Course Catalog

What theological commitments shape how different communities conceptualize and practice being church? And how do larger social, cultural, political, and economic realities affect the ways those commitments are lived out? In this course, we will examine the interplay between theologies of church (ecclesiology) and the pressures of our present moment, helping us understand more clearly both the nature and purpose of church and how churches can best respond to and serve the world. With a scope that is broadly ecumenical, though with a special emphasis on Anglicanism, we will explore contemporary modes of church, from the traditional to the experimental. This seminar-style course will acquaint students with long-standing and nascent models of church as a means of mapping the contemporary ecclesiological landscape. This will also allow students to examine the ways in which churches are simultaneously reflective and generative of larger theological commitments and are inevitably shaped by socio-political, cultural, and economic realities. Throughout the course, students will be required to bring their developing ecclesiological sensibilities to bear in evaluating the extent to which the character and practice of church should embrace or re-think its historical traditions, on the one hand, and accommodate or critique the wider context in which it is embedded, on the other. Active participation in class discussion, writing assignments consisting of responses to class readings, and four short essays are the central requirements.

This course, designed for MDiv and MTS students, will engage students in the intensive practical theological work of designing, planning, and running a VBS at All Souls’ Parish, Berkeley, from August 7-11, 2017. Class will meet 1/14 and 1/16 all day for initial work, plus monthly three-hour seminar-style meetings throughout the Spring semester, plus additional practical design work during the summer. Readings in developmental theory, engaged pedagogy, children’s and family ministries, and evangelism, plus evaluation and critique of published VBS curricula, investigation of a variety of VBS models, and collaborative creation of a designed-from-scratch VBS for All Souls’ Parish. Evaluation: student participation in collaborative design work, in-class presentations, theology paper, analysis paper, and final reflection paper.

Course may be taken for 1.5 units by completing the January sessions, the Spring semester seminars, and all readings and papers; or for 3 units by completing all these requirements plus the summer work planning and leading the VBS.

PRE-REQUISITE: Safe Church Training Certification.

This seminar course will explore the ministry of creating theological vision and educational strategies to enable congregations to "turn outwards" and become more fully engaged in service, advocacy, and justice in their specific social and cultural contexts. Students will engage in reading and research, analyze a variety of approaches to forming faith communities engaged in social ministries, observe and analyze particular congregations and their ministries, interact with guest presenters, and develop a visioning, formation, and education plan for a particular congregation. Lecture/seminar, field observations, student presentations, opening and closing reflection papers, major educational design project.

This course offers a one-semester introduction to New Testament Greek, including an overview of grammar, syntax and exegetical resources. Evaluation: quizzes, exams, short exegesis assignments, classroom participation. Intended audience: MDiv.

This course is the online section of BS-1010. It offers a one-semester introduction to New Testament Greek, including an overview of grammar, syntax and exegetical resources. Evaluation: quizzes, exams, short exegesis assignments, online participation. Intended audience: MDiv.

During the sixteenth century, Christians in England underwent a series of changes in their religion, some violent and rapid, others uneven and slow, that made the country Protestant.  During those changes a wide range of writings was produced, many official documents from government and church, that helped shape the changes.  In turn, some of those documents gained various degrees of authority in the Anglican church of subsequent centuries.  This is a “great books” course, studying those influential documents in their historical context.  Extensive reading in primary sources and two papers of seven to ten pages are required.

[Pre-requisite:  introductory study of the history of Christianity]

Eschatology, understood as a theological imagination of not only life with God beyond physical death but of the fulfillment of God’s promises and purposes in the full realization of a “new heaven and new earth,” has increasingly come to play a central role in shaping Christian practice inside and outside of churches. This seminar course will explore various approaches to imagining eschatological futurity, with a continual focus on how such an imagination informs individual and corporate expressions of Christian discipleship. Eschatology has, until recently, often been a rather neglected area of Christian theology. Where it has appeared, it has generally taken the form of a problematic apocalypticism or an over-emphasis on the traditional “four last things” (death, judgment, heaven, and hell) without paying sufficient attention to the facet of Christian eschatology that imagines “the end” as a thoroughgoing cosmic transformation. This has clear deleterious consequences for the way in which eschatological themes are treated in preaching and pastoral care. But it also has what may be less noticeable but no less problematic consequences for how Christian discipleship is practiced more broadly. This course aims to expose students to the energizing potential of recovering and accenting this deeply biblical and traditional current in the Christian theological imagination. Moreover, it seeks to demonstrate that such a theological conception of the future is loaded with the potential to activate life-giving modes of Christian discipleship, inside and outside of the ecclesial context. Active participation in class discussion, writing assignments consisting of responses to class readings, and a 12–page research essay on the course theme are the central requirements.

For CDSP students only. In order for exchange programs to be recorded on the permanent academic record, students must register for this course. There is a charge of $50 per semester. Registration is necessary for students who wish to receive academic credit for their work in the exchange program or who wish to have student loan deferments certified for the time during which they participate in the exchange program.

Supervised ministry in approved placements in the students living and learning context. Weekly on-line check-in. Assignments: a learning covenant, weekly meetings with supervisor, weekly online reflections, keeping a journal, special reports as needed, timely completion of evaluation forms. Pass/Fail only. [PIN code required; Auditors excluded]

Daily seminar meetings during second on-campus residences. Topics include, basic guidelines and assumptions learning/practicing theological reflection, systems theory, creating learning goals and covenant. Pass/Fail only. [PIN code required; Auditors excluded]