MA Religion Curriculum
The curriculum of our Master's of Arts in Religion degree is designed to immediately improve the scholarly and ministerial competencies of our students.
BIBLICAL THEOLOGY/BIBLICAL STUDIES
BIB 5711 Genesis (3)
A study of the first book in the Bible, with particular emphasis on major sections, themes, or theological issues.
BIB 5713 Deuteronomy (3)
A study of the "second law," with major consideration of the biblical and theological theme of law in the Old Testament.
BIB 5716 Psalms (3)
A study of the varieties of form, function, genre, and settings in life of the Psalms, with intensive study of representative examples.
BIB 5717 Eighth-Century Prophets (3)
A study of the golden age of prophecy including the works of Amos, Hosea, Micah, and the early Isaiah.
BIB 5722 Pentateuch (3)
A historical and theological study of the first five books of the Old Testament.
BIB 5723 Deuteronomistic History (3)
A historical, literary, and theological study of the kingdoms of Israel and Judah as presented in Joshua, Judges, I and 2 Samuel, and I and 2 Kings.
BIB 5724 Old Testament Prophets: Pre-Exilic and Exilic (3)
A study of the phenomenon of prophecy in the Old Testament. Specific attention will be given to historical and exegetical analysis of those prophets preaching prior to and during the exile.
BIB 5725 Post-Exilic Literature and Faith (3)
A historical, literary, and theological survey of the post-exilic period through the study of the post-exilic prophets, the Megilloth, and the chronicler's history. Selected apocryphal materials of the era will also be examined.
BIB 5726 Psalms and Wisdom Literature (3)
A study of the devotional literature compiled in the Psalms and those books in the third division of the Hebrew canon commonly called wisdom literature.
BIB 5727 Apocalyptic Literature (3)
A study of the literary genre known as apocalyptic that flourished in the 2nd and 1st centuries B.C. and A.D., including the canonical books of Daniel and Revelation.
BIB 5728 Wisdom Literature (3)
A historical, literary, and theological survey of portions of the Hebrew canon commonly called the wisdom literature, with a particular focus on the development of a wisdom theology in a post-prophetic era.
BIB 5731 Intermediate Hebrew (3)
Further study of Hebrew language with emphasis on translation from the original text.
BIB 5732 Advanced Hebrew (3)
Emphasis on translation of selected passages from the Hebrew Bible, stressing grammatical and textual matters.
BIB 5733 Readings in Hebrew Bible (1-3)
Primary emphasis on rapid reading the language; may be taken in conjunction with another Hebrew Bible course.
BIB 5734 Directed Study in Hebrew (1 -3)
A particular study in a selected portion of the Hebrew Bible under the direction of a qualified professor.
BIB 5740 Old Testament Theology (3)
A historical and methodological examination of the discipline of Old Testament Theology, with a survey of the various theological genres within the Old Testament and the major theological themes developed therein.
BIB 5741 Deuteronomic Theology (3)
A biblical-theological study of the major theological themes that tie together the works of the Deuteronomist.
BIB 5742 Theology of Exile (3)
A study of the theological impact of the devastating reality of exile with in the life and faith of Israel in the 6th century.
BIB 5744 Theology of Wisdom (3)
A study of the major theological themes and motifs that are characteristic of Old Testament wisdom literature.
BIB 5760 New Testament Theology (3)
A study of the historical, methodological, and conceptual development of the discipline of New Testament Theology, with particular focus on the unique contributions of major New Testament authors to the holistic theology developed in the early Christian Church and implications of such study for the contemporary Church.
BIB 5761 Pauline Theology (3)
A study of the major theological themes and issues dealt with in Paul's epistles, with a focuson Paul's influence on the theology of the early Christian Church as a whole.
BIB 5762 Lukan Theology (3)
A study of the major theological issues found in Luke-Acts, with particular emphasis on their relationship to Pauline theology and the theology of the Synoptic Gospels.
BIB 5763 Intermediate Greek (3)
More detailed study of the grammar and syntax of New Testament Greek accompanied by sight translation of selected readings in the Gospels and epistles.
BIB 5764 Johannine Theology (3)
A study of the dominant theological emphasis of the Gospel of John, the Epistles of John, and the Apocalypse in relation to the rest of the New Testament.
BIB 5766 Resurrection in the New Testament (3)
A Biblical and theological investigation of the key New Testament texts that deal with resurrection, with special emphasis on the Pauline Epistles and the Gospels, as well as attention to significant secondary literature on resurrection.
BIB 5771 Synoptic Gospels (3)
A study in the books of Matthew, Mark, and Luke with special emphasis upon the Synoptic problem, the issue of the priority of Mark, and the essential structure of all three Gospels.
BIB 5772 Mark/Matthew (3)
A study of the life and teaching of Jesus as presented in the Gospel of Mark and the Gospel of Matthew, with special attention to their literary relationship and the uniqueness of each.
BIB 5773 Luke-Acts (3)
A study of the Lukan as a literary unit embracing the life and ministry of Jesus and the development of the early Christian Church around the confession of the resurrected Messiah, with attention also given to the relationship of Luke-Acts to the other Gospels.
BIB 5774 Johannine Literature (3)
An investigation of the characteristics, purposes, and central themes of the gospel and Epistles of John, with attention also given to their relationship with the Synoptic Gospels.
BIB 5775 Hebrews and General Epistles (3)
A study the major themes and motifs of Hebrews, James, I & II Peter, and Jude.
BIB 5776 Readings in the Greek New Testament (1-3)
A specialized study in the Greek text of selected portions of the New Testament designed to facilitate a more rapid and thorough ability to read the Greek text.
BIB 5777 Advanced Greek (3)
A specialized study of selected portions of the Greek text that provides the opportunity to translate with enhanced grammatical and syntactical facility, providing greater understanding of the text.
BIB 5780 Pauline Epistles (3)
A study of the life, teaching, and theology of the Apostle Paul based on a thorough analysis of the Pauline Epistles and consideration of pertinent secondary sources including Luke-Acts.
BIB 5781 Romans (3)
A study of the major literary and theological themes explicated in Paul's epistle to the church at Rome.
BIB 5782 Corinthian Correspondence (3)
A thorough study of the books of I and II Corinthians, with a focus on major theological themes and significant literary problems within the books.
BIB 5783 Galatians (3)
A study of the major themes and issues addressed in Paul's Epistle to the Galatians, with emphasis on the theological relationship of Galatians to the rest of Paul's epistles and the remainder of the New Testament.
BIB 5784 Christological Epistles (3)
A study in the books of Ephesians, Philippians, and Colossians, with a primary emphasis on the development of the understanding of Christology within each book.
BIB 5785 The Thessalonian Epistles (3)
A thorough study of I & II Thessalonians with special emphasis on the major themes of sanctification and eschatology developed therein.
BIB 5786 The Pastoral Epistles (3)
A study in I & II Timothy and Titus, with special emphasis on the relationship of these works to the other Pauline Epistles.
BIB 6000 Seminar in Old Testament (3)
Designed to provide the opportunity for thorough study of selected portions of the Old Testament canon or special issues in Old Testament studies.
BIB 6100 Seminar in New Testament (3)
A specialized course designed to provide thorough study in an area of special interest within New Testament studies.
BIB 6200 Seminar in Biblical Theology (3)
A study of a significant biblical theme, concept, or motif, with special emphasis on the development of that idea throughout the entire Christian canon.
BIB 6300 Seminar in Old Testament Theology (3)
A specialized study in one of the major theological themes or motifs in the Old Testament.
BIB 6400 Seminar in New Testament Theology (3)
A specialized study of one or more major theological themes as developed within the entire New Testament.
SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY/HISTORICAL THEOLOGY
THE 5800 Theological Method (3)
A study of the variety of approaches taken to create a systematic theology, with particular emphasis on the implications of various presuppositions to the outcomes of the task of doing theology.
THE 5801 Systematic Theology I (3)
A study of the nature, scope, and sources of theology; revelation; the doctrine of God; Christology.
THE 5802 Systematic Theology II (3)
A continuing study of Christology, anthropology, sin, salvation, the Holy Spirit, the Church, and eschatology.
THE 5812 Doctrine of the Trinity (3)
A study of the fundamental Christian affirmation that God is triune. Attention will be given to historical development of the doctrine of God, especially in its Latin and Greek formulations. The course will look at various systematic intersections. (i.e., ecclesiology, soteriology, selfhood, worship, etc.). Particular attention will be given to recent discussions of the Trinity—Moltmann, Pannenburg, Jenson, Jungel, Milbank, and LaCugna.
THE 5813 Christology (3)
A study of the person, work, and nature of Jesus as the Christ, with emphasis on the historical development of the doctrine and the implications for the rest of the theological enterprise.
THE 5814 Pneumatology (3)
A study of the person, nature, and work of the Holy Spirit, with particular emphasis on that doctrine within the holiness movement.
THE 5818 Ecclesiology (3)
A theological study of the doctrine of the Church.
THE 5820 Theology of Holiness (3)
A study of the biblical, historical, theological, and practical implications and applications of the doctrine of holiness.
THE 5821 Theology of Atonement (3)
A study of the biblical and historical understandings of the atoning work of Christ, with special emphasis on developing an understanding of atonement that is consistent with a Wesleyan theology.
THE 5822 Suffering and Evil: Theodicy (3)
A study of the problem of evil and suffering within the predicament, with special emphasis on the biblical, historical, and theological dimensions of the issue.
THE 5823 Theology of Worship (3)
A biblical and historical examination of the nature and meaning of worship as it has developed through the centuries, with special emphasis on developing a contemporary theology of worship.
THE 5830 The Theology of John Wesley (3)
A study of the life, thought, and doctrinal commitments of John Wesley with special attention to the doctrine of perfection.
THE 5871 History of the Ancient and Medieval Church (3)
A survey of the major movements of the Christian Church from the New Testament through the end of the 15th Century A.D. Doctrine, polity, church life and worship in each period will be covered.
THE 5872 History of the Reformation and Modern Church (3)
A survey of the major movements and figures of the Christian Church from the Reformation of the 16th Century A.D. to the present. Doctrine, polity, church life and worship in each period will be covered.
THE 5873 History of the Church in North America (3)
A survey of the major movements and figures of the Christian Church in North America. Doctrine, polity, church life and worship in each period will be covered.
THE 5874 History of Holiness Theology (3)
A study of the historical development of the doctrine of holiness from biblical times to the present, with special emphasis upon the Wesleyan understanding of Christian perfection and its subsequent development within the American Holiness Movement.
THE 5875 History and Polity of the Church of the Nazarene (3)
The history of the Church of the Nazarene with special attention given to its organization and distinctive mission. The place of the Church of the Nazarene in the history of the Christian Church in North America and its relation to the holiness movement and other holiness churches will be covered. Non-Nazarenes may petition for a special study in their own denominational history and polity.
THE 5880 Philosophical Theology (3)
A study of the relationship of the field of philosophy with theology, including an examination of the interplay between the disciplines in their respective developments.
THE 5881 Moral Theology (3)
This course intends to reflect on the meaning of Christian character through a disciplined reflection on scripture, tradition, reason, and experience. A significant part of the course will examine the philosophies of Plato, Aristotle, and Kant as they have helped to shape moral reflection in the Christian tradition. Careful attention will be given to the theological work of Augustine, Aquinas, Luther, and Wesley as these works relate to the formation of character. Some attention will be given to the recent influence of Barth, Tillich, Yoder, Gustafson, Hauerwas, MacIntyre, and Milbank.
THE 6000 Seminar in Theology (3)
Designed to provide the opportunity for thorough study of selected topics in theology or particular theologians.
THE 6100 Seminar in Philosophical Theology (3)
A study of a special topic or an influential philosopher.
THE 6200 Seminar in Historical Theology (3)
Designed to provide opportunity to study selected movements or developments within a selected era or area.
THE 6202 The Life and Theology of Jacob Arminius (3)
This course will investigate the theology of Jacob Arminius with special emphasis given to his ideas concerning free will and salvation. Through readings and a series of papers, the student will explore the historical and theological context of Arminius’ thought as well as some of the ways in which his ideas have shaped and continue to shape our current theological discourse.
THE 6203 Christian Humanism in the Age of Reformation (3)
This course will investigate the contributions of several key thinkers who developed the early forms of modern humanism.
THE 6204 Crusades (3)
This course will examine historically and theologically the Crusades. Emphasis will be placed on the impact of the Crusades on European culture then and now.
PREACHING AND PRACTICAL THEOLOGY
PRA 5201 Spiritual Formation (3)
Graduate study in the heritage, theology, and practices of Christian spiritual formation, including a Wesleyan perspective articulated through the means of grace.
RA 5709 Preaching the Old Testament (3)
A study of the most effective ways to preach specific genres, forms, and types of Old Testament texts to contemporary Christian audiences.
PRA 5799 Preaching the New Testament (3)
A study of the most effective ways to preach the various genres, forms, and types of New Testament literature to contemporary Christian audiences.
PRA 5916 Youth, Culture, Ministry (3)
An exploration of the various cultural influences that influence contemporary youth (including adolescence) and youth ministry.
PRA 5932 Leadership Skills and Conflict Management (3)
A study of leadership styles, personal leadership skills, and concepts of conflict management.
PRA 5940 Homiletics (3)
A study of the varieties of effective homiletical styles and methods, including the theoretical basis, the theological underpinnings, and an evaluation of working models of various kinds of sermons.
PRA 5941 Principles of Communication in Ministry (3)
This course examines the relationship of principles of communication to the practice of leadership and service in Christian ministry contexts. This course will equip the student to analyze, interpret, critique, and influence human communication in diverse forms: intrapersonal communication, small group transactions, organizational communication, and mass communication.
PRA 5945 Transformational Preaching (3)
A careful examination of the basic paradigms for effective preaching of the gospel in a postmodern culture with special emphasis on transformational models and the varieties of homiletical methods that can be utilized as means of change.
PRA 5949 Biblical Preaching (3)
An intensive study of a particular biblical book as a preaching resource, with emphasis on the historical and theological background of the book. The student will be exposed to a variety of types of sermons that can be developed from selected passages within the book.
PRA 5952 Youth Ministry (3)
Preliminary course addressing the practice of youth ministry; includes both a theoretical introduction to youth and youth ministry as well as a practical overview of the practice of educational ministry with youth.
PRA 5953 Issues in Associate Ministry (3)
An integrative course designed to interact with various contemporary issues within the discipline of associate and Christian education ministries, including youth ministry, worship, and compassionate ministry. Attention will be given to the study of practical theology, issues in multiple staff, and the development of individual research with the student’s particular area of interest within Christian education.
PRA 5970 Preaching: A Contemporary Introduction (3)
This course is designed to acquaint the student with homiletical theory especially as it has been framed over the last decade. Attention will be given to the moves, framework, images, and language of contemporary homiletical theory and how that relates to preaching in the twenty-first century.
PRA 5971 A History of Preaching (3)
This course surveys the history of preaching in the Christian tradition from the early church to the present. Special attention will be given to the noteable preachers, characteristic rhetorical styles, and general themes of preaching in the Early, Medieval, Reformation, Modern, and Contemporary eras of Church history.
PRA 5972 Preaching as an Interpretative Act (3)
This course will encourage participants to become aware of and acquire a fresh perspective upon their own interpretive strategies, both in terms of the biblical text and the community, and to sharpen their practices of interpretation in dialogue with recent critical thought.
PRA 5973 Preaching in the Postmodern World (3)
This course will examine our postmodern milieu and its implications for preaching. We will think together about what demands postmodernity makes upon us as preachers, and what opportunities it affords us.
PRA 5974 Preaching as a Social Act (3)
This course encourages a deeper look at the way preaching can attend to the social realities in which it is embedded. We will consider how preaching arises from social settings and yet stands apart from them, able thus to reflect as well as affect. We will examine how preaching does things with words (i.e., is active) uttered in and through the assembly (i.e., is social).
PRA 5975 Preaching and the Imagination (3)
This course will focus on the ways the preacher can utilize the imagination in the service of proclaiming the gospel. Together we will discover how to approach the text with an imaginative eye (and ear) and how the use of imagery can assist in the formation of both interesting and compelling sermons.
PRA 5980 Testimonial Preaching (3)
This course will examine an emerging field of homiletics called “testimonial homiletics.” The benefits, effects, and distinctiveness of this model will be evaluated with attention given to its usefulness as a paradigm for preaching in a postmodern, Wesleyan, evangelical context.
PRA 5981 Preaching in Church Crisis (3)
This course links the reality that some preaching will become actual in crisis situations in the church. The nature of church crisis and how biblical preaching from the heart of a pastor can become a healing grace will be the major focus of this class.
PRA 5990 Preaching as Moral Theology (3)
This course will treat the role of preaching in the moral formation of a congregation. Attention will be drawn to the frequent mention of behavior in the biblical witness as well as the role of preaching in calling attention to moral transformation.
PRA 6101 Narrative Preaching (3)
This course examines the narrative form of scripture and seeks to train preachers in the art of creating narrative-shaped sermons. Specific skills to be taught include storytelling, narrative plot, and congregational exegesis.
PRA 6300 Seminar in Practical Theology (3)
Designed to provide the opportunity for thorough study of selected areas or topics of practical theology.
PRA 6400 Seminar in Preaching (3)
This course is designed to offer opportunity for special areas of interest in the field of preaching to be treated.
PRA 6401 Preaching as Pastoral Care (3)
This course is designed to link preaching ministry with pastoral care. Attention will be given to how preaching renders the grace of God to a congregation such that pastoral care is accomplished. Some attention will be given to how preaching joins other pastoral care practices in order to provide a larger ministry to a congregation.
PRA 6402 Preaching and Old Testament Narratives (3)
This course will define, discuss, and practice the resources found in the Old Testament narratives for preaching.
PRA 6405 Preaching the Message of Holiness from Old Testament Texts (3)
An examination of both the priestly and prophetic calls to holiness and the manner in which these voices might be preached in light of contemporary homiletical theory and recent studies in imagination and preaching.
PRA 6406 Preaching to Exiles (3)
An examination of the significance of Babylonian exile and the diverse texts written in the midst of this time, including Deuteronomy, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Isaiah 40-55, and Lamentations, in light of the enduring significance that these texts have for preaching in the contemporary setting.
PRA 6407 Preaching Gospel Narratives (3)
This course will define, discuss, and practice the resources found in the gospel narratives for preaching.
PRA 6408 Preaching the Epistles (3)
This course will define, discuss, and practice the resources found in the New Testament for preaching.
PRA 6425 Preaching and the Christian Year (3)
This course will focus on the utilization of the revised common lectionary for preaching through a three-year cycle. Preaching the overarching themes of Advent, Christmas, Lent, Easter, and Pentecost will be explored. The sermonic possibilities for "ordinary time" will also be examined.