Course Descriptions 2012-2013 Academic Year
 
CH 1501 - The Christian Movement

An overview of the development of Christianity in the ancient and medieval periods. Emphasis is placed on the diversity of Christian witness in this period.

CH1501 Syllabus


 

CH 1502 - The Christian Movement in a Changing World

An overview of the development of Christianity in the modern period with a primary focus on the evolution of Christianity in the Americas and Asia.


 

ET 1502 - “The View from Below”: An Introduction to Christian Ethics

This course assists students in acquiring greater skill and confidence in doing ethical reflection within the context of Christian life and ministry at the beginning of the twenty-first century. 

The Christian community, as both context and resource for shaping moral character and conduct, is called to sustain a way of life with distinctive loyalties, values, and commitments. 

Adopting the “view from below” and advocating justice as communal right relatedness, especially with those who are marginalized, provide the starting

points for inquiry into Christian ethics as a practical discipline of the church.

ET1502 Course Syllabus

 


 

ET 1705 - Sexuality and the Social Order

This course offers a critical examination of both personal and social dimensions of human sexuality, an investigation into the meaning of sexual justice for church and society, and an opportunity to frame a constructive social ethic of sexuality for “keeping body and soul together” in these times.

ET1705 Syllabus


 

ET 1709 - Ministerial Ethics

Changing clergy identity, roles, and responsibilities will be addressed in relation to a range of ethical issues faced in congregational life and ministry, including confidentiality, clergy misconduct, collegiality with professional peers, and the ethics of preaching, counseling, and social witness.  A theological framework for ethical pastoral conduct will be developed with attention to issues of power and professionalism and their limits.

ET1709 Syllabus


 

ET 1711 - Moral Legal and Medical Issues in Health Care

This course explores selected ethical, theological, legal, and ministerial issues within the U.S. health care system, including such things as experimentation using human subjects; patient-assisted death; new reproductive technologies; race, gender, and medicine; genetic counseling; paternalism and patient rights; organ donation; HIV/AIDS; stem cell research; and fair access to health care resources.  The focus is on the care of persons, the demands of justice, and the role of religious leaders as advocates for responsible health care.

ET1711 Syllabus

 


 

ET/PTP 1721: Theology, Theory, and Practice of Organizing Change

This course is intended to provide participants with both theoretical understanding and practical guidance to organize members of congregations and local communities to work for social change. We will examine the work and thought of four major figures (M. L. King, Jr., Paulo Freire, Saul Alinsky, and Nelson Mandela) and investigate several local, community-based organizations working for social change

ET/PTP1721 Syllabus

 


 

MLS1501 - Reflective Practice

This course serves as an introduction to the field of Ministry and Leadership Studies. Attention is given to the larger cultural context in which the church finds itself at the beginning of the 21st century; current issues in the church such as language for God and human beings; gender, race, and class; vocation and calling; critical thinking; personal spiritual discernment; and ministerial ethics. Entering students develop learning goals for their theological education based on their degree program goals. The course also includes instruction in developing a portfolio for the mid-degree review. The course is strongly recommended for students in their first or second semester of study. It is required for all Master of Divinity degree candidates.

MLS1501 Syllabus


 

MP 1501 - Mentored Practice and Seminar

Within a variety of church and community contexts, and in conversation with their mentor, students reflect on the strengths needed for effective pastoral ministry. In the weekly seminar on campus, students encourage their peers to engage in theological reflection and provide for each other both support and constructive criticism.

Prerequisites & Notes
The prerequisite for enrolling in this seminar is MLS1501 - Reflective Practice. Master of Arts and Special Students must be approved for enrollment by the full faculty before they are admitted to Mentored Practice.

MP1501 - Portland Syllabus

 


 

MP 1502 - Mentored Practice and Seminar

A continuation of MP1501. Two different ministry sites may be used as long as one experience addresses some dimension of community ministry. If both semesters are done in a local church, the second semester must include emphasis on social justice.

Prerequisites & Notes
The prerequisite for enrolling in this seminar is MLS1501 - Reflective Practice. Master of Arts and Special Students must be approved for enrollment by the full faculty before they are admitted to Mentored Practice.

MP1502 - Bangor Syllabus

MP1502 - Portland Syllabus

 


 

NT 1501 - The Four Gospels

An introduction to the literary characteristics, the historical background and the hermeneutic significance of the four canonical gospels.  The course further describes their literary context within the Christian Bible and compares them to extra-canonical Christian gospels.

NT1501 Syllabus


 

NT 1503 - New Testament Introduction

A one semester careful reading of the New Testament texts that puts these works in their historical context. Different approaches to the interpretation of the New Testament will be discussed. Designed for students who lack a comprehensive knowledge of the New Testament texts.

NT1503 Syllabus

 


 

NT 1506 - Introduction to the New Testament II

This course continues the survey, begun in NT1503, of the contents of the New Testament, its historical contexts, diverse literary forms, and religious ideas.  This section includes literary analyses of selected texts from the Johannine literature, the Deutero-Pauline letters, and some important non-canonical texts along with explorations of their historical contexts and religious ideas. The course provides opportunities to explore questions about Christian origins and to exegete selected New Testament passages.

NT1506 Syllabus

 


 

NT/ET 1723 - Scripture and Ethics

Moral deliberations and questions of ethics taken up in contexts of Christian faith expressions often make appeals to four sources of wisdom: scripture, reason, tradition, and experience.  This course will focus on the place of scripture in its relationship to reason, tradition, and experience; it will provide opportunities to explore the different ways scripture is used in moral deliberation and to investigate the underlying premises/presuppositions beneath the different modes of argumentation and appeals.

Prerequisites & Notes
Course can also be used to fulfill a Christian Ethics requirement.

NT/ET1723 Syllabus


 

NT/OT1735 - Isaiah, Paul, and Luke

The writers of the New Testament texts were deeply rooted in the Scriptures of Israel – those texts giving shape and content to the writers’ spiritual reflections, theological ground, and liturgical expression.  This course primarily employs the method of intertextual criticism to explore the apostle Paul’s and the evangelist Luke’s understandings of their own scriptural traditions. The course will include general investigations of Paul’s and Luke’s readings of Genesis, Exodus, 1 and 2 Kings, and the prophets; it will then move into more specific and targeted investigations of their readings of Isaiah. Students will come to deeper appreciations of Paul and Luke as scriptural exegetes and innovators of their traditions, and for the theological fabric from which the letters and Third Gospel are fashioned.


 

OT 1714 - The Isaiah Scroll

A study of the living nature of tradition in the successive segments of the Isaiah scroll.  Particular attention is given to the elements of continuity and discontinuity in the theology, teleology and messianic task of the followers of Isaiah of Jerusalem as they transmitted the message across the centuries of changing socio-cultural concerns.

OT1714 Syllabus

 


 

PTP 1602 - Introduction to Pastoral Care

The ministry of caring is the work of a community of faith.  Mutual openness to one another and to the presence and will of God are central features of caring communities.  Particular attention will be given to listening and communication skills; connections between theology and practice will be developed through case studies and role play.

Reading List
PTP1602 Syllabus


 

PTP/SFD 1645 - Psychosocial and Spiritual Dimensions of Health and Sickness

The purpose of this course is to introduce participants to some spiritual, theological and psychosocial perspectives on health and sickness.  Ministers, chaplains, pastoral counselors and health care professionals (including parish nurses) play a critical role in the life of a church or congregation, and they will be more effective in working with church members and congregants after achieving an introduction to a theological and spiritual vision of health and sickness.  This vision will, of necessity, be interdisciplinary in nature, because the work of any minister, chaplain, pastoral counselor or health care professional is highly interdisciplinary.  Such work always involves medical knowledge, skills of counseling and care,  and a sense of the church and its overall mission and work.  Topics for consideration will include definitions of health and sickness, the relationship of contemporary concepts of both sabbath and forgiveness to health and sickness, along with both biblical and family systems theory perspectives on these concerns. 
  
Prerequisites & Notes 
Course can also be used to fulfill a requirement in Spiritual Formation and Direction.

PTP/SFD1645 Syllabus

 



PTP 1740 - Pastoral Theology and Psychology

This a beginning foundational course in pastoral theology and psychology for those interested in the work of pastoral ministry in a variety of expressions – the pastoral counselor, the parish pastor, and the professional chaplain.  Students will develop their own creative image for pastoral theology and care,  and they will also gain experience in using the Case Study method with colleagues. 

The first half of the course focuses on various approaches to pastoral theology, while the second half provides an introductory overview of pastoral psychology, with focused attention in two contemporary critical areas: family systems theory and its relationship to pastoral work, and pastoral work in relation to addiction/codependency/recovery issues.

Required Texbooks

PTP1740 Course Syllabus

 


 

PTP 1742 - Family Systems and Pastoral Care

This course is to introduce students to basic concepts in family systems theory, from a variety of  perspectives, and includes a strong practical training component with a special focus on older adults and their families.  All families have intricate patterns of communication, and family systems theory coupled with a theological vision gives us a more precise way of interpreting and effectively interfacing with those patterns.  Conflict arises regularly and naturally in families, and can be either constructive or destructive.  It is both an inevitable and necessary component of family life and when managed well, it can bring forth wonderful fruits. Sometimes elders and their family members need caring assistance in navigating conflicts, and pastors and caregivers need training to be able to step in and help effectively.  All family members, and in this culture (due to its ageism) especially elder family members, need empowerment; thus our work as pastors and caregivers should ultimately serve this end.  Students will learn how to use some of their family of origin dynamics in service of the ministry to elders and their families, as well as in service to congregations. Film resources will be used in class on occasion to supplement readings, role plays and discussions.

PTP1742 Syllabus


 

PW 1601 - Introduction to Christian Worship

An exploration of the history, theology, and practice of Christian worship. Participants study their own denominational worship traditions and gain confidence in liturgical leadership. Required for all Master of Divinity Students.

Prerequisites & Notes
At least one course in theology or church history or permission of instructor.

Portland Campus -PW1601 Syllabus

 


 

PW 1602 - Introduction to Preaching

A step-by-step process of preparing and shaping effective sermons and practice for developing your best preaching voice and style. You will preach two sermons in class, and work with your peers to achieve your goals together. Required for all Master of Divinity Students. Pass/Fail course. No auditors allowed.

Prerequisites & Notes
At least one course in biblical studies and one in theology or permission of the instructor.

Portland Campus - PW1602 Syllabus

Bangor Campus - PW1602 Syllabus

 



ST 1501 - Introduction to Christian Doctrine I

An introduction to the essential affirmations of the Christian faith and to various historic issues and debates. The course stresses the critical and constructive study of theological texts and fosters skill in theological reflection. ST1501 begins with the basics of theological method, and considers the doctrines of the Trinity, God, Creation and Providence. Required for all Master of Divinity students. To be taken in conjunction with ST1502.

Required Texts

1) Alister E. McGrath.  Christian Theology – An Introduction.  5th Edition.  Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell, 2011.  ISBN 978-1-4443-3514-9.  $49.95

2) Office of the General Assembly, Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.).  Book of Catechisms – Reference Edition.  Louisville: Geneva Press, 2001.  ISBN 0-664-50153-2.  $25.00

3) St. Irenaeus of Lyons.  On the Apostolic Preaching.  Crestwood, NY: St. Vladimir’s Seminary Press, 1997.  ISBN 0-88141-174-4.  $17.00

4) Stanley J. Grenz.  Theology for the Community of God, 2nd ed.  Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2000.  ISBN 0-8028-4755-2.  $40.00

5) Daniel Migliore.  Faith Seeking Understanding: An Introduction to Christian Theology.  2nd ed.  Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2004.  ISBN 0-8028-2787-X.  $27.00

6) Philip W. Butin.  The Trinity.  Foundations of Christian Faith.  Louisville: Geneva Press, 2001.  ISBN 0-664-50140-0.  $13.00


 

ST 1502 - Introduction to Christian Doctrine II

This course continues to foster critical and constructive skills learned in ST1501, while considering Christology, Human Nature, Sin, Grace, the Holy Spirit, the Church, other religions, and the “Last Things” (Eschatology). Required for all Master of Divinity students. To be taken in conjunction with ST1501.

Required Texts

1) Alister E. McGrath.  Christian Theology – An Introduction.  5th Edition.  Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell, 2011.  ISBN 978-1-4443-3514-9.  $49.95

2) Office of the General Assembly, Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.).  Book of Catechisms – Reference Edition.  Louisville: Geneva Press, 2001.  ISBN 0-664-    50153-2.

3) Stanley J. Grenz.  Theology for the Community of God, 2nd ed.  Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2000.  ISBN 0-8028-4755-2.

4) Daniel Migliore.  Faith Seeking Understanding: An Introduction to Christian Theology.  2nd ed.  Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2004.  ISBN 0-8028-2787-X.

5) Scot McKnight, A Community Called Atonement.  Living Theology, Tony Jones, series editor.  Nashville: Abingdon Press, 2007. ISBN: 0687645549.

6) Joseph D. Small, ed., Fire and Wind – The Holy Spirit in the Church Today, Louisville: Geneva Press, 2002. ISBN: 0664501729.


 

ST 1601 - Living Trinitarian Faith

A follow-up to ST1501 and ST1502, this course considers in more detail key issues associated with Christian Trinitarian belief. The course fulfills the Senior Integrative Experience requirement for Master of Divinity students.

Required Texts

1) Ben Witherington III & Laura M. Ice, The Shadow of the Almighty – Father, Son and Spirit in Biblical Perspective, Grand Rapids: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 2002.  ISBN: 0802839487

2) Roger E. Olson & Christopher A. Hall, The Trinity, Guides to Theology, Grand Rapids: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 2002.  ISBN: 0802848273

3) John Webster, Holy Scripture – A Dogmatic Sketch, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2003.  ISBN: 0521831180

4) Robert Sherman, King, Priest, and Prophet – A Trinitarian Theology of Atonement, New York: T. & T. Clark International, 2004.  ISBN: 0567025608

5) Gerhard Lohfink, Does God Need the Church? A Michael Glazier Book – The Liturgical Press, 1999.  ISBN: 0814659284


 

ST 1730 - Credo: Summary of Christian Doctrine

An opportunity for students to express in their own words their appropriation of the basic teachings of the Christian faith. Intended primarily for seniors preparing the theological segment of ordination papers, but may be of interest to other seniors seeking a cumulative, integrative theology course. Counts as a Senior Integrative Experience for Master of Divinity students.

Required Texts

1) Mark A. McIntosh.  Divine Teaching: An Introduction to Christian Theology.  Malden, MA: Blackwell Publishing, 2008.  ISBN 978-1-4051-0271-1.  $41.95
     
2) Ephraim Radnor and George Sumner, ed., The Rule of Faith – Scripture, Canon, and Creed in a Critical Age, Harrisburg, PA: Morehouse Publishing, 1998.  ISBN 0-8192-1741-7.  $20.00
     
3) James J. Buckley and David S. Yeago, ed., Knowing the Triune God – The Work of the Spirit in the Practices of the Church, Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 2001.  ISBN 0-8028-4804-4.  $30.00
     
4) Miroslav Volf and Dorothy C. Bass, ed., Practicing Theology – Beliefs and Practices in Christian Life, Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 2002.  ISBN 0-8028-4931-8.  $20.00

5) Graeme Goldsworthy, Preaching the Whole Bible as Christian Scripture, Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 2000.  ISBN 0-8028-4730-7.  $25.00

6) Ellen F. Davis and Richard B. Hayes, The Art of Reading Scripture, Grand Rapids: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 2003.  ISBN 0-8028-1269-4.  $35.00

 

 


 

WR 1606 - Introduction to Judaism

An overview of Judaism, both as a religious tradition and in the role it has played in the life of the Jewish People over 4,000 years, including history, commandments, life cycle events and holidays.  We will also focus on the relations between the Jewish People and other faith communities – particularly Christianity -  historically, in the present, and prospects for the future.

WR1606 Syllabus