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Courses | M.A. in Science and Religion

Below are some of the courses you’ll have an opportunity to take as a student in this program. Take a look at the list below to get an idea of the types of available courses. Also, be sure to review the official program requirements in the Biola University 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.

Science and Religion Core — 8 credits

A survey of the history of science from antiquity through the twenty-first century and its interaction with Christianity. Emphasis is on key historical movements that continue to shape the modern dialog. Notes: Two credits are required of M.A.S.R. students. Grade Mode: A.
A survey of the issues and ideas involved in relating classical Darwinian and contemporary evolutionary models with a biblical worldview. Special emphasis is given to controversies that are used by skeptics to call Christian theism into question. Notes: Two credits are required of M.A.S.R. students. Grade Mode: A.
A survey of the issues and ideas involved in relating modern physics and astronomy to a biblical worldview. Special emphasis is given to controversies that are used by skeptics to call Christian theism into question. Notes: Two credits are required of M.A.S.R. students. Grade Mode: A.
In-depth focus on intelligent design to enable students to appraise the current debate on this issue. Notes: Two credits are required of M.A.S.R. students. Grade Mode: A.

Religious Studies Core — 17 credits

Research skills for use of library, Internet and key reference works. Methods of scholarly and journalistic writing with emphasis on critical thinking, persuasion and evaluation of data and testimony. Notes: Required of M.A.S.R. students. Grade Mode: A.
A course addressing the historicity, canonization and authority of the Scriptural traditions in light of modern biblical criticism. Grade Mode: A.
A broad survey of the Old Testament books, including selected introductory and critical issues, relevant background, major themes and divisions and crucial problems. Notes: Required of M.A.S.R. students. Grade Mode: A.
A general overview of the New Testament books, including selected introductory and critical issues, relevant background, major themes and divisions and crucial problems. Notes: Required of M.A.S.R. students. Grade Mode: A.
A survey of essential Christian beliefs with special reference to contemporary criticism of the value and truth of doctrinal assertions. Notes: Two credits required of M.A.S.R. students. Grade Mode: A.
A survey of essential Christian beliefs with special reference to contemporary criticism of the value and truth of doctrinal assertions. Notes: Two credits required of M.A.S.R. students. Grade Mode: A.

A course designed to investigate religious beliefs that form the basis of behavior and that promote human flourishing.

An additional course designed to investigate religious beliefs that form the basis of behavior and that promote human flourishing.


Philosophy Overview — 6 credits

A topical study of the nature and methodology of metaphysics with emphasis on the nature and ultimate categories of being as well as specific areas (e.g., causation, space and time, the soul, freedom and determinism, personal identity and essentialism). Epistemology topics surveyed will include the definition of knowledge and justified belief, problems in skepticism, the nature of epistemic justification and the nature of truth. Special emphasis will be placed on integrating metaphysics and epistemology with the construction and defense of a Christian worldview. Notes: Three credits required of M.A.S.R. students. Grade Mode: A.
A study of various issues that arise in the integration of science and Christian theology (e.g. models of integration, the scientific status of creationism, the creation/evolution debate) as well as an investigation of selected topics in the philosophy of science relevant to a Christian worldview (e.g. the realist/antirealist debate; the nature, formation, use and confirmation of scientific laws and theories; scientism and the limits of science). Notes: Three credits required of M.A.S.R. students. Grade Mode: A.

Electives — 8 credits

Choose from course options below:

History of Christian thought from the apostolic Fathers to the modern era with an emphasis on the development of doctrine. Highlights key thinkers in the Patristic, Medieval, Reformation and Modern eras. Notes: Required of M.A.S.R. students. Grade Mode: A.
A study of principles for sound interpretation and application of the Bible, including analysis of presuppositions, general rules and specialized principles for the various biblical genre and phenomena. A presentation of various approaches to studying the Bible. Grade Mode: A.
An examination of current Christian worldviews in relation to the areas of history, science and philosophy. Grade Mode: A.
Science and religion background including the basic content of core courses in the program. Notes: Designed for students who need to make up credits upon being admitted to the degree program. Grade Mode: C.
Basic principles of language foundational to interpreting the biblical text. Overview of the structure of the biblical languages, evaluation of theories of Bible translation, and instruction in the use of various tools based on the original languages. The course will aid the student in understanding issues that arise in interpretation because of the original languages. Grade Mode: A.
An introductory study of the basic elements of New Testament Greek. Translation of portions of the New Testament in the second semester. Notes: Designed for students who have not completed a full sequence of beginning Greek courses. Grade Mode: A.

An introductory study of the basic elements of New Testament Greek. Translations of portions of the New Testament. Notes: Designed for students who have not completed a full sequence of beginning Greek courses. Grade Mode: A.

Basic grammar with translation and written exercises. Lecture/Lab Hours: Course includes a non-credit lab which is required for all students. Grade Mode: A.
Basic grammar with translation and written exercises. Emphasis on reading and translation of selected biblical texts. Lecture/Lab Hours: Course includes a non-credit lab which is required for all students. Grade Mode: A.
An introduction to the science of archaeology in the Ancient Near East. Special emphasis is given to the role of specific archaeological explorations that relate to the historicity of the biblical narrative. Grade Mode: A.
A study of the methods and principles used to make distinctions between good and bad reasoning, with special emphasis on the analysis of arguments related to Christian thought. Grade Mode: A.
A survey of philosophical issues that arise in relation to theistic religions. Problems such as the existence of God, the problem of evil, miracles, religious language, faith and reason, etc. are discussed. Grade Mode: A.
A philosophical and theological evaluation of various ethical systems and key historical figures in ethics in order to understand and effectively engage with contemporary ethical views and mindsets. Grade Mode: A.
A survey of some of the most critical ethical issues of the day coming from biomedical research and practice. The course addresses the difficult questions involved in areas such as human reproduction, cloning, abortion, end-of-life issues, organ transplant, genetic engineering, euthanasia and more. Grade Mode: A.
A survey of environmental issues in light of a Christian worldview. Issues such as ecology, global warming, energy production, proper land utilization, pollution and other topics related to human impact on the environment are covered. Grade Mode: A.
A survey of the core beliefs of other world religions with an emphasis on the ways in which they use modern science to justify their worldviews. Grade Mode: A.
In-depth focus on a specific contemporary issue in the science and religion dialogue, whereby students will understand the contemporary dynamics and learn to integrate their thinking in a mentored setting. Content varies, and seminars May be taken multiple times for credit with different topics. Topics include: cosmological models, quantum reality, sociobiology, the anthropic principle and issues in biochemistry. Grade Mode: A.
An in-depth focus on the current archaeological, anthropological and biochemical evidence related to the debate on human origins. Grade Mode: A.
A detailed review of the current evidence, models and mechanisms relating to chemical evolution and the origin of life. Grade Mode: A.
Directed research or project related to Science and Religion issues. Grade Mode: A.

This course is designed to equip students to gain a proper understanding of the philosophical as well as theological assumptions that underlie core notions such as space, time, motion and force that lie at the heart of physics. In this course, emphasis will be given to the development of modern physics from the works of influential Greek philosophers such as Aristotle which paved the way for the emergence of classical as well as relativistic physics. This course also introduces students to the core issues in quantum theory and the controversies that beset them. Note(s): This course does not assume prior knowledge of philosophy; CSSR 547 and CSSR 631 are recommended, but not required, prerequisites.

This course is designed to introduce students to some of the core issues in cognitive neuroscience which are directly relevant to the mind-body problem. The course deals with questions of philosophy about cognitive neuroscience, such as the physical basis of mental properties/consciousness, split-brain cases and their implications for the ontology of the self/person, neuroimaging techniques and their relations to the first-person and the third-person perspectives. Other topics include: emotions, sensations, perceptions and neuro-computation. Note(s): This course does not assume prior knowledge of philosophy.

This course equips students to gain a proper understanding of the philosophical as well as theological implications of transhumanism and its associated human enhancement technologies. Close attention will be given to defining human nature, to reviewing new proposed technologies, and to assessing the pros and cons of transhumanism from a Christian worldview. Note(s): This course does not assume prior knowledge of philosophy.

This course equips students to gain a proper understanding of the philosophical as well as theological assumptions that underlie the core notions of artificial intelligence. After covering the nature of algorithm, data mining, machine learning and robotic technology, the feasibility of developing conscious machines will be explored. Note(s): This course does not assume prior knowledge of philosophy.

In-person lectures by experts in advanced science and religion topics.

Original research and writing in an applicable topic. Subject, length, and due dates to be determined by the coordinating professor. Second reader provided.

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