About the Program
What do graduates go on to do with the M.A. in Christian Apologetics?
Just as our students come from a wide variety of backgrounds, they go on to do a number of different things. For many, this is the first step into ministry, either at a church or in a para-church organization. For those already in ministry, the degree serves as a way to "sharpen" one’s apologetics skills. Others use the degree for personal enrichment, or as a stepping stone to higher degrees.
What are the admissions requirements for the program?
To be eligible for admission to the M.A. in Christian Apologetics, the applicant must meet the following requirements:
- Bachelor's degree (or equivalent) from an accredited institution
- Grade point average equivalent to a 3.0 “B” average or higher. (Applicants with a lower GPA can still apply, and are considered on a case by case basis).*
- Be an evangelical believer, and be in agreement with Biola University’s Doctrinal Statement
- GRE is not required
It is not a requirement that this bachelor’s degree be in Bible, theology, or a related discipline.
*Applicants with a GPA below 3.0 can still apply and be accepted, but will need to answer additional questions regarding their GPA as part of their application.
When can I begin the program?
New students can begin in the fall, spring or summer semesters, and may apply at any time.
It is recommended (but not required) that students should apply by November 1 to begin in the spring, April 1 to begin in the summer and July 1 to begin in the fall.
How long does it take to complete the degree?
For full-time students, it is possible to complete the curriculum requirements for the degree in four or five intensive semesters.
For part-time students who work elsewhere, it usually takes six to ten semesters.
How many units are required to be full-time?
Nine units or more per semester.
Is this program accredited?
Yes — Biola University is accredited through the WASC Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC), an accreditation body that is recognized by the U.S. Department of Education. Biola’s M.A. in Christian Apologetics and M.A. in Science & Religion are part of the Talbot School of Theology and are also accredited by ATS (Association of Theological Schools).
What is the cost of tuition?
The tuition rate for the 2018–19 school year is $621/credit. Additional costs for some courses include textbooks or material fees.
Do you accept transfer credits from other accredited degree programs?
Yes — upon acceptance, your transcripts will be evaluated for potential transfer units (maximum of 15) and waivers (replace requirements with equivalent electives).
Are scholarships and financial aid available?
Does Biola accept military benefits?
Yes — Biola does accept military aid.
Our program continues to attract many active duty, reserves and veteran military. Some military aid requires a student to be full time (nine units a semester). In this case, it is recommended that you begin the degree in the spring semester. This would allow the student to finish the 39 unit program in two years (four semesters) and prevent them from having to pay for a fifth semester out of pocket. View Biola’s military benefits page for more details.
If I can’t pursue the master's program, is there a certificate I could do instead?
Yes — we offer an Online Certificate in Christian Apologetics which is very flexible, affordable and can be done anywhere, anytime. The certificate can also earn you future credits (six units towards the M.A. in Christian Apologetics or two units towards the M.A. in Science and Religion), which can help you ease into either program should you decide to pursue it in the future.
Learning Formats (Distance and On-Campus)
How much time does a distance learning student need to be on campus?
Our distance students typically come to campus for a two-week residency for two summers, in June. Work is done from home during the spring semester in preparation for this summer session, and work done from home during the fall serves as a “wrap up” to the spring-summer-fall series.
Our distance students are also welcome (but not required) to participate in special weekend courses that occur multiple times throughout the year. These courses could serve as a way to reduce the number of three-part hybrid residency courses needed, as well as time spent at Biola for Summer Residency.
What system do you use for online classes?
The Canvas Learning Management System hosts Biola’s online courses, and is utilized for student/faculty interaction, accessing course materials and submitting course work.
Where do you have students from?
We have students from almost every state in the United States, and from over 20 countries around the world!
I heard residents from Alabama, Arkansas and Maryland aren’t allowed to be distance students for the M.A. in Christian apologetics. Is that true?
Alabama, Arkansas and Maryland are the only states that have not authorized Biola to offer online education. Residents from those states are not allowed to participate as a distance student in either master's degree program, but can do the Online Certificate in Christian Apologetics program. You can learn more about the state law and its implications on higher education distance learning here.
Can I take a combination both distance and on-campus courses?
Yes — all course formats are available to local students. Also, we have distance students from all over who fly in to take our Friday/Saturday Weekend Seminar classes.
When are on-campus classes offered?
Classes are designed for the busy student. Apologetics core required classes meet once a week in the evening to accommodate work, ministry and family commitments. Several electives are available in the daytime, evenings, or as Weekend Seminars. On-campus students also have access to the three-part hybrid residency and fully online courses.
Is Biola's campus safe?
Biola is located in La Mirada, California, which ranks as one of the safest communities in the region. Campus Safety officers are on duty 24 hours a day, video cameras are installed across campus and entrance gatehouses are staffed at night and during business hours.
In the event of a major emergency on campus, Biola utilizes a notification system to alert students via text message. The Biola University annual security and fire safety report can be downloaded for your reference.
Do the Christian Apologetics, M.A. and Science and Religion, M.A. programs have many international students?
Yes — and we are getting more interest internationally each year! We have students from over 20 countries around the world!
What additional application items are required for international students?
In addition to the regular application items, a copy of your passport, affidavit of financial support and proof of English proficiency are required.
Do I need to take the TOEFL?
The TOEFL is required if your native language is not English. If that is the case, a minimum TOEFL (English proficiency) of 100 is required for admission. This requirement can be waived if you completed junior high and high school in the United States or an English-speaking nation.
What is the available funding that I must guarantee for my studies?
Residential students who are accepted must submit evidence to adequate financial resource to cover the cost of tuition and living expenses for one full year of study at Biola University. A Certificate of Eligibility (Form I-20) will not be issued without this documentation.
Do distance students need a visa?
Yes — it is against the law to study in the United States without the correct visa and paperwork. Studying in the United States is required for distance students who will attend two weeks of summer residency for two summers. Those without a visa will apply for a F-1 Student Visa. Each visa has different requirements and may or may not allow for incidental study.
If you have a current visa, check to see if it allows you to be a student.
Do my transcripts have to be evaluated by the World Education Services (WES)?
In many cases, Biola is able to evaluate international transcripts without going through WES. Request official transcripts from your institution and have them sent to Biola for review. Please contact your Graduate Admissions Counselor for more details.
Is financial aid available for international students?
Can I work while being an on-campus student?
With an F-1 visa, students are eligible to work part-time on-campus, but not off-campus.
How do I navigate time zones and internet limitations?
Internet access is required, though high speed internet is not necessary. Students may log in at their convenience to complete work, but deadlines and due dates are based on Pacific Standard Time (PST).
What if I am unable to do the master's degree program, but still want to study apologetics through Biola University?
We offer an Online Certificate in Christian Apologetics which is very flexible, affordable and can be done anywhere, anytime. The certificate can also earn you future credits (six units towards the M.A. in Christian Apologetics or two units towards the M.A. in Science and Religion), which can help you ease into either program should you decide to pursue it in the future.