Unexpected Bible Mastery: The 21 Bible Credits Every FC Student Earns

November 30, 2023 | 3 min read

Students in Florida College’s biblical studies department receive in-depth academic training with the goal of better understanding the biblical message as a whole. This year, 19 students are pursuing their Bachelor of Arts or Science degrees in Biblical Studies, digging deeper into the text, original languages, and historical and social background of God’s word.

“I think people underestimate the value of understanding the history, culture and language of the Bible, and gaining a deeper appreciation for what you can get from the text,” said Jason Longstreth, D.Min., chair of the biblical studies department. “It might take decades of intensive study on your own to gain the education students here receive in just a few years.”

Textual studies — typically focused on a single book — are the primary focus of the department’s courses, spread over 30-plus classes each semester.

“What’s unusual about biblical studies is that every student takes classes from our department every day,” Dr. Longstreth said. “Most of what we’re doing is supporting other degree programs, from business and elementary education to kinesiology.”

Even students who don’t major or minor in biblical studies graduate with an impressive number of hours. Students earn 13 Bible credits their first two years and 8 to 12 their last two, graduating with approximately 21 hours — just shy of a minor.

“FC’s biblical education degree, or Bachelor of Science, is an interdisciplinary degree that includes training in education and communications — practical tools to teach it well, often in a private or home school environment. Students often want the degree for classroom management and life skills,” Dr. Longstreth said.

Students who receive a Bachelor of Arts often plan to preach, teach classical or ancient world history, or pursue higher education.

“The primary purpose of this degree is as a foundation for a higher level of studies,” Dr. Longstreth said.

Students learn apologetics (defense of scripture), historical and cultural context of scripture, and various topics related to religion. Cassie (Miller) Sneed graduated with a Biblical Studies degree in 2019.

“I knew that, Lord willing, someday I would want to be a stay-at-home wife and mom, and had a hard time imagining going to school and studying something that I would not use later in life,” she said. “I decided I wanted to get my degree in biblical studies because it would be a degree I could take with me, and could still help me land a job.”

Through the program she learned to research, write papers, read scholarly articles and “listen to great Bible students (professors) present their findings.” Sneed and her husband have since begun creating their own Bible study material and are awaiting the birth of their first child.

“While I may not be using my degree in the most traditional way, I still believe it has served me well overall,” she said. “I had a unique opportunity to study the Bible in such a concentrated way, and am still a student of it like everyone else. Lord willing, we will be able to instill a love for Bible study in our kids, teach them to study for themselves, and continue to grow every day for the rest of our lives in this topic I called my major for a few years of my life.”

To learn more about the biblical studies department, click here.