One of the most serious oversights in studying an interdisciplinary field like science and religion is to forget that everyone — both scientists and theologians — has biases. Thus, to presume that one can be completely objective in this field, while dismissing everyone else as biased, is naive.
For example, to deny the possibility of supernatural action because it is not a scientific explanation, because it is not a repeatable event, or because it violates the laws of nature, reflects an obvious bias towards naturalism. One of the major goals of this program is to make students aware of the biases and presuppositions that influence the interpretation of scientific and scriptural data.
To be candid, our own "bias" is that "all truth is God's truth," and we seek to construct models of reality that fully incorporate the data from Scripture with what we know about the created world.
A bachelor's degree in any field from an accredited university and a 3.0 GPA is all that is required for admission into our program. However, we generally recommend that students have studied some area of natural science. Additionally, Science and Religion, M.A. applicants must answer three short essay questions as a part of their application.
Many of the courses offered in this program will be available as electives through Biola's existing apologetics program. If a student does not have the appropriate science background, they are encouraged to participate in the program through that route.
Yes — but they cannot be taken simultaneously. Students who finish one degree can automatically transfer 12 units into the second, reducing the second degree to 24 units.
To be eligible for admission to the M.A. in science and religion, the applicant must meet the following requirements:
It is not a requirement that this bachelor’s degree be in Bible, theology, or a related discipline.
Science and Religion, M.A. applicants must also write three short essays and should have a degree/background in the sciences,** or be well versed in key topics.
*Applicants with a GPA below 3.0 can still apply and be accepted, but will need to answer additional questions regarding their GPA as part of their application.
**A background in a field of natural science is highly recommended.
New students can begin in either the spring or fall semesters, and may apply at any time.
It is recommended (but not required) that students wishing to begin in the spring should apply by December 1, and students wishing to begin in the fall should apply by July 1.
For full-time students, it is possible to complete the curriculum requirements for the degree in four or five intensive semesters.
For part-time students who work elsewhere, it usually takes six to ten semesters.
Nine units or more per semester.
Yes — Biola University is accredited through the WASC Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC), an accreditation body that is recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.
The tuition rate for the 2016–17 school year is $575/unit. Additional costs for some courses include textbooks or material fees.
Yes — upon acceptance, your transcripts will be evaluated for potential transfer units (maximum of 12) and waivers (replace requirements with equivalent electives).
Yes — Biola does accept military aid.
Our program continues to attract many active duty, reserves, and veteran military. Some military aid requires a student to be full time (9 units a semester). In this case, it is recommended that you begin the degree in the spring semester. This would allow the student to finish the 36 unit program in two years (4 semesters) and prevent them from having to pay for a fifth semester out of pocket. View Biola’s military benefits page for more details.
Yes — we offer an Online Certificate in Christian Apologetics which is very flexible, affordable and can be done anywhere, anytime. The certificate can also earn you future credits (6 units towards the Christian Apologetics, M.A. or 2 units towards the Science and Religion, M.A.), which can help you ease into either program should you decide to pursue it in the future.
Our distance students typically come to campus for a two-week residency for two summers, in June. Work is done from home during the spring semester in preparation for this summer session, and work done from home during the fall serves as a “wrap up” to the spring-summer-fall series.
Our distance students are also welcome (but not required) to participate in special weekend courses that occur multiple times throughout the year. These courses could serve as a way to reduce the number of three-part hybrid residency courses needed, as well as time spent at Biola for Summer Residency.
The Canvas Learning Management System hosts Biola’s online courses, and is utilized for student/faculty interaction, accessing course materials and submitting course work.
We have students from almost every state in the United States, and from over 20 countries around the world!
Alabama, Arkansas and Maryland are the only states that have not authorized Biola to offer online education. Residents from those states are not allowed to participate as a distance student in either master's degree program, but can do the Online Certificate in Christian Apologetics program. You can learn more about the state law and its implications on higher education distance learning here.
Yes, Science and Religion M.A. students can take a combination of both distance and on-campus courses.
Classes are designed for the busy student. Science & religion and philosophy core classes are only offered in a three-part hybrid residency format, but many from the biblical studies core and electives can be taken as on-campus courses.
Biola is located in La Mirada, California, which ranks as one of the safest communities in the region. Campus Safety officers are on duty 24 hours a day, video cameras are installed across campus and entrance gatehouses are staffed at night and during business hours.
In the event of a major emergency on campus, Biola utilizes a notification system to alert students via text message. The Biola University annual security and fire safety report can be downloaded for your reference.
Yes — and we are getting more interest internationally each year! We have students from over 20 countries around the world!
In addition to the regular application items, a copy of your passport, affidavit of financial support and proof of English proficiency are required.
The TOEFL is required if your native language is not English. If that is the case, a minimum TOEFL (English proficiency) of 100 is required for admission. This requirement can be waived if you completed junior high and high school in the US or an English speaking nation.
Residential students who are accepted must submit evidence to adequate financial resource to cover the cost of tuition and living expenses for one full year of study at Biola University. A Certificate of Eligibility (Form I-20) will not be issued without this documentation.
Yes — it is against the law to study in the U.S. without the correct visa and paperwork. Studying in the U.S. is required for distance students who will attend two weeks of summer residency for two summers. Those without a visa will apply for a F-1 Student Visa. Each visa has different requirements and may or may not allow for incidental study.
If you have a current visa, check to see if it allows you to be a student.
In many cases, Biola is able to evaluate international transcripts without going through WES. Request official transcripts from your institution and have them sent to Biola for review. Please contact your Graduate Admissions Counselor for more details.
With an F-1 visa, students are eligible to work part-time on-campus, but not off-campus.
Internet access is required, though high speed internet is not necessary. Students may log in at their convenience to complete work, but deadlines and due dates are based on Pacific Standard Time (PST).
We offer an Online Certificate in Christian Apologetics which is very flexible, affordable and can be done anywhere, anytime. The certificate can also earn you future credits (6 units towards the Christian Apologetics, M.A. or 2 units towards the Science and Religion, M.A.), which can help you ease into either program should you decide to pursue it in the future.