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Courses in Area III: History of Christianity
History of Christianity
HC 502 History of Christianity I: Early and Medieval

This course is a survey of the development of the Christian Church from the second century C.E. through the Middle Ages, examining the institutional history of the church as well as the theological developments in the church. Attention will be given to various theologians, theologies, and movements that shaped the period. The course highlights Christianity's intellectual and cultural history with an emphasis on the church's evolving relationship to political and social structures that allowed Christianity to be both a religion of protest and liberation as well as a religion of empire and conquest. No Prerequisites.

Syllabus - Fall 2018, taught by Lisa Barnett
HC 504 History of Christianity II

A survey of the Christian church from the Reformation era to modern times. Special attention will be given to the diversity and unity of the church in the period and to the divisions and reconciliations that have shaped various contemporary Christian communities.

HC 600 The Social World of Early Christianity

A social analysis of the origins and development of early Christianity utilizing historical and social scientific approaches, emphasizing a comparative study of literature, art, archaeology, and social institutions of the ancient world and their relation to the church's developing theology. Prerequisites: HC 504

Syllabus - Spring 2015, taught by Dennis E. Smith
HC 650 Christianity in the United States

An introduction to the themes, figures, issues and movements affecting religious life and society in the U.S. from pre-colonial settlement to the present day. Prerequisites:  HC 504

HC 675 Women & Religion in the United States

This course is a survey of the history of women and religion in the U.S. from the colonial period to the present. The primary focus is on women who practice the Christian faith, but some attention is given to women in other religions. Students will explore the contributions of women to the development and expression of religions; the complex relationships among society, religion, culture; and ways that these relationships have impacted, and been impacted by, the lives of women. Prerequisite: HC 504

HC 700 Makers of Christianity in the 20th Century

An exploration of major 20th century movements in church and society by attending to some of the biographies and/or autobiographies of important leaders.  Prerequisites: HC 504

HC 760 The Black Church in America

Study will focus on the moral and religious traditions of African American churches and the ways that these traditions have influenced life in America.  Particular attention will be given to the prominent role that the Black Church has played as a social, political and cultural center in the African American community.  A principle presupposition underlying the course content is the view that the term 'Black Church' is employed as a shorthand designation for the thick diversity and complexity of Black Christian Traditions that comprise African American Christian experience. Recommended prerequisite: HC 504

Syllabus - Fall 2017, taught by Ray A. Owens
HC 770 Religion & the Civil Rights Movement

This course examines the ways in which religious beliefs, practices and institutions helped to form and inform the modern Civil Rights movement in the United States. What role did religion play in igniting the quest for civil rights? How did religion form and inform the Anti-Civil Rights Movement and it key players? How did the religious identities of movement leaders impact the content and contours of the civil rights project? Was the Black Church a source of support for or resistance to the ideals and practices of the movement? What role did white churches play in supporting and/or resisting the modern Civil Rights Movement? This course explores these broad questions through an interdisciplinary study of primary and secondary sources (speeches, sermons, video presentations, essays, songs, scholarly texts and articles) related to the modern Civil Rights movement. Recommended prerequisite: HC 504

Syllabus - Spring 2012, taught by Ray A. Owens
HC 880 Seminar in the History of Christianity

A study of selected issues, figures, or movements in the history of Christianity. May be repeated with different topics. Prerequisites: HC 502 or HC 504

HC 880.02 Faith and Reason

This course considers theological understandings of knowledge, faith, belief, reason, and truth. Students will consider such questions as: What counts as true knowledge? What makes a belief warranted? Can you hold a belief that is true, but not have come to hold that belief in an appropriate way? What is the role of the body in arriving at knowledge? The course will also consider how answers to these questions have changed over time, in ways that both reflect and facilitate changing worldviews and political arrangements. Upon successful completion of the course, students will have begun to claim and fine-tune their own theological epistemologies, and will have gained skill in evaluating truth claims using the analytical tools we will practice in class. Prerequisites: HC 504 (required) and HC 502 (recommended).

HC 880.06 History of Religion and Social Justice in the United States

This course explores a diverse range of religious and traditions in their concerns over social justice issues in the US history from the Second Great Awakening to the present. In examining a myriad of social justice issues, students will critically reflect upon justice oriented practices utilized by various social movements intended to effect change. The merging of religious beliefs and social action practices to shape a larger public consciousness reveals both positive and negative consequences for America's ideals of liberty, equality, and opportunity for all. No Prerequisites.

HC 900 Research in the History of Christianity

Advanced individual research on selected issues and topics. Offered on request only to advanced students.

Denominational Studies
DS 500 History and Polity of the Disciples of Christ

The origin, development, organization, and theological interests of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) studied in the context of American social and religious history. Required of all Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) students preparing for ordination. Enrollment encouraged for United Church of Christ students. Recommended Prerequisites: Phase One Courses.

DS 525 Stone-Campbell Theology

This course is structured to survey theological themes, propositions, and ideas informing and emerging from the Stone-Campbell movement of 19th century North America with particular attention paid to the theology of Alexander Campbell and Barton Warren Stone. DS 500 or instructor's signature required. Prerequisite: DS 500 or instructor's signature.

DS 550 United Methodist History

This course, required for candidates for ordination in the United Methodist Church, will inform students about the basic periods of United Methodist history. Particular attention will be paid to events, movements, and persons that have shaped the denomination. Recommended Prerequisites: Phase One Courses.

DS 575 United Methodist Doctrine

This course is designed to provide an introduction to theology in the Wesleyan tradition as practiced in United Methodism. Students are expected to gain an understanding of and to be be able to articulate basic aspects of John Wesley's theology and how it is distinctive, to demonstrate a grasp of the UMC understanding of the sacraments, and to become conversant with the current debate about theological method. Through the use of case studies and other methods, students will consider how Methodist theology should and does affect decision of clergy in UMC pastorates, our practices within our UMC life together, and our practice toward the world around us. Recommended Prerequisites: TH 500

DS 600 Advanced Wesleyan Theology

Intended for students who have completed the basic United Methodist Doctrine course, this offering will allow students to explore in greater depth various aspects of John Wesley's theology, teaching, and lived embodiment of Christianity. Material by Charles Wesley and Susanna Wesley will also be considered. Theological method will be addressed in depth. Using case studies, students will examine how Wesleyan theology informs United Methodist teaching and practice today. Recommended Prerequisites:  Phase I Courses and DS 575

DS 625 United Methodist Polity

This course, required for candidates for orders in the United Methodist Church, is designed to acquaint students with the 2016 Book of Discipline and a sense of how its rules and requirements come to life in the practical affairs of the church, as well as to help students understand how polity is related to the church's historical and theological development. Recommended Prerequisites:  Phase One Courses

Syllabus - Spring 2015, taught by Grayson L. Lucky
DS 650 Baptist History and Polity

A study of Baptist life and thought from the seventeenth century to the present with particular attention to the development of diverse Baptist communities in the United States. Recommended Prerequisites: Phase One Courses.

DS 675 Baptist Theological Perspectives

A study of foundational theological perspectives in the development of Baptist traditions and communities and a consideration of contemporary doctrinal trends. Recommended Prerequisites: Phase One Courses.

DS 700 Presbyterians in the United States

An historical study of the faith, institutions, and practices of Presbyterians in the United States, with particular attention to developments within the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) since the Civil War. Recommended Prerequisites:  Phase I Courses.

DS 725 Presbyterian Polity

A reflective and practical study of leadership in church government (polity) as defined in the Presbyterian Book of Order. The class will learn how to apply current polity to a variety of pastoral situations. The course will also help students become familiar with parliamentary procedure in order to plan and moderate session meetings. Recommend Prerequisites: Phase One Courses.

DS 750 History and Polity of the United Church of Christ

An exploration of the history, theology, structure, and practice of ministry within the United Church of Christ. Required for all United Church of Christ students preparing for ordination. Enrollment is encouraged for Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) students. Recommended Prerequisites: Phase I Courses.

DS 775 History and Polity of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

An exploration of the history, theology, structure, and practice of ministry within the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. Recommended Prerequisites: Phase I Courses.

DS 800 History and Polity of Unitarian Universalism

This course begins with the (alleged) antecedents to Unitarianism and Universalism in pre-Reformation Europe, then turns to the theological and then institutional emergence of Unitarianism in 16th century Poland, Transylvania, and 17th century England. North American Unitarianism and Universalism are traced from their classical periods through the various crises of identity and purpose of the late 19th and 20th centuries, leading to the creation of Unitarian Universalism in 1961. Careful attention will be paid throughout to Unitarian/Universalist social location in relationship to class, race, sexual, and gender identities. Also covered: the core meanings and purposes of congregationalism; the cultures and theologies of leadership, ministry and power that have given shape to UU governance practice; and how to be an effective and responsible political agent in contemporary UU settings. Recommend Prerequisites: Phase I Courses.

Syllabus - Fall 2018, taught by Susan Ritchie
DS 825 Readings in Denominational History

Guided individual research or seminar designed to acquaint students with the history and character of a denomination in which they intend to practice ministry. Prerequisites: Phase One Courses.

DS 850 Seminar in Denominational Studies

A study of selected issues, figures, or movements in the development of a Protestant tradition(s). movement. May be repeated with different topics. Prerequisites: Phase One Courses.

DS 880 Readings in the History of the Modern Ecumenical Movement

Guided individual research or seminar designed to acquaint students with the history and character of a denomination in which they intend to practice ministry. Prerequisites: Phase One Courses.

DS 900 Seminar in the History of the Modern Ecumenical Movement

A study of selected issues, figures, or movements in the modern ecumenical movement. May be repeated with different topics. Prerequisites: Phase One Courses.

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