Certificate in Biblical and Theological Studies

Why Pursue a Certificate in Biblical and Theological Studies?

The Certificate in Biblical and Theological Studies is valuable for anyone wanting a solid foundation in biblical and theological studies to help them be well prepared for various kinds of ministry.

It can also serve as the perfect first step towards an advanced degree for ministry leaders, Bible study leaders, and those who seek to understand how God’s Word relates to our lives, church, and society.

The four-course graduate-level Certificate in Biblical and Theological Studies program allows students to begin building an advanced understanding of the Bible and equips budding practitioner-scholars to equip communities through faith, help their spiritual growth to better understand Scripture, and share the Gospel in relevant ways.

This is a stackable program, meaning all four courses can count towards a master's degree at the Wheaton College Graduate School – specifically the M.A. in Biblical and Theological StudiesM.A. in Theology, and M.A. in Ministry Leadership. This certificate can also be used to gather the required pre-requisites for Wheaton's Doctor of Ministry (D.Min.) program.

The Certificate in Biblical and Theological Studies may be pursued by students who are not currently enrolled in a program in the School of Biblical and Theological Studies.

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Certificate in Biblical and Theological Studies Courses

Four Credit Hours. This course explores the Old Testament, with special attention given to the storyline, historical contexts, and genres across all sections of the Old Testament canon with the of mobilizing students to interpret Scripture.

Four Credit Hours. The course introduces the student to the life and teachings of Jesus, the development of the early church, Pauline and general letters, and the book of Revelation. The focus is on biblical story and theology, and historical and cultural backgrounds in scriptural interpretation.

Four Credit Hours. A survey of the principles, methods, and issues of biblical and theological interpretation in the past and present. Intended for students in non-theological disciplines, as well as for those in Biblical and Theological studies who have limited theological preparation.

BITH 565. Four Credit Course. An introduction to the methods of systematic theology and the major topics within the biblical revelation. Special attention is given to the rationale for these Christian doctrines, their systematic interconnections as well as their development within the history of Christian thought, and their contemporary challenges.


BITH 578. Four Credit Course.  A survey of the history of world Christianity from the apostolic era to the modern period, with particular emphasis on seminal events, figures, and theological developments. Attention is given to the history of the church in the majority world, global Bibles, and to the contributions of women.

Admissions Deadlines and Requirements for the Certificate in Biblical and Theological Studies

For Fall Entry: July 15 

For Spring Entry: Rolling

For Summer Entry: Rolling


  1. Bachelor’s Degree from a Regionally Accredited Institution.
  2. Official Transcripts from all colleges where an undergraduate degree was earned.
    • Applicants who have earned more than 25% of their degree from institutions outside of their degree-conferring school will be required to supply official transcripts for those credits in the event they are not explicitly listed on their original transcript with course names and grades. Graduate Admissions will reserve the right to request additional transcripts as may be needed to meet departmental requirements or demonstrate proof of program-specific prerequisites.
    • E-transcripts preferred.
  3. GPA 2.75 minimum
  4. An application, which includes:
  5. Chronological Resume.


Got questions? We have answers!

I've already taken some of these classes as part of a graduate degree at Wheaton. Can I still get the certificate?

Students who are not enrolled in (or have graduated from) the School of Biblical and Theological Studies can count courses taken towards the Certificate in Biblical and Theological Studies.

When are Certificate courses offered?

Visit our website to see the current schedule.

I want to take the Certificate in Biblical and Theological Studies before starting a graduate program at Wheaton. Is this possible?

Yes! If you have not yet started pursuing a degree in the School of Biblical and Theological Studies, you are able to start the Certificate and have the courses count towards an advacned degree – specifically the M.A. in Biblical and Theological StudiesM.A. in TheologyM.A. in History of Christianity, M.A. in Ministry Leadership, or the Doctor of Ministry (D.Min).

How many classes does the Certificate in Biblical and Theological Studies entail?

There are four, four credit courses. You can take them online or on-campus in person:

  • BITH 533 Exploring the Old Testament (4)
  • BITH 555 Exploring the New Testament (4)
  • BITH 566 Foundations of Biblical Interpretation (4)
  • BITH 565 Christian Theology (4) or BITH 578 Global Church History (4)

How much do Certificate classes cost?

Tuition for all Wheaton M.A. and certificate programs are the same (including online/hybrid courses). See tuition information

Can I use financial aid for Certificate classes?

You can use financial aid only for graduate degree required program courses (and required program electives).

Is this an online program?

Yes! Online classes are asynchronous, meaning that students can complete their work according to their personalized timetable. Faculty give students a timeframe for assignments (typically a one-week window). If you prefer on-campus and in person courses, those are offered as well.

Can I audit the Certificate classes and still get the certificate?

No, you must enroll in and successfully complete the courses to receive the certificate.

Is there a time limit to completing the Certificate classes?

Yes, five years.

Who do I contact in the graduate Registrar’s office if I am having difficulty registering?

Contact the Registrar's Office.

Who do I contact if I have billing or financial aid questions?

Tristan O’Brien, Manager of Graduate Student Financial Services

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