Master of Arts in Middle Eastern Cultures and Religions

Explore the religious, political, and social history of the Middle East, including the world’s three great monotheistic religions: Judaism, Christianity, and Islam.

MIDDLE EASTERN CULTUREs AND RELIGIONS

About the Program

What You Will Learn

Our M.A. degree in Middle Eastern Cultures and Religions is an interdisciplinary program that combines studies in religion, language, history, and social sciences, and provides students opportunities for field education.

Students pursuing this degree are able to utilize the wealth of institutional and personal resources available for study and interaction in Jerusalem.

Unique Opportunities at JUC

Both in and out of the classroom, our students encounter a variety of viewpoints first-hand regarding the character of the countries of the region and their current political processes. The rare combination of Israeli and Palestinian scholars, together with local Christian faculty members teaching in a non-denominational Christian institution located in Jerusalem, makes Jerusalem University College a unique meeting place for examining and interacting with issues surrounding the modern Middle East.

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THE DETAILS

Course Requirements

The M.A. degree in Middle Eastern Cultures and Religions includes 49 semester credit hours of course work as outlined below. The degree is designed to be completed within two calendar years, although students choosing to pursue the thesis track are given an additional year to complete all of the work for the degree. Students for whom English is not their native language are expected to be able to finish the degree in three years if taking the non-thesis track, and four years if pursuing the thesis track.

Internship

Students are required to complete an intensive internship course (3 credit hours) which includes 150 contact hours at an approved area ministry, NGO, or comparable placement, together with a written component produced by the student. The internship is designed to provide an opportunity for students to develop and refine practical skills necessary for leadership in the Middle East. It does this by integrating classroom learning with practical field experiences. For this reason, each internship placement is closely matched to the individual student’s academic program and vocational goals.

Survey Courses: 10 hours

  • Introduction to the Modern Middle East (3)
  • Historical and Social Settings of Modern Israel (3)
  • Physical Settings of the Bible (4)

History: 9 hours

  • History of the Church in the East (3)
  • History of the Jews during the Medieval and Modern Period (3)
  • History of the Holy Land from the Rise of Islam to 1948 (3)

Religious Studies: 6 hours

  • Jewish Thought and Practice (3)
  • Islamic Thought and Practice (3)

Society and Politics: 3 hours

  • Palestinian Society and Politics (3)

Internship and Seminars: 6 hours

  • Internship in Middle Eastern Cultures and Religions (3)
  • Departmental Seminar (topic to be announced each year) (3)

Context Courses: 9 hours from the following:

  • Regional Explorations of the Land of the Bible (3)
  • Biblical Hebrew I (4)
  • Biblical Hebrew II (4)
  • Readings in Biblical Hebrew Narrative (3)
  • Post-biblical Hebrew: Second Temple Period (3)
  • Introduction to Aramaic (3)
  • Cultural Backgrounds of the Bible (3)
  • History of Ancient Israel (3)
  • History of the Second Temple Period (3)
  • Intertestamental Literature (3)
  • Text Studies in Midrash, Mishnah, and Gemara: The
    Shared Heritage of Rabbinic Judaism and Early Christianity (3)
  • Guided Research in Middle Eastern Cultures and Religions (3)

Thesis-track degree: 6 hours

  • Guided Research on Thesis Topic (2)
  • Thesis Writing (4)

Non-Thesis-track degree: 6 hours of additional context courses

Bible Content Examinations

  • Old Testament Bible Content Examination
  • New Testament Bible Content Examination

Comprehensive - Integrative Examinations

  • History of the Modern Middle East
  • Issues in the Modern Middle East

Proficiency Examination in Modern Hebrew or Arabic

Total Credit Hours: 49

Thesis Track

M.A. students may choose to write a thesis as part of their degree program. Once a topic of interest is chosen, the student will work with two faculty members to develop a thesis proposal, then research and write the thesis. The process of writing a thesis not only allows the student to engage a topic in depth, but also to learn methods of research and writing that allow the student to pursue further academic work.

Sample Thesis Titles

The Aramean Christian Movement in Israel

The Dhimma: Aspects and Impacts on Christian Communities in the Middle East

Bethlehem University: A Case Study in the Develop of Higher Education in the midst of Political Struggle

The Contribution of British Evangelical Thought to the Making of the Balfour Declaration

A Study of British Policy Affecting Jewish Refugees From the Third Reich: 1933-1939

How Much Does It Cost?

Studying at JUC is affordable. Learn about the program costs and our financial aid options.

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