Take a Class

Brite Divinity School’s Fall 2020 schedule 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

Due to the ongoing challenges posed by COVID-19, Brite has adjusted the schedule of classes to allow for social distancing. Please view Fall 2020 Updated Instruction Method  and Fall 2020 Classroom Protocol for additional information.

Deadline to apply for Fall 2020 courses is June 30.


Fall 2020 Courses


History of Christianity: Turning Points

with Dr. Timothy S. Lee, Associate Professor of the History of Christianity

Thursday 8:15- 9:45, Online

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 >>

Interpreting the New Testament

with Dr. Francisco Lozada, Jr., Associate Professor of New Testament

Thursdays, 1:00 -3:30, Hybrid

This introductory course for Master-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 >>

Congregational Leadership

with Dr. Jo Hudson

Wednesdays, 1:00- 3:30, Online

This course is an introduction to leadership and administration in the local congregation, with attention to leadership styles, congregational dynamics, administering congregations of varying sizes and organizing for mission. Specific attention will be given to the character, ethics and leadership style of the pastor, congregational systems and cultures, leading change and managing conflict, equipping lay persons for ministry, financial management and development, the virtual church and social media. (Read the Course Prospectus)

Request Special Student Application >>

African (Im)Migrant Identity and Christianity in the U.S.

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

Tuesdays, 1:00 -3:30, Online

African identity in the United States is historically complex and constantly in process. The dominant narrative of African-descended identity in the United States has been through the channels of the Trans-Atlantic Slave trade, but other modes of African identity exist, including immigrant persons from African nations with significant history in the U.S. Through examining and conversing with both theoretical and theological texts, students will examine how these African persons navigate, reconcile, and create their own cultures of Christian and American identity within the West.

This course centers and examines notions of colonialism, citizenship, Africa-to-U.S. migration, and self-determined narrative. It will illumine how foundational Western cultural, social, and theological precepts influence, challenge, harm, and inspire new theological voice and culture amongst persons of African diasporic and immigrant descent.

The aim of the course is for students during the duration of the course to reflect not only upon the question, “What impact does foreign identity have on notions of belonging within the Christian faith tradition and within the context of the U.S.?” but also, “Which principles of Western life are fortified and which ideas are resisted in the social and theological existence of persons who may bear the identity, ‘American African’?” (Read the Course Prospectus)

Request Special Student Application >>

Religious Education in Ministry
Formerly titled: The Church’s Educational Ministry

with Dr. Russell Dalton, Professor of Religious Education

Fridays, 9:30- 12:00, Online

The purpose of this course is to introduce students to a broad understanding of Religious Education that goes beyond the classroom instruction such as the Sunday School. How are diverse disciples being formed in faith communities and other community contexts in intentional and unintentional and explicit and implicit ways? What is being learned about who God is, the nature of faith, and how we are to live through the ways in which the church or community organization carries out its ministries in its own ecclesial and community contexts? In light of our own contexts, what educational methods might be seen as inclusive, compassionate, just, and effective? (Read the Course Prospectus)  

Request Special Student Application >>

Pastoral Care in a Complex World

with Dr. Joretta L Marshall, Professor of Pastoral Theology and Pastoral Care and Counseling

Thursdays, 6:15-8:45, Online

The introductory course, Pastoral Care in a Complex Word, offers students an opportunity to reflect on the theology and theory that grounds the activities of care in congregational and specialized ministry. Its focus is on: 1) theological reflection in the context of work with individuals, families, and communities, 2) addressing particular issues that arise in the context of care, and 3) the development of skills such as the capacity to listen and respond. Attention is given to the various contexts in which care occurs, as well as to the diversity present in the individuals, families, and communities with whom one offers care. (Read the Course Prospectus)

Request Special Student Application >>

Theological Perspectives on Harry Potter and Other Wizarding World

with Dr. Russell Dalton, Professor of Religious Education

Thursdays, 8:15- 10:45, Online

This course explores theological and ethical perspectives on fantasy literature. The primary focus is on the books in the Harry Potter series, with a secondary focus on The Lord of the Rings, with discussion of other fantasy novels and films as well. Students should be familiar with all seven Harry Potter stories (preferably through the novels, but at least through the films) and have access to the novels. Students should also be familiar with all The Lord of the Rings stories, at least through the films (preferably through the novels). Students will analyze the ways in which various fantasy worlds reflect and embody theological themes such as creation, the nature of evil, how we are to confront evil and injustice, community, diversity and inclusion, morality, virtues and justice, redemption, and eschatological hope. (Read the Course Prospectus)  

Request Special Student Application >>

Introduction to Theological Ethics

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

Wednesdays, 9:30-12:00, Online

This course will survey the major methodological questions of Christian ethics, its thematic subdivisions, and the schools of thought and individual authors who have shaped the discussion of ethical questions within Christian discourse.

This is a topical course, thus, students will learn and interpret Christian 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

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

Tuesdays, 1:00-3:30, Hybrid

An exploration of issues and doctrines that animate Christian life. Topics 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 >>

Reformation Era and its Aftermath, Topic: Protestant Teachers and Teachings of the Faith

with Dr. James O. Duke, I. Wylie and Elizabeth M. Briscoe Professor of History of Christianity and History of Christian Thought

Tuesdays, 8:15-10:45, Online

Teachings of the Protestant Reformation echo today in churches and beyond. This course is for newcomers to Reformation study or those advancing from intro level. We will focus on leading Protestant themes and teachers of the faith during the Reformation era. Consideration will be given to some classic texts, now free on the internet, new research on the reformer Katharina Zell, along with a view of grassroots (weeds included), new social history. Students will have a chance, as part of exams and/or a paper, to pursue a Reformation-related topic of their choosing, in consultation with the instructor. (Read the Course Prospectus)

Request Special Student Application >>

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

with Dr. James O. Duke, I. Wylie and Elizabeth M. Briscoe Professor of History of Christianity and History of Christian Thought

Wednesdays, 9:30-12:00, Online

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.  (Read the Course Prospectus)

Request Special Student Application >>

Understanding Early Judaism

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

Tuesdays, 8:15-10:45, Online

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 >>

Interpreting the Hebrew Bible in Context

with Dr. Wil Gafney, Professor of Hebrew Bible

Wednesdays and Fridays, 9:30-10:45, Online

This course is a graduate level introduction to critical interpretation of the Hebrew Bible and Apocryphal/Deuterocanonical books focusing on content and context. It will include a selective survey of the history, literature and religion of ancient Israel focusing on the Torah (Pentateuch) and Prophets (Former and Latter).

We will engage issues of interpretation in light of history, archaeology, canon formation, and, text and translation issues. We will read the bible in its ancient contexts and our own contemporary contexts with particular emphasis on teaching and preaching biblical literature. Our primary questions will include: What does the bible say? What did it mean? How has its meaning developed over time? How do (and should we) we understand and use the bible? (Read the Course Prospectus)

Request Special Student Application >>

Religion and Violence

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

October 5-9, 9:00-5:00, Online

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. 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. (Read the Course Prospectus)

Request Special Student Application >>