Course Descriptions – Masters Degrees

 

The numerical sequence of courses within each area indicates progress from introductory to more advanced levels, but does not necessarily restrict enrollment unless specific prerequisite courses are indicated. The student should enroll in courses suitable for his/her abilities and attained level in consultation with the advisor and subject to the approval of the Academic Dean. In general, courses with numbers in the 500s are adapted to the first year of study, courses in the 600s to the second year, and courses in the 700s to the third year and beyond.

With a view to program evaluation and development, reflecting a desire to remain flexible enough to meet real needs of the students and the Christian community, and to provide creative leadership in the ministry of the church, this selection of courses will undergo a process of continual review. Courses marked ‘offered on demand’ are not scheduled on a regular basis, but only with sufficient demand. Unless otherwise indicated, all courses are three credit hours.

Biblical Hebrew (BH)

 

BH 551 Elementary Biblical Hebrew
The fundamental elements of Hebrew grammar are studied with attention to the alphabet and writing system, basic vocabulary and syntax, and special attention to the strong verb in the main conjugations.

BH 552 Intermediate Biblical Hebrew
Continuation of BH 551. Continuation of the study of vocabulary and syntax with special attention to the weak verb. The course includes extensive reading from the Hebrew Bible and an introduction to exegetical procedures based on the Hebrew text. Prerequisite BH 551.

BH 651 Exegesis of the Hebrew Bible
Continuation of BH 552. Reading and translation from an extensive selection of prose narrative passages from the Hebrew Bible with attention to vocabulary and syntax, verb forms, and exegetical procedures. Prerequisite BH 552.

BH 652 Advanced Exegesis of the Hebrew Bible
Continuation of BH 651. Reading, translation, and exegesis from an extensive selection of passages from the Hebrew Bible, mainly in prophetic and/or poetic books, with emphasis upon consolidating and synthesizing previous work and some attention to textual criticism and/or comparative Semitics. Prerequisite BH 651.

BH 761 Biblical Aramaic
A study of Aramaic grammar with readings from the Aramaic portions of the Old Testament, based upon previous knowledge of Biblical Hebrew. Prerequisites: BH 552 accepted; BH 652 preferred. Offered on demand.

Biblical Interpretation (BI)

 

BI 510 Biblical Hermeneutics
A study of the methods and principles involved in the study of the Bible with attention to studying the Bible in its historical, literary, and cultural contexts. Students will also study inter-textual interpretation and learn methods for application of biblical truths in the modern world.

BI/PL 540 The Bible in Missional Perspective
This course scans the entirety of the Bible through the lens of God’s redemptive mission throughout all of history—creation to consummation. Special attention is given to the call for God’s people to join with God in his mission in the world.

BI 561 Biblical Backgrounds
A study of the geographical, archaeological, and cultural backgrounds of biblical lands, with attention to Ancient Near Eastern history, religion, and culture as it illuminates the study of the Old and New Testament. This course should be taken prior to OT 662 Biblical Backgrounds Tour.

BI 662 Biblical Backgrounds Tour
A tour of Biblical lands conducted by the professor, with lectures and projects for degree credit. It is recommended that the student take OT 561 Biblical Backgrounds prior to the tour. Offered on demand; subject to opportunity and availability.

BI 672 Dead Sea Scrolls
An introduction to the Dead Sea Scrolls with attention to the cultural and historical background of the Qumran community, translations of the biblical and sectarian literature, including Apocryphal, pseudepigraphic, and apocalyptic literature, and to implications for study of the Old and New Testaments, as well as Judaism.

BI 673 Archaeological Field Work
Participation in a major archaeological excavation in Israel, with opportunity for observation and practice of techniques in field archaeology: methods of excavation, recording, decipherment, classification, cataloguing, and preservation of various finds, with lectures and field trips led by the archaeological staff. Offered on demand; subject to opportunity and availability.

BI 685 Selected Topics in Biblical History, Archaeology, or Interpretation
A study of selected topics in biblical history, archaeology, or interpretation. The topics vary from term to term in order to focus on selected aspects of these areas of biblical studies. This course may be repeated for credit with a change in content.

BI 721 Early Judaism and the New Testament
A study of the life and literature of Judaism in the period from about 300 B.C. to A.D. 200, with attention to the changing historical and religious situations, along with literary works relevant for understanding the New Testament, particularly such Apocryphal works as the Books of Maccabees, the Wisdom of Jesus ben Sira (Ecclesiasticus), and the Wisdom of Solomon.

BI 730 Gender in Biblical Hermeneutics
A study of hermeneutical and theological approaches to difficult and controversial issues surrounding gender identity and roles in the church, along with an examination of relevant scripture passages from Genesis, the Historical Books, the Gospels, and the Pauline Epistles. Special consideration will also be given to the biblical critical method and approaches of feminist and womanist scholars such as Elizabeth Fiorenza, Amy-Jill Levine, Phyllis Trible, and Renita Weems.

BI 790 Independent Research in Biblical History, Archaeology, or Interpretation
For students who have completed the basic courses and have the ability to do independent study in the history, literature, theology, or language of the New Testament. By special arrangement. One to three hours.

Christian Education (CE)

 

CE/PL 520 Great Commission Discipleship
An examination and application of principles and methods of discipleship with a goal of developing an integrated plan for the development of mature followers of Jesus Christ. Emphasis will be placed on discipleship ministries in the local church, including church education programs and small group models. Methods of discipleship utilized by successful parachurch organizations, e.g. Campus Crusade and Navigators, will also be examined.

CE/COU 522 Normal Human Growth & Development
A study of the processes and stages of human intellectual, physical, social and emotional development from prenatal origins through old age, with attention to Christian perspectives on these issues and implications for ministry and counseling.

CE 551 Jesus as Master Teacher
An examination of the behaviors and strategies of master teachers along with elements of accepted pedagogy and similarities found in the teaching strategies of Jesus. Participants will demonstrate those strategies and prepare an instructor’s guide that can be used in church schools or workshop settings.

CE 631 Ministry with Children
A study of the faith development of children from birth to fifth grade, with focus on special issues relating to working with children. Students will explore teaching the Bible to children by examining various approaches and curricula.

CE 632 Ministry with Youth
A study of today’s youth: how they function in the secular world, and ways in which the local church can reach adolescents through a Christian Education program. Students will explore teaching the Bible to youth by examining various approaches and curriculums.

CE 633 Christian Education Ministry with Adults
An examination of faith development in the adult life cycle, ways adults learn, and how the local church can reach adults who have been un-churched through a Christian Education program. Students will explore teaching the Bible to adults and by examining various approaches and curriculums.

CE 685 Selected Topics in Christian Education
A study of selected topics in Christian education. The topics vary from term to term in order to focus on selected aspects of this broad area of Christian ministry. This course may be repeated for credit with a change in content.

CE 740 The Teaching Congregation
An examination of the habits, needs, and values of today’s unchurched populations, along with factors within congregational life that inhibit the willingness of many church members to teach. Attention will be given to methods and strategies for mobilizing church members to teach others and to create a teaching ethic in the congregation.

CE 780 Practicum in Christian Education
For students who have completed the basic courses and have the ability to work under supervision in an educational setting at an advanced level, including supervision of the work of other persons.

CE 790 Independent Research in Christian Education
For students who have completed one or more basic courses and have the ability to do independent study in Christian education. By special arrangement. One to three hours.

Church History (CH)

 

CH 510 The History of Christianity 1
A survey of the history of Christianity from first-century beginnings through the thirteenth century, with attention given to salient antecedents, contexts, individuals, movements, and ideas. The course of study includes consideration of general, social, and intellectual historiographies.

CH 511 The History of Christianity 2
A survey of the history of Christianity from the fourteenth century to the present, with attention given to salient antecedents, contexts, individuals, movements, and ideas. The course of study includes consideration of general, social, and intellectual historiographies. CH510 History of Christianity 1 is not a prerequisite for this course.

CH 610 History of the Early Church
A study of the Early Church from the Apostolic Era to the papacy of Gregory I. Attention will be given to the diversity of expressions of early Christianity, particularly as they developed out of the tension between orthodoxy and heresy.

CH 620 History of the Reformation
A study of sixteenth-century Christianity, specifically the Lutheran, Reformed, Radical, English, and Catholic Reformations.

CH 630 History of Modern Christianity
A study of the Christian churches from the Peace of Westphalia in 1648 to the present. Attention will be given to the interaction of Christianity and modernity. The Catholic and Orthodox Churches will also be considered.

CH 655 History of Individual Denominations
A study of the history and polity of particular Christian denominations or traditions. Arrangements for this course are made according to need and the availability of a qualified instructor, and as required by denominational bodies responsible for ordination.

CH 685 Selected Topics in Church History
A study of selected topics in church history. The topics vary from term to term in order to focus on selected aspects of the history of Christianity within shorter or longer periods. This course may be repeated for credit with a change in content.

CH 730 Women in Church History
A study of the developing role of women in church history including changes in women’s involvement in the church caused by the growth of the institutionalism of Christianity and the effect of new movements such as monasticism and Reformation. Issues in historiography and historical studies that help to hinder the study of women’s contributions in the church are also examined.

CH 732 History of American Christianity
A study of the history of Christianity in the United States from Spanish and French Catholic and English Protestant beginnings to the present. Religious pluralism and denominational diversity will be specially considered.

CH 735 History of the Black Church in America
Through the examination of historical and contemporary scholarship on the Black Church, this course will analyze the role of the Black Protestant Church in the spiritual, political, and socio-economic aspirations of African American community and culture in the United States from the slavery era through the late 20th century. Three hours.

CH 740 History of Global Christianity
A study of the origins and development of Christianity in Africa, Asia, and Latin America, with emphasis on native contributions to western paradigms.

CH 790 Independent Research in Church History
For students who have completed the basic courses and have the ability to do independent study in church history. By special arrangement. One to three hours.

CH 795 Thesis in Church History
Research and writing of a thesis in church history, under the guidance of an appointed research advisor. Since the thesis is not required in the program, a student must propose and receive approval for a thesis during the semester prior to registering for CH 795. Three hours of credit are granted upon the completion and correction of a thesis and its acceptance by a thesis committee. Fall or spring enrollment only. Prerequisite RE 500.

CH 796 Thesis Continuation in Church History
Students who enroll in CH 795 must enroll in CH 796 in each successive regular semester (i.e., fall and/or spring) at the tuition rate of one semester hour until the thesis is completed. No hours awarded.

Counseling (COU)

 

The following courses are designed to meet the educational requirements set by the Texas State Board of Examiners of Professional Counselors and the Texas State Board of Marriage and Family Therapists. Please refer to the respective board for complete information on how to achieve licensure in the State of Texas.

Counseling courses cross-listed with the PC or CE prefix are also open to MDiv students. Otherwise, counseling courses are typically reserved for MAC students, unless prior permission is granted by the Academic Dean.

COU 500 Counseling Research & Statistics
This course covers theory of scientific methods proven and respected in the field of psychological theory and research. The tools explored can be used to measure the success of counseling interventions, analyze the relevance of research presented in counseling journals, and address the knowledge base needed to pass the National Counseling Exam. Statistical mathematical theories will be explored as they relate to quantifying psychological research and client treatment plans.

COU/CE 522 Normal Human Growth & Development
A study of the processes and stages of human intellectual, physical, social, and emotional development from prenatal origins through senior adulthood, with attention to Christian perspectives on these issues and implications for ministry and counseling.

COU/PC 530 Theories of Counseling & Psychotherapy
An introduction to the history of psychotherapy and to current postmodern schools of theoretical and clinical research, with attention to individual therapy, family systems theory, and the relationship between psychotherapy and spirituality.

COU/PC 540 Intake & Assessment
A study of principles and procedures related to intake and assessment of counseling clients or patients and their needs, with attention to both evaluation and the structuring of the intake interview.

COU 600 Individual Counseling
A study of principles, methods, and techniques for the counseling of individuals with attention to ways of fostering reflection and insight for the counselee, resolution of problematic issues, personal resolve, initiative,
and personal growth within the context of the counselee‘s various dynamic relationships. Available to MDiv students with prior approval (see faculty advisor).

COU 611 Psychopathology
A systematic study of mental disorders, applying scientific methods in an effort to understand disturbed or abnormal behavior and applying this knowledge to clinical assessment and therapy with clients. The student will be able to recognize symptoms of a mental disorder and define abnormal behavior and the classification system, according to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM IV – TR). Cultural determinants of what is considered abnormal will be discussed. The treatment, mental health, and legal aspects of abnormal behavior are included.

COU 612 Psychopharmacology
Psychopharmacology refers to the scientific understanding of the medications used in the treatment of mental disorders and psychological distress. It also refers to the practical use of these medications in clinical practice. This course on psychopharmacology is designed for non-medical mental health and counseling professionals. As such, it emphasizes the clinical use of psychopharmacologic agents, including their indications, expected benefits, and adverse effects. It also considers their use in conjunction with, and in light of, the known efficacy of nonpharmacologic interventions in the treatment of mental disorders. The broader social context in which medications are prescribed will also be considered.

COU 620 Addictive Behavior and Treatment
A study of the factors that contribute to addictive behavior and substance abuse and the various treatment modalities. Includes a history of addiction in North America, predisposing and sociocultural dimensions, screening and diagnosis, pharmacology of substances, legal issues, family systems, and prevention and treatment approaches, including the role of spirituality and the AA movement. Available to MDiv students with prior approval (see faculty advisor).

COU/PC 640 Grief Counseling
An introduction to the history and study of death and dying, grief, and bereavement. It will include the development of major clinical, theoretical, and spiritual positions with attention to the individual, family, community, institutions, and church. Special attention will be given to the process of living, dying, death, grief, and bereavement. This will include individual, group, family, institutional, community, pastoral, and spiritual aspects of the counseling process.

COU/PC 641 Crisis Intervention and Trauma Healing
This course is designed to introduce students to basic crisis intervention strategies. The course addresses fundamental crisis intervention theory and offers practical applications in various crisis situations. Students will explore various assessment, intervention, and crisis treatment issues. Special emphasis will be placed on the impact of trauma on the individual, family, and community. Students will engage in crisis intervention role plays and practice applying specific interventions in crisis scenarios. Each student will engage in researching and compiling a comprehensive community resource guide for the local community.

COU/PC 642 Aging & Eldercare
A study of the psychological and sociological aspects of aging and ways to use community resources and programs in the counseling of senior adults, and their nuclear and extended families, with emphasis on appropriate therapeutic interventions relevant to the unique challenges to this age group.

COU/PC 663 Marriage & Family Dynamics
A survey of marriage and family dynamics and basic models of family therapy. Emphasis is on family systems theories/therapies such as psychodynamic, experiential, transgenerational, structural, strategic, cognitive/behavioral, solution oriented, postmodern/constructionist, and narrative.

COU 665 Cross Cultural Counseling
A study of the need for developing culture-specific communication/helping styles for culturally different clients, highlighting key issues of ethnic and racial identity formation and culturally specific concepts of the family and their relationship to counseling.

COU 673 Marriage & Family Therapy
A study of the principles, methods, and techniques used in marriage and family therapy with attention to fostering healthy family dynamics, resolution of problematic issues and relational dysfunction, and personal growth within the context of the family unit. Prerequisite COU 663.

COU 674 Group Counseling and Psychotherapy
This course examines the theoretical components and developmental aspects of groups. Topics include types of groups, group dynamics and processes, group leadership and membership roles, ethical awareness in relation to groups, and crisis management within groups. COU 530 and COU 611 are recommended courses to be taken prior to COU 674.

COU 675 Counseling Children and Adolescents

This course is designed to give students an overview of theoretical and practical approaches in working with children and adolescents. Special populations and issues identified by course participants will be explored. In addition, students will be required to participate in off-campus collaboration with an agency devoted to meeting the mental health needs of children and adolescents.

COU 685 Selected Topics in Counseling
A study of selected topics in counseling. The topics vary from term to term in order to focus on selected aspects of counseling. This course may be repeated for credit with a change in content.

COU 690 Professional Orientation
A study of professional character and ethical behavior in the context of helping professions with attention to role identity and related expectations and responsibilities, codes of ethics, legal aspects of helping professions, and issues of decision-making and accountability.

COU 710 Life Style & Career Counseling
A study of vocation, lifestyle, and career development with attention to calling and career choice, sources of occupational and educational information, career decision-making processes, motivation, creativity, and leadership.

COU 720 Expressive Therapies (e.g., art therapy, play therapy, psychodrama)

This course is an experiential introduction to the creative process in counseling. Participants will be invited to explore the literal and figurative context in which creativity emerges, will identify through the use of metaphor, imagery, and poetry the power of creative expression, and will find ample opportunity to discuss, reflect, and process with peers. Instructor will be drawing on a range of literature and clinical practice.

COU 730 Sexual Function and Systemic Sex Therapy

This course will explore normal sexual development and function across the human lifespan. Emphasis will be placed on theological, spiritual, psychological, and physiological issues related to human sexuality. This course will evaluate sexual disorders and relational disconnectedness. Appropriate basic clinical interventions from a systemic perspective will be addressed.

COU 740 Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) has been endorsed by a number of research studies as a highly effective method of psychotherapy and counseling. CBT assumes that cognitions, that is, beliefs, determine feelings and behavior. In this course, students will articulate the basic principles of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) including its history as a leading model of therapeutic intervention. Prerequisites: COU 530 Theories of Counseling and Psychotherapy; COU 600 Individual Counseling; and (recommended) COU 611 Psychopathology.

COU 751 Counseling Practicum 1
One hundred fifty clock hours of supervised experience in counseling with an approved supervisor in an approved clinical or counseling center setting. The course includes meetings with a campus supervisor and peer group. Prerequisites COU 522, COU 530, COU 540, COU 600, COU 611, COU 665, COU 674, and COU 690, plus at least 12 sessions of professional individual counseling with a licensed provider (LPC, LMFT, or psychologist) the semester prior to the start of the practicum experience.

COU 752 Counseling Practicum 2
One hundred fifty clock hours of supervised experience in counseling with an approved supervisor in an approved clinical or counseling center setting. The course includes meetings with a campus supervisor and peer group. Prerequisite COU 751.

COU 753 Marriage & Family Counseling Practicum 1
One hundred fifty clock hours of supervised experience in a clinical setting with clients; practicum to include work with family systems and the use of family therapy counseling approaches. The course includes meetings with a campus supervisor and peer group. Prerequisites COU 522, COU 530, COU 540, COU 600, COU 611, COU 663, COU 665, COU 673, and COU 690, plus at least 12 sessions of professional individual counseling with a licensed provider (LPC, LMFT, or psychologist) the semester prior to the start of the practicum experience.

COU 754 Marriage & Family Counseling Practicum 2
One hundred fifty clock hours of supervised experience in a clinical setting with clients; practicum to include work with family systems and the use of family therapy counseling approaches. The course includes meetings with a campus supervisor and peer group. Prerequisite COU 753.

COU 755 Marriage & Family Counseling Practicum 3
One hundred fifty clock hours of supervised experience in a clinical setting with clients; practicum to include work with family systems and the use of family therapy counseling approaches. The course includes meetings with a campus supervisor and peer group. Prerequisite COU 754.

COU 765 Family Mediation and Conflict Resolution
A study of mediation within the context of families as a means of resolving conflicts without resort to adversarial means such as litigation; attention is given to family dynamics, child development, the Texas Family Code, family violence, and facilitating of communication and dispute resolution.

COU 790 Independent Research in Counseling
Students with sufficient academic background and ability may enroll for directed study in areas of counseling as they relate to studies in such other disciplines as developmental psychology, psychology of religion, and psychiatry. One to three hours.

COU 799 Advanced Seminar
This advanced seminar is available only during the student‘s final 12 hours and must either follow the three selected biblical and theological courses or be taken concurrently with the final biblical or theological course. The advanced seminar is available to MAC students only. This seminar is designed to guide students in the integration of counseling theory and practice with biblical and theological principles.

Christian Spirituality (CS)

 

CS 501 Introduction to Christian Spirituality
A survey of the biblical and historical foundations and practices of Christian spirituality with a short comparison to the non-Christian spiritualities of other major world religions. Attention will be given to the development of a personal expression of spirituality in the context of the corporate nature of spirituality. Four hours.

CS 510 Spiritual Disciplines and Practices
A focused study of the classic spiritual disciplines and historical practices of Christian spirituality. To inform the study, leading spiritual masters will be surveyed, along with their contributions to Christian spirituality. Spiritual formation small groups, an individual silent retreat, and a group retreat will be practiced as part of the course.

CS/PL 640 Congregations as Systems
An examination of (1) the ways in which the church functions like a family system; (2) the areas in which systems thinking has contributed to leadership development; and (3) the strategies an emerging or current leader can develop to grow in his or her ability to be a less anxious person in an anxious system. Students will study the ministry of Jesus from a systems perspective as a way to inform the spirituality of Jesus’ disciples in the twenty-first century.

CS/TS 650 Theological Foundations of Christian Spirituality
A study of the reciprocal relationship of theology and spirituality for development of a foundation for spiritual formation and direction. Systematic, biblical, and historical theology will be surveyed and incorporated into an informed spirituality. This course may be taken as a Theological Studies Elective as a part of a student’s MDiv degree plan, but it may not substitute for the Theology Elective.

CS/PL 654 Spiritual Formation in Congregations
A course designed to investigate how ministers may engage congregations as a whole in the processes of spiritual formation through the development of spiritual formation small groups, the design of a team mentality for administrative functions, and the creation of an atmosphere of discipleship through spiritual formation. Three hours.

CS 664 History of Christian Spirituality
A survey of the 2,000-year history and development of Christian spirituality in Africa, Europe, Asia, and America with attention to key figures and movements in its development.

CS 665 Christian Devotional Classics
An intensive study of the writing of six to eight selected Christian spiritual masters, emphasizing how the texts can be read and applied for growth in spiritual formation and life.

CS 685 Selected Topics in Christian Spirituality
Topics may vary from term to term in order to focus on selected aspects of Christian spirituality. This course may be repeated for credit with a change in content.

CS 767 Techniques and Principles of Spiritual Direction
A study of the various ways of approaching and conducting one-to-one spiritual direction and spiritual direction in small groups. Consideration will also be given to handling issues and problems that may develop in spiritual direction. Prerequisite CS 501.

CS 780 Practicum for Certificate in Spiritual Direction, I
Students will be required to receive and observe spiritual direction in sessions and then to spiritually direct one or more persons, preferably in a church setting, with on-site supervision as well as regular supervisory meetings with the instructor. This course also involves the regular writing of verbatims with evaluation by the supervisor. Prerequisite CS 767.

CS 781 Practicum for Certificate in Spiritual Direction , II
Continued from CS 780 with supervision and meetings for evaluation of the experiences of spiritual direction and theological reflection, including verbatims. Prerequisite CS 781.

CS 790 Independent Research in Christian Spirituality
For students who have completed the basic courses and have the ability to do independent study in the field of Christian spirituality. By special arrangement. One to three hours.

CS 795 Thesis in Christian Spirituality
Research and writing of a thesis in Christian spirituality, under the guidance of an appointed research advisor. Since the thesis is not required in the program, a student must propose and receive approval for a thesis during the semester prior to registering for CS 795. Three hours of credit are granted upon the completion and correction of a thesis and its acceptance by a thesis committee. Fall or spring enrollment only. Prerequisite RE 500.

CS 796 Thesis Continuation in Christian Spirituality
Students who enroll in CS 795 must enroll in CS 796 in each successive regular semester (i.e., fall and/or spring) at the tuition rate of one semester hour until the thesis is completed.

Evangelism & Missions (EM)

 

EM 510 Introduction to Evangelism & Missions
An introduction to the place of missions and evangelism in the life and practice of the Church from a biblical, historical, methodological, and contemporary development perspective. This course will also consider ways in which the missionary and evangelism programs of the local church can be improved and organized effectively for their tasks.

EM 520 History & Theology of Evangelism & Missions
A study of the expansion of Christianity from the patristic period to the modern era with emphasis on the scriptural and theological understandings of the ministry of the church through world missions and evangelism. Contemporary models will be assessed in light of the contextual growth of the Christian movement throughout history.

EM 602 Cross Cultural Communication of the Gospel
A study of the principles and processes of communication from one culture to another, with focus on the incarnation of Jesus as the model for intercultural communication of the gospel and on contemporary models of communications theory.

EM 661 Principles & Strategies for Church Growth
A study of the foundational principles and strategies of ministry renewal and congregational revitalization that facilitate both qualitative and quantitative church growth. Emphasis will be placed on congregational application.

EM 685 Selected Topics in Evangelism & Missions
A study of selected topics in Evangelism and Missions. The topics vary from term to term in order to focus on selected aspects of this broad area of Christian ministry. This course may be repeated for credit with a change in content.

EM 720 Principles & Strategies for Church Planting
An examination of the biblical, historical, sociological, and theological principles particular to church planting. Emphasis will be given to methods and strategies faithful to biblical principles and effective in producing new, healthy churches.

EM 731 Evangelism & Missions in an Urban Setting
A study of the theology, ecclesiology, and methodology of evangelism and discipleship in urban settings. This will encompass a broad look at the urban Christian witness from evangelistic preaching to community development strategies.

EM 780 Evangelism/Missions Practicum
For students who have completed the basic courses and have the ability to work under supervision in an Evangelistic and/or Missions setting at an advanced level, including supervision of the work of other persons.

EM 790 Independent Research in Evangelism and/or Missions
For students who have completed the basic courses and have the ability to do independent study in missions or evangelism. By special arrangement. One to three hours.

Supervised Ministry Learning/Field Education (FE)

 

FE 651 Ministry Practicum, I
Fieldwork in a ministerial setting with supervision and regular meetings for evaluation of ministry experience and theological reflection, including case reports, regular reviews, and other materials for learning and growth. Prerequisite PC 501, plus two more “501” introductory courses, and a minimum of 30 credit hours of completed work prior to enrollment.

FE 652 Ministry Practicum, II
Continued from FE 651, with supervision and meetings for evaluation of ministry experience and theological reflection, including case histories, a ministry project, and completion of the “learning covenant.” Prerequisite FE 651, plus all six “501” introductory courses, and a minimum of 60 credit hours of completed work prior to enrollment.

FE 700 Pastoral Internship
Contracted practical work in a pastoral ministry setting with on-site supervision, discussion, evaluation/review, encouragement, and support. The student maintains liaison with an on-campus supervisor. Prerequisite PC 501. Six hours.

FE 751 Basic Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE)
Supervised individual and group experiences in hospital chaplaincy, that is, pastoral care within a hospital setting, including lectures, interviews with patients and verbatim reports, and group discussions under the direction of a supervisor certified by the Association for Clinical Pastoral Education. With tuition payment and enrollment, a 400-hour quarter of supervised pastoral experience (1 CPE unit) in an approved program will earn six semester hours of credit toward the Master of Divinity degree. Prerequisite PC 501.
HGST is in close proximity to several Centers for Clinical Pastoral Education, where, subject to the necessary arrangements, students may enroll for Clinical Pastoral Education.

FE 752 Advanced Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE)
Advanced CPE training under the direction of a supervisor certified by the Association for Clinical Pastoral Education. With tuition payment and enrollment, a 400-hour quarter of supervised pastoral experience (1 CPE unit) in an approved program will earn six semester hours of credit toward the Master of Divinity degree, and may be repeated up to a maximum of eighteen semester hours. Prerequisite FE 751.

FE 780 Advanced Fieldwork Practicum
For students who have completed the basic practicum courses (FE 651 and FE 652 or FE 700) and who have the ability to work under supervision in a ministerial setting at an advanced level, including supervision of the ministry of other persons. Up to six hours.

New Testament Greek (GR)

 

GR 551 Elementary New Testament Greek
The fundamental elements of New Testament Greek grammar, including the alphabet and writing system, basic vocabulary and syntax, and special attention to conjugation of the verb in several tenses.

GR 552 Intermediate New Testament Greek
Continuation of GR 551. Continuation of the study of New Testament Greek grammar with extensive reading from the New Testament in Greek and an introduction to exegetical procedures based on the Greek text. Prerequisite GR 551.

GR 651 New Testament Greek Exegesis
Continuation of GR 552. Reading and translation from an extensive selection of New Testament passages in Greek with attention to vocabulary and syntax, verb forms, word formation, and exegetical procedures. Prerequisite GR 552.

GR 652 Advanced New Testament Greek Exegesis
Continuation of GR 651. Reading, translation, and exegesis from an extensive selection of passages from the Greek New Testament and related early Christian writings such as the Apostolic Fathers, with emphasis upon consolidating and synthesizing previous work and some attention to textual criticism. Prerequisite GR 651.

Interdisciplinary Studies (ID)

 

ID 701 Interdisciplinary Capstone (MTS)
This course is the capstone course for the Master of Theological Studies degree. MTS students in their final year or semester are required to take this course together as a cohort. A student will work under a faculty specialist to produce a capstone paper or project in the area of concentration, which will be presented to the class and then evaluated by faculty members. The student will also gather representative work from his or her MTS program for the faculty members. One hour. The student will: demonstrate good hermeneutics with both testaments of the Bible; demonstrate contextually sensitive theology evidencing an awareness of historical heritage of an issue; apply these skills in a capstone paper or approved project with a special emphasis evidencing the student’s focused concentration; submit an electronic portfolio of assignments showing the coursework taken while in the program, as well as a syllabus for each course.

Integrative Experience (IE)

 

IE 601 Integrative Experience 1
The Greater Houston area affords a wide array of educational and missional opportunities, as well as ecumenical and interfaith dialogue experiences for our students to integrate into their theological training and formation. Students will be required to complete a minimum of three separate external integrative experiences over the course of the semester for a total of at least ten hours of face-to-face contact, normally in a lecture, workshop, conference, and/or missional setting. Regular meetings on campus will be held throughout the semester for faculty supervision/evaluation and theological reflection. Required for MDiv students. One hour.

IE 602 Integrative Experience 2
Continuation of IE 601. Involves a minimum of three separate external integrative experiences for a total of at least ten hours of face-to-face contact, in conjunction with regular meetings on campus for supervision/evaluation and theological reflection. Required for MDiv students. One hour.

New Testament (NT)

 

NT 501 Introduction to the New Testament
A study of the history and literature of the New Testament with attention to the content of the whole, representative passages throughout, and exegetical methods and problems of interpretation with some emphasis upon both understanding and evaluating various critical approaches. Four hours.

NT 620 The Ministry & Message of Jesus
The life of Jesus of Nazareth as presented by the four Gospels and such secondary sources as are available, and understood within the context of the Roman Empire, Hellenization of the East, and the situation of the Jewish people. Prerequisite NT 501.

NT 623 The Life & Letters of Paul
An overview of Paul’s life, letters, and enduring influence within early Christianity, with special attention given to the course of his life and ministry as set forth in the narrative of the Acts of the Apostles. Attention will also be given to his multicultural (i.e. Jewish and Greco-Roman) background and education, and recurring themes in his letters. Prerequisite NT 501.

NT 637 The General Epistles
Studies in the Epistles of James, Peter, and Jude with attention to exegetical methods, historical and literary contexts, interpretation and application, and the significance of these Epistles. Prerequisite NT 501.

NT 685 Selected Topics in the New Testament
A study of selected topics in New Testament. The topics vary from term to term in order to focus on selected aspects of the Christian scriptures. This course may be repeated for credit with a change in content. Prerequisite NT 501.

NT 721 The Synoptic Gospels
Studies in the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, and Luke with a view to understanding them as wholes as well as in various parts and kinds of content. Attention is given to exegetical methods, historical and literary context, to the Synoptic problem, and to appropriate interpretation and application. Prerequisite NT 501.

NT 722 The Gospel & Letters of John
Studies in the Gospel and Letters of John, with attention to the content, form, and style, and to the historical and literary context, as well as to exegetical methods, interpretation, and application. Of particular interest are the relationships of these books to each other, to the “Johannine Community,” and to the Synoptic Gospels. Prerequisite NT 501.
NT 725 Book of Acts
Studies in the book of Acts with a view to a literary critical understanding of the book as a whole as well as to the contributions to rhetorical criticism, Lukan theology, and salvation history.

NT 731 Epistle to the Romans
Study of Paul’s Epistle to the Romans and of significant subjects relevant for understanding it. Attention is given to the problems of doctrine and life which Paul addressed, the setting within the context of his missionary endeavors, and the continuing validity of principles which he applied to these questions. Prerequisite NT 501.

NT 733 Epistles to the Corinthians
Study of Paul’s Epistles to the Corinthians and of significant subjects relevant for understanding them. Attention is given to the problems of doctrine and life which Paul addressed, the setting within the context of his missionary endeavors, and the continuing validity of principles which he applied to these questions. Prerequisite NT 501.

NT 734 Selected Pauline Epistles
Studies in selected Pauline Epistles, from the early (e.g. Galatians and Thessalonians) and/or later (e.g. Prison Epistles: Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, Philemon, and/or Pastoral Epistles: Timothy, Titus), within the context of Paul’s missionary work and developing issues of faith, practice and church governance. Attention is given to questions of setting, authorship, and application to modern church life. This course may be repeated for credit with a change in content. Prerequisite NT 501.

NT 735 Epistle to the Hebrews
A study of the Epistle to the Hebrews with attention to exegetical methods, historical and literary contexts, interpretation and application, and the significance of this Epistle. Prerequisite NT 501.

NT 761 Revelation and Related Apocalyptic Literature
A study of the Book of Revelation, related portions of the New Testament such as Jesus’ Olivet Discourse and eschatological passages from the Pauline Epistles, antecedents in pre-Christian and contemporary Judaism, and the continuation in such works as the Shepherd of Hermas and Apocryphal apocalypses. Prerequisite NT 501.

NT 790 Independent Research in the New Testament
For students who have completed the basic courses and have the ability to do independent study in the history, literature, theology, or language of the New Testament. By special arrangement. One to three hours.

NT 795 New Testament Thesis
Research and writing of a thesis in New Testament, under the guidance of an appointed research advisor. Since the thesis is not required in the program, a student must propose and receive approval for a thesis during the semester prior to registering for NT 795.Three hours of credit are granted upon the completion and correction of a thesis, and its acceptance by a thesis committee. Fall or spring enrollment only. Prerequisite RE 500.

NT 796 New Testament Thesis Continuation
Students who enroll in NT 795 must enroll in NT 796 in each successive regular semester (i.e., fall and/or spring) at the tuition rate of one semester hour until the thesis is completed. No hours awarded.

Old Testament (OT)

 

OT 501 Introduction to the Old Testament
A study of the history and literature of the Old Testament with attention to the content of the whole, representative passages throughout, and to exegetical methods and problems of interpretation with some emphasis upon both understanding and evaluating various critical approaches. Four hours.

OT 611 Studies in the Pentateuch
Studies in the books of Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy with a view to understanding the Pentateuch as a whole as well as in various parts and kinds of content. Attention is given to exegetical methods, historical and literary contexts, and to appropriate interpretation and application. Prerequisite OT 501.

OT 612 Studies in the Old Testament Historical Books
Studies in Joshua, Judges, Samuel, and Kings (the “Former Prophets”) with a view to understanding these books as wholes as well as in various parts and kinds of content. Attention is given to exegetical methods, historical and literary context, and to appropriate interpretation and application. Prerequisite OT 501.

OT 622 Old Testament Wisdom Literature
A study of the Wisdom Literature of the Old Testament, especially the books of Job, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, and the Song of Solomon. Attention is given to form and style, to content and its relation to the other parts of the Bible, and to the use of this material in life situations. Prerequisite OT 501.

OT 665 Studies in Post-exilic Old Testament Literature
A study of the historical books of Chronicles, Ezra, and Nehemiah, related “Writings,” and later writing prophets, especially Haggai, Zechariah, and Malachi. Prerequisite OT 501.

OT 685 Selected Topics in the Old Testament
A study of selected topics in Old Testament. The topics vary from term to term in order to focus on selected aspects of the Hebrew Scriptures. May be repeated for credit with a change in content. Prerequisite OT 501.

OT 721 The Psalms
A study of the Book of Psalms and related poetry of the Old Testament. Attention is given to form and style, to content and its relation to the other parts of the Bible, and to the use of this poetry both in the life of ancient Israel and in Christian life and worship. Prerequisite OT 501.

OT 761 The Book of Isaiah
A study of the Book of Isaiah. Attention is given to the content, form, and style, and to the historical and literary contexts as well as to exegetical methods, interpretation, and application. Prerequisite OT 501.

OT 762 Jeremiah & Ezekiel
A study of the books of Jeremiah and Ezekiel. Attention is given to the content, form, and style, and to the historical and literary contexts as well as to exegetical methods, interpretation, and application. Prerequisite OT 501.

OT 763 Selected Minor Prophets of the Old Testament
A study of selected books of the twelve minor prophets of the Old Testament with attention to the content, form and style of these books, and to the historical and literary contexts as well as to exegetical methods, interpretation, and application. This course may be repeated for credit with a change in content. Prerequisite OT 501.

OT 790 Independent Research in the Old Testament
For students who have completed the basic courses and have the ability to do independent study in archaeology, interpretation, history, literature, or languages of the Old Testament. By special arrangement. One to three hours.

OT 795 Old Testament Thesis
Research and writing of a thesis in Old Testament, under the guidance of an appointed research advisor. Since the thesis is not required in the program, a student must propose and receive approval for a thesis during the semester prior to registering for OT 795. Three hours of credit are granted upon the completion and correction of a thesis, and its acceptance by a thesis committee. Fall or Spring enrollment only. Prerequisite RE 500.

OT 796 Old Testament Thesis Continuation
Students who enroll in OT 795 must enroll in OT 796 in each successive regular semester (i.e., Fall and/or Spring) at the tuition rate of one semester hour until the thesis is completed. No hours awarded.

Pastoral Care (PC)

 

PC 501 Introduction to Pastoral Care
An introduction to the theological basis of pastoral care, as well as the nature and dynamics of human personality and contemporary psychosocial models of helping, healing, and change. Four hours.

PC/COU 530 Theories of Counseling and Psychotherapy
An introduction to the history of psychotherapy and to current postmodern schools of theoretical and clinical research, with attention to individual therapy, family systems theory, and the relationship between psychotherapy and spirituality.

PC/COU 540 Intake & Assessment
A study of principles and procedures related to intake and assessment of counseling clients or patients and their needs, with attention to both evaluation and the structuring of the intake interview.

PC/COU 640 Grief Counseling
An introduction to the history and study of death and dying, grief, and bereavement. It will include the development of major clinical, theoretical, and spiritual positions with attention to the individual, family, community, institutions, and church. Special attention will be given to the process of living, dying, death, grief, and bereavement. This will include individual, group, family, institutional, community, pastoral, and spiritual aspects of the counseling process.

PC/COU 641 Crisis Intervention and Trauma Healing
This course is designed to introduce students to basic crisis intervention strategies. The course addresses fundamental crisis intervention theory and offers practical applications in various crisis situations. Students will explore various assessment, intervention, and crisis treatment issues. Special emphasis will be placed on the impact of trauma on the individual, family, and community. Students will engage in crisis intervention role plays and practice applying specific interventions in crisis scenarios. Each student will engage in researching and compiling a comprehensive community resource guide for the local community.

PC/COU 642 Aging and Eldercare
A study of the psychological and sociological aspects of aging and ways to use community resources and programs in the counseling of senior adults, and their nuclear and extended families, with emphasis on appropriate therapeutic interventions relevant to the unique challenges to this age group.

PC 643 Pastoral Care in Times of Crisis
A study of crises in the lives of persons and families and ministerial responses to them, with attention to the dynamics and behaviors of persons in such critical moments and the various resources for ministry to them, including the funeral and continuing pastoral care.

PC/COU 663 Marriage and Family Dynamics
A survey of marriage and family dynamics and basic models of family therapy. Emphasis is on family systems theories/therapies such as psychodynamic, experiential, transgenerational, structural, strategic, cognitive/behavioral, solution oriented, postmodern/constructionist, and narrative.

PC 685 Selected Topics in Pastoral Care
A study of selected topics in pastoral care. The topics vary from term to term in order to focus on selected aspects of this broad area of Christian ministry. This course may be repeated for credit with a change in content.

PC 730 Pastoral Care to Women
A study of the major issues that pertain to women and pastoral counseling, including the psychology of women, therapy with women, women and spirituality, and feminist/womanist theologies.

PC/PL 770 Conflict Resolution in the Local Church

A study of conflict resolution within a parochial and/or congregational setting, focusing on mediation principles and techniques for pastors and other church professionals and leaders.

PC 790 Independent Research in Pastoral Care
For students who have completed the basic courses and have the ability to do independent study in Pastoral Care. By special arrangement. One to three hours.

PC 501 is a prerequisite for PC courses. Other counseling courses are available to MDiv students upon request. Prior approval from the Academic Dean must be obtained before enrolling in these courses.

Philosophy and Ethics (PH)

 

PH 510 Philosophy of Religion
A study of the history of philosophy with attention to religious concerns: belief in God, freedom, the human soul, and immortality. Attention is given to philosophical method and to a Christian understanding of reality as distinct from alternatives.

PH 551 Introduction to Christian Ethics

A study of ethical systems and theories in light of biblical and traditional Christian perspectives and moral norms, with reflection upon several contemporary social issues.

PH 601 Christian Apologetics

A study of the relationship between Christian theology and prevailing world views, with attention to major defenders of the Christian faith, such as Justin Martyr, Augustine of Hippo, Thomas Aquinas, Pascal, C. S. Lewis, and others.

PH 611 Science and Religion

A study of the often-conflicted relationship between religion and science in a technological society. Topics considered include astronomy and creation, quantum physics, evolution and continuing creation, neuroscience and human nature, and God and nature.

PH 624 History of Philosophical Thought

A study of the major figures and ideas from ancient to contemporary philosophy. Concentration on and analysis of a noted philosopher or philosophy may be the focus of the course.

PH 652 Contemporary Issues in Ethics

A study of contemporary ethical dilemmas such as hunger, abortion, euthanasia, homosexuality, nuclear weapons, draft registration, war, tax resistance, international conflicts, internal revolutions, rights of undocumented residents, and prison reform.

PH 661 World Religions

A study of the major religions represented in the modern world and of Christian approaches to them with attention to their history, worldviews, teachings, practices, and life styles, studies in relation to contemporary concerns and problems such as war, racism, nationalism, and secularism.

PH 662 Modern Religious Movements

A study of the new and marginal religions (“cults”) that have arisen in the modern world and of Christian approaches to them with attention to their origins, worldviews, teachings, practices, and lifestyles, as well as societal responses to them and the needs they seek to meet.

PH 685 Selected Topics in Christian Philosophy and Ethics

A study of selected topics in Christian philosophy and ethics. The topics vary from term to term in order to focus on selected aspects of either or both of these closely related fields and their relationship to Christian life and practice. This course may be repeated for credit with a change in content.

PH/TH 710 Theological Method

An analytical study of theological method examining the rival philosophical and traditional contributions of philosophy of science and religion, theology, and historical exegesis as employed in the study of the historical Jesus. A Lakatos scientific and theological method is proposed to incorporate a critical realism that includes rational and analytical arguments for God with a linguistically empirical hermeneutic confirmed through a Piercian pragmatic spiral individually and with peer review (a la Thiselton and Ricoeur). From this exegesis, biblical theology is proposed to substantially populate the theological agenda (as was initially proposed by Gabler), within the philosophical and theological framework demonstrated. This constructive theological expression will be contextualized to missional ministry.

PH 724 Contemporary Philosophical Thought

A study and critical assessment of selected major figures, ideas, schools, and issues of modern philosophical thought from Descartes to the present. This course may be repeated for credit with a change in content.

PH 731 Bioethics

An examination of various types of medical technologies and their use in a God-created world, including human cloning, reproductive technologies, abortion, and stem cell research. Attention will be given to the implications for personal, national, and global responsibility.

PH 750 Ethics and Social Witness

A study and assessment of selected major Christian figures and/or movements that have confronted and challenged societal injustices and inequities with the claims of Christianity, e.g., Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Martin Luther King, Jr. This course may be repeated for credit with a change in content.

PH 751 Clergy Professional Conduct and Ethics

A study of the professional responsibilities of clergy persons with an examination of particular cases where improper behavior by ministers has resulted in lawsuits and prosecutions within the State of Texas, other states, and the federal courts. This course is designed to help ministers avoid some serious issues that could impair their ministries.

PH 790 Independent Research in Philosophy and Ethics

For students who have completed the basic courses and have the ability to do independent study in the areas of philosophy of religion or Christian ethics. By special arrangement. One to three hours.

Pastoral Leadership (PL)

 

PL 510 Introduction to Pastoral Leadership
A study of various styles of leadership and their relevance for invigorating the faith community. Particular emphasis is given to the development of individual leadership and to the organization, purpose, mission, and vision required to develop and lead a faith community. This course is required for all MDiv students but is open to all. One hour.

PL/CE 520 Great Commission Discipleship

An examination and application of principles and methods of discipleship with a goal of developing an integrated plan for the development of mature followers of Jesus Christ. Emphasis will be placed on discipleship ministries in the local church, including church education programs and small group models. Methods of discipleship utilized by successful parachurch organizations, e.g. Campus Crusade and Navigators, will also be examined.

PL/TS 530 Missional Theology

An examination of missio Dei—mission of God—as revealed in the scriptures and historical Christian writings. The course integrates theological themes from Christology, pneumatology, anthropology, ecclesiology, and missiology that inform missiological and missional thinking and ministry in contemporary contexts.

PL/BI 540 The Bible in Missional Perspective

This course scans the entirety of the Bible through the lens of God’s redemptive mission throughout all of history—creation to consummation. Special attention is given to the call for God’s people to join with God in his mission in the world. Three hours.

PL 550 Transformational Leadership

An exploration of the roles, qualities, and skills of ministry leaders with a view toward personal, congregational, and community transformation. Special emphasis will be given to team-based leadership and people development, whether in the context of a local church, campus ministry, urban organization, or social agency.

PL 600 Advanced Leadership Skills for the Twenty-First Century

A study of the challenges of pastoral leadership at the beginning of the third millennium. Attention will be given to such topics as the four generations currently in the church, and the strategic aspects and leadership skills needed for mobilizing congregational life and ministry in the contemporary church. Preferred prerequisite PL 510.

PL 620 Culture and Context

An examination of the steps necessary to analyze and understand the culture and context in which a ministry operates, from an indigenous tribe in the Amazon to a generational group in Houston. Attention is given to observing the environment, language, media, popular culture, identities, traditions, economics, values, and religious views of a particular group, with a view toward critical engagement with the gospel, through word and deed.

PL/CS 640 Congregations as Systems

An examination of (1) the ways in which the church functions like a family system; (2) the areas in which systems thinking has contributed to leadership development; and (3) the strategies an emerging or current leader can develop to grow in his or her ability to be a less anxious person in an anxious system. Students will study the ministry of Jesus from a systems perspective as a way to inform the spirituality of Jesus’ disciples in the twenty-first century.
PL/CS 654 Spiritual Formation in Congregations
A course designed to investigate how ministers may engage congregations as a whole in the processes of spiritual formation through the development of spiritual formation small groups, the design of a team mentality for administrative functions, and the creation of an atmosphere of discipleship through spiritual formation. Three hours.

PL 670 Strategic and Organizational Leadership

An examination of biblical and contemporary principles of leadership as well as the strategic planning process that includes vision casting, goal setting, and budgeting. The course integrates change theory with the human and structural dynamics that influence the development of vision, mission, goals, assessment, strategy, and evaluation. Attention is given to the role of the leader and leadership team in shaping organizational transformation.

PL 671 Leadership in Postmodern Culture

A study of characteristics of postmodern contexts and spiritual leadership within those contexts. The conversation between postmodern culture and Christian faith will be examined with a view to exploring new ways of living and sharing the text to reach postmodern contexts with the gospel.

PL 680 Legal Issues in Ministry

A study of the basic constitutional history and practice regarding religion in the United States, the original related decisions of the Supreme Court, the administration (taxation!) of ministers and churches, tax law provisions relating to ministers, and issues of the relationship between the church and the present multicultural society.

PL 685 Selected Topics in Pastoral Leadership

A study of selected topics in pastoral leadership. The topics vary from term to term in order to focus on selected aspects of this broad area of Christian ministry. This course may be repeated for credit with a change in content.

PL 720 Leadership in the Financial Development of the Local Church

A study of the theological, ethical, and practical basis for Christian steward-ship, and how this relates to effective church leadership. Attention will be given to strategies and resources for congregational and individual stewardship, financial planning, and mission, along with aspects of how individuals and congregations perceive money matters and act upon those perceptions.

PL 740 Technology in Ministry

A study of the way computers, audio-visual equipment, and other techno-logical tools can be used effectively in church ministry. Offers hands-on experience to enhance the work of research, study, preaching, teaching, counseling, evangelism, ministerial record-keeping, and church administration.

PL 750 Developing Leadership in the Local Church

This course will focus on identifying spiritual gifts and skills among the congregation, equipping them for the tasks to which they have been called and facilitating their involvement in ministry.

PL 770/PC 770 Conflict Resolution in the Local Church

A study of conflict resolution within a parochial and/or congregational setting, focusing on mediation principles and techniques for pastors and other church professionals and leaders.

PL 780 Missional Ministry Practicum

Fieldwork in a ministerial setting with supervision and regular meetings for evaluation of a missional ministry experience and theological reflection, including case reports, regular reviews, and other materials for learning and growth. To be completed as part of the student’s final 12 hours of study.

PL 790 Independent Research in Pastoral Leadership

For students who have completed the basic courses and have the ability to do independent study in pastoral leadership issues. By special arrangement. One to three hours

Preaching (PR)

 

PR 501 Principles of Preaching
An introduction to the nature of preaching and of representative kinds and styles of sermons, with attention to the principles of sermon construction, preparation, and delivery, involving practice in a laboratory setting. Required for MDiv students. Four hours.

PR 620 Missional Preaching

A study of the art of preaching that proclaims the reign of God in the world today. This course explores the preaching event in both content and form in light of the missio Dei in order to move hearers to join God in his mission in the world. Three hours. Prerequisite PR 501.

PR 621 The History of Christian Preaching

A study of the historical development of Christian preaching. Some attention will be given to individual preachers, but the primary focus will be the effects on preaching by major cultural influences, such as the counter-heretical agenda of the Patriarchs, the diversity faced by frontier circuit riders, academic homileticians embroiled in theological debate from the pulpit, the African American preaching tradition, the fresh perspectives introduced by women preachers, and preaching via mass media. Prerequisite PR 501.

PR 622 Preaching Resources

An introduction to the wealth of resources for sermons through literature, history, and personal experience. Prerequisite PR 501.

PR 623 Preaching on Contemporary Issues

A study of the prophetic role of preaching and the delivery of sermons that address twenty-first-century issues and problems—personal, community, and global. A variety of topics could be addressed from among the following general categories: social politics, culture, economics, technology, public policy, environment, and religion. Prerequisite PR 501.

PR 625 Preaching within Ethnic Traditions

An examination of the historical, social, and cultural forces that have shaped the style and substance of preaching within selected ethnic traditions (i.e., African-American, Korean, Chinese, etc.). Close attention will be given to theological and ecclesiological emphases, along with representative examples of preachers within the selected tradition. This course may be repeated for credit with a change in content. Prerequisite PR 501.

PR 644 Preaching Through the Christian Year

A study of the use of the lectionary in sermon preparation, particularly as it relates to the liturgical cycle of the Christian year. Attention will be given to the doctrinal themes reflected in the lectionary readings for each of the major liturgical seasons. Prerequisite PR 501.

PR 685 Selected Topics in Preaching

A study of selected topics in preaching. The topics vary from term to term in order to focus on selected aspects of the history and practice of preaching. This course may be repeated for credit with a change in content. Prerequisite PR 501.

PR 720 The Art of Expository Preaching

A study of the way in which the exposition of the biblical text serves as the basis for Christian proclamation. Students will explore a variety of approaches within the expository pattern in the development of sermons on assigned passages. Prerequisites OT 501 or NT 501 and PR 501.

PR 721 Preaching Themes in Biblical Literature

An exploration of the challenges and opportunities of preaching from the various literary genres of the Bible. Focus will be placed on the major personalities, theological themes, and defining historical events of the Bible, as well as on points of continuity and discontinuity between the Old and New Testaments. Prerequisites PR 501 and OT 501 or NT 501.

PR 790 Independent Research in Preaching

For students who have completed the basic courses and have the ability to do independent study in preaching, rhetoric, and the history or practice of these arts. By special arrangement. One to three hours.

Research and Writing Skills (RE)

 

RE 400 Remedial English
This course is designed to provide basic remediation in English writing skills and grammatical usages for those students whose entry level skills are below average. This is a required course for all students who do not pass the English Proficiency Examination and is charged at a tuition rate of one semester hour. No credit hours awarded.

RE 500 Research, Writing, and Theological Learning

This course introduces the beginning seminary student to graduate theological education. The student will learn basic theological research, especially the proper use of library resources and appropriate use of the Internet. The student will receive an introduction to theological writing, including strategies for organizing and writing grammatically and stylistically correct papers and reviews. This team-taught course will contain units on time managing, test taking, and theological thinking.

Systematic Theology (TH)

 

TH 501 Introduction to Christian Theology
An introduction to the necessity, nature, scope, and methods of theology. Major types of theology, such as systematic, constructive, historical, and biblical will be surveyed. Major doctrines such as the word of God, the being of God, the person and work of Christ, the doctrine of humankind, the work of redemption, the doctrine of the Church, and doctrine of last things will be presented. Four hours.

TH 610 The Doctrine of God

A study of the attributes and actions of God, with attention to classical attributes, such as eternality, immutability, and omniscience; also considered will be the development and continuing evolution of aspects of the doctrine of God. The doctrine of the Trinity will be examined biblically and theologically. Prerequisite TH 501 or TS 520.

TH 620 The Doctrine of Christ

A study of Christology: the doctrines of the person and work of Christ in biblical and historical perspective, with attention to the continuing significance of the central issues related to the Christian confession of Jesus as Lord. Prerequisite TH 501 or TS 520.

TH 630 The Doctrine of Salvation

A study of soteriology: the redemptive work of Jesus Christ with specific concentration on election, sin, atonement, faith, grace, regeneration, justification, sanctification, and glorification. Prerequisite TH501 or TS520.

TH 640 The Doctrine of the Church

A study of ecclesiology: the theology of the assembly of worship and fellowship called the Church. Topics for consideration include the theology of church government and discipline, as well as the theology of worship, the clergy, and the sacraments. Prerequisite TH501 or TS520.

TH 685 Selected Topics in Theology

A study of selected topics in theology. The topics vary from term to term in order to focus on selected aspects of Christian theology. This course may be repeated for credit with a change in content. Prerequisite TH 501 or TS 520.

TH/PH 710 Theological Method

An analytical study of theological method examining the rival philosophical and traditional contributions of philosophy of science and religion, theology, and historical exegesis as employed in the study of the historical Jesus. A Lakatos scientific and theological method is proposed to incorporate a critical realism that includes rational and analytical arguments for God with a linguistically empirical hermeneutic confirmed through a Piercian pragmatic spiral individually and with peer review (a la Thiselton and Ricoeur). From this exegesis, biblical theology is proposed to substantially populate the theological agenda (as was initially proposed by Gabler), within the philosophical and theological framework demonstrated. This constructive theological expression will be contextualized to missional ministry.

Theological Studies (TS)

 

TS 520 History of Christian Doctrine
An introduction to historical theology and the major theologians of the church from the Patristic period to the twentieth century, with an emphasis on the development of key doctrines, such as Christology and soteriology.

TS/PL 530 Missional Theology

An examination of missio Dei—mission of God—as revealed in the scriptures and historical Christian writings. The course integrates theological themes from Christology, pneumatology, anthropology, ecclesiology, and missiology that inform missiological and missional thinking and ministry in contemporary contexts.

TS/CS 650 Theological Foundations of Christian Spirituality

A study of the reciprocal relationship of theology and spirituality for development of a foundation for spiritual formation and direction. Systematic, biblical, and historical theology will be surveyed and incorporated into an informed spirituality. This course may be taken as a Theological Studies Elective as a part of a student’s MDiv degree plan, but it may not substitute for the Theology Elective.

TS/CH 655 Theology of Individual Denominations

A study of Christian doctrine from the perspective of particular Christian denominations or traditions. The course is given by approved arrangement according to need and availability of a qualified instructor, and as required by denominational bodies responsible for ordination. Prerequisite TH 501 or TS 520. Offered on demand.

TS 685 Selected Topics in Theological Studies

A study of selected topics in theological studies. The topics vary from term to term in order to focus on selected aspects of Christian theological studies. This course may be repeated for credit with a change in content. Prerequisite TH 501 or TS 520.

TS 715 Reformation Theology

A study of the theology of the sixteenth century, with emphasis on the Magisterial Reformers; Catholic, Anglican, and Anabaptist theologies will also be considered. Prerequisite TH501 or TH520.

TS 720 Modern Theological Thought

A study and critical assessment of selected schools of modern theological thought, such as neo-orthodoxy, process theology, feminist theology, liberation theology, and theology of hope, with reference to relevant theological trends and movements in the modern and postmodern eras. This course may be repeated for credit with a change in content. Prerequisite TH 501 or TS 520.

TS 721 Modern Theological Thinkers

An introduction to the life and theology of selected modern theological thinkers, such as Barth, Bonhoeffer, Tillich, Rahner, Balthasar, Niebuhr, Whitehead, and Hartshorne. This course may be repeated for credit with a change in content. Prerequisite TH 501 or TS 520.

TS 725 Contemporary Theology

A study of the current contours of theological thought, including the work of such theologians as Küng, Ratzinger, Ruether, Cone, Gutierrez, Gunton, Moltmann, and Pannenberg, and such schools of theology as revisionism and postliberalism. Attention will be given to both classical and postmodern approaches to theological discourse. Prerequisite TH 501 or TS 520.

TS 730 Feminist and Womanist Movements in Theology

An examination of the major issues proposed by women theologians—Anglo, African-American, Asian, and Hispanic—such as new ways of conceptualizing God and Trinitarian theology and the nature of the church and Christianity. Social justice and economic issues such as ecology, peace, and war, and issues of authority and leadership in religious and secular institutions will also be considered. Prerequisite TH 501 or TS 520.

TS 740 Theology in Literature, Music, and Film

A study of selected works of literature, music, or film with attention to the use of theological concepts, themes, and motifs, with a view to understanding both the communication of theological ideas and the impact of theology upon culture. This course may be repeated for credit with a change in content.

TS 790 Independent Research in Theology

For students who have completed the basic courses and have the ability to do independent study in systematic theology, historical theology, theology in literature and culture, or the work of a major theologian. By special arrangement. Prerequisite TH 501 or TS 520. One to three hours.

TS 795 Thesis in Theology

Research and writing of a thesis in theology, under the guidance of an appointed research advisor, in fulfillment of the requirements of the theology concentration degree plan. Since the thesis is not required in the program, a student must propose and receive approval for a thesis during the semester prior to registering for TS 795. Three hours of credit are granted upon the completion and correction of a thesis, and its acceptance by a thesis committee. Fall or spring enrollment only. Prerequisite RE 500.

TS 796 Thesis Continuation in Theology

Students who enroll in TS 795 must enroll in TS 796 in each successive regular semester (i.e., fall and/or spring) at the tuition rate of one credit hour until the thesis is completed. No credit hours awarded.

Worship (WR)

 

WR 510 Introduction to Christian Worship
An introduction to the nature, elements, and purpose of Christian worship from biblical, theological, and historical perspectives. Attention will be given to exploring liturgical forms for both regular and occasional services of the church, used by various Christian traditions. Emphasis will be placed on the development of leadership skills for the preparation and celebration of the worship event.

WR 520 History of Christian Worship

A survey of Christian worship in its various contexts from the patristic age to the modern era with an emphasis on how scriptural and theological principles and contextual factors guided the development of Christian worship down to modern times.

WR 630 Early Christian Worship

A study of worship in the early church utilizing primary sources from the patristic era. Jewish precursors to Christian worship will be explored, along with the origins of the Christian calendar, early initiation rites, cycles of daily prayer, table fellowship, and rites of pastoral care.

WR 640 Western Worship Traditions

A study of the primary liturgical families of the Western Church–Roman, Lutheran, Reformed, Anglican, and Anabaptist–along with a survey of their descendent traditions, including Puritanism, the Wesleyan-Holiness tradition, American Frontier traditions, African American worship, and the Pentecostal and charismatic movements.

WR 685 Selected Topics in Christian Worship

A study of selected topics in Christian worship and liturgy. The topics vary from term to term in order to focus on selected aspects of the liturgical life of the Church. This course may be repeated for credit with a change in content.

WR 740 Worship and Sacraments

A study of the theory, method, tools, and ritual components of liturgical and sacramental worship, particularly as it relates to the corporate life of the local parish as an expression of theology, catholicity, and mission. Prerequisite WR 510 or WR 520.

WR 750 Contemporary Worship

A study of selected contemporary forms and styles of Christian worship, such as those associated with the Willow Creek model, the Vineyard movement, and the Emerging Church movement. May be repeated for credit with a change in content. Prerequisite WR 510 or WR 520.

WR 780 Worship Practicum

For students who have completed the basic courses and have the ability to work under supervision in the planning and leading of worship at an advanced level, including the incorporation and facilitation of the work of other professional and lay worship leaders. Prerequisite WR 510 or WR 520.

WR 790 Independent Research in Worship

For students who have completed the basic courses and have the ability to do independent study in the liturgical practice of the main Christian traditions, in the history and theology of liturgy and worship, and in related areas. By special arrangement. One to three hours.

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