Master of Arts in Apologetics from Houston Baptist University


Program Description

The mission of the Master of Arts in Apologetics program is to develop students who are capable of serving their community and the Church successfully in a variety of vocations, including academic, parachurch, and ecclesiastical professions. The Master of Arts in Apologetics degree is intended to provide students with interdisciplinary training in apologetics so that they understand and engage with contemporary worldviews and culture in order to transform the world for Christ, as academics, as apologists, and as followers of Christ.

MA-in-Apologetics-videos-promoHBU’s MA in Apologetics is set apart from other apologetics programs by its interdisciplinary nature and its engagement with culture and the arts and humanities. Furthermore, the program includes a strong component of coursework in writing and communication in apologetics, designed to help students achieve excellence in writing, speaking, and other forms of apologetics engagement. The degree includes a thesis option, which is ideal for students who wish to pursue further work at the doctoral level.

The “mere Christian” focus of the program and the ecumenical nature of the faculty means that the MA in Apologetics is designed to serve all parts of the body of Christ, and welcomes Catholic and Orthodox as well as Protestant students.

Distinctives of the MA in Apologetics

The MA in Apologetics offers both a Cultural Apologetics track and a Philosophical Apologetics track. The tracks share a core of Apologetics Communication and Classical Apologetics. The Cultural Apologetics track  focuses on integrating imaginative and rational apologetics, studying a range of issues in philosophy, literature and the arts, and cultural issues in order to analyze and engage with culture for apologetics at both the intellectual and popular level (including creative work). The Philosophical track takes the classical propositional apologetics approach, and goes in depth into the philosophical issues of apologetics. Students in either track of the MAA have the option to take electives from the other track.
Distinctives of the Cultural Apologetics track:

Contact Dr. Phil Tallon if you are interested in the Philosophical Apologetics track of the MAA.

Online and Residential Degree Options

The MA in Apologetics has both a residential (Houston) and an online option.
The online program is 100% online with no residency requirement. It has the same curriculum as the residential program and features the same small, seminar-style classes with our excellent faculty.

UK students in the online program have the additional benefit of having Dr. Michael Ward, who is based in Oxford, as their faculty advisor.

Advantages and Opportunities

Students in the MA in Apologetics program will benefit from small classes with faculty committed to excellence in both teaching and scholarship. The faculty include nationally and internationally known public intellectuals with terminal degrees from universities such as the Baylor University, the University of Notre Dame, the University of St. Andrews, Northwestern University, and the University of Massachusetts Amherst.

The MA in Apologetics program is committed to mentoring graduate students and developing the program as a spiritually as well as intellectually strengthening experience.

The program includes a strong component of coursework in writing and communication in apologetics, designed to help students achieve excellence in writing, speaking, and other forms of apologetics engagement. HBU’s engagement with the larger apologetics community through apologetics conferences, faculty scholarship, cultural and arts programs, and local engagement means that students in the MA Apologetics program will have opportunities to gain further experience in the practical aspect of apologetics work.

The degree includes a thesis option and provides the academic foundation for further study at the PhD level, as well as for further academic work in philosophy, theology, or the humanities.

Student Testimonials

Students are excited about their experience in the Master of Arts in Apologetics program:
“At H.B.U. the professors genuinely care about their students, they reach out, they pray for them.” – Karise Gilliland
“This is the program I’ve been waiting for—a strong blend of rational and imaginative apologetics with a world-class faculty—plus the flexibility of selecting a mix of on-campus and online classes—even within the same semester.” – Leigh McLeroy

Read more…

After Graduation

Graduates of the MA in Apologetics program will be equipped for a variety of opportunities. The MA in Apologetics can provide the educational framework needed for parachurch ministry and teaching opportunities. In addition graduates may choose to pursue further education at the Ph.D. level.


The MAA curriculum comprises 36 units (see below for details on the courses). All students take a General Core of courses in Apologetics Communication and Classical Apologetics. In these courses, students develop writing and communication skills for graduate-level academic writing as well as practical apologetics and ministry work, and gain a foundation in philosophy, theology, and Scripture as applied to apologetics

Cultural Apologetics students take required courses that establish a strong, interdisciplinary foundation for an integrated approach to cultural apologetics. In the Imaginative Apologetics courses, students learn how to use imaginative as well as rational approaches to apologetics for an integrated approach to apologetics, with particular attention to the work of C.S. Lewis. In the Christian Thought and Worldview courses students gain a foundation in philosophy, culture, history, and literature for effective cultural analysis and apologetics engagement.

Philosophical Apologetics students take required courses in philosophical engagement with apologetics issues, including Science and Faith, Philosophy of History and the Resurrection, and Philosophical Theology.

Both tracks are completed by a selection of electives, which can include a Thesis.

Students also have the option to enrich their studies by taking one-unit elective classes in Houston on special topics, such as philosophical apologetics topics with William Lane Craig and evangelism with Lee Strobel, and an Apologetics in Oxford class that runs in the summer in Oxford, England.

See also the individual course descriptions below.


Tuition is $1,500 per three-unit course, plus fees. More details are available through the Graduate School.

Scholarships available.


Philip Tallon, PhD, Chair of the Apologetics Department
Holly Ordway, PhD, Director of Master of Arts in Apologetics
William Lane Craig, PhD, DTheol, DLitt
Evan Getz, PhD
Bruce Gordon, PhD
Mike Licona, PhD
Nancy Pearcey, MA
Mary Jo Sharp, MA
Lee Strobel, MSL
Jerry Walls, PhD
Michael Ward, PhD
Students will also benefit from classes taught by faculty from the Departments of Theology and Philosophy.

Please direct all inquiries about the MA in Apologetics program to the Director of the MAA, Dr. Holly Ordway.

Master of Arts in Apologetics: Application Requirements

Contact the Graduate School or Dr. Holly Ordway with questions.