Master of Arts (Archaeology and Biblical Studies)


The Master of Arts (Archaeology and Biblical Studies) is founded on the Ancient Eastern Mediterranean World. This graduate degree offers advanced work in archaeological disciplines: Archaeological Methods, Fieldwork, Archaeology, History and Backgrounds of Bible lands, and Ancient Biblical and Cognate Languages.

Entrance Requirements

The student must have an undergraduate degree from an accredited college or university with a minimum GPA of 3.0. The M.A.A.B.S. is built upon 27 hours of prerequisites which must be completed with a B- or better.

Course Title Hours
Basic Old Testament I and II 6-9*
Basic New Testament I and II 6-9*
Biblical Greek I and II 6
Basic Hebrew I and II 6
Greek Translation and Interpretation or 3
Hebrew Translation and Interpretation  


27 or more

* Undergraduate survey courses may range from six to nine hours and fulfill the prerequisite if the course content is comparable to the Southwestern equivalent. Admitted students who have not satisfied the prerequisites must do so at the beginning of the program. The prerequisites may be fulfilled by taking bachelor's-level courses in the Southwestern College program or master's-level courses in the Seminary program. Students must demonstrate proficiency in these courses before credit will be granted.

Degree Requirements

Course Title Course Number Hours

Spiritual Formation

Spiritual Formation I SPFTH 3101 1
Spiritual Formation II SPFTH 3111 1

Archaeology and Archaeological Method

Archaeology of Ancient Israel ARCHE 3103 3
Archaeology of the New Testament World ARCHE 3203 3
Archaeology of the Ancient Near East ARCHE 3003 or 3
Archaeology and History of the Early Church ARCHE 3303  
Archaeological Field Excavation Methods ARCHE 4203 3
Archaeological Practicum-Material Studies ARCHE 4403 3
Archaeological Method and Theory ARCHE 5103 3
Ceramic Analysis -- Syro-Palestine ARCHE 5203 3

Biblical Backgrounds and History

Historical Geography of the Land of the Bible BBHST 3333 3
History of Ancient Israel BBHST 3413 3
History of the Second Temple Period BBHST 3443 3
Social and Cultural Settings of Ancient Palestine BBHST 4103 3
Social and Cultural Settings of Palestine during the Roman Period BBHST 4203 3

Biblical and Cognate Languages (9 credits)

West Semitic Inscriptions ANELG 5053 3
New Testament Inscriptions ANELG 5063 3

Students select one of the following courses:



ANELG 5023 or



Ugaritic ANELG 5033 or 3

Texts of Qumran

Middle Egyptian I

MIddle Egyptian II

Greek Interpretation

Hebrew Interpretation

HEBRW 5043

ANELG 5113

ANELG 5123

GREEK 4313







Systematic Theology

Systematic Theology I SYSTH 3053 3

Students Select either the Thesis or Non-Thesis Track

Non-Thesis Track

Electives   6
Taken from ANELG, ARCHE, BBHST, or others as approved by the director of the MAABS degree. Courses include Egypt and the Bible, Archaeology of the Pauline World, Middle East History, Topics in Cypriot Archaeology, and others.




Thesis Track

Graduate Research Seminar RSTCH 5552 2
Thesis Research MAABS 5001 1
Thesis MAABS 5003 3
  Total 56


Non-Thesis Track

The non-thesis track is offered for students entering the Archaeology PhD program at Southwestern Seminary. Students not planning to apply/enter the PhD program in Archaeology at Southwestern are strongly advised to complete the thesis track. Students pursuing the non-thesis track must take two approved electives (6 hrs) to replace the (6) hours of the Graduate Research Seminar, thesis research, and thesis writing, as well as pass a comprehensive exam in the chosen major. The comprehensive exam will consist of three essay questions taken from the four field concentrations required in the MAABS: Archaeological Method (ARCHE), Bible Backgrounds & History (BBHST), Anthropology/ Social Settings (BBHST), and Biblical and Cognate Languages (ANELG, HEBRW). The student's advisor prepares and grades the exam.