M.A. Programs in Biblical and Theological Studies

The department’s course offerings provide a rich range of learning opportunities in biblical archaeology, biblical studies in Old Testament and New Testament, systematic theology, historical theology, global Christianity and Christian ethics.


Master's Programs

Admission Requirements

Admission to one of the Biblical and Theological Studies graduate programs does not require a specific undergraduate major or prescribed set of courses. However, students are required to demonstrate sufficient knowledge in several areas. If such knowledge and proficiency cannot be demonstrated, additional undergraduate course work will be required. The areas of proficiency include:

  • A basic knowledge of the Bible and theology.
  • Understanding of the major events, developments, and intellectual features of western civilization.
  • Good skills in written and spoken English.

Other areas of proficiency will be required depending on which program is selected within Biblical and Theological Studies. See the Admissions Requirements for more information.

Degree Requirements

Comprehensive Exam

Students in Biblical Studies, History of Christianity, and Theology are required to take a comprehensive exam or write a thesis. Students should register for BITH 692 Graduate Comprehensive Exam in the semester in which they intend to take the exam. Comprehensive exams can be failed only once. A student failing a particular exam (in part or as a whole) may retake the exam at the announced time in the following semester.


All students desiring to write a thesis must apply in writing for the privilege. Students planning to complete a thesis during the summer must be sure their supervisor will be available. All students writing a thesis must register for BITH 698 and BITH 699 in all subsequent semesters.

Completing a Second Biblical and Theological Studies M.A. Degree

Wheaton students have a unique opportunity to complete a second M.A. degree in the Biblical and Theological Studies department with 12 less credit hours. Upon completion of the first M.A. program, the second M.A. degree requirement core courses are reduced.  

  • Most courses will be taken on the 500- and 600-level in the Biblical and Theological Studies area.
  • Four hours of elective courses may be taken in other graduate departments, except in the Biblical Exegesis concentration.
  • Unless otherwise noted, a maximum of eight hours (only four hours in the Biblical Exegesis and Biblical Studies concentrations) from 300- and 400-level courses suitably enriched to carry graduate credit may be taken with approval of the student's advisor and the instructor.

Each student works with an advisor to determine the appropriate concentration and to individualize the degree program based on the student's previous studies, interests, and goals.

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