Master of Biblical Studies Degree
Sunset International Bible Institute is an Affiliate institution of the Association for Biblical Higher Education. As such, it participates in and contributes to collegial and professional development activities of the Association. Affiliate status does not, however, constitute, imply, or presume ABHE accredited status at present or in the future.
Sunset International Bible Institute has been accepted to the Council of Private Colleges in America - CPCA.
Sunset International Bible Institute is a recognized degree granting school. We have been issued a letter of authorization to confer degrees by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, according to the provisions of the Texas Education Code, sub-chapter G, chapter 61, title 3, section 7.5 (g). This authorizes us to legally grant religious degrees under the laws of the State of Texas.
Sunset International Bible Institute Graduate School has an articulation agreement with Amridge University in Montgomery, Alabama, regarding transfer of SIBIGS credit into the Turner School of Theology accredited degree programs, including the M.A., M.Div., D.Min., and Ph.D. of Biblical Studies degrees.
Sunset International Bible Institute is a Learning Partner with Masters International School of Divinity. This affiliation offers several benefits for SIBI and SIBIGS graduates including tuition reduction in the various degree programs available through MISD.
Please read the information concerning the MBS degree carefully and commit your decision to prayer. If you have completed a Bachelor’s Degree in any field from a recognized college or university, we welcome you to apply. Preaching School graduates who hold a certificate of graduation are encouraged to contact us for leveling course work in order to receive your Bachelor’s Degree and be admitted into the MBS program. If you believe that you are qualified to enter the program, you are encouraged to complete the application online.
Kerry Williams, Dean of Sunset Graduate School
Sunset International Bible Institute
Master of Biblical Studies Degree
The Master of Biblical Studies degree from Sunset is a religious degree focused on a Biblically balanced study of God’s word and its practical application in Christian Ministry. The classes, studies, reading and research required to earn the MBS degree are designed to prepare students for enhanced ministry in local churches, Christian organizations or mission environments. The degree is intended to serve as evidence of an advanced level of knowledge, training, and other qualifications required for those ministry applications.
The first Master of Biblical Studies graduates completed their degrees in 2011. Other men have graduated each year since that time. In 2017, the basic Master’s program was adjusted to concentrate on practical ministry. At present, the aim of Sunset’s Masters of Biblical Studies in Practical Congregational Ministry, is to, "Equip ministers for effective long-term service in local congregations through practical, real-world instruction."
Sunset is a single purpose professional institute of ministry. Our degrees reflect our uniqueness. Ministry in the Lord’s church is the primary focus, the consuming passion, and the “one thing” to which we are committed. Sunset International Bible Institute has been widely recognized among Churches of Christ as a quality Bible and ministry training school since its beginning in 1962. The fruit of almost five decades of training preachers, teachers and missionaries for effective Christian ministry speaks well of the quality of a Biblical degree from Sunset.
The faculty and administration of the graduate program at Sunset are composed of men who have decades of experience in ministry and ministry training. In most cases, they hold or are in the final stages of completing terminal degrees from accredited institutions, and are widely recognized as scholars in their disciplines. More importantly, they possess the spiritual qualities that we seek to model in our lives and develop in the lives and ministries of our students. They are men of Christian character and Biblical soundness. They do not just teach ministry, they are involved in it; they do not simply talk about the Bible, they live its precepts. This depth of both knowledge and experience provides our graduate school with a unique blend of scholarship and practical application. Because our faculty members are Christian leaders, they can help to prepare others to become better leaders.
Reasons for Earning Your Master's Degree
There are many reasons to pursue graduate training, and many quality institutions to choose from. Perhaps you are asking yourself, “Why should I get my master’s degree?” This is a valid question. Earning your master’s degree at Sunset can be a plus in these ways:
- Practical Emphasis. Sunset’s program is decidedly practical in nature. There are many fine Christian institutions offering graduate degrees in Theology or Biblical Studies, equipping graduates to do research and dig deeper into the text. We desire to go the extra mile and incorporate the biblical text into a program designed to equip graduates for the actual work of ministry. At Sunset, students learn the ins and outs of real ministry: leadership principles, relationship building, conflict resolution, congregational planning, and more. The program is designed to do more than make you knowledgeable, it is designed to make you SUCCESSFUL!
- Affordable Quality. A graduate degree from Sunset costs significantly less than most other degree offerings. Our tuition rate is $75 per credit hour. This rate equals a total cost of $225 for each three-hour graduate course, with a total tuition cost for the entire 36-hour program of only $2,700. This is a true value, as the average cost of all graduate degrees in 2010 was $14,537, which has grown dramatically since that time.
- Generous Transfer Policy. Most colleges and universities allow very limited transfer credits into their graduate programs, generally no more than 6-9 credit hours from previous graduate work. In addition, many do not allow transfer credit from previously completed graduate degrees. We recognize that there are many individuals who have completed graduate work in many fields, yet have a desire for training in practical ministry. Sunset therefore offers up to 18 transfer credits from previously completed coursework, even from previously completed degrees.
- Professional Development. Coursework leading to a master's degree will expose you to thoughts and trends which will keep you on the cutting edge of current thinking and effective ministry. With more than 50 percent of ministers within the Churches of Christ holding a master's degree or higher, earning a graduate degree from SIBI will move you up to the educational level enjoyed by many of your colleagues and friends.
- Personal Growth. As a student of God's Word, you also probably find yourself drawn to what the great minds and scholars have written on various important Biblical subjects. Studying at SIBI will expand your mind and challenge you to grow.
- Personal Fulfillment. The sense of personal fulfillment and accomplishment which comes from completing a graduate degree is significant. Many pursue a higher degree, not necessarily to impress anyone or to gain better employment opportunities, but simply because they dream about the fulfillment which comes from knowing that they have undertaken and completed a challenging project.
Master of Biblical Studies in Congregational Ministry
36 hour degree program
Core Courses (4 Courses - 12 Credit Hours)
MIN502 - Preaching in the 21st Century
MIN532 - Practical Ministry in the Congregational Context
15 hours (5 classes) in any combination of other classes
Capstone (1 Course - 3 Credit Hours)
MIN600 - Research Project
BIB504 - Contemporary Issues in Theology
BIB505 - Advanced Apologetics
BIB508 - Graduate Readings in Theology: Christian Spirituality
BIB509 - Christ and His Church in Ephesians
BIB510 - Missional Message of Acts
BIB517 - Advanced Hermeneutics
BIB526-9 - Directed Readings in the Biblical Text (Independent study that can be taken up to 4 times on different subjects)
BIB565 - Religious Worldviews: Distinguishing the Case for the Christian Worldview
MIN513 - Family Ministry Concepts
MIN519 - Christian Education
MIN530 - Small Church Ministry
MIN531 - Advanced Youth Ministry
MIN560 - Preaching Biblical Genres
MIN561 - Effective Topical Preaching
Church History Offerings:
HIS520 - Restoration History: Stone & Campbell