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Program Overview

Program Overview

Gain professional experience and develop core archaeological skills all while connecting your work to a spiritual foundation with Lipscomb’s Masters in Archaeology and Biblical Studies program. Prepare for a terminal degree that leads to a career as a biblical archaeologist, and acquire the necessary knowledge to practice Bible archaeology in the field or to teach in a humanities-based discipline.

Complete more than 200 hours of internship work in field schools, museum studies or lab work along and participate in at least one excavation season. Guided by leaders in the field, you will develop your ability to design and independently pursue a viable research project through your thesis work. With hands-on experience in and research capabilities, you will graduate as  an active member of the scholarly archaeological guild.

What is Biblical Archaeology? 

The Lipscomb University Master's of Archaeology program is based on the truth and research of the bible. Students will work in conjunction with the Hazelip School of Theology to merge the ideals and intersections of archaeology and theology. 

Archaeology and Biblical Studies Program Foundations

  • Core Knowledge: Develop understanding of concepts, terms and theories, and explore the disciplines of archaeology and biblical archaeology, specifically how these disciplines interface.
  • Skill Acquisition: Learn in a real-world setting by participating in a field school overseas in the Middle East. Process and handle material culture in at least two lab courses.
  • Career Orientation: Become a competitive and attractive candidate for a Ph.D. program through primary research, membership in professional organizations and presentations at national and regional meetings of the profession.
  • Lifelong Learning: Cultivate a plan and ethos for learning for life with an emphasis on adapting to the changing modern world.

Archaeology and Biblical Studies Program Outcomes

Lipscomb’s Master’s in Archaeology and Biblical Studies prepares students to be contributing members to academic conversations in archaeology, history, theology and more. As a graduate, you will have had the opportunity to conduct primary research and present your work at scholarly conferences, such as American Schools of Oriental Research, Society of Biblical Literature, and Southeastern Commission for the Study of Religion among others. 

Upon completion of this Bible archaeology program, students will have acquired these academic skills and experiences:

  • Archaeological material studies
  • Museum studies and lab work
  • Development and presentation of primary research 
  • Integration of social science and biblical studies
  • Knowledge of  methods and theories in archaeology
  • Spiritual development in a Christian community

Why Earn Your Degree at Lipscomb?

As a student in the archaeology program, you will have access to substantial resources, formative professional experiences and leaders in biblical archaeology. With excavation sites in Israel, Egypt, Cyprus, and Kazakhstan, you will be able to travel globally and learn in the field. You will study from six museum collections and two archives available through the Lanier Center. Supported by our esteemed faculty, you will also have the opportunity to conduct cutting-edge research and publish your work in established academic journals.

Admissions Requirements

Admissions Requirements

Ready to apply? Let’s get started. We’re here to help at every step. Applicants to the program must hold a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution and submit the following for admission review and enrollment:

  • Completed and submitted online application
  • CV detailing applicant's academic work, experience and scholarly achievement (publications, professional presentations, etc.) that has prepared the applicant to benefit from the program.
  • $50 non-refundable application fee
  • Official college transcripts from all previously attended colleges and universities (including graduate, if applicable)
  • Two recommendations: at least one from a university professor and one from either a supervisor/employer or character reference (pastor, priest, mentor).
  • Undergraduate GPA of at least 3.0
  • A research paper providing evidence of your academic work OR 750-1000 word essay about your career, your interest in archaeology, and how you would use the skills and learnings from our program professionally or personally.
  • Interview with faculty (on campus, virtually or by phone)

For transcripts, electronic copies can be emailed directly from your undergraduate institution to gradadmissions@lipscomb.edu.

If you are having a hard copy mailed, have it sent to:
Lipscomb University
Graduate Admissions
One University Park Drive
Nashville, TN 37204

Courses

Courses

Archaeology & Archaeological Method (18 hours)

Archaeology
ARCH 5103 Archaeology of Ancient Israel        
ARCH 5203 Archaeology of the New Testament World        

Archaeological Method/Theory
ARCH 5303 Archaeological Field Excavation Methods        
ARCH 5403 Archaeological Practicum-Material Studies        
ARCH 5503 Archaeological Method and Theory        
ARCH 5603 Ceramic Analysis – Syro-Palestine    

Biblical Backgrounds and History (6 hours)

GB 5183 History of Ancient Israel
or
GB 5193 History of the Second Temple Period

GB 5273 Social and Cultural Settings of Ancient Palestine
or
GB 5283 Social and Cultural Settings of Palestine during the Roman Period

Biblical and Cognate Languages (6 hours) 

Either one year of introductory Hebrew or Greek or advanced Hebrew or Greek exegesis (depends on prerequisite Biblical language).

GB 5033/GB 5073 Biblical Greek I, II
or
GB 5043/GB 5063 Biblical Hebrew I, II
or
GB 5703/GB 5713 NT Greek Readings I, II
or
GB 5763/GB 5773 OT Hebrew Readings I, II

Thesis or Electives (6 hours)    

Thesis and Research
ARCH 5902 Graduate Research Seminar
ARCH 599V Thesis
ARCH 6000 Thesis Continuation

Electives
Graduate courses in complementary areas approved by program director.

Prerequisites

Bible Backgrounds (Historical Geography)
Old Testament Interpretation (BI 4503 or equivalent)
New Testament Interpretation (BI 4513 or equivalent)
Biblical Language (Hebrew or Greek) (HB 1515/HB 1525 or GR 1515/GR 1525 or equivalent)

Tuition & Aid

Tuition & Aid

Program tuition is $950* per credit hour.

You will have access to many scholarship opportunities offered to Lipscomb University students as well as internal departmental resources, on-campus employment and traditional sources of financial aid loans.

*Note: Graduate tuition rates may increase annually, effective at the start of the summer term.

 

Types of Aid

1,000+

Total artifacts

Program Highlights

Field and Publication Projects

Our program creates opportunities for professional, hands-on experience. Students are asked to excavate history in our four active field projects and develop personal research from two publication projects embedded in their coursework.

Networking

Both our deeply connected faculty and our experiential learning opportunities offer myriad ways for you to form relationships with leaders in the industry. These connections will serve and support you throughout your career.

Ph.D. Preparation

Many individuals pursue a Master of Arts in Archaeology and Biblical Studies with the goal of obtaining a Ph.D. We have implemented a rigorous program to ensure that any student who graduates from our program is a competitive candidate for a doctoral program.

Nashville, TN

A big city. An even bigger opportunity. We consider Nashville, Tennessee an extension of our classroom, and as a leading city in many industries, that means you’ll gain experience and insight you won’t find anywhere else.

Small Class Sizes

You’ll have opportunities to engage in meaningful discussion, receive one-on-one faculty mentorship and ask difficult questions in our small class sizes. Plus, you’ll feel supported in a tight-knit learning community.

Alumni and Student Stories

Savanna Henning - M.A. '22/Current Ph.D. Student

"Archaeology is one of the greatest adventures of the Christian faith that you can ‘dig’ into. One trip to Israel, where you are able to physically connect with the Bible, and I'm sure your life will be changed, for the better. The community within this program is incredible, as well, and you will be taught by professors who are known and respected in their field."

Andrew Cahill - M.A. '22/Current Ph.D. Student

"This program features an array of classes taught by our extremely knowledgeable professors covering all of the wide and varied aspects of the field. Everything from historical geography to ceramics analysis is covered. This is a very nurturing community where the students help and look out for one another even beyond academia. I felt accepted by the community immediately upon joining the program."

Scott Huff - M.A. '22/Current Ph.D. Student

"We cover the topics treated in the contemporary academic community. There is a serious focus here on contributing to the field in research and academic conference participation. We are also instructed by well-connected professors, each with decades of leadership and field experience."

5

Average students per class

Our Faculty

  • Steve Ortiz headshot

    Steven Ortiz

    Director, Lanier Center for Archaeology

    Dr. Steven Ortiz is the Director of the newly established Lanier Center for Archaeology at Lipscomb University where he is also a professor of archaeology and biblical studies. He was...

    Meet Steven Ortiz
  • Thomas Davis headshot

    Thomas Davis

    Professor and Associate Director

    Dr. Tom Davis has forty years of experience as an archaeologist, working extensively in Cyprus, the Near East, Egypt, Central Asia, and the United States. He started his archaeological career...

    Meet Thomas Davis
  • Mark Janzen headshot

    Mark Janzen

    Associate Professor

    Dr. Mark Janzen is Associate Professor of Archaeology and Ancient History at Lipscomb University. He received his PhD from the University of Memphis (ancient history). His primary research interests are...

    Meet Mark Janzen
10:1

Faculty to student ratio

Career Paths

Archaeologists

As contributing members of the scholarly guild, archaeologists participate in excavation projects, work in museums and conduct research in the lab. Many also teach archaeology or another humanities-based discipline.

Postsecondary Teachers

Postsecondary teachers instruct students in a wide variety of academic and technical subjects beyond the high school level. They may also conduct research and publish scholarly papers and books.