Bible College Graduate Studies
Continuing your education
Most Bible colleges offer graduate studies to their students at both the Master's and the Doctorate level. These students tend to be going into a vocation heavy in religious leadership, such as university instruction, counseling or even ordination. For the most part, if you're not going into a leadership role, you probably won't require the extra time spent on a graduate degree.
Much graduate work is completed on an individual basis, under the guidance of a supervisor or committee. Graduate studies can take anywhere from two to four years or more, and most programs consist of a coursework requirement, a written component and an oral examination that expands on the written component.
However, some colleges offer a coursework-only option, where you can complete your degree by taking classes rather than writing a dissertation (also referred to as a thesis), which means you may be able to complete your studies faster. On the other hand, you have more opportunity for personalization of your specialty if you choose to complete a dissertation, because you can choose your topic as well as the ways in which it will work.
Master's programs are typically developed with the ministry in mind, and offer courses that will help students develop their presence as church leaders. These include leadership and organization seminars, as well as communication and interpersonal relations courses. Work at the doctorate level is often completed with an eye to continued academics, and as such, also consists of training in instruction and student relations.
Some Bible colleges also offer combined graduate programs with a religious focus. These programs are designed for students who may not be headed toward a particularly religious vocation, but who intend on incorporating an understanding of religion, spirituality and morality into their careers. This may include scholars, politicians, youth workers and community leaders.
Combined programs take the skills highlighted in religious education and tie them to additional disciplines, such as women's studies, psychology, sociology or cultural studies. These programs concentrate on the political and social aspects of religious education by incorporating it into more secular disciplines.
Graduate studies require a great commitment on the side of the student. Whether you're completing a Master's or a Doctorate degree, you'll have to work hard and sacrifice a lot of your free time to be successful. However, all of that work is well worth it when you end up meeting your goals.