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Course Requirements

The Master of Arts (Theological Studies) program requires 60 units of coursework, comprising 8–16 units of biblical languages (Hebrew and Greek), 16 units in each of the two core areas of biblical studies and theology and ethics, and 8–16 units of concentration in either biblical studies or theology and ethics, including 4 units for the preparation of a research paper/thesis, which will be defended in an oral examination. Each student is assigned a faculty advisor who will give guidance in the selection of courses and composition of the research paper/thesis.

Biblical Language Requirement*8–16 units
GBBL 510
New Testament Greek I
GBBL 520
New Testament Greek II
GBBL 530
Hebrew I
GBBL 540
Hebrew II

*Students concentrating in theology and ethics will take one biblical language, and students concentrating in biblical studies will take two biblical languages. Students concentrating in biblical studies must take a biblical language in their first year in the program in order to continue in the program, unless they have received advanced standing for previous study in a biblical language. Students who demonstrate transcript evidence of a year of undergraduate Hebrew and/or Greek may apply for Advanced Standing of up to 10 units of credit. In the case of students concentrating in biblical studies who have had a year of both undergraduate Hebrew and Greek, courses of advanced language study will be taken for the additional 6 units beyond Advanced Standing credit. Courses in biblical languages must be taken at the Azusa campus or transferred in from other regionally or ATS-accredited graduate institutions. To complete the degree, some courses in theology and/or biblical studies may only be offered on the Azusa campus.

Biblical Studies Core Courses16 units
GBBL 511
Seminar in Biblical Interpretation
GBBL 512
The Gospels’ Witness to Christ
GBBL 521
People of God
GBBL 531
Kingdom of God*
- or -
GBBL 532
Paul the Apostle and Theologian

*Students may substitute GBBL 631 by petition to the department chair.

Theology and Ethics Core Courses16 units
GTHE 504
God, Creation, and Humanity
GTHE 513
History of the Modern Church
GTHE 514
Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit, and the Church
GTHE 503
History of the Early and Medieval Church
- or -
GTHE 505
Christian Ethics
Concentration8–16 units
The student chooses a concentration in either Biblical Studies or Theology and Ethics and selects 8–16 units of courses from the area of concentration.

To read more about the electives available, see the full graduate biblical studies and graduate theology course descriptions listing.
Research Paper/Thesis4 units
The student selects GBBL/GTHE 570 Directed Research/590 Thesis for the preparation of the research paper/thesis, which is defended orally before a panel of faculty examiners.
Total for the M.A.(TS)60 units

Biblical Languages

Master of Divinity (M.Div.) students are required to obtain competence in at least one biblical language for use as an exegetical tool in the study of the Bible. This requirement may be met by the course GBBL 500 (Elements of Greek Exegesis); by transcript evidence of one year of biblical Greek or Hebrew at the undergraduate level; or by GBBL 510, GBBL 520 or GBBL 530, GBBL 540.

It is strongly recommended, however, that students who anticipate further graduate study in theology complete a full-year course in biblical Greek and/or Hebrew. To obtain full benefit from courses in biblical studies, students should enroll in the biblical language course, as well as in GBBL 511 (Seminar in Biblical Interpretation), as early as possible in their academic program.

Advanced Standing

Transfer Units

A student may petition to transfer in up to 60 units for the M.Div., less any Advanced Standing units (e.g., 38 units transfer and 22 units Advanced Standing, or any other combination totaling 60 units), up to 40 units for the MAPS and MA(TS), and up to 32 units for the MAYM, less any Advanced Standing units, from other regionally or ATS-accredited graduate degree programs. Units transferred are limited to one half of an earned master’s degree. A minimum of 30 units for the M.Div., 22 units for the MAPS and MA(TS), and 16 units for the MAYM must be completed at Azusa Pacific Seminary.

Additional Degree Requirements

Advancement to Candidacy

Before students are allowed to enroll in courses beyond a total of 20 units, they must be advanced to candidacy in the Master of Arts (Theological Studies) program. Candidacy is granted by the faculty of Azusa Pacific Seminary after a review of the student’s progress in the program. In order to graduate, a student must have at least a 3.0 grade-point average.

Research Paper or Thesis

To receive the Master of Arts (Theological Studies), students must demonstrate the ability to conduct scholarly research and present this in a logically argued and properly documented written form in their area of concentration. Under the supervision of a faculty member approved by the relevant department chair, in a course of independent study (GBBL/GTHE 570 Directed Research/GBBL/GTHE 590 Thesis), the student prepares a major research paper/thesis, which is defended in an oral examination before the supervising faculty member and two other faculty members approved by the relevant department chair. The oral defense may be scheduled when the student is within eight units of the completion of coursework, and must be sustained before the degree is awarded. The research paper/thesis must be distributed to the examiners at least two weeks before the date of the oral defense, and a copy must be given to the Azusa Pacific Seminary office to be kept on file.

Time Limit

The Master of Arts (Theological Studies) must be completed within eight years from the date of admission. APU coursework completed more than eight years prior to completion of degree requirements is not acceptable toward the degree.

Frequently Asked Questions

How many units do I take each quarter/semester?
While there are no minimum or maximum unit requirements, 9 units is considered a full-time schedule.

How long is a semester?
Semesters generally run for 15 weeks.

How many hours does each class session require?
Both once a week classes, which last for 4 hours and 15 minutes, and twice a week classes, which run for 2 hours each, are available.

How many students will there be in my classes?
Most classes will average 15–18 students.

How many evenings per week do I attend classes?
Classes usually meet once a week, but some are offered twice a week.

Note: This information is current for the 2013-14 academic year; however, all stated academic information is subject to change. Please refer to the current Academic Catalog for more information.