The 5 Best Online Master of Arts in Biblical Archaeology Graduate Schools in 2022

Online Master of Arts in Biblical Archaeology - featured image

Artifacts and texts from biblical times are the primary focus of Biblical Archaeology.

However, the majority of biblical archaeologists do not intentionally seek to prove or disprove biblical elements. Instead, they reconstruct the culture and history of the region by looking at the material culture of lands and the time periods as discussed in the Bible, as well as the people, places, and events mentioned in those ancient texts.

Enrolling in an online Master of Arts in Biblical Archaeology will further broaden your knowledge in this field. Considering that the demand for jobs such as anthropologists and archaeologists is projected to grow by 7% in the next decade, it makes sense to up your credentials and contributes further to the industry.


Overview

Working at some of the most fascinating archaeological sites around the world is an excellent opportunity for anyone interested in historical research and exploration! By earning an online master’s degree in Biblical Archaeology, you inch closer to fully understanding society’s strictly held beliefs from a religious perspective, as explained in biblical accounts.


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Methodology

If you obtained a bachelor’s in Anthropology, History, or Geology, pursuing an online MA in Biblical Archaeology advances your knowledge! 

If you’re doing an online search of exceptional grad schools offering the program, you’re in luck! Each graduate school on our list is an accredited institution and authority in this field, owing to these features:

  • Delivered as a 100% web-based or hybrid MA program to highlight convenience in graduate education, wherein students engage in online discussions and fulfill requirements on campus, as the academic courses may require,
  • Awarded as an MA in Biblical Archaeology, with course descriptions that emphasize Evangelical Divinity, Religious or Biblical Languages, Historical Geography, or Theological History,
  • Known for rigorous admission requirements and coursework consisting of theories, perspectives, and ancient histories within the biblical context, as well as archaeological laws, tools or technologies, and ethical practices, 
  • Emphasis on the importance of interpersonal skills of effective communication, writing, collaboration, and attention to detail, 
  • Focuses on preparing students in various roles and settings for outdoor archaeological research, particularly in museums, research, education, government agencies, and consulting firms,
  • A Learning Management System that impresses with convenient coursework access, easy-to-use features for engagement in discussions, and technical assistance,
  • Teaching personnel consisting of biblical archaeologists and professionals in a related field, most of whom are a terminal degree or master’s degree holders,
  • Student Centers with master’s program advisors that assist students in graduate study and as they explore their career and networking options upon graduation,
  • Various financial aid programs and scholarships,
  • Earned national, regional, or specialized accreditation granted by accrediting agencies, as applicable, to prove compliance with academic standards,
  • Membership in archaeological societies or organizations that seek to advance the Master of Arts in Biblical Archaeology program.

Please read our Methodology page for details. 


The 5 Best Online MA in Biblical Archaeology

Trinity Evangelical Divinity School

Trinity Evangelical Divinity School
Online MA in Biblical and Near Eastern Archaeology and Languages

The capstone experience of this program involves archaeological fieldwork in the Middle East over the summer. MA/ARC graduates have been accepted into top-tier doctoral programs both domestically and internationally. This is the best program choice if you’re looking to proceed to a doctorate program after your master’s.

Even though this degree is not as common, it is an excellent complement to an MDiv for those exploring pastoral ministry. Some Christian colleges and secondary schools also recognize it as a qualifying degree for Bible teaching.

  • To qualify, you should hold a GPA of 3.0.
  • The course requirements include 6 hours of Hebrew and 12 hours of Bible or Archaeology. 
  • It consists of 36 credit hours for completion.
  • This credit hour-based program can be completed in 2 to 3 years.
Standout Features of Trinity Evangelical Divinity School – Online MA in Biblical and Near Eastern Archaeology and Languages:

For most academic programs, Trinity students are required to have biblical backgrounds and a broad range of field-based ministry experience. A mentored field experience is a requirement for all TEDS programs. Mentoring enables churches and parachurch ministries to strengthen their ministries by investing in the next generation of Christian leaders.


Trinity Southwest University

Trinity Southwest University
Online Master of Arts in Archaeology and Biblical History

Research and excavation projects in the Near East are part of the Trinity Southwest’s active involvement in the archaeological community. Study tours to Israel, Jordan, and other Mediterranean countries are regularly sponsored, and the International Symposium on Archaeology & the Bible is held annually.

Through the College’s partnership with the TSU Museum of Archaeology, students have the opportunity to participate in original research, excavation support projects, internships, and docent activities.

  • The program requires 48 credit hours for completion.
  • Degree requirements include working knowledge of biblical Hebrew and Greek, depending on the area of concentration.
Standout Features of Trinity Southwest University – Online MA in Archaeology and Biblical History:

One strength of this program is its affiliation with the Tall el-Hammam Excavation Project in Jordan from which artifacts, ancient fortification systems, and pottery materials are derived.


Veritas International University

Veritas International University
Online MA in Archaeology and Biblical History

The online Ma in Archaeology and Biblical History program at Veritas International University can be taken 100% online, through residential attendance, or a combination of both.

Offering generous transfer credits, this program can be completed for up to 6 years. It is possible for students to write a master’s thesis (6 units) in place of three courses (6 units).

  • The program requires a 48-unit course of study.
  • The program can be finished in 2 to 3 years but is designed to last 36 months when studied full time.
  • You can enroll at an average of 9 units per semester.
Standout Features of Veritas International University – Online MA in Archaeology and Biblical History:

The program emphasizes organic cause-and-effect relationships between biblical and ancient Near Eastern history through archaeological, anthropological, and comparative literary inquiry. By the end of the program, you can be an archaeologist who can successfully perform research, exploration, and excavation procedures.

You’ll also learn to substantiate biblical narratives through professional publications and media. Using ancient Near Eastern contexts to understand biblical texts is one way you can contribute to a hermeneutical framework.


Wheaton College Graduate School

Wheaton College Graduate School
Online MA in Old Testament Archaeology

Students at Wheaton College’s Old Testament Archaeology Master of Arts program typically find themselves excavating and examining ancient artifacts, traversing the Old Testament world, learning Biblical Hebrew, and completing Biblical Studies courses.

With a graduate degree in Old Testament Archaeology, students are prepared to teach in local churches or pursue further academic studies in Archaeology, Near Eastern Studies, Pastoral Studies, and Biblical Studies.

  • The program includes opportunities to stay for 6 weeks in Israel.
  • It can be finished in 12 months.
Standout Features of Wheaton College – Online MA in Old Testament Archaeology:

The excavations at Tel Shimron offer Wheaton students the opportunity to conduct original archaeological research. The archaeological department previously went on a Leon Levy Expedition to Ashkelon, which housed over 20,000 objects for study and publication.

The Wheaton students utilize the college’s archaeology museum and laboratory throughout the program.


Belhaven University

Belhaven University
Online MA in Biblical and Theological Studies

Students pursuing an advanced degree in biblical studies can enroll in the online MA in Biblical and Theological Studies at Belhaven University. Laypersons, as well as those in the ministry who wish to gain a deeper understanding of theology, will benefit from the program.

  • It consists of 36 credits and semester hours and can be completed entirely online.
  • Biblical Theology, Old and New Testaments, Hermeneutics, and Systematic Theology will be taught to students.
  • A GPA of 2.5 is required to qualify for the program.
Standout Features of Belhaven University – Online MA in Biblical and Theological Studies:

Belhaven University offers this world-class graduate program in biblical and theological studies in partnership with Third Millennium Ministries. 

Through this partnership, Belhaven provides Christian education to hundreds of thousands of pastors around the world who lack sufficient training for ministry. Thirdmill’s innovative multimedia curriculum provides students with an even more interesting dive into biblical archives and artifacts.

Things to Know about Biblical Archaeology

In the past, archaeologists would often break into archaeological sites (such as tombs) to loot artifacts. In modern archaeology, researchers focus instead on reconstructing a particular area’s entire cultural history through discovery. The best cultural data are often found in minor details, such as potsherds, animal bones, and wall lines.

The study of archaeology involves examining the remnants of past cultures. It provides insight into ancient daily life alongside preserved literature from those cultures. The numerous Israelite houses that were excavated in the Jerusalem area, for example, offer a glimpse of the real homes that were spoken about in the Bible.

Skills Needed for Biblical Archaeologists

Travel, undoubtedly a big part of this kind of career, is a major attraction to Biblical Archaeology students. While far from glamorous (think soil or dirt excavation and exposure to unwanted elements), this career path promises to be an exciting one.

And even with the office- or lab-based research work, naturally curious individuals will find the job incredibly rewarding!

Here are the attributes you need to work on having if you ever intend to work as a biblical archaeologist:

Writing Skills

In archaeology and anthropology, reports are critical as they contain detailed descriptions of the findings. Scholarly journals and public interest forums publish many of their results. As a biblical archaeologist, you should have the natural talent to write reports and conclusions well.

Critical Thinking Skills

Observations and experiments inside and outside the laboratory or excavated sites are essential for archaeologists and anthropologists to draw logical conclusions. Therefore, you should have critical-thinking skills to develop findings and theories.

Investigative Skills

Many facts about biblical archaeology and anthropology must be explored and discovered. Answering research queries and solving problems requires thorough investigative skills.

Analytical Skills

Archaeologists need to conduct endless research, and you need to have analytical skills when conducting them. You need to know how to analyze data and execute scientific methods for accurate interpretation.

Online Master of Arts in Biblical Archaeology - fact

Frequently Asked Questions

How do aspiring individuals become biblical archaeologists?

For more in-depth work in archaeology and to make significant contributions to advancing the field, you need a Ph.D. (doctoral degree), which takes many years of study and entails compliance with stringent admissions requirements. Before proceeding to a doctorate, acquiring a master’s degree in Biblical Archaeology is required.

Undergraduate studies, particularly a bachelor’s degree in Archaeology or related fields like Geology, Anthropology, Bible Studies, and History will lead to a master’s. Getting the academic background required for graduate school admission is the ultimate goal.

What is the admission process for enrolling in an online Master’s in Biblical Archaeology?

A graduate school’s Division of Biblical Archaeology evaluates the applicant’s transcript for related degree programs completed. Applicants without adequate undergraduate preparation or theological and bible backgrounds may be required to complete introductory or remedial Biblical Archaeology courses and meet the required minimum proficiency to be admitted to the program.

A student with a strong background in Biblical Archaeology may be eligible for advanced standing in the discipline and not required to complete the introduction courses. 

The program director and admissions team also determine whether or not the applicants demonstrate the appropriate interests, aptitudes, and personal qualities fit for the graduate program. 

What are the typical career pathways for Biblical Archaeology Master of Arts degree holders?

A four-year college Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science degree in Biblical Archaeology qualifies graduates for assistant positions either in the laboratory or in actual archaeological settings where excavations and artifact examinations are conducted. 

On the other hand, employment as a professional archaeologist entails the completion of at least a master’s degree. While employed, master’s degree holders usually work on obtaining their Ph.D. The professional experience and fieldwork hours they accumulate are also a requirement for Ph.D. admission.

While earning an online master’s in Biblical Archaeology, students must pay attention to their academic credits. It pays to grab every opportunity to get extensive training and experience by volunteering in archaeology labs, university museums, and fieldwork.

What are the career paths for online Master’s in Biblical Archaeology graduates?

Biblical Archaeology graduates have numerous career options at their disposal:

  • Today, many archaeologists hold Cultural Resource Management positions in various sectors:
    • To comply with federal historic preservation laws, CRM companies conduct archaeological research, which biblical archaeologists are experts in.
    • Educating the public and promoting CRM can also be part of the role of CRM archaeologists. 
  • Alternatively, archaeologists also qualify for project management or administration work, wherein they manage or lead a team of archaeologists and researchers, or direct and oversee field and lab work.
  • As researchers, Biblical Archaeologists write reports and publish material to share their findings upon collecting data.
  • Archaeological site management and protection–particularly for archaeological sites on public land–is the responsibility of Bible Archaeologists who work in government agencies.
  • Biblical Archaeologists are also involved in the management of artifacts and collections in museums, archaeological parks, and historical sites.
  • Biblical Archaeologists are also educators and consultants in higher education institutions, who may opt to make work in the academe a full-time ministry.
How much does an Archaeologist earn?

The average salary of Archaeologists in the US is $63,728 per year. Depending on the region and state, archaeologists earn different salaries. According to official data, roughly 25% of the highest-paid professionals in this field earned $84,560 that year, while 25% of their least paid counterparts made $51,170.


Key Takeaways

  • An excavation of different sites and an analysis of artifacts can provide fascinating insights into the lives of humans of the past!
  • Through the online Master of Arts in Biblical Studies graduate degree program, students comb through the Old and New Testament books to discover essential elements of how life was lived in the biblical era. The goal is to prove and understand these facts, and from this knowledge, uncover possible solutions that apply to the present.
  • For real-life archaeological experience, while pursuing your master’s degree, you need to access all relevant fieldwork resources and opportunities provided or sponsored by your university. A field school, for one, exposes students to the archaeological field- and lab-based research while earning academic credit. 
  • Whether you intend on pursuing a Ph.D. or putting those academic journeys on pause to make way for actual employment, planning your graduate path and career plans are a must! 
  • An online master’s in Biblical Archaeology program is your ticket to lifelong biblical history learning or a career of discovery and preservation—all to remedy your insatiable curiosity and interest in all things ancient and biblical!

Additional Resources:

Dr. Jared Goff
Chief Editor