Theology (THL)

THL 501   Introduction to Theological Research   2 Units

This course will examine the essential methods and resources for the academic study of theology with attention given to research methods for projects that do not require an academic thesis. Procedures for identifying, proposing, researching, organizing, writing, and defending the thesis or project will be covered as students are guided in beginning their research.

THL 502   Ministry in Cultural Context   3 Units

This course will utilize a sociological/anthropological framework to examine religious systems as students investigate the impact of social and cultural processes on the expression of faith with the goal of increasing their effectiveness in ministering to people from a variety of cultures.

THL 503   Multicultural Ministry in Urban Context   3 Units

The various methods of church planting will be examined in this course within their biblical, cultural, and denominational contexts to determine the most functional methods to use when developing a ministry in a multicultural, urban context. Factors such as urbanization, poverty, crime, education, economic stratification, etc. will be examined as they pertain to the development of an effective congregation in an urban community.

THL 504   Survey of Historical Theology   3 Units

This course will give an introduction to historical theology and a survey of the development of the theological formulations of the church with an emphasis on "challenges to orthodoxy" laid upon the church at various times and the role such events played in the church's confessional responses to enhance the student's understanding of the church's theological and doctrinal tasks today.

THL 505   Polity, Leadership and Team Ministry   3 Units

The polity of the Lutheran church and its relationship to leadership development and team ministry in the congregational setting will be examines in this course using lecture and case studies to biblically examine the history of The Lutheran Church―Missouri Synod's (LCMS) polity as well as the various models that are being utilized today in various parish situations.

THL 510   Lutheran Confessions   3 Units

A study of the Augsburg Confession, The Apology of the Augsburg Confession, Luther's Large and Small Catechisms, the Treatise on the Power and Primacy of the Pope, and the Formula of Concord will be discussed in this course in terms of their historical setting and theological content along with the relationship of the Confessions to the Scripture and the confessional application of their teaching in the context of the 21st century.

THL 511   Creeds and Confessions   3 Units

Through a study of the major confessions of the Christian church, this course will center on the Ecumenical Creeds and the Book of Concord as other confessional documents will be considered in relationship to these confessional statements. The historical setting and theological content of these documents will be explored along with their contemporary use and application. Students seeking ministry certification in The Lutheran Church―Missouri Synod (LCMS) should take THL 510 instead of this course.

THL 521   World Religions   3 Units

This course will survey the world's major, non-Christian religions including their origin, development, sacred writings, major motifs, belief patterns, ritual and worship, social patterns, and ethics with attention given to the similarities and differences between these and the Christian faith, especially in the context of the multi-religious communities of 21st century America.

THL 528   Seminar in Biblical Theology and Exegesis   3 Units

This seminar course will cover the Canon, inspiration of Scripture, and major themes in the Old and New Testaments using appropriate exegetical methods for interpreting various literary genres within the Bible.

THL 529   Lutheran Hermeneutics and the Theology of Scripture   3 Units

This course will study the Lutheran understanding of the nature of Scripture followed by an examination of its major themes with an emphasis on interpretive principles (e.g., Law and Gospel) for use in congregational ministry.

THL 530   The Reformation Era I   3 Units

This course will introduce the social, political, and intellectual context of the various 16th century reformations of the churches in Europe as well as the events, ideas, and implications of these reform movements with attention given to both the “magisterial” and “radical” Protestant reformations as well as the Catholic reformation.

THL 540   Entrepreneurial Mission Planting   3 Units

Explores business and entrepreneurial methods as they apply to church planters and new mission starts. Practical emphasis upon understanding entrepreneurial leadership, team ministry, learning from success, dealing with risk, reaching new people, developing marketing materials, financial planning and cash flow, and balancing a busy life will be presented by guest lecturers experienced in entrepreneurial church leadership.

THL 541   Mission Planting Institute   3 Units

This course will provide students with the resources and techniques for designing, writing, and implementing a mission plan to be used for planting a new ministry. Students will have the opportunity to develop a mission statement, core values, vision, and strategies for a mission plant along with an examination of missiology, cross-cultural ministry, evangelistic preaching, and entrepreneurial leadership. A detailed written mission plan for a specific ministry site will be required for completion of this course.

THL 565   Christianity, Ethics and Contemporary Culture   3 Units

This course will explore morality and ethics in light of scriptural teachings concerning creation and redemption as students are oriented to the main approaches, both traditional and contemporary, of non-biblical philosophical ethics and how Christian faith interacts with these approaches. The significance for ethics of the Lutheran confessional distinction between God’s left and right hand rule will be explored in depth as students pursue an ethics research project tailored to their overall master's program.

THL 573   Systematic Doctrinal Theology   3 Units

In this course students will pursue graduate-level study of systematic doctrinal theology from a biblical perspective through the survey of loci, i.e., the topics, of doctrinal theology, and consider the nature and task of theological reflection; responsibilities and qualities of a theologian; and key topics in theological reflection such as the Person and Work of Christ, Justification, Law and Gospel, the Trinity, Creation, the Word of God, the Last Things, Christian vocation, and the life of the Christian church. Special attention will be given to recognizing and characterizing the church-related context in which and for which theology is undertaken.

THL 581   The Mission of Christ's Church   3 Units

An overview of the theology and practice of Christian missions including the historical development, missionary methods, evangelism programs, and paradigm shifts. Development of some skills in speaking the Gospel is included.

THL 590   Guided Readings   3 Units

The objective of this course will be determined by the student and their faculty mentor in light of the student's overall background and particular plans for research through the development of a bibliography and list for guided independent reading. The student will demonstrate significant progress in acquaintance with and understanding of the literature. May be repeated for credit.

THL 591   Colloquium   3 Units

This seminar course in advanced theological research will look at a variety of topics which may include subjects from various theological disciplines (Exegetical, Systematic, Historical, and Practical Theology) and various time periods. Students will actively participate in determining the direction of this course as they research and present theological topics under the guidance of the instructor. May be repeated for credit.

THL 595   Thesis I   3 Units

Students will develop a research project or thesis under the guidance of a faculty mentor.

THL 596   Thesis II   3 Units

Students will work toward completion of their research project or thesis under the guidance of a faculty mentor. Course may be repeated once if needed. Graduation Application Fee: $184.