Biblical Studies

The Biblical Studies degree engages you in rigorous in-depth study of Scripture, its major theological themes, biblical history, and scriptural context. The program is designed to teach biblical Hebrew and Greek, as well as advanced methods of Biblical interpretation. This major empowers you to be an effective, faithful reader, expositor, and interpreter of Scripture.

Holistic Approach

Our program offers the opportunity to learn both biblical languages. Greek and Hebrew give you a better understanding of the Old and New Testament as a whole. Biblical Interpretation, Elementary Greek and Hebrew, and Greek and Hebrew Exegesis courses provide a solid foundation for church ministry or for pursuing a future postgraduate degree in biblical studies.

Academic and Applied

Academic courses such as New Testament Theology and History, Old Testament Prophets, Wisdom Literature, and individual book studies of Genesis, Isaiah, and Romans, equip you with exegetical tools. You will grow to understand the meaning of the biblical text in its original social, historical, religious, and cultural contexts and seek to appropriate its message in our contemporary context. You will be able to develop curriculum and materials for preaching, personal bible study, leading bible study groups, or teaching Sunday school.

Practical Experience

You will gain practical training through internship programs for hands-on ministry experience. You may have the option of working as a Research Assistant or writing a master’s thesis in order to strengthen research, writing, and analytical skills. Upon completion of the degree you will be able to work in church settings or pursue post-graduate studies.

The Master of Divinity is a three-year professional ministry degree that provides you with knowledge and skills to be an effective and holistic ministry leader. The MDiv blends academic study, mentored learning and practical experience in a comprehensive program that will prepare you for ordained ministry or for Christian leadership in its various forms.

MDiv students will acquire foundational preparation for ordained ministry and for Christian leadership in congregations and other settings. Students will:

  1. develop breadth of knowledge and critical understanding of the theological disciplines;
  2. acquire capacities for understanding and engaging the cultural, social, and global context of God’s mission in the world;
  3. experience personal and professional growth through a process of intellectual, spiritual and ministry formation;
  4. develop and hone skills for theologically reflective ministry practice in its various forms.


Program Requirements

Biblical Studies (5 Courses)
  • [BIBL 0501] Biblical Interpretation: Interpreting and Applying the Biblical Text
  • [OLDT 0511] Old Testament Theology and History
  • [NEWT 0522] New Testament Theology and History
  • OLDT___ Old Testament course
  • NEWT___ New Testament course
Biblical Languages (3 Courses)
  • [NEWT 0321] Elementary Greek I or [OLDT 0611] Hebrew Grammar I
  • [NEWT 0322] Elementary Greek II or [OLDT 0612] Hebrew Grammar II
  • [NEWT 0523] Greek Exegesis I or [OLDT 0711] Hebrew Exegesis I
Biblical Studies Major
  • [BIBL 0718] Biblical Studies Seminar
  • [NEWT 0524] Greek Exegesis II OR [OLDT 0712] Hebrew Exegesis II
  • [OLDT 0611] Hebrew Grammar I OR [NEWT 0321] Elementary Greek I
  • [NEWT 0321] Elementary Greek I OR [OLDT 0611] Hebrew Grammar I
  • [OLDT 0612] Hebrew Grammar II OR [NEWT 0322] Elementary Greek II
Theology (3 Courses)
  • [THEO 0531] Systematic Theology I
  • [THEO 0532] Systematic Theology II
  • THEO___ Theology course
Christian History (2 Courses)
  • [HIST 0561] History of Christianity I
  • [HIST 0562] History of Christianity II
Ministry Formation (6 Courses)
  • [BIBL 0701] Bible Major Internship
  • CHED___ Christian Education and Formation course
  • [LEAD 0510] Leadership Development
  • [MISS 0782] Gospel, Church and Culture
  • [SPIR 0700] Spiritual Formation
  • PAST___ Pastoral Ministry course
Electives (4 Courses)

Total MDiv Courses: 27

Program requirements subject to change.
View Major Sheets »

The Master of Theological Studies is a two-year graduate degree that helps you understand the biblical, theological and historical foundations of the Christian faith. The MTS is flexible program that can be tailored to meet your learning and ministry interests, or help you prepare you for further studies. Students may select electives from across the curriculum, or use them to focus their studies in a chosen concentration.

Students completing the MTS program will acquire a broad understanding of the theological disciplines for Christian faith and practice. Students will:

  1. gain theological understanding and insight through study of the heritage of Christian scripture, history, theology and ministry;
  2. develop aptitudes for thinking critically, theologically and biblically in relation to faith, vocation and ministry; 
  3. acquire critical awareness of God’s mission in the world in its social, cultural and global contexts;
  4. demonstrate depth of understanding in a particular field (for those opting to concentrate in an area of study).

The MTS Modular is a specialized, cohort-based program that allows students to complete the degree, one evening per week, in a fixed sequence of courses delivered over three years. 

Program Requirements

Bible, Theology and History Courses (7 Courses)
  • [BIBL 0501] Biblical Interpretation: Interpreting and Applying the Biblical Text
  • [HIST 0561] History of Christianity I
  • [HIST 0562] History of Christianity II
  • [OLDT 0511] Old Testament Theology and History
  • [NEWT 0522] New Testament Theology and History
  • [THEO 0531] Systematic Theology I
  • [THEO 0532] Systematic Theology II
Ministry Formation (3 Courses)
  • [LEAD 0510] Leadership Development
  • [MISS 0782] Gospel, Church, and Culture
  • [SPIR 0700] Spiritual Formation
Electives (8 Courses)

Total MTS Courses: 18

Program requirements subject to change.
View Major Sheets »

The one-year Graduate Diploma program provides you with a foundation of biblical, theological and ministry studies for your spiritual growth and ministry development. The Graduate Diploma allows you to tailor your studies to meet your learning and ministry needs. You may choose a concentration in Christian Studies, Leadership, Global Mission and Intercultural Studies, Pastoral and Chinese Ministry Foundations, Pentecostal Studies, Spiritual Formation or Youth and Family Ministry.

The Diploma in Christian Studies may also be taken on Monday evenings in a modular, cohort-based format with a fixed sequence of nine (9) courses delivered over one and a half years. The MTS (Christian Studies) may be taken entirely online.

All successfully-completed coursework can be transferred to the MDiv and MTS programs.

Whether you're interested in vocational ministry and leadership or personal study and enrichment, Tyndale offers a wide range of degree options that will meet your needs and goals.

Graduate Diploma** MTS
Master of Theological Studies**
Master of Divinity***
Master of Theology
Doctor of Ministry
A program geared toward adult learners interested in being equipped for ministry in their chosen profession A degree that will develop students' theological understanding for general educational purposes A degree designed primarily for those considering vocational, church-based ministry An advanced academic degree that provides an opportunity toexplore biblical, theological or historical studies in preparation for a PhD or ThD program An advanced professional degree designed for church leaders whose ministry will be integrated into their study and research Description
9 18 27 6 courses + thesis 6 intensive modules + a major project


1 year 2 years 3 years 1 year 3 years Duration*
Want to enhance your biblical and theological understandings in a setting that will engage your intellect and deepen your faith Are seeking a foundational graduate degree that can be utilized in a wide range of professional and ministerial contexts Wish to prepare for ordained ministry or for general pastoral and religious leadership responsibilities in congregations and other settings Have completed an MDiv or MTS and wish to enhance your ministerial and missional practice with additional scholarship, or prepare for further study at the doctoral level Have completed an MDiv or equivalent and are engaged in substantive ministry further developing your skills and capacities for effective leadership Pursue if...
* Program durations are based on a traditional, full-time course load of nine courses per year.
** Also offered in a modular format designed to meet the needs of students with full-time demands such as family, church or career.
*** Tyndale also offers an In-Ministry MDiv degree program for people who are engaged in part-time or full-time in vocational Christian ministry.
» Program Coordinator

Dr. Rebecca Idestrom

Associate Professor of Old Testament
416.226.6620 Ext. 6771

BTh, Central Pentecostal College, 1985
BA, University of Toronto, 1987
MRel, Wycliffe College, Toronto, 1990
PhD, University of Sheffield, 1996

Areas of Specialization: Areas of Specialization: Old Testament, History of Biblical Interpretation, Hebrew, Intertestamental History and Literature.

Dr. Idestrom joined the faculty of Tyndale Seminary in 2001, after having taught at Western Pentecostal Bible College in Abbotsford, BC for five years. Besides having taught summer courses at Tyndale prior to joining the core faculty, she has done adjunct teaching at Wycliffe College in Toronto, Regent College, ACTS Seminary and Trinity Western University in Langley, BC. Her doctoral dissertation has been published, entitled From Biblical Theology to Biblical Criticism: Old Testament Scholarship at Uppsala University, 1866-1922 (Coniectanea Biblica Old Testament Series 47; Stockholm: Almqvist & Wiksell, 2000). She has also published a number of essays, articles and book reviews which have appeared in the Journal for the Study of the Old Testament, Journal of Pentecostal Theology, Studies in Religion/Sciences Religieuses, Didaskalia, Toronto Journal of Theology, The Pentecostal Testimony, Themelios, Hebrew Studies and in books of collected essays. In June 2007 she was honoured with the Research Scholar Award from the Centre for Mentorship and Theological Reflection. Idestrom, a native of Sweden, is also musical and enjoys singing. She has done several missions trips to Europe and Russia, singing in her father’s choir, Jubilance Singers and Orchestra.

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» Program Faculty

Dr. Barbara Leung Lai

Research Professor of Old Testament

BTh, Alliance Bible Seminary, 1972
MDiv, Fuller Theological Seminary, 1976
ThM, Wycliffe College, University of Toronto, 1979
PhD, University of Sheffield, England, 1997

Areas of Specialization: Wisdom Literature, Apocalyptic Literature, Psychological Hermeneutic of Biblical Themes and Texts, Social Sciences and the Interpretation of the Hebrew Bible, Biblical Interpretation in Postmodern Times, Text and Reading, Gender-Culture Studies, methodological considerations towards the development of Appropriation/Relevance Theories, and Contextual Biblical Interpretation.

Methodologically located in the inter-disciplinary terrain of Social Sciences and Biblical Studies, she distinguishes herself in the advancement of psychological approaches to Biblical texts and themes.

Dr. Leung Lai came to Tyndale in 1997 after 20 years of teaching and equipping ministries in the East and West. She previously taught at Evangel Theological Seminary of Hong Kong (as a missionary with the Evangelical Free Church) and McMaster Divinity College. During her last two sabbatical leaves, she served as Visiting Scholar at Fuller (2003), Princeton (2004), and was a Senior Reader at Tyndale House (Cambridge, England, 2012)

Dr. Leung Lai is a frequent presenter at scholarly and professional gatherings (SBL, ISBL, IBR, ATS functions and global consultations). She has been appointed as Scholar Associate of Wycliffe College, University of Toronto; as member of the Steering Committee of the Psychology and Biblical Studies Section of the Society of Biblical Literature; and as member of the Editorial Board for the Society of Asian North American Christian Studies Annual (SANACS Annual). In 2010, she was elected as member of the Advisory Committee on Women in Leadership in Theological Education (WiL) with ATS and is now in her second term of service. Dr. Leung Lai serves the broader academic community through adjunct teaching internationally.

She is the author of two academic monographs (Commentary on the Book of Proverbs [Tien Dao Publishing House, 2005] and Through the ‘I’-Window: The Inner Life of Characters in the Hebrew Bible [Hebrew Bible Monographs 34; Sheffield Phoenix Press], 2011), and is writing a new book, provisionally entitled, Theory and Praxis: Toward a Methodology of Appropriation [The Case of the Wisdom Books in the Hebrew Bible]. Dr. Leung Lai has published articles in peer-reviewed journals, chapters in academic books and Festschrifts, articles in study Bible and dictionary entries. Other than teaching and scholarship, Dr. Leung Lai serves the Church community as a sought-after consultant in the area of teaching and appropriating the Old Testament in postmodern times.

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Dr. Ian Scott

Associate Professor of New Testament

BRE, Emmanuel Bible College, 1995
MCS, Regent College, 1998
PhD, McMaster University, 2004

Areas of Specialization: New Testament, Pauline Studies, Judaism in the Second Temple period, Approaches to Religious Knowledge, Early Christology.

Before coming to Tyndale in 2006, Dr. Scott taught for three years at King's University College at the University of Western Ontario. Much of his current research examines ways of knowing in the New Testament and early Judaism. His publications include his recent book, Implicit Epistemology in the Letters of Paul: Story, Experience and the Spirit (Mohr Siebeck, 2006), the chapter entitled "Epistemology and Social Conflict in Jubilees and Aristeas" in the forthcoming book Common Judaism Explored, and an article in New Testament Studies entitled " Common Ground? The Role of Gal 2.16 in Paul's Argument." He is co-editor of the Online Critical Pseudepigrapha (, an electronic publication of the Society of Biblical Literature. He has presented papers at the Canadian Society of Biblical Studies and the Society of Biblical Literature, as well as other academic conferences. Outside the academy, Dr. Scott preaches and teaches in a variety of church contexts. Over the years, he and his wife Susan have been involved in youth work, small-group leadership and worship ministries.

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Dr. John Kessler

Professor of Old Testament
416.226.6620 Ext. 6724

BTh, Tyndale College, 1978
BA, University of Waterloo, 1980
MA, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, 1982
Conjoint Doctorate, Docteur de l'Université, Sorbonne-Paris IV and Docteur en Théologie, Institut Catholique de Paris, 1995

Areas of Specialization: The Book of Haggai, Israelite History and Literature of the Early Second Temple Period, Old Testament Theology, Hebrew.

Dr. Kessler has served as Professor of Old Testament at Tyndale Seminary since 1992. He is Chair of the Biblical Studies Department. His publications include his recent monograph entitled, The Book of Haggai: Prophecy and Society in Early Persian Yehud (Brill, 2002) and a Festschrift for Donald Leggett, Teach Me Your Paths (Clements, 2000), coedited with Jeffrey Greenman. He has published articles in various journals, including the Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society, Transeuphratène, Vetus Testamentum, Catholic Biblical Quarterly and the Journal for the Study of the Old Testament]/i]. Dr. Kessler has presented papers at the Canadian Society of Biblical Studies, as well as at international scholarly conferences in the United States, France and Germany.

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Doctor of Ministry (DMin)

The program seeks to provide candidates with a collegial, academic and professional milieu in which you will advance your understanding of the nature, purposes, and practice of ministry; enhance your leadership and formational competencies in discernment, theological reflection, and in-ministry research; gain opportunities for personal and spiritual growth. Learn More | View Requirements

Canadian Chinese School of Theology (CCST)

Tyndale University College & Seminary (Tyndale) and Association of Canadian Chinese Theological Education (ACCTE) have collaborated in a strategic partnership to organize the Canadian Chinese School of Theology (Toronto). Learn More | View Requirements

Visiting/Occasional Students

I wish to take classes at Tyndale Seminary but do not want to be admitted into a degree or certificate program. If you have completed a bachelor's degree and wish to take graduate-level course you can become an occasional student or audit a course. Or if you are registered at another graduate theological institution and are eligible to take courses at Tyndale Seminary, you can submit a Letter of Permission. Apply as a visiting/occasional student

Need help? Contact Admissions at: 1.877.TYNDALE (896.3253) | 416.218.6757 (local) |

The following is a list of all degrees, diplomas, and areas of study offered at Tyndale Seminary. As a graduate theological school, Tyndale Seminary admits students who have completed a baccalaureate degree from an accredited university or college (see admissions requirements). Click on each of the items below to find descriptions, opportunities and course requirements.