M.A. (Theological Studies)

The M.A. (Theological Studies) program offers advanced training in biblical studies, theology, and ethics.

For more information: (626) 815-6000, Ext. 5655

The Master of Arts (Theological Studies) program is designed for students who desire advanced academic training in biblical studies, theology, and ethics in preparation for teaching in Christian schools, colleges, and churches. It also serves as the foundation for doctoral studies in biblical studies, theology, and ethics.

Mission Statement

The Master of Arts (Theological Studies) program prepares men and women for doctoral studies or teaching in Christian schools, colleges, and churches. The course of study comprises 60 units in biblical and theological studies with an opportunity to specialize in one of these fields.


The Master of Arts (Theological Studies) program requires 60 units of coursework, including 8-16 units of biblical languages (Hebrew and Greek), 16 units in each of the two core areas of a) biblical studies and b) theology and ethics, and 8-16 units of electives in biblical studies and theology and ethics, as well as 4 units for the preparation of a research paper/thesis to be defended in an oral examination. Each student is assigned a faculty advisor who gives guidance in the selection of courses and composition of the research paper/thesis.

Biblical Language Requirement8
Select one or both of the following: 1
New Testament Greek I
and New Testament Greek II
Hebrew I
and Hebrew II
Biblical Studies Core Courses16
Torah and Prophets: Exodus-2 Kings
Biblical Interpretation: Exploring Genesis
The Gospels' Witness to Christ
The Gospels and Christology
Paul the Pastor and Theologian
Theology Core Courses16
Church History I
Church History II
Christian Theology
Select one:
Church and Society
Ethics and Worship
Electives 216
Research Paper/Thesis4
Directed Research 3
Total Units60

Advanced Standing

Students in this program may petition for up to 15 units of Advanced Standing on the basis of undergraduate biblical language study or upper-division undergraduate coursework in religion.

Additional Degree Requirements

In order to graduate, a student must have at least a 3.0 grade-point average.

Research Paper or Thesis

To receive the Master of Arts (Theological Studies), students must demonstrate the ability to conduct scholarly research and present this in a logically argued and properly documented written form in their area of specialization. Students who specialize in biblical studies must demonstrate the ability to perform exegetical work using a biblical language. Under the supervision of a faculty member, approved by the relevant department chair by the student’s second semester in the program, the student prepares a major research paper/thesis in a course of independent study (GBBL 570, GBBL 590, GTHE 570, or GTHE 590) that is defended in an oral examination before the supervising faculty member and two other faculty members approved by the relevant department chair. The oral defense may be scheduled when the student is within 8 units of the completion of coursework, and must be sustained before the degree is awarded. The research paper/thesis must be distributed to the examiners at least two weeks before the date of the oral defense, and a copy must be given to the Azusa Pacific Seminary office to be kept on file.

Time Limit

The Master of Arts (Theological Studies) must be completed within 10 years from the date of admission. APU coursework completed more than 10 years prior to completion of degree requirements is not acceptable toward the degree.


University graduate admission and program-specific requirements must be met before an application is complete (see Admission to the University). Program-specific application requirements are available online.

International students should contact Graduate and Professional Admissions for application procedures.

Program Learning Outcomes

Students who successfully complete this program shall be able to:
  1. Examine biblical texts using inductive, literary, and theological approaches in order to interpret the Bible as Christian Scripture.
  2. Identify and critically analyze the historical and cultural settings of biblical texts, as well as ancient and contemporary interpretations of those texts.
  3. Demonstrate skill in at least one biblical language.
  4. Identify the central doctrines of Christian theology and the foundations of Christian ethics, and elucidate their historical development.
  5. Reflect theologically through the Wesleyan Quadrilateral (Scripture, Church tradition, reason, and experience) in a manner that is faithful to the past and responsive to the present.
  6. Demonstrate mastery of the craft of scholarly research and writing.