THEO 400 Faith and Contemporary Issues. 3 hours.
This course is designed to expand understanding of the content of Christian faith, its historical development, and its expression in ethical living. Learners explore major religious traditions in Christian history, including their own, compare the major ecumenical and Protestant confessions of faith, and examine Biblical foundations of Christian doctrine and lifestyle. This course is required of all students and, in part, meets the general education requirement for Christianity.
THEO 600 Wesleyan Theology. 4 hours.
This course is a study of the theological tradition inaugurated by John Wesley. The course focuses its attention on antecedents of the Wesleyan tradition, the theology of Wesley himself, the development of the tradition since Wesley’s time, and/or ideas of specific prominent thinkers that help elucidate Wesleyan doctrine. This course may be repeated with a different subtitle.
THEO 606 Introduction to Theological Research. 3 hours.
After a broad sketch of the different forms of modern research, this course will focus on the types of research most common in theological and biblical studies. Guidance will be offered on preparing to write a thesis and how to formulate a proper thesis proposal. It will also introduce the student to a more effective use of the library, an understanding of the wide range of biblical and theological databases and how to use them, effective electronic searching, and the services offered by the library staff. Lastly, the course will direct the student to the proper format of a term paper or thesis using Turabian or SBL standards.
THEO 607 Theology of Ministry. 3 hours.
Students in this course learn the significance of theologically informed patterns of ministry and pastoral leadership, and they develop their own models for ministry that are intelligent and theologically informed. Special attention is given to the issues of ecclesiology as they relate to theological leadership.
THEO 608 World Religions. 3 hours.
A theological and historical exploration of Hinduism, Buddhism, Shinto, Taoism, Judaism, Islam, and the relationship of Christianity to those religions. Course goals include 1) to set forth the essential characteristics and practices of the world's great religions; 2) to disengage the essential differences between Christianity and the other world religions; and 3) to examine the Christian theological appraisal of other world religions. Thus, the course will enable the students to gain a deeper understanding of Christianity by listening to and observing other religious traditions as well as appraising the different major religious traditions of the world.
THEO 611 Topics in Christian Theology. 3 hours.
A concentrated study of the work of one or more theologians, or of a particular theological issue or movement, or the theology of a particular era. This course requires significant research and writing. This course may be repeated with a different subtitle.
THEO 612 Ethics in Practice. 3 hours.
In this course, students will become acquainted with the various aspects of ethics, including the foundations and parameters of Christian ethics. This knowledge will then be applied to a number of notable issues and situations that call for moral deliberation. Some attention will be given to national and global issues and to the ethical practice of ministry.
THEO 616 History of Christianity I. 3 hours.
A survey of the history of Christianity during the Patristic and Medieval periods. The development of the church (e.g., theologically, politically, organizationally, liturgically) from a minor, and sometimes persecuted religion in the Roman Empire to the dominant religion within Medieval Europe will be discussed. Special attention will also be given to developments within the Eastern branches of Christianity. Focus will also be given to the theological developments within Christianity, leading to the eve of the Reformation, and the intersection of Christianity with Judaism and Islam. This course will emphasize research and writing.
THEO 617 History of Christianity II. 3 hours.
Examines the development of the Christian tradition from the time of the Reformation to the present, with special attention to the confessional division of the western Christian tradition during the Reformation, and the responses that post-Reformation Christian traditions make to the secularization of Western culture. Another major theme will be the study of the pluralistic and global context of Christianity with attention to the growth of Christianity outside of the West. A special emphasis will be the revival traditions of Christianity. This course will emphasize research and writing.
THEO 618 History of Christianity III: American Religious History. 3 hours.
An examination of the origins and development of Christianity in America from the colonial period to the present. Featured topics include the Continental and English roots of Puritanism and Anabaptism, the formation and history of the Christian commonwealths of New England, the causes and consequences of the Great Awakening, the influence of Jonathan Edwards, the relation between Christianity and the founding of the American republic, the nature of nineteenth century Evangelicalism and the formation of American denominations, the emergence of theological liberalism and the Social Gospel, the rise of the holiness movement into denominations and their understanding of social ministry, the American missionary movement, the course of the fundamentalist/modernist controversy, church-state relations as reflected in Supreme Court decisions, world religions and cults in the United States, and the renewal of evangelical Christianity in the late twentieth century.
THEO 621 Early Christian Theology. 3 hours.
The Church Fathers are often cited in modern theological writing, but they are often poorly understood. This course will examine the thought of prominent Christian authors through the first five centuries of the Christian church. Special attention will be given to the issues of creation, the Trinity, Christology, salvation, and ecclesiology. This course will feature an active engagement with and critical assessment of the primary texts.
THEO 622 Islamic Studies. 3 hours.
This course engages in the study of Islam as a textual tradition and practiced faith inscribed in history and particular cultural contexts. Surveys the ideals and practices of Islam across its history. Provides an introduction to the origin and history of the Islamic movement. Included are the ritual (worship), theological, philosophical, mystical, ethical and political dimensions of Islam with special attention given to Islam's primary message and its implementation in the lives of Muslims. Special focus given to Muhammad, the Qur'an as revelation, the contemporary practice of the Islamic faith, Islam and power, contemporary manifestations of Islam, the rise of puritanical Islam and Islam's relationship to Christianity and the West.
THEO 623 Systematic Theology I. 3 hours.
An introduction to the clear and coherent presentation of the faith of the Christian church. The course will discuss the classical Christian doctrines of the Christian faith including Revelation, God, Creation, Jesus Christ, Atonement, Salvation, Holy Spirt, Church, Sacrament, and Last Things. While concerned to present the classical thinking of the church, especially in its Protestant heritage, the course will also clearly note and sympathetically explain the distinctives of the Arminian/Wesleyan /Holiness tradition. In addition, this course will give attention to such methodological issues as the norms of theology, thinking theologically about the contemporary church and society, and the interconnectedness of the various doctrines and teachings of the Christian church
THEO 624 Systematic Theology II. 3 hours.
A continuation of THEO 623, Systematic Theology I.
THEO 625 Philosophy for Theology. 3 hours.
A study of philosophical topics, perspectives, and approaches that are particularly helpful to the study of theology. Particular attention will be given to issues such as the autonomy of reason, and theological understandings of the role of philosophy (and culture). This is not an introduction to philosophy or theology, which the student should have already taken. A previous course in the philosophy of religion would also be helpful, but it is not required. This course may be repeated with a different subtitle.
THEO 626 The Early Councils and Their Creeds. 3 hours.
The early Christian creeds and the first seven ecumenical councils played an important role in the historical development of Christian theology. This course will critically examine the key political and theological issues at stake during each council. The course will also pay significant attention to the ramifications and acceptance of each council and creed. Special attention will also be paid smaller regional councils, as well as primary text research.
THEO 628 Religious Experience. 3 hours.
This course examines the experiential dimension of Christian religion in terms of a study of religious truth in relation to the experiences that Christianity attempts to express. An important focus is the analysis of the interplay between experience and doctrine. Comparison is made between the testimony of accounts of religious experiences with the formal theological statements of those experiences. Focus is placed upon both the crisis experiences of regeneration and entire sanctification and the process experiences of spiritual formation. Consideration also may be given to revivalism and rituals of Christianity. The method of study is an historical analysis combined with theological construction. This course may be repeated with a different subtitle.
THEO 647 Biblical and Theological Studies. 3 hours.
Designed to be flexible, this course is often, but not exclusively, taught in modular format. This course considers specific Biblical books or issues in Biblical study or Biblical theology, with a focus on the implications for ministry. The goal of this course is for students to reflect on ministry in light of the Bible.
THEO 648 Theology and Ministry. 3 hours.
Designed to be flexible, this course is often, but not exclusively, taught in modular format. This course considers specific theologians or theological issues and the implications for ministry. The goal of this course is for students to reflect theologically and intelligently on their ministry.
THEO 651 Historic Christian Thought. 3 hours.
This course is a study of significant movements, epochs, and theologians selected from the formative periods of the life of the Church prior to the modern age. Among the possible subjects of specific study are the early Church, Eastern Orthodoxy, the Middle Ages, the Reformation, the Enlightenment, Augustine, Thomas Aquinas, Martin Luther, John Calvin, James Arminius, and Jonathan Edwards. This course may be repeated with a different subtitle.
THEO 656 Christian Thought Since 1800. 3 hours.
A study of significant movements, epochs, and theologians selected from the recent life of the Church. Among the possible subjects of specific study are the rise of modern theology, recent and contemporary modes of theology, 19th-century continental theology, Sψren Kierkegaard, Karl Barth, Paul Tillich, Wolfhart Pannenberg, and Jόrgen Moltmann. This course may be repeated with a different subtitle.
THEO 657 Topics in History of Christianity. 3 hours.
An examination of movements, persons, and ideas that have shaped the religious history and thought of Christianity. This course may be repeated with a different subtitle.
THEO 663 Advanced Study in Systematic Theology. 3 hours.
In studying of the central doctrines of the Church, his course examines the significance, the Biblical justification, the history of discussion, and the vital relevance of the Church’s creedal affirmations. Among the possible areas of specific study are the doctrine of the Trinity and the doctrine of the work of Christ. This course may be repeated with a different subtitle.
THEO 664 Augustine. 3 hours.
This course introduces the life of St. Augustine of Hippo and explores his foundational role in the development of the theology of the Christian church in the West. This course will give attention to his location in a transitional historical context and the ways Augustine reflects and influences the movement from the Roman to Medieval world. Attention will be given to considering implications for doing theology today. This course requires significant research and writing, and it may be repeated with a different subtitle.
THEO 665 Theology in the Era of the Reformation. 3 hours.
Theological development in the Reformation period, giving attention to historical and theological context, will be the focus. Reading of primary source material will be emphasized. Study will center on key representative thinkers and the theological systems they both reflect and helped to shape. Attention will be given to the major streams of thought and development that led into and emerged from the Reformation. This course emphasizes research and writing, and it may be repeated under a different subtitle.
THEO 667 Twentieth Century Theological Ethics. 3 hours.
A survey of Christian theological ethics in the twentieth century, focusing predominantly on Protestant thinkers. The relationship between theology and ethics will be analyzed throughout the course. It emphasizes research and academic writing, and it may be repeated under a different subtitle.
THEO 668 Doctrine of Holiness. 3 hours.
An inquiry into the meaning and implications of the doctrine of holiness and, in particular, of the doctrine of entire sanctification or Christian perfection. This course will focus its attention on the witness of Scripture, the historic testimony of the Church (especially of the Wesleyan tradition), classical and contemporary modes of thought, and the meaning of this doctrine for the life of the student and the Church. This course requires significant research and writing.
THEO 672 History, Missions and Polity of the Church of the Nazarene. 3 hours.
Three related topics are covered during this course: (1) a selective historical study of the world regions of the Church of the Nazarene, with primary emphasis upon the United States regions where independent holiness churches emerged and later united and organized to preach the message of entire sanctification as articulated by John Wesley and the American holiness movement with the vision to create a global holiness church. We also review the issues that shaped the church's identity and the organizational structures that made global ministry possible; (2) a review of the World Mission program and a discussion of internationalization with a focus on the organizational changes that facilitated rapid growth in world areas during the end of the twentieth century with the resulting implications of becoming a global community; and (3) a concentrated examination of the Manual of the Church of the Nazarene, with focus on the government of the Church at its various administrative levels with the goal to help the student think through important issues relative to membership and ministry as well as to convey the practical rules and regulations that govern community life. Students study primary documents.
THEO 693 Contemporary Issues in Theology. 3 hours.
Explores recent trends and current issues in Christian Theology, examining them in light of their faithfulness to Scripture, Christian tradition and Christian practice. Attention will be given to their inner theological coherence and their impact on related Christian doctrines. A reading and research course which will give special emphasis to the critical examination of original documents. May be repeated under a different subtitle.
THEO 699 Thesis. 3 hours.
Requires the completion of a 50–75-page thesis, the subject of which must be approved by the student’s adviser and the Director of Graduate Studies for the School of Theology and Christian Ministry. This option demonstrates (1) the learner’s ability to design, execute, and report on independent research, and (2) the learner’s creative thinking, critical reflection, and writing ability. It culminates with the learner’s defense of the thesis. The School of Theology provides a detailed guide to the rules and regulations for the thesis, which is available from the Program Specialist.