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Master of Arts – Christian Apologetics


Through the Master of Arts with a focus in Christian Apologetics degree students are prepared to articulate a Christian worldview reverently, with intelligence, confidence and compassion. The program fosters personal spiritual growth and maturity through guided study of the Scriptures and theology, mutual encouragement in the Christian life and intellectual rigor. Students will establish a foundation in theology, critical thinking, and perennial topics in apologetics, and will have access to a variety of new and innovative course offerings taught by our world class faculty.

  • World Leader in Christian Apologetics. Biola’s Christian apologetics program is widely recognized as one of the world's foremost apologetics programs, boasting a fully accredited, 39-credit curriculum.
  • Build a Strong Intellectual Framework. Gain insight and knowledge to confidently make the case for faith in Jesus Christ and correct misconceptions about Christianity.
  • Flexible Online and On-Campus Learning. Pursue your degree with online and on-campus learning opportunities, with classes that fit your busy schedule.
  • Distinguished and Expert Faculty. Learn from scholars such as William Lane Craig, J.P. Moreland, Sean McDowell, Craig Hazen, Kevin Lewis, R. Scott Smith and others.

Program Details

The Christian apologetics program is offered in both online and on-campus learning formats. Here are a few key points about the program structure:

On-campus Format

  • On-campus classes are offered primarily in the evening or on weekends, to accommodate the working individual.

Online Format

  • All 39 credits can be completed online, where students participate in reading and online discussion forums with other students.
  • Students will have opportunities to learn and fellowship on Biola's campus by taking advantage of two-day weekend seminars, a one-week advanced apologetics summer course, or traditional full semester courses.

Learn more about our learning formats


What will I study as a Master of Arts – Christian Apologetics student?

Each of Talbot School of Theology’s Master of Arts programs include a core of biblical and theological foundation courses, the Spiritual Formation Core, an area of academic specialization, and additional elective courses.

Some of your courses include:

Scripture: Authority, Canon and Criticism (CSAP 529)

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.

Why God Allows Evil (CSAP 628)

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.

In Defense of the Resurrection (CSAP 691)

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.

Career Outlook and Preparation

What can you do with a Master of Arts — Christian Apologetics?

Students who receive complete the Christian apologetics program are eligible to serve as:

  • Evangelists
  • Missionaries
  • Teachers
  • Writers
  • Church and ministry staff
  • Researchers

Karen Fisher

Know what you believe and why you believe it. The MACA program at Biola will help you accomplish this so that you can give to others “the reason for the hope you have” in Christ.

Evangelist/Assistant to the Director at Ministry to Muslims
M.A. — Christian Apologetics '21

Admissions & Deadlines

As a Christian institution, Biola seeks to admit applicants whose backgrounds clearly demonstrate scholarly aptitude, a commitment to the historic Christian faith, personal character and integrity, and a positive service-oriented motivation toward their field of study. Biola does not discriminate on the basis of the applicant's race, color, sex, socio-economic status, disability, or national or ethnic origin.

Education and GPA Requirements

  • You must have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution by the time you plan to start coursework at Biola, with a minimum grade point average of 3.0 (on a 4.0 scale).
  • Note: If you do not meet the degree or GPA requirements above, you may still be considered for admission. Please contact the Office of Graduate Admissions office at If you are an international student, contact

English Proficiency Requirements

  • If English is not your first language, you are required to display your English proficiency before admittance into a Biola University graduate program. See “English Proficiency” in the application steps section below.

Application Deadlines

  • Fall Semester
    • General: July 1
    • International Students
      • On Campus: June 1
      • Online/Hybrid: July 1
  • Spring Semester
    • General: November 1
    • International Students: October 1

Visit Biola

Explore our sunny Southern California campus in person or virtually. Learn more about your program of interest and the admissions process by scheduling an appointment with an admissions counselor.

Visit Biola
Virtual Tour

Meet Your Admissions Counselor

If you have more questions about the program, admissions process or Biola in general, schedule a phone call or send an email to your admissions counselor.

Graduate Admissions Counselor

Photo of Nathanael Volf
Nathanael Volf

Text or Call: (562) 393-7576
Book a Phone or Virtual Appointment

International Graduate Admissions Counselor

The Office of International Admissions serves students who are not citizens or permanent residents of the United States.

Book a Phone or Virtual Appointment

Application Steps

  1. Complete and submit the online application

  2. Submit a non-refundable $65 application fee

  3. Submit supplemental application materials through your online application portal:

  4. Official Transcripts

    • Submit all official transcripts from previous academic institutions.
      • Request official transcripts from all colleges and universities attended.
      • If enrolled at the time the application is filed, be sure to request transcripts of work finished to date and final transcripts upon completion of your course of study.
      • Transcripts will be considered official only when a) mailed directly from the institution to Biola, b) sent electronically through an approved vendor or c) physically delivered in an untampered envelope sealed by the institution. Final approval for admission is contingent on receiving an official transcript.
        • Mail transcripts to:
          Biola University Office of Graduate Admissions
          13800 Biola Avenue, La Mirada, CA 90639
    • Note for International Students: All international transcripts need U.S. grade equivalencies noted (i.e. GPA on a 4.0 scale). If your transcripts do not show U.S. grade equivalencies, you must have them evaluated by a credential evaluation agency like SpanTran (Biola Discount), World Education Services (WES) or Foundation for International Services (FIS). Be sure to choose "course by course report" and have SpanTran/WES/FIS send them directly to Biola University via online portal or post (13800 Biola Ave, La Mirada, CA 90639) in order to be considered official.

    Two Reference Letters

    • Pastoral reference
    • Character reference
    • Note: Additional instructions can be found in the online application.

    One Essay

    • Christian testimony
    • Note: The essay prompts can be found in the online application.

    English Proficiency (required for non-native English speakers)

    • Evidence of English proficiency is required for all students to support student success. Proficiency must be shown through one of the methods described below:
      • Minimum test score on a qualifying standardized test
        • TOEFL: minimum score of 100 iBT
        • IELTS: minimum score of 7.5
        • Duolingo: minimum score of 125
      • A degree (bachelor’s, master’s or doctoral) issued by an institution where English is the medium of instruction.
        • Official written communication from the institution (Registrar, Controller of Examinations Office, or Undergraduate College)
        • Official degree statements or transcripts may be accepted given English is stated as the medium of instruction
        • Official catalog verification
        • Note: For universities from non-Anglophone countries, further language assessment may be required.
      • Completion of the English Language Scholars (ELS) with passing status on the ELS's final exit exam, which must be approved by the ELS Director in collaboration with the academic program committee. An updated TOEFL or IELTS score may be used at the end of a term to test directly into the graduate program for the following term.
      • Qualify for English Language Scholars (ELS), which allows students who do not meet the minimum TOEFL, IELTS or Duolingo scores to still enroll in their graduate degree program. Students would be taking academic English courses concurrently with the graduate degree program courses. 
        • Students eligible for ELS will be assessed by the ELS Director to determine the total number of academic English courses to take while enrolled in their graduate program courses. The following are the scores needed to qualify for ELS: TOEFL iBT 90 / IELTS 7.0 / Duolingo 110–124.
        • Note: Students must be admitted to the graduate program first to be considered for ELS.


    Additional Forms


    Things to Note

    • Track your application status at any time. You do not have to complete the application in one sitting. You can complete a portion and finish at a later time. Your information will be saved. When you apply, to guarantee confidentiality, you will be asked to create a user name and a password, and will receive a personalized identification number. Track your application status by logging in to the online application.
    • Official documents presented for admission or evaluation become part of the student’s academic file and normally cannot be returned or copied for distribution.
    • International students who will be studying on campus are required to apply for an F-1 student visa. For more information, visit

Tuition and Financial Aid

Biola is committed to help make your studies affordable — each school offers different scholarship, grant and loan opportunities to help finance your education.

Cost Per Credit (2024‑25) $704
Full-time Tuition Per Term (Estimated) Based on 9 credit courseload$6,336
Part-time Tuition Per Term (Estimated) Based on 3 credit courseload$2,112
Total Program Tuition (Estimated) Based on total program credits and 2024‑25 cost per credit$27,456



About the Program

What do graduates go on to do with the Master of Arts with a focus 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.


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.

See Program Requirements

How many credits are required to be full-time?

Nine credits or more per semester.

Do you accept transfer credits from other accredited degree programs?

Yes — upon acceptance, your transcripts will be evaluated for potential transfer credits (maximum of 15) and waivers (replace requirements with equivalent electives).

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-credit 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 credits towards the Master of Arts – Christian Apologetics or two credits towards the Master of Arts – 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.

Learn About Our Learning Formats

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!

Are there certain states that aren't authorized for this online program?

Unfortunately, there are some states that have not authorized Biola to offer its online programs to their residents. 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 see a current list of those states and learn more about the state law and its implications on higher education distance learning on Biola's state authorization page.

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.

International Students

Does the program 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 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.

Distance students who are accepted are only required to submit evidence to pay tuition for the residency courses, which is typically five units in order to receive a Certificate of Eligibility (Form I-20).

Please contact your admissions counselor if you have additional questions about the F-1 visa requirements.

Is financial aid available for international students?

International students cannot receive U.S. educational funding, but can apply for the Acts 17 New Student Scholarship, which is a $1,200 department scholarship. Students may also use Biola’s payment plan options.

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 credits towards the Master of Arts – Christian Apologetics or two credits towards the Master of Arts – Science and Religion), which can help you ease into either program should you decide to pursue it in the future.

Events & Store

Biola University's Christian Apologetics department seeks to produce local and national events that will equip you with thorough apologetics training beyond the classroom. In addition to the events, explore the various resources compiled by our faculty in the Apologetics Store.

See Upcoming Apologetics Events

Explore Apologetics Store

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M.A. in Science and Religion

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On Campus: You'll study in person at Biola University's campus in Southern California.

Online: You'll take coursework fully online.

Total Credits

Every program at Biola University features rigorous academics, biblically integrated curriculum and vocational preparation.

Cost per Credit

This is the cost per credit; total tuition costs for each term will differ for part-time and full-time students.

Standard Completion Time

This indicates the standard duration of this program. Completion time may vary depending on transferred coursework and preferred courseload.


Biola University is accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission. Additional accreditations may apply to specific programs.