Bachelor of Arts inTheology

Majoring in Theology involves studying Biblical and Lutheran beliefs, teachings, history, practices and ethics. How is God’s intent disclosed in biblical texts and the Lutheran Confessions? How do Christian themes play out in themes play out in culture, artwork, books and movies? How are we to make moral choices? You’ll develop a greater understanding of people, interrelationships and morally important contemporary societal issues as you take 42 credit hours towards a Bachelor of Arts degree.

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Theology Curriculum Overview

Students in the major in theology will (a) be able to summarize the contents and evangelical message of the biblical text, as this Word of God focuses on Jesus Christ; (b) come to an awareness of the basic assumptions about reality foundational to Christianity, understood from the perspective of the Christian gospel; (c) acquire a familiarity with the history of Christianity and Christian theology in its various contexts and expressions; (d) come to understand the larger body of Christian teaching in relationship to the New Testament gospel; and (e) grow in an ability to apply a Lutheran theological perspective to the study of historical, doctrinal, and societal issues.

Prerequisite:
Course ID Course Name Credit Hours
THL - 206 New Testament 3

An introduction to the historical context and literature of the New Testament. Students master the stories and teachings of early Christianity, and grow in their ability to read texts of the Bible in their historical and literary contexts.

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Required: 22 Credits
Course ID Course Name Credit Hours
THL - 201 Old Testament 3
THL - 241 Church History 3
THL - 371 Mission of God 4
THL - 431 Lutheran Doctrine I 3
THL - 431 Lutheran Doctrine I 3
THL - 432 Lutheran Doctrine II 3
THL - 342 Athens and Jerusalem 4
THL - 496 Senior Thesis 2

An introduction to the historical context and literature of the Old Testament. Special attention is paid to the concepts of promise, law, covenant, grace, and the presence of God in the narratives of the Pentateuch and the Former Prophets. The course also examines the nature of prophecy and the psalm and wisdom resources in the Prophets and Writings.

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A panoramic survey of Christian history and thought from the apostolic age to the present. As such, the course traces the church's institutional history, its theology, its worship life, and the history of its missionary expansion against the larger political, intellectual, and socio-cultural back drop. This course is required for the minor in Confessional Lutheranism. It is not a general education course.

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This course traces the mission of God through the Old and New Testaments. It explores God's intent for his mission people in the past, present and future and discloses that intent in biblical narratives and texts and in Lutheran theology and Lutheran confessions. This course fulfills the intermediate general education requirement for Theology. (Prerequisite: THL100 or THL206 or THL215)

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A study of the content and effective application of the Christian understanding of doctrine itself, God, creation, theological anthropology, and the person and work of Christ, with an exploration of the biblical basis, conceptual framework, and the contemporary significance of the historic doctrine of the Lutheran church. Particular attention will be given to the contributions of C.F.W. Walther to the Lutheran understanding of Law and Gospel. Prerequisites: THL201 and (THL206 or THL215)

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A study of the content and effective application of the Christian understanding of doctrine itself, God, creation, theological anthropology, and the person and work of Christ, with an exploration of the biblical basis, conceptual framework, and the contemporary significance of the historic doctrine of the Lutheran church. Particular attention will be given to the contributions of C.F.W. Walther to the Lutheran understanding of Law and Gospel. Prerequisites: THL201 and (THL206 or THL215)

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A study of the content and effective application of the Christian understanding of the person and work of the Holy Spirit, sanctification, the means of grace, the Christian church, public ministry, and eschatology with an exploration of the biblical basis, conceptual framework, and the contemporary significance of the historic doctrine of the Lutheran church. Particular attention will be given to the contributions of C.F.W. Walther to the Lutheran understanding of church and ministry. Prerequisite: THL431

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A selective historical survey of the principal areas of inquiry, key figures, major issues, and central themes commonly addressed by western philosophy and Christian theology during the ancient, medieval, modern and contemporary periods. Among the topics that may be considered are the relationship of faith and reason; truth; nature and grace; the classical arguments for the existence of God; evil; the philosophical and theological virtues; and religious language. The course is based on extensive readings from primary sources and is supplemented by lectures and discussions. This course fulfills the intermediate general education requirement for Theology. (Prerequisite: THL100 or THL206 or THL215)

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The Senior Thesis is the culminating work of a student majoring in Theology. The purpose of the thesis is to utilize the perspective, understanding, research skills, and writing abilities students have developed in their studies to investigate a substantial topic. The goal is for students to produce a paper of high quality and distinction. The work is normally done in one semester in the senior year under the guidance of a faculty mentor. The paper will be read by a second faculty member and proposed to the annual undergraduate Research Symposium. This course is required for the major in theology. It does not fulfill the general education requirement for Theology.

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Electives: 20 Credits
Course ID Course Name Credit Hours
ARC - 250 Near Eastern Archaeology 4
ARC - 351 Field Archaelogy 4
CHM - 268 Intro. to Christian Ministry 2
ED - 454 Teaching the Faith 2
GRK - 211 Beginning Greek I 4
THL - 219 Princ Biblical Interpretation 3
THL - 310 Archaeology and the Bible 4
THL - 320 Global Christianity 4
THL - 325 Goodness, Justice & Christ Fth 4
THL - 336 The Problem of Evil 4
THL - 344 Martin Luther: Saint & Sinner 4
THL - 351 Jesus and Muhammad 4
THL - 352 Is God Green? 4
THL - 353 Varieties of Beliefs 4
THL - 356 One Nation under God? 4
THL - 357 Christianity & the Media 4
THL - 409 Studies in Biblical Theology 2
THL - 441 Lutheran Confessional Writings 3
THL - 460 Worship for Lutherans 3
THL - 488 Independent Study

The course surveys the archaeology of the Levant from prehistoric times into the Islamic periods. It explores sites, monuments, and artistic remains as expressions of each society's institutions, beliefs, and self understanding. This course also introduces the main issues in the practice of Near Eastern archaeology.

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Through work at a field site, students gain experience in the excavation, recording, collection, conservation, and interpretation of material remains.

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Through an exploration of scriptural, theological, historical and social foundations of Christian ministry, students work to develop a personal philosophy of ministry. In addition, students study and utilize essential leadership skills for effective Christian ministry practice and service. As a major project throughout the course, students develop a professional Christian ministry portfolio.

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Theories of spiritual growth and development of children and adolescents, organization and distinctive characteristics of various religion curricula, theories and methods of effective teaching of the faith and materials for instruction at both elementary and secondary levels are studied. Classroom management and discipline from the Lutheran perspective is also considered. (Prerequisite: ED 336 Educational Psychology, upper level standing.)

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Students begin their study of the fundamentals of Greek grammar.

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As an introduction to principles and methods of Biblical interpretation as employed by Lutherans with a high view of the Scriptures, students will focus on learning and practicing methodological models for studying and interpreting Biblical literature. Special attention will be given to the study of the historical/cultural context and literary nature of the inspired text. Prerequisites: THL 201 and THL 206.

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Archaeology has become an indispensable source for the reconstruction of past cultures and therefore is of direct importance for Biblical studies. The course aims at giving students insight into the material culture of societies in the ancient Levant from the Bronze and Iron ages down to the material context of Early Christianity in the Roman and Byzantine periods. Students will be introduced to basic methods of archaeological work and to important archaeological regions, periods and types of material culture relevant to the world of the Bible and Christianity. Students will use archaeological data to reconstruct contexts for biblical texts. This course fulfills the intermediate general education requirement for Theology. (Prerequisite: THL100 or THL206 or THL215)

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The question ÒWhat is Christianity?Ó will be explored from a global perspective. After surveying the state of Christianity, its teachings, and practices, students will wrestle with basic questions of life and Christian vocation in the third millennium. A major component of the course will be study of worship practices of area churches representing diverse cultural and immigrant groups. This course fulfills the intermediate general education requirement for Theology. (Prerequisite THL100 or THL206 or THL215)

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In this course, students will examine the ways in which both philosophical and theological frameworks change how we live our individual lives and shape the future of our families, friendships, sports teams, businesses, and political societies. In particular, the course invites students to relate these frameworks to their own thinking about sex and family, war and peace, work and the use of its financial fruitsÑand more generally, to the moral and political action to which they believe they are called in this life. This course fulfills the intermediate general education requirement for Theology. (Prerequisite: THL100 or THL206 or THL215)

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The problem of evil has led human beings to ask difficult questions about God. If God is both all-powerful and completely good (as many religious traditions claim), then why does God allow evil? Or, does evil demonstrate that in fact, there is no God? In this course, students will grapple with classic philosophical, Christian, and other religious approaches to these questions. They also will examine how these different approaches lead to different practical responses to evil in our personal lives and in our public life together. This course fulfills the intermediate general education requirement for Theology. (Prerequisite: THL100 or THL206 or THL215)

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This course examines the life and theology of the Martin Luther, instigator of the Protestant Reformation in the 16th century. A prolific writer and bold thinker, Luther appears today on many top ten lists of most influential people in the last millennium. By studying Luther in his medieval context and by reviewing the influence of his thought since the 16th century, the course will explore the relevance of his theology for the 21st century. This course fulfills the intermediate general education requirement for Theology. (Prerequisite: THL100 or THL206 or THL215)

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This course explores the lives, contributions, teachings, and significance of Jesus and Muhammad through selected reading of the Christian Scriptures, pagan and Jewish sources, the QurÕan, Ibn Hishan, Al-Waqidi, and some later writers. Students will gain skill and confidence in reading ancient texts and understanding the historical, social, and religious trends that shaped the ancient world. This course fulfills the intermediate general education requirement for Theology. (Prerequisite: THL100 or THL206 or THL215)

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Drawing on the resources of Christianity and other religions, this course examines issues of ecology, sustainability and human health (broadly conceived). Students will explore the significance of Biblical themes of creation and new creation as they consider 21st century ethical choices for the care of the cosmos and the human community. This course fulfills the intermediate general education requirement for Theology.(Prerequisite: THL100 or THL206 or THL215)

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From a Christian perspective, this course explores the varieties of human religious beliefs. Major religions are surveyed in terms of artifacts, behaviors, emotions, beliefs, values, world views, and histories. The course will cover Animism, Buddhism, Hinduism, Judaism, Islam, and Christianity, with special attention in the latter case devoted to the Christian denominations of North America. Prerequisites: THL100 or THL206 or THL215

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The claim that the United States is a Christian nation will be examined from the Puritan settlers through the rise of the religious right in the late twentieth century, with particular emphasis on the notion of covenant and the influence of Christian leaders in various reform movements (abolitionist, temperance, womenÕs suffrage, civil rights). The question of Òone nation under GodÓ will be tested against the Lutheran doctrine of the two kingdoms. This course fulfills the intermediate general education requirement for Theology.(Prerequisite: THL100 or THL206 or THL215)

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Christianity has an unmistakable interplay with various forms of the media. This course explores subtle and overt Christian themes in movies, music, magazines/newspapers, theater, the World Wide Web, and television. Students locate, watch, and critically analyze numerous media resources and discuss them in correlation to Christian themes in the Bible. This course fulfills the intermediate general education requirement for Theology. (Prerequisite: THL100 or THL206 THL215)

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An exploration of sections, books, or major topics of the Old and New Testaments, as determined by the instructor and announced by the division. This course is recommended for the major in theology. It does not fulfill the general education requirement for Theology. (Prerequisite: THL203, Old Testament Narrative; THL206, New Testament)

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A survey and analysis of the gospel-centered doctrinal content of the Book of Concord in its 16th century historical and theological context. The eleven confessional documents are studied and interpreted as the church's normative exposition of Holy Scripture, to which exposition the evangelical Lutheran church is committed in terms of both theological method and doctrinal substance.

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Exploring early church experience and Reformation teaching, the student uncovers the meaning of worship. Critical evaluation of contemporary practice and recent developments in worship make the student better able to provide leadership in congregational worship life.

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Independent study offers students an opportunity to do research and complete a major project in an area of religion of their own choosing. This course is an elective for the major in theology. It does not fulfill the general education requirement for Theology.

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Biblical Language Elective Option
Course ID Course Name Credit Hours
GRK - 212 Beginning Greek II 4
HBR - 311 Biblical Hebrew I 4
HBR - 312 Biblical Hebrew II 4

Students complete their study of the fundamentals of Greek grammar. (Prerequisite: GRK211)

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This course is a study of the biblical Hebrew language. Emphasis is on basic grammar and vocabulary. Students will be introduced to the strong verb and to noun paradigms.

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The study of basic Hebrew grammar is continued in this course. Students are introduced to weak verbs and to the study of the Hebrew text of the Torah. (Prerequisite: HBR311)

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Electives: 4 Credits
Course ID Course Name Credit Hours
GRK - 312 Matthew 2
GRK - 314 Mark 2
GRK - 316 Luke 2
GRK - 412 Galatians and Romans 2
GRK - 414 Corinthians 2
GRK - 416 Other Epistles 2
HBR - 411 Biblical Hebrew: Prose Read 2
HBR - 413 Biblical Hebrew: Poetry Read 2

Through reading of major portions of the Greek text of Matthew, students build their skills in the translation of biblical Greek and analysis of grammatical forms. Particular attention will be given to the indicative verb. Matthew is read in the fall term prior to Year A in the liturgical cycle. (Prerequisite: GRK212 with a grade of C or above.)

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Through reading of the complete Greek text of Mark, students build their skills in the translation of biblical Greek and analysis of grammatical forms. Particular attention will be given to nouns, pronouns, and adjectives. Mark is read in the fall term prior to Year B in the liturgical cycle. (Prerequisite: GRK212 with a grade of C or above.)

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Through reading of major portions of the Greek text of Luke, students build their skills in the translation of biblical Greek and analysis of grammatical forms. Particular attention will be given to the vocabulary of Luke. Luke is read in the fall term prior to Year C in the liturgical cycle. (Prerequisite: GRK212 with a grade of C or above.)

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Through the reading of the complete Greek texts of Galatians and Romans, students build their skills in the translation of biblical Greek and analysis of grammatical forms. Particular attention will be given to participles. (Prerequisite: GRK212 with a grade of C or above.)

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Through reading of major portions of the Greek texts of both letters, students build their skills in the translation of biblical Greek and analysis of syntactic relationships. Particular attention will be given to the syntax of subordinate clauses. (Pre requisite: completion of GRK 212 with a grade of C or above.)

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Through selected reading of the Greek texts of a wide variety of epistolary writings, students build their skills in the translation of biblical Greek and in the analysis of textual variants. Particular attention will be given to texts displaying a broad range of textual variation. (Prerequisite: GRK212 with a grade of C or above.)

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A review of basic biblical Hebrew grammar, introduction to Hebrew syntax, vocabulary review, and readings from the Old Testament prose texts. (Prerequisite: HBR312)

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The course has the following objectives: a review of basic biblical Hebrew grammar, introduction to Hebrew syntax, vocabulary review, and readings from the Old Testament poetic texts. (Prerequisite: HBR312)

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Bachelor of Arts degrees at Concordia University, St. Paul consists of a major of typically 32 to 44 credits or two minors, general education courses, and elective courses totaling a minimum of 128 credits.