Bible Department Chair Brian Trainer has a particular type of student in mind for the department’s new major.
“A really, really smart one,” Trainer said.
Really, really smart students will be able to major in Biblical Languages beginning in the fall of 2012. The program combines 31 hours of language classes—Greek and Hebrew grammar, linguistics, sociolinguistics, reading, exegesis—with general studies and biblical studies core classes and a 20-hour ministry component.
“This program will have special appeal for those who have a desire for Bible translation work or collegiate and seminary instruction,” Trainer said.
Biblical Languages majors will begin studying Greek during their freshman year. Some Christian colleges encourage their students to delay language study.
“This philosophy helps us draw an important philosophical and theological line,” Trainer (left) said. “The hermeneutic circle begins with an understanding of the text of Scripture. That understanding of the text helps the reader make informed theological decisions.”
Professors Dr. Andy Hudson, David Hockman (Greek) and Preston Mayes (Hebrew) will join adjunct faculty members with current translation field experience to teach language classes, Trainer said. Some Biblical Languages credits can also fill Maranatha Baptist Seminary requirements.
The Bible Department also announced two adjustments to existing programs, the Biblical Studies major and the two-year Christian Ministry major.
A College study revealed similar content in the Biblical Studies and Pastoral Studies majors. The Pastoral Studies major will now be geared specifically for those targeting full-time vocational ministry, while the Biblical Studies major is structured to appeal to those who desire a combination of Bible courses and a broad-based liberal arts core—math, science, literature, music, communication, and history.
“We wanted to draw a clear line between those two programs,” Trainer said.
The Biblical Studies major is also an attractive option for students transferring from other colleges who wish to pursue Bible instruction while retaining college credits from their previous studies.
The two-year Christian Ministry major has been modified but remains an Associate of Arts degree with a strong Bible emphasis (41 hours).