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Master of Arts (Theology)


The Master of Arts with a concentration in theology prepares students to become deep theological thinkers with a strong biblical foundation. Through a carefully designed curriculum that delves deeply in Christianity’s major doctrines — including their biblical basis, historical development and contemporary relevance — students will be better equipped to think theologically about how to respond to issues facing today’s church and society.

A concentration in theology offers the option to choose either the Greek or non-Greek track. The Greek track provides students the opportunity to study New Testament Greek to enhance their biblical interpretation and understanding of the New Testament, as well as scholarly writings and discussions regarding the text. The non-Greek track requires one class on basic principles of the languages that are foundational to biblical interpretation, along with one class on exposition of a particular book or books of the Bible.

  • Strengthen Your Theological Thinking. No other Talbot M.A. concentration provides as much opportunity to study theology — from patristic through medieval times, to the Reformation and modern day. Delve deeply into key doctrines while also gaining broad exposure to different systems of theological thought. Become familiar with Christianity’s greatest thinkers, such as Athanasius, Augustine, Aquinas, Luther, Calvin and Jonathan Edwards. Learn how to think theologically in our current culture and have an opportunity to consider your own denomination’s organization and history.
  • Prepare to Engage Others in Theological Discussions. Whether you are involved in a church ministry, pursuing advanced academic study or living out your Christian life in another calling, you will be ready to engage others in theological discussions. Your education will equip you to teach, defend and live out the truths of the Christian faith in a biblically faithful way. Talbot’s wide range of electives gives you the choice of pursuing specific areas of theological interest more deeply — such as the atonement, prayer, eschatology, the Holy Spirit and more.
  • Develop Skills in Biblical Interpretation. Whether you choose the Greek or non-Greek track for this concentration, you will establish a strong foundation for biblical interpretation. Because of Talbot’s commitment to responsible biblical interpretation, both program tracks include at least one language class and a Bible exposition component.
    • The Greek track gives you the opportunity to take three sequential classes in New Testament Greek, which may be required for further academic studies, helpful for future ministry, or enriching to you as you interact with theological scholarship and treatment of the biblical text. You will develop a deep appreciation for the value of studying Greek for a better understanding of God’s Word.
    • The non-Greek track allows room for more theology courses, in addition to an elementary course on the biblical languages that provides basic principles for both Greek and Hebrew. This track is ideal for students with academic or ministry goals that may not require Greek but who value responsible biblical interpretation.
  • Prepare for Further Academic Study. Talbot’s rigorous academic program equips students for further academic study and preparation for doctoral studies. Your course of study includes a capstone seminar, which gives you the opportunity to study various theological topics with a focus on its biblical basis, historical background and practical applications. The level of research and theological thought required for these courses will prepare you well for further academic studies and future teaching in theology.

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 (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:

Hermeneutics and Bible Study Methods (TTBE 517)

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.

Apologetics (TTPH 602)

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.

World Religions and New Religious Movements (TTTH 733)

A survey of the history, beliefs, practices, and sacred texts of major world religions (including Islam, Hinduism, and Buddhism) and new religious movements (including Mormonism and Jehovah's Witnesses), with a focus on assessing and engaging these systems from an evangelical perspective. Notes: Required of M.A. (Theology). 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.

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 (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 90 iBT
        • IELTS: minimum score of 7.0
        • 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 81 / IELTS 6.5 / 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$34,496



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

Online: You'll take coursework fully online.

Hybrid (On Campus and Online): This program includes a blend of course formats, including online and in person at Biola University's Southern California campus.

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.