Spring 2019 Prospectuses


Course Number: CHHI 60013
Instructor: James O. Duke
Prerequisites: None
Description: This course surveys the history of the Christian church(es) from first century origins to the eve of 16th century reforms. Its primary aim is to offer resources and opportunities for the development of historically-informed understandings of the character of the Christian tradition(s). The study focuses on exploring varied historical factors and theological concerns at play in shaping the “faith and order” and “life and work” of the church(es).  Prospectus:  CHHI 60013_Duke_History of Christianity I


Course Number: CHHI 60023
Instructor: Timothy S. Lee
Prerequisites: None
Description: This course surveys the history of Christianity from the 16th to 20th century, examining key events, developments, and personalities. Among its objectives is to examine new modes of Christian thought, practices, and associations that emerged in this period, as well as ways the religion interacted with states.  Prospectus: CHHI 60023_Lee_Hist of Christianity II

The Church in the Midst of Pluralism: Christian Missions in the Modern Era

Course Number: CHHI 70023
Instructor: Timothy S. Lee
Prerequisites: None
Description: The course explores modern, chiefly twentiethCentury, thoughts and practices related to Christian missions.  Prospectus:  CHHI 70023_Lee_Christian Missions in the Modern Era

Baptist History

Course Number: CHHI 70133
Instructor: Rick McClatchy
Prerequisites: none
Description: A survey of Baptist history and heritage. Prospectus: CHHI 70133_McClatchy_BaptistHistory_PR_S19

Issues in American Life and Thought: USA Christian Liberal/Progressivist Theologies

Course Number: CHHI 70293/80293/90293
Instructor: James Duke
Prerequisites: None
Description: This course attempts an overview of the most notably influential of liberal/progressivist Christian theologians and theological movements in the USA from colonial times to the present. In so doing it tracks the ever-changing meanings of such labels as “conservative or liberal” and “traditionalist or progressivist.” Students may in their final paper focus on a figure, movement or issue of special interest to them, relating to the liberal/progressivist theological developments. Prospectus: CHHI 70293 80293 90293_Duke_Issues in American Life & Thought

The Church in the Midst of Pluralism: Christian Missions in the Modern Era

Course Number: CHHI70970/80970/90970
Instructor: Timothy S. Lee
Prerequisites: None
Description: The course explores modern, chiefly twentiethCentury, thoughts and practices related to Christian missions, with a focus on East Asia. Prospectus: CHHI 70970 80970 90970_Lee_Christian Missions in the Modern Era

Special Topics in Church History: Eastern Christianities

Course Number: CHHI 75063/85063/95063
Instructor: Bryce E. Rich
Prerequisites: M.Div. students – Introduction to Christian Theology D.Min. and Ph.D. students – none
Description: In this course we will explore the development of several Eastern Christian traditions: Eastern Orthodoxy, Oriental Orthodoxy, and the Church of the East. We will follow the historical path of the first seven Ecumenical Councils and subsequent controversies particular to the Eastern Orthodox world. We will pay particular attention to the liturgies, prayers, iconography, and spiritual practices of these traditions, with an eye turned to the historiography produced by these communities in their attempts at self-presentation. Prospectus: CHHI 75063 85063 95063_Rich_SpTopicsChurchHistoryEasternChristianities


Course Number: CHTH 60313/80313/90313
Instructor: Ed Waggoner
Prerequisites: None
Description: The purpose of this course is to create public theologies about U.S. militarization. We will rely on anthropologists, political scientists, activists, military authorities, and journalists for a broad introduction to several aspects of militarization in the United States (e.g., geography, environment, politics, economics, education, media and entertainment, gender, and race). Readings for the second part of the course will explore contemporary Christian views about national power. Students will develop their own theological positions and strategies for engaging in public conversations about the role of the U.S. military in American society and in the world. Prospectus: CHTH 60313 80313 90313_Waggoner_Theologies of Militarization

Feminism and Theology

Course Number: CHTH 70043/80043/90043
Instructor: Namsoon Kang, Professor of Theology and Religion
Prerequisite: None
Description: Radicals and reformers have regarded institutionalized religion such as Christianity as a bastion of conservatism. Religion seems to represent unchanging stability; it derives legitimacy from ancient tradition and custom and lends support to the preservation of old familiar patterns of belief and behavior. Many active feminists who hope to bring about radical change in a given society are often directly opposed to religious beliefs, organization, and practices because of deep-seated patriarchal value systems and practices. Yet, feminist leadership has also come from within religious institutions: Some feminists cherish aspects of their religious experience and beliefs. In this context, feminists have had a complex, often paradoxical, and changing relation to Christianity as an institutionalized religion. Feminist theological discourse and movement, emerged in the 1960s in the context of the so-called Second Wave feminism, take gender issues to the Christian tradition and community. This course will give attention to the major themes and intersections of how feminism has addressed the institution of Christian religion and re/constructed theological discourses and practices in more egalitarian and just ways. Prospectus: CHTH 70043 80043 90043_Kang_Feminism & Theology

Special Topics in Christian Thought: Love: Philosophical-Theological Issues

Course Number: CHTH 70970/80970/90970
Instructor: Namsoon Kang, Professor of Theology and Religion
Prerequisite: None
Description: Love in various forms is as old as humankind. However, love has never been as socially, politically, existentially, philosophically, and theologically decisive as it is in contemporary societies. As people have lost their belief in traditional values such as God/ the Divine, the Revolution, or the Nation State, love has become the only thing everyone still holds on to both in the private and the public spheres, regardless who/what one is. In this context, the world is currently going through a revolution of love (Luc Ferry) and love becomes significant sources of the creative human power, and of the meaning of life. The increasing significance of love in various sectors of human life is a crucial theme for philosophical and theological reflections and for theorizations of contemporary societies. In this course, we will explore philosophical and theological approaches to love as discourse and practice. Prospectus: CHTH 70970 80970 90970_Kang_Love PhilTheoIssues

Special Topics in Christian Thought – Anglican Theologies

Course Number:CHTH 70970/80970/90970
Instructor: Ed Waggoner
Prerequisites: None
Description: This seminar will introduce students to major theological movements and thinkers in Anglican traditions, from the 16th Century to the present. Readings and discussions will explore Anglican identities from ‘classical’ and global theological perspectives. Prospectus: CHTH 70970 80970 90970_Waggoner_SpTopAnglicanTheol

Major Issues in Contemporary Theology – From Gay Liberation to Queer Theologies

Course Number: CHTH 75063/85063/95063
Instructor: Bryce E. Rich
Prerequisites: M.Div. students – Introduction to Christian Theology D.Min. and Ph.D. students – none
Description: The Church today has become an arena for many political and religious debates concerning homosexuality and related topics: same-sex marriage, adoption by single gay parents or same-sex couples, and responses to transgender individuals. In this course we will explore texts and theories that have shaped the theologies exhibited in these debates from the 1950s to our own time. In the first part of the course, we will examine a number of biblical passages, exploring various theological interpretations, including traditional readings, various lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) liberation theology lenses, and queer theological readings that question the very categories of gender and sexualities. Our survey continues with texts from the Early Church, a few primary sources from gender and queer theory, and contemporary theological reflections shaped by these ideas. Prospectus: CHTH 70970 80970 90970_Rich_GayLiberation-Queer Theologies

Interpreting the Hebrew Bible

Course Number: HEBI 60003
Instructor: Ariel Feldman
Prerequisites: None
Description: A graduate level, introduction to the critical interpretation of the Hebrew Bible. Prospectus: HEBI 60003_Feldman_Interp the Hebrew Bible

Biblical Hebrew II

Course Number: HEBI 75033
Instructor: Joseph McDonald
Prerequisites: HEBI 70013 or equivalent
Description: This course continues the work of HEBI 70013 by emphasizing the basics of biblical Hebrew morphology (the way words are put together), syntax (the way phrases are put together), and vocabulary, strengthened by continual review through memorization, exercises, and translation of elementary biblical narrative. This course is the second in a two-semester sequence. Prospectus: HEBI 75033_McDonald_BiblicalHebrewII

Intermediate and Advanced Hebrew

Course Number:HEBI 90970
Instructor: Timothy Sandoval
Prerequisites: Admission to Brite’s BIIN Advanced Programs or Permission of Instructor
Description: Rapid reading and translation of extensive portions of the Hebrew Bible (first half of semester) and of Proverbs 10-29 (second half of the semester); Parsing of forms, discussion of syntax, and other matters. Prospectus: HEBI 90970_Sandoval_Intermediate and Advanced Hebrew

Critical Introduction to the Hebrew Bible

Course Number:HEBI 95713 045 82353
Instructor: Timothy Sandoval
Prerequisites: Admission to the Advanced Programs (ThM; PhD) at Brite Divinity School or Permission of the Instructor.
Description: A reading intensive, advanced introduction to aspects of the critical study of the Hebrew Bible that are not otherwise extensively treated in Brite HB Advanced Programs courses: History of Critical Interpretation of the Bible; Overview of classical and select contemporary methods; ancient Near Eastern textual traditions; ‘Biblical’ Archaeology; Biblical Theology and History of Religions; the Masorah, etc. Prospectus: HEBI 95713 045_Sandoval_Critical Intro to the Hebrew Bible

Foundations for Preaching

Course Number:HOML 65003
Instructor: Lance Pape
Prerequisites: Either HEBI 60003 or NETE 60003 or equivalent
Description: This is the basic course in preaching. It is designed to 1) foster understanding and appreciation of preaching as a part of both the practice of ministry and the life and mission of the church, 2) offer instruction in the methods and skills employed in sermon development, and 3) provide opportunities for writing and preaching several different types of sermons, with evaluation. Prospectus: HOML 65003_Pape_FoundofPreaching

Exegesis in the Gospels and Acts (English): Gospel of Luke
Exegesis in the Gospels and Acts (Greek): Gospel of Luke

Course Numbers: NETE 65013 (Engl.), NETE 65033 (Greek)
Instructor: Shelly Matthews
Prerequisites: NETE 6003: Interpreting the New Testament. Additional Prerequisite for 65033: one year of Greek (Koine or Classical)
Description: An introduction to the methods of Biblical exegesis, focusing of Gospel of Luke. Comparison of Luke to the other canonical Gospels, and questions of their literary relationship will also be undertaken. While standard methods and approaches to Luke will be employed, the course will also take special attention of feminist and related approaches to interpretation.
Prospectuses:  NETE 65013_Matthews_Exegesis in the Gospels and Acts (English) GospelLuke and NETE 65033_Matthews_Exegesis in the Gospels and Acts (Greek) GospelLuke

Special Topics: Cultural Hermeneutics

Course Number: NETE 90970
Instructor: Dr. Francisco Lozada, Jr.
Prerequisites: None
Description: This seminar course will focus on Cultural Biblical Hermeneutics in the U.S., with an emphasis on New Testament readings. Topics to be covered include: the history of biblical interpretation, paradigm shifts in cultural biblical hermeneutics, and minoritized hermeneutics. A focus on the poetics of these hermeneutics will be explored as well as their aims, scope, and contributions. Prospectus: NETE 90970_Lozada_SpTopics Cultural Hermeneutics

Issues in New Testament Studies: Early Christian Narrative: The Second Century

Course Number: NETE 90970
Instructor: Dr. Shelly Matthews
Prerequisites: Admission into Brite Advanced Programs or by special permission of the instructor.
Description: This course will focus on early Christian narrative, dated to the second century, including the Acts of the Apostles, the Infancy Gospels, and the Apocryphal Acts. We will also study select Greek and Roman novels as comparanda, paying some attention to narrative theory. Prospectus: NETE 90970_Matthews_Issues in NewTest.StudiesEarly ChristianNarrative


Course Number: PRTH 65013
Instructor: Rev. Andy Shelton, Interim Director of Field Education and Supervised Ministry
Prerequisites: The student shall have completed PRTH 65013, Supervised Ministry I during the fall semester 2018.
Description: Experiences of ministerial practice in Field Education settings are presented by students to their Theological Reflection Group for analysis and evaluation, utilizing and integrating the various theological disciplines; assigned reading and a critical response paper. Prospectus: PRTH 65013_Shelton_Supervised MinistryII

United Methodist Polity

Course Number:PRTH 70212
Instructor: Natalya Cherry
Prerequisites: None
Description: “The organization, polity and comprehensive program of the United Methodist Church. Required of United Methodist students for ordination” (Brite Bulletin). Students will “examine the development of United Methodist polity from a historical and theological perspective,” using “The Book of Discipline and The Book of Resolutions as working handbooks for mission and ministry,” in order to be able to “relate historical understanding and theological reflection to the mission and ministry of the contemporary church through: 1. A knowledge of the rationale and ordering of United Methodist structures; 2. Understanding the nature of authority and power in the church; 3. Commitment to an ongoing process of renewal” (University Senate Standards for Courses in UM Studies). Please note that, while following these standards and their numerous sub-sections (to be listed in the syllabus and ranging from understanding structural expressions of ecclesiology to perceiving the nature of ecumenical relationships), this particular semester will give unique attention to the Special Session of General Conference, its relevant history, present proposals for a Way Forward, and future results (see Note under “Requirements” below). Prospectus: PRTH 70212_Cherry_ Polity of UMC


Course Number: PRTH 70223
Instructor: Natalya Cherry
Prerequisites: None
Description: “An exploration into the theology and methods of evangelism in mainline Protestantism, with focus on the development of a congregation’s evangelism ministry” (Brite Bulletin). Declaring the good news of Jesus Christ in the 21st century, amid dismal forecasts for mainline Protestantism, is a matter of mitigating the bitter invective polluting public discourse by listening to understand, at least as much as by proclaiming forgiveness. This course considers theologies, practices, and aesthetics of evangelism, as well as different perspectives on the contemporary situation of Christianity in North America. Through the use of critical reflection on resources, demographic and ethnographic study, creative exercises, multi-media experiences, reflective structured dialogues, and possibly even a site visit or two, students will be able to understand biblical and theological foundations upon which to construct evangelism that is good news for all people, to analyze their context to develop holistic models of evangelism relevant to that context, and to become (and to train others to become) recipients as well as bearers of good news. This course is required of United Methodist students for ordination. Prospectus: PRTH 70223_Cherry_ Evangelism

Transitions in Life and Ministry

Course Number: PRTH 70970
Instructors: Irie Session and Lance Pape
Prerequisites: Must be in final year of degree program
Description: This course is designed for M.Div. and MATM in the final year of their degree program. This course is part of a larger 2-year process that invites students to reflect on their sense of vocation, ministerial identity, and next steps in transitioning from seminary to full time ministry practice. Students will be given the opportunity to articulate their passions for ministry, the contributions they hope to make to church and world, and a sense of how theological education has shaped their current theological “stance.” Prospectus: PRTH 70970_SessionandPape_Transitions in Life and Ministry

The Ministry of Pastoral Care

Course Number:PTPC 60003
Instructor: Barbara J. McClure, Ph.D.
Prerequisites: none
Description: This course introduces students to basic theories, theologies and methods of pastoral care, especially in the ecclesial context. This course assumes that care is mediated through acts of pastoral leadership, liturgy, preaching and the forming of congregational life and programming as well as through specific individual conversations. Special attention is paid to the person of the pastor as caregiver and leader of a community of faith and care. Theories and methods of care are related to real and practical problems a pastor faces in a congregation including illness and death, grief and loss, marriage and family issues, domestic violence and abuse. Skills learned will include listening, analysis of systems, and diagnosis and referral. Prospectus: PTPC 60003_McClure_Ministry of Pastoral Care

Special Topics in Pastoral Care – Pastoral Responses to Experiences of Aging

PTPC 75970/85970/95970 section 002
Instructor: Nancy Ramsay
Prerequisites: PTPC 60003 The Ministry of Pastoral Care
Description: In this seminar we will develop a theology of aging shaped by interdisciplinary study of processes of aging that informs ministry with persons across the lifespan. We will address the implications for ministry practice of an aging society and denominations. We will address issues that predictably arise in ministry with those who are older and elderly and their families. We will explore individual, systemic, and congregational perspectives on ministry in response to experiences of aging across the lifespan.  Prospectus: PTPC 75970 85970 95970_002_Ramsay_SpTopics Pastoral Responses

Emotions and Human Flourishing

Course Number: PTPC 95423
Instructor: Barbara J. McClure
Prerequisites: This is an advanced elective/PhD course
Description: Emotions and their complements (affect, passions, moods, feelings) have become the subject of study attracting significant interest among scholars across many spectra, including historians, social scientists, philosophers, and literary critics. Identifying, understanding and managing our emotional states has become big business, from pastoral counseling to business executive coaching. (continued in prospectus) Prospectus: PTPC 95423_McClure_Emotions PROS Spr ’19

Theological Anthropologies: Constructive Conversations for Pastoral Theology

Course Number: PTPC 95423 045
Instructor: Nancy Ramsay
Prerequisites: admittance to PTPC PhD program
Description: This seminar presumes the central importance of theological anthropology for the field of Pastoral Theology. The seminar focuses attention on two constructive types of engagement: 1. the constructive theological implications for pastoral theology posed by critically engaging various theological anthropologies and 2. Discerning theological implications found through critically engaging several theoretical approaches for understanding human beings in cognate fields such as personality theory, cultural theory, the neurosciences, and critical theories. Students will research and develop a constructive pastoral theological position paper on a significant issue for discussion in the seminar. Prospectus: PTPC 95423_Ramsay_Theological Anthropologies_Constructive Conversations for Pastoral Theology

Interreligious Dialogue

Course Number: RECU 60043
Instructor: David R. Brockman, Ph.D.
Prerequisites: None
Description: As the U.S. grows more religiously diverse, people of faith find themselves rubbing shoulders with religious others more often than ever before. This course is designed to help students develop perspectives and tools for engaging in meaningful, mutually transformative dialogue with religious others in today’s religious, cultural, and political context. The course examines the history and development of Christian thought about other religions, as well as the concept of interreligious dialogue in general. The course then focuses on how Christians can engage in dialogue with four major world religions—Judaism, Islam, Hinduism, and Buddhism. This will entail exploring those traditions as potential bearers of ultimate meaning, as well as studying their historical origins and developments, and their contemporary significance. The course will pay particular attention to dialogue with Muslims in the context of widespread Islamophobia. Students will listen deeply to the witness of religious others, reflect theologically on that witness, develop their own theological position on interreligious relations, and engage in dialogue with one other religious tradition.  Prospectus: RECU 60043_Brockman_Interrereligious Dialogue

Religion and Violence

RECU 65033/85033/95033
Instructor: Charles Bellinger
Prerequisites: One course in theology or ethics
Description: This course explores the highly ambiguous relationship between religious faith and violence. It provides an overview of situations in modern history that are examples of this ambiguous relationship, including terrorism and the responses it provokes. Students are exposed to authors who seek to comprehend violent behavior using explanatory theories. Students are also exposed to ethical perspectives on violent actions. The goal is to allow students in the course to develop an understanding of various dimensions (ethical, social, psychological, political, and theological) of the relationship between religious faith and intentional actions that result in ending human lives.  Prospectus: RECU 65033 85033 95033_Bellinger_Religion and Violence

Special Topics in Religion and Culture: U.S. Borderlands: Context and Praxis

Course Number: RECU 70970/80970/90970
Instructors: Dr. Francisco Lozada, Jr. Dr. Irasema Coronado, University of Texas, El Paso
Prerequisites: Permission of Instructors
Description: The course studies the life and society in the U.S.-Mexico borderlands. The “borderland” denotes an area distant from the core of the nation; it is a zone of transition of ideas, goods, and peoples. It is a place where people and institutions are shaped by economic, political, and social forces that are reflected in the lives of communities in the “greater” borderlands (e.g., Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, California) and, most recently, in many rural an urban municipalities. Prospectus: RECU 70970 80970 90970_Lozada_U.S. Borderlands

Spirituality and Ecological Justice

SPIR 65013/85013
Instructor: Timothy H. Robinson
Prerequisites: none
Description: Gustavo Gutierrez has written “every great spirituality is connected with the great historical movement of the age in which it was formulated.” As the scope of our planetary ecological crisis has become evident over the past half-century, human movements have arisen throughout the world in response. Christian spirituality is being re-examined and transformed in light of new scientific awareness and new moral imperatives. As Willis Jenkins writes, the “environmental crisis forms a new global dimension of religious experience.” This course will explore Christian spirituality, theology, and ethics in light of our current ecological context. We will consider the foundations of ecojustice, the development of eco-theology, issues such as environmental racism, agriculture, climate justice, biodiversity loss, and water, and the role of ecojustice in ministerial practice and church life. Prospectus: SPIR 65013 85013_Robinson_Spirituality and Ecological Justice

Christian Worship

Course Number: WRSP 60003.005
Instructor: Jo Hudson
Prerequisites: None
Description: This is an introductory course on the principles and practices of Christian worship. Emphasis will be placed on the diversity of historic and contemporary expressions of Christian worship, the cultural contexts within which worship takes place, theological reflection upon the elements of Christian worship, and developing skills for effective pastoral leadership in worship. Students will also begin to develop the skills needed to plan, organize, lead, and reflect upon the weekly worship of a congregation with pastoral sensitivity, theological vision, creativity, and shared leadership. Prospectus: WRSP 60003 005_Hudson_Christian Worship