Students will see how the drama of the early ( first 400 years) church's formation has direct connections to their life of faith today.
This course has several main objectives: to introduce students to Systematic Theology, present a vision of the coherence of Christian beliefs to each other, help identify foundational doctrines.
This practical theology course will explore the meaning of Christian discipleship in everyday experiences. Students will explore connecting faith to daily life. How do we live with our faith at the center?
This course will help identify foundational doctrines, give an understanding of orthodoxy and heresy, gain an understanding of the communal and historic nature of doctrines and their spiritual foundations, and to help students understand and express why disciplined thought and faithful confession is crucial for church leaders.
This course will offer an introduction to the field of Christian ethics, paying particular attention to distinctively Lutheran themes. Lectures and readings will examine how the Lutheran theological tradition shapes ethical reflection for the church in its mission today. How do the Word of God, law and gospel, sacraments, liturgy, reason, theology of the cross, Christian freedom, vocation, and two kingdoms teaching shape and condition ethical deliberation? Together we will consider how to give constructive leadership in order that congregations become communities of moral deliberation.
Students will be introduced to key themes and issues in the study of the New Testament. They will focus on interpreting New Testament texts using a variety of strategies and tools for understanding the message of the New Testament in their ancient, social and religious contexts with a view to relating them to contemporary ministry contexts.
Students will be introduced to key themes and issues in the study of the Old Testament. They will focus on interpreting Old Testament texts using a variety of strategies and tools for understanding the message of the Old Testament in their ancient, social and religious contexts with a view to relating them to contemporary ministry contexts. Special attention will be given to the covenant theology and to relating Old Testament theology and history to our understanding of the New Testament.
This course surveys major aspects of the Sacraments, Lutheran liturgical worship, and the seasons of the church year with special emphasis on the cultural settings in which worship occurs. The course provides a practical understanding of the words, actions, and items involved in the services by giving a close examination of what is in our service books and ties the content of the services to their Biblical roots. This course also explores the wide diversity of Christian worship practices within the ELCA from traditional to contemporary, multicultural differences
Students will consider the implications of Biblical Images for the life of congregations and their ministries. These concepts are related to the ongoing work of preaching, teaching, counseling, worship, social ministry and acts of mercy carried out individually and corporately by the Church and her servants. They are studied in their interrelatedness, all centered in the “Great Commission” given to us by Christ.
This course has two components. First, students will be provided the opportunity to make at least one supervised visit in an institution and/or to the homebound. Class sessions will deal with understanding the needs of patients and loved ones, as well as issues such as grieving and patients’ rights. Second, besides a sharing of practical issues relating to this ministry, this course will also provide opportunities to relate visitation ministry to the theology and worship life of the Church.
The focus of this course is to look at opportunities within the parish for communicating the gospel (Bible studies, teaching, youth ministries, preaching, etc) as well as in the community (various forms of evangelism, welcoming visitors and new members, etc). The course will help students explore a Christian way of doing functional theology and ministry, “at that exciting point where Word, world, and baptized servant converge.”
The Lutheran story characterized by the tension between honoring the European roots of the church and adapting to the new realities of American life. The Lutheran church, from its earliest days, faced religious pluralism, intolerance, racism, war, lack of state support and diversity of languages and traditions. It wasn't easy then, and it isn't easy now. Understanding American Lutheran history can change the way we see ourselves and our future.
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