The Postgraduate Certificate in Biblical Studies offers the opportunity for the in-depth study of some of the texts that have been of immense significance for the development of Western (and not only Western) civilisation. The writings of the Old and New Testaments are primary sources of Christian faith and of theology, and as such remain a source of inspiration, but are also the subject of (often fierce) controversy among Christians of various denominations. Biblical texts, however, have also greatly influenced literature, music, painting, sculpture and other ways of cultural expression, including popular culture, throughout the last two millennia. At the same time, certain passages of the Christian Bible have sometimes been interpreted with disastrous consequences for individuals and entire groups of people.
The Postgraduate Certificate in Biblical Studies will provide students with the skills and expertise to read, discuss and write about the Bible in a manner which will be both scholarly and engaging, as well as to assess critically the interpretations offered by others. Students will learn to understand the texts of the Old and New Testament in their historical and socio-cultural setting, but they will also gain insight into their theological significance and lasting influence. In addition to a more detailed analysis of selected writings or corpora of writings, and being introduced to some major issues in Biblical interpretation, they will become familiar with a variety of methods and approaches used in the academic study of the Bible, the tools used by Biblical scholars, and with the most important developments in the field of biblical scholarship.
The Certificate is gained when students have successfully completed four 15 credit courses, each lasting five or six weeks, delivered through evening sessions (6.00 – 8.30 or 9.00 p.m.) at Liverpool Hope’s Childwall campus, plus one non-credit bearing module on postgraduate thinking skills.
The initial set of credit courses include Jewish Apocalyptic Literature, Pauline Literature and Johannine Literature. While these courses will focus on selected Biblical writings, including in some cases nonbiblical texts that are essential for the understanding of the Bible, they will also introduce students to major issues in Biblical interpretation in general. Furthermore, they will enable students to become familiar with a variety of methods and approaches used in the academic study of the Bible, the tools used by Biblical scholars, and with the most important developments in the field of biblical scholarship.
It is envisaged that a different range of courses will be offered in alternate years, so that also other parts of the Old and New Testaments can be included in the curriculum. This would also allow students to progress to a Postgraduate Diploma, and thereafter (with a dissertation) to an MA in Biblical Studies.