Department of Biblical Studies, Theology and Philosophy


Michael Jordan, Chair; Marcus Dean, Area Dean

585.567.9460
Overview

The mission of the Department of Biblical Studies, Theology, and Philosophy is to provide study opportunities in all three areas and to prepare Christians to serve in the global community.  Whether they major in Bible, Theology, or Philosophy, the career options they may follow vary widely.  Houghton graduates go into business, church-related work, counseling, education, finance, government service, journalism, law, library science, linguistics, medicine, missions, public administration, relief work, and translation, as well as others fields.   The faculty in the Department engage students in learning about their theological and philosophical roots as they explore new ways to solve problems in today’s increasingly interdisciplinary world.  Any of these majors is designed to prepare students for graduate study in these and cognate fields.

Faculty
Jonathan P. Case Sarah B. C. Derck Richard K. Eckley Carlton D. Fisher
John Michael Jordan Kristina LaCelle-Peterson Benjamin J. B. LipscombTerence P. Paige
William Christopher Stewart
Courses
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BIBL 101 Biblical Literature

4-F&S & May

Survey of the types of literature found in the Bible. Considers the origin of the biblical texts and canon; basic issues of interpretation (hermeneutics); and an outline of the history of Israel and of the New Testament church as a backdrop for the message. Literary, historical, and theological aspects of selected texts will be explored. This is a prerequisite for all Bible courses and THEL 209 unless Bible competency is met. Faith Foundation: Bible. Liberal Arts.

BIBL 191, 192; 291, 292; 391, 392; 491, 492 Independent Study

1, 2, 3, or 4-WSP

Liberal Arts.

BIBL 193 New Testament Studies 1

3-F

A survey of the background and content of the Gospels and the book of Acts. The life of Jesus Christ on earth as seen in the Gospels will be studied thematically and chronologically in the light of its historical background, geographical setting, political situation, and religious conditions. The book of Acts, as a continuation of the activity of Jesus through the Spirit and through the disciples of Jesus, enables students to see the mission of the church and how that mission is to be carried out. Fall (a)

BIBL 193 New Testament Studies 1

3-F

A survey of the background and content of the Gospels and the book of Acts. The life of Jesus Christ on earth as seen in the Gospels will be studied thematically and chronologically in the light of its historical background, geographical setting, political situation, and religious conditions. The book of Acts, as a continuation of the activity of Jesus through the Spirit and through the disciples of Jesus, enables students to see the mission of the church and how that mission is to be carried out. Fall (a)

BIBL 198 Studying and Teaching the Bible

3-S

A unique blend of hermeneutics and homiletics: how to study the Bible and how to communicate the Bible. The student will develop skills in inductive Bible study, the assessment of learner needs and issues, and the design of effective Bible lessons. Emphasis is upon accurately using basic principles of observation and interpretation of the biblical text and then to applying those principles toward the teaching of the Scriptures. Spring (a)

BIBL 198 Studying and Teaching the Bible

3-S

A unique blend of hermeneutics and homiletics: how to study the Bible and how to communicate the Bible. The student will develop skills in inductive Bible study, the assessment of learner needs and issues, and the design of effective Bible lessons. Emphasis is upon accurately using basic principles of observation and interpretation of the biblical text and then to applying those principles toward the teaching of the Scriptures. Spring (a)

BIBL 199 Old Testament Studies 1

3-S

This course surveys the background and content of the historical books of the Old Testament – from Genesis to Esther – enabling students to gain a worldview shaped by the Biblical mission. The Old Testament will be presented using systematic, chronological, thematic and exegetical methods. Developing a biblical worldview, grasping the purpose of the Law and its typology, and witnessing the unfolding of the Messianic anticipation of Israel is emphasized. Spring (a)

BIBL 199 Old Testament Studies 1

3-S

This course surveys the background and content of the historical books of the Old Testament – from Genesis to Esther – enabling students to gain a worldview shaped by the Biblical mission. The Old Testament will be presented using systematic, chronological, thematic and exegetical methods. Developing a biblical worldview, grasping the purpose of the Law and its typology, and witnessing the unfolding of the Messianic anticipation of Israel is emphasized. Spring (a)

BIBL 210 Old Testament Studies 2

3-S

A survey of the background and content of the poetic and prophetic books of the Old Testament: Job through Malachi. An overview will be presented with particular attention to the historical context, literary structure, and theological content of each book. Spring (b)

BIBL 210 Old Testament Studies 2

3-S

A survey of the background and content of the poetic and prophetic books of the Old Testament: Job through Malachi. An overview will be presented with particular attention to the historical context, literary structure, and theological content of each book. Spring (b)

BIBL 215 New Testament Studies 2

3-S

A survey of the background and content of the letters of the New Testament – from Romans through Revelation. These twenty-two books were written to teach the Church of Christ how to live out the Gospel between Christ’s first and second coming, bearing witness to the reality of the good news. Spring (b)

BIBL 215 New Testament Studies 2

3-S

A survey of the background and content of the letters of the New Testament – from Romans through Revelation. These twenty-two books were written to teach the Church of Christ how to live out the Gospel between Christ’s first and second coming, bearing witness to the reality of the good news. Spring (b)

BIBL 221 Biblical Interpretation

3-F

A survey of the history of interpreting scripture and various methods used, from ancient to postmodern. Students will practice on various texts and consider issues of application. Liberal Arts.

BIBL 231 Pentateuch

3-S

Analysis of critical and historical background, literary content, and development of the religion of Israel. Relevancy of contents. Liberal Arts.

BIBL 233 Jesus and the Gospels

3-F

Jesus’ life and teaching, with emphasis on his eschatology and ethics; the theological distinctives of the Gospel writers; and consideration of some critical issues in interpretation. Focus is mainly on the synoptic gospels. Liberal Arts.

BIBL 251 Bible History and Geography

4-WSP

Study of the history of the Jewish people and surrounding civilizations. Old and New Testament backgrounds. Intensive study of the geography of the Holy Land. No IS credit. Liberal Arts.

BIBL 261 Holy Land Tour

4-WSP

Through visits to cultural, historical, and archaeological sites in Israel, biblical history and geography will be elucidated. Visits will be preceded by lectures and the reading of preparatory materials and followed by lectures and discussions. No IS credit. Liberal Arts.

BIBL 270 Old Testament Historical Books

4-F

Study of the 12 Books of History, including Joshua through Esther. Integrates critical, analytical, and devotional approaches, and combines inductive and lecture methods. Liberal Arts.

BIBL 272 Gospel and Epistles of John

4-WSP

John’s gospel and epistles analyzed from a literary and theological perspective, with attention also to historical questions and to the nature of the Johannine community. Liberal Arts.

BIBL 275 Women in the Bible

3-WSP

Examines biblical material that depicts the experiences of women or deals with teaching about women as a class. Explores the main social, political and religious arrangements which affected the lives of women in Scripture. Using various interpretive approaches, it considers the significance of the texts about women in their historical context and for people in the redeemed community in the current era. Liberal Arts.

BIBL 280 Poetic Books

4-WSP

Consideration of the structure and contents of Hebrew poetry and wisdom literature with a comparative study of similar genre of literature in the Near East. Liberal Arts.

BIBL 282 Pauline Epistles

4-S

Brief overview of Paul’s life followed by survey of Pauline letters (Romans-Philemon). Literary and historical analyses, occasionally supplemented by other types of study, will be used to understand Paul’s message and the theology of the letters. Liberal Arts.

BIBL 295, 395 Special Topics in Bible

2 or 4-WSP

Study of select blocks or groups of Scripture related to a particular topic or theme. Liberal Arts.

BIBL 310 Old Testament Prophets I

3-F

A study of the prophets during the period of the Monarchy as recounted in the historical books and the prophetic books of the 8th-7th centuries B.C., during the period of the Assyrian Empire (Isaiah, Hosea, Amos, Jonah, Micah, Nahum, Zephaniah). Covers historical context, and literacy and theological issues. Liberal Arts.

BIBL 312 Old Testament Prophets II

3-S

Study of the prophets from the end of the 7th through the 5th centuries B.C., during the period of the Babylonian and Persian empires (Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Habakkuk, Obadiah, Joel, Haggai, Zechariah, and Malachi). Covers historical context, and literary and theological issues of the books. Liberal Arts.

BIBL 335 General Epistles

3-S

Historical and exegetical treatment of the books of Hebrews, James, 1 and 2 Peter, and Jude, focusing on key passages, theology, and problems of interpretation and application. Liberal Arts.

BIBL 351 Revelation

4-WSP

An exegetical survey of the Book of Revelation. We will study the literary nature of the book, its historical context, the social conditions of the recipient churches, and the application of Revelation to the modern church. Liberal Arts.

BIBL 355 Biblical Theology I

2-S17

Examination of the teaching of the Old Testament, developed from the distinctive perspective of Biblical theology. Major themes and methods of inquiry. Liberal Arts.

BIBL 356 Biblical Theology II

2-S17

Examination of the teaching of the New Testament, developed from the distinctive perspective of Biblical theology. Major themes and methods of inquiry. Liberal Arts.

BIBL 360 Science and Scripture

4-WSP

Examination of the historic and current relationship between science and Scripture with a challenge of the "warfare" model that developed in the aftermath of the Darwinian controversy. A careful analysis of both science and Scripture will be made. Attention will be given to four possible ways of relating: Conflict, Contract, Contact, or Confirmation. Liberal Arts.

BIBL 361 Job

2-WSP

Historical, doctrinal, and cultural study of the book; special attention to the problem of human suffering, the afterlife in the Old Testament, and the concept that success indicates divine favor. Liberal Arts.

BIBL 363 Dead Sea Scrolls

4-WSP

Study of their discovery, their contents, their importance, their contribution to textual criticism and their influence on Judaism and Christianity; attention given to the community from which they came. Liberal Arts.

BIBL 371 Book of Acts

4-WSP

Study of the book of Acts from literary, historical, and theological perspectives. Attention will be given to early church growth and contemporary relevance. Liberal Arts.

BIBL 410 Isaiah

2-WSP

A study of the historical, critical, and contextual issues, with an emphasis on a vital faith to our generation. Liberal Arts.

BIBL 412 Jeremiah

2-WSP

Historical, cultural background, structure and contents of Jeremiah will be studied. Attention given to Jeremiah’s influence on his contemporaries and the relevance of his message for our time. Liberal Arts.

BIBL 451 Romans

2-WSP

Detailed exegetical examination of Romans, emphasizing literary and theological analyses which are formed by the context of first-century culture. Explores history of interpretation issues, developments in contemporary Pauline studies that are related to the letter, & application to contemporary life. Prerequisite: one other Bible course, 200-level or higher. Liberal Arts.

BIBL 453 1 Corinthians

2-WSP

An intensive study of the literary structure, the historical setting, and the theology of 1 Corinthians. Prerequisite: one other Bible course, 200-level or higher. Liberal Arts.

BIBL 482 Senior Capstone: Senior Seminar in Bible

2-S

A discussion course focused on individual student projects addressing themes, issues, or problems that bring together biblical material, the Christian tradition, and contemporary concerns. Required of all Bible majors. Liberal Arts.

BIBL 496 Honors in Bible

4-WSP

Liberal Arts.

CHMN 251 Internship

2-F/S

A field experience in a church or a church-related organization during the student’s second year or during Mayterm.

CHMN 252 Internship

2-S/May

A field experience in a church or a church-related organization during the student’s second year or during Mayterm.

CMIN 193 Spiritual Formation

3-F

An introductory overview of the dynamics involved in the formation of mature character in the life of the Christian leader. This course will help students to understand and articulate a biblical theology of personal spiritual growth and renewal; to grasp the nature of the Gospel’s transforming power; and to understand the role of spiritual disciplines in one’s spiritual growth.

CMIN 196 Theological Studies 1

3-S

A course is designed to offer the students a critical and thorough understanding of the basic truths of Christianity. As an introductory course, the “non-negotiable” elements of Christian theology are stressed, such as the importance of the Bible; the existence and being of God; the person of Jesus; and the human condition. Spring (a)

CMIN 197 Missional Thought & Behavior

3-F

This course is designed to introduce students to the profoundly missional nature of the church, and how they might intentionally adopt missional behaviors in their own lives, becoming partners in the church’s mission in the world. Fall (a)

CMIN 220 Introduction to Biblical Counseling

3-Summer

This course is designed to provide a foundation for counseling within the context of ministry by teaching the basic tenets of biblical discipleship and counseling. It is designed to equip the student with the biblical training, skills and knowledge necessary to minister to others needing help with life issues. Students will gain an understanding of what is meant by the term ‘Biblical Counseling’ and how it differs from other counseling models. Summer (b)

CMIN 230 Theological Studies 2

3-S

This course is the continuation of Theological Studies I. Theological doctrines covered in this course include: the atonement and salvation through Christ; the Person and work of the Holy Spirit; The nature and mission of the Church; and the hope of Christ’s return and the triumph of God’s plan for creation. Spring (b)

CMIN 250 Ministry Leadership

3-Summer

This course is designed to provide an examination of models of leadership for Christian ministries, emphasizing practical issues such as developing mission and vision statements, creating effective leadership teams, and the strategic planning, implementation, and oversight of ministries. Summer (a)

CMIN 256 Church History

3-Summer 16

A survey of the story of the Christian Church from its origins in the book of Acts, through its struggles with the Roman Empire; the consolidation of the Roman Papacy in the middles ages; the Protestant Reformation and Roman Catholic Counter-Reformation; Christianity’s spread to the North and South American continents; and the ongoing challenges of the church in the contemporary world. Summer (a) alternating years.

CMIN 289 Ministry Internship

3-F&S, Summer

An eight-week experience of working with various ministries of The Chapel designed to give the student exposure to particular aspects of ministry, and to help determine future areas of service. Students will be supervised and evaluated by members of The Chapel staff. Arrangements for Internships should be made through the Director of the Renovation Institute. Fall/Spring/Summer

CRFM 191, 192; 291, 292; 391, 392; 491, 492 Independent Study

1, 2, 3, or 4-WSP

CRFM 275 Methods & Administration of Sports Ministry

2-S16

Students will evaluate sports ministry strategies within local church, parachurch, mission and educational settings. They will review and develop curriculum and programs for use within these settings. Students will develop communication skills for a sports audience and will examine evangelism and discipleship methods.

GREK 101 Beginning Greek Level 1

3-F15

Elements of the Koine Greek language. Stress on facility in reading selections from New Testament and Hellenistic literature. Cultural backgrounds in Greek civilization. This course or its equivalent is a prerequisite for all other Greek courses. Liberal Arts.

GREK 102 Beginning Greek Level 2

3-S16

Elements of the Koine Greek language. Stress on facility in reading selections from New Testament and Hellenistic literature. Cultural backgrounds in Greek civilization. Foreign Language Competency.

Prerequisite Courses: GREK 101

GREK 191, 192; 291, 292; 391, 392; 491, 492 Independent Study

1, 2, 3, or 4-WSP

Liberal Arts.

GREK 201 Greek Readings

2-WSP

Readings in New Testament Greek. May include selections from the Septuagint or other Hellenistic Greek texts. Liberal Arts.

Prerequisite Courses: GREK 101 , GREK 102

HEBR 101 Beginning Hebrew Level 1

3-F16

Elements of Biblical Hebrew. Reading from Old Testament. Liberal Arts.

HEBR 102 Beginning Hebrew Level 2

3-S17

Elements of Biblical Hebrew. Reading from Old Testament. Foreign Language Competency. Liberal Arts.

Prerequisite Courses: HEBR 101

HEBR 191, 192; 291, 292; 391, 392; 491, 492 Independent Study

1, 2, 3, or 4-WSP

Liberal Arts.

HEBR 201 Hebrew Readings

2-WSP

Readings in Biblical Hebrew. Liberal Arts.

Prerequisite Courses: HEBR 101 , HEBR 102

MIN 210 Introduction to Christian Ministries

3-F15

Investigation of the Biblical, historical, and practical foundations for ministry as essential components of Christian vocation. Lay and professional aspects of ministry are explored in the context of the vocational call. A broad overview of ministry-related fields will be presented, including parish, educational, cross-cultural, and parachurch ministries. This course is recommended for anyone who is interested in any form of full-time ministry.

MIN 317 Leadership in the Church

3-WSP

Study of the pastoral office as it relates to the roles of counselor and administrator. Theories and techniques of pastoral counseling are considered. The administrative duties of the pastor are emphasized, with particular focus on church management, Parliamentary Law, and The Discipline of The Wesleyan Church.

MIN 324 Principles of Expository Preaching

4-S

Focus is on the preparation and delivery of sermons. Combines the theory of organizational structure along with the tools and techniques for biblically-based preaching. Includes practice in preparing and preaching various types of expository sermons. Prerequisite: Presentational Speaking or permission.

MIN 410 Ministerial Field Education

3-6-Summer

Professional field experience in a local church during a summer internship. Combines theory and practice of ministry through seminars and on-site supervision; focuses upon pastor as worship leader and pastor as shepherd.

PHIL 191, 291, 391, 491 Independent Study

2 or 4-WSP

Liberal Arts.

PHIL 202 Metaphysics, Morality, and Mind

4-F&S

Critical analysis of the contours of a world and life view coupled with more detailed critical analysis of perennial and foundational issues in epistemology (the nature of truth and knowledge), metaphysics (the nature of reality: persons, the world, and God), and ethics (the nature of goodness and the process of ethical decision making, with close attention to character - virtue and vice - and the foundations of morality). Culture: Philosophy. Liberal Arts.

PHIL 222 Logic and Critical Thinking

4-wsp

Introduction to basic argument analysis and informal fallacies, inductive and deductive argument forms, including the formal languages of modern philosophical logic, such as truth functional propositional logic, predicate logic, and some modal logic. Liberal Arts.

PHIL 240 Medical Ethics

2-Wsp

Introduction to contemporary medical ethics, analyzing case studies and philosophical essays on a variety of dilemmas in contemporary medical practice, such as truth-telling and confidentiality, research ethics, reproductive technologies, abortion and embryonic stem-cell research, euthanasia, and physician-assisted suicide. Service in a local health-care setting also possible as a supplement to the course (for additional credit). Liberal Arts.

PHIL 241 History of Phil I:Ancient and Medieval

4-15F

Survey of intellectual history from early Greek through late Medieval thought. Includes Pre-Socratics, Plato, Aristotle, Epicureans, Stoics, Augustine, Aquinas, and Ockham. IS Culture: Philosophy. Liberal Arts.

PHIL 242 History of Philosophy II:Modern and Contemporary

4-WSP

Survey of intellectual history from early modern through twentieth century and postmodern thought. Includes Descartes, Spinoza, Leibniz, Locke, Hume, and Kant, as well as major figures and movements from the 19th and 20th centuries. IS Culture: Philosophy. Liberal Arts.

PHIL 250 Aesthetics

2-WSP

A philosophical study of art and aesthetic experience focusing on the value of art for human life, rather than the more narrow (and less useful) question of the definition of art. Explores the relative importance to a normative theory of art of such values as pleasure, beauty, expression of emotion, and understanding, and examines how these values can be embodied by various art forms, such as visual art, music, literature, the performing arts (dance and theater), and architecture. Liberal Arts.

PHIL 255 Reason and Religious Belief

2-F

Introductory course in religious epistemology, focusing on the sources of religious knowledge and the rationality of religious belief. Philosophical analysis of arguments for God’s existence, the problem of evil, and the roles of faith and reason in religious belief. Liberal Arts.

PHIL 256 The Nature of God

2-F

Introductory course in philosophical theology, focusing on the concept of God. Philosophical analysis of divine attributes (such as God’s power, knowledge, goodness, and relation to time). Liberal Arts.

PHIL 260 Introduction to Political Thought

4-WSP

Introduces students to Western political thought from the ancient to the modern world through a close reading of important thinkers. By considering problems of community, obligation, order, justice, liberty, and freedom, the course equips students for careful normative reflection on public life. Liberal Arts.

PHIL 265 Christianity, Postmodernism, and Beyond

4-F (odd years)

Explores relationship between Christian faith and practice and postmodern culture. Primary & secondary readings drawn from a variety of disciplines and sources explore the implications of postmodernism for church, individuals, the media & popular culture. Liberal Arts.

PHIL 275 Philosophy of Law

2-F or S

Introduction to fundamental issues surrounding the concept of law, such as the debate between natural law theorists (who maintain that there is a law above human law) and legal positivists (who deny this), as well as issues such as punishment and the basis of the legitimacy of legislative authority. Liberal Arts.

PHIL 290, 390, 490 Special Topics

2 or 4-WSP

Examination of specific movements or particular problems in philosophy, or themes in the history of ideas. Liberal Arts.

PHIL 306 Varieties of Postmodernism

3-May, WSP

Interdisciplinary analysis of the many faceted cultural phenomenon known as “postmodernism.” Moves from an initial starting point considering postmodernism as a reaction to various philosophical claims associated with modernity to the meaning and significance of postmodern ideas as they have been transposed into a variety of other contexts in the analytic humanities, literature, arts and sciences. Liberal Arts.

PHIL 355 Aquinas

4-WSP

Seminar on the thought of Thomas Aquinas involving a close reading of Aquinas’ most important work, the Summa Theologiae, with occasional supplementation from other relevant primary and secondary literature. Liberal Arts.

PHIL 360 History and Philosophy of Science

4-WSP

Survey of the rise of western science from its origins in antiquity to the present, addressing both the content and methods of science in each major period. Major figures considered include Aristotle, Galen, Copernicus, Kepler, Galileo, Descartes, Boyle, Newton, Lavoisier, Darwin, and Einstein. A wide range of science fields will be surveyed and specific attention is given throughout to the interrelationships between science and other disciplines, the relationship between science and culture, and the interaction of science and religion. Liberal Arts.

PHIL 370 Ethical Theory

4-WSP

Analysis of traditional normative theories (formalism, consequentialism, and virtue ethics) through the reading of primary sources. Also explores developments in contemporary moral theory. Liberal Arts.

PHIL 372 Religious Epistemology

4-WSP

Seminar examining the epistemology of religious belief via close reading and discussion of historical and contemporary works. Touches on topics such as the rationality of religious belief, theistic arguments (for God’s existence), the problem of evil (and atheistic arguments generally), and faith and reason. The specific issue(s) to be considered will be identified each time the course is scheduled. Repeatable when the topics are diverse. Liberal Arts.

PHIL 375 Kierkegaard: A Man for All Disciplines

4-(WSP)

Reading seminar on some key works of the “melancholy Dane,” including (for example) Either/Or, Fear and Trembling, The Sickness Unto Death, the Philosophical Fragments and Concluding Unscientific Postscript. A “man for all disciplines,” Kierkegaard’s writings continue to attract interest for their philosophical and theological insight as well as their literary sophistication. Liberal Arts..

PHIL 380 Major Figures

2 or 4-WSP

In‑depth study of the thought of one or more figures with an emphasis on critical analysis and evaluation of primary source material. Liberal Arts.

PHIL 385 Issues in Philosophical Theology

4-S15; S17

Seminar in which selected topics in Christian theology are examined via close reading and discussion of historical and contemporary works of philosophical theology. Examples of topics considered: Divine Attributes, Divine Providence (and Human Freedom), God and Ethics, Faith. The specific issue(s) to be considered will be identified each time the course is scheduled. Repeatable when topics are diverse. Liberal Arts.

PHIL 395 Philosophy Colloquium

1-WSP

A required seminar for philosophy majors, expected during the junior year. The seminar meets concurrently with PHIL 495 and helps prepare students for the Senior Capstone experience the following year. Repeatable. Liberal Arts.

PHIL 395 Philosophy Colliquium

1-S

A required seminar for philosophy majors, expected during the junior year. The seminar meets concurrently with PHIL 495 and helps prepare students for the Senior Capstone experience the following year. Repeatable. Liberal Arts.

PHIL 495 Senior Capstone: Philosophy Colloquium

2-S

A required capstone seminar for philosophy majors normally completed in one of the final two semesters of the student's college experience. Prerequisite: A minimum of 18 hours in philosophy. May only be taken once for credit. Liberal Arts.

PHIL 496 Honors in Philosophy

4-S

Liberal Arts.

REL 215 Islam: An Introduction

3-F

An introduction to the beliefs and practices of Islam from a Christian perspective. Selected readings in the Qur'an and Hadith will provide a foundation for understanding contemporary Muslims, Islam, and the different challenges that confront Muslims today. Emphasis will be given to how Christians can thoughtfully engage with Islam and their Muslim neighbors.

REL 221 Hinduism and Buddhism

2-WSP

Examines the history, major beliefs and current practice of the Indic (Hindu, Buddhist) religious traditions. Special emphasis is given to the Christian encounter with these world faiths. Liberal Arts.

REL 222 New Religious Movements I: Eastern Branches

2-WSP

Examines the history and major beliefs of New Religious Movements that take their orientation from, or derive their impetus from critical confrontation with, one of the major Eastern traditions. Movements studied include Theosophy, Transcendental Meditation, Soka Gakkai, New Age. Liberal Arts.

REL 225 Taoism and Confucianism

2-S15

Examines the history, major beliefs and current practice of the Sinic (Taoist and Confucian) religious traditions. Special emphasis is given to the Christian encounter with these faiths. Liberal Arts.

REL 231 Judaism

2-WSP

Examines in critical perspective the history and major beliefs of the Semitic religious traditions (Judaism, Christianity, and Islam). Special emphasis is given to the Christian encounter with Judaism and Islam. Liberal Arts.

REL 232 New Religious Movements II: Western Branches

2-WSP

Examines the history and major beliefs of New Religious Movements that take their orientation from, or derive their impetus from critical confrontation with, one of the major Western traditions. Movements studied include Jehovah’s Witnesses, Nation of Islam, Satanism, and Wicca. Liberal Arts.

REL 260 Introduction to Islamic Foundations

4-WSP

Muhammad’s life and writings are the foundations of Islam. The Islamic faith will be appraised through a historical and primary source approach where students will read through the entire Qur’an in chronological fashion and a significant portion of the Hadiths. The students’ mastery of Muhammad’s life, of Quranic vocabulary and a confident grasp of Quranic theology will give them a strategic appreciation of Islamic history and the present global Muslim community issues. Liberal Arts.

REL 322 History of Islamic Theology and Movements

4-WSP

Following the death of Muhammad, issues of theological orthodoxy and governmental orthopraxy flourished in a context of conflict and growth. Students will appraise the historical developments of Muhammad’s life and his revelations in the areas of theology, philosophy, jurisprudence, governance, literature, and culture. Relying on primary sources and historical disciplines, students will study the wide history of Islamic thought up until the OPEC crisis of 1973-74. Students will gain a confidence in grasping and discerning the many variants within the so-called unified Islamic ummah. Liberal Arts.

REL 442 Globalization and Islamization

4-WSP

Among the three most vibrant international movements in the emerging 21st century are Christianity, Islam and Globalization, and the most contested nexus are in the techno-secularized cities of the world. Students will focus specifically on the post-colonial conflicts and integration efforts of Muslims in the global communities, and the impact of Globalization on Islamic societies. Attention will be given to recent international clashes between globalized secularism and Muslims, various political and Christian responses and the need for a Christ-centered confident response to both Globalization and Islamization. Liberal Arts.

Prerequisite Courses: REL 260

THEL 111 College Christian Apologetics

3-WSP

This course examines historical claims and questions raised by the Christian faith. Students will explore and assess various approaches to making theological responses to issues within the church and the culture that challenge or otherwise affect Christianity. Taught at participating HS to their selected, qualified students. Can be used toward Theology major or minor.

THEL 191, 192; 291, 292; 391, 392; 491, 492 Independent Study

1, 2, 3, or 4-WSP

Liberal Arts.

THEL 209 Introduction to Christianity

4-F&S

An introductory survey of the main beliefs and practices that constitute the Christian tradition. Christianity will be approached in a way that overcomes the traditional division between doctrine and practice. The Biblical, theological, historical, ethical, and spiritually formative aspects of Christian faith will be explored. The course aims to enable the student to develop a personal theology and life perspective that is informed by Christian faith and Christian spirituality. This course is a prerequisite for all other THEL courses. Faith Foundation: Theology. Liberal Arts.

Prerequisite Courses: BIBL 101

THEL 210 Theology of Creation

2-WSP

Explores the notion of creation from a biblical and theological perspective and examines several contemporary Christian responses to the environmental crisis.

Prerequisite Courses: THEL 209

THEL 215 Christian Apologetics

3-WSP

The course seeks to “give reason for the faith that is written within us” by making theological reply to those questions raised when Christian faith collides with contemporary situations. Classical and contemporary questions and methodologies will be considered.

Prerequisite Courses: THEL 209

THEL 220 History of Christianity

4-F

Examines the ancient, medieval, Reformation and modern development of Christianity in its various contexts. Attention will be given to the lives of prominent men and women as well as doctrines and institutions developed in each era. Connections with current theological issues and church practice will be considered. Liberal Arts.

Prerequisite Courses: THEL 209

THEL 230 Building Shalom: Justice, Love, and the Christian Life

2-F

This course examines biblical, theological, and philosophical ideas related to the practice of justice. Particular attention is given to the intersection of justice and love in Christian endeavors to address real-life issues.

THEL 232 Poverty, Wealth and the Christian Gospel

2-F

This course addresses issues of poverty and wealth through examination of biblical and theological texts with an eye toward faithful Christian responses.

THEL 240 Ethnicity, Race, and the Church

2-F

Using biblical and theological lenses, this course examines how well churches in the US have navigated issues of race, ethnicity, and equality in society and within church structures. Includes a focus on the development of African-American churches.

THEL 255 Reason and Religious Belief

2-F

Introductory course in religious epistemology, focusing on the sources of religious knowledge and the rationality of religious belief. Philosophical analysis of arguments for God’s existence, the problem of evil, and the roles of faith and reason in religious belief. Liberal Arts.

Prerequisite Courses: THEL 209

THEL 256 The Nature of God

2-F

Introductory course in philosophical theology, focusing on the concept of God. Philosophical analysis of divine attributes (such as God’s power, knowledge, goodness, and relation to time). Liberal Arts.

Prerequisite Courses: THEL 209

THEL 265 Christianity, Postmodernism, and Beyond

4-F (odd years)

Explores relationship between Christian faith and practice and postmodern culture. Primary & secondary readings drawn from a variety of disciplines and sources explore the implications of postmodernism for church, individuals, the media & popular culture. Liberal Arts.

Prerequisite Courses: THEL 209

THEL 295, 395, 495 Special Topics

1, 2, 3, or 4-WSP

Liberal Arts.

THEL 305 God and Nature

4-

Central to the mission of Creation Care Studies Program, this course helps students to develop a theology of creation that understands humans as stewards of the earth. Through the study of scripture, and other relevant texts, students explore the theology of creation, biblical stewardship, questions of faith and science, and Christian responses to current environmental problems. (THEL credit for major/minor or general elective).

THEL 310 Women, Men and the Image of God

2-F

In this course attention is given to Scriptural and theological models for understanding the nature of the human being as well as the ethical and social implications of a theology of human equality.

THEL 313 Systematic Theology

4-S

Survey of the main tenets of the Christian faith. Doctrines examined in light of Biblical basis and constructive formulations. Introduces the student to Christian theology and equips the student to develop a personal theology.

Prerequisite Courses: THEL 209

THEL 315 Wesleyan Tradition

3-S

Study of the Wesleyan movement from the Wesleys to the present. Emphases on the history of The Wesleyan Church and the doctrine of holiness. Liberal Arts.

Prerequisite Courses: THEL 209

THEL 320 Spiritual Formation

4-F

Examines the nature and process of spiritual growth and maturation in the life of the Christian. As an academic course of study, this class arises out of ascetical theology and thus emphasizes the writings of early, medieval, and later Christians. Primary emphasis is given to the role of the classical spiritual disciplines in the formation of character. Liberal Arts.

Prerequisite Courses: THEL 209

THEL 325 American Church History

3-WSP

Examines the historical and theological roots of the varied Christian traditions in the US. Attention will be given to European traditions transplanted in the new world and to the ways they developed in the American context; also consideration of the indigenous American Christian traditions and the resulting variety of ecclesial configurations. Liberal Arts.

Prerequisite Courses: THEL 209

THEL 327 Church, Mission and Culture

4-S

This course seeks to define an understanding of the Church in relation to the mission of the triune God in and to all of creation. A biblically and theologically informed ecclesiology, integrated with the disciplines of missiology and sociology, will shape the traditional concerns of leadership, Church order, and pastoral vocation.

THEL 333 Major Figures in Theology

2 or 4-WSP

In-depth study of one or more figures in Christian theology with an emphasis upon primary source material for examining the theologians in the context of their lives and times. Liberal Arts.

Prerequisite Courses: THEL 209

THEL 334 Studies in Theology

2 or 4-WSP

Topics of current theological interest. Specific schools of theology, doctrines, or theological trends will be considered.

Prerequisite Courses: THEL 209

THEL 337 Theological Foundations of the Family

3-F

Study of major conceptual designs for family. Will emphasize a comparative analysis of religious models and the relationships between these influential systems and family practices. Introduces students to the role of the family in ethical value formation. Liberal Arts.

Prerequisite Courses: THEL 209

THEL 346 Elements of Catholic, Muslim and Orthodox Theology

4-F

An examination of the development of Catholic and Orthodox theology and practices from the early Middle Ages with a particular emphasis upon major figures, and differences between the traditions. An introduction will be given to Islam with particular attention paid to Christian-Muslim interaction from the seventh century through to modern times and to syncretistic folk religion, the dervish, etc. Houghton Balkans Semester Program.

Prerequisite Courses: THEL 209

THEL 355 Aquinas

4-WSP

Seminar on the thought of Thomas Aquinas involving a close reading of Aquinas’ most important work, the Summa Theologiae, with occasional supplementation from other relevant primary and secondary literature. Liberal Arts.

Prerequisite Courses: THEL 209

THEL 368 The Reformation

4-S

A survey of the continental, English, and Roman Catholic reformation of the 16th century. Culture: history. Liberal Arts.

Prerequisite Courses: THEL 209

THEL 375 Kierkegaard: A Man for All Disciplines

4-(WSP)

Reading seminar on some key works of the “melancholy Dane,” including (for example) Either/Or, Fear and Trembling, The Sickness Unto Death, the Philosophical Fragments and Concluding Unscientific Postscript. A “man for all disciplines,” Kierkegaard’s writings continue to attract interest for their philosophical and theological insight as well as their literary sophistication. Liberal Arts. .

Prerequisite Courses: THEL 209

THEL 385 Issues in Philosophical Theology

4-WSP

Seminar in which selected topics in Christian theology are examined via close reading and discussion of historical and contemporary works of philosophical theology. Examples of topics considered: Divine Attributes, Divine Providence (and Human Freedom), God and Ethics, Faith. The specific issue(s) to be considered will be identified each time the course is scheduled. Repeatable when topics are diverse. Liberal Arts.

Prerequisite Courses: THEL 209

THEL 389/489 Internship in Theology

3-F/S

Supervised field experience in a church or parachurch agency combining academic work with practical and professional responsibilities and relationships. Prerequisites: Courses listed below or permission of the Christian Formation advisor.

Prerequisite Courses: CRFM 325, MIN 210

THEL 482 Senior Capstone: Seminar in Theology

2-S

A senior capstone colloquium required of all students with a major in theology.

THEL 496 Honors in Theology

4-S

URMN 212 Urban Ministry

4-F

What is the ministry of the church and individual Christians within diverse, complex metropolitan areas? Introduction to the Bible and to research in behavioral sciences on the city with field trips and projects in the community.

URMN 250 Evangelism and Social Action in the Urban Context

3-May

Examination of the biblical basis of evangelism and social justice. Through biblical, historical, and sociological/anthropological analyses and personal observation projects, students will assess ways in which evangelism and social action are related and will have an opportunity to develop their own theology and strategy of outreach. Taught in urban setting.

URMN 300 Urban Ministry Field Experience and Seminar

3-WSP

Supervised field experience in a core-city church or parachurch organization. Seminar with weekly cluster meeting of participating students to synthesize academic and field experience as a group. Requires 120 hours of field work. Prerequisites: URMN 212 and declaration of minor.

URMN 350 The City in Biblical and Theological Perspective

4-WSP

In-depth survey of the Scriptures from Genesis to Revelation examining the city as symbol and social reality. Analysis of various theological perspectives (Augustine, Ellul, Cox, Mouw, and others). Prerequisite: URMN 212, and declaration of minor.

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