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Course Descriptions

Following are descriptions for all Master of Arts, Master of Divinity, Master of Theology, and Diploma of Christian Theology courses. All courses are 3 credit hours. You can also download a PDF of the 2021-2022 Academic Catalog containing course descriptions and program details.

Biblical Studies and Languages

  • BIB 530Biblical InterpretationIn this course, students will learn the basics of biblical interpretation with its cultural elements and theological implications. This course is basic for the Master of Arts degree.
  • BIB 531The Biblical NarrativeThe Bible, from Genesis to Revelation, is a unique document. BIB 531 gives an overview of the essential narratives of the scriptures, with special attention to the cultural contexts and theological function of those narratives. Prerequisite for 1st year students with no former biblical training.
  • BIB 532Old Testament 1: The Torah & HistoriesThe Old Testament is vast, spanning from the creation of the cosmos to the exile and return of God’s people Israel. In this course, we examine the fundamental texts of the Hebrew faith, called the “Torah” and the “Histories.” The Torah consists of Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy. The Histories cover Joshua, Judges, Ruth, 1 & 2 Samuel, 1 & 2 Kings, 1 & 2 Chronicles, Ezra, and Nehemiah. The course focuses on the narrative and theology of the Torah and Histories in the quest to understand Judeo-Christian origins, holiness, obedience, and disobedience.
  • BIB 533Old Testament 2: The Prophets & PoetryThe Old Testament is vast, spanning from the creation of the cosmos to the exile of God’s people Israel. In this course, we examine the particular contexts, images, and stories of the prophetic and poetic books within their historical contexts (Isaiah-Malachi, Job, Psalms, Proverbs, and the Five Scrolls), focusing on the theology and interpretation of these texts over time.
  • BIB 534New Testament 1: From the Gospels Through ActsThe New Testament continues and consummates the drama begun in the Old Testament. In particular, it focuses on Jesus of Nazareth as the solution to the cosmic problem originating in Genesis 3. This course focuses on the person, work, and teaching of Jesus provided for us in the four Gospels, as well as the birth of the church in Acts.
  • BIB 535New Testament 2: Romans to RevelationFollowing the life, teachings, death, and resurrection of Jesus, the earliest expressions of the Holy Spirit and the birth of the Church are articulated by Paul, the apostle. This course covers the narrative, history, and theology of the Paul’s epistles: Romans, 1 & Corinthians, Galatians, Ephesians, Colossians, 1 & 2 Thessalonians, Philemon, 1 & 2 Timothy, and Titus; as well as the general epistles: Hebrews, James, 1 & 2 Peter, John’s epistles, Jude, and the Apocalypse of John. The course covers the context, theology, and history of reception of these writings.
  • BIB 630Advanced Biblical StudiesThe advanced Bible course examines individual biblical books, types of biblical literature, or sections of scripture. The course covers text, interpretation, historical contexts, linguistic issues, theological themes, and ethical issues. The course content changes on a regular basis. Course may be repeated with content changes.
  • LAN 530Biblical Languages: Overview and ToolsThe Bible was originally written in Hebrew, Greek and Aramaic. The student of the Bible needs to have an adequate understanding of these languages to interpret effectively the texts. Today there are abundant computer programs available to the Bible student, so the need to master the biblical languages seems superfluous. However, an overview of the biblical languages is crucial for a basic understanding of interpreting Scripture accurately. LAN 530 provides the overview and introduces several accessible computer programs.
  • LAN 531Biblical Languages LabThe Biblical Languages Lab provides a basic overview of the fundamental elements of Hebrew and Greek, including alphabets, word forms, and various parts of speech. The course prepares those in ministry to interact with commentaries and other references that utilize the original languages in which the Bible was written. When LAN 531 is offered, it will focus on one language, either Hebrew or Greek during that specific term.

Theological, Spiritual, and Cultural Studies

  • THEO 530Historical Theology ITHEO 530 Historical Theology I is a basic historical survey of the development of theology from the first century through the medieval Renaissance. It takes care to investigate the first creeds, the canonization of Scripture, catholic orthodoxy and heresy, the medieval papacy, and the formation of the schools at Paris and Oxford. The course gives the student a contextual background for Christian theological claims.
  • THEO 531Historical Theology IITHEO 531 Historical Theology II is a basic historical survey of the development of theology from the Reformation through the Enlightenment, early Evangelicalism, the 19th century, modern theology, and the postmodern turn. The course gives to the student a contextual background for Christian theological claims.
  • THEO 532Theology for the ChurchTHEO 532 examines the earliest articulations of Christian belief with its evolution to the present day. The course takes the students from the biblical confessions through the patristic creeds to the Reformed confessions to contemporary Christian doctrines in the postmodern era. The student will develop a firm understanding of theological method and how to instill in the church the process of theological reflection. The course has a special emphasis on classic Christian teachings (doctrine) for the contemporary church.
  • THEO 533Ethics: The Christian LifeTHEO 533 details how Christian theological belief manifests itself in the life – the actions and words – of the individual believer. The course covers the biblical, theological, and experiential aspects of Christian ethics. Application is made for clergy and lay people.
  • THEO 534The People of God: Being the ChurchThe church today is suffering a case of mistaken identity. Many Christian believers are unsure of what the church is, why it exists, and what its actual mission is. THEO 534 covers in detail the genesis, nature, and function of the church as the “Body of Christ.”
  • THEO 537Thinking TheologicallyTHEO 537 familiarizes the student with the means by which we can think, reason, and imagine God in our contemporary world.
  • THEO 538Introduction to the Wild God: Father, Son, and Holy SpiritTHEO 538 introduces the student to a “renewed” doctrine of the Trinity, describing the very nature of God — the nature of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit — as well as their roles as described in the biblical revelation and in the experience of the church. It is an important, foundational course to understand how the Holy Spirit desires to work in the hearts and lives of believers, the church, and the world.
  • THEO 630Advanced Theological StudiesThis course examines trends in theology with relevance for the contemporary church. Content changes regularly. Examples of possible topics include “Protestant Theology,” “Reformed Theology,” “Wesleyan Theology,” “Pentecostal Theology,” “Christianity and Science,” “Christianity and Literature,” “Faith, Beauty and the Arts,” “Salvation in a Pluralistic World,” “American Theology,” etc. Course may be repeated with content changes.
  • SPR 530Spiritual FormationSPR 530 studies the various interpretations, and methods of Christian spiritual formation, as well as its goal in the life of the individual, and the spiritual communities with which they are involved. The course utilizes the works of Christian writers throughout history, from the apostle Paul to Eugene Peterson. Course may be repeated with content changes.
  • SPR 531Discipleship: Practicing Christian SpiritualityDiscipleship, or Spiritual Practice regards the manner in which both ministers and Christians-in-general attend to the care of their own spiritual life in Christ. To that end, this course will examine the place of intentional spiritual practices in a person’s life through creating, sustaining, and deepening a dynamic relationship with God. Our spiritual practices focus on creating healthy individual and communal spirituality, as well as how we can help others cultivate a healthy spirituality.
  • SPR 532Natural Spirituality19th century poet Gerard Manley Hopkins declared, “the world is charged with the grandeur of God.” Many people in the 21st century have turned away from organized religious practice and towards an understanding of spirituality that is focused on nature itself. This is not a new, or unique phenomenon. SPR 532 discusses the inherent nature of the human person; the nature of the relationship between person and the natural environment; the historic movements of natural spirituality; the 19th century Transcendentalists, and, details a legitimate Christian approach to natural spirituality.
  • SPR 533Christian Spiritual TheologyExpressions of Christianity have frequently oscillated between one of two directions: piety or legalism. As Christian worship and practice becomes more formal, it often morphs into a dry, habitual routine, or a rigid legalism. The idea of “piety” or “pietism” early on was seen as a reaction to this “spiritless” rigidity. SPR 533 discusses the origins of Christian piety, or spirituality, tracing it through the desert fathers and mothers to the medieval mystics, the German pietists, the Anabaptists, and the contemporary charismatic movements. Most importantly, it outlines a theology for Christian spirituality for today.
  • SPR 536PrayerSPR 536 discusses the nature, theology, and practice of prayer.
  • SPR 630Advanced Studies in SpiritualityThis course examines advanced topics in Spirituality. Content changes regularly and may be repeated twice for credit. Course may be repeated with content changes.
  • CUL 531Apologetics: Speaking of Christ in a Pluralistic WorldWhat does it mean to live and promote the “good news” of Jesus in a pluralist world? This course covers the practice of following and witnessing to Christ in a world of competing religions and worldviews. The course gives an overview of select world religions (Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam, Judaism), secularism, scientism and consumerism, with a selection of Christian engagements.
  • CUL 535Theology and CultureCulture is the context in which theology is written and practiced, as well as the milieu in which the Divine is perceived. CUL 535 examines different cultural models and the ways in which cultures are identified and interpreted (cultural hermeneutics) as well as the manner in which theology can be articulated in different cultural expressions.
  • CUL 536Christian Mission: Theology and PracticeIn the 21st century, the very nature and theology of the Christian mission is being revisited and revised. CUL 536 discusses the theology and practice of mission in local, national and international cultural contexts. Beginning with the nature of the gospel, this course enables the student to understand mission as the lifestyle, and cooperative effort of every Christian and church.
  • CUL 537WorldviewWhat is a worldview? Most people in the world today have no concept through which to understand how other cultures view one another. The lens through which a person views others is called a “worldview.” CUL 537 discusses how a worldview is formed, maintained, adjusted, and critiqued. Additionally, it discusses the worldviews of other cultures.
  • CUL 538Imagination and TheologyThe “imagination” and its relationship to theology is a burgeoning area of study today. CUL 538 discusses the relationship between imagination and theology historically, and examines the role of the imagination in theological construction.
  • CUL 539EvangelismCUL 539 details the nature of evangelism – the sharing of the “good news” in our world. The course gives an overview of the “good news” and describes how it can be embodied and shared as a witness to the Christian faith.
  • CUL 630Advanced Cultural and Religious Studies This course covers a variety of subjects concerning culture, environment, science and theology, and world religions. The content rotates regularly. Course may be repeated with content changes.

Communication, Leadership, and Ministry

  • COM 531Introduction to Preaching and Teaching: From Text to HearerThis course studies preaching from sermon construction to the delivery of the message, with special attention given to preaching context, verbal delivery, and the variety of preaching styles.
  • COM 532Advanced Preaching and TeachingThis course examines advanced preaching styles such as narrative, exegetical, and conversational. Sermon construction is emphasized, including delivery of the message, with special attention given to context and hearers.
  • COM 630Advanced Communications StudiesThis course examines advanced communications issues in the areas of pastoral care, congregational communication, communications for diffusing congregational conflict.
  • LED 531Basic Leadership: A Servant and Collaborative ApproachLED 531 explores a shared form of leadership, one that combines the servant leadership paradigm modeled in the New Testament, with a contemporary approach that considers the various ways in which leaders communicate appropriately with their teams.
  • LED 532Entrepreneurial LeadershipEntrepreneurial Leadership explores what it means to be a Christian leader in a postmodern, post-denominational culture. The class explores the latest in contemporary leadership theory with a focus on creative or “entrepreneurial” leadership. The class applies these leadership principles in conversation with biblical and theological resources in order to explore the student’s vocation, as well as enhance the mission of the contemporary ekklesia.
  • LED 533Leading Through ConflictLED 533 describes and gives the psychological, ideological and physical roots of the conflicts and ethical issues a local church leader will encounter. The course uses case studies to help the leader understand and practice how to resolve these conflicts and issues.
  • LED 630Advanced Leadership StudiesThis course examines advanced trends in leadership with relevance for the contemporary church. Course may be repeated with content changes.
  • MIN 530Christian VocationMIN 530 introduces the student to concepts of “ministry calling”, “ministry discernment” and the nature of vocational ministry. Additionally, the student will discuss the “character of the minister” and the theo-ethical concerns that affect the minister and ministry. Core for all MA ministry majors.
  • MIN 531Introduction to Pastoral CareIntroduction to pastoral care is an important aspect of pastoral ministry, including self-evaluation, exploration of human spiritual/emotional frailty, practice of basic techniques, and understanding movement toward both personal and familial wholeness.
  • MIN 532Basic Church CareMIN 532 is an introductory course to pastoral ministry through studying its biblical-theological foundations and practical responsibilities. Students will learn how to shepherd and provide effective leadership in a local church or parachurch context.
  • MIN 534Introduction to NexGen MinistriesMIN 534 introduces the student to ministries for the “Next Generation” – young men and women from ages of 18-27. It includes a study of their cognitive processes, familial stresses, physical evolution, cultural orientation, political dispositions, and theological awareness.
  • MIN 535Focus: Ministry to YouthMIN 535 familiarizes the student with the various forms of ministry to youth (ages 12-18). No other stage of a human being’s life witnesses the physical, emotional, and spiritual life changes as does the “youth” category. This sub-group of the Next-Generation are a crucial demographic when regarding the future of the local church. The course focuses on the student’s creation of meaningful ministry for these young men and women.
  • MIN 536Ministry to AdultsMIN 536 introduces the student to ministries for adults and senior adults. Adulthood is concerned with a very different set of developmental issues than the youth and young adult stages. Issues such as marriage, career, debilitating illness, retirement, and aging, to name only a few of the issues, radically influence the ministries for adults and senior adults. A healthy, well-discipled adult generation in any congregation brings stability and wisdom to a congregation.
  • MIN 537Ministry to ChildrenMIN 537 introduces the student to children’s ministries – young boys and girls from birth to age 11. Childhood is the stage of human life where physical and intellectual growth are at a peak. Additionally, the child’s spiritual development is at its peak. For the children’s minister, the spiritual development of the child’s imagination is of paramount concern.
  • MIN 538Clergy Self-CareMIN 538 introduces the student to the crucial importance of self-care in ministry. The course discusses the stress-causing situations of ministry, and a variety of strategies to effectively cope with these situations.
  • MIN 630Advanced Ministry StudiesThis course examines advanced trends in ministry with relevance for the church. Course may be repeated with content changes.

Adventure and the Arts

  • ADV 531Introduction to Adventure StudiesADV 531 introduces the student to the fundamental nature of “adventure” ministry, as grounded in a basic theology of adventure. It defines “adventure,” then touches on the biblical, theological, and anthropological backgrounds for ministries that embrace the outdoors. It investigates the human understanding of adventure and why humans actually need adventure. Finally, the course discusses how a renewed theology of adventure can influence mind and body. Students will develop their own theology of adventure with implications for ministry with people of all ages and stages of life, including people with disabilities.
  • ADV 532Foundations for Church Recreation MinistryADV 532 provides a practical philosophy for church recreational ministry and examples of how recreation can and should operate within the church and also as an evangelistic tool for the church. ADV 532 seeks to reconfigure recreation ministry from a youth activity, or an afterthought, to an integral part of the church’s ministry and mission in contemporary culture. Group games, camping, hiking, fishing, and select sports will be covered. Students will develop their own proposals for recreation ministries in their context.
  • ADV 630Advanced Adventure StudiesThis course examines advanced trends in adventure studies with relevance for church-based camping ministry, sports ministry, adventure therapy, and careers in adventure or recreational leadership.Course may be repeated when content changes.
  • ART 531Introduction to Theology and the ArtsWhy do human beings experience attraction to the fine and performing arts? Why is art such a powerful representative of the human experience, including its experience of the Divine? Introduction to Theology and the Arts presents a history of the integration of belief and artistic creation. In this process, the student will come to understand the role of the imagination as the conduit for aesthetics in human understanding; the role of the arts in social commentary and social justice; and, develop a rudimentary theology of the arts.
  • ART 532Theology of the Arts: Making and BeingOf all the animal beings in creation, human beings are “artists” – admirers and makers of meaningful beauty. Indeed, quite often human beings find it easier to articulate a feeling, a belief, a love, a beautiful experience, or unpleasantness, through artistic rendering, rather than simply through words. ART 532 explores a theology of the arts that enables the student to understand why humans are profoundly influenced by art, and, how art has a greater connection to the Divine than previously realized. Students will study the topics of imagination, creativity, art forms and theologies of beauty.
  • ART 535Introduction to Worship Arts Ministry and LeadershipART 535 introduces the student to the various forms of worship ministries in the local church, including worship service planning (liturgies); the role of music; the roles of other fine, or performing arts; the role of responsive readings; the nature of corporate prayer; and the incorporation of the sermon. Additionally, the course gives overviews of the role of the worship leader in traditional, contemporary, and “emerging” worship services. Finally, the course gives overviews of the role of the worship leader in traditional, contemporary, and “emerging” worship services.
  • ART 630Advanced Theology and the ArtsThis course examines advanced trends in theology and the arts studies with relevance for the contemporary church. Course may be repeated with content changes.

Master of Theology

  • THM 501Research Methods ColloquyThe art and process of conducting research for a postgraduate degree is an important aspect of the degree program. The course covers the following issues: how to construct a viable thesis statement; how to construct a research program around the thesis; the importance of chapter outlines and general structuring of the paragraph, to the section, to the chapter and to the paper itself; and how to use databases in research. Non-credit. Meets for one 3-hour session. Cross-listed as CSC 501.
  • THM 530Readings for Advanced StudiesTHM 530 is a core course for the Master of Theology degree. The course reads and discusses one pivotal book in theology, history, or philosophy each week of the term for a total of eight books. The readings give the student a basic platform from which to conduct postgraduate thesis studies. Offered biennially.
  • THM 631ThesisThe final accomplishment of a Master of Theology student is the writing of a thesis, as the outcome of his or her research program. The thesis will answer a primary research question, and is to be no less than 50,000 words, and no more than 75,000 words. Enroll for a minimum of 2 terms and a maximum of 4 terms

Capstone Courses

  • CSC 501Research Methods ColloquyThe art and process of conducting research is an important aspect of a master’s degree program. The course covers the following issues: how to construct a viable thesis statement; how to construct a research program around the thesis; the importance of chapter outlines and general structuring of the paragraph, to the section, to the chapter and to the paper itself; and how to use databases in research. Non-credit. Meets for one 3-hour session. Cross-listed as THM 501.
  • CSC 530Capstone SeminarCSC 530 is a capstone course for Master of Divinity students. The course revisits the key elements of the Master of Divinity program in order to enable the student to synthesize his or her education in service of the church. The course ends with capstone paper and faculty interview. Offered biennially.
  • CSC 631Mentored Ministry ProjectStudents with concentrations in Adventure Ministry, Christian Ministries, and Peace and Justice Ministries must complete a series of term-long ministry mentorships, each focusing on the growth of the student, as well as a specific ministry area. Students in Biblical Studies, Christian Studies, Christian Theology, Entrepreneurial Leadership, Spirituality, and Theology and the Arts may also complete a Ministry Project in lieu of a thesis. For each mentorship, the student will have an on-site ministry mentor with whom she/he will meet each week for accountability and reflection. In addition, the student will have weekly communication with the his or her faculty mentor in order to stay on task toward meeting the targeted goals. By design, no student who earns the MA degree in Adventure Ministry, Christian Ministries, Entrepreneurial Leadership, or Peace and Justice ministries, or who earns the MDiv degree, will be without significant mentored ministry experience. At the end of each project, the student will write a 10-page project report culminating in a 30-page summation where the student reaches a final conclusion by synthesizing and analyzing the projects into a whole, and determining how these projects work together in ministry. MA students enroll in CSC 631 for one term; MDiv students enroll in CSC 631 for three terms.
  • CSC 632ThesisRather than choosing a mentored ministry project, the student who desires to pursue graduate studies at the doctoral level may write a research thesis. The thesis will answer a primary research question, and is to be no less than 15,000 words, and no more than 20,000 words. The student will propose a supervisor the term before the thesis commences. The student will enroll in CSC 632 for a minimum of two consecutive terms, and may enroll for up to four terms.

“Christianity without discipleship is always Christianity without Christ.”

-Dietrich Bonhoeffer

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