Master of Arts [Biblical Studies] (M.A. [Biblical Studies])

Asbury Seminary’s 60-hour Master of Arts [Biblical Studies] prepares you to pursue knowledge in the practical Christian disciplines needed for teaching in congregations, para-church organizations, Christian institutions or for pursuing a postgraduate degree. Upon completing your degree, you’ll have a fresh understanding of biblical studies, coupled with a renewed love for God and neighbor developed through knowledge, practice and service.

What to Expect from the Degree

As you complete your degree, you’ll be able to

  1. Cultivate holy love of God and neighbor through both knowledge and practice in the Christian disciplines of service and grace.
  2. Master and integrate the biblical canon  with literary, historical and hermeneutical tools for a holistic study of passages, methodology, genres and themes.
  3. Analyze and present biblical and theological insights into contemporary and canonical contexts.
  4. Describe the means whereby one may arrive at a biblical view of the inspiration and authority of the Scriptures.

*Refer to the Academic Catalog for the exact wording of Program Learning Outcomes.

Advanced Standing

Save time and money with our advanced standing program. Here’s how it works.

If you received a religion major or minor from an accredited college or university, you can receive a maximum of 18 credits toward a master of divinity degree or 12 credits toward a master of arts degree.

*Transcripts evaluated on a case-by-case basis.

Admissions Requirements

Application Deadlines





January 15

May 15

August 15

  • Application (online at
  • $50 non-refundable Application Fee
  • Accredited baccalaureate degree
  • M.A. and M.Div. programs require a cumulative GPA of 2.75/4.0, except for the M.A. (BS), M.A.(TS), and Counseling programs, which require a 3.0/4.0 cumulative GPA
  • Official transcripts from all schools where classes were taken for more than one semester
  • Personal history essay
    • Share your life story, including at what point you began your relationship with Jesus Christ. Talk about your growth since that time and what brings you to apply to Seminary at this season in your life. Include your thoughts on how you would like to see your faith grow during your time in Seminary.
    • What draws you to this particular area of study? What is your intended outcome upon degree completion? Why is that career or ministry choice meaningful to you?
    • Discuss a local, national, and/or international issue and why you are passionate about it.
  • Four references
    • 1 Pastoral
    • 1 Academic
    • 2 Professional/Peer References
  • For applicants whose primary language is not English, a TOEFL score of 550 (79 internet-based) or an IELTS score of 7.
  • Background Check
  • A personal interview may be required upon request by the Admissions Committee

Complete your degree on campus or online.

Study online. Complete your degree without leaving home by taking a portion of your classes online and completing the remaining through on-campus intensives.

Study on campus. Complete your degree in one of our three locations—Kentucky, Florida or Memphis. Choose to work through your degree in either a residential or urban ministry format or cohort model.

Stay on mission. However you choose to pursue your degree, you’ll develop the biblical and theological understanding essential for a vibrant, contemporary ministry rooted in the Wesleyan tradition.

The M.A. [Biblical Studies] program is offered at the following locations:

Kentucky (Wilmore)

Download Printable Copy

Hrs Course ID Course Name
3 CD501 Vocation of Ministry (must be taken in initial 21 hrs at ATS)
3 MS501 Missional Formation (must be taken in initial 21 hrs at ATS)
3 NT(IBS)510/511 NT(IBS)510 Matthew -or- NT(IBS)511 Mark
3 NT501 Elementary Greek—One [PRQ: NT(IBS)510 or NT(IBS)511]
3 NT502 Elementary Greek—Two [PRQ:NT501]
3 NT520 New Testament Introduction
3 OT520 Old Testament Introduction
3 TH501 Basic Christian Doctrine
3 NT/OT Exegesis NT710-749* [PRQ: NT520, NT(IBS)510 or NT(IBS)511, NT501/502]
3 Biblical Studies Elective Choose a course from the following nomenclatures: BS, BT, NT, NT(IBS), OT, OT(IBS)
3 BT605/660 Biblical Theology of the OT -or- Biblical Theology of the NT [PRQ: NT(IBS) 510 or 511, OT520 -or- NT(IBS)510 or 511, OT520, NT520]
3 OT501 Elementary Hebrew—One [PRQ: NT(IBS)510 or NT(IBS)511]
3 OT502 Elementary Hebrew—Two [PRQ: OT501]
3 CH501 Church History—One
3 CS601 Christian Ethics
3 TH601 Theology of John Wesley
3 NT/OT(IBS)6__ NT(IBS)610-649 or OT(IBS)610-649 [PRQ: IBS-One, NT501 or OT501)]
3 NT/OT Exegesis OT710-749* [PRQ: OT520, NT(IBS)510 or NT(IBS)511, OT501/502]
3 Biblical Studies Elective Choose a course from the following nomenclatures: BS, BT, NT, NT(IBS), OT, OT(IBS)
As Needed
3   Elective Course

* Six hours is required in NT or OT Exegesis (NT710-749 or OT710-749). It is recommended that 3 hours be taken in each area, but it is not required.

Asbury Seminary awards more than 400 scholarships annually because we want you to graduate with minimal debt. We offer too many scholarships to list conclusively. For more information, email

To apply for financial aid:

  1. Complete your online application.
  2. Fill out your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
  3. Once you’re admitted to the Seminary, you will receive an Asbury Seminary Financial Aid form.
  4. After completing this, the Financial Aid office will contact you with any scholarship offers.

Cost of Attendance: 2017-2018

Degree Total Credits Cost
Master of Arts  60 credits $635/credit hour
Total   $38,100
Academic Year 2017-2018 All Campuses Fall/Spring All Campuses Summer
Technology Fee $110 per semester $50 per semester
Graduation Fee $100 one-time fee $100 one-time fee
Student Services Fee $110 per semester $50 per semester


Institutional scholarships are available through Asbury Theological Seminary. Scholarships are highly competitive and priority consideration is given to those who have completed their Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and who have been admitted by the Admissions Office by March 1.

Specific scholarships will be offered in the form of an invitation to those who meet the eligibility requirements.  

Dr. J. Ellsworth Kalas Pastoral Scholarships

The Dr. J. Ellsworth Kalas Pastoral Scholarship is a $12,000 annual award given to those pursuing a theological degree. Scholarships are awarded based on financial need.

Criteria includes:

  • Commitment to begin active ministry through local church ministry, church planting or mission work following graduation
  • Demonstration of financial need
  • Maintain full-time student status (21 hours annually)

Here’s how to apply:

  • Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
  • Complete the Presidential Scholarship Application, which includes a 500-word essay on the way your intended vocational goal and this scholarship will better enable you to accomplish God’s call on your life.

Presidential Scholarship

Recipients of this scholarship exhibit both outstanding academic and leadership skills. This scholarship covers up to 100% of tuition.

Criteria includes:

  • Undergraduate cumulative 3.75 GPA
  • Maintain full-time student status (21 hours annually) & a 3.75 GPA
  • Demonstrate leadership skills through involvement in a local worship community
  • Participate in a minimum of four Christian service activities annually
  • Commit to begin active ministry following graduation

Here’s how to apply:

  • Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
  • Complete the Presidential Scholarship Application, which includes a 500-word essay on how you anticipate a Seminary education will equip you for future leadership.

Johnson International Scholarship

The Johnson International Scholarship is a need-based scholarship, covering up to 100% of tuition. The scholarship is available to non-U.S. residents who plan to assume leadership roles within their home country after graduation.

Criteria includes:

  • Undergraduate cumulative GPA of 2.75 and regular service in a local congregation, campus ministry, mission outreach or social service OR a 2.5 undergraduate cumulative GPA and notable leadership in a local congregation, campus ministry, mission outreach or social service
  • Maintain a 2.75 GPA
  • Demonstrate faithful involvement in a local worship community, as well as the Seminary community
  • Complete an Asbury Seminary-approved financial planning seminar or workshop during the first term of study to re-qualify for subsequent terms
  • Commit to enter into active ministry in his/her homeland following completion of academic work

To be eligible for additional scholarship, complete the International Student Questionnaire Form. This form will be made available to you once the admissions process has started.

Special Scholarships

These scholarships do not require an invitation and are generated from either Endowed or Restricted funds. Recipients of Special Scholarships must represent strong promise for Christian ministry and demonstrate a financial need. You must complete The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to be eligible to receive these scholarships.

Some of the special scholarships include:

  • Mary Whetstone and Walter J. Knabe Scholarship – average award $10,700
  • Windgate Scholarship – average award $10,000
  • J.C. McPheeters Scholarship – average award $7,000
  • Timothy C. Tennent Church Planting and Cross-Cultural Missionary Service Scholarship – average award $4,500
  • Leo H. Naughton Scholarship – average award $3,200
  • Asbury Deans Scholarship – average award $1,500

Save Time! Save Money!

Combine your Master of Divinity, Master of Arts in Biblical Studies or Master of Arts in Intercultural Studies with a Master of Theology degree, you’ll save up to 15 credit hours! This option is designed for those planning to pursue a Ph.D. or for those seeking a deeper educational background to serve in the church or marketplace.

This dual track option allows you to:

  • Share up to 15 hours between degrees, reducing your overall time and cost to complete the degrees.
  • Prepare for the rigor of the Ph.D. program and strengthen your CV. Classes are taught at a Ph.D. level.
  • Gain a more extensive knowledge-base for marketplace or church ministry.
  • Work one-on-one with a faculty mentor.
  • Shorten the admissions process if you’re already a current student.
Apply Now!