The degree in Biblical Studies is aimed at preparing disciples of Jesus Christ to be servant-leaders both in church and society. The Department of Biblical Studies faculty is committed to the passionate and accurate study of God's Word, to living out our faith with a dynamic spirituality, and to thoughtful engagement with the world around us. The B.A. in Biblical Studies focuses on offering structured opportunities for the study of Christianity, the Word of God and related subjects, and it has a foreign language component. The B.S. in Biblical Studies has a math and science component.
Students will take classes focusing on the Old and New Testaments, theology, church history, intercultural studies, preaching, spiritual formation and apologetics. One of this major's greatest strengths is the faculty, who are teaching you and journeying with you over the next three to four years. Our faculty have served abroad, been pastors, and some still are pastors. They are passionate about seeing you dive into the divine text and become empowered to serve while studying here at Grace and after graduation.
Examples of courses in this major:
An introduction to the Old Testament law and historical books with special reference to background, historical setting, literary composition, theology and message. After successfully completing this course, the student should be able to demonstrate a knowledge of the background issues that introduce the study of various concepts of the Old Testament, the historical milieu of each Old Testament book studied, the purpose and general content of each Old Testament book studied, the use of the Old Testament in modern ministry, and the foundation the Old Testament provides for the New Testament.
This course introduces the New Testament with special reference to background, historical setting, literary composition, theology and message. After successfully completing this course, the student should be able to demonstrate a knowledge of the background issues that introduce the study of various concepts of the New Testament, the historical milieu of each New Testament book studied, the purpose and general content of each New Testament book studied, the relationship between the New and Old Testaments, and the use of the New Testament in modern ministry.
Students will identify the central affirmations of Christianity that distinguish orthodoxy from heresy, heterodoxy, liberalism and neo-orthodoxy. Students will be able to support each defining doctrine from Scripture. The role of creeds, church councils and doctrinal statements in defining and preserving orthodoxy will be explored. Students will appreciate the diversity within Christian orthodoxy, while the central affirmations are preserved.
Students will explore the various dynamics that converge to produce maturity in the life of a Christian. They will seek to construct a theory of spiritual formation based on a practical knowledge of God, a realistic awareness of self, a fully-developed understanding of pertinent scriptural insights, and a historical perspective of various approaches to spirituality. They will examine the necessity of the integration of the individual pursuit of spiritual maturity with the corporate dimension. The approach of the course will include practical application along with classroom discussion and outside research.
Students will examine the teaching of the Scriptures on the subject of prayer with a view to discovering the absolute necessity of a vital prayer experience in the life of the man or woman of God and in the life of the Church. Urgency, consistency and effectiveness of prayer will all be discussed as well as practical guidance for fostering these. Significant time will be spent in the practice of prayer.
The individuals who will challenge you to learn:
B.S. in Psychology, The Ohio State University; M.Div., Grace Theological Seminary; D.Min. in Pastoral Studies, Denver Seminary
Jeffrey Gill was the senior pastor of the Delaware, Ohio Grace Brethren Church for 20 years (1982 to 2002). He started at the church when it was little more than a church plant. It experienced substantial growth over the years and is now well-known in the FGBC as a healthy and influential church body. He assumed the role of dean of Grace Theological Seminary in July, 2002. In 2008, he was named dean of the School of Ministry Studies, which includes both the Seminary and the undergraduate Biblical Studies Department at Grace. He was the National Moderator of the Fellowship of Grace Brethren Churches in 2002. He and his wife, Kathy, have two grown daughters.
B.S. in Communication, Ohio University; M.Div., Trinity Evangelical Divinity School; Ph.D. in Biblical Theology (New Testament), Wheaton College
Matt Harmon brings a passion to equip people to encounter Christ through the Scriptures and lead others to do so as well. His research interests include the use of the Old Testament in the New Testament, Biblical Theology, Pauline studies, and the life/ministry/theology of Jonathan Edwards. He served as full-time staff with Campus Crusade for Christ for eight years, doing evangelism and discipleship with college students. He taught courses at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School and Wheaton College as well as in the local church. On a regular basis, Harmon also teaches for Campus Crusade for Christ, helping to train staff in interpreting and teaching Scripture. In his spare time, Harmon also teaches training workshops for Bibleworks. He is a member of the Evangelical Theological Society and the Society for Biblical Literature. Harmon and his wife, Kate, have two sons.
B.A. in Christian Education, Wheaton College; M.A. in Christian Education, Talbot School of Theology; Ph.D. in Educational Studies (Character Development and Spiritual Formation), Talbot School of Theology
Christy Hill brings her passion and training in spiritual formation to facilitate the holistic development of students while at Grace. Her research interests include personal and interpersonal development with empirical work conducted in the area of adult attachment styles and relationship with God variables. She taught at Biola University and Talbot School of Theology before coming to Grace in 2006. While she focuses primarily in women's ministries, she has served in a variety of leadership roles cross-culturally, in the local church and in the parachurch context. Hill has developed a number of Bible study materials, published in the Christian Education Journal and presented research findings at the North American Professors of Christian Education Conference, a society of which she is a member.
B.A. in Pastoral Studies, Moody Bible Institute; M.Div., Trinity Evangelical Divinity School; Th.M. in Practical Theology, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School; D.Min. in Preaching, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School
Rock LaGioia has been heavily involved in pastoral work since 1987. A member of the Evangelical Homiletics Society and the Evangelical Theological Society, he has authored numerous magazine articles and written book reviews. LaGioia has taught a wide variety of college courses such as spiritual formation, preaching and theology at Moody Bible Institute and Taylor University. He has also taught graduate level homiletics and theology courses at Trinity International University and Huntington University Graduate School. LaGioia and his wife, Kathy, have been blessed with two sons.
B.A. in Religion, Shelton College; M.Div., Th.M. in Old Testament and Hebrew; Th. D. in Old Testament and Hebrew, Grace Theological Seminary
Ronald Manahan has taught at Grace since 1977. In addition to his teaching, he has served as a division chair, academic dean and provost at Grace College before being appointed fifth president of Grace in 1994. He has had extensive experience as a pastor and a Bible conference speaker. He also teaches Biblical Perspectives on the Environment at Au Sable Institute. Manahan has been a contributing author to two books as well numerous journal articles.
Diploma in Advanced German, Goethe Institute; B.A. in History, Grace College; M.Div., Grace Theological Seminary; D.Min. in Intercultural Studies, Grace Theological Seminary
Roger Peugh came to Grace in the fall of 1989 with three years of pastoral experience followed by 20 years of missionary experience as a church planter in Germany. While at Grace, he was involved as an elder in a church plant for 13 years. He is an active Bible conference speaker as well as guest-lecturer in several German Bible schools. In addition to his role as professor in the School of Ministry Studies, Peugh serves Grace College as campus prayer coordinator and is serving as the interim dean of chapel. Peugh, who has authored books on the topic of prayer, is married to Nancy, and they have four children and eight grandchildren.
B.S. in Urban and Regional Planning, California State Polytechnic University, Pomona; M.Div. in Biblical Languages, Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary; Ph.D. in Theological Studies (Old Testament), Trinity Evangelical Divinity School
Tiberius Rata came to Grace Theological Seminary from Beeson Divinity School in Birmingham, Alabama, where he served as assistant professor of divinity. Before that, he taught at Trinity International University in Deerfield, Illinois, and Emmanuel Baptist University in Oradea, Romania. He has also pastored churches in California and Alabama and served as an interim pastor in Michigan and Indiana. He is a member of the Evangelical Theological Society and the Institute for Biblical Research and has presented papers at the national conventions of the Evangelical Theological Society. Rata is chair of the undergraduate Department of Biblical Studies. He and his wife, Carmen, have two sons.
B.A. in Bible, Appalachian Bible College; Th.B. in Bible and Theology, Appalachian Bible College; M.A. in Religion, Liberty University; M.Div., Th.M. in Theology, D.Min. in Pastoral Theology, Grace Theological Seminary; M.A. in Preparation, Capella University
Mark Soto teaches in the School of Ministry Studies and is the program director for the M.A. in Ministry Studies Program. His background in curriculum design enables him to provide faculty development and training in this area. He works extensively with the institution's hybrid-online programs, having completed a M.S. in Instructional Design for Online Learning at Capella University. Prior to coming to Grace College, he has served the church in leadership roles for 25 years. He also served as a part of the Grace College Student Life staff as the associate dean of men before assuming a full-time faculty position. Soto and his wife, Carol, have two grown daughters and two wonderful grandchildren.
B.A. in Communications, Grace College; Th.M. in Bible Exposition, Dallas Theological Seminary; D.Miss., Western Baptist Seminary
Tom Stallter has 18 years of missionary experience in the Central African Republic and Chad in the areas of church planting and development, leadership training, mission administration, and famine and economic relief. In addition to his teaching in the School of Ministry Studies, Stallter is the executive director of the Grace Theological Seminary's Center for Korean Studies. Areas of research for Stallter include cultural intelligence, business as mission, multicultural worship, ethics in missions, cultural values, cultural identity assessment, culture discovery and matching missionary candidates to contexts. He is a member of the Evangelical Missiological Society and the National Ministerium of the Fellowship of Grace Brethren Churches. Stallter and his wife, Sharon, have three grown children and one granddaughter.
Some of the positions you can obtain:
What others are saying:
The Biblical Studies Department at Grace prepared me to study the Word of God, and God used this department to absolutely change my life! I am now a different person because of the Grace College Biblical Studies department. I feel confident to study the Scriptures, not in a way to puff up my pride, but in a way that will change my life and live according to God’s grace. This is lived out by the amazing professors who teach the classes. They are not only concerned with what you know about the Bible, but [they are] also deeply concerned with what God is doing in the lives of students. The professors are all very personal, and students gravitate to them outside of the classroom. I have been able to meet with all of my professors outside of class and have built relationships that will last a lifetime. I thank God for my time spent in the Grace College Biblical Studies department.
- Zac Hess B.S., Biblical Studies, 2010