NOTE:  This program will not be admitting any students after the Fall 2024 term.

 The discipline of Biblical Archaeology seeks to integrate both ancient material culture and epigraphic finds with study of the Bible in order to assist the student to better understand the Scriptures. It has long been recognized that archaeology is an indispensable tool for interpreting the Bible because it provides cultural, historical, social, religious, and linguistic information that sheds light on the context of biblical passages. The program emphasizes three areas of competency: Archaeology, Old Testament Languages, and Old Testament Studies. Students receive first-hand experience in Archaeology through a six-week field school at Tel Shimron, Israel. Additionally, course work in Archaeology, Hebrew, and Old Testament Studies develop competencies that provide a solid basis for continuing education for ministry, for doctoral studies in Archaeology, Ancient History and Biblical Studies, or for teaching courses in Old Testament, Bible backgrounds, ancient history, and archaeology in church and school settings.

Students are not required to write a thesis but may do so if granted permission by an advisor and the department. All students must have at least one year of Hebrew or the equivalent facility with Hebrew, in order to complete the degree's required course work. Additionally, they must pass a comprehensive exam at the end of their course work.

Program Coordinator, Professor, Adam Miglio
Professors, Andrew Abernethy, M. Daniel Carroll R (Rodas), Daniel Master, Richard Schultz
Professor Emeritus, John Walton

Admission is contingent upon current U.S. State Department travel advisories for the Middle East.
Admission to the program does not require a specific undergraduate major. Students must, however, demonstrate:

  • A basic knowledge of Bible content and historical periods of the Old Testament; and
  • Prerequisite competency in Hebrew. Competency is defined as passing a competency exam or taking HEBR 101 Elementary Hebrew I , (or BL 610 at JUC), HEBR 102 Elementary Hebrew II , and HEBR 201 or the equivalent. These language prerequisites do not count toward the completion of degree but students may take the languages concurrently with the program.

The Old Testament Archaeology MA program begins with participation in a six-week excavation in Israel, ARCH 525 . The remaining work is completed at Wheaton.

ARCH 525Archaeological Field Work8
Fall Semester
ARCH 521Advanced Archaeology and the Old Testament4
BITH 508Intro to Hebrew Exegesis4
BITH 524Intro to Hermeneutics2
BITH 542Old Testament Hermeneutics2
Winter Intensive in January or over a summer
BITH 565Christian Theology4
BITH 635Hebrew Exegesis4
or BITH 636 Hebrew Exegesis
ARCH 554Topics in Archaeology4
ARCH 569Religion of Israel and ANE4
or ARCH 565 Statecraft and International Relations in the Ancient Near East
Comprehensive Exam
BITH 692Graduate Comprehensive Exam0