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Graduate Admissions

Theology and Ministry Program Requirements

Applies to:

  • Master of Arts, concentration in:
    • Bible Exposition
    • New Testament
    • Old Testament
    • Philosophy
    • Theology (Greek and Non-Greek Track)
  • Master of Arts – Classical Theology
  • Master of Arts in Christian Ministry and Leadership (all concentrations)
  • Master of Divinity, concentration in:
    • Evangelism and Discipleship
    • Messianic Jewish Studies
    • Missions and Intercultural Studies
    • Pastoral and General Ministries
    • Pastoral Care and Counseling
  • Certificate in Biblical and Theological Studies
  • Certificate in Messianic Jewish Studies

Application Deadlines

Submit your application by:

General

  • Fall — July 1
  • Spring — November 1

Master of Divinity, concentration in Messianic Jewish Studies

  • April 1

International Students

  • On Campus
    • Fall — June 1
    • Spring — October 1
  • Online/Hybrid
    • Fall — July 1
    • Spring — October 1

Application Fee

A $65 non-refundable application fee is due when you submit your application.

Education and GPA Requirements

Applicants must have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution, with a minimum grade point average of 3.0 (on a 4.0 scale), unless otherwise noted.

Master of Divinity: Minimum of 2.6 GPA from an accredited institution is required.

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 graduate.admissions@biola.edu.

Official Transcripts and Other Test Scores

Applicants must submit an official transcript from their previous academic institution.

  • Request official transcripts from all colleges and universities attended.
  • If enrolled at the time application is filed, be sure to request transcripts of work finished to date and final transcripts upon completion of your course of study.
  • Transcripts must be official, that is, mailed directly from your college or university in a sealed envelope or sent electronically. Final approval for admission is contingent on receiving an official transcript.

    Send transcripts to:
    Biola University Office of Graduate Admissions
    13800 Biola Avenue, La Mirada, CA 90639

Additional Test Scores:

  • GRE: A GRE score is not required for admission
  • TOEFL or IELTS: If English is not your first language, you are required to display your English proficiency before admittance into a Biola University graduate program. Please see the “English Proficiency” admissions section below for more information.

References

Three references are required, including:

  • One pastoral reference
  • Two general references from an employer, professor and/or character reference

Essays

Applicants must submit two essays:

  • One Christian testimony
  • One vocational testimony

Applicants to the Master of Arts (Classical Theology) program must submit additional essays during the application process. Please refer to the application for more information, or contact our admissions team with questions.

Prerequisites

There are no prerequisites to apply to these programs.

English Proficiency

If English is not your native language, you are required to display your English proficiency before being admitted into Biola University’s graduate programs by submitting standardized test scores (TOEFL or IELTS) with your application.

Please note the following score standards to qualify for our regular master-level programs:

  • TOEFL: minimum score of 90 iBT
  • IELTS: minimum score of 7

Those applying to the Master of Arts, concentration in Philosophy and Master of Divinity, concentration in Messianic Jewish Studies must have the following minimum scores:

  • TOEFL: minimum score of 100 iBT
  • IELTS: minimum score of 7.5

Students who have a score below 90 iBT and 7 on the IELTS will not be considered for a graduate program, but may apply to the English Language Program (ELP) program.

Spiritual Formation Program Requirements

Applies to:

  • Master of Arts, concentration in:
    • Spiritual Formation
  • Master of Arts in Spiritual Formation and Soul Care
  • Master of Divinity, concentration in:
    • Spiritual Formation
  • Certificate in Spiritual Formation

Application Deadlines

Submit your application by:

General

  • Fall — April 1
  • Spring — October 15

International Students

  • On Campus
    • Fall — June 1
    • Spring — October 1
  • Online/Hybrid
    • Fall — July 1
    • Spring — October 1

Application Fee

A $65 non-refundable application fee is due when you submit your application.

Education and GPA Requirements

Applicants must have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution, with a minimum grade point average of 3.0 (on a 4.0 scale), unless otherwise noted. Students who do not meet this requirement are still considered for admission.

Master of Divinity: Minimum of 2.6 GPA from an accredited institution is required.

Official Transcripts and Other Test Scores

Applicants must submit an official transcript from their previous academic institution.

Additional Test Scores:

  • GRE: A GRE score is not required for admission
  • TOEFL or IELTS: If English is not your first language, you are required to display your English proficiency before admittance into a Biola University graduate program. Please see the “English Proficiency” admissions section below for more information.

References

Four references are required, including:

  • One pastoral reference
  • One personal reference
  • Two general references from an employer and/or character reference

Essays

Applicants must submit four essays:

  • One Christian testimony
  • One essay demonstrating understanding of spiritual formation and goal of graduate study
  • One personal essay addressing how studying spiritual formation will impact your life
  • One biography of your personal spiritual development

Prerequisites

There are no prerequisites to apply to these programs.

English Proficiency

If English is not your native language, you are required to display your English proficiency before being admitted into Biola University’s graduate programs by submitting standardized test scores (TOEFL or IELTS) with your application.

Please note the following score standards to qualify for our spiritual formation programs:

  • TOEFL: minimum score of 100 iBT
  • IELTS: minimum score of 7.5

Students who have a score below 90 iBT and 7 on the IELTS will not be considered for a graduate program, but may apply to the English Language Program (ELP) program.

Additional Notes

Participation in the graduate programs in spiritual formation presumes a certain degree of ministry or life experience and personal maturity. This is particularly true of the M.A. in Spiritual Formation and Soul Care, which is not only an academic degree, but involves applied ministry where life experience and relational skills involved in spiritual direction are crucial. It is also our aim to keep the faculty-student ratio lower than in typical seminary programs. Thus, application consideration will be based on weighing the following factors:

  • Ministry and life experience
  • Personal preparedness for a growth journey
  • Perception of calling and giftedness for ministry in spiritual formation and soul care

Successful candidates are required to participate in a personal interview following the submission of their initial application.

Christian Apologetics Program Requirements

Applies to:

  • Master of Arts – Christian Apologetics

Application Deadlines

Submit your application by:

General

  • Fall — July 1
  • Spring — November 1

International Students

  • On Campus
    • Fall — June 1
    • Spring — October 1
  • Online/Hybrid
    • Fall — July 1
    • Spring — October 1

Application Fee

A $65 non-refundable application fee is due when you submit your application.

Education and GPA Requirements

Applicants must have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution, with a minimum grade point average of 3.0 (on a 4.0 scale), unless otherwise noted. Students who do not meet this requirement are still considered for admission.

Official Transcripts and Other Test Scores

Applicants must submit an official transcript from their previous academic institution.

Additional Test Scores:

  • GRE: A GRE score is not required for admission
  • TOEFL or IELTS: If English is not your first language, you are required to display your English proficiency before admittance into a Biola University graduate program. Please see the “English Proficiency” admissions section below for more information.

References

Two references are required, including:

  • One pastoral reference
  • One general references from an employer and/or character reference

Essays

Applicants must submit one essay:

  • One Christian testimony

Prerequisites

There are no prerequisites to apply to this program.

English Proficiency

If English is not your native language, you are required to display your English proficiency before being admitted into Biola University’s graduate programs by submitting standardized test scores (TOEFL or IELTS) with your application.

Please note the following score standards to qualify for our Christian apologetics program:

  • TOEFL: minimum score of 100 iBT
  • IELTS: minimum score of 7.5

Students who have a score below 90 iBT and 7 on the IELTS will not be considered for a graduate program, but may apply to the English Language Program (ELP) program.

Science and Religion Program Requirements

Applies to:

  • Master of Arts – Science and Religion

Application Deadlines

Submit your application by:

General

  • Fall — July 1
  • Spring — November 1

International Students

  • On Campus
    • Fall — June 1
    • Spring — October 1
  • Online/Hybrid
    • Fall — July 1
    • Spring — October 1

Application Fee

A $65 non-refundable application fee is due when you submit your application.

Education and GPA Requirements

Applicants must have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution, with a minimum grade point average of 3.0 (on a 4.0 scale), unless otherwise noted. Students who do not meet this requirement are still considered for admission.

Official Transcripts and Other Test Scores

Applicants must submit an official transcript from their previous academic institution.

Additional Test Scores:

  • GRE: A GRE score is not required for admission
  • TOEFL or IELTS: If English is not your first language, you are required to display your English proficiency before admittance into a Biola University graduate program. Please see the “English Proficiency” admissions section below for more information.

References

Two references are required, including:

  • One pastoral reference
  • One general references from an employer and/or character reference

Essays

Applicants must submit two essays:

  • One Christian testimony
  • One information profile/writing sample that answers the following questions:
    1. Why do you desire to attend the science and religion program, and what do you hope to gain from your studies? How does this relate to your vocational objectives?
    2. List two or three books you have recently read in the area of science and religion, and give a one paragraph assessment of each.
    3. Please list any background that is relevant to the science and religion program, such as past/current employment, research and publications, thesis, missionary/ministry experience and details of specific interdisciplinary course work already taken.

Prerequisites

There are no prerequisites to apply to this program.

English Proficiency

If English is not your native language, you are required to display your English proficiency before being admitted into Biola University’s graduate programs by submitting standardized test scores (TOEFL or IELTS) with your application.

Please note the following score standards to qualify for our science and religion program:

  • TOEFL: minimum score of 100 iBT
  • IELTS: minimum score of 7.5

Students who have a score below 90 iBT and 7 on the IELTS will not be considered for a graduate program, but may apply to the English Language Program (ELP) program.

Ed.D. and Ph.D. Program Requirements

Applies to:

  • Ed.D. in Educational Studies
  • Ph.D. – Educational Studies

Application Deadlines

Submit your application by:

General Deadline

  • January 31

Application Fee

A $65 non-refundable application fee is due when you submit your application.

Education and GPA Requirements

Applicants must have a master’s degree or educational equivalent in the Christian Education or related field. Applicants must also have a minimum grade point average of 3.25 (on a 4.0 scale), unless otherwise noted. Students who do not meet this requirement are still considered for admission.

Official Transcripts and Other Test Scores

Applicants must submit an official transcript from their previous academic institution.

Additional Test Scores:

  • GRE: A GRE score is required for admission
  • TOEFL or IELTS: If English is not your first language, you are required to display your English proficiency before admittance into a Biola University graduate program. Please see the “English Proficiency” admissions section below for more information.

References

Six references are required, including:

  • Three academics references
  • One pastoral reference
  • One character reference
  • One reference from an employer

Essays

Applicants must submit three essays:

  • One formal academic paper
  • One vocational objectives statement
  • One personal biography

Prerequisites

In order to be eligible for our Ph.D. and Ed.D. programs, students must have:

  • Completed at least three years of full-time vocational experience in educational ministry with evidence of leadership gifts and abilities.
  • Have earned a master’s degree in Christian or Religious Education (MACE or MRE) or its equivalent from an accredited educational institution.
    • Equivalence is defined as an earned master's degree of 36 semester credits of graduate study in areas related to the Christian education ministry, including 18 credits of graduate Bible and theology.
  • At least one course in each of the following areas should have been completed:
    • Philosophy or History of Christian Education
    • Human Development or Educational Psychology
    • Educational Administration or Leadership
    • Interpersonal Communication/Group Dynamics or Counseling
    • Curriculum Design and/or Methods of Teaching.
  • A minimum GPA of 3.25 on a 4.0 scale in all previous graduate work is required. Students whose formal educational preparation does not include all of the required prerequisite coursework must complete them prior to enrollment.

See a Graduate Admissions Counselor for recommendations on options for completing the needed prerequisite courses (graduate.admissions@biola.edu).

English Proficiency

If English is not your native language, you are required to display your English proficiency before being admitted into Biola University’s graduate programs by submitting standardized test scores (TOEFL or IELTS) with your application.

Please note the following score standards to qualify for our Ph.D. and Ed.D. programs:

  • TOEFL: minimum score of 100 iBT
  • IELTS: minimum score of 7.5

Students who have a score below 90 iBT and 7 on the IELTS will not be considered for a graduate program, but may apply to the English Language Program (ELP) program.


Additional Notes

Ph.D. applicants only:

Students applying for the hybrid residential Ph.D. program also need to fill out and send in the Hybrid Application supplement form along with a Doctoral Mentor Letter filled out by a prospective student's faculty mentor.

Doctor of Ministry Program Requirements

Applies to:

  • Doctor of Ministry (D.Min.)

Application Deadlines

Submit your application by:

General

  • November 1

Application Fee

A $65 non-refundable application fee is due when you submit your application.

Education and GPA Requirements

Applicants must have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution, with a minimum grade point average of 3.0 (on a 4.0 scale), unless otherwise noted. Students who do not meet this requirement are still considered for admission.

Applicants must also have a Master of Divinity (M.Div.) degree (or its educational equivalent) with a minimum 3.0 GPA from an accredited school.

The educational equivalent of an M.Div. is determined by the Doctor of Ministry office through a review of all transcripts using the following criteria:

  • A master’s degree from an accredited school
  • At least 72 semester credits of graduate theological education, including at least 21 credit hours in each of the following categories:
    1. Biblical Studies — Old Testament survey, New Testament survey, Bible study methods, Greek, Hebrew, specific books or sections of the Bible.
    2. Christian Thought — Theology, church history, missions, apologetics, personal and social ethics.
    3. Ministry Praxis — Preaching, Christian education, pastoral care, counseling, evangelism, or youth ministries.

Sometimes partial credit for applicable undergraduate units (two undergraduate credits = one graduate credit) may be counted, up to a maximum of ten graduate semester credits.

Official Transcripts and Other Test Scores

Applicants must submit an official transcript from their previous academic institution.

Additional Test Scores:

  • GRE: A GRE score is not required for admission
  • TOEFL or IELTS: If English is not your first language, you are required to display your English proficiency before admittance into a Biola University graduate program. Please see the “English Proficiency” admissions section below for more information.

References

Five references are required, including:

  • One clergy member reference
  • One lay person reference
  • One spouse reference (if applicable)
  • One professor reference
  • One church ministry statement of support

Essays

As a part of the application process, you will need to complete the following essays:

  • Three Ministry Essays (100-300 words each)
    1. Tell us about your ministerial experience.
    2. Tell us about your personal strengths and weaknesses.
    3. Tell us about your objectives in pursuing a Doctor of Ministry degree.
  • Three Salvation Essays (100-300 words each)
    1. Explain in your own words the Scriptural basis for your salvation.
    2. Describe your conversion experience.
    3. State briefly the cardinal points of your faith.

Prerequisites

In order to be eligible for our Doctor of Ministry program, students must have three years of full-time vocational ministry experience. This program is designed for ministers.

English Proficiency

If English is not your native language, you are required to display your English proficiency before being admitted into Biola University’s graduate programs by submitting standardized test scores (TOEFL or IELTS) with your application.

The D.Min. department will determine English proficiency on a case-by-case basis. English proficiency is necessary to flourish in the D.Min. program and can be demonstrated in one of three ways:

  • TOEFL: minimum score of 100 iBT
  • IELTS: minimum score of 7.5
  • Educational Achievement: Students may be able to demonstrate English proficiency by completing a Master’s degree in an English-speaking program from an accredited school with a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale.

Students who are not able to demonstrate English proficiency through one of the above requirements may appeal to be accepted under provisional status and will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.