Biblical Studies Specialization


Bible competency among Christians is declining in the United States, placing more and more pressure on pastors, writers, and other church leaders to interpret scripture with competence and confidence. The Biblical Studies specialization is all about preparing students to be informed teachers that shape modern Christianity—especially with regard to key questions of our time: What does the Bible say about war? Sexuality? Divorce? Gender?

The Biblical Studies specialization is one of the most flexible seminary programs. Rather than following a set curriculum, students have the opportunity to pick and choose classes. Offerings include courses in advanced Greek and Hebrew, which enable students to go deeper in the original text; a course in the Bible and pop culture, which, depending on the semester, might explore film, politics, or music; and thematic classes that examine a particular concept in the Bible, such as suffering.

At Portland Seminary, faculty care deeply about empowering students to be effective teachers who can share their deep biblical knowledge with others. Each student is required to apprentice with a professor for at least one semester and study pedagogy with a mentor, an aspect unique to this school. Students also have the privilege of studying under some of the best equipped seminary teachers in the nation, as several faculty members have been through training at the Wabash Center for Teaching and Learning in Theology and Religion.

Offered With

Who It’s For

  • Students interested in studying biblical texts and their contexts at a more advanced level
  • Individuals interested in pursuing PhD or DMin programs
  • Individuals interested in contributing to the production of knowledge by teaching, writing, preaching, and/or engineering artistic expressions that enhance and provoke deeper learning and Christian understanding.

Course Requirements

Any two BIST studios, 4 hours each 8
MLDR 568/569 Ministerial Apprenticeship I & II 4
BIST 568/569 Teaching Apprenticeship I & II: Internship and Pedagogy 4
Students work with their academic advisor to select courses according to professional preparation goals.