Are there such things as "Catholic Bible colleges?"


#1

I’m hoping that this post is in the correct sub-forum, but I think since it pertains to sacred scriptures and the Bible, I would think it’s okay to post it here.

I know that Catholic seminaries exist to usually train those who will become clergy or other ministries but do those (such as me) who are laymen (laywoman, in my case) also become seminary students, even if they will never enter the priesthood? I’m not quite sure how this works so excuse my ignorance.

The reason why I’m asking is that there is a Baptist Bible college not too far from me. Out of curiosity I looked up what courses and majors they teach. Most of the stuff they do is about entering ministry, missions, evangelism, etc. But they also have “general studies” majors for men and women (that teach about the Bible as well as “home” things such as math, financing, sewing, etc) which I found interesting. They also offer NT/Koine Greek for specific majors.

I know the majority of Bible colleges are associated with Protestant sects, and some of these colleges are big institutes for translating Hebrew and NT Greek texts/Bibles. My main interest is in teaching myself NT Greek. I feel like I want this hobby to go simply beyond a hobby (eventually), but I don’t know how. Obviously, there are Catholic Bible translations and I’m assuming, Catholic seminaries/other theological schools also teach NT Greek. I mean, how else would we translate the Septuagint/New Testament if Catholic students didn’t know NT Greek? But are they learning NT Greek from seminaries or non-Catholic institutes (such as Protestant Bible colleges)? Sorry, not really sure how this works.

I would like to know what I could do for the Catholic Church if I was educated in NT Greek or even Hebrew too. Or rather, where can a laywoman go to to take formal classes in NT Greek, Hebrew, or general theology and get a degree for doing it? What could I do for the Church with such a degree? For example, I’ve been contemplating doing near-Eastern/biblical archaeology if I ever go for my Master’s/PhD, but I haven’t found really any Catholic institutions that have solid biblical/near-Eastern archaeology departments. I can only find such graduate programs in Protestant institutions such as those of Wheaton College. Usually biblical archaeology students are required to take general ancient Greek (which includes Koine) as well as Hebrew and other obscure languages.

Sorry, this post is kind of all over the place. But I guess my question is, “are there such things as Catholic Bible colleges for laypersons such as me?”


#2

There are no Catholic "Bible colleges." I think your best bet may be to find either a secular university with a good archaeology program or a Catholic liberal arts school.

Also,

An Introduction to Greek by Crosby and Schaeffer (published by Bolchazy-Carducci Publishers inc) is a solid beginners Greek text book that probably won't run you too much money.


#3

[quote="Formosus, post:2, topic:312595"]
There are no Catholic "Bible colleges." I think your best bet may be to find either a secular university with a good archaeology program or a Catholic liberal arts school.

Also,

An Introduction to Greek by Crosby and Schaeffer (published by Bolchazy-Carducci Publishers inc) is a solid beginners Greek text book that probably won't run you too much money.

[/quote]

This is what I thought myself, just go to a secular university. The problem is, many secular universities don't have ancient Greek-let alone NT Greek-available as a language course. At least, not in too many places here in the U.S. My public, secular university I attended for my Bachelor's degree certainly didn't have it (but they did have Latin and other obscure modern languages, such as Burmese).

My other problem is that I would also need to find a graduate program that combines both archaeology and geological sciences (which is what I got my Bachelor's for). My guess is that my study of NT Greek (possibly Hebrew as well) would be a specialization, but somehow able to be connected to the archaeology and geology side of things. I don't know how I could somehow study NT Greek and combine that with geological sciences. I guess that is something that I don't currently have the answer for.

I know many archaeology departments lack any knowledge of various rocks and soils (if you're not paleoanthropology) and are vastly underfunded to where they can't afford their own geological equipment. Likewise, most geologists don't care about archaeology. I happen to love both, and think they are important. But where NT Greek comes into this? I don't really know.

Also, many secular universities with anthropology/archaeology departments are not Christian or Catholic-friendly. Remember the whole "Jesus was married" thing in the news not too long ago? I had a professor in one of my archaeology classes say to me once that the idea of the Virgin Mary came from the Egyptian goddess Isis and therefore, Mary never existed at all. This man specialized in Mediterranean archaeology and studying Roman-era early Christian burials/remains. He seemed to be obsessed with connecting everything in Christianity with ancient Egypt, like many New Agers do today. The sad thing is, many students believed him. I would make it a personal effort to never study biblical/near-Eastern archaeology at a secular, non-Christian university.


#4

Then your best bet may be to find Biblical Archaeology at a protestant school or just tough it out in the secular one. I can't comment too much on the question of rocks and geology ( I just do theology and philosophy so). If you are trying to learn Greek to get into a biblical archaeology, you could always take it at a Bible college as non-degree class thing. Learning it on your own works well enough, but it is very useful to have someone explaining stuff. Another option may be a summer intensive course at a large university. I know UC Berkeley has a Greek intensive over the summer, and I imagine other universities have them as well. Only downside is they can be kind of pricey.


#5

Not really since Catholics also have Sacred Tradition and the Magisterium so a "Bible College" will be missing a substantial amount of Catholicism


#6

There are, indeed, Catholic Schools of Theology which not only prepare men for ordination, but which admit lay persons, both men and women, to the same degree programs.


#7

I know the majority of Bible colleges are associated with Protestant sects, and some of these colleges are big institutes for translating Hebrew and NT Greek texts/Bibles. My main interest is in teaching myself NT Greek. I feel like I want this hobby to go simply beyond a hobby (eventually), but I don't know how.

I went to a Bible Institute years ago in order to prepare for the ministry as a Southern Baptist. If you are a Catholic I highly recommend NOT going to a Protestant college or institute. I would look into Catholic universities like Franciscan University of Steubenville franciscan.edu/Programs/main.aspx

You might be able to find some place that will offer online courses.

As for me, I do better teaching myself. Especially with the luxury of the internet you can teach yourself about anything. I have learned more Greek and Latin on my own through grammar books and forums designed to offer help. Here is a great forum for Latin and Greek that has some wonderful folks who offer help in Latin and Greek textkit.com/ With drive and determination you can find that you can accomplish great things! I am only a zealous amateur but I have followed my passions and dreams and I have been designing websites to provide resources for Catholics. I guarantee that you can do what ever you put your heart and mind into.

If there is anything I can do to help them please let me know. I will help anyway I can!


#8

My mom went to Creighton University in Omaha NB and studied with the seminarians (in the 40's). My wife went to Gonzaga University in Spokane WA and studied Koine Greek (in the 70's).

Both universities are Jesuit, maybe you could look into a Catholic University near you.

Also there is Catholic Distance University (CDU.EDU) on the web which has classes Biblical Greek I and II.

Or you can consider Franciscan University of Stubenville's "Summer Ancient & Biblical Languages Institute"


#9

Copland, what starter Greek download do you recommend at textkit?


#10

the church encourages seminarians to take up Greek and Hebrew studies, to underpin theiir study of scripture. But, beyond that, I don't know where this is taught.

One place may be the Gregorian institute in Rome.

Fr. Mitch Pacwa got one of his degrees at a secular university. He supposedly knows several languages, and you might look up his curriculum vitae to see where he did it.

I would have studied Latin more seriously in high school, if I then appreciated how important it would be later in life for Church studies and Bible studies.


#11

[quote="kkollwitz, post:9, topic:312595"]
Copland, what starter Greek download do you recommend at textkit?

[/quote]

Here is a great one to get started on greek-language.com/grammar/index.html

Here is a download that I have not used but just looked through it and it looks helpful textkit.com/learn/ID/100/author_id/38/

I have studied different grammar books and one that is a good beginners is William Mounce's which has a CD that comes with it, it is helpful resource amazon.com/Basics-Biblical-Grammar-William-Mounce/dp/0310250870


#12

[quote="Tous_Logous, post:1, topic:312595"]
I'm hoping that this post is in the correct sub-forum, but I think since it pertains to sacred scriptures and the Bible, I would think it's okay to post it here.

I know that Catholic seminaries exist to usually train those who will become clergy or other ministries but do those (such as me) who are laymen (laywoman, in my case) also become seminary students, even if they will never enter the priesthood? I'm not quite sure how this works so excuse my ignorance.

The reason why I'm asking is that there is a Baptist Bible college not too far from me. Out of curiosity I looked up what courses and majors they teach. Most of the stuff they do is about entering ministry, missions, evangelism, etc. But they also have "general studies" majors for men and women (that teach about the Bible as well as "home" things such as math, financing, sewing, etc) which I found interesting. They also offer NT/Koine Greek for specific majors.

I know the majority of Bible colleges are associated with Protestant sects, and some of these colleges are big institutes for translating Hebrew and NT Greek texts/Bibles. My main interest is in teaching myself NT Greek. I feel like I want this hobby to go simply beyond a hobby (eventually), but I don't know how. Obviously, there are Catholic Bible translations and I'm assuming, Catholic seminaries/other theological schools also teach NT Greek. I mean, how else would we translate the Septuagint/New Testament if Catholic students didn't know NT Greek? But are they learning NT Greek from seminaries or non-Catholic institutes (such as Protestant Bible colleges)? Sorry, not really sure how this works.

I would like to know what I could do for the Catholic Church if I was educated in NT Greek or even Hebrew too. Or rather, where can a laywoman go to to take formal classes in NT Greek, Hebrew, or general theology and get a degree for doing it? What could I do for the Church with such a degree? For example, I've been contemplating doing near-Eastern/biblical archaeology if I ever go for my Master's/PhD, but I haven't found really any Catholic institutions that have solid biblical/near-Eastern archaeology departments. I can only find such graduate programs in Protestant institutions such as those of Wheaton College. Usually biblical archaeology students are required to take general ancient Greek (which includes Koine) as well as Hebrew and other obscure languages.

Sorry, this post is kind of all over the place. But I guess my question is, "are there such things as Catholic Bible colleges for laypersons such as me?"

[/quote]

Franciscan University does a wonderful job with Biblical Studies and Ancient Languages. Dr. Minto is the best. Try them. They're as close as you're going to come to this.


#13

[quote="COPLAND_3, post:7, topic:312595"]
I went to a Bible Institute years ago in order to prepare for the ministry as a Southern Baptist. If you are a Catholic I highly recommend NOT going to a Protestant college or institute. I would look into Catholic universities like Franciscan University of Steubenville franciscan.edu/Programs/main.aspx

You might be able to find some place that will offer online courses.

As for me, I do better teaching myself. Especially with the luxury of the internet you can teach yourself about anything. I have learned more Greek and Latin on my own through grammar books and forums designed to offer help. Here is a great forum for Latin and Greek that has some wonderful folks who offer help in Latin and Greek textkit.com/ With drive and determination you can find that you can accomplish great things! I am only a zealous amateur but I have followed my passions and dreams and I have been designing websites to provide resources for Catholics. I guarantee that you can do what ever you put your heart and mind into.

If there is anything I can do to help them please let me know. I will help anyway I can!

[/quote]

I have no problem teaching myself currently. I use John Dobson's "Learn New Testament Greek" and Ian McNair's "Teach Yourself New Testament Greek." I have 3 Greek-English lexicons, 2 Greek New Testaments, etc. as well as hundreds of pdf books on NT Greek grammar, including several different pdf Greek New Testaments. It's not the absence of material.

Rather, I think some people missed the point of my post. I am wondering what I could do for the Catholic Church with a growing knowledge of Koine Greek, possibly Hebrew to come later in the future. I find studying Koine Greek fascinating and I wish that such a language would have been available for me to take at my university. But I feel like I want to expand on it from a hobby to something possibly career-related (if I ever go to graduate school). I would have no problem taking the courses themselves at a university because I would probably have to take them anyway.

I guess I'm just disappointed about how many Protestant institutions there are around where I live but very few Catholic institutions. Most Catholic institutions are for those entering the priesthood or ministry, not really for laypersons. The same could be said for Protestant Bible colleges as well, but they seem so much more open to laypersons. I know that I will stay far clear from Protestant Bible colleges and probably secular universities as well. There is a Catholic university not far from me, but most Catholic universities I have found that are in my area do not offer my field of expertise. And, they don't seem to have Koine Greek available as a language.

If major Protestant institutions have good biblical/near-Eastern archaeology divisions, I'm wondering why all the Catholic universities near me don't?


#14

Rather, I think some people missed the point of my post. I am wondering what I could do for the Catholic Church with a growing knowledge of Koine Greek, possibly Hebrew to come later in the future.

I know one thing that would be greatly valuable, and that would be to translate those works that have not yet been translated into English yet, such as commentaries and writings of ancient Christians. There are still great works that need to be translated, and in my opinion that is what would be of greatest benefit. In my opinion, learning Latin would be of greater benefit for the Church because there are tons and tons of untranslated Latin works such as Bible commentaries that would be highly beneficial. The Glossa Ordinaria is a huge Medieval Catholic Gloss on the Bible that has very little of it in English yet. I have translated the Gloss on Jonah, and only the book of Romans, Song of Songs, Chapter 1 of Lamentations has been translated so far. If we had a translation of the Glossa it would give us a work that great minds like Aquinas depended on!


#15

[quote="Tous_Logous, post:13, topic:312595"]
I have no problem teaching myself currently. I use John Dobson's "Learn New Testament Greek" and Ian McNair's "Teach Yourself New Testament Greek." I have 3 Greek-English lexicons, 2 Greek New Testaments, etc. as well as hundreds of pdf books on NT Greek grammar, including several different pdf Greek New Testaments. It's not the absence of material.

Rather, I think some people missed the point of my post. I am wondering what I could do for the Catholic Church with a growing knowledge of Koine Greek, possibly Hebrew to come later in the future. I find studying Koine Greek fascinating and I wish that such a language would have been available for me to take at my university. But I feel like I want to expand on it from a hobby to something possibly career-related (if I ever go to graduate school). I would have no problem taking the courses themselves at a university because I would probably have to take them anyway.

I guess I'm just disappointed about how many Protestant institutions there are around where I live but very few Catholic institutions. Most Catholic institutions are for those entering the priesthood or ministry, not really for laypersons. The same could be said for Protestant Bible colleges as well, but they seem so much more open to laypersons. I know that I will stay far clear from Protestant Bible colleges and probably secular universities as well. There is a Catholic university not far from me, but most Catholic universities I have found that are in my area do not offer my field of expertise. And, they don't seem to have Koine Greek available as a language.

If major Protestant institutions have good biblical/near-Eastern archaeology divisions, I'm wondering why all the Catholic universities near me don't?

[/quote]

The problem is that there's a lot more to this than just teaching yourself Koine. You need to have university preparation in exegesis, history and philosophy to go with it. What you seem to be talking about it Biblical Scholarship and this is usually at least a Masters Degree at entry level. Again, I recommend Franciscan University at Steubenville. Good luck and God bless. We need more biblical scholars in the Church.


#16

Not to promote my own institution, but the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley has a Biblical languages M.A. and a very diverse faculty, with two affiliated Catholic members schools (The Dominican School of Philosophy and Theology, and the Jesuit School of Theology). You also would have access to UC Berkeley for one course a semester (in the M.A. program). Only downside is that there are a lot of crazies out here and living expenses are high and there is not a whole lot of financial aid. But it may still be worth looking into for a Masters.

gtu.edu/


#17

You want to serve, that's clear. I believe that there are many places (your home region is not posted) where the local culture of Fundamentalism has influenced the way Catholics look at scripture. If you could read some of the leading lights of contemporary scripture study to get a sense of how it is done among Catholice (especially using context) you could be of enormous help in your local church by leading a group.
Incidentally, my training for priesthood was with the Jesuits, who concluded that resources that translate Biblical languages are so accessible that the study of those languages is really not necessary for good scholarship.


#18

I guess my problem is that I can't find any Catholic colleges that specialize in biblical archaeology or geoarchaeology, or even archaeology and geology graduate programs. An online acquaintance of mine suggested a well-known Baptist school for such a graduate program, but this is a Baptist school we're talking about. I have found many Baptists to be strongly anti-Catholic and chances are, will want to convert me. Plus, I can only expect their classes to be Baptist theology centered. I wouldn't mind a general theology centered Protestant school but not ones that are particular to said denominations.

I have looked at several Catholic universities. The majority of them seem severely liberal arts centered, which I guess is okay. I have found some that have graduate programs in Early Christian Studies or Biblical Studies, as well as some ancient languages, but these are all history-based. I love my history, but I am a "hard scientist" all the way. I need to interact with rocks, soils, artifacts, ecofacts, etc. and be out in the field, but I also like biblical languages and historical resources. I need to be able to "bounce back" on my geology background because archaeology is a nearly impossible field to get work in unless you have your PhD.

I think the closest university I have found is just only one example, a secular university like Boston University. They are secular but have a geoarchaeology graduate program, as well as courses you can take to learn the Greek and Latin languages. They don't have archaeology classes that especially focus on Christian history, but they do have classes about the ancient Mediterranean and Roman empires that talk about Christianity. But again, a secular university. It would be like playing a game of chance. I want something Catholic-centered with Catholic faculty.

Maybe I'm just too self-centered so I apologize if my post is coming off that way. I'm just wondering why all the biblical archaeological scholarship is found in Protestant circles and not so much in Catholic institutions (though I do know there was a Catholic team that helped translate the Dead Sea Scrolls).

I have asked a few of my professors for help but their responses generally go like this: "well, this is beyond my field of expertise and I don't know anyone that can help you; good luck kid."


#19

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