Students with a serious interest in the Bible may want to pursue a degree in biblical archeology. Biblical archeology focuses on the material culture and development of the places and peoples of the scriptures through excavations and scientific studies of distinct historical periods. The majority of these programs are offered by faith-based colleges at the graduate and postgraduate level, but at least one distance learning school offers an undergraduate degree in the fascinating field.
Undergraduate Studies at Newburgh
Newburgh Theological Seminary & College of the Bible offers religious degrees through remote instruction and distance learning, though occasionally seminars are held at different locations. The curriculum is geared toward students who want to prepare for greater Christian ministry. To this aim, the school offers a Bachelor of Arts degree in biblical archeology. According to the program website, students will be acquainted with a broad perspective of biblical archeology as revealed through eight specific courses. Remote learners will be expected to routinely submit papers summarizing key texts in the field.
Graduate Studies at Wheaton College
Wheaton College offers a Master of Arts degree in biblical archeology that includes a semester abroad in Jerusalem. The program website states the importance of archeology in providing cultural, historical, social, religious and linguistic context for biblical passages. The program offers a concentration in Old Testament and Near East studies and, besides archeology, emphasizes biblical geography and languages. Students are required to spend a semester in Israel at Jerusalem University College and six weeks on summer excavation projects. The program is designed to prepare students for doctoral work in the field, or for teaching positions in church and school settings.
Graduate Studies at Trinity Southwest University
Trinity Southwest University offers both doctoral and master’s degrees through its College of Archaeology and Biblical History. According to the college’s website, the program provides a broad range of courses as well as participation in the archaeological community in the Near East through research and excavation projects. The college sponsors study tours to Israel and Jordan and also hosts the annual International Symposium on Archaeology & the Bible. The college works closely with The Museum of Archaeology & Biblical History, affording students further research opportunities and internships.
Postgraduate Studies at Hebrew Union College
Students who’ve already attained advanced degrees in the field and are looking for research opportunities should consider The Nelson Glueck School of Biblical Archaeology at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion. The specialized school is located in the Skirball Center for Biblical and Archaeological Research. Both the school and research center offer a variety of resources to scholars, advanced doctoral candidates and students wishing to supplement academic work in related fields, according to the program website. In partnership with other universities, the school has recently undertaken a project at Tel Tillah, investigating the problems of urbanization in the Early Bronze Age.
Scott Neuffer is an award-winning journalist and writer who lives in Nevada. He holds a bachelor's degree in English and spent five years as an education and business reporter for Sierra Nevada Media Group. His first collection of short stories, "Scars of the New Order," was published in 2014.