Biblical Studies



Biblical and Theological Examination of the Role of Women in Ministry

Faculty: Dr. James O. Wolfe III (Profile)

Description: This course will explore the biblical and theological bases for the exercise of ministry by women in the Church. An investigation will be made of biblical texts which intimate women in ministry and a full range of theological traditions will be considered including the historical sweep of the subject as a theological issue in historical theology.

Required Reading:

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Biblical Myth and Pastoral Theology

Faculty: Dr. Timothy Allen (Profile)

Description: The focus of this class is to look closely at categories of Bible stories--creation; journey; hero; wisdom; history; apocalyptic and others-- and how they might inform a better pastoral theology in the context of ministry. 

Required Reading:

  • J. Timothy Allen, A Theology of God-Talk: The Language of the Heart (New York: Haworth Pastoral Press, 2002).

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A Biblical Theology for Biotechnology

Faculty: Dr. Paul J. Kirbas (Profile)

Description: This course will consider a biblical ethic for nature itself, as well as the human manipulation of nature that is at the center of many aspects of current biotechnology. Building upon a core understanding of this biblical ethic, the course will invite participants to evaluate a chosen area of biotechnology by utilizing a tool that is offered by the course. While the first several sections of response papers should be focused on the core material, the final sections should reflect the student’s own choice of a particular biotechnological issue to be addressed.

Required Reading:

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Communicating the Gospel to a Post-Literate, Digital Culture

Faculty: Dr. D. Jonathan Watts (Profile)

Description: The church has always faced the challenge of presenting the Word of God in a way which relates to its contemporary culture. The church of the twenty-first century, defined as a Post-Literate or Digital Culture, is no exception. This tutorial, using the text The Forensic Reconstruction of a Good Story: Gospeltelling to a Digital Culture, explores the patterns and models for the exegetical investigation of a biblical text and to provide a method for preaching/proclamation within a multisensory environment.

The first unit reviews the historical background of worship followed by a historical understanding of the role of preaching/proclamation in the expansion and development of the church. The third unit examines the differing methods of sermon/proclamation creation. The fourth unit explores an approach labeled Gospeltelling: a biblically based, exegetical, narrative style of preaching designed to relate to the Digital Culture. Unit five is a model for bridging the ancient text to the current culture through thorough exegetical examination and cultural connection. The final unit concludes with a presentation of the development and application of that method using the parable of The Prodigal Son found in Luke 15.

Required Reading:

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Encountering the Resurrection Narratives

Faculty: The Rev. Dr. Donald E. Blumenfeld (Profile)

Description: This E–Tutorial examines the resurrection accounts and post-resurrection appearance narratives in the canonical Gospels. The cultural, historical and theological antecedents of resurrection belief will be considered. An exegetical study of the passages will be undertaken, emphasizing the historical-critical approach to Biblical theology.

Required Reading:

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Help My Unbelief! Doubt, Faith, and the Gospel of Mark

Faculty: Dr. Timothy Allen (Profile)

This tutorial will be controversial but I believe it is necessary given the emergence of a new type of Christian in our churches today. There are two premises for this course. First, church as run today, is disappointing for many Christians. Evangelical triteness and mainline staleness are turning off Christians who have been loyal to the church all their lives.  Second, these Christians have many questions for the church that are ignored by the church. They no longer believe in the virgin birth of Christ, do not anticipate a physical return of Jesus, and do not put their hope in many tenets of the creeds. Still, they go to church faithfully and do the work of Christ. When they express their views the Church responds with “You must not doubt, you must believe!” Their pastoral needs are totally ignored by this type of response.
 
If scripture is alive then it should meet the needs of those who ask questions. Where do doubters in the faith go for spiritual nurture? I believe that the Gospel of Mark was written for doubters in the early time of the church. My book, Help My Unbelief! Doubt, Faith, and the Gospel of Mark addresses this issue.
 
After this tutorial you should have a resource to use in your conversations with the growing numbers of doubters in the faith.
 
Required Reading:
  • Help My Unbelief! Doubt, Faith, and the Gospel of Mark (Wipf & Stock)
  • Supplement your weekly reading with commentaries, Bible dictionaries and encyclopedias.

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Social Entrepreneurship as a "Gospel Compatible" Business Model

Faculty: The Reverend Dr. Joanne Neal (Profile)

Description: This e-tutorial focuses on two essential questions:

  • To what extent might social entrepreneurship be a constructive model for the integration of ethical business and management practices and Christian faith values?
  • How might social enterprise allow the Church and business to partner in the resolution of intractable social problems with which social entrepreneurship is concerned?

The processes of globalization have resulted in both positive and negative outcomes for human beings and for the environment. Social entrepreneurship, as a constructive outcome of globalization, has its own particular niche within the global market economy. Social entrepreneurship is a phenomenon that has been steadily gaining ground in the past two decades. It is a dimension of entrepreneurial activity aimed at generating social value and creating sustainable change rather than focusing on producing monetary profit as its primary goal. Social entrepreneurship, at its heart, is highly compatible with the values, beliefs, and goals of the Christian Church in its mission to achieve social, economic, and environmental justice. It has tremendous potential to be an inspiring exemplar of what it means to live out the Gospels.

Required Reading:

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Steps of Faith - A Bible Curriculum for Faith Development

Faculty: Dr. Timothy Allen (Profile)

Description:  This Etutorial proposes a faith growth model based on the educational theory of James Fowler’s Stages of Faith combined with various Bible passages. The premise is that we can build a “primer” of faith for those who seek to increase their Bible knowledge and their spiritual growth. Put together in the right sequence, Bible passages can be used as stepping stones for spiritual faith development.

Required reading:

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