13.3.1 Master of Arts in Biblical and Christian Studies
Admission to this program is suspended.
The Master of Arts in Biblical and Christian Studies is a program designed to enable students who have an undergraduate degree in the study of Christianity to continue their studies at the master’s level. This program is anchored in Concordia University of Edmonton’s mission to be “a community of learning grounded in scholarship, freedom, and the Christian faith, preparing students to be independent thinkers, ethical leaders, reflective servants in their occupations, and citizens for the common good.” Concordia University of Edmonton values “the importance of providing graduate education that engages students in creative research and that builds on, supports, and enlivens Concordia University of Edmonton’s research and undergraduate learning environments.”
We are looking for students who seek an informed, graduate-level understanding about the textual, historical, and theological issues at stake in Christianity.
A. Educational Objectives
Through graduate work followed by a thesis, students have the opportunity to study such areas in Christian Studies as Hebrew Scriptures, New Testament, Theology, History, and Philosophy. Graduates from this program will have a solid foundation for doctoral studies. They will also be able to pursue a range of career opportunities open to well-educated individuals who have the tools of critical and analytical scholarship. We intend that our graduates become knowledgeable leaders in educational and social institutions, as well as in churches.
The program has the following specific objectives:
- To provide students with advanced instruction in the academic study of Christianity
- To require students to be thoroughly conversant with the major scholarly contributions in their field.
- To develop in students the ability to conduct advanced research.
- To enable students to work independently and cooperatively with their peers and with professional academics in the field.
- To enable students to be skilled and effective communicators of their knowledge and research findings.
- To prepare students with the knowledge base and skills that will qualify them for a PhD program in a field of religion, theology, biblical studies, or Christian studies at universities offering such programs.
- To foster in students the highest ethical and professional standards, and to provide an educational experience that makes possible the transformation and deepening of insight, perspective, values, and direction for the student.
B. Admission Requirements
In addition to meeting the Admission and General Admission requirements for the Faculty of Graduate Studies (refer to section 13.1.1), students applying to the Master of Arts in Biblical and Christian Studies program must meet the following requirements:
- An undergraduate degree from a recognised educational institution, normally a four year BA in Religious Studies or similar undergradaute field; applicants with a three-year Bachelor’s degree in Religious Studies or other fields may be admitted to the program as Qualifying Graduate Students (see section 13.1.1.D.2).
- Students should complete 36 undergraduate credits in Religious Studies, usually including 6 credits in one of the following concentration areas: 1) Hebrew Scriptures, 2) New Testament, 3) Christian Theology/History.
- A minimum admission grade point average (AGPA) of 3.0 (on Concordia University of Edmonton’s 4-point scale) or equivalent on the most recent 60 credits of undergraduate (or graduate) study.
- Students must have completed six credits of a language other than English. Those students who intend to study Hebrew Scriptures will have completed Biblical Hebrew. Those students who intend to study New Testament will have completed Classical/Koine Greek. Those students who intend to study Historical and Theological aspects of Christianity will have completed one of Latin, French, or German. Students who do not have these requirements upon application to the program will have their cases reviewed by the Master’s Program Committee (MPC). That committee may prescribe placement exams or make-up courses.
Applicants must also submit the following with their applications:
- A recent written sample of work in the area of Biblical or Christian Studies, normally a research paper produced in the last two years of a BA program. Papers specifically prepared for application also will be accepted.
- A statement of interest (approximately 500 words).
- At least two letters of reference from two faculty members of the institution in which they completed most of their work in Religious Studies. One letter from an instructor in fields related to the study of Christianity (History or Philosophy) will be accepted. One letter must be from an instructor who has taught in the area of the student’s proposed graduate concentration (Hebrew Scriptures, New Testament, Christian Theology/History) and who can speak to the student’s competence in that area.
C. General Requirements
The Master of Arts in Biblical and Christian Studies degree will be awarded for the successful completion of 30 credits with a GPA of 3.0 (B) or better.
D. Program Requirements
The requirements of the Master of Arts in Biblical and Christian Studies program are as follows:
30 credits required, to include:
- 9 credits in 600-level BCS courses
- 6 credits in unspecified BCS courses
- 3 credits in BCS 500 (Principles and Methodology in Biblical and Christian Studies)
- 12 credits of Thesis
Graduate courses can be found in section 14.0, Course Descriptions, under the subject heading Biblical and Christian Studies (BCS).
E. Graduation Requirements
Students graduate on one of the three degree-conferral dates following successful completion of their program requirements as well as the general program requirements of The Faculty of Graduate Studies, section 13.1.4. For further information about graduation requirements, see Graduation Requirements, section 13.1.5.