The Master of Arts is a 36-hour program that enables students to read and interpret biblical texts in their original languages. Students will engage in rigorous academic research working from relevant primary and secondary sources that address specific issues in the field of biblical studies. The MA concludes with a thesis.

MA Curriculum (36 hours)

Each student will be required to complete a total of 36 hours for the Master of Arts in Christian Scripture, as follows. All requirements must be completed for graduation.


1. Introduction to Graduate Studies (3 hours)

Every student will take this course within the first nine hours of graduate studies (see exceptions under Graduate Transfer of Credits). This class introduces the student to HCU, the embodiment of the Mission Statement, and what is expected from students in the graduate degree programs.


2. Language Study (12 hours)

A foundational aspect of the critical approach to scripture encouraged by the MA is knowledge of the original language(s) of the Hebrew Bible and/or New Testament. The program does not require previous knowledge of these languages, but at least 12 hours of coursework will focus on mastering one or more of these languages. Students with no previous language training will choose one of the biblical languages (Greek or Hebrew) and take two elementary courses and two advanced reading courses, all focusing on building the student’s proficiency in the selected language. These courses are:

  • NT 501 Greek 1
  • NT 502 Greek 2
  • NT 601 Greek 3
  • NT 602 Greek 4

or

  • OT 56X Hebrew 1
  • OT 57X Hebrew 2
  • OT 58X Hebrew 3
  • OT 59X Hebrew 4

Students who already have an elementary knowledge of Greek or Hebrew (equivalent to one full year of study) upon matriculation have several options for fulfilling their 12-hour language requirement:

  •  Take four advanced courses in the language previously studied.
  •  Take four courses (two elementary, two advanced) in the biblical language not previously studied
  • Take two advanced courses in the language previously studied and use the other two required language courses to acquire an elementary knowledge of another relevant language (e.g., one of the biblical languages, Latin or Coptic).

3. Introductions to the Hebrew Bible and New Testament (6 hours)

Every student will take both OT611 Introduction to the Old Testament and NT612 Introduction to the New Testament. These courses must be taken during the first 18 hours of the program.


4. Biblical text courses (6 hours)

Every student is required to take two courses on the biblical text. OT511 Old Testament Textual Studies and NT512 New Testament Textual Studies may each be taken multiple times. Students are not required to take both courses but may choose two OT text courses or two NT text courses.


5. Theology (3 hours)

Every student will take a theology course, choosing from HBI501 History of Theology, NTTH52X Theology of the New Testament, or OTTH57X Theology of the Hebrew Bible.


6. Thesis (6 hours)

As a student progresses in his or her course work, he/she will be able to embark upon a major writing project that will demonstrate the student’s competency in the area of Christian Scripture. The student will be assigned to a professor who will guide him or her through this process. Additional specifics are offered in the 2019-2020 Graduate Catalog.