Courses of Study
This list of courses offered by the School of Theology and their descriptions are subject to change through normal academic channels. Not all courses are available on all campuses or on a regular basis. A schedule of courses and expanded course descriptions are published in advance of each quarter. The information in these publications supersedes the information in this catalog.
Courses of Study: Biblical Studies Division
Biblical Studies Division Faculty
- John Goldingay, David Allan Hubbard Professor of Old Testament
- J. Andrew Dearman, Professor of Old Testament
- Joel B. Green, Professor of New Testament Interpretation
- Seyoon Kim, Professor of New Testament
- Pamela J. Scalise, Professor of Old Testament
- Marianne Meye Thompson, George Eldon Ladd Professor of New Testament Interpretation
- David J. Downs, Associate Professor of New Testament Studies
- Christopher B. Hays, D. Wilson Moore Associate Professor of Ancient Near Eastern Studies
- Kyong Jin Lee, Associate Professor of Old Testament Studies
- Love L. Sechrest, Associate Professor of New Testament
- George T. Givens, Assistant Professor of New Testament
- Stephen E. Young, Assistant Professor of New Testament
- Leslie C. Allen, Senior Professor of Old Testament
- James T. Butler, Senior Associate Professor of Old Testament
- Donald A. Hagner, George Eldon Ladd Professor Emeritus of New Testament and Senior Professor of New Testament
Biblical Interpretation (BI)
BI 500 Interpretive Practices. This course introduces interpretive approaches and practices for students of the Bible. Students will consider the aims and assumptions of biblical interpretation, become familiar with major resources for study of the Bible, interpret a variety of biblical texts in both testaments, and reﬂect upon the manner in which the varied contexts (6.g., social, cultural, theological) of the biblical world and contemporary readers inform interpretation. Prerequisite: NT500 or 0T500.
Biblical Language Studies (LG)
LG 500 Hebrew Tools for Biblical Interpretation. This course offers a limited introduction to biblical Hebrew, including the writing system, basic lexicon, morphology, and syntax. The emphasis is on the responsible employment of standard reference works, commentaries, and Bible software to the practice of Old Testament interpretation in ministry contexts.
LG 502 Beginning Hebrew. The elements of Hebrew vocabulary, morphology and grammar. Offered as a two-quarter course, four units per quarter. Also offered as an intensive course in one quarter.
LG 506 Advanced Hebrew Grammar. This course investigates the morphology and syntax of Biblical Hebrew and goes beyond the work possible in LG502. Grammatical study will be enhanced by relevant reading from Old Testament texts. Prerequisite: LG502 and permission of instructor.
LG 510 Greek Tools for Biblical Interpretation. This course provides a limited introduction to and practice in the use of exegetical Greek for ministry. It emphasizes an inductive approach to working with the Greek New Testament and important linguistic matters that influence understanding New Testament texts. The course stresses the use of standard tools for Greek study (including software) instead of extensive memorization of forms and vocabulary in order to focus on the practical use of the Greek New Testament.
LG 512 Beginning Greek. The elements of New Testament Greek vocabulary, morphology and grammar. Offered as a one-quarter intensive course or over two or three quarters. Also taught in Spanish. 8 or 12 units.
LG 525 Biblical Aramaic. The elements of biblical Aramaic learned through study of the Aramaic portions of Ezra and Daniel. Prerequisite: LG502.
LG 533 Beginning Ugaritic. This course, the first of a two-course sequence, introduces the language, literature, and culture of Ugarit, a Late Bronze Age city-state on the coast of the Mediterranean whose language was in the same cultural stream as Hebrew. Special attention is given to the ways in which the study of this material has profoundly informed and improved the study of the Old Testament. Prerequisite: LG502.
LG 534 Ugaritic II: Special Topics. This course, the second of a two-course sequence, delves deeper into the language, literature, and culture of Ugarit, giving special attention to the ways that Ugaritology affects the study of the Hebrew Bible. Weekly seminar discussions on selected topics will expose students to the growing literature on Ugarit . Prerequisite: LG533.
LG 535 Beginning Akkadian. This course, the first of a two-quarter sequence, begins to introduce the Akkadian language, and to survey the history and literature of ancient Mesopotamia, giving special attention to the ways that Assyriology affects the study of the Old Testament. Prerequisite: LG502 or permission of instructor.
LG 536 Advanced Akkadian. This course, the second of a two-quarter sequence, completes the introduction of the Akkadian language. It also surveys the culture and literature of ancient Mesopotamia, giving special attention to the ways that Assyriology affects the study of the Old Testament. Prerequisite: LG535.
LG 546 Northwest Semitic Texts. This course will introduce the student to the more important remains of the literature of the NW Semitic sphere from the first millennium B.C., i.e., Old Phoenician, Old Aramaic, Old Hebrew, and Ammonite, and Moabite. Prerequisite: LG502.
New Testament Exegesis (NE)
NE 517 New Testament Exegesis (Modern text). Exegetical study of the text of a New Testament book or books or portions of a New Testament book in a modern language. Prerequisite: BI500 or NE502; NT500 or NS500 or NS501.
NE 561 Luke and the American Road Movie. This course will pursue a dialogue between the biblical journey motif in Luke and the American road movie, engaging such shared themes as pilgrimage, dislocation, race, gender, wealth, family, community and reconciliation. The course will (1) study the chief passages and theological themes found in the extensive journey motif in the Gospel of Luke, (2) view and discuss selected American road movies, (3) facilitate a cultural and theological dialogue between the two, and (4) foster interpretive skills for biblical narrative and contemporary film.
NE 590 Directed Study in Hermeneutics or New Testament Exegesis.
New Testament Studies (NS)
NS 537 Parables of Jesus. This course provides an introduction to the study of the parables of Jesus, with an emphasis on understanding them in their historical context and interpreting them for teaching and preaching. We will also explore such issues as the role or function of parables in Jesus’ proclamation of the kingdom of God, the history of interpreting the parables, and how parables, imagery and metaphor work.
NS 525 The Cross in the New Testament. A study of the rich variety of interpretations of the death of Jesus in the New Testament, as well as the challenge of conveying its significance today.
NS 531 Pauline Theology. This course focuses on the nature of Pauline theology and introduces students to selected theological issues in the Pauline epistles.
NS 542 God of the Gospels. This course uses the various petitions of the Lord’s Prayer to investigate the Biblical witness to God, taking into account both explicit and implicit designations, descriptions, and characteristics of God (e.g., God as Father; holy; forgiving; creator; providing and giving; protecting and delivering). While the course concentrates on the Gospels, it sets their study in the larger context of Scripture, considering the challenge and importance of a holistic canonical witness to the character and mission of God in the world. The course also pays attention to some theological issues as these are raised by the biblical texts (e.g., the question of gender in God; God’s hiddenness, suffering, and providence).
NS 561 Women and the Bible. This course will examine a number of important questions pertaining to the depictions of women in the Bible and the ways in which biblical texts pertaining to women have been interpreted and applied in the Christian church. Issues to be discussed include (a) how women are portrayed (or overlooked) by various biblical authors; (b) how biblical images of women compare with what we know about the social lives of women and men in the ancient world; (c) how texts pertaining to women have been interpreted and applied in Christian theology and church life over the centuries; and (d) how contemporary feminist scholarship has reshaped Christian engagement with the biblical text.
NS 563 Race and Christian Identity in the New Testament. This course develops a biblically based, theological approach to identity by exploring the relationship between racial identity, ethnic identity and Christian identity. Lectures and discussions about NT texts and works about ethnic and racial identity help students understand the biblical world-view and modern and post-modern trends on the subject of racial and ethnic identity. Students will be exposed to several biblical, theological, and theoretical approaches that will be used to construct a uniquely Christian posture about race issues in society for a variety of ethno-racial groups. Classes include lectures, discussion, online directed learning activities, and student-lead seminars on Christian identity ethics. Prerequisite: NS500 or NS501 or NT500, and NE502 or BI500.
NS 590 Directed Study in New Testament Theology.
New Testament Studies (NT)
NT 500 New Testament Introduction. This course orients students to the literature of the New Testament in its various literary, historical, and theological contexts and to New Testament interpretation in service of Christian practice.
NT 545 Biblical Theology of the New Testament. This course is designed to provide Christian leaders with a study of New Testament theology, focused on the question “What is the gospel?” Broadly the course consists of two parts: the first part examines Jesus’ life and work to understand his gospel of the Kingdom of God, and the second part deals with the apostolic gospel of the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ as exemplified in the Pauline corpus. Attention is paid to the issues of interpretation and contextualization. Thus, the course aims at providing Christian leaders with the biblical theological foundation for their diverse ministries in church and society at large.
NT 546 Advanced Greek: Apostolic Fathers. This seminar for doctoral students is also offered to a limited number of master’s-level students. It combines close reading of the Greek text of the Apostolic Fathers together with exposure to critical issues in the interpretation of this corpus of early Christian literature, including its significance for understanding the New Testament. Prerequisite: Permission of the instructor.
NT 556 Jesus, the Church, and Violence. This course will examine violence in the New Testament and consider how the church is called to engage its presence in, among, and against us. While the course will touch on the violence of war, it will be concerned to develop a self-implicating description of violence that is thicker than the activity of war or killing. To that end, we will consider the relation between the God of Israel and violence as borne out in the New Testament drama of Jesus and his church, working from particular New Testament passages. From this drama and predominant ways it has been read by the modern church in the West, the course will develop insight into the subtleties of violence that have acquired names like race, nation, leadership, and freedom. The aim of the course’s theological description and contemporary insight is to promote the Christian life as one of peacemaking by the Spirit of Jesus in and through the church.
NT 560 The New Testament in Its Ancient Contexts. An advanced seminar, open to a limited number of advanced master’s-level students, focuses on specific topics in the study of the ancient contexts of the NT. Prerequisite: Permission of the instructor.
NT 566 Critical Issues in the Study of Paul. This is a seminar for doctoral students which is also offered to a limited number of master’s-level students. This seminar offers an examination of selected topics in current study of the Pauline epistles, including literary, historical, and theological issues. Topics include the nature of Pauline theology; the socio-economic context of the Pauline mission; Paul and the law; Paul and the Gentiles; Paul, ethnicity, and race; Paul and Scripture; Paul as apocalyptic theologian; and Paul and empire. Prerequisite: Permission of the instructor.
Old Testament (OT)
OT 500 Introduction to the Old Testament. This course orients students to the literature of the Old Testament in its various literary, historical, and theological contexts and to Old Testament interpretation in service of Christian practice. The books of Genesis, Exodus, Deuteronomy, 2 Samuel, Job, Psalms, Isaiah, Jeremiah, and Daniel will be the focus of study.
OT 517 Old Testament Exegesis (Modern text). Exegetical study of the text of an Old Testament book or portions of an Old Testament book in a modern language. Prerequisite: BI500 or NE502; OT500 or OT501 or OT502.
OT 527 Old Testament Exegesis: Writings (Hebrew text). Exegetical study of the Hebrew text of an Old Testament book or portions of an Old Testament book. Prerequisite: LG500, LG502, or LG502A/B; BI500 or NE502; OT500 or OT501 or OT502.
OT551 Old Testament Ethics. This course is an advanced seminar on the content of Old Testament ethics, on method in the study of Old Testament ethics, and on issues raised by setting the Old Testament in the context of Christian faith and vice versa. This seminar is offered to a limited number of master’s-level students. Prerequisite: Permission of the instructor.
OT 554 Ancient Near Eastern and Ancient Israelite Religion. This course is intended to introduce students to the critical study of the religions of ancient Israel and Judah. It is an advanced seminar primarily for doctoral students open on a limited basis to qualified master’s-level students. Prerequisite: Permission of instructor.
OT 560 Women in the Old Testament: Text & Context. This class is a study of the stories of selected women in the Old Testament, including women in the Pentateuch (Eve, Sarah, Rebekah, Rachel, Leah and Miriam), the Historical Books (Hannah), and the Writings (Ruth and Esther). Includes examination of literary form and structure, theological content, historical background and significance in the canon of Scripture. Additional investigation into the role and status of women in pre- and post-exilic Israel and in Old Testament Theology.
OT 568 Food, Famine, and Feasting in the Old Testament. Are we what we eat? Long viewed as secondary to more “spiritual” concerns, the practical and social matters of eating and drinking appear at decisive points in the texts of the Old Testament. In this course we will investigate the dynamics surrounding the material, social, religious, political, and theological aspects of eating and drinking in the Old Testament. Through attention to these details in and behind the ancient texts, we will seek intersections between these texts and our current lives.
OT 569 Old Testament Theology Seminar. This advanced seminar is a study of Old Testament theology looking at both the history of scholarship and contemporary models of theology. Its emphasis is the examination of the role of the biblical text in the task of OT theology, the intertextual dimensions, and influences of Hebrew and Jewish thought as integral to the construction OT theology. This is an advanced seminar primarily for doctoral students open on a limited basis to qualified master’s-level students. Prerequisite: Permission of instructor.
OT 570 Job and Human Suffering. The book of Job will be examined critically from the twin perspectives of its meaning in its ancient context and its continuing significance for the modern community of faith. Lectures will alternate between close exegetical treatment of selected passages of Job and surveys of larger thematic and structural issues, including the place of Job within the contexts of Israelite and ancient Near Eastern wisdom literature. Significant time will be given to discussion of the implications of Job for the theological reflection and praxis of the church: how is suffering consistent with our confessions about God, how can we learn from the suffering of others, and how can we minister faithfully to those who suffer?
OT 573 Theologies of Exile in the Old Testament. This course will examine the diverse ways in which the Hebrew Bible develops theologies of exile in relation to the Assyrian and Babylonian exiles of Israel and Judah. Specific focus will be given to how the biblical texts relate the topic of exile to certain theological and humanitarian concerns, such as the status of the refugee, the pollution of the land, and issues related to divine presence and absence. In addition, the class will consider how the literature of the Persian period offers diverse perspectives on how the biblical writers developed theologies after the exile in the early Second Temple Period. Towards this end, the class will do a close reading of selected texts from the Torah, Prophets, and Writings in order to examine how the biblical texts represent responses to questions about exile, dislocation, and refugee movements for both the ancient and modern world.
OT 583 Ancient Near Eastern History, Literature, and Culture. This course is an introductory survey of ancient Near Eastern history, literature, and culture from prehistoric times to Alexander’s conquest. Civilizations singled out for focus include Sumer, Egypt, Hatti, Babylonia, Assyria, Israel, and Persia. Special attention will be paid to the ways in which surrounding cultures impinged on and influenced Israel and Judah, including detailed comparison of biblical and ANE texts during each class session. In addition to historical events and texts, students will be asked to master basic geographical data, and will be briefly introduced to the languages and writing systems of some of the cultures covered.
OT 588 Old Testament Critical Approaches. An advanced seminar primarily for doctoral students open on the 500 level on a limited basis to qualified master’s-level students. Prerequisite: Permission of instructor.
OT 590 Directed Study in Old Testament.
Courses of Study: Theology Division
Theology Division Faculty
- Oliver D. Crisp, Professor of Systematic Theology
- William A. Dyrness, Professor of Theology and Culture
- Todd E. Johnson, William K. and Delores S. Brehm Professor of Worship, *Theology, *and the Arts
- Robert K. Johnston, Professor of Theology and Culture
- Veli-Matti Kärkkäinen, Professor of Systematic Theology
- Hak Joon Lee, Lewis B. Smedes Professor of Theology and Ethics
- Richard J. Mouw, Professor of Faith and Public Life
- Charles J. Scalise, Professor of Church History
- John L. Thompson, Professor of Historical Theology and Gaylen and Susan Byker Professor of Reformed Theology
- Grayson Carter, Associate Professor of Church History
- Oscar A. Garcia-Johnson, Associate Professor of Theology and Latino/a Studies
- Kutter J. Calloway, Assistant Professor of Theology and Culture
- Erin E. Dufault-Hunter, Assistant Professor of Christian Ethics
- Nathan P. Feldmeth, Assistant Professor of Church History
- W. David O. Taylor, Assistant Professor of Theology and Culture
- James E. Bradley, Geoffrey W. Bromiley Professor Emeritus of Church History and Senior Professor of Church History
- Howard J. Loewen, Senior Professor of Theology and Ethics
- Nancey Murphy, Senior Professor of Christian Philosophy
- Cecil M. Robeck, Jr., *Senior Professor of Church History and Ecumenics
- Marguerite Shuster, Harold John Ockenga Emeritus Professor of Preaching and Theology and Senior Professor of Preaching and Theology
Church History and History of Doctrine (CH)
CH 506 American Christianity in a Global Historical Context. This course analyzes the history and distinctive global roles of American Christianity in order to illumine and facilitate the interpretation of the church in the present generation. Christians from many countries and people groups have come to the United States, making it one of the most ethnically and religiously diverse nations on earth. The class offers an introductory overview of the history of Christianity in America, exploring some of the major persons, ideas, and movements that have shaped Christian faith and practice, both in North America and throughout the world. The course will also involve students in opportunities for more intensive pursuit and presentation of their particular interests in the story of North American Christianity and its global implications.. MDiv core: CHC.
CH 508 Historiography. This is a doctoral seminar open to a limited number of advanced master’s students. The course examines theory and methods in church history and historical theology, intended to facilitate graduate work in the field. Students will be asked to think through issues of structure, pattern, and meaning, as well as proper use of sources and tools, with a view toward the development of their own skills in historiography. Prerequisite: Permission of instructor.
CH 527 Christianity and Science in Historical Perspective. Scientific development since the sixteenth century has affected nearly every aspect of human culture–including the Christian church. This course will examine both the ancient harmony and modern tension that have developed when Christian theology and scientific inquiry intersect. The scope of study will range from the foundations of Western science in ancient Greece, to recent developments in biology, cosmology, physics, psychology, and medicine.
CH547 History and Development of Pentecostal-Charismatic Movements. This course is designed to introduce students to the history of the various Pentecostal, Charismatic, and related global “Movements of the Spirit.” Students will be guided in discussions related to a number of historiographical, theological, sociological, anthropological, and psychological concerns. This is an advanced seminar primarily for doctoral students open on a limited basis to qualified master’s-level students.. Prerequisite: Permission of instructor.
CH 549 Presbyterian Creeds. This course is designed to enable students to enter into the theological ethos of the Presbyterian tradition. Reformed theology, culture, and tradition will be studied in its historical context and applied to the contemporary church. Special attention will be given to the Reformed confessions.
CH 575 Women in Church History and Theology. This course of study places special attention on the unique contributions women have made to the Church from the Apostolic period through the mid-20th century. Such advances usually happened despite official impediments to women’s spiritual leadership and active ministry, and those conflicts with the doctrine, traditions, and practices of the Church will also be highlighted.
CH 590 Directed Study in Church History.
Christian Ethics (ET)
ET 501 Christian Ethics. A foundational course in Christian ethics that studies core Christian ethical vision, values, and convictions (telos, norms, and virtues) shaping and guiding Christian moral agency, decisions, and ecclesial practices. The course discusses the methods of ethical decisions, authority of Scripture, formation of moral agency, norms of love and justice, together with the issues of economic, racial, and ecological justice, the sanctity of life, sexual faithfulness, and violence and peacemaking with special attention to global, pluralistic contexts of Christian ministry today.
ET 513 Perspectives on Social Ethics. An exploration of the relationship between biblical faith and contemporary social and political life, with special attention to current patterns of evangelical engagement with politics in the United States and around the world. The course will survey the diverse forms of contemporary evangelical political engagement as well as the varied content of evangelical views on selected public issues, including human rights, the environment, sexuality and family issues, poverty, church-state concerns, and war.
ET 517 Politics and the Global Church. This course will provide students with an introduction to the important voices and debates surrounding the topic of faith, politics, and cultural diversity in the global church.
ET 520 Biblical and Practical Peacemaking. The way of Jesus in the New Testament and his message of the breakthroughs of the reign of God centrally include the way of peacemaking. We will seek to deepen our understanding of that way and our ability to teach it and model it. We will compare major present-day ethical positions—nonviolence, just war, and just peacemaking—as they relate to overcoming terrorism, preventing nuclear war, peace in the Middle East, and practical peacemaking among church members, including role-playing conflict resolution within churches. And we will study how to begin inward/outward journey small groups in churches with a mission of following Jesus in peacemaking.
ET 521 Sexuality and Ethics. Popular Western culture is highly sexualized; our identities have become hitched to our sexuality, including our sexual practices or “preferences.” Contemporary Western Christian culture is generally muddled about how our sexuality matters for our discipleship; we often unknowingly adopt the assumptions of our broader culture and fail to reflect on the implications of doing so for our life and witness. This course explores our sexuality from a theological perspective and encourages development of an alternative vision for how our sexuality matters for our personal discipleship and communal witness.
ET 522 Christian Ethical Traditions: Liberationist, Evangelical, and Emergent. Developing a strong Christian ethic means being aware of key traditions that influence our approaches to ethics. This is because particular ethical traditions face specific cultural, moral, and political challenges and responsibilities. This course will explore key portions of the Christian ethical landscape, with special focus upon Liberationist (e.g., African-American, Latino/a, and Feminist ethics), Evangelical (including Protestant influences of major Evangelical traditions), and Emergent church perspectives. Students will be invited to engage these perspectives and enter into dialogue in such a way that allows a generous conversation with these traditions in relation to the student’s own background and influences.
ET 528 Creation Care and Sabbath Economics. In a time of unprecedented ecological crisis and economic inequality that threaten the sanctity of God’s creation and human life, all Christians are called to the faithful stewardship of creation care and witness to God’s justice. This course studies the theological and ethical grounds and directives of creation care and Sabbath economics that inform our personal and corporate responsibility as the followers of Jesus. The study includes 1) an analysis of the detrimental impact of global capitalism on the ecology and 2) an exploration of appropriate spiritual formation, communal practices, and public policy proposals of creation care and the Sabbath economics in local, national, and global contexts.
ET 533 Christian Discipleship in a Secular Society. This class explores “secular” conceptions of what is suitable and pleasing in various arenas—economics, politics, ecology, sexuality, and ethnicity. We also discuss the importance of having a theology of suffering and evil as it pertains to these subjects. We will develop an explicitly Scripture-shaped vision of the world, so that we might worship God truthfully and participate in Christ’s ongoing work of creating us and all creation anew.
ET 535 The Ethics of Life and Death. This course considers ethical concerns arising at the beginning life (e.g. prenatal screening, abortion, infertility, reproductive technologies, embryonic stem cell research), through chronic conditions and urgent health crises, and finally considers medicalization of our dying process. Given the cultural distance of the biblical world from our biotechnological society, some find it challenging to know how Scripture informs our relationship to medicine and health care. This course investigates secular and religious approaches while assuming that the Scripture and the Christian tradition remain central for living faithfully as embodied creatures.
ET 543 The Theology and Ethics of Martin Luther King, Jr. The aim of the course is to study King’s key theological and ethical motifs and the distinctive characteristics of his spiritual formation and public ministry in shaping our own ministerial and public leadership in today’s religious, cultural and political contexts. In particular, the course focuses on King’s communal and political spirituality and ethics as they are related to his ideas of God, the beloved community, humanity, love, justice, and the mission of the church, exploring his enduring relevance and legacy in the global era.
ET 545 Theology and Ethics in Asian-American Contexts. This course studies emerging theologies and ethics of Asian American Christianity. Using an interdisciplinary approach, it examines distinctive social and historical contexts, cultural heritages and values of Asian American communities in a critical conversation with Scripture and Christian traditions. Major themes and topics include, among others, immigration and transnationalism, legacy and influence of Confucianism, Pan Asian Americanism, racialization and identity development and construction, and intergenerational and gender conflicts.
ET 551 Ethics of Diversity in Unity. Drawing from sociological, biblical, and historical sources, this course first seeks to comprehend differences and interpret them theologically. We will articulate an ethic of diversity that does not mirror secular visions of multiculturalism, relativism, isolationism, nor assimilationism, but rather one that aims at the building up of each member of Christ’s diverse body for shared work and faithful witness.
ET 559 Methods in Christian Ethics. This seminar studies representative methods in Christian ethics in a systematic and comparative way. This employs an analysis of their underlying theological and philosophical assumptions and the essential ingredients that shape each method in a particular way in grappling with specific social issues or concerns. The goal is to help students to sharpen their analytical and synthesizing skills in Christian ethical reasoning through a comparative study of key variables, and to explore their own method in Christian ethics in critical conversations with other methods. This is an advanced seminar primarily for doctoral students open on a limited basis to qualified master’s-level students. Prerequisite: Permission of instructor.
ET 590 Directed Study in Ethics.
History And Theology (HT)
HT 500 The Church’s Understanding of God and Christ in its Historical Development. This course is a survey of patristic theology and early church history that focuses especially on the doctrine of God, including the Christian church’s development of trinitarian and christological theology and creeds in its dialogue with its opponents and with its multiple cultural contexts, including the empires, languages, religions, and philosophies of the ancient Asian, African and European regions. Related topics and themes to be addressed may include the role of the apostolic fathers and apologists, the controversy with Gnosticism, tensions between Eastern and Western forms of Christianity, and selected doctrinal developments that extend through the Protestant Reformation to today.
HT 501 The Church’s Understanding of God and Christ in its Theological Reflection. This course is a survey of systematic and philosophical theology that focuses especially on the doctrine of God, The Trinity, Christology (comprising the person and work of Christ), and the Person and Work of the Holy Spirit. The course reflects the historic Christian church’s development of trinitarian and Christological theology and creeds in its dialogue with its opponents and with its cultural context. Related topics and themes to be addressed may include the development and articulation of the Christian doctrine of God including the divine perfections and nature, as well as the doctrine of the Trinity; the development and articulation of the person and work of Christ; and Pneumatology, the person and work of the Holy Spirit.
HT 502 The Church’s Understanding of the Church, Humanity, and the Christian Life in its Historical Development. This course is a survey largely of medieval and Reformation history and theology that focuses especially on the doctrines that received their crucial shape for Protestant Christians during this period. Among these are the doctrine of the church (including the authority and office of the ministry, sacraments, the place of councils, and the role of the laity), the doctrine of scripture (including the place of tradition), theological anthropology (including human nature as created and fallen, and original sin), and the doctrine of the Christian life (including the entire order of salvation—election, calling, faith, justification, sanctification, and final glory). Key figures to be studied include Aquinas, Luther, and Calvin.
HT 503 The Church’s Understanding of the Church, Humanity, and the Christian Life in its Theological Reflection. This course is a survey of systematic and philosophical theology that focuses especially on revelation and scripture; creation and providence; theological anthropology (human identity and nature, the image of God, the fall, sin, and evil), soteriology (the election, calling, justification, regeneration, and sanctification of the Christian), and ecclesiology (the ministry and mission of the church). The course reflects the historic Christian church’s development of these doctrines in dialogue with its opponents and with its cultural context. Related topics and themes to be addressed may include the development and articulation of the inspiration and authority of scripture, God’s work in creation, human persons in relation to God, and the place of the church in the purposes of God.
HT 504 Modern Theology in a Global Context. This course is a survey of systematic and philosophical theology that focuses especially on the articulation of Christian doctrine in the modern world. The course reflects the historic Christian church’s development of eschatology in its dialogue with its opponents and with its cultural context, including the current global diversity and plurality. It also considers recent constructive theologies, including theologies of liberation, public theology, and contextual theology. Related topics and themes to be addressed may include the development and articulation of the Christian doctrine of the four last things (death, judgment, heaven, and hell), the intermediate state, so-called “contextual” theologies, and the place of theology in contemporary public life; the relation of Christian theology to other religious traditions may also be included in this consideration.
Theological Language Studies (LG)
Auditing of the following courses is not permitted without transcript evidence of prior study. All courses must be taken for a grade (Pass/Fail is not an option).
LG 565 Theological French. This course is designed for students with little or no prior knowledge of French. Students will be introduced to French vocabulary and grammar necessary for reading and translating the Bible, theological journal articles and books in academic research. Students will also be introduced to available resources and tools for reading and translating French texts.
LG 566 Theological German. This course will introduce students to the essential grammar, syntax, and vocabulary needed to functionally read German-language texts. In addition, the course will immerse the student in the German language through readings from medieval to modern German theological texts.
LG 567 Theological Latin. This course will immerse the student in the Latin language through daily readings in Classical, Biblical, Patristic, and Reformation Latin texts.
PH 504 Christian Worldview and Contemporary Challenges. In some sense, everybody has a worldview, more or less self-conscious and coherent. The different worldviews have a major impact on our values and actions. Do Christians have also a specific worldview? Or do they usually and easily adopt the world’s worldviews, just adapting them to the gospel or also adapting the gospel to them? To answer these questions we will have to explore what a worldview is exactly, if there is such thing as a worldview previous to modernity, and if postmodernism is or is not a worldview. These questions will guide us to a more comprehensive question about the relationship between Christianity and its context, not just in the past, but also in our postmodern context.
PH 510 Christian Apologetics. This course explores the major challenges that Christianity faces in North America in the beginning of the twenty-first century. The approach is to develop an apologetic framework by (1) surveying the way Christians have defended the faith throughout the history of the church; (2) proposing three models—Classical, Modern, and Postmodern—that have been used to defend the faith; and (3) developing a pastoral strategy for defending the truth of Christianity and thus commending the faith to unbelievers.
PH 512 Christianity and Western Thought. This course is designed to provide an historical introduction to ways in which Christianity and Western thought have influenced each other.
PH 522 Perspectives on Christ and Culture. The Christian community has long debated the appropriate ways for Christians to relate to their cultural surroundings. This course will focus on some key perspectives, beginning with a critical examination of the motif made popular by H. Richard Niebuhr in his classic study, Christ and Culture. Special attention will be given to “cultural mandate” theories, as well as to the contemporary relevance of traditional notions of common grace, natural law, and general revelation as they have been used to discern created commonalities that undergird a plurality of cultures. The present-day interest in multiculturalism will also be explored.
PH 529 Philosophy of Spirituality. This course explores vital perennial questions relevant to Christian spirituality, including theories of the nature of persons (physicalism v. dualism), divine action, and religious experience. Recent developments in science and Western worldview changes are considered with respect to challenges and opportunities that these pose for the spiritual life of Christians and the Church.
PH 590 Directed Study in Philosophy of Religion.
Theology (ST, TH)
ST 510 Introduction to Black Theology. This course is designed to introduce students to the nature of theological study, developing a structure of divine revelation as fundamental to understanding how African Americans have developed a systematic theology in America. This course will trace the will trace the development of African American theology along with its African origins. This course will also bring Womanist thought and theology to the center of the discussion and understanding of African American/Black Theology.
ST 511 Orientation to Theological Studies. This course prepares beginning theology students for seminary studies. It introduces them to the academic environment and ethos of Fuller Seminary, with particular focus on developing skills of research and writing necessary to participate and thrive in this environment.
ST 529 Theological Method. This doctoral seminar, open to limited number of advanced master’s level students, is designed to investigate and discuss critically competing methodologies and approaches in contemporary systematic/constructive theology including their philosophical, hermeneutical, and cultural ramifications. Approaches to be studied include mainline Protestant and Catholic, post-liberal, postmodern, Radical Orthodox, postmetaphysical, post-colonial, canonical-linguistic, and various types of Liberationist and other “contextual” or “global” theologies, as well as Evangelical responses and constructive proposals. Prerequisite: Permission of instructor.
ST 555 Teología de la Comunidad Latina. This course introduces the student to the major themes and specialized disciplines that deal with U.S. Latino(a)/Hispanic communities. The approach is practical and intends to forge a critical environment for interpreting religious practices, culture, ministry models, and social structures that so far have shaped the contours of Latino living. The end product is a critical ecclesiology for churches whose constituency is the Latina community or whose intention is to embrace such a community and issues at some point. Taught only in Spanish.
ST 572 Bonhoeffer: Life and Thought. This course is designed to introduce the student to the life and Christian thought of the German theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer (1906-45). Bonhoeffer’s principal writings will be examined, with particular attention given to the context in which they appeared. We will also attempt critically to assess Bonhoeffer’s Christian thought and his contribution to contemporary theology, the church, and the life of the believer in the modern world.
ST 578 The Shape of Liturgical Theology. This is a doctoral level seminar, open to a limited number of advanced master’s level students by special permission. The phrase Lex Orandi/Lex Credendi, attributed to the fifth-century monk Prosper of Aquitaine, has both described and defined the task of liturgical theology. This task is to define the relationship between the Law of Prayer (Lex Orandi) and the Law of Belief (Lex Credendi). This seminar will survey the history of this relationship and the contemporary expressions within the Christian churches today. Prerequisite: Permission of the instructor.
ST 574 Theology of C. S. Lewis This course surveys a wide range of C. S. Lewis’s theological and imaginative writings, with a view to major themes, including apologetic, theological, and spiritual.
ST 582 Evangelical Perspectives on Women’s Theologies. This course will provide an introduction to feminist theology, including contextualized feminist perspectives such as womanist, mujerista, Asian American and those outside North America and Europe. The course will consider traditional Christian doctrine through the lens of feminist theologies, evaluating the strengths and weaknesses of feminist method and theology.
ST 590 Directed Study in Theology.
TH 550 World Religions in Christian Perspective. The purpose of this course is twofold. First it will provide an overview of the world’s major religions–Hinduism, Islam, Buddhism, and Sikhism (time permitting)–focusing on their emergence and history, core beliefs and practices, religious texts and interpretations, as well as contemporary influence and expressions. Second, this course introduces various approaches on how Christianity relates to other religions and religious pluralisms, technically known as the “theology of religions.” We will critically discuss Catholic and Protestant proposals and responses and attempt an outline of an Evangelical approach and briefly touch on the nature of interfaith dialogue. Explorations in comparative theology will also be attempted.
Theology And Culture (TC)
TC 500 Theology and Culture. This course is an introduction to contemporary culture, its philosophies and practices, and the challenges and opportunities it presents to effective Christian ministry and mission.
TC 511 Theology and Hip-Hop Culture. This course is an introduction to the basic issues of a Christian interpretation of hip hop culture. Its purposes are to briefly introduce students to the major theological and biblical perspectives that have been developed in approaching hip-hop culture and to develop in the student a practical and biblical wisdom whereby cultural artifacts may be understood and engaged. The purpose in the broadest sense is to develop a hip-hop cultural literacy. A major part of the course will focus on particular cultural “texts” in order to practice strategies of reading and interpretation that are informed by Christian perspectives.
TC 515 Understanding Popular Music (South by Southwest). The course will investigate some of the social, ethical, and psychological implications of popular music upon theology, and in turn seek a theological engagement with the diverse and varied contours of popular music. We live in an age where popular music provides a “soundtrack” to our lives; this course will explore the theological implications of this cultural artifact, including an immersive exposure to the live music experience at the South by Southwest Festival. The course will explore the relationship between music makers and their audiences from a phenomenological and theological perspective.
TC 516 Theology, Worship, and Art. This course is an introduction to Christian reflection and practice in the visual arts. The major emphases will be (1) the actual practice of viewing and making art in the context of prayer and meditation, focusing on art and character (with support of Mako Fujimura); (2) the historical and theological context of art and faith; and (3) the role of the arts in the wider community and in worship. By lectures, discussions, art projects and museum visits, students will engage with significant examples of art as a way of developing a critical appreciation and a Christian appropriation of this dimension of life—with respect to its value for worship and witness.
TC 519 Topics in Theology and the Visual Arts. This course examines significant artists, putting their work into dialogue with theological issues.
TC 521 Theology and Contemporary Literature. This course will explore significant literary works, inviting theological dialogue with these works.
TC 530 Theology and Film. This course will consider one particular aspect of a theology of culture, theology and film. The course will view and discuss selected films, provide the student the critical skills helpful for film interpretation, and explore possible theological approaches to film criticism.
TC 531 Postmodern Theology, Film, and Youth Culture. Seeking to introduce students to the theological and social dimensions of the forces that shape contemporary human culture, this course will engage postmodernity theologically by studying one of adolescents’ primary sources of meaning: the movies. This course will investigate some of the social, ethical, and psychological implications of postmodern film upon theology, and in turn seek a theological engagement with these movies.
TC 533 Theology and Television. This course will consider a theology of culture by focusing on one of the most pervasive cultural forms in the Western world: Television. It will engage the technologies, narratives, ideologies, and ritual practices of hyper-modern culture through the lens of television as a contemporary form of life. The course will provide students with a set of analytical tools for critical understanding and sympathetic engagement with the medium of TV (with an emphasis on American television), but it will also address a number of contextual approaches to the medium in order to develop a constructive theology of TV–one that will enable Christian leaders to articulate and demonstrate the Gospel in ways that are meaningful to modern persons inhabiting a mediated world of rapid techno-cultural change.
TC 541 Vocation of the Artist in Biblical, Historical, Theological, and Contemporary Perspective. This course introduces the student to biblical, theological, historical and contemporary models for the vocation of an artist and offers a vocational model that seeks to encompass a broad range of professions, stations of life and cultural contexts. With this broad perspective in mind, students will explore examples within the arts where artists have expressed or articulated their sense of calling; the virtues, practices and spiritual disciplines (both individual and communal) of an artistic vocation; the biblical, theological and spiritual contours of a mature human life; the aesthetic dimension of an artist’s calling; the practical conditions of a flourishing artist; and the mission of a believer artist in light of God’s mission in the world.
TC 565 Worship and Culture. This doctoral seminar is open to a limited number of master’s level students by special permission. This class will explore the relationship of cultures, their values, symbols, and rituals to Christian worship. It will explore national and ethnic cultures, as well as generational, class, artistic, and technological cultures. We will focus on gaining an understanding—leading to an application—of theories of culture and worship. Prerequisite: Permission of instructor.
Courses of Study: Ministry Division
Ministry Division Faculty
Mark Lau Branson, Homer L. Goddard Professor of the Ministry of the Laity
Chapman R. Clark, Professor of Youth, Family, and Culture
Scott Cormode, Hugh De Pree Professor of the Leadership Development
Yea Sun Eum Kim, Professor of Family Counseling and Korean Family Studies
Mark A. Labberton, Professor of Preaching
Juan F. Martinez, Professor of Hispanic Studies and Pastoral Leadership
Michael Pasquarello III, Llyoyd John Ogilvie Professor of Preaching
Richard V. Peace, Robert Boyd Munger Professor of Evangelism and Spiritual Formation
Dale S. Ryan, Associate Professor of Recovery Ministry
Steven C. Argue, Assistant Professor of Youth, Family, and Culture
Tod Bolsinger, Assistant Professor of Practical Theology
Kurt N. Fredrickson, Assistant Professor of Pastoral Ministry
Ahmi Lee, Assistant Professor of Preaching
Kara E. Powell, Assistant Professor of Youth and Family Ministries
Steven Toshio Yamaguchi, Assistant Professor of Pastoral Theology
David W. Augsburger, Senior Professor of Pastoral Care and Counseling
William E. Pannell, Senior Professor of Preaching
Marguerite Shuster, Harold John Ockenga Professor Emeritius of Preaching and Theology and Senior Professor of Preaching and Theology
AP 500 Theology and Ministry Apprenticeship. Credit: 0 or 4 units.
AP 501 Church or Organization Apprenticeship. Credit: 0 or 4 units
AP 546 Hospital Apprenticeship. Credit: 0 or 4 units.
AP 548 Hospice Chaplain Apprenticeship. Credit: 0 or 4 units.
AP 556 Correctional Institution Internship. Credit: 0 or 4 units.
AP 567 Senior Care Internship. Credit: 0 or 4 units.
FE 561 Leadership I: Foundations for Incarnational Youth Ministries. Practicum in the basic methods of evangelistic youth outreach, emphasizing the development of personal relationships with young people through relevant forms of group ministry. A portion of the course focuses on the recruitment, training and ongoing enabling of volunteers for outreach ministries to youth. Offered only for Young Life staff. Credit: 4 units.
FE 562 Leadership II: Building Resources for Incarnational Youth Ministries. This course is designed to build the skills of people in youth ministry as well as their ability to train others in the areas of discipleship, adult ministry, camping, and fundraising. Offered only for Young Life staff. Credit: 4 units.
FE 570 Campus Ministries Practicum. Practicum for first-year InterVarsity staff in the basic skills of college campus ministry. It emphasizes the history and basics of InterVarsity ministry, fund development, campus strategy, developing students on campus, inductive Bible study, small group leadership and strategy, and new student outreach. Offered only for InterVarsity staff. Credit: 4 units
FE 571 Campus Ministries Practicum II. This practicum course for second-year InterVarsity staff builds on the basic skills in FE570. It covers the content areas of developing a philosophy of ministry, campus evangelism, conference planning and administration, basic caregiving skills, stewardship of life, crosscultural ministry, and multiethnicity. Offered onl for InterVarsity staff. Credit: 4 units
Christian Formation and Discipleship (CF)
CF 531 Christian Education and Ethnic Diversity. This is a course on biblical, theological, and practical resources for creating a learning community in the context of ethnic diversity. Many aspects of a church’s life and activities (worship, small groups, story telling, education, spiritual disciplines, leadership, engaging a context) will be viewed regarding their role in forming and equipping an intercultural congregation toward gospel faithfulness. Topics include ecclesiology and missiology, the relationship between personal and corporate formation, intergenerational and intercultural life, multiple intelligences, social construction, managing programs, and spiritual formation.
CF 590 Directed Study in Christian Formation and Discipleship.
CN 504 Family Therapy and Pastoral Counseling. The individual-in-family-within-community is the focus of study in the pastoral care and counseling of families. Family systems theory, theology, and therapy will be integrated as the student explores his/her own multigenerational family system and applies learning to one’s own role in his/her family of origin and to family ministry.
CN 524 Family Dynamics of Addiction. The course is an examination of the family system with specific reference to the factors influencing substance abuse/dependence, addiction, and the process of recovery.
CN 535 Grief, Loss, Death and Dying. The nature of human suffering, the problem of theodicy, the meaning of pain, the mystery of healing, and the discovery of hope will be theological and experiential themes central to the course. Grief, pain, loss, separation, death, and dying—the major crises of life—will be explored experientially, psychologically, culturally, and theologically. The focus will be on personal growth as the preparation for a ministry of pastoral presence, care-giving, and counseling.
CN 546 Familia Hispaña e Identidad Cultural. This course will explore the psychological issues affecting Hispanic families in the United States, within the context of pastoral ministry. Students will learn about acculturation stress and its impact on self-identity. The concept of immigration and family dynamics will be explored in detail as it pertains to families of origin and the church family. Students will be challenged to understand their own family dynamics by articulating the behavioral scripts from their cultural heritage through the study of the life of Joseph as an immigrant. The focus of the class will be interactive and applied to ministry Taught only in Spanish.
CN 553 Pastoral Care and Abuse. This class seeks to provide a comprehensive introduction to abuse—sexual, emotional, physical, and spiritual. Several approaches to understanding abuse from a theological perspective will be explored. The class will also explore practical tools and skills needed for helpful pastoral responses to those who have been abused.
CN 557 Pastoral Care and Addictions. This course explores all aspects of pastoral care for people struggling with addictions. In addition to providing theological and biblical perspectives on the addictive process, this class will help participants develop the understanding and skills needed by pastors and others who seek to help individuals and families impacted by addiction.
CN 560 Pastoral Counseling Across Cultures. This course will examine major issues in cross-cultural pastoral counseling. The interface of psychological anthropology, pastoral care, and counseling and transcultural theological reflection will be explored, and an appreciation of what is universal, cultural, and individual will be achieved.
CN 567 Spiritual Formation and the Twelve Steps. This class provides an introduction to the twelve steps of Alcoholics Anonymous as a model for Christian spiritual formation. It will include an examination of common twelve step practices and twelve step culture with particular emphasis on spiritual disciplines. The class will also explore helpful pastoral responses to Christians who could benefit from the twelve step process as well as pastoral responses to spiritual seekers who practice the steps and who seek an increased understanding of the connections between twelve step process and Christian spiritual traditions.
CN 568 Theological and Pastoral Perspectives on the Contemporary Family. This course in practical theology examines diverse understandings of the family found within the broad Christian tradition, and their relationship to wider cultural concerns in a variety of different historical and contemporary settings.
CN 590 Directed Study in Counseling or Psychology.
NOTE: Certain courses in the School of Psychology are open each quarter to qualified theology students.
CO 514 Theory and Practice of Communication for Ministry. This course is designed to provide students with an overview and understanding of communication theory and its applications. Topics for consideration include intrapersonal communication, interpersonal communication, media ecology, and public speaking. This course should assist students in developing multiple communication skills for effective ministry practice.
CO 521 Ethnic Identities in the Media. This course will consider and reflect upon the portrayals of ethnicity, race and religion that have been communicated through the media. It will provide the opportunity to examine the ways in which media has communicated and cultivated racial subjectivity in the modern Christian social imagination. Participants will be expected to convey a playfully orthodox ecclesiology within contemporary contexts of personal, social, and cultural change through written word, speech, and visual media.
CO 522 Narrative-Communication in a Visual Age. This course explores why narrative (story) moves people in ways that lecturing or preaching didactically often does not. It will equip students to create and deliver narrative lessons and sermons that aim to capture imaginations with who God is and what God is up to, utilizing beautifully-designed digital slides to enhance the narrative.
CO 590 Directed Study in Communication.
Denominational Polity (DP)
DP 504 Reformed Worship. This course will explore the theology and practice of worship in the Reformed tradition. Special attention will be paid to the ways in which the distinctives of Reformed theology have contributed to historic patterns of worship. The course will develop an overview of current liturgical forms and models and provide a reflective introduction to the voices that advocate more contemporary styles of worship. Specific focus will be given to the structure of the Sunday worship service, the sacraments, hymnody, weddings, funerals, and the place of children and youth in worship.
See also CH 549 Presbyterian Creeds.
DP 590 Directed Study in Denominational Polity.
EV 500 The Art of Evangelism. The aim of this course is to communicate a vision for evangelism based on the paradigm of spiritual pilgrimage. In this light, the variety of ways in which people start moving toward Jesus will be considered (Quest); as will the nature and character of conversion (Commitment); and the subsequent process of spiritual growth (Formation). All this will be placed in a biblical and historical context. This theoretical foundation will then provide the background for a multifaceted discussion of how one goes about planning and executing a viable, on-going, church-based program of evangelism.
EV 514 Urban Evangelism. In this course we will examine evangelism from a historical and a contemporary perspective. We will rely heavily on perspectives from Scripture to inform our inquiry. Various strategies in urban evangelism will also be considered in addition to visiting local ministries that are doing what we are studying.
EV 525 Contemporary Culture and Evangelism. The aim of this course is to look at evangelism from the point of view of those who are being evangelized. In order to do this it is necessary to engage in audience analysis: who is it we are trying to reach and what do we need to know about them and their personal environments? Then it is important to know how to express the gospel in words, images, and actions that will communicate the gospel accurately to such subcultures. A special emphasis in this course will be on reaching Boomers, Gen X, and Millennials. In addition, the course will explore evangelism in various ethnic subcultures.
EV 527 Biblia, Contexto, y Post Modernismo. A course to read the Bible for mission commission as mandated by Christ. A careful study of the biblical method of contextualization for preaching addressing cultural, gender and race barriers for preaching the gospel. Principles for intercultural communication and diversity approaches will be examined. Taught only in Spanish
EV 532 Recovery Ministry in the Local Church. This course will examine the theological foundations of recovery ministry as well as the personal dynamics of recovery and practical considerations for developing recovery ministries in the local church.
EV 543 Conversion and the Process of Change. This class examines the phenomenon of conversion from seven different vantage points: biblical, theological, historical, psychological, sociological, anthropological, and experiential (personal documents). The goal of this extended study of conversion as a species of Christian transformation is to develop a nuanced understanding of the ministry of evangelism since how one views conversion determines how one does evangelism.
EV 559 Evangelism in Context: St. Patrick as Model. St. Patrick’s life, work, and ministry changed Ireland more than any single person in history. Never straying far from his humble roots as a slave in his beloved country, he was able to integrate his insightful pragmatism, strategic thinking, relational savvy, and authentic love for people to bring about lasting transformation in the name of Jesus Christ. In this course, we will examine the key aspects of Patrick’s life, faith, and ministry, and, using this as a lens, we will explore how the life of St. Patrick of Ireland can teach us what evangelism in our culture and context can be.
EV 590 Directed Study in Evangelism.
General Ministry (GM)
GM 518 Introduction to Urban Studies. The purpose of the class is to challenge each student’s perspective of the city and to encourage engagement in solutions for various social disparities and injustices. The instructor will expose the class to a wide variety of topics, theories, and methods that relate to the field of urban studies and to a wide variety of urban issues and related solutions. Students will be encouraged to interact with professionals who represent public and private organizations including local government and non-profit agencies. Such persons will be guest lecturers who, along with the instructor, will integrate social responsibility and Christianity from various points of view involving community partnerships, demographics, faith-based and social capital, local politics, poverty, public art and music, and social services.
GM 527 Ministry and Culture. With life and people changing so rapidly, it is easy for leaders in the church to find themselves answering questions no one is asking. This course, which will include training and experience in both secular and theological/biblical research and analysis, will teach the student to dive deeply into the reality of both global and local contemporary experience in order to help them to navigate the complexities of faith in any context and to form a theological and pastoral response.
GM 538 Ministrando en un Mundo Diverso e Interconectado. Examination of key aspects of human diversity, racism, intergenerational conflict and global migrations that are currently shaping the local church and its members will be studied. Social science approaches will be balanced and compared with biblical narratives and pertinent theological readings for securing approaches to ministry with a diverse global population. Theories of social sciences, biblical narratives, and theological readings will be explored in order to identify emergent models for addressing the needs of the local congregation and its individual members. Each student will work in developing a personalized model for dealing with a particular need they are currently facing in ministry. Taught only in Spanish.
GM 539 Religious Fundraising. The purpose of this course is to teach students about raising money in religious organizations. It will focus on churches, nonprofits, and religious social service organizations.
GM 554 Leadership and Diversity: Gender, Multicultural, and Ethnicity. Students will be challenged to consider how cultural and gender issues relate to effective Christian leadership, especially in congregations. Students will articulate the ways in which they have been formed as leaders and will be introduced to central themes in leadership theory. We will examine leadership in relation to issues of ethnicity, culture, gender, and postmodernity. Students will become more fully aware of self and context and will thus become more effective leaders in churches and other organizations.
GM 590 Directed Study in General Ministry.
Integrative Studies (IS)
IS 500 Practices of Vocational Formation. This course teaches students a method for integrating resources of theological method into faithful responses to the human condition. As an integrative course, it explores the identity and practices of Christian vocational formation as a people called, gathered, and sent by God. Together, professor and students study and enact historic Christian disciplines necessitated by this distinctive identity (listening, discernment, guidance, lament, rhythms of rest, and stewardship) fashioning them into a Rule of Life that shapes and supports the student’s vocation in order to form students who demonstrate capacities to cultivate a theologically reflective practice of Christian discipleship.
IS 501 Practices of Worship. This course is an integrative course that explores the identity and practices of Christian worship and prayer as a people called, gathered, and sent by God. Together, professor and students study and enact historic Christian disciplines necessitated by this distinctive identity (Sabbath-keeping, confession, praise, communion, enacting the prophetic, gathering & sending, prayer, and reading & proclaiming the Word) in order to form students who demonstrate capacities to cultivate a theologically reflective practice of Christian discipleship.
IS 502 Practices of Community. This course is an integrative course that explores the identity and practices of Christian community as a people called, gathered, and sent by God. Together, professor and students study and enact historic Christian disciplines necessitated by this distinctive identity (hospitality, forgiveness, promise-keeping, truth-telling, gratitude, and testimony) in order to form students who demonstrate capacities to cultivate a theologically reflective practice of Christian discipleship.
LD 500 Leadership. The course teaches students to engage organizational change in congregations and other organizations. The course will specifically address ways to engage the context within which the organization exists.
LD 515 Presbyterian Polity, History, and Leadership. This course is designed to assist in reparing students for pastoral leadership within the Presbyterian Church USA context. This course will help equip students to pass the Presbyterian Polity ordination exam, educate them on Presbyterian History, and train them in pastoral leadership for Presbyterian churches.
Pastoral Ministry and Theology (PM)
PM 504 Pastoral Ministry. This course is a survey of pastoral ministry, focusing on the ideas, skills, and personal development necessary for a student to learn various aspects of pastoral care. This is not a course in pastoral counseling. The course prepares students to give care both in congregational contexts and in contexts that go beyond the congregation (e.g. nonprofit organizations).
PM 514 Missional Church and Leadership. This is a practical theology course that engages biblical, theological, and practical matters in ecclesiology and leadership. The work of lay and clergy leadership is explored in regard to fostering an environment in which all participants are to be formed into an interpretive community that is engaged with God personally and corporately in congregation formation, spiritual formation, and missional formation. Working from a praxis-theory-praxis perspective, the course will attend to topics as they are integrated in a practical theology methodology with an emphasis on missio Dei.
PM 549 Learning Communities: Practical Theology and Christian Education. This is a doctoral seminar offered to a limited number of master’s level students as approved by the professor. The seminar engages methods of practical theology with a focus on Christian education in relationship with studies in learning organizations and communities of practice. Prerequisite: Permission of instructor.
PM 556 Practical Theology Methods. This is a doctoral seminar for all PhD students in Practical Theology and is offered to a limited number of master’s level students as approved by the professor. The seminar will introduce students to recent studies of practical theology with a focus on ecclesiology and mission in a Western context. The hermeneutical implications of a praxis-based theology of ministry will be considered in an integrative, interdisciplinary manner, with attention to matters of leadership appropriate to participation in God’s mission in both the church and the world. Prerequisite: Permission of instructor.
PM 559 Fundamentals of Chaplaincy. This course provides an overview of the nature and history of the chaplain’s identity, purpose, and functional roles. You will examine the biblical and theological foundations of a ministry of presence comprising the core of chaplaincy ministry. You also will review the various types of chaplaincy and explore the commonalities, distinctives and expectations of military, health care, public safety, correctional, sports, campus and disaster relief chaplains. Additionally, the course will develop biblical-theological knowledge, skills and abilities for ministry leadership in chaplaincy. Supplemental areas of expertise will be introduced at a basic level focusing on specialized skills in pastoral, caregiver and emotional/spiritual support for a chaplain. The emphasis is to develop a basic understanding of how chaplaincy impacts organizations with the Gospel message in military, institutional and organizational communities.
**PM 590 Directed Study in Pastoral Ministry and Theology. **
PR 500 Homiletics. This course introduces students to the theology and practice of preaching as an integrating focus that draws from and informs the whole Master of Divinity curriculum. Preaching is taught and learned within an extended conversation between students and the professor which is shaped by the calling of the church to proclaim the Word of God in service of God’s mission. Preaching is addressed as an act of congregational worship, and as a means by which the diverse gifts and ministries of God’s people bear witness to God’s reign in and for the world.
PR 501 Preaching in the African-American Tradition. This course is designed to provide students with an opportunity to examine cultural nuances and traditions associated with the formulation and development of the African American preaching style. Special attention will be given to the historical, psychological, and communal relationships that helped develop and shape the method and practice of preaching in the African American tradition.
PR512 Preaching Practicum. This course is designed to provide an opportunity for students to practice preaching in a classroom setting and receive constructive feedback in classroom discussion and evaluation as supervised and structured by the teacher. The required reading will focus on methods of sermon development, preparation and delivery, as well as the purpose and goal of preaching. Prerequisite: PR500.
PR 528 Preaching in the Traditions. Both St. Augustine and Karl Barth are held dear in many circles of Western Christianity. But their approaches to preaching are radically different. This course will use these two shapers of the homiletical tradition as a sort of foil for ourselves by exploring what may be their encouragements and critiques of the student’s own preaching. Prerequisite: PR500.
PR 535 Preaching the Bible as Scripture. This course provides opportunities for practicing and reflecting upon preaching from Scripture as a unified witness to the God of Israel that finds its center in the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Integrating biblical, theological, and pastoral exegesis, this course cultivates habits of reading, thinking, and speaking appropriate to building up communities of disciples in the service of God’s mission. Prerequisite: PR500.
PR 590 Directed Study in Preaching.
Spirituality and Spiritual Direction (SP)
SP 500 Spiritual Traditions and Practices. Spiritual practices emerge out of spiritual traditions which, in turn, often emerge from the life and experience of spiritual pioneers. This course will deal with a number of representative figures, such as Benedict, Francis & Clare of Assisi, John Calvin, Teresa of Avila, John Wesley, William Seymour, Mother Teresa, Archbishop Oscar Romero, and the spiritual traditions they founded (or influenced). Within each tradition a spiritual practice will be examined (and sometimes experienced) with an eye to its place in the postmodern church. All this will be set in the context of the broad sweep of the history and theology of Christian spirituality.
Monasticism(s) Old and New. This course will examine the history, theology, and practice of Christian monasticism. Through this course we will gain a sympathetic understanding of Christian religious life both past and present. We will grow to appreciate the character and contributions of religious life to the advance of personal sanctification, Church community, and Christian mission. We will explore and experiment with a few distinctive elements of monastic practice.
SP 590 Directed Study in Spirituality.
TM 522 Homelessness, Congregations, and Community Partnerships. Students will study the extent, causes, and complexities of homelessness. Instruction will focus on the efforts made to end homelessness in the United States during the past three decades and into our current decade. Lectures will describe how evidenced-based best practices were implemented during the past decade that has significantly reduced homelessness which is a reversal of the limited success of reducing homelessness in the 1980s and 1990s through emergency assistance and a sequence of programs that moved people through a continuum of care system. More importantly, instruction will help students explore what best practices and what ancient and contemporary spiritual practices can be integrated together to further individual and congregation formation for community service to help end homelessness during this decade and beyond.
TM 528 Asian American Identity and Ministry. This course, designed for both Asian Americans and non-Asian Americans, teaches practical theology method for the task of constructing local theologies in Asian American contexts, which will be framed as the interaction of four key layers, the Asian American Quadrilateral: (1) Asian religious and cultural heritages, (2) Migration/post-immigration experience, (3) American culture, and (4) Racialization. Drawing upon historical, theological, ecclesial, biblical, and social science perspectives, this contextual engagement will serve gospel faith and praxis for Asian Americans.
Worship Studies (WS)
WS 514 Music as Theological Expression. This course is intended to be a survey of how music has been used in the church and as art as a means of declaring the message of God in the world and an expression of faith. Students will be guided through historical periods, trends, styles, controversies, and varieties of musical media from past to present. The course will aid the student to consider the theological issues relating to the use of music in worship and the world at large.
WS 515 Worship Leadership: Formation and Skill. This course will be an interactive experience for planning, leading, administering, and evaluating corporate worship, particularly from the standpoint of the musical leader. There will be personal and group experiences, including journaling of worship experiences, creating materials for corporate worship, principles for working with volunteers, all combined with an emphasis on spiritual formation and pastoral and theological principles of worship leading. Students will be encouraged in the use of a wide spectrum of worship styles and resources, in addition to evaluating their use for specific purposes within sacred settings. Maximum benefit for this course will be received by the student who is an active music worship leader in a regular worship setting.
WS 518 Worship Ministry on the Lord’s Day. This course explores both the practical and theological dimensions of worship leadership and examines issues relating to the planning and implementing of worship on the Lord’s Day (Sunday or Sabbath) in various Christian traditions. A significant part of the course will be devoted to the actual practice of worship leadership and the careful theological planning of worship on the Lord’s Day. Students will be given opportunity to participate in the planning process of all-seminary chapels, will be exposed to the worship life of an actual congregation, and plan worship for that church. Further, the course gives opportunity to develop skills in the public reading of Scripture; leading in prayer, extempore and prescribed; application of pastoral care to worship; musical selection and leadership.
WS 519 Worship Ministry in the Seasons of Life. This course will explore both the practical and theoretical dimensions of worship leadership. It will examine issues relating to the planning and implementing of worship on the feasts, fasts, and other holy days of the Christian calendar across various Christian traditions. It will also explore the creation and use of pastoral rites throughout the life cycle. This course will focus on ways Christian worship can be adjusted and adapted to specific times in the life of a church and the life of its people. Special attention will be paid to the rites of marriage and burial across Christian traditions.
Youth, Family, and Culture (YF)
YF 500 Foundation of Youth Ministry. This course provides the foundational concepts and best practices to prepare the student for ministry to the young in both a church and non-church setting in any context. The course will provide a basic understanding of adolescent development, contemporary culture, and historical and contextual models of youth ministry thinking and practice. The course is designed to help the student to think and respond theologically to the needs and expectations of the young and their families in a church or organization, and provides practical tools enabling the student to design a theologically sound youth ministry program suitable in any context.
YF 501 Introduction to Youth Ministry. This course gives an overview of contemporary culture, especially as it affects youth ministry, and provides historical and theological youth ministry concepts and grounding. In addition, a broad spectrum of ministry programs and issues will be addressed, such as “youth ministry as practical theology,” the changing family, organizing a ministry program, missions and service, and ministering in a multi-cultural, multi-contextual world.
YF 502 Leadership in Youth Ministry. The purpose of this course is to teach students the calling, roles, and responsibility of Christian leadership in any context, but especially youth ministry. Issues discussed include the meaning of being a Christian leader; how to develop a volunteer leadership program, how to recruit, initiate, train, nurture, and care for volunteer leadership; the necessity for encouraging people in their giftedness, even if that may mean helping them to move on from youth ministry; and how to lead, equip, and best utilize interns and paid staff. The graduate will understand an approach to practical theology, leadership philosophy and theology, and various models and approaches to leadership necessary for engaging in leadership in youth and family ministry.
YF 503 Evangelism, Justice and Emerging Generations. This course explores the biblical mandate to “so I send you” (John 20:21) and to “be (Christ’s) witnesses” (Acts 1:8), especially as it relates to adolescents and emerging/young adults. Historical, ecclesial, biblical and theological perspectives of witness will be explored as expressed in corporate and personal acts of gospel proclamation and justice. Through readings, lecture, projects, and discussion, students will learn how to articulate and pass on to others a well-formed theology of witness as well as design and implement a contextual and relational ministry strategy that takes seriously Christian care, justice and evangelism.
YF 504 Introduction to Family Ministry. This course presents an analysis of the current understanding and “modes” of “family ministry” over against a theological, sociological, and developmental understanding of contemporary culture. Various models of family ministry will be examined, and through the use of case studies, lectures, and research, students will learn how to create a family ministry program and/or strategy that best suits the needs and vision of a given church or ministry organization.
YF 506 Urban Youth Ministry. This course begins with a definition of urban and the need for middle-class investigators to be sensitized to poverty, racism, and classism. It proceeds with an analysis of urban realities and the subcultures of urban youth. Issues of gangs, drugs, crime, pregnancy, and welfare will be considered before dealing with social strategies and responses of youth leaders.
YF 519 Adolescent Faith Longevity. This course is designed to help students understand the dynamics of long-term faith development among adolescents. This course will weave together theological reflection and social science research in a Practical Theology approach that will primarily focus on 3 contexts: the adolescent’s family, the youth ministry, and the overall congregation.
YF 520 Family Systems and Youth Ministry. This course provides the foundational concepts of family systems theory and its necessary integration in youth ministry praxis. Through readings, lectures, discussion, and projects, students will develop a systemic lens by which they will consider, evaluate, and develop effective ministry to youth and their families.
YF 521 Youth and Family Ministry in a Culture of Digital Relationships. This course provides a background to the psychosocial, technological and spiritual reasons for the almost universal adoption of the Internet and social media among adolescents. The course will provide an understanding of adolescent social media use, theological implications for youth and family ministry and historical and contextual responses of the Church to mediated communication. This course is designed to help the student think theologically about social media concerns and practices of youth, families and Christian communities, providing practical tools to enable the student to design a theologically informed social media strategy in a local ministry context.
YF 522 Emerging Adult Spirituality and Ministry. This course will seek to understand the unique opportunities and challenges evident in the emerging adult stage of life [ages 18-29]. Specifically, we will explore emerging adults’ experiences regarding their faith journeys, spiritual struggles, and relationships with the church. Together, we will reimagine ministry that is good news to emerging adults and attempt to answer one of the biggest questions asked in churches today–“Where have all the 20-something’s gone?”
YF 590 Directed Study in Youth, Family, and Culture.
Doctor of Philosophy and Master of Theology Courses
The following classes and seminars are offered in support of the School of Theology’s Doctor of Philosophy and Master of Theology programs, through the Center for Advanced Theological Studies. Unless otherwise noted, all seminars are offered for 6 units of credit. Selected classes or seminars may be made available to a limited number of advanced master’s-level students by permission of the professor as a 4-unit 500-level class.
NT 801 New Testament Research Methods. This is a seminar in which participants explore through readings, practice, and critical discussion the range of methods employed in contemporary New Testament study. The entire research process will be discussed, modeled, and practiced.
NT 823 Critical Issues in Luke-Acts. This seminar comprises an examination of classical and contemporary study of Luke-Acts. Participants will work with selected texts drawn from Luke’s narrative and with representative secondary studies of the Lukan material.
NT 824 Critical Issues in John. This seminar introduces students to perennially challenging and important issues in the study of the Gospel of John, including the socio-historical contexts in which the Johannine tradition grew; the Gospel’s presentation of Jesus in its historical and theological dimensions vis-à-vis Judaism, the Roman empire, and early Christianity; and recent developments in the study of the Gospel.
NT 825 Biblical Theology and Theological Hermeneutics. An exploration of the development and current status of modern “biblical theology,” and the contemporary recovery of a theological hermeneutics in relation to the biblical theology movement.
NT 826 Advanced Greek. This seminar combines close reading of the Greek text of the Apostolic Fathers together with exposure to critical issues in the interpretation of this corpus of early Christian literature, including its significance for understanding the New Testament.
NT 860 The New Testament in Its Ancient Contexts. This seminar focuses on specific topics in the study of the ancient contexts of the New Testament.
NT 866 Critical Issues in the Study of Paul. This seminar offers an examination of selected topics in current study of the Pauline epistles, including literary, historical, and theological issues. Topics include the nature of Pauline theology; the socio-economic context of the Pauline mission; Paul and the law; Paul and the Gentiles; Paul, ethnicity, and race; Paul and Scripture; Paul as apocalyptic theologian; and Paul and empire.
LG 806 Advanced Hebrew Grammar. This course investigates the morphology and syntax of Biblical Hebrew. Its approach is largely synchronic, but includes diachronic elements. Grammatical study will be enhanced by relevant reading from Old Testament texts. 2 units.
LG 833 Beginning Ugaritic. This course, the first of a two-course sequence, introduces the language, literature, and culture of Ugarit, a Late Bronze Age city-state on the coast of the Mediterranean whose language was in the same cultural stream as Hebrew. Special attention is given to the ways in which the study of this material has profoundly informed and improved the study of the Old Testament. 2 units.
**LG 834 **Ugaritic 2: Special Topics.**** This course, the second of a two-course sequence, delves deeper into the language, literature, and culture of Ugarit, giving special attention to the ways that Ugaritology affects the study of the Hebrew Bible. Weekly seminar discussions on selected topics will expose students to the growing literature on Ugarit. 2 units.
LG 835 Beginning Akkadian. This course is the first of a two-quarter sequence, introducing students to the Akkadian language. Additionally, this course surveys the history and literature of ancient Mesopotamia, giving special attention to the ways that Assyriology affects the study of the Old Testament. 2 units.
LG 836 Advanced Akkadian. This course is the second of a two-quarter sequence, introducing students to the Akkadian language. Additionally, this course surveys the history and literature of ancient Mesopotamia, giving special attention to the ways that Assyriology affects the study of the Old Testament. 2 units.
LG 846 Northwest Semitic Texts. This course will introduce the student to the more important remains of the literature of the NW Semitic sphere from the first millennium B.C., i.e., Old Phoenician, Old Aramaic, Old Hebrew, Ammonite and Moabite. 2 units.
OT 805 Old Testament Theology Seminar. This seminar is a study of Old Testament theology looking at both the history of scholarship and contemporary models of theology. Its emphasis is the examination of the role of the biblical text in the task of Old Testament theology, the intertextual dimensions, and influences of Hebrew and Jewish thought as integral to the construction Old Testament theology.
OT 854 Israelite Religion in It’s Ancient Near Eastern Context. This course is intended to introduce students to the critical study of the religions of ancient Israel and Judah. Engaging both biblical and ancient near Eastern primary texts, it acquaints students with the similarities and differences between Israelite and Judean beliefs and practices and those of their neighbors. A reading of major secondary literature introduces students to the major theories of the nature and diachronic changes in Israelite religion. Research projects will familiarize students with the comparative study of the Old Testament and encourages them to think about the relevance and proper application of the material to the interpretation of the Bible.
OT 856 Old Testament Hermeneutics Seminar. This is a doctoral seminar on Old Testament hermeneutics.
OT 862 Old Testament Textual Criticism. This seminar will develop basic work in textual criticism taught in OT801 Critical Approaches to the Old Testament. It will feature reading on the theory and practice of textual criticism and work through Old Testament passages that pose textual problems. 2 units.
OT 865 Old Testament Ethics. The is a seminar on the content of Old Testament ethics, on method in the study of Old Testament ethics, and on issues raised by setting the Old Testament in the context of Christian faith and vice-versa.
OT 881 Israel: History and Historiography. This seminar is intended to ground advanced graduate students in the scholarly conversation about the history of Israel, which is the foundation for every other critical method in Old Testament scholarship. The course begins with a consideration of the sources of data for writing the history of Israel, and continues with reflections on methodology. The final weeks are case studies on specific historical periods and moments, as well as special topics such as social history, and philosophies of historiography.
OT 883 Ancient Near Eastern History, Literature, and Culture. This course is an introductory survey of ancient Near Eastern history, literature, and culture from prehistoric times to Alexander’s conquest. Civilizations singled out for focus include Sumer, Egypt, Hatti, Babylonia, Assyria, Israel, and Persia. Special attention will be paid to the ways in which surrounding cultures impinged on and influenced Israel and Judah, including detailed comparison of biblical and ANE texts during each class session. In addition to historical events and texts, students will be asked to master basic geographical data, and will be briefly introduced to the languages and writing systems of some of the cultures covered.
****OT 888 Critical Approaches to the Old Testament.**** The primary goal of this seminar is to develop understanding and use of various methodological approaches to Old Testament texts. Among the approaches that the seminar will include are canon, form-, historical-, literary-, redaction, rhetorical, social scientific, and text-criticism.
Church History and Historical Theology
CH 808 Historiography. This seminar examines theory and methods in church history and historical theology, intended to facilitate graduate work in the field. Students will be asked to think through issues of structure, pattern, and meaning, as well as proper use of sources and tools, with a view toward the development of their own skills in historiography.
CH 829 Ecclesiology in Historical Perspective. How the church conceives of itself inevitably explains the way it functions and the actions it takes. Its self-understanding informs and dictates its mission in the world. Throughout its history, various leaders and theologians have defined the Church in different ways. Some of them have used biblical models (e.g., People of God, Body of Christ). Others have based their understanding on more pragmatic rationale. Some of these models have been more successful than others in motivating people to action, or in preserving the significance of the Church in society. In this course, students will be led through a series of discussions on the development of ecclesiological thinking. Students will be introduced to a variety of primary and secondary readings on the Church, to which they will be asked to apply their exegetical, historical, and theological skills.
CH 834 Liturgical History. With the exception of the Lord’s Prayer, no single topic in the Christian faith has been written about more than the Lord’s Supper, Holy Communion, or the Eucharist. This seminar will survey the history of the Lord’s Supper. It will introduce the nature of religious meals in the cultures (Jewish and Greco-Roman) that influenced early Christian practice. It will trace the ritual of the Lord’s Supper in terms of text and practices. It will also trace the evolving interpretation of the Lord’s Supper. Students will move through the Christian eras up to the contemporary church, evaluating the historical choices made in the current Eucharistic rites. This doctoral seminar is open to a limited number of master’s level students by special permission.
CH 836 Christian Unity and Bilateral Dialogues. This course is designed to provide an overview of the major bilateral dialogues between denominations. Among the dialogues included will be those involving Roman Catholic, Orthodox (both Eastern and Oriental), Anglican, Lutheran, Reformed, Methodist, Anabaptist, and Pentecostal denominations. Students will be introduced to some of the more important doctrinal and practical discussions on which agreement has been reached. Emphasis will be placed upon the stated goals of each dialogue, the various methodologies employed, the way each communion views/describes itself, the subjects chosen for study, the rationale for undertaking the study, the effectiveness of the dialogue in bringing about change, and the current level of reception that each study has achieved.
CH 847 Historical Development of the Pentecostal and Charismatic Movements. This course is designed to introduce students to the history of the various Pentecostal, Charismatic, and related global “Movements of the Spirit.” Students will be guided in discussions related to a number of historiographical, theological, sociological, anthropological, and psychological concerns. The establishment of sources for the study of these movements, as well as issues that range from primitivism, restorationism, and independence to institutionalization and ecumenism will be covered.
CH 853 Seminar on Calvin and Calvinism. This doctoral seminar builds on an elective MA course that will consider a selection of topics where the task of theology and the tasks of ministry coincide, tracing Calvin’s theology and pastoral practice through what might be called the marks (and quasi-marks) of the church: word, sacrament, discipline, and care for the poor. Calvin left a rich legacy for Christian thought on a myriad of topics — a legacy that survives not just in his Institutes, but also in works of liturgy, catechism, sermons, commentaries, and both civil and ecclesiastical legislation. This seminar joins CH532 to explore selections of such works in order to come to terms not just with Calvin’s theological legacy, but also with the connections between his theology and practice. In addition, this graduate section of the seminar will engage in critical analysis of contemporary literature on Calvin and the Reformation, some collaborative study of neo-Latin, and reflection on the practice of teaching in the seminary context.
ET 844 Covenant and Christian Ethics. This seminar studies the biblical foundation, theological meaning, and moral significance of the idea of covenant in organizing our personal and social life. Relying on Daniel Elazar’s monumental survey on the history of the covenant tradition in politics/ethics, the seminar examines the contribution of the covenant tradition to the rise of a modern democracy, human rights, and constitutionalism, while exploring its enduring significance in today’s global, pluralistic society for the renewal and ordering of various spheres of life–politics, economics, family, medicine, international laws, and religious organizations.
ET 846 God and Globalization. It is widely recognized that globalization is reshaping our civilization by transforming our social institutions, cultural ethos, interpersonal communications, work experiences, personal tastes, and religious identities. Taking an interdisciplinary approach, this seminar offers a critical study of the complex nature and multifarious dynamics of globalization and its impact from a perspective of Christian theology and ethics with the focus on the dynamics of the global and the local, the universal and the particular. The following questions are asked: What is globalization? What are its historical roots and socio-economic dynamics, and how do these dynamics intersect with the cultural and philosophical expressions of modernity and postmodernity? What is its impact on various social institutions and the spheres of human life (e.g., religion, politics, economics, popular culture, communication, ecology)? What theological ethical challenges does it pose, and what are faithful and appropriate Christian responses? In exploring these questions, the seminar will compare diverse philosophical and ethical approaches and religious responses to globalization.
ET 856 Ethics in Reformed Tradition. The moral thought associated with Reformed theology has been one of the dominant influences on the ethical perspectives in the 20th and 21st century evangelical movement. Prominent Reformed thinkers in this regard include, among others, Herman Bavinck, Karl Barth, Emil Brunner, John Murray and Lewis Smedes. Special attention has been given by these thinkers to a command-based ethic, the relationship between morality and general revelations, and the relevance of the Sinai Law to the New Testament call to a life of love. In this course, attention will be focused on the writings of key writings in Reformed moral theology, with attention to the implications of those writings for ethical thought and practice in the present-day evangelical movement.
ET 859 Methods in Christian Ethics. This seminar studies representative methods in Christian ethics in a systematic and comparative way. This employs an analysis of their underlying theological and philosophical assumptions and the essential ingredients that shape each method in a particular way in grappling with specific social issues or concerns. The goal is to help students to sharpen their analytical and synthesizing skills in Christian ethical reasoning through a comparative study of key variables, and to explore their own method in Christian ethics in critical conversations with other methods.
ST 829 Theological Method. This doctoral seminar is designed to investigate and discuss critically competing methodologies and approaches in contemporary systematic/constructive theology including their philosophical, hermeneutical, and cultural ramifications. Approaches to be studied include mainline Protestant and Catholic, post-liberal, postmodern, Radical Orthodox, postmetaphysical, post-colonial, canonical-linguistic, and various types of Liberationist and other “contextual” or “global” theologies, as well as Evangelical responses and constructive proposals.
ST 838 Ecclesiology: Current Trends. This doctoral seminar studies ecclesiastical traditions and developments at the international and ecumenical level as well as ecclesiologies of some leading contemporary theologians. Special topics include mission, unity, communion, Eucharist, charisms, and the ministry of the whole people of God.
ST 840 Trinity: Theological Explorations. This seminar offers a critical engagement with key themes and texts in the development of the doctrine of the Trinity.
ST 868 Theology of W. Pannenberg. This doctoral seminar is designed to introduce students to the theology of W. Pannenberg, whose three-volume Systematic Theology is the most ambitious proposal for an all-embracing theological program for the third millennium. Pannenberg’s systematics offers a challenging discussion of all major historical, philosophical, and contemporary questions in Christian theology.
ST 878 Shape of Liturgical Theology. The phrase Lex Orandi/Lex Credendi, attributed to the fifth-century monk Prosper of Aquitaine, has both described and defined the task of liturgical theology. This task is to define the relationship between the Law of Prayer (Lex Orandi) and the Law of Belief (Lex Credendi). This seminar will survey the history of this relationship and the contemporary expressions within the Christian churches today.
TH 832 Reformed Theology: Augustine. While Augustine can justly be claimed to belong to many strands of the Christian tradition in the West, he is of special significance to the Reformed tradition. A hundred years ago, B. B. Warfield wrote that “it is Augustine who gave us the Reformation”–a claim seemingly ratified by Calvin himself when he exclaimed that “Augustine is all ours!” This doctoral seminar will focus on selected topics in Augustine that have proved to be of special interest also to the earliest Protestant theologians and their heirs: Biblical interpretation, ecclesiology, church and state, politics and ethics, and the doctrines of justification, predestination, and free will.
TH 836 Theology of Jurgen Moltmann. This seminar studies the constructive theology of Jürgen Moltmann in the context of contemporary theology at the international and ecumenical levels.
TH 846 Theological Anthropology. This seminar is designed to study theological anthropology, the doctrine and understanding of human beings in Christian perspective, from a philosophical and theological perspective, including relevant biblical and historical, as well as scientific views. The focus will be on the meaning and significance of the image of God in Christian tradition and in relation to contemporary evolutionary worldview, the questions of identity and “self,” the competing views of the nature of human nature in light of tradition and contemporary sciences, as well as the complex network of questions related to sin and Fall. The cultural and “global” conditioning of these issues will be carefully considered. The seminar is interdisciplinary in its approach and will welcome some Fuller colleagues from SOT and SOP to enrich the learning experience.
TH 861 Contemporary Christology. This seminar is a critical examination of some of the central themes in contemporary philosophical-theological accounts of Christology, with an emphasis on articulating and defending a constructive theological understanding of the person of Christ.
TH 863 Theology and Science. This seminar will focus on issues in contemporary science that have a bearing on Christian doctrine. Topics will include cosmology, evolution, and creation; fine-tuning and design; quantum physics and divine action; thermodynamics and evil; suffering and theodicy; future and eschatology. Co-taught by a philosopher and systematic theologian, this seminar offers an interdisciplinary approach.
TH 866 Pneumatology: Trends and Developments. This seminar is designed to investigate and discuss critically current pneumatologies, doctrines of the Holy Spirit, with particular focus on new approaches and orientations. The course offers a critical study of the doctrine of the Spirit from some leading theologians—Orthodox, Catholic, and Protestant, including evangelicals—as well as pneumatologies of Pentecostal/charismatic movements. Furthermore, Feminist, Liberationist, “Green,” and political views of the Spirit as well as emerging pneumatologies from Africa, Asia, and Latin America will be carefully assessed.
TH 867 The Doctrine of the Atonement. This seminar is a critical examination of some of the most important recent texts on the doctrine of the atonement with an emphasis on the close reading of particular texts and the retrieval of the theology of these works for the purpose of articulating and defending a constructive understanding of the work of Christ today.
TH 877 Sacraments and Sacramentality. The word sacrament is a term that conjures up images of sacred objects and sacred actions. The theology of those ecclesial rites known as sacraments has been one of the most divisive theological topics in the history of the church. In the last century, however, there has been a great deal of convergence between traditions using as a starting point for discussion the concept of “sacramentality,” that is, the general question of how God is present in the world. This seminar will take up the question of sacramentality and then explore specific expressions of God’s presence in the world commonly referred to as sacraments (or ordinances). This seminar will explore the history of sacramental theology, as well as models of the relationship between the doctrine of God and sacramentality. After defining various models of sacramentality, these models will be applied to specific rites, practices, and concepts, such as Baptism, Eucharist, Ministry, Word, Prayer, Church, and our experience of God extra ecclesia.
Theology and Culture
TC 848 Ritual Studies. To study the people of God at worship is to study ritual. There can be no legitimate study of worship without taking into consideration the actual practice and action of the people involved. The challenge, however, is to move from simple description to evaluation. How does one determine what a ritual means? How does one appraise the enacted meaning in relationship to the intended meaning of the ritual? This course will explore various models of anthropological analysis of Christian practices as means of generating data for theological reflection and appraising pastoral praxis. Secondarily, this course will examine pedagogical strategies for using participant observation in teaching.
TC 849 Theology of General Revelation. This seminar is designed to investigate and discuss biblically, traditionally, culturally, and constructively a theology of general revelation. After considering the aesthetic impulse, the religious impulse, and the moral impulse, the class will turn to how a cross-section of theological traditions have dealt with the topic: Reformed, liberal Protestantism, Roman Catholic, and Orthodox. The course will consider on a weekly basis relevant biblical texts and will conclude by considering the usefulness of pneumatology and wisdom as possible constructs for a theology of general revelation.
TC 860 Theology and Culture Seminar. This seminar is designed to encourage students to develop an intentional and critical methodology for interpreting and engaging cultural products (i.e. literary texts, films, music, etc.). In the broadest sense the course is designed to develop cultural literacy from a Christian perspective. The approach will be, first of all, to focus on particular cultural “texts” and develop strategies of reading and interpretation that are informed by biblical and theological perspectives.
TC 862 Dante’s Comedy: Art and Theology.This seminar will read Dante’s Divine Comedy and explore its relation to fourteenth- and fifteenth-century art and theology. Student preparation and discussion will focus critical attention on the themes and characteristics of Dante’s work as an expression of the medieval figural imagination and its consequent understanding of theology.
TC 864 A Theology of Beauty. Ideas of beauty were in eclipse for much of the 20th century, but have received renewed attention recently. In this course students will explore historical, philosophical, biblical, theological and cultural understandings of beauty with the goal of understanding the role of beauty in theology and the Christian life.
TC 865 Worship and Culture. The biblical adage “to be in the world and not of it” has had a wide-ranging history of interpretation. As Christendom appears more distant in the rear view mirror of the church, this concept’s interpretation and application becomes more important. In particular, it raises questions about Christianity being a multinational and multicultural faith that has tended to be narrow in the range of in its expressions of worship. Only in the last quarter century have issues of faith and culture come front and center in liturgical scholarship the way it has in missiology. This class will explore the relationship of cultures, their values, symbols, and rituals to Christian worship. It will explore national and ethnic cultures, as well as generational, class, artistic, and technological cultures. We will focus on gaining an understanding—leading to an application—of theories of culture and worship.
TC 866 Aesthetic Theology and Postmodern Culture. In the late 20th century Aesthetics came to be understood not only as a separate discipline related solely to the arts, but as a method of inquiry that could be fruitfully applied to theology. In this course students will explore historical, philosophical, biblical, theological and cultural understandings of beauty with the goal of understanding the role of aesthetics as a constructive element in theology and the Christian life.
TC 867 The Aesthetics of Atheism. In the late-modern West, atheism, secular humanism, and/or naturalism are now “live options” in ways that they have never been before. While the United States remains one of the most religious of Western countries, a significant (and growing) minority of the population is not simply abandoning religious practice or religious institutions under the guise of being “spiritual but not religious,” but consciously self-identifying as atheist/humanist/naturalist. This seminar will explore the historical development of this (largely Western) phenomenon, and investigate the intellectual sources of atheism that fund the contemporary cultural imagination—sociological, psychological, philosophical, and, ultimately, theological. Although the broader concerns of the seminar have to do with the cultural significance of atheism, it will focus in particular on aesthetics. That is, the seminar will take up the question of whether and how the aesthetic impulse imbedded within a/theism might prove instructive for developing a constructive Christian theology in the late-modern world.
PM 837 Migration and Transnational Identity.This seminar introduces migration theory and transnational identity formation as tools for understanding ministry among immigrants and minority communities. The seminar will place migration within a global context and help students link to Practical Theology and missiology to address the ministry context they are researching.
PM 845 Research Methods in Practical Theology. This seminar introduces students to a wide range of social science research methods in order to prepare them to work with these methods within a practical theological modality, or provide such an introduction suitable for any theologically oriented inquirer. Students are expected to become familiar enough with major research protocols, methods, and strategies to be able to proficiently analyze and critique the design, implementation, results reporting, interpretations, conclusions, and limitations of any social science research. There will also be training on the Schools of Theology/Intercultural Studies Human Subjects Review processes. In addition, each student will design and implement a qualitative research project and present their results to the class. Because of the unique pedagogical issues of this course, the schedule will consist of four five-hour classes throughout the quarter in Pasadena, two three-hour classes via Fuller Live, and one day (seven hours) at the Museum of Tolerance.
PM 849 Practical Theology/Christian Education. This seminar engages methods of practical theology with a focus on Christian education in relationship with studies in learning organizations and communities of practice.
PM 856 Practical Theology Methods. This seminar will introduce students to recent studies of practical theology with a focus on ecclesiology and mission in a Western context. The hermeneutical implications of a praxis-based theology of ministry will be considered in an integrative, interdisciplinary manner, with attention to matters of leadership appropriate to participation in God’s mission in both the church and the world.
SP 823 Christian Spirituality and Pastoral Ministry. This seminar will introduce the student to the academic study of Christian Spirituality through the lens of Pastoral Ministry. The student will explore methodologies involved in the historical and theological study of Christian Spirituality. The student will apply these methods to specific individuals and movements and their understanding and lived expression of ministry. In particular the student will explore topics of vocation, giftedness, and ministries to the Christian community and through the Christian community to the world. Specifically, the methods of discerning gifts and resources, individually and corporately, and their application to specific social locations will be used as points of comparison for models of Christian Spirituality.
Directed Readings and Independent Studies
Students in the PhD and ThM programs design their programs in conjunction with their mentor. The student and the professor whose specialty the student desires to pursue agree together to participate in a directed readings or independent studies course and decide on the contents and requirements of the course before the quarter of study begins. The student must make arrangements for the course with the CATS program director before registration, and must register for academic credit within normal quarterly registration deadlines. The student is responsible to meet with the professor throughout the quarter of study to discuss his or her progress and the completion of the paper. All regular CATS policies and procedures apply to directed readings and independent studies courses.
Auditing of 800-level seminars in SOT will not generally be permitted. Exceptions may be made in the case of those PhD students who have already passed, or are currently taking, Comprehensive Examinations, or for CATS PhD or ThM graduates. Such exceptions require approval by the faculty member responsible for the seminar and by the student’s mentor. Auditing of combined 800/500 level courses at the 500-level is not permitted.