M.A. in Biblical Archaeology

The discipline of Biblical Archaeology seeks to integrate both ancient material culture and epigraphic finds with study of the Bible in order to assist the student to better understand the Scriptures.


It has long been recognized that archaeology is an indispensable tool for interpreting the Bible because it provides cultural, historical, social, religious, and linguistic information that sheds light on the context of biblical passages. The program offers a concentration in Old Testament and Near Eastern Studies and emphasizes four areas: Archaeology, Biblical Geography, Biblical Languages, and Biblical Studies. There is a required semester of study in Israel at Jerusalem University College (JUC) and six weeks of summer excavation for credit.This program provides students with a solid basis for doctoral studies in Archaeology, Ancient History, Biblical Studies, and Church History. Students are not required to write a thesis but may do so if granted permission by an advisor and the department. All students are required to pass a comprehensive exam unless the thesis option has been granted. Those who consider this program as a terminal degree will be well trained for teaching courses in Old and New Testament, Bible backgrounds, ancient history, and archaeology in church and school settings.

Admission is contingent upon current U.S. State Department travel advisories for the Middle East.

Prerequisite Requirements 

Admission to the program does not require a specific undergraduate major. Students must, however, demonstrate:

  • a basic knowledge of Bible content and historical periods of the Old or New Testament; and
  • prerequisite competency in Hebrew.
  • Competency is defined as passing a competency exam or taking HEBR 301,(or BL 610 at JUC), 302, and 401. These language prerequisites do not count toward the completion of degree requirements, but students may take the languages concurrently with the program.


Degree Requirements (54 hours)

Fieldwork (6 hours)
ARCH 525 Archaeological Field Work (6 hours)

Jerusalem University College (10 hours)
GEO 511 Physical Settings (4) 
ARCG 500 (Old Testament Track) (3)
HIST 530 (Old Testament Track) (3)

Old Testament and Theological Studies (8 hours)
BITH 562 Introduction to Old Testament Exegesis (2)
BITH 541 OT Criticism (2)
BITH 565 Christian Theology (4)

Archaeology and the Ancient Near East (12 hours)
BITH 539 Ancient Near Eastern Backgrounds (2)
ARCH 526 Method and Theory (2)
ARCH 554 Topics in Archaeology (4)
ARCH 521 Advanced Old Testament Archaeology (4)

And, 4 hours of the either of the following
ARCH 5/369 Religions of Israel and the Ancient Near East (4)

ARCH 5/365 History of the Ancient Near East (4)

Semitic Languages (8 hours)
BITH 635 Hebrew Exegesis (4)

And, 4 hours from either of the following
ARCH 418 Akkadian Language and Literature (4)
ARCH 411 Ugaritic Language and Literature (4)
Or an approved Ancient Language course

Electives (6 hours)
HIST 5/335 Ancient Egypt and the Biblical World [offered at JUC] (3)
ARCH 345 Archaeology of Classical World (2) GEOL 371 Introduction to Geographic Information Systems (2) ANTH 333 Ceramics and Culture (2)
GEOL 322 Geoarchaeology
Or any 500 level BITH/ARCH class

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