Explorations in Theology

The following courses are part of a program called “Explorations in Theology.” These courses are designed for new students and have no co- or prerequisites. Additional courses are added each year. (Note: Up to two 500-level courses may later be counted toward a certificate or degree if they meet certificate or degree requirements. However, matriculated certificate and degree candidates may not enroll in 500-level courses, but must register for the corresponding 700-level course.)

BS511 The Gospel of John

An exploration of the historical context, literary features, spirituality, and theological significance of the fourth Gospel. PR = none.

BS517 The Gospel of Mark

An analysis of the composition, content and theological significance of the Gospel of Mark. PR = none.

BS563 The Book of Job

A careful look at the book of Job and its historical, cultural, literary, and religious contexts, with attention to the history of interpretation. PR = none.

BS600 Orientation to Biblical Studies

An introduction to academic biblical studies, with attention to the nature and development of biblical literature, tools for research, and methods of interpretation (exegesis). This two-credit course is a pre- or corequisite for most other courses in biblical studies. PR = none.

BS/H669 Study Tour: Cities of John and Paul

A study trip to Turkey and Greece to visit the sites and explore the contexts related to the writings of the Apostle Paul and John the Seer, the author of the Book of Revelation. PR/CR = none.

ES/H511 The American Religious Experience

A survey of the historical traditions, recent trends, contemporary experiences and popular spirituality of varied American religious communities from the early 17th century to today.  PR = none.

H/MT520 The Church and the Civil Rights Movement

An historical, theological and socio-cultural analysis of some of the major people, places and events of the Civil Rights movement, with particular focus on the implications of the movement for the contemporary church.  PR = none.

H/SP552 Classics of Christian Spirituality: Medieval to Modern

A discussion of texts by spiritual writers from the 12th century to the present day. Also offered as H/SP752. PR = none.

H/SP680 Study Tour: Art and Spirituality

A tour in sites of one or more countries that show the historical and contemporary connections between artistic masterpieces and the spiritual life. PR/CR = none.

MT509 God & Mammon: Business and Professional Ethics

A study of fundamental concepts and issues of business and professional ethics in the light of Christian ethics, including such topics as scriptural and church attitudes toward business, theological theories of economic justice, and corporations as moral agents. Also offered as MT709. PR = none.

MT/ST525 Death and Dying in the American Culture

An analysis of social and religious perspectives on death and attitudes toward dying in today’s society.  PR/CR = none.

MT/SP528 Violence, Vengeance and Virtue

An exploration of the religious, cultural and psychological roots of both personal and societal violence; the perceived need for vengeance when one is harmed by another; and the virtues and spiritual practices which counteract the tendencies for violence and vengeance.  PR/CR = none.

MT/ST529 The Theology and Ethics of Bonhoeffer

An historical analysis of the life and writings of Dietrich Bonhoeffer, with a focus on his work in the areas of Christian theology and ethics. Also offered as MT/ST729. PR = none.

MT531 Creation, Covenant and Ecology

A study of the ways in which the biblical concept of covenant among God, human beings and the land can be integrated with an ecological understanding of natural systems to envision a just and sustainable  future for all.  PR/CR = none.

PT/SP512 Music in the Christian Tradition

The story of music’s place in Christian worship and spirituality fro Gregorian Chant to contemporary expressions.  PR/CR = none.

PT/ST546 Miracles in the Judeo-Christian Tradition

An exploration of the criteria that define various events as miraculous; scientific, philosophical and theological arguments for and against miracles; and miracles in the Old and New Testaments, as well as miracles in other world religions. PR/CR = none.

SP515 Theology and Practice of Prayer

An exploration of Jewish, Catholic and Protestant theological interpretations of prayer, with reflections on the student’s personal and denominational theology of prayer.  PR/CR = none.

SP516 Saints and Their Spiritual Practices

An examination of the spiritual practices advocated by representative saints that are models of devotion and renewal, such as meditation (Benedict), solitude (Anthony), journaling (Julian), discernment (Ignatius), contemplation (Merton), and forgiveness (Mandela).  PR/CR = none.

SP522 Conversion

An examination of biblical, theological, spiritual, and sociological dimensions of conversion, and of its interpretation in various Christian traditions. An Explorations in Theology course. Also offered as SP722. PR = none.

SP601 Foundations of Christian Spirituality

An examination of spiritual theology, conversion, means of spiritual growth, disciplines, prayer, and spiritual guidance in various faith traditions. PR = none.

SP605 Spiritual Disciplines

An exploration of the historical and contemporary models of such disciplines as prayer, contemplation, fasting, and silence.  PR/CR = none.

SP607 God, Creation, and the Spiritual Life

An exploration of the ways in which we can experience God’s presence in daily life and in God’s creation by weaving together biblical imagery and scientific understanding of God’s activity in the world. PR/CR = none.

ST518 The Writings of C.S. Lewis

An analysis of the theological writings of C.S. Lewis and a consideration of his apologetic methods. Also offered as ST718. PR = none.

ST582  Christianity and its Critics

A survey of critics of Christianity from the early church to the present, including such figures as Celsus, Hume, Nietzsche, Freud, Hitchens, in order to understand, evaluate and respond to their critiques. PR/CR = none.

ST680 Science, Creation and Theology

An examination of the relationship of religion and science in the West from the 18th-century enlightenment to the present. PR = none.

TH601 Introduction to Theological Study, Research & Writing

An introduction to the study of theology, including a survey of its major disciplines, review of research-paper techniques, and hands-on experience with the practical tools and methods of theological research and writing. PR = none.