For career purposes, the major may be used as a terminal degree, preparing students for employment in church and parachurch agencies by achieving a level of biblical literacy that will enable them to be active in lay church leadership and teaching ministries. As an initial degree, it prepares students for seminary training or for graduate work in theology and related disciplines.
In both required and elective courses, students are trained in basic biblical and theological knowledge. They are encouraged to develop skills that enable them to take into account the original linguistic, literary, historical, and cultural contexts of the Bible. Students are thereby enabled to consider critically religious traditions, beliefs, and practice in order to bring them into conformity with biblical revelation and to evaluate all of life and thought from the perspective of biblical principles.
The ultimate goal of Theological Studies is to ensure that the church's proclamation and the individual's life are faithful to God's revelation of Himself in Scripture. Students with good theological training will know how to evaluate critically their own personal theological leaning, be aware and respectful of other theological positions, and be able to distinguish those values that are distinctly Christian from those that the secular world espouses. Because of the diverse denominational and theological traditions that enrich our faculty and make up our student body, we bring a variety of approaches to the question of the church's role in society.
These objectives are attained through the academic processes that enable students to formulate a constructive, personal stance of Christian faith, to become aware of how culture affected biblical revelation which in turn dynamically affected culture, and to act upon a personal Christian worldview in daily life.
The Biblical and Theological Studies major meets the undergraduate requirements for seminary study suggested by the Association of Theological Schools in the United States and Canada (ATS). Students contemplating graduate studies should consult with the institution in which they are interested to be informed of any particular undergraduate courses needed. Students interested in an accelerated curriculum leading to the bachelor's and master's degrees should consult with their advisors regarding the prerequisites for the Wheaton graduate program.