As of January 2023, Lancaster Bible College | Capital Seminary & Graduate School has launched a new online and hybrid Master of Arts in Christian Apologetics program, through which students learn to defend the gospel message of the Christian faith. Literally, the Greek word “apologia” means “defense.”
Enrolled students start their first classes on Jan. 9, and future students can enroll any time throughout the academic year. With a year-round eight-week course structure, the next start date is never more than a few weeks away.
At the helm is LBC | Capital Professor and author Dr. Mark Farnham, who serves as the MA in Christian Apologetics Program Director. This relevant and exciting 36-credit program is designed to equip students with the biblical, theological and philosophical foundation for effectively engaging objections to the Christian faith and for sharing the gospel with those who do not believe.
As they learn to effectively commend the Christian faith by delving into specialized study in apologetics and theology, students focus on the basics of metaphysics and epistemology in order to analyze any worldview or religion and effectively engage unbelievers in real-life gospel conversations.
Students also have the flexibility to take their apologetics courses either fully online or in a hybrid format, which combines the best of both online and in-person learning. While there is no residency requirement for online students, hybrid students meet over two days midway through each eight-week course to connect and engage with their professors and peers—in Lancaster or Washington, D.C.
Other benefits of the new Christian Apologetics program at LBC | Capital include the following:
- Accessible to students with little or no formal background in apologetics.
- Ideal for students who desire serious preparation for academic and practical engagement with unbelieving philosophy, religion, science and culture.
- Offers a wide variety of course options and electives to equip students for a variety of ministry scenarios.
- Helps students develop an apologetic approach consistent with Scripture and systematic theology.
- Students construct an intellectual framework that integrates epistemology, metaphysics and ethics into a coherent and consistent Christian faith and biblical worldview.
- Focus on evaluating and critiquing the current theological, philosophical and cultural issues facing the Church and society.
- Students can practice the skills critical to answering objections to the Christian faith with confidence and persuasiveness.
- Throughout courses, students cultivate effective rhetorical techniques and tactics for cultural engagement grounded in a Christian apologetic.
Some of the engaging courses in the programs consist of: Introduction to Biblical and Theological Research, Christian Apologetics, New Testament Issues in Apologetics, Biblical Interpretation, Old Testament Issues in Apologetics, Christian Doctrine, Philosophy for Apologetics and Cultural Apologetics.
Through this Q&A with Dr. Mark Farnham, learn more about LBC | Capital’s new online and hybrid Christian Apologetics program.
LANCASTER BIBLE COLLEGE: Why is it the right time for LBC | Capital to offer an online Christian Apologetics master’s degree?
MARK FARNHAM: “As we have seen the West transition from a positive to a negative view of Christianity over the past 30 years, gospel engagement with non-Christians has changed significantly. Rather than contending with indifference or reasoned arguments, a Christian will often encounter hostility when sharing the gospel. Apologetics is the study of ways to defend the truth of Christianity in a way that also invites the unbeliever into a conversation to consider the truth of the gospel. Christians need to know how to effectively and winsomely engage the most antagonistic opponents of Christianity and their arguments.”
LBC: What makes LBC | Capital’s new Master of Arts in Christian Apologetics program unique?
MF: “There are very few masters degrees in apologetics available online, and even fewer that don’t fall into the trap of only educating students to encounter what used to be the most common type of unbeliever they might encounter—the modernist. Our approach is able to engage any objections because it is rooted in systematic theology and the Bible’s holistic approach to understanding and engaging unbelief. Opposition to the Christian faith is primarily a spiritual problem, not an intellectual one. While we address the wide varieties of unbelief, we also begin with understanding the unbeliever as presented in Romans 1, where we are told that everyone knows God and suppresses that truth. We also use Scripture in our apologetic, whether or not the unbeliever accepts it, because it is the most potent weapon we have in the war of ideas.”
LBC: Why is it important for Christians to be able to defend their faith, especially in this culture?
MF: “There are at least three reasons why all Christians need to be able to defend and share their faith in an effective manner. First, a Christian’s faith is strengthened when they learn all the ways that God has confirmed the truth of Scripture. We do not believe because we want it to be true. We believe in the Christian faith because there is no other way to make sense of human experience and the possibility of knowledge. Second, Christians need to know how to defend their faith because unbelief is on the rise, and opposition to the Christian faith is becoming more pronounced. When Christians can defend their faith, they can live boldly in a hostile world. Third, God is still saving people all over the world, and he invites us to participate in his great work of salvation. The gospel is still the most powerful message to transform lives and the world. Every Christian should experience the joy of engagement with those who don’t know Christ to see them won to Him.”
Additionally, students within the Master of Arts in Christian Apologetics program can take advantage of a college partnership that provides a Logos Bible Software package.
LBC | Capital’s relationship with Faithlife enables the college to provide graduate-level students with a Logos Bible Software package worth over $4,000 for a fraction of the cost. LBC | Capital is committed to equipping students with the skillset needed for successful ministry in the 21st century, and this includes taking full advantage of the technologies that are relevant and applicable to their context. The LBC | Capital Logos package combines a custom-designed library of exegetical resources and the powerful tools of Logos Bible Software, which should aid students in being faithful to the biblical text as they navigate the demands of life and ministry. Learn more here.