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Master of Arts – Classical Theology

Talbot School of Theology


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

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Why Study Classical Theology at Talbot?

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. 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 it will be 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). Other faculty who are scheduled to teach for the program in the 2019–20 and 2020–21 academic years include Matt Jenson, Adam Johnson, Darian Lockett, Greg Peters, Ryan Peterson and Rob Price.

What Will I Study?

Program coursework is focused on three areas:

  1. Common Places (Christian doctrines)
  2. Master Practitioners (major theologians)
  3. Sacred Page (books of the Bible)

Introductory courses guide students in the spiritual and intellectual disciplines of Christian theology. An exegetical thesis draws the elements of the program together into a single, integrative project. Coursework could be completed in as few as 12 months and might look something like the following:

  • Introduction:
    • Catechetical Institution
    • Aretaic Institution
  • Common Places (three courses):
    • The Triune God
    • Christology
    • Atonement
    • Anthropology
  • Master Practitioners (two courses):
    • Augustine
    • Thomas Aquinas
    • Martin Luther
    • Jonathan Edwards
  • Sacred Page (three courses):
    • Genesis
    • Psalms
    • John
    • Romans
    • Hebrews
    • General Epistles
  • Thesis:
    • First Draft
    • Final Draft

1–2 years
Standard Duration
This indicates the standard duration of this program. Completion time may vary depending on transferred coursework and preferred courseload.
Total Program Credits
Every program at Biola University features rigorous academics, biblically integrated curriculum and vocational preparation.
Biola University is accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission. Additional accreditations may apply to specific programs.

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