Master of Arts in Ancient and Oriental Christianity

If you have a knack for languages, enjoy reading ancient texts and wish to enrich your theological foundations for ministry, teaching or further study, the Master of Arts track in Ancient and Oriental Christianity might be the graduate degree for you. Though the program has a broad focus on exploring the roots of religion, it offers special opportunities in learning about the Christian East.

Ready to be a part of a program that explores the past to prepare you for your future? Apply now or contact us for more information today.

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Why Ancient and Oriental Christianity?

Primarily suited for students preparing to pursue doctoral study, this program will equip you with advanced academic foundations in historical research and integration, with an emphasis on the languages needed to conduct such research. You will sharpen your research and writing skills as you take part in intensive reading of primary historical and theological works. Students in this program may have special opportunities to participate in CSART projects.

This program can also prepare you to engage the growing fascination with the theology and spirituality of eastern Christian communities, and equip you to function better as a class teacher in congregational contexts, or as a missionary and church planter in non-western contexts. 

Bible study group at Jacob's Dream monument on campus

What outcomes can you expect?

Research Sources: Graduates will have critical facility with the most important primary sources and issues of scholarly discussion in biblical studies, theology, or church history

Research Methods: Graduates will have ability to use the best current methods of research in one of the following disciplines: biblical studies, theology, or church history

Original Research: Graduates will demonstrate ability to produce scholarly contributions in their field of study

Admission Requirements

  • A completed application and application fee;
  • An official transcript of all previous colleges attended. The transcript must indicate an earned bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited college or university or equivalent.
  • A cumulative undergraduate GPA of at least 3.0 on a 4.0 scale;
  • Two letters of recommendation (may be submitted through the online application);
  • A purpose statement following these guidelines;
  • GST Writing Assessment (a brief evaluation of academic writing skills).
Typing on computer

Program Advisor

Dr. Jeff Childers
Professor of Church History
Carmichael-Walling Chair for New Testament and Early Christianity

PhD, Oxford University, 1996  

Learn More

Download the program brochure for more information about the program format, degree plan, accreditation and distinctives that set ACU’s program apart. See also this information about Graduate School of Theology affordability and scholarships.

Degree Details

Required Hours

Credit hours: 48

Current tuition per credit hour: $676

Program length: 2 years

Example Coursework

History of Christianity I: Early and Medieval

Theological Explorations

Christian Mission in Global Contexts

Explorations in the Christian East


Graduate School of Theology

Application Deadlines

Fall: August 10

Summer & Spring: Please contact the Office of Graduate Programs ( or 325-674-2656)