Graduate Theological Union

Biblical Studies



Student Work

Sean D. Burke, Reading the Ethiopian
Eunuch as a Eunuch: Queering the
Book of Acts

Michele A. Connolly, Disorderly
Women and the Order of God: An
Australian Feminist Reading of the
Gospel of Mark

Chesung Ryu, The Silence of Jonah:
A Postcolonial Reading of Jonah 4:1-11





George Tink Tinker

George "Tink" Tinker, Ph.D. '83
A Visionary Theology



Sharon Betsworth (Ph.D. '07),
Director of the Wimberly School of
Religion and Associate Professor of
New Testament
Uriah Kim (Ph.D. '04), Professor
of Hebrew Bible, Hartford Seminary









Biblical Languages

This Area of Concentration is available to students affiliated with the following schools: ABSW, CDSP, DSPT, JST, PLTS, PSR, and SFTS.

Designed especially for highly qualified persons planning to pursue doctoral work in biblical studies, the program is also well-suited to persons desiring a terminal degree with a concentration in the biblical languages and a firm background in biblical studies. Prospective students are expected to have semester-length introductory courses in both Old and New Testament studies prior to entry, and advanced standing is available for those students who have previous comparable course work and/or are able to pass a language exam.


Biblical Studies

This Area of Concentration is available to students affiliated with the following schools: ABSW, CDSP, DSPT, JST, PLTS, PSR, and SFTS.

Study in this Area provides a strong foundation in the entire biblical corpus. In addition to the Jewish and Christian canonical, deuterocanonical, and extra-canonical scriptures, study also covers the background literature of early Israel, biblical and post-biblical Judaism, and early Christianity. The critical study of primary texts is emphasized, using a variety of analytical methods, interdisciplinary, and cross-cultural approaches. The development of skill in appropriate languages is central to the program.

M.A. Requirements





Students who complete the degree demonstrate competence in Hebrew Bible/Old Testament and in New Testament: in critical study of texts, in relevant ancient languages; in classic and contemporary methodological approaches and interpretive frameworks. They show themselves prepared to engage at a critical and creative level the far-reaching interdisciplinary discourses that shape research and teaching in Biblical Studies.

Admission Requirements
Students are expected to enter the program with MA/M.Div. level exposure to the general areas of Biblical Studies: course work in Pentateuch, Prophets, Wisdom/Writings; Gospels, Pauline corpus, and other writings of the late biblical period. Those specializing in the HB/OT will have had four semesters of Hebrew passed at B+; those specializing in Greek will have had four semesters of Greek passed at B+; all will have passed two semesters of the other language with a B+. It is strongly recommended that study of a modern language will have begun. Those seeking admission to the doctoral program but without the necessary language training might consider doing a “language year” as a special student before applying.

Language Requirements
Students must take diagnostic entrance exams in Hebrew and Greek before the semester begins. Students who successfully pass at the appropriate level have fulfilled the requirement; those who do not pass will enroll in language courses on the basis of the results of those exams.

Students must test out of their primary language (Hebrew for HB/OT, Greek for NT) at the primary level. The secondary language requirement may be certified as fulfilled either by testing out at the secondary level or by passing a language course at the advanced level with at least a B+. One semester of a third ancient language relevant to the field of specialization of the student is required. Two modern languages—ordinarily German and French—must be certified in accordance with standard GTU procedures.

Students will complete a total of eight required courses with at least a B+: At least two courses in texts and methods at the 6000 level; at least two courses focused on relevant methodology at the 4000-6000 level (ideally for students enrolled in the Ph.D. with some exposure to course work available at UCB); one course in a third ancient language (as above); three additional courses at the 4000-6000 level of the student’s choice, ordinarily with the GTU designation BS/OT/NT.

Comprehensive Examinations

1.      For the exam in the student’s primary testament: the student will select ten from the twenty standard questions and compose ten; for the actual exam the committee will specify five, of which the student will for the actual exam write four.

2.      For the exam in the student’s secondary testament: the student will select six from the twelve standard questions and compose six, including two each (standard and composed) in intertestamental; for the actual exam the committee will specify nine, of which the student will write five in the secondary testament and two in intertestamental.

3.      A research paper (30-40 pages) presenting the main text, problem, or issue to be pursued in the dissertation.

4.      A research paper (30-40 pages) presenting the relevant methodology, including both classic biblical methods and, for students enrolled in the Ph.D., the university discipline as well.


To be completed as stipulated in doctoral handbook. Additionally, the student is asked to speak about dissertation plans at the comprehensive exam defense.

Allied Field Requirements

Those wishing to declare an Allied Field in biblical studies must pass with a B+ one course in texts and methods and one additional BS/OT/NT course at the 4000-6000 level. In both cases, the student’s level of preparation in course work and languages must be appropriate. Additionally, the student will pass one of the general comprehensive examinations.




Core Doctoral Faculty

DAVID L. BALCH • PLTS (New Testament) • Luke-Acts, both exegesis and the visual world of the readers; Paul (Romans, Galatians, Philippians, Corinthians), and post-colonial interpretation; Roman domestic art and architecture; the visual world of early house churches.

AARON BRODY • PSR (Bible and Archaeology) • Archaeology of the Southern Levant; archaeology of religion; cultures of the Hebrew Bible; ancient economy; Tell en-Nasbeh.

STEED DAVIDSON • PLTS (Old Testament) • Hebrew Bible and Ancient Near Eastern empires; Postcolonial biblical hermeneutics; Jeremiah studies; early Persian period studies; exile, diaspora and displacement studies and the Bible; textuality and formation of the Hebrew Bible.

JOHN C. ENDRES, S.J. • JST (Sacred Scripture/Old Testament) • Intertestamental literature (Book of Jubilees); Book of Psalms; Dead Sea Scrolls; Wisdom literature; scripture and Ignatian spirituality.

LEANN SNOW FLESHER • ABSW (Old Testament) • Biblical laments; Apocalyptic literature; Psalms; hermeneutics/global perspective; protest literature of the Bible.

BARBARA GREEN, O.P. • DSPT (Old Testament) • Old Testament/Hebrew Bible; biblical narrative and hermeneutics; Christian spirituality and its relationship to OT/HB; the book of Jeremiah; thought and theory of Mikhail Bakhtin; biblical-based fiction; thought and theory of René Girard.

GINA HENS-PIAZZA • JST (Old Testament) • Prophets; Deuteronomistic history; feminist readings; new historicism and cultural studies.

EUGENE EUNG CHUN PARK • SFTS (New Testament) • Gospel of Matthew and formative Judaism; new perspective on Paul; Biblical hermeneutics; Dialogues of Plato in Greek.

JEAN-FRANCOIS RACINE • JST (New Testament) • Narrative study of the Gospels and Acts of the Apostles; New Testament textual criticism; Biblical hermeneutics.

ANNETTE SCHELLENBERG • SFTS (Old Testament) • Old Testament anthropology (reflections on humans and humanity); Wisdom literature (esp. Ecclesiastes); Priestly literature; Song of Songs; interrelations between the world of ancient Israel and the cultures and religions of its broader ancient Near Eastern and Egyptian context; reception history of Old Testament texts (especially in music); theological reflections and disputes in the Hebrew Bible.

ANNETTE WEISSENRIEDER • SFTS (New Testament) • Theology of Paul and the Synoptic gospels; Greco-Roman medicine and philosophy; New Testament anthropology and pneumatology; theories of the history of religion; Christian origins in social contexts; Roman domestic art, numismatics (collection of ancient currency), and architecture.


Consortial Faculty Resources

MARY P. COOTE • SFTS (Biblical Greek) • Beginning Greek, Greek reading groups.

YII-JAN LIN • PSR (New Testament) • New Testament criticism and biological sciences; gender; sexuality; literary theory.

SANDRA SCHNEIDERS, I.H.M. • JST (New Testament and Spirituality) • New Testament, esp. Johannine studies; biblical hermeneutics; study of spirituality as an academic discipline; Roman Catholic Religious life.

MARY DONOVAN TURNER • PSR (Preaching) • Hebrew Bible and preaching; Women, voice and preaching.