  
2018-2019 Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Biblical Studies, M.A.

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Kevin Mellish, Ph.D., Coordinator

The Bible is central to the Christian faith and especially to the Christian faith of Protestants, including the Church of the Nazarene. The study of the Bible, as an essential feature of all serious study of the Christian faith, is a key part of the heritage of Olivet Nazarene University. The integrity and seriousness of the M.A. in Biblical Studies not only reflects that heritage but enhances it.

The M.A. program in Biblical Studies centers on three basic components: (1) critical studies in such areas as biblical history as well as the origin, authorship, and composition of the biblical texts in their cultural contexts; (2) skills essential to the study of the Bible and to its exegesis as an ancient text, including skills in Greek and/or Hebrew grammar; and (3) theological interpretation necessary to exegete the Bible for preaching and faith. The theological area also asks how the Bible has been interpreted in the post-biblical world, especially by the church but also by the larger culture. In addition, the curriculum begins with an introduction to research and ends with a thesis.

Area ministers who are already serving as pastors or in other forms of Christian service may wish this graduate degree in Biblical Studies to enhance their scholarly biblical understanding and thus to meet continuing education expectations as well as to upgrade their effectiveness as ministers and preachers. Persons wishing to integrate their spiritual life with rigorous biblical scholarship should find this degree significant. Students taking this degree for ministerial enhancement or spiritual growth should remember that by entering this master’s degree program in biblical studies, they are committing themselves to the academic dimension of biblical study. Students are encouraged to become serious and reflective life-long students of the Bible who grow spiritually, think clearly, and serve redemptively.

The M.A. in Biblical Studies requires students to develop their research skills and their competency in writing scholarly papers. The program includes both the Old and the New Testament, with the flexibility to emphasize (but not exclusively) one or the other.

36 hours


A cumulative GPA of 3.0 is required for graduation from the program, and no course counting toward graduation may carry a grade of less than a B-.

Class Formats

Many of the courses required to complete the Master’s program in Biblical Studies meet just once a week for a semester at Olivet’s campus. These courses are typically seminar style, allowing for dynamic discussion and reflection within the course.

Time Limits

A student is allowed four years from beginning the first graduate course to complete the entire MA.BLIT program. Coursework beyond four years is evaluated by the Program Coordinator, the Director of Graduate Studies, or the Dean of the School of Theology & Christian Ministry. Students granted permission for more than four years may be expected to meet current program requirements, and that may mean retaking one or more courses.

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