THEO 6001 Christian Formation in Discipleship: Acts of Piety (2 cr.)
This is the first course students take for the MA and the MDiv degree programs. It is a one-week intensive study that introduces students to the spiritual practices associated with what John Wesley called “works of piety” or the “means of grace.” The acts of piety include prayer, worship, celebration of the Lord’s Supper, the reading and hearing of Scripture, fasting, and mutual accountability and support in small groups. During this week, students live in community together and engage in both the academic study and the practice of these acts of piety. The course is structured vertically to deepen daily personal piety and horizontally to broaden life in community. The practices introduced in this course are then woven into the series of courses that comprise the MA and MDiv degrees. Thus, this initial course provides students with insights and opportunities that are vital to the “abbey” emphasis of the graduate program, and stresses the essential role that acts of piety play in the ongoing life and ministry of the Church.
THEO 6002 Christian Formation in Mission: Acts of Mercy and Justice (2 cr.)
This is the second course students will take for the MA and the MDiv degree programs. It introduces students to the practices of support and advocacy associated with what John Wesley called “works of mercy”: feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, welcoming the stranger, caring for the sick, visiting prisoners, sheltering the homeless, and peacemaking toward the goal of changing social structures for the sake of the Gospel. Students live in the urban context of Seattle and engage in both the academic study and the practice of these acts of mercy. Personal works of mercy are connected to the necessity of the ongoing communal work of social justice. Focusing on such practices helps define the “apostolate” emphasis in the MA and MDiv degrees, and deepens students’ understanding of and engagement in practices vital to the graduate program and to the ongoing life and ministry of the church. This course is structured vertically to deepen daily personal piety, and horizontally to broaden life in community.
THEO 6003: Christian Formation: Social Holiness in Context (2 cr.)
Gives second-year seminary students the opportunity to practice the art of mutual soul care – to which they were introduced in their first year through participation in a Wesleyan class meeting – in the context of an intentionally diverse small group. These accountability groups are formed with the intent to foster spiritual transformation and intercultural social change, to expose students to the foundational principles of Christian reconciliation, and to introduce students to the knowledge base and practical skills needed to organize and implement such groups in various ministry settings.
THEO 6010 Bible I: Interpreting and Teaching Christian Scripture (3 cr.)
Equips students to interpret and teach Christian Scripture in relation to scholarship, ministry, and spiritual formation. Students will learn and carefully evaluate a variety of historical, literary, theological, and practical strategies for the interpretation and application of Scripture. Foundational in this course is a conception of Scripture that is indispensable for teaching diverse biblical texts to a global audience.
THEO 6020 Global Christian Heritage I: AD 100–1453 (3 cr.)
Explores the history of Christianity from its beginnings through the fifteenth century. With particular attention to primary sources, the course introduces students to the thought, institutions, missionary endeavors, and modes of piety that marked Christianity, in its various contexts, during that period.
THEO 6030 Theology/Ethics I: Doctrine of God and Environmental Stewardship (3 cr.)
Explores the basic beliefs and practices of the historic Christian faith in active engagement with the contemporary world. The course introduces students to the doctrines of the Triune God, creation, and human nature with particular attention to their ethical, missional, and devotional embodiments.
THEO 6040 Bible II: Introduction to the Old Testament (3 cr.)
Prerequisite: THEO 6010. Equips students to interpret and teach the Old Testament as Christian Scripture. Students will survey Old Testament literature, learning to use a variety of approaches in adapting Scripture’s witness to God for today’s church and world.
THEO 6050 Global Christian Heritage II: AD 1454–1900 (3 cr.)
Explores the history of Christianity from the late medieval roots of the Reformation through the 19th century. With particular attention to primary sources, the course introduces students to the thought, institutions, missionary endeavors, and modes of piety that marked Christianity, in its various contexts, during that period.
THEO 6060 Theology/Ethics II: Doctrine of Christ and Holistic Discipleship (3 cr.)
Explores the basic beliefs and practices of the historic Christian faith in active engagement with the contemporary world. The course introduces students to the doctrines of the person of Jesus Christ, the work of Jesus Christ, and salvation with particular attention to their ethical, missional, and devotional embodiments.
THEO 6070 Bible III: Introduction to the New Testament (3 cr.)
Prerequisite: THEO 6040. Equips students to interpret the New Testament as Christian Scripture. Students will survey New Testament literature, learning to use a variety of approaches in adapting Scripture’s witness to God for today’s church and world.
THEO 6080 Global Christian Heritage III: AD 1900–Present (3 cr.)
Explores the history of Christianity from the beginning of the 20th century to the present. With particular attention to primary sources, the course introduces students to the thought, institutions, missionary endeavors, and modes of piety that marked Christianity, in its various contexts, during that period.
THEO 6090 Theology/Ethics III: Doctrine of the Holy Spirit and the Global Church (3 cr.)
Explores the basic beliefs and practices of the historic Christian faith in active engagement with the contemporary world. The course introduces students to the doctrines of the Holy Spirit, the church, and Christian hope with particular attention to their ethical, missional, and devotional embodiments.
THEO 6101 Koiné Greek I (3 cr.)
Emphasizes the essentials of Koine Greek vocabulary, grammar, and syntax, enabling the student to begin reading the New Testament and with the potential to study other kinds of Greek literature, including the Septuagint. Requirements include class participation, regular homework assignments, including translation from and into Greek, an event journal, and both midterm and final exams.
THEO 6102 Koiné Greek II (3 cr.)
Prerequisite: THEO 6101. Emphasizes the essentials of Koiné Greek vocabulary, grammar, and syntax, enabling the student to continue reading the New Testament without looking up every word and with the potential to study other kinds of Greek literature, including the Septuagint. Requirements include class participation, regular homework assignments, including translation from and into Greek, an event journal, and both midterm and final exams.
THEO 6103 Koiné Greek III (3 cr.)
Prerequisite: THEO 6101 and 6102. Emphasizes the essentials of Koiné Greek vocabulary, grammar, and syntax, enabling the student to read the New Testament for exegetical and homiletical purposes while knowing most of the grammar and with the potential to study other kinds of Greek literature, including the Septuagint. Requirements include class participation, regular homework assignments, including translation from and into Greek, an event journal, and both midterm and final exams.
THEO 6201 Hebrew I (3 cr.)
Surveys the essentials of biblical Hebrew, including grammar, morphology, syntax and vocabulary, through the translation of selected Old Testament texts.
THEO 6202 Hebrew II (3 cr.)
Prerequisite: THEO 6201. Continues to survey the essentials of biblical Hebrew, including grammar, morphology, syntax and vocabulary, through the translation of selected Old Testament texts. It seeks to provide a beginning knowledge of the exegetical task and the tools to achieve it. This course is meant to be taken in a sequence with Hebrew 1. If the sequence is interrupted, a placement exam must be passed before the second quarter begins.
THEO 6203 Hebrew III (3 cr.)
Prerequisites: THEO 6201 and 6202. Continues to survey the essentials of biblical Hebrew, including grammar, morphology, syntax and vocabulary. It seeks to provide a beginning knowledge of the exegetical task and the tools to achieve it. This course is meant to be taken in a sequence with Hebrew 1 and 2. If the sequence is interrupted, a placement exam must be passed before the third quarter begins. Includes a translation of the book of Jonah.
THEO 6210 Readings in Scripture–Greek (3 cr.)
Prerequisites: THEO 6101, 6102, and 6103 or GRK 6201, 6202, and 6203. Studies a selected text or texts from the Greek Old Testament (Septuagint) and/or the Greek New Testament. This course will include an in-depth exegetical treatment of the text, focusing on linguistic analysis of the Greek text. Attention will be given to historical, literary, and theological questions, as well as selected issues in the history of interpretation. May be repeated for credit up to nine credits.
THEO 6211 Readings in Scripture–Hebrew (3 cr.)
Prerequisites THEO 6201, 6202, and 6203. Studies a selected text or texts from the Hebrew Old Testament. This course will include an in-depth exegetical treatment of the text, focusing on linguistic analysis of the Hebrew text. Attention will be given to historical, literary, and theological questions, as well as selected issues in the history of interpretation. May be repeated for credit up to nine credits.
THEO 6230 Scripture and Proclamation (3 cr.)
Introduces students to a theological reading of the English texts, ordered by the church's liturgical calendar. Students will hone their exegetical skills on selected "lections" or reading of related passages from the Old Testament, Psalter, New Testament, and the Gospels. They will practice relating biblical exegesis to the core theological beliefs illumined by every season of the sacred year (e.g. Advent, Lent, Easter). In doing so, students will become familiar with a compelling strategy for interpreting and proclaiming Scripture so that its every part targets God's Incarnate Son and the global community of his disciples. May be repeated for credit 3 times.
THEO 6240 English Bible Exegesis (3 cr.)
Introduction to the interpretive practice of close reading, using the English text of a biblical book (e.g. Genesis, John) or of several related biblical books (e.g. Samuel-Kings, the Pauline Letters). May be repeated for credit up to nine credits.
THEO 6401 Wesleyan/Methodist Doctrine (3 cr.)
Examines the theological vision of John Wesley and the theological methodologies, doctrinal commitments and strategies for Christian formation characteristic of the Wesleyan tradition, and explores their relevance for contemporary Methodist, Wesleyan and Holiness church bodies.
THEO 6403 Theology of Christian Worship (3 cr.)
Examines the doctrinal content, aesthetic form and intended ethical outcomes of Christian worship. Representative liturgies and theologies of word and sacrament from the Eastern Orthodox, Roman Catholic and Protestant traditions will be studied in detail. The class may make several Sunday morning site visits to churches in the Seattle area which use these liturgies.
THEO 6404 Theological Explorations (3 cr.)
Examines a representative theologian or a theological topic of significance for students preparing for ministry. Representative theologians include Augustine of Hippo, Martin Luther, and Karl Barth. Potential topics include missional theology, theodicy, theology and the moral imagination, and contemporary intellectual currents. May be repeated for credit up to nine credits.
THEO 6405 Theology in Geographical/Historical Context (3 cr.)
Examines the theological contributions of the church in a particular geographical and historical context. Potential topics include the history and theology of the church in North America, in Latin America, in Asia and in Africa.
THEO 6412: Leading and Designing Congregational Worship (3 cr.)
Worship services are the most central and public activity engaged by church congregations. This course equips the student to design and lead faith communities in worship. The course explores the relevance of theological and biblical instruction, through a variety of resources such as music, visual arts, poetry, drama and dance.
THEO 6500 Ministry To and With Persons with Disabilities and Their Families (3 cr.)
Trains persons in the helping professions to perform ministries of care, support and advocacy to and with persons with physical disabilities, mental disabilities, chronic illnesses, permanent sensory impairments and/or bodily disfigurements, and to and with their families. The course will take an interdisciplinary approach, placing recent biblical scholarship and theological reflection on disability into conversation with contemporary educational, medical, and social-scientific theories of disability. Attention will also be given to legislation governing the accessibility of public spaces and the means of making appropriate accommodations for persons with disabilities to the services and programs offered in churches, schools, businesses and other public institutions.
THEO 6510 Theology, Race, and Culture (3 cr.)
Examines the relationship between the ministry of the church and the complicated realities of race and culture in the modern world. The course will trace the development and varying interpretations of racial and cultural identity through theological and non-theological materials as well as cultivate a theological framework to negotiate these realities in the church and the world.
THEO 6511 Gender and Christianity (3 cr.)
Explores gender and issues of sexuality through hermeneutical, historical, theological, and ecumenical resources to consider the challenges and possibilities of considering male and female as created in the imago dei. The course will apply these insights to the intersections of gender and ministry for the contemporary church.
THEO 6512 Reconciliation and Intercultural Studies: Foundations for Leadership (3 cr.)
Trains future Christian leaders to be socially and culturally relevant in the face of growing demographic shifts, and prepares students to use the lenses of Bible, reconciliation theology, critical thinking, multicultural perspectives, social change analysis, and community building skills for leadership in the work of reconciliation in the church and broader society. Students will study the biblical and sociological principles that guide reconciliation ministry, identify the skills necessary for reconciliation and examine leadership models of reconciliation practice. An experiential-learning component is included to provide students with a laboratory for hands-on practice and contextual ministry.
THEO 6513 Reconciliation and Intercultural Studies: Embodiment and Praxis (3 cr.)
Equips students to minister effectively in cross-cultural and multi-ethnic settings, focusing on the Christian formation of the minister, communication, preaching, teaching, conflict-resolution and contextualization issues. Based on clear biblical, theological, liturgical, and sociological principles, we will identify the skills necessary for reconciliation ministry to flourish and explore how to meet the complex needs of a diverse, multicultural audience effectively.
THEO 6514 Asian American Experience, Identity, and Theology (3 cr.)
Explores the history and formation of Asian American experience and identity as it relates to the context and theory of doing theology from a distinctly Asian American perspective. Students will explore issues in Asian and Asian American history, cultural heritage, immigration, and identity formation. Students will also critically reflect on historically dominant theological paradigms operative in the Asian American community, with the goal of constructing a theological framework for Asian American ministry in the 21st century.
THEO 6515 Asian American Ministry: Context, Praxis, and Reconciliation (3 cr.)
Examines systemic, ecclesial, and individual issues challenging contemporary Asian American communities and congregations, and equips students to effectively lead and cultivate ministries of reconciliation in Asian American and cross-cultural settings. Students will develop an awareness of systemic and cultural issues impacting the community and personal lives of congregations, and will learn to cultivate communities of belonging across the boundaries of age, race, gender, and social status.
THEO 6516 Topics in Asian American Culture and Ministry (1-2 cr.)
Investigates one or more of the religious, cultural, political and psychosocial issues faced by Asian American communities, such as immigration and globalization, racial discrimination and stereotyping, acculturation and enculturation, and intergenerational tensions, and explores the ways in which such issues shape ministry and congregational life in immigrant, pan-Asian American and multi-ethnic churches. Also considers the distinctive contributions that Asian Americans are making to American Christianity and to the global Christian movement. Some sections of this course will focus on the students’ needs to address their own family-of-origin issues and racial/ethnic identity formation; others will equip the students with the practical skills needed to assist others in doing so.
THEO 6610 Encounter of Christian Faith with Other Faiths (3 cr.)
Examines religions such as Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism, Confucianism, Taoism, Shinto, and primal faiths. Each religion is studied in philosophical and cultural context. From the perspective of the Christian faith, each religion is approached with appreciation and critique, seeking points of contact and also areas of contrast.
THEO 6710 Introduction to Practical Theology (3 cr.)
Introduces students to practical theology as disciplined reflection on the church’s life and ministry in response to God’s revelation. Students will be encouraged to reflect critically on congregational practices in worship, education, pastoral care, and mission. Grounded in both theology and the social sciences, students will be equipped to design more faithful and effective ministries in multicultural, local, and global church contexts.
THEO 6720 Vocational Discernment and Discipleship (3 cr.)
Explores various models of Christian discipleship that are intended to sustain a lifetime of ministry, and various processes of vocational discernment. Patterns of Christian spirituality that lead to growth in holiness will be examined and practiced. Attention will be given to the cultivation of devotional exercises in the life of congregations and other Christian organizations.
THEO 6730 Foundations of Student and Family Ministry (3 cr.)
Explores the biblical and psychological foundations of family and family relationships in relation to holistic ministry in the church. Various contemporary ministry models for emerging adults and their families will be discussed and evaluated.
THEO 6740 Preaching (3 cr.)
Introduces the student to the theological context and practical dynamics of preaching. This course centers on preparation methods, presentation skills and critical review experienced in actual preaching by the students in the class sessions. Competencies include public speaking/proclamation, coherent organization and convincing presentation, theological understanding and solid biblical interpretation and vocational readiness. May be repeated for credit up to six credits.
THEO 6741 Evangelism and Mission (3 cr.)
Focuses on different paradigms and practices in evangelism and mission throughout the history of the Christian church, as well as different theological and literary approaches to understanding and communicating the good news of the kingdom of God. Attention will be given to sociological and cultural influences of postmodernism on popular culture. Equips students to generate new strategies for engaging the emerging generation with the gospel.
THEO 6742 Church Administration (3 cr.)
Identifies the key issues surrounding effective administrative, organizational and leadership principles and practices as they relate to the needs of the local and global church. Various approaches to church management and leadership will be looked at within the total context of the practice of ministry and the mission of the Church in the world.
THEO 6743 Pastoral Care and Counseling (3 cr.)
Investigates a broad array of methods and skills for providing effective spiritual care and moral guidance to individuals, couples, and families within a Christian congregation. The resources of Christian scripture and practical theology, as well as contemporary psychology and social theory (e.g., family systems theory, personality theory, and basic psychotherapy) will be used to train students to help their future parishioners meet their personal and social needs, conduct their interpersonal relationships, and handle life’s problems, conflicts, crises and transitions in healthy, responsible and constructive ways.
THEO 6744: Ministerial Leadership (3 cr.)
Explores the basic building blocks of what it means to lead well in a ministry setting and highlights practical, research-based strategies for learning and growing on the job. Topics will include calling and purpose, building and developing your team, dealing with conflict, leading under pressure, balancing work and life, and the paradox of sacrifice and success.
THEO 6745: Christian Social Entrepreneurship and Church Planting (3 cr.)
Assists current and future-church leaders to combine business skills with theological grounding in order to establish social enterprises and fresh expressions of church. Students will apply economic and business knowledge to areas of pastoral support and teaching. They will develop a workable social venture business plan to apply this learning directly to a particular faith community. Course content will include church planting models, financial management and accounting, and community exegesis.
THEO 6750 Denominational Polity (1–3 cr.)
Examines the polity of a given denomination and the congregations that belong to it. Explores the ways in which a given denomination’s ecclesiology, governance structures (legislative, executive and judicial), social policies and ecumenical relations have evolved historically and in which they presently function. It is presumed that all the students enrolled in a given section of this course belong to or intend to join the denomination in question and are preparing for ordination or other professional service therein.
THEO 6751 Denominational History (1–3 cr.)
Examines the history of a given denomination from its founding to the present day. Attends to its major theological voices and to the ways in which its doctrines, policies and practices have been shaped both by the various nationalities and ethnic groups which have affiliated with it and by the religious, socio-cultural and economic conditions of the nations in which it has taken root (especially the USA). It is presumed that all the students enrolled in a given section of this course belong to or intend to join the denomination in question and are preparing for ordination or other professional service therein.
THEO 6895 Theology and Business Integration Seminar (3 cr.)
Serves as the capstone seminar for those in the MA in Business and Applied Theology degree. Provides an opportunity for students to correlate the learning they have received in graduate theology core classes and the Social and Sustainable Enterprise classes from the School of Business and Economics.
THEO 6900 Independent Study (1-3 cr.)
Provides the opportunity for the student to study a topic of special interest under faculty supervision. Permission to enroll must be granted by the Dean of the School of Theology (SOT) or the Associate Dean of Graduate Studies (ADGS). To secure permission, the student must submit a proposal outlining the objectives of the project and demonstrating why his/her educational interests are best served in this way. The proposal must be signed by the faculty member who has agreed to supervise the project. May be repeated for credit up to six credits.
THEO 6930 Graduate Core Practicum (1-2 cr.)
This course (“GCP”) is an integral part of the graduate core curriculum and is distinct from, but still closely related to the three triads of “academic” core courses (i.e., Bible I, II, III; Global Christian Heritage I, II, III; and Theology/Ethics I, II, III). Under normal circumstances, each student will take two credits of GCP in each of the three quarters of his/her first academic year, for a total of six credits. (Permission to take only one credit of GCP in a given quarter must be obtained from the Dean of SOT or the Associate Dean of Graduate Studies.) GCP is intended to help students make connections between the “academic” work they are doing in their core courses and the “abbey” and “apostolate” dimensions of their theological formation. Each student will work out an individualized learning contract with the designated Practicum Coordinator that will address vital areas of character, spiritual formation and missional competence. Ordinarily, this contract will require the student to do the following: (1) meet regularly with a mentor approved by the School of Theology; (2) participate in a weekly campus-based spiritual formation group with other students and a designated faculty member; and (3) design and execute a project that will integrate what he or she is learning in the “academic” core courses his/her personal spiritual growth and professional development as a minister of the gospel. May be repeated for credit up to six credits.
THEO 6940 Contextual Education (2 cr.)
Supervised ministry, taken for academic credit, and carried out in a local congregation, clinical setting (hospital, prison, etc.), para-church agency, or church-related non-profit organization. 12 credits of Contextual Education are required for the MDiv degree, and six credits are required for the MA in Business and Applied Theology and MA in Reconciliation and Intercultural Studies. Minimum time commitment per quarter is 10 hours per week at the placement site for 10 weeks. MDiv students will ordinarily take their first six credits of Contextual Education by enrolling in two credits of THEO 6940 per quarter during three consecutive quarters in the same academic year. They may take the remaining six credits either by enrolling again in THEO 6940 (two credits of which may be in an approved Clinical Pastoral Education program) or by taking THEO 6941 Contextual Education Internship (see below). MAT. students will ordinarily take all six of the required Contextual Education credits by enrolling in two credits of THEO 6940 per quarter during three consecutive quarters in the same academic year. All sites at which SPS students can satisfy their Contextual Education requirement must be approved by the Dean of SOT or the Associate Dean of Graduate Studies and must agree to abide by the SPS Contextual Education Handbook.
THEO 6941 Contextual Education Internship (6 cr.)
Intensive on-site supervised ministry that provides students with an opportunity to reflect on the practice of ministry in light of prior learning in THEO 6940 and other courses. All six credits will be completed in one quarter or summer (30 hours per week for 10 weeks). May not be taken in conjunction with any more than three additional quarter credits of course work. Internships must be approved by the Dean of SOT, the Associate Dean of Graduate Studies, or the SPU faculty member assigned to teach this course during the quarter in which the internship takes place. All sites at which SPS students can satisfy their Contextual Education requirement must be approved by the Dean of SOT or the Associate Dean of Graduate Studies and must agree to abide by the SPS Contextual Education Handbook.
THEO 6942 Internship in Biblical and Theological Instruction (1–3 cr.)
Provides experience in teaching biblical and theological curricula in a concrete ministry setting. This course is a faculty-supervised praxis component of the MA (Christian Scripture) and M. A. (Christian Studies). Students will work with faculty members in the preparation and delivery of teaching materials for on-campus and/or church-based programs and in the assessment of actual teaching experiences. May be repeated for credit up to three credits.
THEO 6950 Contemporary Topics (3 cr.)
Provides a detailed examination of a topic in Christian scripture, theology or ministry chosen by the instructor. The course may be taught in an intensive format by a visiting faculty member. Students receive credit for the course as a Scripture, Theology or Ministry Elective, depending on topic. May be repeated for credit up to nine credits.
THEO 6952 Burning Issues (1-2 cr.)
Investigates a specific social issue of widespread current concern to church and society, or offers concentrated training in some issue of personal or professional interest to clergy and other persons engaged in ministry or Christian service. One section of this “mini-course” will typically be offered each quarter (including summers), with topics alternating between social issues and matters of professional development, and with alternative scheduling models (two-day intensives, weekend retreats, half-quarter modules, etc.) routinely being used. Course may be repeated by MDiv students for credit up to six elective credits, and by MA students for credit up to three elective credits, with change of topic.
THEO 6960 Master’s Project (3 cr.)
The Masters Project is an integrative project allowing students to synthesize various aspects of their academic studies and to give them practical application in a concrete ministry setting. Components of the project can include but are not limited to contextual studies of major theologians, movements, and teachings, past and present; an exploration of the spiritual practices that bring together theology, prayer, and ministry in a particular context; and a qualitative study that facilitates a deep understanding of a particular ministry. The Masters Project is to be guided and monitored, from beginning to end, by an SOT faculty member or designate.
THEO 6980 Cross Cultural Immersion Experience (3 cr.)
Explores issues and questions pertaining to ministry across cultural boundaries. Students will have the opportunity to experience and reflect on specific historical and theological issues of culture and ministry as they pertain to a specific locale. This will include engagement with local ministries, developing paradigms of holistic ministry, biblical foundations of missions, theology of religions and community exegesis and development. Students must receive the approval of the Dean of SOT or the Associate Dean of Graduate Studies prior to enrolling. May be repeated for credit up to six credits.
THEO 6995 Master’s Thesis (6 cr.)
Provides the opportunity for students to utilize competencies developed in their coursework by engaging in a sustained research project on a carefully framed topic. This course is a faculty-supervised research component of the MA (Christian Scripture) and MA (Christian Studies) degrees. The topic and research methodology must be approved in advance by the faculty supervisor.