What Courses are Typical in a Biblical Studies Degree Program?

courses in biblical studies

Although there are many types of courses available in biblical studies programs, there are core classes that every student will be expected to take to achieve the standard Bachelor of Biblical Studies (BBS) degree. These comprehensive degrees offer an in-depth understanding of the Bible through exploring the historically rich Old and New Testament.

Academic Basics

All biblical-based degrees will begin with general education requirements. This will include communication classes, such as English and business composition, and science classes, such as biology and ecology. Biblical-based degrees offer unique humanities classes that involve Christian-based or influenced art, music, film and literature. Studying ancient philosophy is a popular way to understand the theoretical development of Christian principles within the contexts of ancient societies. Most biblical degree programs offer a rich variety of psychology and sociology classes that explore families, societies and relationships.

Biblical Basics

Biblical-based degrees include numerous classes that introduces the fundamental concepts of Christian doctrine and theology. There are numerous classes on the New Testament that examine the Synoptic Gospels. Parallel parables and stories are often compared and analyzed within contemporary contexts. There are classes teach students about critical textual analysis and how to understand the different writing styles and objectives of all the Gospels’ four writers. Students will also study the Acts, Paul’s letters and the General Epistles. Students will learn about Old Testament laws, poetry, wisdom, narrative and prophetic literature. Students will study things like interpretive comparisons of poetic and historiographical texts.

Biblical History

Biblical-based degrees offer many interesting history classes about the ancient histories of Israel, Rome, Greece, Egypt and Persia. When learning about the Old Testament, students will learn about ancient Middle Eastern and Mediterranean empires. In order to properly understand the New Testament, students must fully understand the ancient Roman and Byzantium worlds. Students also study relevant ancient world civilizations and associated cultures. There are specific classes on Jewish temples, the original Judeo-Christian church and the apostolic fathers and founders. There are always classes on the history of Christianity that explores the church’s development through the Middle Ages, Renaissance and early modern periods.

What is the Purpose of this Degree?

At the completion of this degree, graduates will be ready to pursue higher academic degrees so they may become academic researchers or teachers. They will know how to use historical texts, geography and cultural contexts to interpret the contents of the Old and New Testaments. Graduates will be prepared to clearly and concisely communicate scriptural messages to target audiences. Some students pursue this degree for personal reasons, such as to enhance their spiritual life or positively impact their family, but most students want to qualify to become professional church employees, such as pastors, missionaries and youth leaders.


Some students also enjoy learning about advanced topics, such as biblical hermeneutics, apocalyptic literature and Christian character profiling and interpretations. There are many more kinds of interesting biblical studies courses that will satisfy the academic curiosity of every student.

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