Traditional and Block Courses

Traditional classes meet twice weekly for one hour and fifteen minutes per session.  Block classes meet once a week for two hours and fifty minutes.

Fall 2016*

MA Formation Seminar, I 101   Nate Inglis

This course provides a context in which to discern the kind of theological scholarship and public leadership each MA student would like to pursue and use as an anchor for their studies at Bethany. Participants in this course become familiar with the various academic disciplines of theological education, with particular attention given to developing a sense of vocation along with critical thinking, research, and writing skills. The weekly seminars also provide the setting for students to examine the social and spiritual shape of their scholarly identity, with an emphasis on learning to tell their unfolding intellectual autobiography. By the end of the semester, participants will have chosen their MA scholarship path (MA portfolio or MA thesis) and area of concentration. 3 semester credits.

Introduction to the New Testament, B 102   Dan Ulrich

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.

Exegeting the Call and Culture of  of Ministry, F 110 – Part 1   Tara Hornbacker/Dan Poole

ECC provides a formational context in which to process seminary life and discern readiness to participate in Ministry Formation (F 301). Participants in this course explore the various aspects of Christian ministry with particular attention to pastoral/congregational ministries. Students examine social and spiritual shaping of ministerial identity through specific readings, small group work, theological reflection, and ministry interviews. 1.5 credits per semester, 3 credits granted at the successful completion of the entirety of F 110.

Intercultural Theory, I 202   Scott Holland

This course introduces students to the concept of intercultural competency. Taken in the semester prior to the Intercultural Education and Travel course and functioning as a preparation for that experience, this course focuses on: understanding cultural contexts; identifying how cultures construct meaning; using anthropological, sociological, theological, and other methodological approaches to increase one’s intercultural competency; reflecting on and critiquing one’s own culture and biases or assumptions that shape one’s worldview; and preparing oneself for engaging another culture and people. Date/time arranged with instructor. 1 semester credit.

Environmental Ethics in Theological Perspective, T 228   Nate Inglis

Environmental questions surrounding population growth, conflict and war, economic patterns of consumption and production, food and water scarcity, environmental racism, and the treatment of animals, plants, and land all pose challenges to traditional Christian ethics.  They also challenge Christians to consider what resources in their own tradition might inspire creative ethical responses to these concerns.  This course will examine these issues by reflecting on the theoretical, theological, and practical dimensions of environmental ethics through a case-study approach.  Students will have the opportunity to develop an environmental ethic consistent with their own theology or values and to reflect on the relationship between environmental ethics and church ministry or social leadership. 3 semester credits.

Educating in the Spirit, M 230   Russell Haitch

This course looks at education in light of the Person of the Holy Spirit, the human spirit of the person, and the relationship between the two, by drawing on insights from both theology and the human sciences. With a steady focus on how and why people are creative, participants in the course will study the dynamics of socialization and transformation, with a view toward understanding what it means to teach and learn “in the Spirit.” 3 semester credits.

Ministry Formation, F 301 – Part 1   Tara Hornbacker/Dan Poole

Participants engage in critical and constructive reflection concurrent with their field education ministry placement in this year-long course (400 hours in the placement over the course of two semesters.) Students consider a variety of ministry topics, working with case studies and the ministry resources of their faith journeys. Group interaction and leadership are important components of the learning process. For more information see Ministry Formation & field education on page 24. Prerequisites: 27 credit hours completed including: F 110, T/TS 101, one course in biblical studies, one course in ministry studies, and faculty certification of readiness. 3 semester credits per term, 6 granted at the successful completion of the entirety of F 301.

NT Exegisis: Gospel of Matthew, B 302   Dan Ulrich

An introduction to the theory and practice of New Testament exegesis, utilizing the Gospel of Matthew as case material. Careful attention will be given to the various worlds of exegetical inquiry: the world within the text, the world behind and around the text, and the world in front of the text. 3 semester credits. Prerequisite: B 102.

Narrative Theology, P/T 313   Scott Holland

Recent decades have witnessed and welcomed a “narrative turn” in theology, hermeneutics, homiletics, biblical studies, and peace studies. This course will bring a variety of narrative theologies into constructive conversation with literary critical models of narrative theory as we study the form and function of story-shaped approaches to naming ourselves and rendering God’s name in history. Special attention will be given to how story might serve the task of seeking cultures of peace as we apply our narrative studies to autobiography (William Stafford’s Down in My Heart) and fiction (Pat Barker’s Regeneration). Students may earn theology credit by devoting their final project to a topic in narrative theology and hermeneutics or they may earn peace studies credit by researching and writing on the theme of story and peace-building. 3 semester credits.
Prerequisite: P 126 or T/TS 101.

The following courses are offered by Earlham School of Religion.

Spiritual Formation and Personal Practice, FC 101   Michael Birkel

In this course, students engage in a multidimensional reflection on their personal spiritual journey as experiential grounding for ministry. Students explore spiritual autobiography (their own and others) and personal and corporate Christian spiritual disciplines, as well as core practices of Quaker spirituality, in order to deepen their practice of faith. Active, prayerful listening is emphasized in the course through participation in an ongoing small group that continues through the second semester (FC 102). At the end of the first semester, students draft a vision for their spiritual practice, one designed to foster both solitary and communal spiritual growth. 3 semester credits.

Introduction to Pastoral Care, PC 101   Jim Higginbotham

This course is an experiential and critical exploration of pastoral care. Care-giving 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 credits.

Pastoral Spirituality, PM 150   Phil Baisley

This course emphasizes the personal side of pastoring. Topics will include maintaining one’s overall health and spiritual focus, being part of a pastoral family, building healthy relationships with a congregation, and identifying one’s philosophy of ministry. While designed for new pastors or those planning to become pastors, this course will also be helpful to students who have been working in congregations for some time. 3 semester credits.

Literary Nonfiction, WR 230   Ben Brazil

This course will give you an opportunity to explore the rich possibilities of creative nonfiction, one of the most popular and quickest growing forms of literary writing practiced today. It will introduce you to some of the sub genres of creative nonfiction – memoir, personal essay, narrative journalism, and the lyric essay, among others – and to the genre bending techniques that make this kind of writing so compelling. We’ll also explore fundamental questions about generating and developing essay ideas; integrating subjective experience and researched fact; structuring essays that win and keep readers’ attention; and, finally, the ethics of writing about real people. 3 semester credits.

Modern Quaker Life and Thought, QS 347    Steve Angell

This course seeks to explore the institutions, practices, and intellectual activities of Friends, beginning with the year 1900. Particular emphasis will be placed on the intellectual richness of Quaker thought in the last century, especially that of the liberal and evangelical strands which have become predominant in Quakerism during this period. Intellectual roots of these traditions will be sought, with a goal of charting the boundaries between Quaker and non-Quaker expressions of these types of Christianity and religious thought. 3 semester credits. Prerequisite: HS 107.

History of Friends Peace Witness, PJ 351   Lonnie Valentine

This course studies the responses of the Society of Friends to peace and justice issues past and present. What is sought is the history of the actual Quaker practice during such conflicts as well as what Quakers said about their practice. Examples of such issues would be war, slavery, sexism and oppression of women and people of color. We will also look at the methodological issues present in the historical analysis of those practices, as presented by Quaker historians such as Rufus Jones, Hugh Barbour, John Punshon, Course Offerings 75 Peter Brock, and Wilmer Cooper. 3 semester credits. Prerequisite: A course in Quaker Studies.

Spirituality of Peacemaking, PJ 370   Lonnie Valentine

The goal for this course is investigating in what sense, if any, spiritual growth relates to work for peace and justice. At times the spiritual life is understood as separate from the rest of life: what is deeply internal is not relevant to what goes on in the world. Likewise, the life seeking peace and justice in the world is often seen as separate from the interior spiritual life: what is vital in the world is irrelevant to a person’s relation to God. We will question this dualism and explore alternatives both experientially and academically. 3 semester credits. Prerequisite: FC 101/101-T & FC 102/102-O.

Images of God, BS 372   Nancy Bowen

This is one of several upper level courses that examine a theme or issue and its synchronic and/or diachronic development within the Old Testament. This course examines the diversity of images of God in the Old Testament. Students will explore the meaning and significance of these images for Israel and contemporary communities of faith. Students will also consider how these images cohere with their own understanding of God. 3 semester credits. Prerequisite: BS 101/101- O or B 102/102-O.

Reimagining the Gospels, BS 390   Nancy Bowen

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.

Spring 2017*

Introduction to Theological Reflection, T 101   Nate Inglis

This course is an introduction to theology as language that reflects on the activity and presence of God in our lives. Using a variety of theological texts, the course will examine both classic expressions of the Christian faith as well as ones that treat contemporary questions and problems. 3 semester credits.

History of Christianity II, H 102   Denise Kettering-Lane

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 credits.

Exegeting the Call and Culture of  of Ministry, F 110 – Part 2   Tara Hornbacker/Dan Poole

ECC provides a formational context in which to process seminary life and discern readiness to participate in Ministry Formation (F 301). Participants in this course explore the various aspects of Christian ministry with particular attention to pastoral/congregational ministries. Students examine social and spiritual shaping of ministerial identity through specific readings, small group work, theological reflection, and ministry interviews. 1.5 credits per semester, 3 credits granted at the successful completion of the entirety of F 110.

Hebrew II, BS 112   Adjunct

These course provides an introduction to basic Hebrew grammar and vocabulary, as well as to the tools for translation, such as lexicons and dictionaries. This course prepares the student for subsequent reading and exegesis of the Hebrew biblical texts. 3 semester credits. Prerequisite: BS 111.

Introduction to Preaching, M 120   Dawn Ottoni-Wilhelm

This course introduces students to a basic understanding of the value and methods of preaching in ministry. Attention will be given to the application of biblical exegesis in the preparation of sermons, and students will be instructed and given opportunity to apply homiletical theory and skills necessary in preparing, presenting, and constructively criticizing different types of sermons. 3 semester credits.

Intercultural Theory, I 202   Adjunct

This course introduces students to the concept of intercultural competency. Taken in the semester prior to the Intercultural Education and Travel course and functioning as a preparation for that experience, this course focuses on: understanding cultural contexts; identifying how cultures construct meaning; using anthropological, sociological, theological, and other methodological approaches to increase one’s intercultural competency; reflecting on and critiquing one’s own culture and biases or assumptions that shape one’s worldview; and preparing oneself for engaging another culture and people. Date/time arranged with instructor. 1 semester credit.

Ministry Formation, F 301 – Part 2   Tara Hornbacker/Dan Poole

Participants engage in critical and constructive reflection concurrent with their field education ministry placement in this year-long course (400 hours in the placement over the course of two semesters.) Students consider a variety of ministry topics, working with case studies and the ministry resources of their faith journeys. Group interaction and leadership are important components of the learning process. For more information see Ministry Formation & field education on page 24. Prerequisites: 27 credit hours completed including: F 110, T/TS 101, one course in biblical studies, one course in ministry studies, and faculty certification of readiness. 3 semester credits per term, 6 granted at the successful completion of the entirety of F 301.

Theological Anthropology, T 305   Nate Inglis

Theological anthropology is the study of human nature in relation to God.  It intersects with questions of grace, sin, salvation, and the person of Jesus Christ.  By putting traditional Christian views of humanity in dialogue with insights from the natural and social sciences, we will focus on current questions about gender, race/ethnicity, sexuality, disability, culture, the distinction between human beings and other animals, humanity’s relationship to the natural world, and what it means to be human. 3 semester credits.

Preaching the Gospels, B 328   Dawn Ottoni-Wilhelm

What is the gospel we preach and how does it relate to the biblical witness of Jesus Christ and the Spirit’s presence among us? This upper-level course in preaching will develop a practical theology of preaching that arises out of our encounter with the synoptic Gospels and their relationship to the dynamic movement of the gospel in the church and the world today. With attention given to difficult passages of Scripture and difficult challenges facing our culture and our congregations, we will explore the good news revealed in Jesus’ own preaching and the horizon of hope it offers us today. Students will preach at least two sermons and prepare a paper outlining their own theology of preaching as it is informed by reading, lectures and class discussions. 3 semester credits. Prerequisite: M 120 or M 125 or PM 101 and B 102.

MDIV Review, F 502   Russell Haitch

As the capstone course of the MDiv program, this course challenges students to interpret, integrate, and communicate what they have learned in previous course work and ministerial experiences. Students will also anticipate future ministry settings as they apply their learning to theological topics of ongoing interest and concern. Students will compile a portfolio of previous work, complete an oral interview with faculty, and write a final project. 3 semester credits.

The following courses are offered by Earlham School of Religion.

Introduction to the 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.

Spiritual Formation and Personal Practice, FC 102  Michael Birkel

In this course, students engage in a multidimensional reflection on their personal spiritual journey as experiential grounding for ministry. Students explore spiritual autobiography (their own and others) and personal and corporate Christian spiritual disciplines, as well as core practices of Quaker spirituality, in order to deepen their practice of faith. Active, prayerful listening is emphasized in the course through participation in an ongoing small group that continues through the second semester (FC 102). At the end of the first semester, students draft a vision for their spiritual practice, one designed to foster both solitary and communal spiritual growth. 3 semester credits.

American Religious History, HC 103   Steve Angell

This introductory course studies the roles of major churches in the development of American culture and society, their roots both in this continent and others, and links to the frontier, the Civil War, industrialism, and urbanization; also an examination of persons and books from such movements as the Awakenings, Revival Movement, liberalism, fundamentalism, the Social Gospel, and current standpoints. 3 semester credits.

Theology and Preaching, PM 320   Phil Baisley

This course will help students consider the need for intentional theological preaching in a congregational context. It will also equip students to develop theological sermons that are accessible to congregants given their varying levels of religious training, their perceptual preferences, and their learning styles. 3 semester credits. Prerequisite: TS 101/101-O & PM 101-O or other preaching course.

Christian Ethics, TS 336   Lonnie Valentine

An examination of the Christian moral life and the theological convictions that animate it, including its understanding of the good, of conscience, the nature of humanity, and the fath community’s public witness. These proposals are considered in conversation with selected issues requiring careful and responsible Christian engagement, for example, war and peace, the environment, and genetic engineering.  3 semester hours. Prerequisite: TS 101/101-O or T 101/101-O.

Writing Seminar, WR 350   Ben Brazil

Practice in all facets necessary for preparing a major writing project for the reading public (writing, revising, editing, market research, queries). Students will develop a “contract” of what they intend to accomplish by the end of the semester: goals, completed writing, and materials necessary for publishing that writing. Direction for the course is determined in part by students’ interests and needs as they work toward publication of their writing projects. Workshop format. 3 semester credits. Prerequisite: WR 101 & any 200 level writing course.

Liberation Theologies, TS 366   Lonnie Valentine

Liberation Theologies investigates the various theologies of liberation, such as AfricanAmerican, Latin American and Latina/o, feminist/womanist, LBGT/Queer, ecological, and nonviolent. Students engage personally with the challenges of these theologies, visit organizations engaged in social justice advocacy, analyze the arguments of these theologies and then begin to construct their own theology in dialog with this tradition of theology. 3 credit hours. Prerequisite: TS 101/101-O.

Pastoral Care with the Dying and Their Families, PC 368   Jim Higginbotham

This course examines the grief process and the ways in which pastoral care can be provided during bereavement and anticipated death. It explores personal, cultural, spiritual, and theological understandings of mortality, grief, loss, and end-of-life so that students may be able to develop their own pastoral theological framework for understanding such issues. 3 semester credits. Prerequisite: PC 101/101-O.

Comprehensive Seminar, SC 380   Nancy Bowen

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 hours.

*Please note that specific course time scheduling does not take place more than a year ahead, so it is not yet certain which traditional courses may be scheduled as block courses for future years.  For planning purposes, all yet-to be-determined traditional or block courses are listed here on this page.
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.