Academic Programs

Theological Studies

T 101 AND T 101-O INTRODUCTION TO THEOLOGICAL REFLECTION

This course is an introduction to theology as language that reflects on the activity and presence of God in our lives. Using a variety of theological texts, the course will examine both classic expressions of the Christian faith as well as ones that treat contemporary questions and problems. Films and novels will also be considered as occasions for theological reflection. This course may be taken in a traditional classroom format (T 101) or as a combination of weekend seminars with online learning (T 101-O).
3 semester hours.

T 201 CONTEMPORARY CHURCH AND CULTURE

This course is a study of the interaction between Christianity and contemporary culture as seen within the church in North America. Using literature from sociology, cultural studies, media studies, and theology, it will map the interactive relationships of church and culture from the 1940s to the present and note the various changes in ecclesiology from a modern to a postmodern society. The latter half of the class will attend to contemporary ecclesiologies that are emerging from increasingly diverse (and non-institutional) Christian communities.
3 semester hours.

T 207 BRETHREN BELIEFS AND PRACTICES

This course examines major beliefs and doctrinal interpretations along with practices that shape the Church of the Brethren. The course will study Brethren beliefs and practices across the span of time, with reflection on historical theology and in ecumenical conversation with other interpretations of Christianity significant to the study. The course will engage students in discussing the present life and faith of the Church of the Brethren.
3 semester hours.

T 222 FILMS, NOVELS AND THEOLOGY

This course explores the theological possibilities of two contemporary art forms, the novel and film. By using interpretation theory, literary theory, and film criticism, the class will explore how fiction and the imagination contribute to the constructive theological task. Several key areas will be explored: how a chosen medium shapes the theological meaning expressed, the epistemological function of stories and myths, how different stories render different theological meanings, and the link between imagination and eschatology.
3 semester hours.

T 268 1968: A CASE STUDY IN PUBLIC THEOLOGY

In 1968, as many barricades went up around the world, more religious, cultural and political borders and boundaries were freely transgressed. This course will use the music, movies, art, literature, and political discourses of 1968 as a window into the cultural transformations of the religious thought and practice of the era. Particular attention will be given to the complicated challenges of public God-talk in a multicultural world of plurality, ambiguity, and fiercely contested truth claims.
3 semester hours.

T 304 THEOLOGICAL UNDERSTANDINGS OF JESUS

This course will study the paradigms of Christology in biblical and theological literature, film, and visual images. It will survey various historical and contemporary portrayals of Jesus as the Christ, giving attention to the way these christologies are biblically grounded and theologically conversant with the culture. Attention will also be given to classical christological debates within each of the portrayals.
3 semester hours.
Prerequisite: T 101, T 101-O, TS 101, or TS 101-O or B 101-S or BS 101 or BS 101-O.

T 306 FEMINIST THEOLOGY AND THOUGHT

This course will trace the development of feminist theology and biblical interpretation in the United States from 1960 to the present day through the use of primary texts and articles. It will seek to understand the underlying structures and assumptions in the work of some of the early feminist theologians and the development of thought by some who wrote subsequent to them. Attention will also be given to current critiques of white Christian feminism by womanist and mujerista theologians and by Jewish feminists.
3 semester hours.
Prerequisite: T 101, T 101-O, TS 101, or TS 101-O.

T 309 THEOLOGY AND THE ARTS

This course will address the relationship of theology and the arts by studying a variety of historical and contemporary artistic works. Students will be immersed in a diversity of media (such as visual art, dance, music, icons, novels, films) and theories, raising questions of divine/human interaction, theories of religious representation and embodiment, and different ways of conceptualizing the world.
3 semester hours.
Prerequisite: T 101, T 101-O, TS 101, or TS 101-O.

T 310 MODERNITY, POSTMODERNITY AND BELIEF

This course will trace the intellectual and religious passage to modernity through representative writings, including Schleiermacher's lectures to the modern cultured despisers of religion. Most attention, however, will be given to the "postmodern turn" in art, literary theory, philosophy and theology. For some, this turn, which is marked by the collapse of the master narratives of the modern project and the death of a metaphysical God, is seen as a threat to the future of belief. Yet a growing number of postmodern thinkers explored in this course announce the return of the poet, the mystic, and the prophet, and with them, the return of a God beyond the God we have named.
3 semester hours.
Prerequisite: T 101, T 101-O, TS 101, or TS 101-O.

T 315 THEOLOGY AND SCRIPTURE

This course will be a study of the use of Scripture in Christian theology, especially as it relates to the interpretive community. Various aspects of this process will be explored such as the development of the Christian canon, the understanding of revelation, authority and testimony, the nature of the text, the process of interpretation, the role of the interpretive community, and the function of modern methods of interpretation. Several theologians will be read to understand their view of the Christian Scriptures and what theological claims they make in relation to the text.
3 semester hours.
Prerequisite: T 101, T 101-O, TS 101, TS 101-O, BS 101, BS 101-O B 101-S or B 102 or B 102-O.

T 380 BONHOEFFER, WAR AND PEACE

This course blends the disciplines of Peace Studies, theology, and ethics to bring the life and thought of martyred pastor and theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer into conversation with the genuine dilemmas of Christian conscience around the problems of war and peace in a time of totalitarian politics and the horrors of the Holocaust. Particular attention will be given to Bonhoeffer's New York experience and how it helped form and inform his final resistance to European fascism.
3 semester hours.
Prerequisite: T 101, T 101-O, TS 101, or TS 101-O or P 226 or P 226-O.

T 390 SEMINAR IN THEOLOGICAL STUDIES

Specialized advanced courses will be developed on the basis of faculty and student interest. Offerings could focus on particular theologians or theological issues.
3 semester hours.
Prerequisite: T 101, T 101-O, TS 101, or TS 101-O.