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Learning Formats

Our students, whether they’re pursuing a Master of Arts with a focus in Christian Apologetics or focus in Science and Religion, come from a variety of backgrounds, vocations and geographical locations looking to further their knowledge and experience. Some of our students have just finished their undergraduate bachelor's degrees. Many students in our program have full-time jobs, run ministries and have families. In order to accommodate our students’ busy schedules, we offer a variety of learning formats, including online and on campus options. Whether you are studying on campus or across the country, the degree requirements remain the same at 39 credits.

Distance Learning Format

Our unique distance Master of Arts – Christian Apologetics and Master of Arts – Science and Religion programs present premier academic training in a flexible hybrid distance learning format to committed evangelical Christians worldwide. These programs require a combination of fully distance classes and hybrid residency classes to complete this 39-credit degree.

Hybrid Residency Courses (20 credits)

Students who enroll in either the Master of Arts – Christian Apologetics or Master of Arts – Science and Religion will complete 20 credits of their degree in a three-part hybrid residency course model. The following is an outline of the coursework:

  • Part One: Online Coursework (Spring Semester)
    Students begin their courses in the spring semester, completely online. All reading, online discussions and assignments will take place and will be completed online using our Canvas Online Learning Platform.
  • Part Two: Summer Residency (Summer Semester)
    Following the online spring semester, students are expected to attend related course lectures during the Summer Residency. During this two week time, students register for a designated number of days for each course. A student’s stay for the Summer Residency may be as short as three days, or as long as the full two weeks.
  • Part Three: Online Coursework (Fall Semester)
    After students finish their Summer Residency, they will complete the remainder of their coursework during the fall semester, completely online.

Online and Independent Study Courses (19 credits)

In addition to the three-part hybrid residency coursework, students must complete 19 credits of the program through online and independent study courses:

  • Online Courses
    These courses are conducted on the Canvas Online Learning Platform and require: weekly discussions, reading assignments, tests and essays — all lasting the duration of the summer. Faculty lead discussions, grade coursework and provide general course guidance.
  • Independent Study Courses
    These courses are based on audio lecture students listen to at their own pace. As a part of the coursework, students will submit exams, essays and other assignments to a coordinating professor. Other independent study options include arranged courses, such as directed studies, thesis projects and internships.

Weekend Seminars (Optional)

Some students may wish to attend Weekend Seminars to fulfill a portion of their Residency requirement. Weekend Seminars are specialty elective courses, primarily offered on Biola’s campus and select locations across the country. These classes generally meet for sixteen hours over a Friday and a Saturday. Past lecturers include:

  • William Lane Craig
  • Greg Koukl
  • J.P. Moreland
  • J. Warner Wallace

On Campus Learning Format

Christian Apologetics

Students pursuing the Master of Arts with a focus in Christian Apologetics have the option to complete the entire program on campus. On-campus classes are designed for the busy student. Many of our core required classes meet once a week in the evening to accommodate work, ministry and family commitments. Daytime and weekend classes are also available. Select classes are offered during the summer term in addition to the summer residency lectures.

Pursuing an Master of Arts – Christian Apologetics offers students a variety of opportunities, such as:

  • Small class sizes foster rich discussion and interaction between professors and classmates
  • In-person mentorship from our outstanding faculty
  • Convenient class times, including evening and weekend classes

On-Campus Life

Our on-campus students have the best of both worlds, in that they have access to all courses and course formats we offer. Students are also able to enjoy our beautiful Southern California campus and have full access to Biola facilities year round. Take a look at these helpful links to learn more:


See our events calendar for a list of upcoming Weekend Seminars and apologetics events.

See Events Calendar

Science and Religion

The Master of Arts – Science and Religion is a distance program, which is characterized by the three-part hybrid residency format. However, there are a number of courses that can be taken on campus, especially for students who live in the Southern California area.

Students in the science and religion program complete their philosophy, and science and religion core classes in a three-part hybrid residency format, but are able to take the religious studies core and electives as on-campus courses.

Select weekend seminars, which are optional, may also be considered for course credit.

Summer Residency

Summer residency is the on-campus lecture portion of our three-part hybrid residency courses held at Biola University the last two full weeks of June. Residency is the highlight of the academic year for our students with stimulating lectures, plus the opportunity to network with our top-ranked faculty and fellow students. Summer residency is flexible for the busy student, it can be accomplished in as few as two summers or split up over several years as your schedule allows.

Residency Highlights

  • Benefit from dynamic in-person lectures and discussions.
  • Learn from the top experts in each subject and fellowship with them over lunch.
  • Build community with fellow students from around the world.
  • Enjoy Biola’s beautiful Southern California campus.
  • Participate in fun activities like banquets, game nights, faculty panel lunches, and student-led BBQs. There are also day trips to popular destinations like Disneyland, Downtown Los Angeles, Hollywood, the beach, and more!


  • What will my schedule be like during residency?
    Lecture sessions generally take place between 8:30 a.m.–4 p.m., with regular breaks. Our special topics evening lectures take place from 6:30–8:30 p.m., Monday–Thursday. Sunday is a free day.
  • Are housing and meal options available for purchase?
    Yes, affordable Biola apartment housing and meal plans are available during your time on campus.
  • Can I bring my family?
    Yes, families are welcome to join us! Limited housing is available for families (application required), and lectures are open for family members to join.