Biblical Studies Major

The biblical studies major is designed to prepare some students for admission to seminary and various ministries of teaching the Word. For others it provides the basic foundation in biblical education needed for various church vocations and ministries both at home and around the world. Still others are encouraged to make the Bible their major emphasis in a broad liberal arts education, which will enable them to live effectively and productively for Christ in various places and vocations.

Students majoring in biblical studies are required to take 40 credits in the department in addition to the three core requirements (BCM101, BCM103, and BCM308). The 10 required courses beyond the core are:

Old Testament (4 credits) one of:
     BCM211 Pentateuch
     BCM227 Prophetic Literature
     BCM313 History of Israel
     BCM325 Wisdom Literature

Biblical Interpretation (8 credits):
     BCM220 Introduction to Biblical Studies
     BCM335 Biblical Hermeneutics

The Gospels (4 credits) one of:
     BCM203  Gospel of Matthew
     BCM204 Luke/Acts
     BCM317  Gospel of John

Pauline Studies (4 credits) one of:
     BCM205  Corinthian Correspondence
     BCM209  Romans and Galatians
     BCM210  Prison Epistles
     BCM324  Pastoral Epistles

Seminar (4 credits) one of:
     BCM492  Senior Seminar
     BCM304  Seminar in Greek Exegesis: Gospel of Mark
     BCM312  Hebrew II

Theology (8 credits) fulfills core theology requirement:
     BCM301 Christian Doctrine or
          BCM308 Christian Theology
     BCM302  Old Testament Theology or
          BCM310  New Testament Theology
     BCM305  Development of Christian Thought
     BCM306  Christianity from the Reformation to the Present
     BCM322  American Christianity

Departmental Electives (8 credits) two from:
Department electives, at least 4 credits of which must be from biblical studies (BCM203, 204, 205, 209, 210, 211, 227, 232, 234, 291, 301, 302, 305, 306, 308, 310, 313, 317, 322, 324, 325 or 492). One course may be from Christian ministries courses (BCM105, 215, 216, 241, 253, 260, 275, 277, 314, 315, 318, 320, 321, 360 or 377).

 

Foreign Language Requirement

All majors must complete the foreign language requirement of the core. Because both Greek and Hebrew fulfill that requirement, they are strongly recommended. They are not required for the major.


Concentration in Biblical Languages
Students who wish to establish a concentration in biblical languages will take four courses in Greek, two courses in Hebrew and will write at least two exegesis papers. Students normally must be in the final term of a language sequence (BCM304 Seminar: Greek Exegesis, or BCM312 Hebrew II) before beginning an exegesis paper. One of the exegesis papers is to be in the Hebrew language area and the
other in the Greek language area. It is anticipated that exegesis papers will normally be written in connection with biblical language courses. But in unusual situations, if a student has already completed the prerequisite biblical language courses and still needs an exegesis paper to complete the concentration in biblical languages requirement, the paper may be completed as follows: An exegesis paper may be written in a biblical studies course or in an independent study with the written permission of the instructor and the appropriate biblical language professor. While not a formal part of the  requirement, coursework in linguistics is also strongly recommended for students opting for the concentration in biblical languages.


Concentration in Jewish Studies
Students who wish to enrich their major in biblical studies through an understanding of Judaism will benefit from this concentration. Emphasizing a wide variety of learning experiences, the program features on-campus coursework supplemented by many off-campus opportunities for personal interaction with the Jewish communities of the Greater Boston area. In addition, as part of the concentration, students are strongly urged to participate in one of several optional study programs in Israel.

The requirements for a concentration in Jewish studies are six courses:

     BCM311  Hebrew I  (biblical Hebrew is offered at Gordon; modern Hebrew taken
                   at another institution will also meet this requirement)
     BCM312  Hebrew II
     BCM211  Pentateuch
     BCM234  Modern Jewish Culture
     BCM492  Senior Seminar in Biblical Studies: One of the following:
          Early Jewish Biblical Interpretation
          Post-Biblical History of the Jewish People
          Writings of Abraham Joshua Heschel

A minimum of 4 credits from one or a combination of the following three alternatives:

     Study in Israel
     A 2-credit internship within the Jewish community and a 2-credit independent study at Gordon
     An approved course in Jewish studies taken at another institution


Gordon College/Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary Course Agreement
A Gordon College senior may take up to two courses at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary as a special student. Students must get advanced permission from the registrars of both institutions prior to enrolling, in addition to completing the special student application at Gordon-Conwell. Students who are interested in taking courses at Gordon-Conwell under these conditions should meet first with Gordon College's chair of the Department of Biblical Studies and Christian Ministries.


Bible at Gordon Program
This program is a one-year, 32-credit concentration in the English Bible. It is designed for: (1) students who have already completed a B.A. or B.S. degree but who wish to do some intensive work in biblical and theological studies, either for their own personal growth or to fulfill the requirements of certain missions organizations, etc., and (2) students who have not completed college but want a year of work in this field.

Students electing this program will apply through the Admissions Office to be special students. Credits earned may be applied toward degree requirements if at a later time the student is accepted by the Admissions Office as a degree candidate.

Each student is assigned an academic advisor who will supervise and approve the selection of courses. Required courses are:

     BCM101  Old Testament History, Literature and Theology
     BCM103  New Testament History, Literature and Theology
     BCM220  Introduction to Biblical Studies

Also required are at least one course from the department offerings in theology (BCM301, 302, 305, 306, 308 or 322) and an additional 16 credits elected from the following department offerings: BCM203, 205, 209, 210, 211, 227, 232, 234, 302, 310, 313, 317, 322, 324, or 335. The program may be completed in one year as a fulltime student.
 

Requirements for the Minor in Biblical Studies
Students minoring in biblical studies are required to take seven courses (28 credits) in biblical studies. These are BCM101, BCM103, BCM308, an open elective chosen from departmental offerings including biblical languages and exegesis courses (where the course is not being used to fulfill the core language requirement), an Old Testament course (BCM211, 227, 302 or 325), a New Testament (BCM203, 204, 205, 209, 210, 310, 317 or 324), a theology course (BCM301, 305, 306 or 322).