The M.A. in Biblical History and Geography is designed to provide our graduates with a core understanding of the historical and physical realities of the land of the Bible, while allowing the flexibility necessary for individual students to pursue their own interests within the field. By learning how to identify and analyze relevant points of data, our students become proficient in “reading” the land, becoming better exegetes of ancient texts in the process.
By carefully choosing elective courses, our students are able to plan programs of study that emphasize history, geography, and archaeology during either the Old or New Testament periods.
Students enrolled in the M.A. in Biblical History and Geography have ample opportunity to draw upon the rich resources of Jerusalem and the lands of the Bible. By studying under leading Jewish and Christian scholars in Jerusalem, our students are exposed to the current flow of scholarly discussions and keep abreast of recent discoveries in the field.
Numerous field studies provide our students with a first-hand understanding of the geographical and historical issues that underlie the ancient—and modern—histories of the lands of the Bible. By participating in archaeological surveys and excavations, students are exposed to ancient material cultures and the methodology of fieldwork.
Students enrolled in the degree program may also become involved with local cultures such as the Palestinian, Bedouin, and Druze communities, which in significant ways continue to reflect the lifestyles, ways of thinking, interrelationships, and ethnic movements of biblical times.
Students in this program will refer to the geographical resources created by Biblical Backgrounds throughout their studies.
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The M.A. degree in Biblical History and Geography includes 48 semester credit hours of course work as outlined below. The degree is designed to be completed within two calendar years, although students choosing to pursue the thesis track are given an additional year to complete all of the work for the degree. Students for whom English is not their native language are expected to be able to finish the degree in three years if taking the non-thesis track, and four years if pursuing the thesis track.
JUC offers double M.A. programs for students who choose to study for an additional year and are accepted into a second M.A. program. Students may share up to half (24) the credits between the following three M.A. programs: Biblical History and Geography, Hebrew and Cognate Languages, and Hebraic Roots of Christianity.
M.A. students may choose to write a thesis as part of their degree program. Once a topic of interest is chosen, the student will work with two faculty members to develop a thesis proposal, then research and write the thesis. The process of writing a thesis not only allows the student to engage a topic in depth, but also to learn methods of research and writing that allow the student to pursue further academic work.
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