Master of Arts in Biblical Theology Program Overview

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1 Master of Arts in Biblical Theology Program Overview The Bible as the Soul of Theology The Second Vatican Council explained, the study of the sacred page is... the soul of theology (Dei Verbum 24). The M.A. in Biblical Theology Program at John Paul the Great Catholic University was developed according to this vision, offering a thoroughly biblically based approach to the major branches of theology (e.g., dogmatic, sacramental, moral). Indeed, Pope Benedict XVI emphasized the need for a close integration of biblical studies and theology, explaining, where exegesis is not theology, Scripture cannot be the soul of theology, and conversely, where theology is not essentially the interpretation of the Church s Scripture, such a theology no longer has a foundation (Verbum Domini 35). The M.A. program at John Paul the Great Catholic University thus seeks to train students in the various branches of theology in such a way that is thoroughly exegetical, i.e., rooted in a careful study of Sacred Scripture. In this, our curriculum is truly unlike other theology programs. Whereas most systematic theology programs offer little more than basic introductory courses in the Old and New Testaments, ours involves in-depth study of all of the major categories of biblical literature. Likewise, whereas as most graduate biblical studies programs offer their students little in terms of theological formation, students in the M.A. in Biblical Theology program at JPCatholic take courses in the major branches of Catholic theology. Rigorous scholarship, faithful to Catholic tradition M.A. students learn to carefully analyze the literary, historical, and theological dimensions of the biblical text through rigorous study. To achieve this, students are trained in contemporary methods of exegesis. Students learn how to engage such approaches from an authentically Catholic perspective, recognizing, that the various hermeneutical approaches have their own philosophical underpinnings, which need to be carefully evaluated before they are applied to the sacred texts (Verbum Domini 36). To this end, students learn how to approach biblical theology in a way that is faithful to the living tradition of the church, studying the writings of the fathers and doctors as well as magisterial documents. In particular, our program emphasizes the need for a thorough training in the philosophy and theology of St. Thomas Aquinas.

2 Two Tracks M.A. students will now have a choice between an Exegetical Track and a Catechetical Track. Both Tracks will retain the same core of thirteen Scripture and Theology courses plus two elective courses. Students in the Exegetical Track will also take two courses in New Testament Greek, while students in the Catechetical Track will complete two Practicum courses and focus on teaching. At the end of the program Exegetical track students will either take a comprehensive exam or, if their thesis proposal is accepted, may write a thesis. Catechetical track students will take a comprehensive exam. Catechetical Track - Students will be trained to effectively communicate what they have learned to others and focusing on ways to apply what they have learned in their own lives and thus be well formed for the task of evangelization. The Catechetical Track is ideal for those interested in working in pastoral ministry, religious education as well as those who simply want to have a better understanding of their faith. Graduates from our program will be in great demand within the 18,000 Catholic parishes across the United States who need staff educated in faith formation, Christian initiation and evangelization, catechesis, K-12 teaching, pastoral and campus ministry, and other parish work. Exegetical Track - Students will learn to interact with contemporary scholarship, focus on academic research, as well as further work in biblical and theological scholarship. In the Exegetical Track, you ll develop a basic facility in New Testament Greek, thus gaining the ability to read the biblical texts as they were originally written, bypassing the filter of centuries of translations. It will help form those interested in going on to PhD programs or a future career as a Catholic academic. On-Campus Learning Students studying on campus at JPCatholic aim to integrate academic research and study with prayer. The celebration of the Mass, the Sacrament of Reconciliation, and Eucharistic adoration are all part of daily life on campus. You can be involved within the dynamic Catholic community on campus as well as a robust young adult Catholic community in the Diocese of San Diego. Online Learning The Masters in Biblical Theology program is entirely available online. Distance students have the opportunity to take each of the courses from our academically rigorous program. Our online learning tools ensure that students get a virtual equivalent to the experience of students studying on campus. All biblical theology courses are available in high-quality video created in our state-of-the-art production facilities, so that students can be fully immersed in the actual classroom experience. Videos are available all quarter, allowing students to view course lectures multiple times. Moreover, online students are able to participate in discussions with professors and students via online discussion groups, where they are immersed in a virtual graduate student culture, participating in conversations led by the professors. Online students are also enabled in their studies by electronic library resources and databases as well as being given the ability to check out books from our library on campus via mail.

3 Financial Aid and Scholarships JPCatholic is an eligible institution under the Higher Education Act and our undergraduate and graduate students are qualified to participate in programs under the Title IV student financial assistance programs. Starting in 2014 tiered scholarships are available to students both on campus and online that wish to complete the M.A. in Biblical Theology within three calendar years. The scholarship covers a percentage of the graduate program tuition. Eligibility rules apply, please refer to the MA scholarship portion of the JPCatholic website for more information. Entry Point Timetable of Study Scholarship Accelerated Plan (12 month) On Campus Up to 50% Standard Plan (2 years) On campus Up to 40% Standard Plan (2 years) Online Up to 30% Part Time Plan (3 years) On Campus or Online Up to 25% Standard Plan (1.5 years) On Campus Up to 40% Standard Plan (1.5 years) Online Up to 30% Part-Time Plan (2.5 years) On Campus or Online Up to 25% Application for Admission Online Application: Complete the online application form. Letters of Recommendation: Three letters of recommendation. Employment History or Resume: Resume of work and volunteer experience. We may contact previous or employers to conduct a further reference check. Essay: A word personal statement describing why you want to attend John Paul the Great Catholic University, how your presence would benefit our program, and what you hope to accomplish with your Master s degree. Application Fee: $50 Application Fee. Academic Background: Transcripts from each college or university attended. Students must have a completed Bachelor s degree or be on pace to complete the degree prior to starting the graduate level coursework. Contact Information If you have any questions please contact Christine Avella. Phone: ext

4 Catechetical Track Standard Plan (2 years) A student enrolled in the Standard Plan would be able to complete the degree in eight quarters either online or on campus. Students may opt to enter the Accelerated Plan, which will enable them to finish the program on campus in four quarters. 1. Philosophy and Biblical Interpretation (4 units) 2. Fundamental Theology and Biblical Interpretation (4 units) Total units: 8 3. Pentateuch (3 units) 4. Prophets (3 units) 5. Historical Books of the Old Testament (3 units) 6. Elective I (3 units) 7. Synoptic Gospels and Acts (3 units) 8. Pauline Epistles (3 units) 9. Moral Theology and Spiritual Theology (4 units) 10. Elective II (3 units) Total units: Liturgical and Sacramental Theology (3 units) 12. Ecclesiology and Eschatology (3 units) 13. Practicum I (3 units) 14. Trinity and the Divine Economy (3 units) 15. Practicum II (3 units) 16. Christology and Soteriology (3 units) 17. Comprehensive Exam / Thesis (3 units) 18. Johannine Literature and the Apocalypse (3 units)

5 Exegetical Track Standard Plan (2 years) A student enrolled in the Standard Plan would be able to complete the degree in eight quarters either online or on campus. Students may opt to enter the Accelerated Plan, which will enable them to finish the program on campus in four quarters. 1. Philosophy and Biblical Interpretation (4 units) 2. Fundamental Theology and Biblical Interpretation (4 units) Total units: 8 3. Pentateuch (3 units) 4. Greek I (3 units) 5. Historical Books of the Old Testament (3 units) 6. Greek II (3 units) 7. Synoptic Gospels and Acts (3 units) 8. Pauline Epistles (3 units) 9. Moral Theology and Spiritual Theology (4 units) 10. Elective I (3 units) Total units: Liturgical and Sacramental Theology (3 units) 12. Ecclesiology and Eschatology (3 units) 13. Prophets (3 units) 14. Trinity and the Divine Economy (3 units) 15. Elective II (3 units) 16. Johannine Literature and the Apocalypse (3 units) 17. Christology and Soteriology (3 units) 18. Comprehensive Exam / Thesis (3 units)

6 Exegetical / Catechetical Tracks Accelerated Plan (12 Months) A student enrolled in the Accelerated Plan will finish the program on campus in four quarters. 1. Philosophy and Biblical Interpretation (4 units) 2. Fundamental Theology and Biblical Interpretation (4 units) 3. Moral Theology and Spiritual Theology (4 units) Total units: Pentateuch (3 units) 5. Prophets (3 units) 6. Ecclesiology and Eschatology (3 units) 7. Liturgical and Sacramental Theology (3 units) 8. Greek I or Practicum (3 units) 9. Historical Books of the Old Testament (3 units) 10. Trinity and the Divine Economy (3 units) 11. Elective I (3 units) 12. Greek II or Practicum (3 units) 13. Elective II (3 units) 14. Synoptic Gospels and Acts (3 units) 15. Pauline Epistles (3 units) 16. Johannine Literature and the Apocalypse (3 units) 17. Christology and Soteriology (3 units) 18. Comprehensive Exam / Thesis (3 units)

7 Exegetical / Catechetical Tracks Part-Time Plan (3 Years) A student enrolled in the Part-Time Plan would be able to complete the degree in twelve quarters either online or on campus. 1. Fundamental Theology and Biblical Interpretation (4 units) 2. Pentateuch (3 units) 3. Ecclesiology and Eschatology (3 units) 4. Historical Books of the Old Testament (3 units) 5. Synoptic Gospels and Acts (3 units) 6. Philosophy and Biblical Interpretation (4 units) 7. Prophets (3 units) 8. Trinity and the Divine Economy (3 units) 9. Pauline Epistles (3 units) 10. Christology and Soteriology (3 units) Year Moral Theology and Spiritual Theology (4 units) 12. Elective II (3 units) 13. Greek I or Practicum (3 units) 14. Liturgical and Sacramental Theology (3 units) 15. Greek II or Practicum (3 units) 16. Elective I (3 units) 17. Johannine Literature and the Apocalypse (3 units) 18. Comprehensive Exam / Thesis (3 units)

8 Exegetical / Catechetical Track Standard Plan (1.5 years) A student enrolled in the Standard Plan would be able to complete the degree in eight quarters either online or on campus. Students may opt to enter the Accelerated Plan, which will enable them to finish the program on campus in four quarters. 1. Fundamental Theology and Biblical Interpretation (4 units) Total units: 4 2. Elective I (3 units) Total units: 3 3. Philosophy and Biblical Interpretation (4 units) 4. Moral Theology and Spiritual Theology (4 units) Total units: 8 5. Pentateuch (3 units) 6. Prophets (3 units) 7. Ecclesiology and Eschatology (3 units) 8. Liturgical and Sacramental Theology (3 units) 9. Greek I or Practicum I (3 units) 10. Historical Books of the Old Testament (3 units) 11. Trinity and the Divine Economy (3 units) 12. Greek II or Practicum II (3 units) 13. Elective II (3 units) Total units: Pauline Epistles (3 units) 15. Synoptic Gospels and Acts (3 units) 16. Johannine Literature and the Apocalypse (3 units) 17. Christology and Soteriology (3 units) 18. Comprehensive Exam or Thesis (3 units)

9 Exegetical / Catechetical Track Part-Time Plan (2.5 Years) A student enrolled in the Part-Time Plan would be able to complete the degree in twelve quarters either online or on campus. 1. Fundamental Theology and Biblical Interpretation (4 units) 2. Elective I (3 units) 4. Philosophy and Biblical Interpretation (4 units) 4. Pentateuch (3 units) 5. Greek I or Prophets (3 units) 6. Historical Books of the Old Testament (3 units) 7. Greek II or Elective II (3 units) 8. Pauline Epistles (3 units) 9. Synoptic Gospels and Acts (3 units) 10. Moral Theology and Spiritual Theology (4 units) 11. Ecclesiology and Eschatology (3 units) 12. Liturgical and Sacramental Theology (3 units) Year Trinity and the Divine Economy (3 units) 14. Elective II or Practicum II (3 units) 15. Johannine Literature and the Apocalypse (3 units) 16. Christology and Soteriology (3 units) 17. Comprehensive Exam or Thesis (3 units)

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