Academic Catalog 2022-2023 
    Jul 19, 2024  
Academic Catalog 2022-2023 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Accelerated B.C.M. Theological Studies + M.A. Theological Studies

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Wayland Baptist University’s accelerated programs allow high-achieving, motivated students the opportunity to combine undergraduate and graduate coursework in an academically rigorous yet efficient, cost-effective program of study. The School of Christian Studies accelerated programs reduce time in school through an integrated curriculum that avoids duplicated courses, maximizing academic coursework and experiential learning opportunities. Each program, undergraduate and graduate, maintains distinctive requirements students must meet to participate in the accelerated program. Undergraduate students must apply and be admitted to an accelerated program.

The accelerated B.C.M in Theological Studies + M.A. in Theological Studies program offers students either a non-thesis track (148 hours) or a thesis track (154 hours).

  • Full-time students transition from bachelor-level coursework to master-level coursework in years three to four and complete both degrees simultaneously in years five to six (depending on hours taken)
  • A minor is not required in the professional development block for the thesis track
  • Graduate coursework taken as an upper-classman cross-lists on the baccalaureate degree plan
    • 6 hours for non-thesis track
    • 18 hours for thesis track
  • No more than 6 hours (or 18 for thesis track) can be cross-listed, though graduate courses can be taken concurrently if needed in the last term of the B.C.M. for financial aid
  • Cross-listed courses in the major are 6 hours from the following:
  • Cross-listed courses for the thesis track are 18 hours from those listed above or the following:
    • Graduate Greek or Hebrew courses for electives in professional development
    • THST electives (in consultation with faculty mentor) for electives in professional development
  • MNST 3260 - Practicum  and MNST 4100 - Senior Ministry Capstone  are replaced with a 3 hour THST or MNST undergraduate elective
  • Students in the thesis track must take GREK 1301  and GREK 1302  in the Math/Science/Languages general education slots or as electives

To remain in good standing for accelerated program:

  • Student must make C or better in all major coursework in the B.C.M. degree
  • Student must maintain a 2.5 overall GPA in first sixty hours of the B.C.M. degree
  • Student must maintain a 3.0 GPA in last sixty hours of the B.C.M. degree
  • Student must earn B or better in the cross-listed graduate courses

B.C.M. Theological Studies

The theological studies major focuses the student’s ministerial training on exploration of the world of the Bible, deepening his or her understanding of Christian doctrine, ethics, and church history. To complement the major, the student will complete a minor as a portion of the professional development hours in the degree unless the student enters the university with substantial ministry-related transfer credit, as determined by the dean of the school.

Bachelor of Christian Ministry Degree Requirements

The Bachelor of Christian Ministry Degree (B.C.M.) is a minimum 124-credit hour degree designed to afford both academic and professional depth for individuals who express a call to ministry. The degree integrates university degree requirements with appropriate experience. A minimum of 36 credit hours must be upper-level credit (courses numbered 3000 and above).

No additional degree specific general education courses are required for this degree. Students pursuing the B.C.M. degree will complete the Unified General Education Core requirements.

Academic Major

Students seeking the B.C.M. degree will complete the appropriate major requirements as outlined in the School of Christian Studies section.

Professional Development

The Professional Development component of the B.C.M. consists of 36 credit hours selected to provide depth or breadth to the major and to provide substantive developmental knowledge for the student’s career or personal goals. Depth and breadth can be met through a major, a specialization, a minor, or ministry-related courses. Student completing Christian ministry or theological studies majors will complete a minor or second major as a portion of the professional development hours unless the student enters the university with substantial ministry-related transfer credit, as determined by the dean of the School of Christian Studies, or they are accepted into an accelerated program that does not require a minor. Students in the co-vocational ministry major will complete a second major or a specialization as part of a composite major in lieu of a separate professional development component. Co-vocational ministry specializations may require additional hours beyond the 36 credit hours, in which case hours will be reduced from the electives block or added to the degree. Students not pursuing a minor or second major must ensure all upper-level academic and cumulative hours are met for the degree.

Up to 12 credit hours of experiential professional development may satisfy this requirement. Experiential learning must be evaluated and approved by the university. Students who have work experience in full-time, part-time or co-vocational ministry positions may have the work experience evaluated if the ministry position is a paid staff position with formal job requirements. Practicums and internships may be placed in this area if they do not relate to the major.


Students may complete the minimum of 124 credit hours required for the degree with courses which complement or extend career preparation or pursue subject fields which hold special appeal. However, before using elective credit hours, students should check with their advisor to ensure that the hours are indeed elective and that upper-level credit hour requirements for graduation are being met.

Theological Studies - 36 hrs

The theological studies major requires a minimum of 36 hours from the following courses, of which 6 hours may be cross-listed for non-thesis track and 18 hours may be cross-listed for thesis track M.A. in Theological Studies (indicated in parenthesis):

Christian Studies Common Core - 18 hrs

The School of Christian Studies seeks a holistic approach to ministerial training, preparing the head (knowledge), the heart (devotion), and the hands (service). This holistic approach begins with a common core for all Christian Studies majors.

Theological Studies - 18 hrs

M.A. Theological Studies

The M.A. in Theological Studies is an advanced degree for persons interested in furthering their theological and ministerial education, primarily in the classical disciplines of biblical studies, church history, theology, ethics, and philosophy. The non-thesis track allows students who elect not to complete a Master of Divinity the opportunity to gain additional theological training while actively serving in a local Christian ministry. It may also provide interested students an avenue for additional study in the classical disciplines.

The thesis track substantively prepares the student for work on more advanced degrees, such as the Ph.D. or Th.D. in a classical discipline, with hours in biblical languages and a research thesis. Students considering a career teaching at the college or seminary level should understand that the M.A. in Theological Studies is a step toward the academic credentials required for college or seminary teaching positions.


The non-thesis track is 30 hours for students with undergraduate work in Christian Studies. The thesis track includes an additional 18 hours of graduate work beyond the 30 hours.

Spiritual Formation - three hours from:

Electives - 15 hrs (at least 9 hrs THST or PHIL)

Fifteen hours of electives, of which at least nine must be THST or PHIL

Specialization (Optional)

Students may designate 12 of the 30 hours as a specialization in Biblical Studies or Christian Thought. These hours are neither added to nor deducted from the required hours listed above. Students considering doctoral study should select a specialization in consultation with a faculty mentor.

Thesis (pre-doctoral) track - 18 additional hours

In addition to the 30 hours above, students who wish to prepare for doctoral work in Old Testament, New Testament, theology, church history, or philosophy of religion are encouraged to complete the thesis (pre-doctoral) track. Students should complete the appropriate specialization for their field of interest in consultation with a faculty mentor.

The thesis requires a students to demonstrate the ability to do independent research while competency in biblical languages is a prerequisite for most doctoral programs. In addition, students should be aware that many doctoral programs require competency in additional modern research languages, so advance exploration of doctoral programs is suggested as is consultation with a faculty mentor.

Prerequisite courses for the thesis track: (to be completed in the Math/Science/Language general education slots or electives for the B.C.M. degree)

Thesis (pre-doctoral) track additional graduate courses:

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