Take a Class – Fall 2019

Brite Divinity School’s Fall 2019 schedules offer a variety of classes on diverse topics taught by our permanent and adjunct faculty. Individuals interested in enrolling in a specific class without pursuing a degree may be eligible to enroll as an auditor or Special Student. For more information, please complete the Request Special Student Application form

Morning Classes


Introduction to Theological Ethics

Photo of Dr. Oluwatomisin Oredein

with Dr. Oluwatomisin “Tomi” Oredein, Assistant Professor in Black Religious Traditions, Constructive Theology and Ethics

SCHEDULE: Tuesdays, 8:00 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.

DESCRIPTION: This course will survey the major methodological questions of theological ethics, its thematic subdivisions, and the schools of thought and individual authors who have shaped the discussion of ethical questions within the theological world. This is a topical course; thus, students will learn and interpret theological ethical themes according to each week’s topic. The approach for this course centers on perspectives and practice. Through engaging various topics through a diversity of voices, this course challenges students to wrestle with what moral positions dominate different areas of the Christian church’s common life and invites students to expand their perspective, sit with complicated approaches, and develop rich ethical positions that best reflect the interests of the Christian church.(Read the Course Prospectus)  

Request Special Student Application >>

Introduction to Christian Theology

Photo of Dr. Natalya Cherry

with Dr. Natalya Cherry, Assistant Professor in Methodist Studies and Theology, & Dr. Edward Waggoner, Assistant Professor of Theology in the Rt. Rev. Sam B. Hulsey Chair in Episcopal Studies

SCHEDULE: Tuesdays, 9:15 a.m. to 10:50 a.m., and Thursdays, 9:15 a.m. to 10:55 a.m.

DESCRIPTION: An exploration of issues and doctrines that animate Christian life.

Dr. Ed WaggonerTopics include the sources and goals of theology, as well as basic questions about major doctrines. Discussions, lectures, and course assignments identify and critically engage patterns of faith and practice that persist over time, and theological priorities from specific cultural and historical contexts. (Read the Course Prospectus)  

Request Special Student Application >>

Basics of Biblical Greek

Photo of Dr. Joseph McDonaldwith Dr. Joseph McDonald

SCHEDULE: Tuesdays and Thursdays, 8:00 a.m. to 9:15 a.m.

DESCRIPTION: This course will help you build a firm foundation in biblical Greek by emphasizing the basics of Koine Greek 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.

This course is the first in a two-semester sequence. (Read the Course Prospectus

Request Special Student Application >>

Pastoral Care in a Complex World

Photo of Dr. Barbara McClurewith Dr. Barbara McClure, Associate Professor: Pastoral Theology and Practice

SCHEDULE: Tuesdays, 8:15 a.m. to 10:45 a.m.

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. (Read the Course Prospectus)  

Request Special Student Application >>

Dr. Charles BellingerSpecial Topics in Christian Thought: Jesus in Contemporary Thought

with Dr. Charles Bellinger, Theological Librarian and Associate Professor of Theology and Ethics

SCHEDULE: Wednesdays, 9:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.

DESCRIPTION: An examination of a variety of approaches to thinking about Jesus in American history up to the present. Protestant, Catholic, Jewish, African American, feminist, and religious studies views will be considered. This is not a course in New Testament studies, but in contemporary interpretations and appropriations of Jesus of Nazareth. (Read the Course Prospectus)  

Request Special Student Application >>

Foundations for Preaching

Photo of Dr. Lance Papewith Dr. Lance Pape, Granville and Erline Walker Associate Professor of Homiletics, and Director of Disciples Formation

SCHEDULE: Wednesdays and Fridays, 9:30 a.m. to 11:15 a.m.

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. (Read the Course Prospectus)  

Request Special Student Application >>

Biblical Hebrew I

Photo of Dr. Timothy Sandovalwith Dr. Timothy Sandoval, Associate Professor of Hebrew Bible

SCHEDULE: Wednesdays and Fridays, 10:45 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.

DESCRIPTION:  (Read the Course Prospectus)

Request Special Student Application >>

Afternoon Courses


Photo of Dr. Tim LeeHistory of Christianity: Turning Points

with Dr. Timothy Lee, Associate Professor of the History of Christianity and Director of Asian (Korean) Church Studies

SCHEDULE: Thursdays, 1:00 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.

DESCRIPTION: A survey of the history of Christianity, focusing on pivotal points in the Early, Medieval, Reformation, and Modern periods. (Read the Course Prospectus)  

Request Special Student Application >>

Special Topics: Church History – Evangelicalism in the Global Context

Photo of Dr. Tim Leewith Dr. Timothy Lee, Associate Professor of the History of Christianity and Director of Asian (Korean) Church Studies

SCHEDULE: Tuesdays, 1:00 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.

DESCRIPTION: The course explores the history of Evangelical Protestantism (encompassing Fundamentalism and Pentecostalism) in the global context, focusing on the twentieth century. It examines social, cultural, and political factors that fueled and sustained Evangelicalism, as well as beliefs and practices, personalities and institutions, and events and movements that characterized it. While global in overall scope, the course will pay particular attention to Evangelicalism in Korea and the United States. (Read the Course Prospectus)

Request Special Student Application >>

Special topics in Jewish Studies: Reading the Dead Sea Scrolls

Photo of Dr. Ariel Feldmanwith Dr. Ariel Feldman, Rosalyn and Manny Rosenthal Associate Professor of Jewish Studies and Director of the Jewish Studies Program

SCHEDULE: Tuesdays, 1:30 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.

DESCRIPTION: This course introduces students to the ancient Jewish texts found among the Dead Sea Scrolls. We will look into the history of their discovery, read a selection of scrolls in English translation, and explore their contribution to our understanding of Second Temple Judaism. (Read the Course Prospectus)  

Request Special Student Application >>

Introduction to the New Testament

Photo of Dr. Shelly Matthewswith Dr. Shelly Matthews, Professor of New Testament

SCHEDULE: Tuesdays and Thursdays, 1:00 p.m. to 2:15 p.m.

DESCRIPTION: This introductory course for Master’s level students is designed to lay a foundation for lifelong critical and constructive interpretation of the New Testament. The course will provide a historical introduction to the writings of early Jesus followers contained within the New Testament, along with related sources from the first and second centuries of the common era. It will introduce students to tools for interpreting the New Testament both in its historical context, and with an eye to present day communities and their theological and ethical concerns. The course provides practice in close reading of biblical texts, as well as opportunities for debate and dialogue concerning its meaning. (Read the Course Prospectus)  

Request Special Student Application >>

The Bible and Children

Photo of Dr. Russ Daltonwith Dr. Russell Dalton, Professor of Religious Education

SCHEDULE: Thursdays, 1:00 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.

DESCRIPTION: This course will explore three issues related to children and the Bible. Students will interpret Bible passages in light of the role and nature of children in the ancient world, with special attention to emerging “childist” interpretations of Scripture. Students will explore the ways in which the Bible has been adapted and appropriated for children. Finally, students will examine and practice models and methods of teaching the Bible to children in ways that respect the integrity of one’s understanding of the Bible and of children. (Read the Course Prospectus)  

Request Special Student Application >>

Understanding Early Judaism

Photo of Dr. Ariel Feldmanwith Dr. Ariel Feldman, Rosalyn and Manny Rosenthal Associate Professor of Jewish Studies and Director of the Jewish Studies Program

SCHEDULE: Wednesdays, 1:30 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.

DESCRIPTION: This course introduces students to the histories and literatures of Second Temple Judaism. Through a close study of key events and texts of this period, it explores the development of a vibrant and diverse religious system that saw an emergence of nascent Christianity and Rabbinic Judaism. Analyzing a selection of texts written in different times, languages, and geographical locations, this course highlights the changes in beliefs and practices of Second Temple Jewry as it negotiated religious, cultural, political, and economic effects of Persian, Hellenistic, and Roman rule. (Read the Course Prospectus)  

Request Special Student Application >>

Special Topics: Spirituality – Eros of God: Song of Songs in Christian Spirituality

Photo of Dr. Timothy Robinsonwith Dr. Timothy Robinson, Alberta H. and Harold L. Lunger Associate Professor of Spiritual Disciplines and Resources

SCHEDULE: Wednesdays, 1:00 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.

DESCRIPTION: This course will explore the historical role of the Song of Songs in Christian and Jewish mysticism and spirituality, and possibilities for its role in contemporary spirituality. Through a close examination of the text and its history of reception, engagement with recent scholarly treatments (Feminist, Womanist, eco-hermeneutical, and Queer), and artistic, poetic, and musical appropriations of the Song, we will consider what the history of this text, with its close association of sexual and spiritual desire, has to say to us today. (Read the Course Prospectus)  

Request Special Student Application >>

History and Doctrine of the United Methodist Church

Photo of Dr. Natalya Cherry

with Dr. Natalya Cherry, Assistant Professor in Methodist Studies and Theology

SCHEDULE: Thursdays, 2:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.

DESCRIPTION: A study of the origin and development of the United Methodist Church and its doctrinal standards, with attention to John Wesley’s life and thought, subsequent theological transitions, and contemporary guidelines for doctrinal reflection in an ecumenical context. It includes attention to many historic Methodist-related denominations, such as the Evangelical Association, United Brethren, African Methodist Episcopal Church, African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church, and Christian Methodist Episcopal Church. Students will demonstrate an understanding of UM history and an ability to apply UM doctrine to real ministry throughout both the ordination process and their life in ministry. This course is required of United Methodist students for ordination. (Read the Course Prospectus)  

Request Special Student Application >>

Evening Courses


Photo of Dr. Newell WilliamsChristian Church (Disciples of Christ)

with Dr. Newell Williams, Brite Divinity School President and Professor of Modern and American Church History

SCHEDULE: Tuesdays, 6:15 p.m. to 8:45 p.m..

DESCRIPTION: Origins, growth and present status of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) and related groups. Attention to formative influences, leading personalities and developing theology and polity.  (Read the Course Prospectus)  

Request Special Student Application >>

The Church’s Mission and the Minister’s Vocation

Photo of Dr. Steve Sprinklewith Dr. Stephen Sprinkle, Professor of Practical Theology and Director of Field Education and Supervised Ministry 

SCHEDULE: Thursdays, 6:15 p.m. to 8:45 p.m.

DESCRIPTION: This course is a multi-dimensional examination of the church and its ministry from the vantage point of the doctrine of vocation. God is calling, and the Church is responding. Close attention will be given to the response of persons to God’s call to ordained ministry. Questions of vocation, mutuality in ministry, and ministerial authority will be addressed. Examples of ministry, both good and bad, will be considered. Using a variety of literary genres, the class will examine four areas of concern: (1) the theology of vocation and the ministry of the Holy Spirit; (2) the calling of ordained and lay persons to the mutual ministry of Jesus Christ; (3) narrative accounts of true and false ministries; and (4) the purpose and mission of the Church. (Read the Course Prospectus)  

Request Special Student Application >>

Special Topics: Practical Theology – Presbyterian Polity

Photo of Dr. Warner Baileywith Dr. Warner Bailey, Director of Presbyterian Studies

SCHEDULE: Mondays, 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.

DESCRIPTION: The purposes of this course are (1) to gain a working knowledge of the Constitution of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) or the Confession of Faith of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church, (2) to practice the application of its principles of worship and its polity in case studies and discussion, and (3) to deepen your understanding and sense of appreciation for the Presbyterian ethos of church order and discipline. (Read the Course Prospectus)  

Request Special Student Application >>

Spiritual Life and Leadership

Photo of Dr. Tim Robinsonwith Dr. Timothy Robinson, Alberta H. and Harold L. Lunger Associate Professor of Spiritual Disciplines and Resources

SCHEDULE: Tuesdays, 6:15 p.m. to 8:45 p.m.

DESCRIPTION: This course introduces the practice of the Christian spiritual life and the work of spiritual formation in Christian community. Attention will be given to both classical and contemporary expressions of Christian spirituality, the integration of spirituality, theology, and ethics, and to the role of spiritual discipline in the lives of seminarians and religious leaders. Significant class time will be devoted to experimentation with and practice of spiritual disciplines, and reflection on those experiences. (Read the Course Prospectus)  

Request Special Student Application >>
 

October Intensive


Special Topics: Pastoral Care – Experiences of Aging

Photo of Dr. Nancy Ramsaywith Dr. Nancy Ramsay, Professor of Pastoral Theology and Pastoral Care

SCHEDULE: October 14-18, Monday through Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

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. (Read the Course Prospectus)  

Request Special Student Application >>