Christianity

"Go therefore, and teach all nations..." --Matthew 28:19

Anyone wanting to understand God’s work in the world will enjoy pursuing a Christianity major or minor in the Department of Theology.  This degree is especially appropriate for those wanting to serve the body of Christ as a minister in a church, a missionary, someone in parachurch ministry, or whatever setting God calls you.  We value our Baptist heritage, but our faculty and students are broadly evangelical, drawing from a variety of traditions and denominations.  Thus, we welcome anyone who would wish to study with us.
 
Our broad program focusing on Biblical Studies, Theology, and Practical Ministry will give you a foundation for a variety of ministries and will prepare for graduate studies such as our Master of Arts in Theological Studies (MATS) or an MDiv.  The main strength and focus of our department is the study of the Bible.  You will gain a strong grasp of the Old and New Testament and will learn to interpret the Scriptures for yourself, even studying them in Greek and Hebrew.  Along with the study of the Bible, we give you a strong foundation in theological disciplines so that you can understand how Christian theology addresses the questions of modern culture and how your theology fits within the variety of Christian traditions and denominations over the past two millennia.  In all our classes we integrate discussion about how to apply the Bible in the church, but we focus specifically on these issues in a variety of Practical Ministry classes.  Since God has gifted each of you in different ways, we help you explore your gifting and the needs of the church, so you can ably share God’s love with a broken world. 
 
The Christianity major is 35 credit hours long, with 17 hours of core classes and 18 hours of electives.  The core courses for the major are New Testament Theology, Old Testament Theology, History of Christianity, Hermeneutics, Systematic Theology, and the Senior Seminar.  We also offer a wide variety of electives which allow you to tailor your studies to your interests, such as Jesus and the Gospels, Romans, the Christian Vocation, Revelation, Homiletics, Paul and His Letters, Isaiah, John Calvin, Spiritual Formation, Greek, Hebrew, etc.  Christianity Minors (18 hrs) may be earned in one of four areas: Biblical Studies, Practical Studies, Theological Studies, or Christian Studies.
 
HBU offers several types of scholarships to help our incoming students.  Two among these are especially relevant to those pursuing a ministerial vocation.
 
BGCT Scholarships
The Baptist General Convention of Texas funds scholarships for our Southern Baptist students who are pursuing ministry as a vocation.  The BGCT scholarship amount is currently $50 per credit hour for freshman and sophomores and $75 per credit hour for juniors and seniors.  In addition to the denominational eligibility requirements, students must take two classes during their time at HBU: the Christian Vocation and Baptist History. 
 
Covenant Fellows
The purpose of the Covenant Fellows Program is to give students called to Christian ministry financial, personal and professional support as they further their undergraduate development into competent and holistically educated ministers/professors/missionaries.  HBU covenants with our students and with local churches to provide education and professional experiences that will prove beneficial to both those studying in the program and those churches supporting and employing our ministerial students.  One of the significant benefits of participation in the program is the offer to receive up to $10,000 in scholarship money per academic year.
 
 
Accelerated Master of Arts in Theological Studies
Most students preparing for ministry pursue some type of graduate degree to help them further prepare for ministry.  Traditionally, the MDiv was the standard degree, but churches today are becoming more interested not just in a graduate degree but also practical experience.  As a result, we offer a shorter Master of Arts in Theological Studies (MATS) that gives the core foundation desired by churches but is shorter to provide you more flexibility in finding practical experience.  It is 36 hours rather than the traditional 90 hrs for an MDiv.  If you meet certain requirements, you may begin pursuing an Accelerated MATS (AMATS) here at HBU while still working on your undergraduate degree.  This allows you to get a BA and an MA in just five years!  Because of the shorter time frame with the AMATS, you will have less debt and will be able to pursue full-time ministry more quickly. 
 
Students interested in the Christianity degree program should contact Dr. Ben Blackwell.