Online Courses

Fall 2016

New Testament Greek I, B 115   Matt Boersma

This course begins an introduction to the basic elements of New Testament Greek with an emphasis on vocabulary, the noun system, and indicative verbs. Students begin translating brief passages from the Greek New Testament. 3 semester credits.

History of Christianity I, H 101   Ken Rogers

This course gives an overview of the history of Christianity from the apostolic period to the eve of the Reformation. Topics addressed include theoretical issues in studying the history of Christianity, early Christianity, the Constantinian shift, Augustine’s influence, asceticism, the Middle Ages, medieval lay piety and dissent, monastic orders, the papacy, and the beginnings of the Renaissance. 3 semester credits.

Conflict Transformation, P 201   Debbie Roberts

This course provides the student with an introduction to the study of conflict and its resolution. We will explore the basic theoretical concepts of the field and apply this knowledge as we learn and practice skills for analyzing and resolving conflicts. The course seeks to answer the following questions at both the theoretical level and the level of personal action: What are the causes and consequences of social conflict? How do we come to know and understand conflict? How do our assumptions about conflict affect our strategies for management or resolution? What methods are available for waging and resolving conflicts productively rather than destructively? 3 semester credits.

Patterns of Worship, M 220   Dawn Ottoni-Wilhelm

This semester-long course will introduce students to the theological, historical, creative, and performative dimensions of diverse patterns of corporate worship in North America (i.e., blended, emergent, Anabaptist, other). Through the creative interplay of theology and imagination, students will design services for a variety of settings, including worship services in Bethany’s Nicarry Chapel. 3 semester credits.

Brethren and Society, H/T 318   Denise Kettering-Lane

This course considers the movement of the Brethren from a sectarian group in colonial America towards a more mainstream model of Christianity in the twenty-first century. Brethren have had a mixed relationship to society and social issues from the very beginning of the tradition as they have sought to be faithful to the New Testament. The struggle between being a set-apart people and accommodating broader cultural and social tendencies will provide a helpful lens for understanding how Brethren have related and continue to relate to a variety of issues, including missionary work, slavery, the temperance movement, women’s rights, publication, and secret societies. The course will also consider how Brethren perspectives on some issues have remained constant while others have changed dramatically. 3 semester credits. Prerequisite: H101 or H102, and T101; recommended H201 or T207.

The following courses are offered by Earlham School of Religion.

Introduction to Old Testament History and Literature, BS 101   Nancy Bowen

This course introduces students to the diversity of literary and theological traditions in the Old Testament. Attention will be given to the formation and role of these traditions in the context of the life and history of the people of Israel and to their function in contemporary life and faith. 3 semester credits.

Organizational Leadership, LS 101   Jay Marshall

This course is the foundational course required for the religious leadership emphasis and is open without prerequisites to all students. The course surveys key aspects of organizational leadership. It will provide an introduction to theories of leadership and an understanding of organizational culture. It will also address practical issues of leading an organization. As a course devoted to preparing for ministry, it must also give attention to the place of spirituality in the workplace. 3 semester credits.

Introduction to Theological Reflection, TS 101   Grace Kim

This course introduces students to the history and practice of reflecting on faith, the Church’s theological symbols, and the way in which particular doctrines give shape to our experience. This course and Constructive Theology form two parts of students’ exposure to the expansive and diverse Christian theological tradition. Students will read and discuss texts—ancient, contemporary, and from a variety of cultural settings—concerning the themes of revelation and Holy Spirit, God, Christ, and salvation. 3 semester credits.

Writing as Ministry, WR 101   Ben Brazil

This course introduces the idea of writing as ministry from multiple perspectives, divided into two major parts. The first examines the spiritual practices, disciplines, temptations, and attitudes associated with both reading and writing. The second part uses biblical genres as a guide and inspiration for our own writing. We will learn by reading great writers, people who make us gasp or laugh out loud. We will also read a handful of academic texts, which will help us think more carefully about what writing as ministry means and how it operates in people’s lives. 3 semester credits.

Quaker History and Literature, QS 107   Steve Angell

This course aims to provide a student with a comprehensive and useful overview of Quaker history by acquainting them with diverse forms of Quaker literature. Our experience and understanding of Quakerism will be shaped through an encounter with a range of Quaker primary source literature, both in terms of genre and of historical period. This course also aims to introduce the student to a superb resource unavailable to previous generations of Quaker scholars, that of ESR’s online Digital Quaker Collection.3 semester credits.

Pastoral Care with Family Systems, PC 348   Jim Higginbotham

This course explores the theoretical bases of systems theory and how this perspective has evolved into family therapy. Major family systems models are examined in relationship to practical theology and their use by pastors and faith communities in understanding families and other systems. Contextual issues beyond the family structure, including social and cultural factors, are a focus of the discussion. 3 semester credits. Prerequisite: PC 101/101-O.

Spring 2017

Introduction to the New Testament, B 102   Michael McKeever

This course offers a survey of the 27 writings that compose the New Testament canon.  We will study each of these writings with attention to their literary form and content, their origins in the life of early Christian communities, and their meanings for readers today. 3 semester credits.

History of Christianity II H 102   Ken Rogers

The course continues the overview of the history of Christianity from the Reformation to the present. Topics of study include the Magisterial Reformation, the Radical Reformation, Roman Catholic reform, Protestant Orthodoxy, Pietism and the Evangelical Awakening, the impact of Enlightenment rationalism, missionary expansion, Protestant liberalism and fundamentalism, the ecumenical movement, Christianity in developing countries, and the Christian decline in the industrialized West. 3 semester hours.

New Testament Greek II, B 116   Matt Boersma

As the sequel to New Testament Greek I, this course continues to introduce the basic elements of the language, including vocabulary and the grammar of participles and other nonindicative verb forms. By the end of this course, students are able to translate passages from the Greek New Testament with the aid of the lexicon. 3 semester credits. Prerequisite: B 115.

History of the Church of The Brethren, H 201   Denise Kettering-Lane

This course investigates the history of the Brethren from their beginning as a movement amidst German Pietism to their transplantation and spread in America, major divisions, mission work, and interactions with wider Christianity and surrounding cultures, attending to their development from a rather homogeneous to a somewhat more ethnically diverse group. Along with theological concerns, the course will investigate social historical contexts for the Brethren story. 3 semester credits.

Ministry across Generations, M 241   Russell Haitch

Grounded in the discipline of practical theology, this course examines Christian ministry from the standpoint of intergenerational concerns, including three large questions: (1) What does it mean to do ministry in a world where half the population is under 25 and where many churches have mostly older members? (2) How do the events of ministry, from womb to tomb, become opportunities for engaging people across generations? (3) How can awareness of our own age and stage in the human lifespan help us to do ministry that reaches across generations? The course draws on insights from both theology and the human sciences. 3 semester credits.

Brethren Beginnings, H 370   Ken Rogers

The past few years have witnessed the publication of important new studies of Radical Pietism and the religious situation in Germany out of which the Brethren movement emerged. This course examines some of these works, comparing them with selected journal articles and the relevant sections of older studies by the late professor Donald Durnbaugh and others. The course considers the variety of Radical Pietism, its similarities with and differences from the established churches, and its views on particular issues such as church history, eschatology, nonviolence, property, and the family. 3 semester credits. Prerequisite: H 101 or H 102 or T/TS101 or permission of the instructor. 

The following courses are offered by Earlham School of Religion.

Introduction to Pastoral Care, PC 101   Jim Higginbotham

This course is an experiential and critical exploration of pastoral care. Caregiving in a faith community or by its representatives is a practical theological activity, drawing on religious tradition, social sciences, theology, and the gifts of the people involved. Therefore, this class focuses on the integration of person, faith, belief, method, and practice. Skills of attending, listening, understanding, and caring are addressed in the context of social and personal dynamics. 3 semester hours.

Spiritual Formation and Personal Practice, FC 102   Phil Baisley

This course seeks to help students integrate their own spiritual formation with the development of skills for public ministry, as well as to assist them in ongoing discernment around particular gifts and skills for ministry. The course is relational at its core; the student’s relationship with God, self, and others—as well as with communities beyond the seminary walls—are the primary resources for formation. 3 semester credits. Prerequisite: FC 101/101-T. 

Writing for God and God’s People, WR 250   Ben Brazil

This course will allow you to explore what may be a leading to write. It will encourage you to discover the shape and texture of the leading and focus it into an appropriate literary form: an essay, story, memoir, journal, article, sermon, book, blog, book review—even a newsletter or a tweet. It will encourage that part of you that is always listening to the whispers of God to open more fully, listen more deeply, and guide you into the work. And it will provide an opportunity for you to sharpen your craft and prepare a work for publication. 3 semester credits.

History of Christian Spirituality, SP 342   Michael Birkel

This course explores the spiritual traditions of Christianity in its historical and global context. Students will be introduced to the origins, development and diversity of traditions of the Christian faith and the great variety of spiritual practices they spawned. Students will learn how different traditions took root in unique historical and cultural circumstances and how they reflect a particular way of thinking about God. Students will not only gain knowledge and information about a variety of Christian traditions but will also gain a more reflective and discerning understanding of their own tradition, and will be able to draw on new insights, disciplines and practices to deepen their own experience of God’s presence in their lives, and in the lives of the communities they will be serving in their ministry. 3 semester credits. Prerequisite: HS 101/101-O or HS 102/102-O. 

Comprehensive Seminar, SC 380   Steve Angell

This seminar is part of the evaluation process in the student’s achievement of a degree and is to be taken in semester two of the student’s final year. It enables the student to have an experience in integrating learning from all areas of the curriculum around a given problem. The seminar also serves to strengthen a student in areas of weakness. 3 semester credits.

Hebrews, BS 390   Tim Seid

Reading and research on selected topics from the Bible, including both book studies from different parts of the Old and New Testaments and topical studies, e.g. Women in the Old Testament; Apocalyptic Literature; Old Testament Theology; Jesus as Sage; Gospel of John; Romans; Philippians; Hebrews; James. Different topics are considered in subsequent offerings; therefore, this seminar may be taken for credit more than once. 3 semester credits. Prerequisite: BS 101/101-O or B 102/102-O.

Course listings are subject to change.  Please be sure to check the registrar’s current course schedule on the Seminary Academic Services website for possible additional courses or corrections.