Master of Arts

Graduate Biblical and Theological Studies is part of the A. Duane Litfin Divinity School at Wheaton College. Its programs provide both a theological base and methodological skills for doctoral work and for use in a variety of ministries. Among these are teaching, campus ministries, missions, evangelism, writing and research, administration, church and parachurch groups, lay persons in various fields, and personal enrichment. The graduate programs in Biblical and Theological Studies stress the concepts, principles, history, and methods of the theological disciplines.

These programs provide a scholarly, helpful, and understanding atmosphere in which students confront both traditional and contemporary interpretations and issues. They are committed to helping students formulate and articulate a biblical and global understanding of life and ministry in a setting committed to traditional biblical Christianity.

M.A. Degree Requirements

Students must select one of five programs available:

  • Biblical Exegesis

  • Biblical and Theological Studies

  • History of Christianity

  • Theology

  • Old Testament Archaeology

Students (excluding those pursuing the M.A. in Biblical Exegesis) are required to take a comprehensive exam. Students should register for BITH 692 Graduate Comprehensive Exam in the semester in which they intend to take the exam. Comprehensive exams can be failed only once. A student failing a particular exam (in part or as a whole) may retake the exam at the announced time in the following semester. All students desiring to write a thesis must apply in writing for the privilege. Students planning to complete a thesis during the summer must be sure their supervisor will be available. All students writing a thesis must register for BITH 698 in the initial semester of thesis work and BITH 699 in all subsequent semesters. Students approved to write a thesis must also pass the comprehensive exam; the thesis option is in addition to the comprehensive exam.

In place of the comprehensive exam, M.A. in Biblical Exegesis students are required to complete a dossier, a four-part research paper portfolio that reflects key academic areas of competence as reflected by faculty approval.

For M.A. programs in History of Christianity, Theology, or Biblical and Theological Studies, with their advisor’s approval and instructor’s permission, students may take up to 8 credit hours of ancient or modern language study as electives in their program. These courses must be taken at Wheaton College at the 500 level and must be done while enrolled as a graduate student. Foreign language credits may not be applied to a second M.A. degree.

  1. The requirements for the program leading to a Master of Arts degree in Biblical Exegesis are 44 semester hours.

  2. The requirements for the program leading to a Master of Arts degree in Biblical and Theological Studies are 36 semester hours.

  3. The requirements for the program leading to a Master of Arts degree in History of Christianity are 44 semester hours.

  4. The requirements for the program leading to a Master of Arts degree in Theology are 44 semester hours.

  5. The requirements for the program leading to a Master of Arts in Old Testament Archaeology are 36 semester hours.

The requirements to complete a second Master of Arts degree in graduate Biblical and Theological Studies for students who have already completed one of the M.A. programs offered in the department will be reduced by up to 12 hours from the number of hours required for the second M.A. program.

Most courses will be taken at the 500- and 600-level in the Biblical and Theological Studies area. Four hours of elective courses may be taken in other graduate departments, except for students in the M.A. in Biblical Exegesis and for Doctor of Psychology students pursuing an M.A. degree in Biblical and Theological Studies. Unless otherwise noted, a maximum of eight hours may be taken as independent study courses (listed as 695) and/or tutorial courses, which may include participation in undergraduate courses. As applicable, each student works with an advisor to determine the appropriate concentration and to individualize the degree program based on the student's previous studies, interests, and goals.

Doctor of Philosophy

See Biblical and Theological Studies, Ph.D.

Assistant Dean, Professor of Old Testament, Andrew Abernethy
Gunther M. Knoedler Professor of Theology, Daniel Treier
Carolyn and Fred McManis Professor of Christian Thought, Timothy Larsen
Franklin S. Dyrness Associate Professor of Biblical & Theological Studies, Jennifer P. McNutt
Scripture Press Ministries Professor of Biblical Studies and Pedagogy, M. Daniel Carroll R. (Rodas)
Blanchard Professor of Old Testament, Richard Schultz
Kenneth T. Wessner Professor of New Testament, Amy Peeler
Professors, Marc Cortez, Adam Miglio
Associate Professor, Esau McCaulley
Emeritus Professors, Daniel Block, Hassell Bullock, Gary Burge, Walter Elwell, Gene Green, Andrew Hill, Karen Jobes, Douglas Moo, Mark Noll, John Walton

Deadlines and requirements will vary depending on degree and program.  See Graduate Admissions  in the catalog for additional information or go to Wheaton College Graduate School Admissions:

Wheaton College Graduate School
Graduate Admissions
Toll free: 800.888.0141 or 630.752.5195

Admission to the Master of Arts program does not require a specific undergraduate major or prescribed set of courses. However, students are required to demonstrate sufficient knowledge in several areas.

Course List

See Litfin School for full course list.