Biblical Studies Concentration (BA)

Biblical Studies majors at George Fox study at one the West Coast's top Christian colleges.

Discover the God of the Bible as a Biblical Scholar

The biblical studies concentration of the theology major opens a world of possibilities. Biblical scholars teach in universities, churches and youth groups and find employment as chaplains, lawyers and leaders of nonprofits. They also solve historical and archaeological problems and guide others toward truth through the habits of conversation and reading.

Others in the field conduct research, writing articles and books for both popular and specialized audiences that transform the way we think about the Christian faith. Ultimately, biblical scholars trained in the theological and academic study of the Bible lead others into a life-giving encounter with the God of the Bible.

A World of Career Options

Our recent biblical studies students have found immediate success after graduation in a number of positions around the world:

  • Head youth minister at Westside: A Jesus Church
  • Psychiatric and military chaplaincy
  • University professor
  • Tour guide and program assistant at the Tantur Institute, Israel
  • MA studies and seminary preparation at Princeton, Emory, Yale, Harvard Divinity School and Boston University

Recent graduates have had a 100 percent acceptance rate into seminaries and graduate programs that place them on track for service in churches or into doctoral programs. George Fox’s biblical studies concentration is the program of choice in the Pacific Northwest for students looking for the intellectual foundation to serve the church and engage the minds of others.

Apply Scripture to Today’s World

The field of biblical studies combines aspects of ancient language learning, history and research into the Mediterranean and ancient Near Eastern cultural world of the Bible with deep theological reflection, faith formation and a transformative relationship with God and God’s people.

Students may specialize in the Old Testament or New Testament, and coursework in a variety of areas helps students view Scripture holistically, faithfully and with a mind toward the world we live in today.

Develop Skills Universally in Demand

Data shows that those majoring in topics like ancient languages, history, religion and philosophy rank near or at the top of standardized, law school and other graduate-school entrance exams such as the LSAT and GRE.

In addition, courses within biblical studies help students foster the exact skills ranked as most desirable by Fortune 500 companies, such as problem solving, processing complex information, understanding human desire, verbal and written communication, teamwork, and the ability to influence others.

A Service-Oriented Career Path

Biblical scholars are of service to people. They work with people from all walks of life and at many intellectual levels to ensure that Scripture is understood with both clarity and nuance. They devote themselves to the pursuit of meaning on behalf of others – to reading, writing and thinking deeply about what matters most in a confusing world. They devote themselves to engaging with the spiritual hunger of those around them, and walk with others down a path toward understanding.

Graduates of the program will:

  • Demonstrate seminary-ready (beginner-intermediate) competency in classical biblical Hebrew or New Testament Greek
  • Explain the historical-social circumstances of the books within both the Hebrew Bible/Old Testament and the Christian New Testament, as well as the basic theological trajectory of Christian thought throughout the ages after the biblical period
  • Create a scholarly argument that incorporates a historical and theological perspective as well as the students’ knowledge of Hebrew or Greek
  • Articulate basic content knowledge of the Christian Bible and the Christian theological tradition, and explain how theological concepts, theories and skills interact with the content of disciplines outside of theology and biblical studies


Expand All

Major Requirements

Complete the following:

Using selected books and portions, the Old Testament will be studied with attention given to historic contexts, major religious themes, and literary forms of the Bible.
In this first part of a two-part sequence, students begin their journey into the breadth and depth of Christian theology, studying what Christians have believed and practiced. Emphasis is placed on major themes, figures, texts, and on students connecting their Christian practice with the intellectual traditions of the Church.
Using selected books and portions, the New Testament will be studied with attention given to historic contexts, major religious themes, and literary forms of the Bible.
In this second part of a two-part sequence, students continue their journey into the breadth and depth of Christian theology, studying what Christians have believed and practiced. Emphasis is placed on major themes, figures, texts, and on students connecting their Christian practice with the intellectual traditions of the Church. Prerequisite: THEO 202 Theology I

Concentrations (26-28 hours) - choose one

Complete the following:
In this course students will study languages relevant to their biblical and theological study (options include ancient languages such as Hebrew, Greek, Latin, or inscriptions, as well as modern languages such as German, French, Spanish, etc.). Basics of vocabulary and grammar and special aspects of the language will be covered in the first semester, while the second semester moves more heavily into reading primary sources.
Ethics consists of an analysis of the ethical theories and systems by which persons make judgments and choices, with special attention to contemporary moral issues and the modern revival of virtue theory.
In this course students will study the history of Biblical interpretation as it has been practiced within the Bible itself and by Christians throughout the first 1500 or so years of the Church. We then turn to examine interpretation in the modern, “critical” period after the Enlightenment, and explore the wide variety of interpretive methods that have blossomed in the 20th and 21st centuries. Students will also engage in a process toward considering what faithful and creative interpretation of the Bible might look like in their personal study and in their various communities. Prerequisites: THEO 201 Old Testament and THEO 202 Theology I; or instructor permission.
In this course students will study languages relevant to their biblical and theological study (options include ancient languages such as Hebrew, Greek, Latin, or inscriptions, as well as modern languages such as German, French, Spanish, etc.). Basics of vocabulary and grammar and special aspects of the language will be covered in the first semester, while the second semester moves more heavily into reading primary sources. Prerequisite: THEO 325 Theological Languages I.
Having gained reasonable command of biblical content and the Christian theological tradition, in this course students are invited into advanced academic study at the intersection of theology and biblical studies. Topics will vary, but will include readings, seminar discussion, and research on the relationship between the Bible and theology, contemporary problems in theology and biblical studies, and the relationship among these fields of study and the contemporary world. Prerequisites: THEO 301 New Testament, THEO 302 Theology II, and THEO 390 Biblical Interpretations.
Complete 9 hours from the following:
Theology and Biblical Studies are vibrant and dynamic fields of study, with profound implications not only for communities of faith but also for the study of politics, literary studies, philosophy, history, and popular culture. This course will focus on contemporary issues relevant to the research interests and specialties of George Fox University faculty in theology and Bible and will offer an opportunity for students and faculty to collaborate in the dual process of research and personal transformation. Specific topics rotate, and the course can be taken more than once with different topics. Prerequisite: THEO 101 I Believe and THEO 102 I Believe, or by permission.
Theology and Biblical Studies are vibrant and dynamic fields of study, with profound implications not only for communities of faith but also for the study of politics, literary studies, philosophy, history, and popular culture. This advanced course will focus on contemporary issues relevant to the research interests and specialties of George Fox University faculty in theology and Bible and will offer an opportunity for students and faculty to collaborate in the dual process of research and personal transformation. Specific topics rotate, and the course can be taken more than once with different topics. Prerequisite: THEO 301 New Testament and THEO 302 Theology II, or by instructor permission.
In this course students will continue their language study from the THEO 325-425 sequence, reviewing grammar and vocabulary as necessary but moving into primary source readings, research papers requiring use of the language, and other skills as appropriate. Prerequisites: THEO 325 Theological Languages I and THEO 425 Theological Languages II.
Supervised internship or other experience in the areas of Christian ministry, biblical studies, philosophy, teaching, or other related fields as appropriate to the student’s discipline. Administered by application or instructor permission as required by a student’s academic program. Graded Pass/No Pass
Complete the following:
A study of biblical principles of evangelism, nurturing, and teaching. This study encompasses the Christian educational responsibilities of the local church and parachurch agencies.
The biblical basis and history of missions are considered, with a special focus upon the modern missionary movement of the last 200 years.
This course examines the diversity of the global Christian Church through an exploration of key theological texts written by the foremost theologians from the continents of Africa, Asia, Latin America, and Europe.
A study of the historical background and philosophical development in Christian education, with an examination of the influence of these antecedents upon theory and practice. Contemporary trends in current and emerging ministries will be assessed against such perspectives.
A study of motivation, guidance, and method in reference to youth and youth ministries, aimed at developing leadership skills.
An exploration of how people grow and change spiritually. The study integrates biblical insights, classic Christian spirituality, developmental theory, and contemporary individual and corporate practice in spiritual formation. It will critically explore how spirituality relates to vocation, relationships, and the demands of daily living.
A practical course providing methods and introductory techniques for preparation and delivery of Christian speaking as ministry. A variety of message construction types will be studied, and students will have opportunity to speak and receive student and instructor evaluation. This course will cover sermon preparation and delivery, devotional and inspirational speaking, extemporaneous sharing, and broader aspects of communicating Christian truth.
A comparative study between Christianity and other prominent religions of the world, such as Buddhism, Islam, Hinduism, and contemporary kinds of alternative religion. [THEO 410 and INTL 440 are identical courses].
Supervised internship or other experience in the areas of Christian ministry, biblical studies, philosophy, teaching, or other related fields as appropriate to the student’s discipline. Administered by application or instructor permission as required by a student’s academic program. Graded Pass/No Pass
Complete the following:
This course is designed to introduce students to what it means to think and live philosophically. There are a number of different variations of this course. Each variation picks a different topic through which to explore how philosophy be a tool for interpreting, understanding and interacting with the world. Not only that, we will also examine how philosophy can shape the way in which we live out our lives. Each course includes some reading of Plato and at least one other major philosophy in the tradition. Examples of different variations of this course include: "God, Freedom and Evil", "Simplicity", "Socrates and Plato", "Land and Humans", and "Virtue and Faith".
Logic involves a study of Aristotelian forms of deductive reasoning, including the syllogism, inductive reasoning, fallacies, and some aspect of symbolic logic, including Venn diagrams and truth tables. Its goal is to facilitate sound thinking that is both creative and critical.
Ethics consists of an analysis of the ethical theories and systems by which persons make judgments and choices, with special attention to contemporary moral issues and the modern revival of virtue theory.
This course seeks to overcome the opposition between spirituality and the intellectual life. We will examine ways in which spirituality can deepen and undergird the intellectual life, as well as finding ways that a reflective, deep thinking life can nurture and strengthen one's spirituality. We will not only examine these relationships abstractly, but will attempt to put into practice patterns of integrating mind and spirit.
Having gained reasonable command of biblical content and the Christian theological tradition, in this course students are invited into advanced academic study at the intersection of theology and biblical studies. Topics will vary, but will include readings, seminar discussion, and research on the relationship between the Bible and theology, contemporary problems in theology and biblical studies, and the relationship among these fields of study and the contemporary world. Prerequisites: THEO 301 New Testament, THEO 302 Theology II, and THEO 390 Biblical Interpretations.
Complete 12-hour of the following course with different topics:
This course will be offered with various topics.
Theology and Philosophy are vibrant and dynamic fields of study, with profound implications not only for communities of faith but also for the study of politics, literary studies, philosophy, history, and popular culture. This advanced course will focus on contemporary issues relevant to the research interests and specialties of George Fox University faculty in theology and philosophy and will offer an opportunity for students and faculty to collaborate in the dual process of research and personal transformation. Specific topics rotate, and the course can be taken more than once with different topics. Prerequisite: THEO 202 Theology I, THEO 250 Introduction to Philosophy or THEO 302 Theology II.

Jobs and Graduate School

George Fox theology majors use Scripture as the basis for their education.

Our graduates serve the church in many ways, ranging from teaching and pastoral roles to youth and camping ministries. Graduates of our program have reported a near 100 percent rate of finding opportunities for Christian ministry or gaining admission to the seminary/graduate school of their choice.

  • Professor of Biblical Studies and Northwestern Semitic Languages, UCLA
  • Professor of Theological Studies, Loyola Marymount University
  • Chaplain, U.S. Armed Forces
  • Bible Teacher, Westside Christian High School
  • Pastor to Youth and Children, Dundee Covenant Church
  • Assistant Professor of New Testament, Yale Divinity School
  • Youth Pastor, Reedwood Friends Church
  • St. Andrews University (Scotland)
  • Yale Divinity School
  • Princeton Theological Seminary
  • Oxford University
  • Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary
  • Tübingen University (Germany)
  • Fuller Theological Seminary
  • Denver Theological Seminary
  • Duke Divinity School
  • Asbury Theological Seminary
  • University of Notre Dame
  • Regent University
  • Portland Seminary
  • Edinburgh University (Scotland)
  • Leadership and Discernment in Biblical and Practical Perspective
  • Mikhail Bakhtin and Biblical Studies
  • The Father-Son Relationship in John: Equal, Subordinate, or Neither?
  • Peace and Conflict Resolution in the Bible
  • Qualitative Study on Government Action for the Development of Youth in Jamaica
  • Slavery and Sonship with Pauline Corpus
  • Thomas Merton and the Authority of the Church
  • First Corinthians 10:9 and its Theological Implications
  • An Analysis of Contacts between the Gospels of John and Luke

Student Experiences

Joshua Garcia

"Because of the rigor of the courses at George Fox, I have been able to perform well at the graduate level. I am very familiar with what is expected in research papers and presentations because the faculty at Fox held me to a high standard."

- Joshua Garcia

Brooke Greenburg

"My experience at George Fox was incredible. I couldn’t have found a better place to learn and grow. I am particularly thankful for the College of Christian Studies. The professors, students and administrators contributed to my growth in ways I never expected. I felt supported, encouraged and challenged during my time here."

- Brooke Greenburg

Points of Distinction

  • Receive solid training in ancient biblical languages.
  • Learn from faculty who have years of pastoral experience and are internationally known published scholars.
  • Be a part of a program rooted in rigorous study of the biblical text in its original contexts and devoted to the meaningful application of biblical truth with contemporary relevance.
  • Graduate one semester earlier if you attend Portland Seminary.

Why George Fox?

Christ-centered community

Our faith influences everything we do here, from the way our professors teach to the way we relate to one another and serve in the community.

Global opportunities

More than half of George Fox undergraduate students study abroad, ranking George Fox among the nation's leaders in study abroad participation (U.S. News & World Report).

Small classes

Our 14-to-1 student-to-faculty ratio means you'll get to know your professors on a personal level.

National recognition

George Fox University is a Christian university classified by U.S. News & World Report as a first-tier national university, and Forbes ranks George Fox among the highest Christian colleges in the country.