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:
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
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
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).