Master of Theology [Biblical Studies]

Asbury Theological Seminary’s 30-hour (plus dissertation work) Master of Theology in Biblical Studies forms Christian scholars, teachers and servant-leaders for the church. Candidates for the Master of Theology [Biblical Studies] can focus either in Old Testament or New Testament. The degree is designed to achieve substantive understanding of the field of biblical studies appropriate for advanced academic study of Scripture in the service of the church.

What to Expect from the Degree

The following is an overview of the degree requirements:

  • Completion of 30 credit hours, as outlined in the Academic Catalog with a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.00/4.00
  • Active attendance of the weekly school seminars and the annual interdisciplinary colloquium of Advanced Research Programs.
  • Pass the competency exit exam, with a score of 80%

*Refer to the Academic Catalog for a detailed and full list of graduation requirements.

Admissions Requirements

  • Application Form
  • Accredited baccalaureate degree; accredited Master of Divinity degree or accredited Master of Arts degree with concentration in Biblical Studies. Accreditation is required by an agency recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation or holding membership in the Association of Universities and Colleges in Canada.
  • Official transcripts of all postsecondary schools attended, sent directly by each institution to the Asbury Seminary Admissions Office.
  • A nonrefundable $50 (US) application fee that includes processing of the application and a personal background check.
  • Four professor or other scholar references completed on the Admissions Office form at
  • A cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 3.50/4.00 for baccalaureate and graduate work is required for admission. The grade point average as calculated by the Admissions Office at Asbury Seminary shall be considered the official grade point average for admission.
  • An appropriate set of scores on the Graduate Record Examinations (GRE) are required for North American applicants and expected for international students (including a minimum verbal score of 160 points, or 600 for exams taken prior to August 2011, and 5 analytical). Normally the GRE will not be waived.
  • A scholarly essay, representing an example of the applicant’s ability to do independent research and reflecting a research interest appropriate to the degree program, approximately 25 pages in length, completed within the last three years. (Please note: writing samples must be submitted in .pdf format, with the applicant’s 6-digit prospective student ID number in place of their name throughout the paper. The prospective ID number should also be the filename of the document. If papers are not submitted within these guidelines, they will be returned to the applicant for proper formatting.)
  • A personal history essay, addressing questions as posted at
  • A resume or CV detailing education, language skills, and work/ministry experience.
  • Intermediate-level competency in Biblical Hebrew or Koine Greek, and at least an introductory-level competency in another Biblical language.
  • For applicants whose native language is other than English, a TOEFL score of 575 paper or 90 Internet or 6.5 IELTS score. Normally, TOEFL or IELTS will not be waived; exceptions are possible only in specific situations where there is clear evidence that the applicant exceeds minimum TOEFL requirements.
  • The Admissions Committee may request the applicant to submit additional materials and/or schedule an interview with a seminary representative.

Personal History Essay:

  1. Share your life story and at what point you began your relationship with Jesus Christ.  Talk about your growth since that time and what brings you to apply to Asbury Seminary’s Advanced Research Program.  Include your thoughts on how you would like to see your faith grow during your time in this program. (350 minimum to 500 words maximum)
  2. Please describe your ministry and vocational experience, including positions held and dates of service.  (350 minimum to 500 words maximum)
  3. Statement of Purpose – Describe briefly the reasons you are prompted to pursue study in the particular program area you have chosen and what you hope to gain through the program.  Give specific goals, personal or professional needs.  (350 to 500 words maximum)
  4. List the language(s) (including English) used in your research and/or ministry and indicate your relative proficiency.
  5. (Optional)  If you feel your cumulative grade point average or academic test scores do not adequately reflect your abilities to flourish at Asbury Seminary, please explain.
  6. (Optional) If you are married, describe your spouse’s attitudes toward your plans for seminary education and future ministry.
  7. Please attach a resume or CV.

Learn more about what other graduates of Asbury Seminary are doing.


Hrs Course ID Course Name
Biblical Studies Required Courses (9 credit hours)
3 NT901 Research Methods in New Testament Interpretation
3 OT901 Research Methods in Old Testament Interpretation
3 BS905 Seminar in the History of Interpretation
0 BS901 Seminar in Biblical Studies

Register and attend required, non-credit Biblical Studies seminar weekly for two semesters (fall and spring).
Biblical Studies Elective Courses (21 credit hours)
600, 700, and 900 level courses in Biblical Studies, including BT605 or BT660

Additional Requirements

  • Attend required, non-credit Advanced Research Programs Interdisciplinary Colloquium as scheduled until coursework is completed.
  • Cumulative GPA of at least 3.30/4.00.
  • Pass the competency exit exam, with a score of 80%, demonstrating translations, exegetical and theological competencies in both Old and New Testaments.
  • Fulfillment of all degree requirements in not more than three calendar years from the first term of enrollment.

Asbury Seminary is committed to providing you with a quality theological education and practical skills for a lifetime. We offer more than 400 scholarships annually and our Ministry Partners Program helps you graduate with minimal debt.

Cost of Attendance: 2023-2024

Degree Total Credits Cost
Th.M. 30 credits $736/credit hour
Coursework Total $22,080
Academic Year 2021-2022 All Campuses Fall/Spring All Campuses Summer
Technology Fee $225 per semester $110 per semester
Graduation Fee $200 one-time fee $200 one-time fee
Student Services Fee $160 per semester $80 per semester


Postgraduate Support Scholarships are available to Doctor of Philosophy and Master of Theology students based on criteria of merit and need.

To apply

  • Submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)
  • Complete the Asbury Financial Aid Application
  • Complete a Postgraduate Support Scholarship Application, including a 1000-word essay describing your passion for research and how it will equip you for the future.

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.
  • Shorten the admissions process if you’re already a current student.