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Course descriptions and scheduling are subject to change by administrative decision. See course offerings booklet for current offerings. Some courses will be offered on a two- or three-year rotation.

General (BVG)

More than a study of a few select texts that deal with peacemaking, this course will explore and examine the various dimensions of peace in the Bible, with special attention to how the Bible as a whole functions as a foundation for peacemaking. The course will explore texts which reflect the everyday dimensions of wholeness, wellbeing, and security, as well as those which describe God’s attempts to make peace with rebellious humanity. A central figure in the biblical story of peace is Jesus, both as foundation of peace and as model for peacemaking. Texts and issues which present peacemakers with serious difficulties, such as the wars of Israel or the image of God as judge and warrior, will also be examined.

This course asks students to think theologically about biblical interpretation with the goal of forming faithful readers of scripture in and for the church and society.  Two questions focus our attention: What is Scripture? and how can we read Scripture well?  This is a seminar-style course in which students will read required texts closely and analyze them.  Prerequistites (not applicable for online) BVOT 511, BVNT 512. 

New Testament (BVNT)

This course is an introduction to the New Testament. It focuses on the both the theological and the historical and social-economic worlds of the Scriptures. The first written texts of the New Testament, the letters of the Apostle Paul, are the initial point of engagement with first-century Mediterranean politics, religion, and socio-economic realities into which the message of Jesus Christ came.  Moving next through the gospels and then the rest of the New Testament writings, several methods of interpretation, research, writing, and presentation are exercised.  A completed portfolio and a major oral presentation summarize how 21st century contexts are informed by the New Testament.

BVNT 531 Elementary Greek (3 sh)

This course is an introduction to koine Greek, the language of the New Testament.  The course focuses on the basic grammar, vocabulary and reading skills necessary for translating the Greek New Testament as well as for doing more advanced Greek studies.  Through classroom study, written exercises, quizzes and actual translation of parts of the Gospel of Mark, students learn the form and function of world/phrases, build a basic vocabulary and discover how actual translation assists biblical interpretation.

This course builds on the foundation laid in Elementary Greek in order to strengthen essential skills for exegesis of the Greek New Testament. Course objectives are: (1) to increase students’ recognition of the vocabulary of the Greek New Testament; (2) to give students practice in analyzing Greek syntax and using such analysis for NT exegesis; (3) to introduce the principles and methods of textual criticism; and (4) to familiarize students with the basic tools for NT exegesis. The course works at these objectives through the reading, syntactical analysis and translation of a range of NT texts. Prerequisite: BVNT 531.

Offered in a Rotation:

This course is an inductive study of the English text of the Gospel of Matthew. Working “from the inside out,” the course starts with the study of the Matthean text and ends with the consideration of “critical questions” (authorship, purpose, original readership, historical/social/cultural context). Special attention is given to the question of synoptic relationships and the “history vs. theology” question. The course places primary emphasis on the final literary form of the Gospel and on the specifically Matthean “story of Jesus” recounted there. Methods of study include both sequential and thematic approaches to the text.

This course focuses on the Gospel of Luke and/or the Book of Acts (English text). Beginning with inductive study of the Lukan text(s), the course concludes with consideration of “critical questions” (authorship, purpose, original readership, historical/social/cultural context). Special attention is given to the question of synoptic relationships (Luke) and the “history vs. theology” question (Luke/Acts). Primary emphasis lies on the final literary form of Luke/Acts and the characteristically Lukan “story of Jesus and the early church” recounted in these writings. The course approaches the text in both sequential and thematic fashion.

The focus of this course is the English text of the Gospel of John. From an inductive study of the Johannine text the course progresses to the consideration of “critical questions” (authorship, purpose, original readership, the “history vs. theology” question). Special attention is given to the relationship between the Gospel of John and the Synoptic Gospels. The course works with the final literary form of the Gospel and highlights the uniquely Johannine “story of Jesus.” The course offers both sequential and thematic approaches to the text.

Offered in a Rotation:

This course focuses on the inductive study of the Epistle to the Romans (English text). The course highlights the theological message of the epistle and the relevance of this message for the present-day church. Significant attention is likewise given to the historical/social/cultural/theological world of the Roman church and to the specific circumstances which occasion the epistle. The course works with the epistle in both sequential and thematic fashion.

This course offers an inductive study of the Corinthian Epistles (English text). The course places emphasis on the interconnections between the theological message of the epistles, the historical/social/cultural/ theological world of the Corinthian church and the specific circumstances which gave rise to these epistles. Consideration is given throughout to the relevance of these writings for the present day church. Methods of study include both sequential and thematic approaches to the epistles.

Old Testament (BVOT)

This course builds on the work of Elementary Hebrew, developing students' recognition of fundamental Biblical Hebrew vocabulary and grammatical forms and familiarizing students with issues of Hebrew syntax, in the context of reading basic and intermediate passages of the Old Testament.  Students learn how to draw on their reading of the Hebrew text for exegesis, using various exegetical resources and approaches.   Prerequisite: BVOT 532.

Old Testament Book Study Courses

Students explore one or more books of the Old Testament, focusing on the theology of the Book, the Theological Resources it offers and the questions it raises in Christian contexts.  Historical, literary, canonical  and socio-cultural approaches inform theological reflection.  Classroom time involves lectures and seminary-style discussion on required readings, and student coursework culminates in a final paper and a project that applies learning to the student's ministry context.

Students explore wisdom as literary genre, ancient practice and theological virtue.  The course will address the biblical books of Proverbs and Ecclesiastes, and students will study the book of Job in depth. 

Students explore the Book of Jeremiah, focusing on the nature of divine judgement/justice, the role of a prophet and the literary complexity of the book.


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