Master of Arts

biblical studies

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Understand the Bible Like Never Before

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Have you ever listened to a ministry leader draw fresh, new meaning from a familiar Scripture passage? Do you wonder what it would take for you to teach with the wisdom and power that comes from skilled Bible interpretation? In this 55-hour program, we study how to understand and apply the Bible in its original context to profoundly impact your personal study and public ministry.

Faithful, observant Scripture study is the foundation for Biblical Studies. Because the Scriptures were written at specific times in history for unique audiences, we study how to faithfully derive meaning from a passage with attention to context. When we allow the Scriptures to shape us and read the Bible on its own terms, we ensure a rich interpretation that communicates the beauty of God’s truth with power.

What to Expect

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In Biblical Studies, we learn how to develop faithful theology through contextualized Scripture interpretation. Together with your peers, you will discover how to go beyond a western worldview in your reading and understanding of Scripture. You will also learn how to better apply ancient messages to modern applications. Because we are a multi-denominational seminary, you will have the unique opportunity to study with peers from various denominations but are unified under Christ and the Scriptures. 

Biblical Studies Coursework

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55 Credit Hours

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Scripture is foundational, both for our formation as Christian disciples and for the work of ministry. The Master of Arts (Biblical Studies) invites students into a deeper understanding of the message and beauty of Scripture, with its power to shape our faith and our practice. This course of study equips the learner to help others engage Scripture more deeply, whether in church or parachurch ministry.  It may also serve as an intermediate degree for those contemplating doctoral studies and an academic career in biblical studies.

1. Demonstrate critical and faithful interpretation and responsible use of Scripture in appropriate ministry and professional settings

2. Establish familiarity with critical methods of and approaches to interpretation as reflected in a variety of cultures and communities

3. Demonstrate critical theological reflection that is biblically faithful, historically grounded, contextually relevant, and integrated with life and ministry

Summative Coursework
OTS/NTS 7798 Senior Seminar or OTS/NTS 7799 Thesis 3 hours

Spiritual Formation Courses
SPF 5540 Introduction to Spiritual Formation 4 hours

Core Courses
BSG 5501 Engaging Texts and Contexts 3 hours
CHS 5500 Story of the Christian Faith 3 hours
CTH 5520 Christian Theology for the Kingdom of God 3 hours
ETH 5530 Christian Ethics 3 hours
MSS 5501 Kingdom Mission in a Global Community 3 hours
NTS 5511 Introduction to the New Testament 3 hours
OTS 5511 Introduction to the Old Testament (Part 1) 3 hours
OTS 5512 Introduction to the Old Testament (Part 2) 3 hours

Biblical Studies Courses
NTS/OTS 5501-5502 Two semesters of Greek or Hebrew 6 hours
OTS/NTS Elective 12 hours

Elective Courses
Open Electives 6 hours

Total Hours
55 hours

Click here to download a PDF of required courses.

You can complete your Biblical Studies coursework online or in-person using any combination of the following modalities:

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Attend class live from your location when you connect virtually through a Traditional Access class.

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Complete weekly coursework independently online and engage with your professor and peers regularly.

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Complete weekly coursework on-demand and join scheduled meetings online with your professor and peers.

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Attend class in person less than 50% of the time. Complete the rest of your coursework independently online.

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Attend class live and in-person with your professor and peers at our historic campus in Ashland, Oh.

Study with scholars who have decades of real-world ministry experience. Our faculty are called to train faithful followers for effective ministry and are personally invested in you.

Step Into Your Calling

Learn the fundamentals of Scripture interpretation to sustain your teaching and devotion in an ever-changing world.

Hear from MABS Students

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students sitting on couch studying
students sitting on couch studying
Angie Roehrenbeck

MA in Biblical Studies, 2019 Graduate

Each class opened my eyes to the immense depth of Scripture and helped me gain confidence in my understanding of the Bible. What sets Ashland Theological Seminary apart are the professors and I am forever grateful for the time I spent learning under these exceptional men and women of God.

JoAnn Gladd

MA in Biblical Studies, 2018 Graduate

The MABS program at Ashland Theological Seminary grew me in faith and maturity in my personal relationship with the Lord who, as always, proved to be entirely faithful and loving. The knowledge and relationships I gained enriched my cross-cultural ministry as I returned to my teaching and mentoring responsibilities at a seminary in Brazil.

Brett Scott

MA in Biblical Studies/New Testament, 2015 Graduate

My experience at Ashland Theological Seminary was life-changing! My education there has allowed me to have a much deeper understanding of God’s Word. Without this education, I would not have the fuller, deeper appreciation of in-depth study of the Bible as a spiritual exercise.

Ashley Hadinger

MA in Biblical Studies, 2019 Graduate

I highly recommend the Biblical Studies program. Ashland Theological Seminary provided everything I wanted in this degree and more! My classes were diverse, provided space for wrestling for issues of faith and asking hard questions, and were taught by the most excellent and caring faculty. I am confident my studies prepared me for a life of preaching and ministry in a diverse and complex culture.

Julie Murdock

MA in Biblical Studies, 2015 Graduate

Ashland professors are outstanding in their fields of expertise on an international level. But what sets them apart from others is the level of interest they take in their students, the quality of the time they invest in students, and the depth of the relationships they build with the students. In this, Ashland is unparalleled.

Beth Hoffman

MA in Biblical Studies/Old Testament, 2014 Graduate

Earning my Master of Arts in Biblical Studies from Ashland Theological Seminary has helped me not only understand how to dig deeper into God’s Word academically—including through original language and archaeology studies—but also to take what I’ve learned and use it to help others to see God in a new light.

Michael Hadinger

MA in Biblical Studies/Old Testament, 2014 Graduate

What stands out to me most prominently from my time at Ashland Theological Seminary is the diversity of faith I experienced. It was wonderful to learn and grow with people of various denominations and traditions who were unified under Christ and the Scriptures. Ashland’s diversity will enhance your familiarity with the many beautiful nuances of the Kingdom of God!

Theological Education You Can Afford

One of your main concerns with theological education may be the costs involved. Financial aid and scholarships may be available to help cover the cost of your seminary program and ensure you can access the ministry preparation you need.

Request More Information

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We’re here to support you as you follow God’s call on your life. When you complete this form, we will personally reach out to discuss our Biblical Studies program. We’re here to support you as you discern which path of ministry at Ashland Theological Seminary is right for you.

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