Open doors of opportunity by teaching English to speakers of other languages.

Program at a Glance

  • Program Credits:

    36 credits

    Students with extensive undergraduate coursework in TESOL may receive credit up to 9 credits.

  • Class Formats:

    • Online

      All courses for the M.A. in TESOL (Online) can be completed fully online.

  • Standard Completion Time:

    Full Time:   4 semesters
    Part Time:  6 to 8 semesters 
    Fall, spring and summer entry points
    Have a B.A. in TESOL? 
    Ask us about the one-year accelerated M.A. in TESOL.

  • Institutional Accreditation:


Why TESOL Online?

You are a Christian ESL or EFL teacher who wants to teach with integrity and professionalism. You have reached a point where your job or your visa requires a master’s degree. Your responsibilities are increasing to include new areas of teaching, program development, student assessment, materials design, or teacher training. You want to remain in your current place of service. Then Biola University's Online MA TESOL degree is for you.

Program Highlights

  • Receive biblically centered training in TESOL purely online from top-notch faculty who are active practitioners and researchers in TESOL

  • Be mentored and nurtured by faculty with extensive experience in cross-cultural service around the world who understand your personal goals for effective teaching and enhanced ministry

  • Study on a schedule with a good mixture of flexibility and accountability

  • Immediately apply what you are learning to your teaching context

  • Develop expertise in language teaching characterized by professional preparation, contextual sensitivity, cultural appropriateness, and ethical service in the name of Jesus


More Questions:

  • Is this the right degree for me?

    If you are looking to teach English as a second or foreign language, Biola provides several ways for you to be trained in TESOL in addition to the master’s degree. The level of teaching and work you want to pursue while receiving training in this field will determine which program is right for you. Here’s a summary to help you decide which program fits best:

    • M.A. in TESOL (Residential or Online)
      • You desire teaching ESL/EFL in the U.S. to college students, immigrants or adult refugees, or internationally with a broad age group. You want to be prepared to teach any skill at any level, and also design courses, materials and tests; train teachers; and administer programs.
    • M.A. in Intercultural Studies (Residential or Online) + Certificate in TESOL
      • You want a strong foundation in cultural and missiological principles while being trained to teach ESL/EFL.
    • M.A. in Teaching Personalized or M.A. in Education Personalized (TESOL concentration)
  • What kind of job opportunities can I pursue with a master’s in TESOL?  

    A Master of Arts in TESOL will open doors for you to teach English to speakers of others languages, both in the United States or abroad. Some of our most recent alumni are serving as coordinators, directors and leaders in four-year colleges and universities, mission agencies in Europe and Asia, and others are teaching in the Middle East and Asia. Job titles have included ESL teacher or instructor, ESL program director or academic adviser.

    You’ll likely find part- and full-time positions, as well as volunteer opportunities. And if you’re willing to relocate, there are greater opportunities to find full-time paid positions. The faculty at Cook, and colleagues at Biola, are connected to an extensive network of mission agencies, NGOs, schools of all types and professional associations. Our alumni are also happy to offer advice and connect with Cook graduates.


  • What does a certificate in TESOL qualify me to do?

    Depending on your employer’s requirements, a certificate in TESOL can qualify you to work as an English language teacher in a part-time or entry-level position. As you consider pursuing a certificate in TESOL, ask yourself these questions:

    • Will I need a certificate for a job or visa I’m applying for? If so, what kind of certificate do I need to show to my potential employer?  
    • Am I looking for more training to be more confident and qualified in my teaching?

    The job you’re looking at will determine whether the certificate you have is sufficient. You will likely need a certificate if you’re seeking to work in an entry-level or part-time position at a language institute in the United States or other institutions worldwide. If you’re seeking a higher-level position or an ESL position at a university, it may require a master’s degree. The level of certification you need depends on the job you’re applying for.

    Biola offers three kinds of certificates in TESOL:

    • Graduate Certificate in TESOL (21 credits): You can acquire this certificate after completing the first year of the M.A. in TESOL, in conjunction with another master’s program, or on its own as a stand-alone program.
    • Undergraduate Certificate in TESOL (18 credits): You can acquire this certificate as part of your undergraduate degree at Biola.
    • Departmental Entry-Level Certificates: Students who complete one or more classes but do not fulfill the credits required for the above certificates can receive a certificate that specifies the number of contact hours. One 3-credit class is 45 contact hours, or results in 180 hours total (assuming three hours of homework per in-class contact hour).

    The focus of the TESOL programs is primarily post secondary and adult education. Those interested in K–12 ESL should ask a TESOL faculty member for advice. In the United States, K–12 teaching jobs require a credential, not a certificate. In other parts of the world, the job requirement may be different.

Take a "Test Drive" TESOL Class!

Interested in TESOL but not yet ready to commit to the whole M.A. in TESOL? You can "test drive" the program and take the Introduction to TESOL class when you register as a special student! Contact Graduate Admissions for details.

Essentials of TESOL (Noncredit)

Biola also offers a noncredit Essentials of TESOL class through Biola LEARN. Self-paced, fully online and low-cost, this course will prepare you to teach English in informal settings while giving you a taste of what you will learn in the M.A. in TESOL online program.

Tuition & Financial Aid

Find information about tuition and financial aid opportunities.

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