SBUBolivar, Missouri Est. 1878

Biblical Studies Major at Southwest Baptist University

Degree Requirements

Related Majors

Questions? Contact

Bing Boyd Bayer, Ph.D.
Chair, Department of Theology, and Professor of Old Testament and Hebrew
(417) 328-1765

Visit the Department of Theology website for more information.

Gain a better understanding and appreciation for the Christian intellectual tradition.

SBU’s Biblical Studies program is designed to enhance your foundational understanding of biblical principles, broaden your perspective and bring greater spiritual maturity.

The SBU Advantage

  • Courses in Greek and Hebrew lay the essential linguistic foundations for those who teach and proclaim the Bible as well as teach the language skills necessary to a liberal arts program.
  • All professors hold doctorates and represent a wide range of educational backgrounds including Baylor Graduate School, Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, Fuller Theological Seminary, Dallas Theological Seminary and others.
  • Our Biblical Studies professors are published authors and have completed additional study at institutions such as Oxford, Notre Dame and Hebrew Union.

Course Information

In addition to general education, graduation and Redford CORE requirements, majors must complete a total of 38 hours of courses: 9 hours of Old Testament, 9 hours of New Testament, 12 hours of upper level Bible electives, and 8 hours of language courses in Greek or Hebrew.


Students preparing for a church-related vocation, including Intercultural Studies majors, can apply for the Church-Related Vocation Scholarship. Students must submit applications by March 1 and other required supporting documentation by June 1. Recipients are expected to participate in SBU’s In-Service Training Program and must complete The Baptist Denomination (THE 3023) class.

More information is available on the Financial Aid page.

Graduate and Career Opportunities

The coursework is excellent preparation for missions, church service, and seminary or graduate school. About half of our theology graduates go on to seminary or graduate school and half being work in churches upon graduation.

Degree Requirements

BIB 2093 Methods of Biblical Interpretation
Introduction to the task of interpreting the Bible in its literary and historical context and applying its teaching to modern life. Particular attention is given to principles concerning the qualifications and presuppositions of the interpreter, the nature of prose and poetic literature, and the character of the various genres found in both testaments.
CHR 3013 Introduction to Ministry
Study of the work of the vocational ministers of the local church with special attention given to the ministry of all believers.
PHI 2013 Philosophical Foundations for a Christian Worldview
Introduction to historical and/or contemporary philosophical questions, problems, issues, and figures, with special emphasis on topics relevant to constructing and defending a coherent, philosophically adequate, Christian worldview.
THE 3113 Christian Doctrine
Analysis and interpretation of the major doctrines of the Christian religion.
Choose one of the following:
THE 3463 History of Christianity I
Survey of early and medieval Christianity up to the eve of the Reformation.
THE 3673 History of Christianity II
Survey of the history of Christianity from the Reformation to the present.
Choose three of the following:
BIB 3033 Old Testament Hymnic and Wisdom Literature
Historical and exegetical study of the hymnic and wisdom literature in the Old Testament: Job, Psalm, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes and Song of Solomon.
BIB 3043 Pentateuch
Study of the first five books of the Bible with special attention given to introductory problems related to the Pentateuch.
BIB 4003 Archaeology and the Bible
An introduction to the methods and results of archaeology in relation to the Bible.
BIB 4043 Old Testament Prophetic Books
Study of selected Prophetic Books of the Old Testament with attention given to exposition of their content, discernment of their theological significance, and discussion of scholarly issues.
BIB 4053 Old Testament Historical Books
Study of the Historical Books of the Old Testament with attention given to exposition of their content, discernment of their theological significance, and discussion of scholarly issues.
Choose three of the following:
BIB 3053 Early Pauline Epistles
Historical and exegetical study of Paul's epistles to the Thessalonians, Corinthians and Galatians.
BIB 3063 Later Pauline Epistles
Historical and exegetical study of Romans, Paul's prison and pastoral epistles.
BIB 3083 Hebrews and General Epistles
Historical and exegetical study of Hebrews and the general epistles.
BIB 4023 Life and Teachings of Christ
Study of life and teaching of Christ as presented in the four gospels.
Language courses (choose either Greek or Hebrew; 8 hours total)
GRE 2013 Elementary Greek I
Study of the basic elements of New Testament Greek, stressing vocabulary, conjugation, declension, composition and translation.
GRE 2024 Elementary Greek II
Continuation of GRE 2014. Oral and written exercises continued; introduction to Greek New Testament through passages which are relatively uncomplicated.
HEB 2013 Elementary Hebrew I
Introduction to the basic skills of translating biblical Hebrew with emphasis upon vocabulary, grammar, composition and translation.
HEB 2024 Elementary Hebrew II
Continuation of HEB 2014 with an introduction to the Hebrew Old Testament through translating representative passages which are relatively uncomplicated.
Plus an additional twelve hours of upper level Bible elective courses.