OVERVIEW The Department of Bible and Ministry provides formal instruction in biblical and theological studies. It seeks to encourage all students to pursue Christian faith, values, and service and offers preparation for graduate studies or a vocation in Christian ministry.

Academic Opportunities

The Bachelor of Science degree supports formal preparation for Christian ministry or biblical studies. Undergraduate degrees are available in Biblical Studies, Christian Ministry, Urban Ministry, Worship Ministry, and Youth and Family Ministry. Concentrations in either Biblical Studies or Ministry are available under the Interdisciplinary Studies program for those who are interested in Vocational Ministry. Minors are offered in biblical studies, biblical languages, Greek, theology, or youth and family ministry.

Career Opportunities

Graduates are well prepared for several roles in Christian ministry. Common ministerial opportunities include preaching, congregational ministry, youth and family ministry, missions, and teaching. Graduates also find jobs in parachurch organizations in fields such as community renewal, chaplaincy, and youth services. The degree also provides a foundation for graduate studies in ministry and theology.

MAJORS/MINORS

Majors/Minors

Biblical Studies MajorChristian Ministry Major
Youth and Family Ministry Major

FACULTY

COURSE DESCRIPTIONS

Course Descriptions

BIB — BIBLE

BIB 2113 Genesis An entry-level, discussion based, study of the book of Genesis, with particular attention to literary artistry and analysis, ancient Near Eastern parallel literature, and major theological concepts, noting especially the book’s themes, structure, and canonical-theological significance within the Pentateuch and for the rest of the Old Testament.

BIB 2213 Life of Christ Introduction to the life and teachings of Jesus Christ as represented in the gospel literature of the New Testament.

BIB 2223 Christian Beginnings: Acts Introduction to the life and mission of the earliest Christians as represented in the Acts of the Apostles.

BIB 2333 Biblical Studies Tools Introduces students to basic Greek and Hebrew concepts necessary for effectively using critical resources in interpreting Scripture. PR: REL 1013

BIB 2983 Biblical Interpretation Combines textual, historical, and linguistic knowledge and skills with sound hermeneutical principles to develop proficiency for logical interpretation of the scriptures.

BIB 3113 Pentateuch Historical, literary, cultural, and theological analysis of Genesis through Deuteronomy. 4000-level credit comes with additional requirements. PR: Junior status

BIB 3123 Old Testament Prophets Historical, literary, cultural, and theological analysis of the entire Old Testament prophetic books, Isaiah through Malachi, excluding Daniel. 4000-level credit comes with additional requirements. PR: Junior status

BIB 3153 Old Testament Poetic Literature Literary, cultural, and theological analysis of Psalms, Song of Songs, and Lamentations. PR: Junior status

BIB 3163 Old Testament Wisdom Literature Literary, cultural, and theological analysis of Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, and Job. PR: Junior status

BIB 3203 Synoptic Gospels Contextual study of the life and teachings of Jesus Christ, stressing the history, text, theology, and interrelationship of Matthew, Mark, and Luke. 4000-level credit comes with additional requirements. PR: Junior status

BIB 3233 Pauline Letters I A study of Paul’s earlier letters, including 1 and 2 Thessalonians and Galatians, with attention given to their historical context and literary function as well as what they contribute to our understanding of Paul’s life and teachings. PR: Junior status.

BIB 3243 Pauline Letters II A study of Paul’s later letters, alternating between the Prison Epistles (Philippians, Philemon, Colossians, and Ephesians) and the Pastoral Epistles (1 and 2 Timothy, Titus). Explores the historical context and literary function of these letters as well as what they contribute to our understanding of Paul’s life and teachings. PR: Junior status.

BIB 3263 Hebrews A study of the book of Hebrews that focuses on its literary purpose, historical context, and theology. PR: Junior status.

BIB 3273 General Epistles A study of 1 and 2 Peter, James, and Jude that emphasizes the literary purpose, historical context, and theology of each book. PR: Junior status.

BIB 3283 Revelation A study of the theological message of Revelation, both within its original historical and cultural contexts and with respect to its modern relevance. Selected topics include apocalyptic literature, eschatology, the nature of symbolism, the nature of Biblical prophecy, and the issue of human suffering. PR: Junior status.

BIB 3323  Urban Ministry in the New Testament This course explores the growth and development of early Christianity within urban environments of the Roman Empire and the implications of that for contemporary ministry. Some topics explored are the importance of the city in the Roman Empire and in biblical theology, issues of economics and social status, and Christian conflict with and engagement of Greco-Roman urban culture.

BIB 3613 Special Topics in Biblical Studies Various topics in the field of Biblical studies, as chosen by the instructor. Can be used toward upper-level textual requirements and for GEO religion credit.

BIB 4193 History and Theology of the Old Testament An exploration of history and theology in dynamic relationship within the Old Testament. Examines various theological perspectives within the Old Testament in light of the historical background and crises which offer a concrete context for their development. Includes a contextual-ideological approach to reading the Old Testament that focuses on the socioeconomic, political, religious, and community aspects of diverse theological views that form and reform across the long history represented in the Old Testament. PR: BIB 2983 and senior status.

BIB 4213 Luke and Acts The birth and expansion of the early church in a historical, textual, and theological study of the book of Acts. Highlights the relevance of Acts to the contemporary church. PR: BIB 2983 and senior status.

BIB 4293 History and Theology of the New Testament An exploration of history and theology in dynamic relationship within the New Testament. Examines various theological perspectives within the New Testament in light of the historical background and historical crises which offer a concrete context for their development. PR: BIB 2983 and senior status.

BIB 4394 Contemporary Issues in Hermeneutics The program capstone, in which students study the process of applying advanced exegetical research (in both the Old and New Testaments) to concrete life situations. Includes critical assessment of traditional and current hermeneutical trends. PR: BIB 2983 and senior status.

BIB 4893 Advanced Textual Studies Advanced exegetical work in biblical textual study, ordinarily cross-listed with a 3000-level textual class. Explores historical context and literary function of the chosen text, with reading and written assignments that are appropriate for 4000-level coursework. PR: Senior status or permission of instructor.

GRE — GREEK

GRE 1214 Elementary Greek I Basic Koine Greek. Highlights the importance and function of Greek language in the writing of New Testament books and letters.

GRE 1224 Elementary Greek II A continuation of GRE 1214 that includes selected readings from the New Testament. PR: GRE 1214.

GRE 3314 Intermediate Greek Grammar Selected readings from the Greek New Testament with an emphasis on advanced features of grammar and syntax. PR: GRE 1224.

GRE 3413 Advanced Greek Readings I Selected readings from the Greek New Testament. PR: GRE 3314.

GRE 3423 Advanced Greek Readings II Selected readings from the Greek New Testament. PR: GRE 3314.

HEB — HEBREW

HEB 1214 elementary Hebrew I Basic principles, grammar, and vocabulary needed to translate from the Hebrew Bible.

HEB 1224 Elementary Hebrew II Continuation of HEB 1214; additional grammatical and vocabulary skills. Includes readings from the Hebrew Bible. PR: HEB 1214.

HEB 3413 Advanced Hebrew Readings I Selected Readings from the Hebrew Bible. PR: HEB 1224.

HEB 3423 Advanced Hebrew Readings II Selected Readings from the Hebrew Bible. PR: HEB 1224.

MIN — MINISTRY

MIN 1333 The Ministry Life Explores the sources of a minister’s calling and how that relates to the actual demands and opportunities of ministry.

MIN 1411 Ministry Practicum Practical experience in ministry in a local church or other religious organizations or programs. Opportunities for ministry experiences include assisting in a youth ministry program, preaching, church education, assisting in a Christian service project, or participating in a short mission trip. A minimum of 3 hours of hands-on ministry activity per week is required for credit.

MIN 2401/2402/2403 Missions Outreach Internship Extended congregational or mission work during spring break, a summer mission campaign, or GEO program. Credit granted in proportion to length of the internship.

MIN 2513 Theology of Ministry Examines the Biblical narrative (with attention to historical and contemporary texts) to engage the question of the content and purpose of ministry with special attention given to developing a theology of ministry in light of contemporary concerns such as gender roles, the place and function of worship, the question of ministerial “offices,” and ethical issues that pertain directly to Christian ministers.

MIN 2613  The Congregation Views life of the congregation from a variety of perspectives: theological, cultural, organizational. Provides tools for understanding and engaging congregations.

MIN 3333 Introduction to Youth Ministry Explores relationship-based youth and family ministry. Focuses on the youth minister’s role in youth programs, meeting youth needs, and strengthening the family. PR: Junior status.

MIN 3353 Religion, Media, and Youth Culture Exploration of the media’s influence within youth and adolescent culture. Includes both negative and -positive perspectives on the role of media (film, television, music, video games, Internet, etc.), the treatment of morality and meaning in media, and the importance of these issues for the life of the church.

MIN 3363 Family Life Ministry A study of models for ministry to families in churches with an emphasis on a systems approach to family ministry. Emphasizes life cycle issues, church programming for families, and preventative planning. PR: Junior status.

MIN 3423 Issues in Culture and Evangelism Explores the Biblical, theological, and cultural rationale for evangelism, paying special attention to the questions of content and function of evangelism and how the Christian message influences (and is influenced by) various contemporary cultures.

MIN 3523 Practical Issues in Ministry Explores the practical activities of the congregational minister with special attention to the wide variety of ministerial possibilities that might be pursued. Examines administration and organization, teaching and education, ceremonial responsibilities (such as weddings and funerals), as well as matters of ministerial finance and legal obligations. PR: MIN 2613 and Junior status.

MIN 3613 Pastoral Care Biblical, psychological, and practical guidelines for counseling in a church setting. PR: Sophomore status.

MIN 3623 The Church and Society Explores the role of the church in society, providing theological evaluation of social institutions that call for Christian action and discusses the proper role of religion in public life. PR: Junior status.

MIN 3813 Ministry of the Word Develops an understanding of the active Word of God as a basis for ministry. Various dimensions of ministry of the Word, including preaching, teaching, discerning and confessing are explored. PR: BIB 2983

MIN 3873 Ministry Internship Apprenticeship in a religious organization: preaching, religious education, youth work, or personal evangelism. Requires a written activity report. Permission to enroll in MIN 4873 for academic credit is granted after consultation with the supervising professor and the completion of the internship work requirements. PR: MIN 2613, senior status, PI.

REL — RELIGION

REL 1003 Introduction to Christian Faith A survey of the central narrative and primary themes of the Christian faith with a brief discussion of historical developments and schools of thought that have shaped the belief and practice of the Christian tradition.

REL 1013 Survey of Biblical Literature A survey of the Old and New Testaments with special emphasis given to the historical occasion, literary genre, and religious themes of each book.

THL — THEOLOGY

THL 2013 Spiritual Formation A theological and practical introduction to spiritual development through the study of scripture and other works in spiritual formation and through experience in practicing the traditional Christian disciplines.

THL 2023 Theology of Worship A theological introduction to both the content and purpose of worship through examination of the biblical narrative, the study of other historical and contemporary texts, and experience participating in Christian worship.

THL 3613 Special Topics in Religion Various topics in the field of religion, as chosen by the instructor. PR: Junior status.

THL 3623 Hymnology and Church Music Examines congregational song, including hymnody and contemporary church music. Course will examine biblical foundations, historical development, and cultural influences regarding the role of music in the worship and life of the church. Co-taught with music faculty.

THL 3793 History and Theology of the Christian Tradition I Focuses on fundamental Christian doctrines with a special emphasis on their development through history. Coverage begins in the first century and continues into the Medieval period. PR: Junior status.

THL 3893 Special Topics in Historical Theology Examination of a specialized topic in the field of Historical Theology. Topics include the American Restoration Movement, religious life in the United States, Christianity in the Global South, the formation of the Bible, and other specializations. PR: Junior status.

THL 4003 History and Theology of the Christian Tradition II Focuses on fundamental Christian doctrines with a special emphasis on their development through history. Coverage begins in the Reformation era and continues into the present day. PR: Junior status.