Course Descriptions

THE HOLY SCRIPTURES

OLD TESTAMENT I:

This course introduces students to the books of Scripture, i.e., the Old Testament.  An overview of a variety of approaches to the interpretation of Scripture, focusing on the Pentateuch through Joshua, in the context of Ancient Israel and with a view to the New Testament.  The focus will be primarily on the content of these books but also addressing issues related to their collection as Scripture, the question of "canon", and the difficulties as well as the insights of modern historical-critical interpretation are considered. The theological meaning of the text is held as paramount.

OLD TESTAMENT II:

The Historical Texts and Wisdom books provide the raw material for a course placed in the context of Ancient Israel with a view to the New Testament.  The focus will be primarily on the content of these books but also addressing issues related to their collection as Scripture, the question of "canon", and the difficulties as well as the insights of modern historical-critical interpretation are considered.

OLD TESTAMENT III:

The Prophets provide the raw material for a course placed in the context of Ancient Israel with a view to the New Testament.  The focus will be primarily on the content of these books but also addressing issues related to their collection as Scripture, the question of "canon", and the difficulties as well as the insights of modern historical-critical interpretation are considered. This course will also include a survey of the Apocrypha.

NEW TESTAMENT I:

Directed reading of the English New Testament with emphasis on the Pauline Epistles, Hebrews, James, 1,2, Peter, and Jude.  The specific goals of the course are for students to understand the literary design of these books, to discern each book's distinctive witness to the teaching of Jesus Christ, to examine selected lectionary texts in their socio-historical, literary, and liturgical contexts, and to appreciate the use of critical as well as pre-critical methods of interpretation for establishing the meaning of the text.  While the primary purpose of the course is for students to read these books carefully, it is also expected that their careful reading would in turn inform their faith.  Special attention is given to their context in the Apostolic Church.

NEW TESTAMENT II:

Emphasis on the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and the Acts of the Apostles.  The specific goals of the course are for students to understand the literary design of these books, to discern each book's distinctive witness to the teaching of Jesus Christ.  While the primary purpose of the course is for students to read these books carefully, it is also expected that their careful reading would in turn inform their faith.  Special attention is given to their context in the Apostolic Church.  

NEW TESTAMENT III:

Emphasis on the Gospel of John, 1,2,3, John and Revelation. When considering Johannine theology, it will consider the structure of the Gospel and major themes, such as the person and work of Christ, the Johannine foundation of Trinitarian theology, the Spirit-Paraclete, truth and heresy in the Johannine community.  When considering the Epistles, careful attention to matters of genre, argument, and setting will in turn serve as the basis for informed readings of faith.

ECCLESIASTICAL HISTORY AND PATRISTICS 

Ecclesiastical History and Patristics is a four-course sequence that provides an historical context for the rise of Christianity and the development of the Christian Church into modern times. 

ECCLESIATICAL HISTORY I: HISTORY OF THE CHURCH FROM FROM ORIGINS TO THE REFORMATION

This course surveys the principal doctrinal, political, social, and cultural developments of the Christian Church from the post-Apostolic to the 16th Century.  Central themes include: persecution and martyrdom; the expansion of Christianity; the establishment of a normative Christianity; the shape and development of the imperial church; the theological controversies that resulted in the calling of the Councils; the rise of monasticism; key developments in Christian literature and learning; East-West relations; and the rise of the English Church.

ECCLESIASTICAL HISTORY II: HISTORY AND THEOLOGY OF THE ENGLISH CHURCH

This course surveys the principal doctrinal, social, and cultural developments of the English Church from the 16th Century to the modern day, including a special emphasis on the Oxford Movement and the Tractarians.

PATRISTICS I: THE SEVEN ECUMENICAL COUNCILS AND THE CREEDS

This course will immerse the student in the historical and theological story of the seven ecumenical councils.  The student will gain a thorough understanding of each council, from Nicaea I (325) to Nicaea II (787). This course also will examine the central doctrines of Christianity as expressed in the three Creeds. The meaning and implications of the four essential elements of Catholic Christian faith are explored. These include the divinity of Jesus and thus God as Trinity; the resurrection of Jesus and our hope of an afterlife; conversion away from the world toward the values of God's kingdom; and membership and participation in the Christian community, the Church.

PATRISTICS II: THEMES IN PATRISTIC LITERATURE

This course will look at selected themes treated by various Fathers of the Church (such as Anthropology; Sin, Passion, and Death; Monasticism; Mysticism) and their influence on the development of Christian doctrine.  During this course, the students will work with the primary texts that express the pastoral, intellectual and private spiritual concerns of the Church's seminal figures, and of average faithful believers as well.

DOGMATIC THEOLOGY

DOGMATIC THEOLOGY I:

This course will provide students with an overview of Christian thought with an emphasis on the Doctrine of God and the Trinity.

DOGMATIC THEOLOGY II:

This course examines a variety of views on topics touching on the relation of God to Creation including: Grace and Free Will, Theodicy and the Existence of Evil, and the Providence of God.

SACRAMENTAL THEOLOGY

This course explores the sacramentality of the Church toward material reality as a means to experience God's presence, as well as the meaning of sacrament.  Students also learn about the history, theology, evolution, and meaning of each of the Church's seven sacraments and explore the use of sacramentals in Catholic devotion.

LITURGY AND SACRED MUSIC

This course will provide the student with an introduction to the traditional liturgies and forms of the Book of Common Prayer as found in the Anglican and American Missals, the Anglican Service Book, and the Book of Common Prayer of the American Church, Canadian Church, and English Church, including the Liturgy of St. Tikhon of Moscow.  A special emphasis will be placed on the practice of liturgy, including gestures, postures, movements, etc., according to English Catholic Usage.  The course will include basic instruction of the use of liturgical chant, processions, incensations, Holy Week liturgies, as well as other liturgical rites and use of ceremony.  A brief survey of the Anglican choral tradition and sacred music is included in this course, with a specifice emphasis on hymn selection, service music and resources.

PASTORAL AND ASCETICAL THEOLOGY

PASTORAL THEOLOGY

This course examines various issues related to the spiritual health of a parish, from the health of the priest and his family to that of parish organizations, including vestries, church school, outreach ministries, sisterhoods, and others.  Particular focus will be the role of sound pastoral theology in creating and sustaining a healthy parish, and the discipline and spiritual endeavor required of the Christian believer, with references to Patristic writings and contemporary sources.  Confession, pastoral counseling and referrals, along with specific issues of pastoral care: gender and sexuality, marriage and family, youth and young adults, sickness and suffering, addiction and recovery, seniors and the elderly, grief and loss, death and dying, and distasters and relief will be explored.

ASCETICAL THEOLOGY

EVANGELISM AND THE CHURCH IN MODERN SOCIETY 

This course will explore how the scriptural mandate to disciple all nations is expressed in the theology and practice of the English Church. The challlenges of proclaiming the Gospel in the twenty-first century in particular will be considered.

MORAL THEOLOGY AND ETHICS

This course examines the imperative of Christian conduct as found in eschatology and the witness of the saints; equal emphasis will be placed on the positive method, scholastic method, and casuistic method; with special attention to the Anglican tradition in moral theology from Bishops Taylor and Sanderson, and other early writers, to the teaching of Fr. Martin Thornton in recent years.

HOMILETICS

This introduction to preaching, available as a supplement to the 6 module core, provides students with a clear theology and process to guide them in crafting an Anglican Catholic homily that is firmly rooted in Scripture and offers the hearers a concrete message of the good news in Jesus Christ.  Beginning with critical and prayerful reflection on the lectionary texts, the student will integrate homiletical theory in-class work with liturgical preaching in the parish, learning to incorporate critical feedback into their preaching ministry as they craft homilies that are relevant and meaningful to contemporary hearers.