Continuing Education Courses

J-Term 2017 On-campus courses for credit or non-credit

488 Pastoral Counseling for Anxiety and Anger (2 credits)

This class focuses on understanding human problems with anxiety and anger for pastors and professional counselors to be more effective in assessing and intervening their parishioners/clients who struggle with overwhelming anxiety and anger. Biblical, theological, biological, and psychological approaches will be introduced.

Professor Kwanjik Lee; Wed, Thu, Fri 01/4-6 9:00AM-11:45AM; Mon-Fri 01/9-13 9:00AM-11:45AM; Room 142W

522 Parables (Greek; 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.

Professor Dean Deppe; Wed, Thu, Fri 01/4-6, Mon-Thu 01/09-12, Wed, Thu, Fri 01/18-20, Mon-Tue 01/23-24 10:00AM-12:00PM, Room 140W

550 Dietrich Bonhoeffer (2 credits)

This course examines Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s theology of the Christian life as recorded in his writings and as demonstrated in his brief life. Special emphasis will be placed on exploring how Bonhoeffer’s context, training, and circumstances shaped and transformed his theology. In addition, the practical implications of Bonhoeffer’s theology will be examined, not only as they impacted in his own life, but also as they might influence our theology of the Christian life today.

Professor Matt Estel; Mon, Wed, Fri 01/4, 6, 9, 11, 13, 16, 18, 20, 23 2:00PM-4:30PM; Room 140W

630 Worship and Formation for Ministry (credit only; 2 credits)

Note: Includes attendance at the Symposium on Worship.

This course is built around the Calvin Symposium on Worship. Students will engage Symposium learning as reflective practitioners–setting goals for formation, doing pre-Symposium research on speakers, reflecting in an integrated way on one’s learning, and prioritizing resolutions for ministry.

Professor David Rylaarsdam; Wed 1:30PM-4:30PM, Room 142W; Thu, Fri, Sat 01/26-28 (Worship Symposium)


Spring 2017 On-campus courses for credit or non-credit

451 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 Matt Tuininga; Mon, Wed 11:00AM-12:15PM; Room 240W

462 Ephesians (3 credits)

Considers the significance of this letter to contemporary challenges for ministries of the church: civil religion; Christian life as a continuous act of worship; ethnic and cultural diversity; unity and reconciliation; the powerful presence of the Holy Spirit for servant-leadership in marriage, family, church, and work; and spiritual warfare. Based on the English text, no Greek required.

Professor Mariano Avila; Tue 1:30PM-4:15PM; Room 140W

498 Leadership Coaching (1 credit)

Leadership coaching is a ministry skill which can dramatically increase productivity and team work. Students will learn and practice a coaching process that can be used with team mates, volunteers and others to more effectively equip people for the ministry to which God has called them. This will be a highly participatory course and students should expect to be engaged in both coaching and being coached each class.

Professor Geoff Vandermolen; Wed 3:30PM-5:15PM; Room 240W

515 Legacy of Eve (2 credits)

The first three chapters of Genesis, featuring the narrative of Eve and Adam, have played a formative role throughout history in defining what it means to be female and male. Proponents of both hierarchical and egalitarian views of social order have appealed to these texts for theological support, thus generating a striking diversity of interpretation. This course will survey Christian interpretations by male and female interpreters of the narrative of Eve and Adam from the first century to the twentieth century for the purpose of 1. better understanding how interpreters came to conflicting positions about these texts; 2. familiarizing students with interpretive possibilities for these texts; and 3. gaining a deeper appreciation for the complex nature of biblical interpretation.

 Professor Amanda Benckhuysen; Mon 1:30PM-3:15 PM; Room 241W

 533 Kingdom of God (3 credits)

Integrates biblical, historical and contemporary understandings of this central theme in Scripture and in Christian and Reformed theology, with special attention to relevance of the Kingdom of God and its justice for several ministry settings and Christian movements.

 Professor Mariano Avila; Wed 1:30PM-4:15PM; Room 141W

582 Philosophy for Understanding Theology (2 credits)

Surveys the history of philosophy from Plato to postmodernism, reviews the historical interaction of philosophy with Christian faith and theology–both positive and negative, and emphasizes the importance of good philosophy for sound theology.

Professor John Cooper; Wed 1:30PM-3:15PM; Room 140W

648 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, sexuality identity and function, use and abuse of alcohol and illegal substances, and dysfunctional families.

Professor Robert Keeley; Thu 6:30PM-8:15PM; Room 275S

670 Missiology: The Making of Global Christianity (2 credits)

Knowledge of the Christian tradition involves knowledge of the diversity within Global Christianity today and of its development throughout history. This course aims to expose students to the contemporary landscape of World Christianity and to explore the historical development of Christianity over the last 2000 years. Special emphasis will be given to rapid growth of Christianity in the Global South over the last century and to the dynamics of cross-cultural transmission of the faith since the time of Christ.

Professor Cory Willson; Wed 1:30PM-3:15PM; Room 142W

672 God’s Chinese Kingdom: Being the Church in a Hostile Environment (2 credits)

Using a historical/topical approach, this course will explore the development of the church in China, leading up to the current situation. It will look at the different trajectories of the house churches and the registered (Three Self) churches, and the relationship between them now, as well as the different ways in which they relate to the government. Other topics covered will include the church and Christian education, the role of the church in ministry to families, the church and the workplace, the threat of cults, and the threat of consumerism. The course will conclude with an evaluation of the current role of Western missionaries in China.

Professor Wayne TenHarmsel; Mon 1:30PM-3:15PM; Room 140W

800 Sexuality & Marriage (3 credits)

Sexuality and Marriage explores Christian teaching on ethical questions surrounding gender, sexuality, marriage and family, paying attention both to Scripture and to Christian tradition, and wrestles with the implications of the gospel for problems and controversies revolving around sexuality and marriage facing the church today.

Professor Matt Tuininga; Thu 1:30PM-4:15PM; Room 141W

847 Life and Thought of Augustine (3 credits)

Studies the thought of Augustine as related to his life and work, with emphasis on his place in the development of Christian doctrine.

Professor David Rylaarsdam; Tue 1:30PM-4:15PM; Room 146W

869 Heidelberg Catechism (3 credits)

Studies the history and theology of the Heidelberg Catechism in order to develop an appreciation of the relevance of the document for Christian life and ministry today.

Professor Lyle Bierma; Thu 9:30AM-12:15PM; Room 146W

874 History of Christian Worship (3 credits)

Studies Christian worship practices in each major period in church history.

Professor John Witvliet; Wed 1:30PM-4:15PM; Room 241W


Spring 2017 Distance-learning courses for credit only

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 below or on the Distance Learning “On-Campus” page.

642 Faith Formation for All Ages (2 credits)

Explores the spiritual, moral, emotional, and social needs and development of children and adults, teaches the creative design of faith formation programs and intergenerational education, and develops skills needed to teach a wide variety of programs.

Professor Robert Keeley; On-campus intensive: Mon-Wed 02/27-03/1 2:00PM-5:00PM; Thu 6:30PM-9:30PM; Room TBD


May Term 2017 On-campus courses for credit or non-credit

566 Reformed World and Life View (2 credits)

A study of the biblical and theological foundations, philosophical articulations, and specific implications of the Reformed world and life view developed in the neo-Calvinist tradition of Abraham Kuyper.

Professor John Cooper; Course schedule: TBD