This highly flexible Bachelor of Arts in Christian Studies (BACS) program is a 120-unit professional degree designed to be completed in 4-years of full time study entirely from your own home without residency requirement. The program provides basic undergraduate knowledge to those seeking to be involved in church and/or missionary related ministry, and to those who seek to pursue a graduate degree in the future.
The program also offers a broad foundation for ministry involving theology, church history, biblical studies, apologetics, general education and interdisciplinary elective courses. In addition to the academic curriculum, practical ministry Church/Mission (CM) experiences are required during the program (see catalog).
- To describe the basic contents and message of each Old and New Testament book.
- To describe the basic doctrines of Christianity and the major events of church history.
- To describe and defend an understanding of the Christian worldview, especially as it relates to other philosophical worldviews and religions.
- To describe the basic elements of general education courses.
FLEX Degree Completion Program
The FLEX degree completion program is designed for students with prior college credit but do not possess a Bachelors degree. Mature students without college credit, but who have prior learning are also encouraged to apply. Applicants may seek Credit for Prior Learning (CPL) that may be evaluated through Prior Learning Assessment (PLA) for a fee. Those with sufficient prior learning must demonstrate their knowledge by completing an undergraduate exam(s) administered by VIU covering the various block areas of study within the BACS program such as Religion and Culture, Theology, and Biblical Studies. Successful completion of the exam(s) would result in the award of up to 18 semester credits per block. Sometimes there may be more than one exam for a given block of courses.
The academic prerequisite for this degree program is a high school diploma, GED or equivalent with a minimum GPA of 2.0 on a 4.0 scale. The BACS degree program calls for students who demonstrate a potential for ministry, a faithful commitment to the Word of God, a heart for Christian service, and the personal discipline necessary to complete degree requirements. See the Application for Admission for further requirements.
Each student is required to successfully complete the 120-unit program with a GPA of 2.0 or better, and be recommended by the faculty for graduation. In addition, a minimum of 30 semester units must be successfully completed through VIU.
Students may transfer into the program up to 90 semester units previously earned at VIU or another institution. These units may be transferred at any time by sending official academic transcripts to the VIU Registrar. Only comparable courses, not specifically vocational or technical, that are 100 level and higher with a grade of C- or better, are eligible for transfer. VIU also accepts A.C.E. transcripts, CLEP and AP exams for alternative credit. Additional admission requirements are found in the VIU Academic Catalog and on the Application for Admission.
Graduates of the BACS program will have advanced standing (i.e., receive up to 12-units of courses applied to your VIU MACA, MABS, or MDiv Masters degree) upon admission into the VIU graduate program. The courses that qualify are listed below with an asterix. Students may also attend these courses in residence as they are offered in the graduate program at the OC campus.
Mode of Delivery and Time to Complete
The BACS program is fulfilled through distance-learning format without a residency requirement. Though not mandatory, students may register for optional on-campus graduate courses. In this case, the student would receive an undergraduate syllabus.
A typical distance-learning course may include:
1) Reading assignments
2) Discussion posts/responses
2) Research paper
3) Exam and/or quizzes
4) Some courses may require you to view pre-recorded video (or audio) lectures
Students will have two enrollment periods to register for Fall courses (Fall 1 and Fall 2) and two enrollment periods for Spring courses (Spring 1 and Spring 2). Summer terms are also available. Each Fall 1 and 2 and Spring 1 and 2 terms are 7-weeks in length to complete all coursework, followed by a 1-week enrollment period (see below). Courses may be completed in any order (only biblical language courses have prerequisites; e.g. Greek I must be completed prior to Greek II). Coursework must be submitted to your instructor by the published syllabus course end date. Students will have a maximum of 8-years to complete BACS the program.
Course Enrollment Periods
Students may register for courses during the open enrollment periods that precede the term.
- Fall 1: 7-week term starting in August
Fall 2 Enrollment Period (1-week)
- Fall 2: 7-week term starting in October
Spring 1 Enrollment Period
- Spring 1: 7-week term starting in February
Spring 2 Enrollment Period (1-week)
- Spring 2: 7-week term starting in April
Summer Enrollment Period
- Summer Semester: 7-week term starting in June/July
Fall 1 Enrollment Period
BACS Program Content
General Education – 36 units
In North American higher education, general education courses are required for all Bachelor’s degrees. Students may transfer these courses to VIU from another accredited institution or complete them through VIU.
Transferrable courses must be:
1) College-level (typically listed as 100-level), not remedial or preparatory.
2) “General” in nature, not specifically vocational or technical.
3) Passed with a grade of C– or better.
The following list shows representative courses under each general education category.
English Communication & Critical Thinking (6 units)
- English Composition
- Research Writing
- Creative Writing
- Speech Communication
- Interpersonal/Intercultural Communication
- Critical Thinking
Arts & Humanities (6 units)
- Art Appreciation
- Music Appreciation
- Theatre Appreciation
- Physical Education
- Foreign Language
Natural Sciences & Mathematics (6 units)
- Life Science (Biology)
- Physical Geography
- Health Science
- College Mathematics
Social & Behavioral Sciences (6 units)
- History of World Civilization
- Cultural Anthropology
- Human Behavior and Mental Processes (Psychology)
Additional General Studies/Liberal Arts Courses (12 units)
- To gain a broad understanding of God’s world, these should not be technical or vocational courses, but may include general courses such as Business Administration, Accounting,Personal Finance, Computer Science, or Engineering.
Christian Studies – 60 units
Religion and Culture – 18 units
*AP301 Introduction to Christian Apologetics (3)
PH301 Introduction to Philosophy (3)
*RE304 World Religions (3)
*PH302 Critical Thinking/Logic (3)
RE305 Cults and New Religious Movements (3)
*FC410 Gospel and Culture (3)
Theology – 18 Units
TH301 Introduction to Theology (3)
TH320 Bible Study Methods and Interpretation (3)
*TH330 Introduction to the Bible (3)
TH440 Christ and the Holy Spirit (3)
TH460 Sin and Salvation (3)
TH470 Church and Last Things (3)
Biblical Studies and Church History – 18 Units
*OT/NT400s Book Study (6) (or *BLG401 Biblical Greek I and *BLG402 Biblical Greek II; or *BLH401 Biblical Hebrew I and *BLH402 Biblical Hebrew II)
*OT310 Old Testament Survey (3)
NT320 New Testament Survey (3)
**CH480 Church History I (3)
**CH490 Church History II (3)
Ministry – 6 Units
ME401 Missions and Evangelism (3)
PM302 Christian Leadership (3)
Electives – 24 units
Choose 8 courses from the following list to fulfill your elective requirements.
*AP300 Introduction to CS Lewis (3)
AP302 Introduction to Islam (3)
AP303 Worldviews (3)
AP308 Conversational Apologetic (3)
AP309 Art and Ethics of Persuasion (3)
AP401 Archaeology and the Bible (3)
AP402 Apologetics and the Law (3)
*AP404 Christian Ethics (3)
*AP407 The Problem of Evil (3)
*BLG401 Biblical Greek I (3)
*BLG402 Biblical Greek II (3)
*BLH401 Biblical Hebrew I (3)
*BLH402 Biblical Hebrew II (3)
*CE401 Christian Education (3)
CH470 American Christianity (3)
ME400 Mission, Contextualization, and Diversity (3)
PH401 Philosophy of Religion (3)
PH440 Introduction to Christian Metaphysics (3)
PH450 Introduction to Christian Epistemology (3)
*PM303 Introduction to Biblical Counseling (3)
*TH480 Historical Theology (3)
Research Skills and Church/Mission Requirement – (P/F)
*RW499 Research Methods, Writing and Technology Skills – (P/F)
CM401 Church/Mission Experience 1 – (P/F)
CM402 Church/Mission Experience 2 – (P/F)
CM403 Church/Mission Experience 3 – (P/F)
*Denotes courses you may attend in residence alongside graduate students at the OC campus and may be applied as advanced standing to your VIU Masters degree program.
For BACS program inquires, please contact the Director, Dr. Miguel Endara, at [email protected]