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Primarily Online Academic Degrees at Gordon-Conwell

Gordon-Conwell's Primarily Online Master of Arts Academic programs prepare women and men for various forms of kingdom service and future study.  These programs are intended for students who desire knowledge in a particular field and are not planning to enter into pastoral ministry. Typically, individuals enrolled in these programs plan to pursue university doctoral studies, or to serve as teachers or Christian leaders in other professions.  

The seminary offers several program focus options including: Biblical Studies, Christian Thought, Old Testament, New Testament, and Religion.

Quick Facts

Primarily Online Master of Arts (Biblical Studies, Christian Thought, Old Testament, New Testament, or Religion)

  • 61 credit hours
  • 2 years full-time; up to 7 years part-time
  • Can be completed primarily online through Digital Live, online, and web-enhanced course
  • Flexible campus residencies

Primarily Online Master of Arts Programs, Typical Student, Potential Careers, and Requirements

Gordon-Conwell offers five unique program focus options.  Click the links below to learn more.

Online Master of Arts (Biblical Studies)

Develop a strong biblical foundation and prepare for various forms of ministry or further studies with the Master of Arts (Biblical Studies). Students receive an advanced understanding of the Old and New Testament with emphasis on the original Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek texts. Building on our long-standing commitment to and respect for the original language, the MABS challenges students to go deeper into God’s Word through exegesis courses in the original languages.

Typical Student

Master of Arts (Biblical Studies) students are typically interested in pursuing doctoral work, for which this degree is excellent preparation. Others are full-time pastors, bi-vocational pastors or non-ordained staff seeking to increase their ministry effectiveness in the church, workplace or other vocations.

Potential Careers

  • Doctoral Studies
  • Bible Translation
  • Missions
  • Teaching in Christian Education
  • Church Ministry
  • Para-church Ministry
  • Campus Ministry

Degree Requirements

Biblical Studies Requirements (39 Credit Hours)

  • Old Testament Survey
  • Hebrew I
  • Hebrew II
  • Interpreting the Old Testament
  • Hebrew Exegesis in Historical Narrative
  • Hebrew Exegesis in Prophets or Poetry
  • New Testament Survey
  • Greek I
  • Greek II
  • Interpreting the New Testament
  • Greek Exegesis in Gospels or Acts
  • Greek Exegesis in Epistles or Revelation
  • Biblical Theology Seminar

Christian Thought Requirements (19 Credit Hours)

  • Introduction to Theological Research
  • The Church to the Reformation
  • The Church Since the Reformation
  • Theology Survey I
  • Theology Survey II
  • Ethics Elective
  • World Missions/Evangelism Elective

Ministerial Studies Course (3 Credit Hours)

  • Spiritual Formation for Ministry
Online Master of Arts (Christian Thought)

How does theology intersect with today’s culture and society? Through the Master of Arts (Christian Thought), students explore theology and the history of Christianity, probing tough questions and engaging in thoughtful discussion about the relationship between the Gospel and surrounding culture. As students for service and leadership, they learn to better articulate the Christian faith in their contexts, understand the implications of Scripture in today’s world, and integrate theological reflection into everyday life.

Typical Student

Master of Arts (Christian Thought) students are typically interested in teaching ministries in the church, Christian schools, colleges or seminaries. Some intend to pursue doctoral work, for which this degree is excellent preparation. Others are full-time pastors, bi-vocational pastors or non-ordained staff seeking to increase their ministry effectiveness in the church, workplace or other vocations.

Potential Careers

  • Doctoral Studies
  • Teaching in Christian Education
  • Church Ministry
  • Para-church Ministry
  • Campus Ministry

Biblical Studies Requirements (27 Credit Hours)

Option 1

  • Old Testament Survey
  • Hebrew I
  • Hebrew II
  • Interpreting the Old Testament
  • Hebrew Exegesis in Historical Narrative
  • Hebrew Exegesis in Prophets or Poetry
  • New Testament Survey
  • New Testament Elective
  • Biblical Theology Seminar

Option 2

  • Old Testament Survey
  • Old Testament Elective
  • New Testament Survey
  • Greek I
  • Greek II
  • Interpreting the New Testament
  • Greek Exegesis in Gospels or Acts
  • Greek Exegesis in Epistles or Revelation
  • Biblical Theology Seminar

Option 3

  • Old Testament Survey
  • Hebrew I
  • Hebrew II
  • Interpreting the Old Testament
  • New Testament Survey
  • Greek I
  • Greek II
  • Interpreting the New Testament
  • Biblical Theology Seminar

Christian Thought Requirements (31 Credit Hours)

  • Introduction to Theological Research
  • The Church to the Reformation
  • The Church Since the Reformation
  • Theology Survey I
  • Theology Survey II
  • Ethics Elective
  • World Missions/Evangelism Elective
  • Christian Thought Elective
  • Christian Thought Elective
  • Christian Thought Elective
  • Christian Thought Elective or Thesis

Ministerial Studies Course (3 Credit Hours)

  • Spiritual Formation for Ministry
Online Master of Arts (Old Testament)

Develop a strong biblical foundation and prepare for various forms of ministry or further studies with the Master of Arts (Old Testament). Students receive an advanced understanding of the Old Testament with emphasis on the original Hebrew and Aramaic text. Building on our long-standing commitment to and respect for the original language, the MAOT challenges students to go deeper into God’s Word through exegesis courses in the original languages.

Typical Student

Masters of Art (Old Testament) students are typically interested in pursuing doctoral work, for which this degree is excellent preparation. Some may choose to earn a dual degree with New Testament or Christian Thought to enhance their preparedness for further studies. If you are interested in Bible translation, teaching or other related ministries, the MAOT will prepare you well by equipping you with essential exegetical and hermeneutical skills using the original languages.

Biblical Studies Requirements (39 Credit Hours)

Note: You are expected to enter this program having already taken two semesters of Hebrew. You must pass the Hebrew placement test or take the two Hebrew courses in addition to the 61 hours of the degree.

  • Old Testament Survey
  • Interpreting the Old Testament
  • Hebrew Exegesis in Historical Narrative
  • Hebrew Exegesis in Prophets or Poetry
  • OT or Oriental Languages Elective
  • OT Elective OR Research Course OR Thesis
  • New Testament Survey
  • Greek I
  • Greek II
  • Interpreting the New Testament
  • Greek Exegesis in Gospels or Acts
  • Greek Exegesis in Epistles or Revelation
  • Biblical Theology Seminar

Christian Thought Requirements (19 Credit Hours)

  • Introduction to Theological Research
  • The Church to the Reformation
  • The Church Since the Reformation
  • Theology Survey I
  • Theology Survey II
  • Ethics Elective
  • World Missions/Evangelism Elective

Ministerial Studies Course (3 Credit Hours)

  • Spiritual Formation for Ministry
Online Master of Arts (New Testament)

Develop a strong biblical foundation and prepare for various forms of ministry or further studies with the Master of Arts (New Testament). Students receives an advanced understanding of the New Testament with emphasis on the original Greek text. Building on our long-standing commitment to and respect for the original language, the MANT challenges you go deeper into God’s Word through exegesis courses in the original languages.

Typical Student

Master of Arts (New Testament) students are typically interested in pursuing doctoral work, for which this degree is excellent preparation. Some may choose to earn a dual degree with Old Testament or Christian Thought to enhance their preparedness for further studies. If you are interested in Bible translation, teaching or other related ministries, the MANT will prepare you well by equipping you with essential exegetical and hermeneutical skills using the original languages.

Biblical Studies Requirements (39 Credit Hours)

Note: You are expected to enter this program having already taken two semesters of Greek. You must pass the Greek placement test or take the two Greek courses in addition to the 61 hours of the degree.

  • Old Testament Survey
  • Interpreting the Old Testament
  • Hebrew I
  • Hebrew II
  • Hebrew Exegesis in Historical Narrative
  • Hebrew Exegesis in Prophets or Poetry
  • New Testament Survey
  • Interpreting the New Testament
  • Greek Exegesis in Gospels or Acts
  • Greek Exegesis in Epistles or Revelation
  • New Testament Elective
  • New Testament Elective OR Research Course OR Thesis
  • Biblical Theology Seminar

Christian Thought Requirements (19 Credit Hours)

  • Introduction to Theological Research
  • The Church to the Reformation
  • The Church Since the Reformation
  • Theology Survey I
  • Theology Survey II
  • Ethics Elective
  • World Missions/Evangelism Elective

Ministerial Studies Course (3 Credit Hours)

  • Spiritual Formation for Ministry
Online Master of Arts (Religion)

Looking for a flexible degree tailored to your unique academic and ministry interests? The Master of Arts (Religion) gives students the most flexibility and allow you to custom-build a program around your specific goals.

Typical Student

Students in the Master of Arts (Religion) program are typically interested in creatively integrating different disciplines. If you are looking to sharpen your ministry skills and acquire the tools needed for your particular ministry goals, this degree is designed for you. 

Learning Covenant

The MAR is unique in that the student plays a major role in developing not only the program’s curriculum, but also its scope and ultimate outcomes. Students must provide a learning covenant that consists of:

  • a statement of purpose that includes personal and professional goals for the program 
  • a list of the courses with a rationale for their selection
  • a preliminary proposal of a final integrative paper or project (IP) consistent with the overall statement of purpose and chosen courses

Core Requirements (34 Credit Hours).

  • Old Testament Survey
  • New Testament Survey
  • Interpreting the Bible
  • Biblical Theology
  • Introduction to Theological Research
  • The Church to the Reformation
  • The Church Since the Reformation
  • Theology Survey I
  • Theology Survey II
  • Ethics Elective
  • World Missions/Evangelism Elective
  • Spiritual Formation for Ministry

Concentration Courses (18 Credit Hours)

While each student may design a unique sequence of courses for his or her concentration, we also offer options modeled on already-exisiting concentrations that may provide the desired education and training.  Options include English Bible, Christian Thought, Anglican Studies, and Lutheran Studies, among others.

  • Concentration Course
  • Concentration Course
  • Concentration Course
  • Concentration Course
  • Concentration Course
  • Concentration Course

Integrative Studies (9 Credit Hours)

  • Integrative Paper
  • General Elective
  • General Elective

Online Programs Distinctives

Seminary is about shaping the head, heart, hands for kingdom service.  For most of theological education's history, this was only possible physically relocating in order to study.  With the advent of new tools and technologies, the seminary experience has not only been made accessible to students wherever they live, but is continually optimized to meet the changing needs of students and their respective callings.  Current distinctives include:

Flexible Digital Course Deliveries

Students have the option of completing their program primarily online through digital class formats including Digital Live, online, and web-enhanced, which are described below.

Digital Live – Digital Live courses are designed for students who desire to participate in the real-time seminary classroom anywhere in the world.  Students are able to engage live with their Professor and Learning Teams.  In between class sessions, students complete on-demand online coursework.

Semlink+  –  Semlink+ courses are designed for students who desire maximum schedule flexibility.  Under the active oversight of a Professor, students complete on-demand online coursework each week with strategic and scheduled real-time moments between the students and the Professor and other students throughout the course.

Web-Enhanced – Web-Enhanced courses are a blend between on-demand and real-time course formats and are typically only found in Ministerial Studies formats.  Students complete weekly on-demand online coursework, have scheduled live online meetings, but also come together for a 2.5 day Residency experience.

Low Residency Requirements

Students always have the option to take as many residential courses as they desire at any of Gordon-Conwell's four campuses.  With careful planning, students who wish to maximize program flexibility can complete select online academic programs primarily online with minimal campus visits.  Further information for each program is provided below:

  • M.A. (Biblical Studies): The majority of this program can be completed through a combination of Digital Live and Semlink+ class formats.  While these course formats do not require travel, both formats do require students be in class online based upon published class schedules.  Gordon-Conwell, however, does not guarantee that a student will never have to travel to campus for this program.  
  • M.A. (Christian Thought): The majority of this program can be completed through a combination of Digital Live and Semlink+ class formats.  While these course formats do not require travel, both formats do require students be in class online based upon published class schedules.  Gordon-Conwell, however, does not guarantee that a student will never have to travel to campus for this program.  
  • M.A. (Old Testament): The majority of this program can be completed through a combination of Digital Live and Semlink+ class formats.  While these course formats do not require travel, both formats do require students be in class online based upon published class schedules.  Gordon-Conwell, however, does not guarantee that a student will never have to travel to campus for this program. 
  • M.A. (New Testament): The majority of this program can be completed through a combination of Digital Live and Semlink+ class formats.  While these course formats do not require travel, both formats do require students be in class online based upon published class schedules.  Gordon-Conwell, however, does not guarantee that a student will never have to travel to campus for this program. 
  • M.A. (Religion): The amount of campus visits required depends upon the concentration that the student selects and 2) the class formats that the concentration courses are offered in.  Gordon-Conwell does not guarantee that a student will never have to travel to campus for this program.  
Student Care and Support In addition to ongoing support from the program advisor, every student is assigned a Student Care Representative who walks along side the student throughout their seminary journey and provides coaching, prayer support, and assists the students with any questions that arise along the way.
Learning Teams and Tutor Support In all Digital Live and select other Semlink+ and web-enhanced courses, students will experience being a part of learning teams, who undertake carefully designed collaborative assignments and projects to meet the course's learning outcomes.  In addition, in select courses (particularly Greek and Hebrew), students have access to regular tutoring. 
Digital Resources and Books Gordon-Conwell is a member of the Digital Theological Library, which provides free access for students to more than 160,000 ebooks, over 160 databases, over 20,000 journal titles, over 20,000,000 peer-reviewed, full-text articles, and more than 11,000 hours of counseling evideos.
Digital Tools for Collaborative and Global Engagement Gordon-Conwell continues to invest each year in new digital tools to enhance collaborative learning and global engagement.
Integrative Online Events

Every Fall and Spring, students attend one Klipowicz Integrative Event online or on campus.  Students can choose from the following:

  • Center for the Development of Evangelical Leadership Conference (every August)
  • Robert C. Cooley Center for the Study of Early Christianity Lecture (every October and January)
  • Alumni Forum (every March)

Learn More

Primarily Online Master of Divinity
Professional Primarily Online Degree Programs
Academic Primarily Online Degree Programs
Fully Online Certificate Program
Digital Class Formats and Experiences
Application Information
Financial Aid and Tuition
Student Life and Support

Next Steps

If you are ready to begin your seminary journey, we invite you to start an application today!

Need Guidance? We Can Help!

Is an academic program at Gordon-Conwell right for you and your calling?  Our caring Admissions staff can help you discern.  Fill out an information request form or call us at (855) 211-2474.