Master of Arts in Bible Exposition



42 credit hours

Program Length

as few as 18 months


Nationally Accredited by ATS

Prepare for a lifetime of communicating Scripture effectively!

The Master of Arts in Bible Exposition trains you in the skills needed to understand, apply and communicate the Scriptures effectively. The program is centered on Scripture, integrating biblical interpretation with spiritual formation and ministry skills. Our carefully constructed curriculum will train you for a life of ministry leadership and teaching the Bible. You will be equipped to think biblically, interpret the Bible faithfully, and teach the Scriptures competently as you minister in our rapidly changing world.

Next online class starts May 6, 2024

Why Choose Columbia Biblical Seminary

Your education at Columbia Biblical Seminary will be thoroughly evangelical, taught by professors from a wide array of evangelical denominations. We resolutely hold to orthodoxy and are committed to the primary doctrines of our faith. At the same time, we value the diversity of the evangelical tradition and help you to appreciate why different Christian traditions believe what they do on secondary matters of our faith.Furthermore, we emphasize the integration of biblical knowledge with ministry skills, enabling you to teach and disciple the whole person. Our faculty are skilled teachers and scholars who are actively engaged in church ministry, missions and publishing. They will invest in you as a student, discipling you and walking alongside you on your journey into ministry.

What you can do with the degree

Our MA in Bible Exposition gives you the skills needed for faithful communication of Scripture, integrating the interpretation and communication of Scripture with spiritual formation and ministry skills. We recognize that it is not enough to simply know about God and the Bible. We want you to embody Christ and the Scriptures in your ministry by fully integrating the head, heart and hands.

For this reason, you will learn how to teach and apply the Bible practically in a variety of ministry contexts. Coursework in preaching and teaching, in addition to guided practice in your internship and the possibility of taking courses in either Hebrew or Greek, will give you the ability and confidence to communicate Scripture in a wide variety of settings: for example, church services, small groups, Bible studies and Bible classes at private Christian schools.

Featured Faculty

For a comprehensive list of courses related to this program visit the Academic Catalog.

Admission Requirements

  • completed application
  • affirmation that you are a Christian and agree with CIU’s Statement of Faith
  • official transcript(s) for completed bachelor’s degree(s) * +
  • official transcript(s) for any graduate-level coursework +
  • essay (approximately 800 words)
  • church leader reference
  • * If you have not completed an undergraduate bachelor’s degree, you can still potentially apply for admission in accordance with CIU’s Non-Baccalaureate Policy.
  • + If you have attended a school outside of the United States, you must have your transcripts validated through World Education Services.

International applicants also need:

  • submitted test scores for one of the following standardized tests for the English language:
  • completed educational background form (provided after application submission)
  • financial certification of funds form (provided after application submission)

Accreditation and Accolades

ATS (The Association of Theological Schools)
ABHE (The Association for Biblical Higher Education)
SACSCOC (The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges)

Career Path Opportunities

  • Pastor
  • Ministry Leader
  • Bible Teacher
  • Bible Curriculum Author/Designer
  • Academic Ministry
  • Bible Translator
  • Missionary
  • Church Planter

Top FAQs

What are the student learning objectives for the MA Bible Exposition?

In addition to the mission statement and general objectives and requirements of a Columbia Biblical Seminary degree, the objectives of the MA in Bible Exposition degree are to enable students to:

  • Practice sound exegesis and exposition of the biblical text.
  • Trace key themes in Scripture.
  • Demonstrate skill in communicating biblical truth.
What career opportunities are available with an MA Bible Exposition?
  • Pastor
  • Ministry Leader
  • Bible Teacher
  • Bible Curriculum Author/Designer
  • Academic Ministry
  • Bible Translator
  • Missionary
  • Church Planter
Can I take this program residentially, online or both?

The MA in Bible Exposition is fully available either residentially or online. All its required courses are offered in both formats.

As a residential student, you will benefit from close interaction with professors and other students, building relationships that can support you for a lifetime of ministry. Classes are designed around block schedules, which gives you flexibility if you are working or serving in ministry while taking courses. Residential students have the option to take courses online if they wish.

As an online student, you will benefit from courses that foster your learning within the context of an intentional learning community. We recognize that not everyone can uproot themselves and move to seminary. For this reason, all our courses are asynchronous. This allows you to continue working and serving where you are located while taking courses. At the same time, you will be provided with opportunities to have regular live online meetings with your professors and classmates, if you so desire.

How long does this program take?

Residential courses follow a 16-week semester format, with two semesters per calendar year (Fall and Spring). Thus, residential students can complete this program in about 2.5 years (full-time, taking three courses per semester) or in about 3.5 years (part-time, taking two courses per semester).

Online courses follow a 8-week term format, with six terms per calendar year (Spring 1, Spring 2, Summer 1, Summer 2, Fall 1, Fall 2). Online students can complete this program in about 1.5 years (full-time, taking two courses per online term) or in about 2.5 years (part-time, taking one course per online term).

Hybrid students can complete this program in about 2 years.

When can I start this program?

Residential courses follow a 16-week semester format and have two starts every year. The spring semester begins in January and the fall semester begins in August, with a break for summer in between semesters.

Online courses follow a 8-week term format and have six starts every year. Every eight weeks is a new start, meaning there are two online terms offered each spring, summer and fall.

How much does this program cost?

At $575 per credit hour, this degree can be completed with a total tuition cost of $24,150. Opportunities for financial aid and for scholarships are available.

Do I get any Bible software as a student?

Yes, you will get a professional-level copy of Accordance Bible Software, customized for your studies at Columbia Biblical Seminary, upon enrolling in your first course. You get to keep this upon graduation.

Will this degree prepare me for a PhD program?

Yes, this degree is a good foundation for moving toward a PhD in biblical or theological studies. PhDs in these areas require intimacy with the biblical languages and facility in research skills, both of which students in the MA in Bible Exposition can pursue if they desire.


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