The MA program in Archaeology and Biblical Studies is designed to be a training program for evangelicals called into the field of biblical archaeology or who desire to complement and expand their foundation within biblical studies. The MA is designed to train students and prepare them for PhD work at a non confessional institution. The MA is also designed for students to continue studies at Southwestern in a PhD program in Old Testament or New Testament. A PhD in archaeology is currently in a proposal stage.
The MA in Archaeology and Biblical Studies is a stand alone Master's program separate from the Master of Divinity. The program is designed as a two year MA program with a thesis. The majority of the courses will be from the following disciplines: anthropology, archaeology, archaeological method and theory, history, and language.
While on the surface it requires more study than other traditional MA programs, we believe it is unique because we are training students in both disciplines-Archaeology and Biblical Studies. Therefore our graduates should be able to pursue an advanced degree in a broad range of programs or teach in a humanities based discipline, Bible college, or a seminary.
It is a strong program in biblical archaeology-but it is not a 'Bible degree with some added archaeology,' as is common in other programs based out of seminaries. It is a degree designed to utilize the social sciences in biblical interpretation-therefore students will not take any of the pastoral ministry, missions, nor exegetical courses of a typical seminary program. Nevertheless, it is expected that candidates will have a strong Christian calling and purpose for ministry.
The assumption is that the student will come already with competency in biblical studies; hence there are prerequisites for the program. If incoming students do not come with these biblical studies prerequisites-they will have to take additional courses in biblical studies to match the prerequisites. The prerequisites do not preclude the student from starting the MA in archaeology and biblical studies program. In addition, there is a vibrant research program: (three major excvation projects), a museum, and a seminar room with a hands-on artifact study collection.
Currently there are four faculty members in the Department of Archaeology. All faculty members have active archaeological field projects. In addition faculty from the Biblical Studies Division of the School of Theology teach appropriate course for the MA in Archaeology and Biblical Studies.