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Courses in Area IV: Theology & Ethics
TH 500 Contemporary Theology

An introduction to the vocabulary, tasks, aims, and scope of theology, and various contextual methods and approaches of the discipline. Upon successful completion of this course, students will be able to identify, describe, classify, and evaluate influential theological arguments, as well as place those arguments in their historical context. No Prerequisites.

TH 525 Doctrine of God

An examination of the development of the doctrine of the Trinity, including the ancient cultural assumptions that helped to shape it. Other Christian models for God will also be explored in comparison to the doctrine of the Trinity. Prerequisites: TH 500

TH 550 Christology

An exploration of theological answers to questions about Jesus and his significance, and the historical models that have resulted. The time period covered begins with the Christological controversies of the latter half of the second century and continues through images of Jesus in popular U.S. American culture. Prerequisites: TH 500

TH 575 Ecclesiologies: Models & Practices of Church

A consideration of different historical answers to questions about the nature and practice of church and historical cultural factors underlying those answers. Depending on availability and format of a particular course, the course may include field trips to houses of worship with which the student may be familiar. Prerequisites:  TH 500

TH 600 Doctrine of the Spirit

A study of Christian doctrinal understandings of the Spirit, the historical contexts in which they were constructed, and how they are being embraced, critically challenged, and reformulated in our own time. Prerequisites: TH 500

TH 625 Constructive Theology

An investigation of the systematic interconnected character of the major doctrines/symbols of the Christian faith. This course requires each student to write a constructive essay, or credo, expressing her or his understanding of those basic doctrines of the faith. Prerequisites: TH 500, plus an additional advanced course in Theology approved by the area faculty. TE 625 is normally taken by MDiv students after the completion of 60 semester-hours.

TH 650 Reformed Theology

An historical and systematic review of major themes and issues in the Reformed theological tradition, from the Reformation to the present. Particular attention will be given to the history and confessional documents of the Presbyterian Church (USA). Prerequisites: TH 500

TH 675 Liberation Theology

An exploration of a variety of liberation theologies, their historical and theological contexts, and their relation to American cultures. Satisfies an advanced theology requirement for MDiv or MTS students. Prerequisites: TH 500

TH 700 Feminist Theology

This course is a study of the differences and relationships between sexism, male privilege, misogyny, and patriarchy and how these issues have affected and been affected by Christian theology and practice, Proceeding from an assumption that both women and men are damaged by sexism, this course gives students language and skills to disrupt theologically sexist patterns, without thereby reproducing other forms or oppression. Prerequisites:  TH 500

TH 725 Comparative Theologians

A study of several theologians exploring a specific theme, doctrine, or genre. Selected figures may or may not be related to a specific socio-historical context. Satisfies an advanced theology requirement for MDiv or MTS students. Prerequisites:  TH 500

TH 750 The Theology & Ethcis of Martin Luther King, Jr.

This course is an examination of the salient themes in the theology and ethics of Martin Luther King, Jr. Through careful reading of sermons, speeches, essays and books, students will identify and assess King's theological and ethical understanding of concepts such as justice, freedom, love, human dignity and nonviolent protest, to name only a few. Particular attention will be given to King's important leadership role in the Civil Rights movement and the ways this movement shaped and was shaped by his theology and ethics. Satisfies an advanced theology requirement for MDiv or MTS students. Prerequisite:  TH 500

Syllabus - Spring 2018, taught by Ray A. Owens
TH 775 Black & Womanist Theologies

An investigation of the major themes and methods of African-American theologians whose theological and ethical positions are grounded in the experience, concerns, and needs of Black people. Satisfies an advanced theology requirement for MDiv or MTS students. Prerequisite: TH 500

TH 825 Theology & Autobiography

The course explores how and why the autobiographies of theologians are among their most compelling theological texts. Prerequisite:  TH 500. May be repeated with different topics.

TH 880 Seminar in Theology

A seminar on a selected theological theme, theologian, or school of theology. May be repeated with different topics. Satisfies an advanced theology requirement for MDiv or MTS students. Prerequisite: TH 500

TH 880.01 Theology of Making: Creation, Creativity, and Craft

This course will integrate three traditional topics within systematic theology - namely, Doctrine of Creation, Theological Anthropology, and Theological Aesthetics - through inquiry into the question: What is the theological relationship between human creativity and God as creator? Satisfies advanced Theology requirement. Prerequisites: PC 550 or PC 600.

TH 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. Prerequisite: TH 500

TH 990 Research in Theology

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

ET 525 Ethics, Culture & the Mission of the Church

A study of ethical reflection as a practice of cultural analysis. The churches' mission in the world will be considered in relation to the ethical challenges presented by the new media, bioethics, globalization, religious pluralism, race, sexuality, and other issues. Prerequisites: FDC 600 and TH 500

Syllabus - Spring 2018, taught by Ray A. Owens
ET 525.44 Ethics, Culture & the Mission of the Church

online version of ET 525

Syllabus - Spring 2017, taught by Melinda McGarrah Sharp
ET 550 Theological Ethics

An exploration of moral decision making within a theological context. Attention will be given to the major schools of ethical theory, a range of case studies, and discussion of professional clergy ethics. Prerequisites: FDC 600 and TH 500

ET 575 Ministry & Medical Ethics

A consideration of issues in the field of medical ethics, including those related to the practice of ministry and to theological themes such as suffering, healing, hope, finitude, vulnerability, responsibility, community, moral reasoning, moral uncertainty, etc. Prerequisites: FDC 600 and TH 500

ET 880 Seminar in Ethics

An advanced seminar on a selected theological ethicist, problem, or theme in Christian ethics. Prerequisites: FDC 600 and TH 500. May be repeated with different topics.

Syllabus - Spring 2012, taught by Melinda McGarrah Sharp
ET 880.01 Christian Mission and Ethics in a Violent World

There is no question of the pervasive presence of violence in the world throughout human histories and into contemporary context.s The purpose of this course is to establish and build on a basic framework of Christian ethics in order to study models of Christian moral reasoning and responding in the face of violence over a variety of contexts including colonialism, slavery, Holocaust, apartheid, human trafficking, sexualized violence, war, and other contemporary examples. We will focus on an ethics of practice around three complex yet distinct Christian responses to violence: complicity, bystander, and resistance. Prerequisite: completion of at least one foundation course.

Syllabus - Spring 2017, taught by Melinda McGarrah Sharp
ET 900 Research in Ethics

Advanced individual research on selected issues in the field of ethics. Offered on request only to advanced students.

ET 900.02 Christian Peacemakers in Israel/Palestine

Christian peacemaker teams and other Christians volunteering as solidarity workers in the Middle East offer insights regarding the changing role of global missions. This ethics course explores political and religious dynamics in the United States that influence the conflict between Palestinians and Israelis. Students will review ethical issues and intersections with recent political struggles in the region. Congregations look to their pastors to sort out questions about the Middle East. This course prepares pastoral leaders to evaluate rhetoric and ethical issues in U.S. policy and theological debates concerning the Middle East.

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