Imaginative Reading for Creative Preaching (2 credits)
Reads and discusses selected fiction, biography, memoirs, journalism, culture criticism, essays, drama, poetry and children’s literature in order to deepen the preacher’s understanding of human character, divine grace, and the surprises that emerge when they intersect, with special attention to the homiletic impact of the readings.
Professor Scott Hoezee; See course schedule posted online
Pastoral Care as Dying and Rising with Christ (2 credits)
Introduces the classical understanding of pastoral care, guides student in engaging in pastoral care as soul care and nurturing of disciples, addresses care of people in crisis situations, and presents creative ways to encourage individual and communal practice of spiritual disciplines.
Professor John Rottman; See course schedule posted online
Premarital, Marriage and Family Counseling (2 credits)
This course introduces students to the task and identity of the pastoral counselor in the specific context of relationship/premarital counseling, and counseling in marriage and family conflict. Similar to other forms of pastoral counseling, marriage and relationship counseling is most appropriately conceived of as relational, holistic, and accretive to the individual’s overall well-being. Special attention is given to various concrete human experiences the pastor may encounter in the context of relationships and marriage (such as dating, domestic violence, divorce, remarriage, adultery, step-families, etc.). This course considers how the personhood and experiences of the pastor influences the counseling encounter along with other themes such as appropriate boundaries, and how relationship and family counseling is viewed in relation to the broader church community and society, and the usage of third-party resources outside of the church.
Professor Danjuma Gibson; See course schedule posted online
The Art of Hebrew Narrative (2 credits)
Develops greater proficiency in comparing biblical Hebrew and appreciating its literary artistry and its application in Old Testament exegesis through a careful reading of the Joseph narrative. [Hebrew Required]
Professor Michael Williams; Wednesdays, 1:30 – 3:15 pm; Room 141
Reading Wisdom Literature in its Canonical Context (2 credits)
Understanding wisdom’s depiction of the relationship between humanity and divinely created orderliness illuminates reading biblical historical books. The course will consider crucial elements of biblical wisdom literature and read Esther as an example of reading history in the context of wisdom. Students will select a text from the historical literature and read it in the context of wisdom. [Hebrew Required]
Professor Arie Leder; Thursday evenings at 6:30 pm; Room 140
Parables (2 credits)
Introduces the principles and exegetical methods for interpreting the parables of Jesus and applying their meaning, significance, and relevance to contemporary preaching and teaching. [Greek Required]
Professor Dean Deppe; Mondays from 1:30-3:15 pm; Room 241
The Apologetical Theology of C.S. Lewis (2 credits)
Studies some works of CS Lewis in which he communicates and defends Christianity.
Professor Cal Van Reken; Thursdays from 1:30 – 3:15 pm; Room 141
Theological Anthropology and the Body-Soul Debate (2 credits)
Considers contemporary Christian challenges to the traditional body-soul distinction in light of Scripture, theology, philosophy, and science; and argues for dualistic holism. A key issue is whether Scripture teaches that persons exist without bodies between death and resurrection.
Professor John Cooper; Wednesdays from 1:30-3:15; Room 142
Youth and Family Ministry (2 credits)
Introduces pastoral care for young people and families from a systems perspective, develops skills in theological diagnostic method, and examines issues such as depression and suicide, sexually identity and function, use and abuse of alcohol and illegal substances, and dysfunctional families.
Professors Glassford & Barger-Elliot; Thursdays at 6:30 pm; Room 275
Preaching the Parables (3 credits)
Examines the communication of Jesus’ parables in sermonic form, including a study of representative sermons and the homiletical principles involved.
Professor John Rottman; Thursdays from 1:30 – 4:15 pm; Room 142
The Life and Thought of Augustine (3 credits)
Studies the thought of Augustine as related to his life and work, emphasizing the place of Augustine in the development of Christian doctrine.
Professor Rylaarsdam; Mondays from 1:30 – 4:15 pm; Room 140
Theology of Worship and the Sacraments (3 credits)
Studies Reformed theological writings on corporate worship and the sacraments and examines how their enduring themes are reflected in worship practices today.
Professor John Witvliet; Wednesdays from 1:30 – 4:15 pm; Room 140
Note: Distance learning courses are mostly online but including one week of meeting times on campus. Dates and times of on-campus meetings are noted on the Distance Learning “On-Campus” page.
Medical Ethics and Pastoral Care (2 credits)
The course provides a framework for Christian medical ethics within the Reformed theological tradition. It integrates faith and reason for a Christian understanding of illness, suffering, disability, and death, so that what we believe as Christians forms how we think about health, and thereby guides what we choose in healthcare. The course emphasizes the need for Christian foundational beliefs, values, and goals that form the practical wisdom needed to discern what is right and good, especially when the world of medicine is challenging or perplexing. Throughout the course, differences between Christian and secular approaches in medical ethics will be addressed. For each week of the course there will be a recorded lecture, one or more assigned readings, and questions (both general and case-based) for reflection and on-line discussion. The reflections will encourage students to decide how they would approach specific situations (as patients, loved ones, or pastors), explain the basis for their decisions, and identify grounding texts in Scripture that reveal the beliefs, values, and goals that should guide, strengthen, and comfort Christians in the midst of health-related decisions. The on-site week of the course will involve case-based discussions of common ethical challenges at the beginning of life, toward the end of life, and in surrogate decision-making; discussions will be guided by a Christian approach to practical wisdom in medicine.
Professor Lauris Kaldjian
Church in Historical Context II (3 credits)
Introduces the history of Christianity from the late Middle Ages to the present, with special attention to developments in North America. Focuses on how the church’s institutions, thought, and practice were shaped by and responded to their contexts in each of the eras and places under study.
Professor Peter Choi
Evangelism and Cross-Cultural Ministry (2 credits)
Introduces models of personal and congregational evangelism, models of contextual ministry, and skills necessary for cross-cultural ministry; and teaches how to write and communicate faith stories for evangelistic purposes, present the gospel individually and corporately, conduct evangelistic Bible studies, and lead a congregation to the best model(s) of outreach for its context and to church planting.
Professor Cory Willson
Apologetics (2 credits)
Presents a Reformed approach to the rational defense and presentation of the Christian faith and engages crucial issues in apologetics: the existence of God, the credibility of Scripture’s witness to Jesus Christ, the problem of evil, challenges based on the natural and social sciences, and religious pluralism.
Professor Jessica Maddox
Ethics and the Christian Life (3 credits)
Studies Christian personal and social morality vital for being an obedient church leader and developing faithful communities of disciples.
Professor Matthew Tuininga