MA in Bioethics

Deerfield, IL

Why study the MA in Bioethics Online at TGS?

Our online degree programs are structured to provide you with a true Trinity community experience, even from the comfort of your home. Plus the convenience and flexibility of online classes and coursework can be made to work for your unique situation and needs. Let’s work together so that you can study online and benefit from the best that Trinity has to offer.

Who is this degree for?

The MA in Bioethics is designed for recent college graduates and working professionals who desire a foundation in bioethics for their studies, jobs, and public engagement. Healthcare workers, scientists, lawyers, clergy, and many others, including those working in nonprofit organizations, will benefit from this flexible 30-credit-hour program. 

The MA/BE is perfect for those with heavy professional responsibilities. Individuals preparing for academic careers will develop a strong background in bioethics for active, relevant participation in related college or university fields. The program can be completed without relocating for further schooling, making it an excellent choice for students who are committed to ministry and professional life in a different location.

what can I do with a bioethics degree?

Whether you are preparing for a career in healthcare, science, law, church ministry, education, or advocacy, the MA in Bioethics will provide the bioethical understanding and Christian foundation you need to approach your work with skill and spiritual sensitivity. You will have the opportunity to network with other professionals in class and during our annual bioethics conference, where you can explore the variety of disciplines that intersect with bioethics.

Students in the program will have resources available to them such as:

  • Bioethics resources and reading list based on 28 major bioethics-related categories
  • Direction on publishing articles in major bioethics journals
  • Participation in the Trinity Graduate School students/alumni bioethics blog
  • Information and direction regarding the pursuit of bioethics-related doctoral degree programs
  • Description and application information for jobs currently available in bioethics


Many of our students live around the world and are committed to jobs or family situations there that make relocating impossible. With them in mind, the program is available in three formats: residential, modular, and online. For information on the residential option, visit our degree page at Trinity Graduate School

The modular option allows students to take all of their modular courses in person by traveling to campus just for the days when their classes meet. Modular classes typically meet for 2-3 days once or twice during each session (Fall, Spring, or Summer). Two required courses are taken on campus in conjunction with the mid-summer CBHD conference, one during each of two summers. Students may replace as many non-summer modular courses as they wish with online versions of those courses.

The online option involves taking up to five of the seven required courses in an online format. Furthermore, no additional trips to campus are necessary for the elective courses. Elective courses can be taken online, or by mentored independent study, or in conjunction with the mid summer CBHD conference—though residential and modular elective courses are also available. Online students may miss opportunities to interact with classmates and professors outside the classroom and other bioethics-related opportunities on campus, but they are able to pursue the program with very few trips to campus.


Coursework in the Bioethics program typically addresses such fields as medicine, nursing, law, public policy, international human rights, theology, philosophy, economics, education, and media. Classes will focus on integrative thought, combining cutting edge research with deep spiritual insight, and students have the flexibility to emphasize any of the above fields. Trinity can offer guided research courses and capstones in any of these areas to supplement other required and elective courses.

Required Courses: 21 hrs
Course Title Credits
Choose one of the following two (BE 5000 or BE 5100)
BE 5000 Introduction to Bioethics: Matters of Life and Death 3 hours
BE 5100 Intensive Bioethics Institute 3 hours
BE 5001
ID 5000
Foundations of Integrative Thought
in Bioethics
Biblical Theology and Interpretation
3 hours
BE 5002 Foundations of Cultural Engagement
in Bioethics
3 hours
BE 7600 Theological Bioethics and Contemporary Alternatives 3 hours
BE 5200 Research Ethics 2 hours
BE 5300 Clinical Issues in Bioethics* 2 hours
BE 5500 Bioethics and Public Policy* 2 hours
BE 6200 Ethical Theory 3 hours
BE 6500 Advanced Bioethics Institute 3-4 hours‡
*Students relatively unfamiliar with clinical-medical and/or public policy settings should take the background courses BE 5299 and/or BE 5499. These courses can count for elective credit.

‡3 hours fulfills requirement; 4th hour elective.

Capstone: 0–4 hours
Course Title Credits
BE 7476 Bioethics Capstone Exam 0 hours
BE 7478 Bioethics Capstone Project 0-3 hours
BE 7480 Bioethics Capstone Integrative Paper 0-3 hours
BE 7485 MA Thesis† 0-4 hours
†ID 6910 Research Methods (required with Thesis) 1 hour
Electives: 5–9 hours

Students choose 5-9 hours from any of the courses listed below, depending on how many hours they earn for their capstone. (However, see note at the end of “Required Courses” section above.) Students should consult with an academic advisor in planning their individual programs of study.

Course Title Credits
BE 5299 The Clinical Context 1 hour
BE 5400 Nursing Ethics 2 hours
BE 5499 The Public Policy Context 1 hour
BE 5600 Law and Bioethics 2 hours
BE 5700 The Right to Life and the Law 2 hours
BE 5800 Bioethics Regional Conference Course 2-3 hours
BE 5900 Bioethics National Conference 2-3 hours
BE 6100 Bioethics Colloquium 1-2 hours
BE 6300 Bioethics, Human Dignity, and the Church 3 hours
BE 6400 Readings in Bioethics 3 hours
BE 6500 Advanced Bioethics Institute 3-4hours‡
BE 6600 Classic Cases in Bioethics 3 hours
BE 6700 Personhood in Theological and Philosophical Perspective 3 hours
BE 6800 Global Health and Justice 2-3 hours
BE 7300 Advanced Clinical Ethics 1-3 hours
BE 7600 Theological Bioethics and Contemporary Alternatives 1-3 hours
BE 7700 Bioethics Seminar 1-4 hours
‡3 hours fulfills requirement; 4th hour elective


Required Capstone (0-4 hours)

Students studying Bioethics should be well prepared for integrative work in their field. To this end, the capstone event can take different forms, depending on a student’s interests. Under the supervision of a faculty member, students may write a formal master’s-level thesis, take a comprehensive essay exam, write an integrative paper, or develop a special project such as a bioethics curriculum, sermon/talk series or written reflection on an internship experience.

Double Degree Option

If you are interested in obtaining a dual degree (Bachelor of Arts / Master of Arts) in Bioethics, see the program requirements. (Link to: BA/MA in Bioethics page) Students may also combine the Master of Arts in Bioethics with a Master of Divinity or another Master’s degree at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School (TEDS), though residential courses are required to pursue a second degree. Contact Graduate Admissions for more information about this combination of programs.


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