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Courses | M.A. in Christian Apologetics

Below are some of the courses you’ll have an opportunity to take as a student in this program. Take a look at the list below to get an idea of the types of available courses. Also, be sure to review the official program requirements in the Biola University catalog.

Note: This list is intended to give you a quick glimpse into the program’s academic offerings, and should not be used as a guide for course selection or academic advising.

Christian Apologetics Core — 16 credits

Research skills for the use of library, internet and key apologetics reference works. Methods of scholarly and journalistic writing with emphasis on critical thinking, persuasion and evaluation of data and testimony. Notes: Required of M.A.C.A. students. Must be taken within student's first academic year. Grade Mode: A.
A course addressing the essential issues in defending the Scriptures against perennial attacks. Topics include historical reliability, inerrancy, canonization and divine inspiration of Scripture including an examination and critique of modern biblical criticism. Notes: Required of M.A.C.A. students. Grade Mode: A.
A survey of philosophical issues that arise in relation to theistic religions. Problems such as the existence of God, the problem of evil, miracles, religious language, faith and reason, etc. are discussed in the context of demonstrating that historic Christianity can provide reasonable solutions. Grade Mode: A.
A philosophical and theological evaluation of various ethical systems and key historical figures in ethics in order to understand and effectively engage with contemporary ethical views and mindsets. Grade Mode: A.
An integrated survey of the problem of evil, pain, and suffering from biblical, theological and philosophical perspectives with special reference to God's ultimate goodness and love toward humankind. Notes: Required of M.A.C.A. students. Grade Mode: A.
A survey of the issues and ideas involved in the relationship between science, philosophy and the biblical worldview. Special emphasis is given to scientific issues and controversies that are used by skeptics to call Christianity into question. Grade Mode: A.
A survey of the beliefs, practices and sacred texts of the major non-Christian religious traditions of the East and West. Special attention is given to the critique of the various belief systems along with ways in which Christians can effectively communicate and defend the Gospel to people of other faiths. Grade Mode: A.

An investigation of a wide range of issues that have been used through history to call into question the bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ, such as miracles, the nature of history, the historical reliability of the New Testament, contradictions in the resurrection accounts, and various naturalistic theories. Students will learn to respond to popular objections to the resurrection as well as formulate a positive case. Notes: Required of M.A.C.A. students. Grade Mode: A.

A focused course in developing practical skills in apologetics. Emphases can vary, including developing more in writing, speaking, etc. Note(s): Ideally, students should take this in the last year of their program.


Biblical and Theology Core — 14 credits

A broad survey of the Old Testament books, including selected introductory and critical issues, relevant background, major themes and divisions and crucial problems. Notes: Required of M.A.C.A. students. Grade Mode: A.

A general overview of the New Testament books, including selected introductory and critical issues, relevant background, major themes and divisions and crucial problems. Notes: Required of M.A.C.A. students. Grade Mode: A.

A presentation and biblical defense of the essential Christian doctrines with special reference to contemporary criticism of the value and truth of doctrinal assertions. Notes: Required of M.A.C.A. students. Grade Mode: A.
A presentation and biblical defense of the essential Christian doctrines with special reference to contemporary criticism of the value and truth of doctrinal assertions. Notes: Required of M.A.C.A. students. Grade Mode: A.
A course designed to enhance the personal spiritual development of the apologist. Special emphasis is given to the importance of defending the faith with humility and reverence, as well as defining the role of apologetics in the overall mission of the Church. Grade Mode: A.

A practical course designed to enhance the personal spiritual development of the student.


Electives — 9 credits

Choose from course options below:

A study of sound interpretation and application of the Bible, including analysis of presuppositions, general rules and specialized principles for various biblical genre and phenomena. A presentation of various approaches to studying the Bible. Notes: Required of M.A.C.A. students. Grade Mode: A.

A survey of the issues and ideas involved in relating classical Darwinian and contemporary evolutionary models with a biblical worldview. Special emphasis is given to controversies that are used by skeptics to call Christian theism into question.

A topical study of the nature and methodology of metaphysics with emphasis on the nature and ultimate categories of being as well as specific areas (e.g., causation, space and time, the soul, freedom and determinism, personal identity and essentialism). Epistemology topics surveyed will include the definition of knowledge and justified belief, problems in skepticism, the nature of epistemic justification and the nature of truth. Special emphasis will be placed on integrating metaphysics and epistemology with the construction and defense of a Christian worldview.

A study of various issues that arise in the integration of science and Christian theology (e.g., models of integration, the scientific status of creationism, the creation/evolution debate) as well as an investigation of selected topics in the philosophy of science relevant to a Christian worldview (e.g., the realist/antirealist debate; the nature, formation, use and confirmation of scientific laws and theories; scientism and the limits of science).

History of the Church from the Apostolic Fathers to the modern era with an emphasis on the development of doctrine. Highlights key thinkers in the Patristic, Medieval, Reformation and Modern eras. Notes: Required of M.A.C.A. students. Grade Mode: A.
A special course designed for students with apologetics background through credit and/or noncredit courses in the basic content of 601, 602, 603 or approved courses, who need to make up credits upon being admitted to the degree program. Grade Mode: A.
Basic principles of language that are foundational to interpreting the biblical text. Overview of the structure of the biblical languages, evaluation of theories of Bible translation and instruction in the use of various tools based on the original languages. The course will aid the student in understanding issues that arise in interpretation because of the original languages. Grade Mode: A.
An introductory study of the basic elements of New Testament Greek. Translation of portions of the New Testament in the second semester. Notes: Designed for students who have not completed a full sequence of beginning Greek courses. Grade Mode: A.
An introductory study of the basic elements of New Testament Greek. Translation of portions of the New Testament. Notes: Designed for students who have not completed a full sequence of beginning Greek courses. Grade Mode: A.
An introduction to the science of archaeology in biblical lands. Special emphasis is given to the role that specific archaeological exploration has played in providing objective confirmation of the accuracy of the biblical narrative. Grade Mode: A.
A study of the methods and principles used to make distinctions between good and bad reasoning with special emphasis on analysis of arguments for and against the Christian faith. Grade Mode: A.
A survey that includes a philosophical and theological analysis of the major types of non-Christian worldviews such as pantheism, atheism, polytheism, finite godism and deism. Grade Mode: A.
A survey of and Christian apologetic response to some of the most critical ethical issues of the day coming from biomedical research and practice. The course addresses the difficult questions involved in areas such as human reproduction, cloning, abortion, end-of-life issues, organ transplant, genetic engineering, euthanasia and more. Grade Mode: A.

A survey of environmental issues in light of a Christian worldview. Issues such as ecology, global warming, energy production, proper land utilization, pollution and other topics related to human impact on the environment are covered.

A survey of the issues and ideas involved in relating modern physics and astronomy to a biblical worldview. Special emphasis is given to controversies that are used by skeptics to call Christian theism into question.

A survey of apologists and apologetic activity from the time of the apostles and the early Church Fathers to the great apologists of our own century. Grade Mode: A.

A detailed review of the current evidence, models and mechanisms relating to chemical evolution and the origin of life.

A survey of the history of science from antiquity through the twenty-first century and its interaction with Christianity. Emphasis is on key historical movements that continue to shape the modern dialog.

In-depth focus on intelligent design to enable students to appraise the current debate on this issue.

A survey of the core beliefs of other world religions with an emphasis on the ways in which they use modern science to justify their worldviews.

A survey of contemporary theological trends with special emphasis on apologetic critique of the unorthodox elements in positions such as process, liberation/political, feminist/goddess, gay/lesbian, environmental, racial/ethnic and postmodern theologies. Grade Mode: A.
A study of the ways in which the truths of the Gospel and the Christian worldview are reflected in elite and popular cultural products such as art, literature, film, music and television. Grade Mode: A.

A course in how (and why) to effectively teach apologetics to junior high and high school students. Consideration will be given to practical teaching methods for engaging students with apologetics material in light of current trends.

An exploration of the proper model for Christian involvement in public discourse, policy and activity. Attention is given to the intelligent analysis and critique of key social issues with respect to the Christian worldview and techniques for the defense of the Christian position in public forums. Grade Mode: A.

An in-depth focus on the current archaeological, anthropological and biochemical evidence related to the debate on human origins.

The distinctive features of the cults of America with their significance in the development of religious thought. Special attention is paid to their mistreatment of the central features of orthodox Christian doctrine and apologetic responses. Grade Mode: A.

A survey of the beliefs, practices and sacred texts of Islam. Special attention is given to the critique of its belief system(s), along with ways in which Christians can effectively communicate and defend the gospel to Muslims.

A survey of the doctrine and history of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints from 1820 to the present. Emphasizes Joseph Smith, Jr., the beginning of the church, Mormon doctrinal development and change and a critique and response vis-à-vis the Bible and the original Gospel of Jesus Christ. Grade Mode: A.
An overview of and Christian response to a range of occult ideas and practices. Topics include divination, ritual magic, sorcery, spiritism, witchcraft, Satanism, as well as occult elements in various New Age beliefs and practices. Grade Mode: A.

A reading and discussion course covering the breadth of Lewis' work as one of the premier apologists of the 20th century.

This course is designed to equip students to gain a proper understanding of the philosophical as well as theological assumptions that underlie core notions such as space, time, motion and force that lie at the heart of physics. In this course, emphasis will be given to the development of modern physics from the works of influential Greek philosophers such as Aristotle which paved the way for the emergence of classical as well as relativistic physics. This course also introduces students to the core issues in quantum theory and the controversies that beset them. Note(s): This course does not assume prior knowledge of philosophy; CSAP 547 and CSAP 631 are recommended, but not required, prerequisites.

This course is designed to introduce students to some of the core issues in cognitive neuroscience which are directly relevant to the mind-body problem. The course deals with questions of philosophy about cognitive neuroscience, such as the physical basis of mental properties/consciousness, split-brain cases and their implications for the ontology of the self/person, neuroimaging techniques and their relations to the first-person and the third-person perspectives. Other topics include: emotions, sensations, perceptions and neuro-computation. Note(s): This course does not assume prior knowledge of philosophy.

The program occasionally offers courses by special lecturers or visiting scholars to address their areas of expertise on an elective basis. Notes: May be taken for a total of 16 credits. Grade Mode: A.

In-person lectures by experts in advanced apologetics topics.

The program occasionally offers seminar courses by special lecturers or visiting scholars to address their areas of expertise on an elective basis. Notes: May be taken for a total of 16 credits. Grade Mode: A.
Supervised research and/or reading in selected areas of Christian apologetics. Grade Mode: A.
Original research and writing in an applicable apologetics topic. Subject, length, and due dates to be determined by the coordinating professor. Second reader provided. Notes: May be taken multiple times for credit. Grade Mode: C.

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