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Certificate in Messianic Jewish Studies

Talbot School of Theology


The Certificate in Messianic Jewish Studies is offered to meet the educational needs of students who desire seminary-level training, but who are not necessarily pursuing a Master of Divinity degree. It is ideal for those who are already serving in the field of Jewish ministries as well as those who are exploring the possibility of such ministry as outreach workers, congregational leaders or support personnel.

This 18-credit certificate is offered at the Charles L. Feinberg Center in New York — a hub of Jewish culture and population on the East Coast. Chosen People Ministries has partnered with Talbot School of Theology to inspire, equip and send students into the harvest on a strategic mission to reach Jewish people for the Messiah. Certificate coursework may later be applied toward a Master of Divinity degree.

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Below are the course requirements for this academic program. For full program details, visit Biola's academic 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.

Core Courses

A study of principles or sound interpretation and application of the Bible, including analysis of presuppositions, general rules and specialized principles for the various biblical genre and phenomena and the development of an exegetical method. Notes: Required of M.Div. and M.A. students. Grade Mode: A.

Theology Courses

Choose three courses from below. For all Jewish Studies Courses, see the catalog.

History of the Jewish people from the return from the Babylonian Captivity to the Modern State of Israel. Emphasis will be placed on the events and significant personalities in the history of the Chosen People during important periods of development such as the destruction of the Second Temple, the Golden Age of Islam, the Middle Ages, the Haskalah Enlightenment of the 18th Century, the Holocaust, and the Zionist Movement. Attention will be given to the relationship of the Jewish community to Christianity throughout the course. Grade Mode: A.
Students will examine the history and theology of the four major branches of Rabbinic Judaism (Reformed, Conservative, Orthodox, and Hasidism), as well as other forms of Jewish contemporary thought. A systematic treatment of Jewish theology will include discussion of Judaism's understanding of God, Scripture, Man, Salvation, and Eschatology, and evaluation of this understanding from the perspective of OT and NT teaching. Grade Mode: A.
A comprehensive study of the traditional daily Jewish prayer book as a significant source of Jewish theology. The Jewish people throughout the world use the Siddur for personal and corporate worship, and it has become a collection of rabbinic thought in prayers and reflections from the Second Temple period to the present. Attention will be given to the biblical foundations as well as the non-biblical developments through the centuries. Grade Mode: A.

Jewish Study Courses

Choose two courses from below. For all Jewish Studies Courses, see the catalog.

An examination of the Christian worldview and the various Christian apologetic responses in relation to the areas of history, science, and philosophy. Notes: Required for M.Div. and M.A. (Theology) students. Elective for M.A. (Philosophy) students. Grade Mode: A.

This course explores biblical principles for evangelism and discipleship in order to determine the most relevant strategies and practices for individuals and churches to evangelize and disciple in their local context. Note(s): Required of Master of Divinity (Evangelism and Discipleship) and Master of Arts in Christian Ministry and Leadership (Ministry and Leadership); option within Master of Divinity (Spiritual Formation) for two of five course selections; option within Master of Divinity (Pastoral and General Ministry) for two of four course selections; option within Master of Arts in Christian Ministry and Leadership (Biblical and Pastoral Ministry) for one of two course selections. Grade Mode: A.

A study of a pastor's call, purpose, and role in ministry. Special attention will be given to providing leadership in worship, music, ordinances, weddings, funerals, and hospital and home visitation. Notes: Required of M.Div. (Pastoral and General Ministries, Christian Education, Evangelism and Discipleship, Spiritual Formation) students, and M.A.C.M.L. (Preaching and Pastoral Ministry) students. Grade Mode: A.
The process of preparation that results in sermons that are biblically accurate, easy to follow, interesting to listen to and relevant to contemporary needs. Notes: Required of M.Div., M.A.C.M.L. (Preaching and Pastoral Ministry and Women's Ministry), and B.A. (Preaching and Pastoral Ministry) students. Grade Mode: A.
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.

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

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.

    Two Essays

    • Christian testimony
    • Vocational 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

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