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Biblical & Religious Studies Major


The Biblical and Religious Studies major equips students to interpret biblical texts responsibly and to reflect on religious beliefs and practices. By acquiring tools for biblical interpretation, theological reflection, and religious understanding, students gain insight into their own faith as well as resources for becoming leaders, servants, and reconcilers in church and society.

Students choose a concentration in one of four areas: Bible, Religion, Theology, or World Christianity. With its emphasis on the development of reading, writing, and critical-thinking skills, the major prepares students for entry-level positions in a variety of fields, as well as seminary or graduate school.

In addition to serving students who pursue this major as their primary field, the Biblical and Religious Studies major serves as an excellent double major for students in other departments who wish to be responsible members of church and society.

Concentration Descriptions

The Bible concentration focuses on the biblical text, examining the Bible’s contents and backgrounds while introducing students to various methods of interpretation. Students in this concentration are encouraged to take Greek and/or Hebrew to meet their General Education language requirement.

The Religion concentration examines a variety of world religions and the ways scholars study them. Students opting for this concentration are encouraged to spend a semester at Messiah’s Philadelphia campus, taking several religion courses at Temple University.

The Theology concentration emphasizes careful reflection on Christian belief and practice, examining the commonalities and differences that have been evident within the life of the church past and present.

The World Christianity concentration introduces students to the dynamics of Christianity as a global faith. Representative forms of Christianity as it exists in the world and Christianity as a missionary religion for the world will be analyzed. Students choosing this concentration are encouraged to spend a semester in a cross-cultural setting.


Christian Ministries Major


Messiah's Christian Ministries major prepares women and men for entry level positions in congregational and parachurch ministries. This program can also serve as a foundation for further education in a seminary setting.

With its three concentrations--congregational ministries, youth ministries, and Cross-Cultural Ministries Concentration--the major incorporates practical elements, but it also requires the student to acquire competency in biblical and theological reflection, which serve as the theoretical foundations for this course of study. Critical thinking, oral and written communication skills are also stressed.

For students in other majors who wish to supplement their education with training in Christian ministries, the Department of Biblical and Religious Studies offers two minors: Christian Ministries

Curriculum

For more details on the curriculum requirements and the types of courses you would be taking as a Christian Ministries Major, visit our Online Course Catalog: Congregational Ministries Concentration, Youth Ministries Concentration, Cross-Cultural Ministries Concentration.

For more details on the curriculum requirements and the types of courses you would be taking as a Congregational, Youth Ministries or Cross-Cultural Ministries Minor, visit our Online Course Catalog.

Christian Ministry majors participate in our Fitness for Ministry program, which provides vocational counseling, mentoring, and portfolio development. For more information please see the Fitness for Ministry program handbook here.

(Course catalog and major brochure include PDF files. Click here for the Adobe® PDF Reader®)