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Master of Arts in Classical Theology


The Master of Arts in Classical Theology is a 36-credit, great-books program integrated around the interpretation of Holy Scripture.

The classical theology program draws deeply on the theological riches of the Christian tradition. Classic expositions of Scripture, from many cultures and from across the patristic, medieval, Reformation, and modern eras, will be our “textbooks.” Following the classic Christianity embodied in these texts, every class seeks to integrate theology, history, and exegesis together with personal spirituality for the sake of the church.

Students in the classical theology program will experience a Socratic pedagogy in the classroom or online. That is, class time is largely devoted to faculty-led discussion of classic Christian texts. Each student will also be assigned a faculty mentor to help guide their studies and to apprentice them in the discipline of Christian theology.

In these ways, this program is modeled on Biola University’s undergraduate Torrey Honors College, and is taught by faculty from Torrey Honors College (including Fred Sanders) and from Talbot School of Theology (including Kyle Strobel, who teaches for Talbot’s Institute for Spiritual Formation).

For more reasons to choose Talbot School of Theology for your education, see the Why Talbot? page.

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        What will I study as a Master of Arts in Classical Theology 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:

        Catechetical Institution (TTCT 501)

        Introduction to the Master of Arts in Classical Theology, focusing on a detailed summary of the subject matter of Scripture, organized doctrinally, and on the personal spiritual formation of the Christian theologian. Grade Mode: A.

        Common Places: Christology (TTCT 605)

        Advanced study of the doctrine of Christology and its dogmatic contours in the classical Christian tradition, focused especially upon key biblical texts, their interpretation by Christian theologians, the coherence of the doctrine with other Christian doctrines, and the doctrine's relevance for spiritual formation. Grade Mode: A. 

        Sacred Page: Genesis (TTCT 641)

        Advanced study of the book of Genesis and its reception by the classical Christian tradition, focused especially on the theology of the book and its use in the development of doctrine, and the implications of the book for personal formation. Grade Mode: A.

        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.

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        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 (someone in a leadership role in your life)
          • Note: Additional instructions can be found in the online application.


          • Christian testimony
          • Vocational testimony
          • In addition, there are other essays required during the application process. Please refer to the application for more information or contact your admissions counselor with questions.
          • 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$25,344


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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

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        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.