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.
Christian ethics attempts to reflect in a clear, consistent and accountable way on the moral significance of the church’s claims regarding the truth of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Theological ethics thus requires attentiveness to basic Christian convictions regarding God, the Church, and the world. Moreover, with the power of the Holy Spirit and in the midst of a worshiping people of God, it requires the cultivation of wisdom and discernment to form lives capable of embodying the holiness, righteousness, justice, compassion and truth to which we are called in Christ. Therefore Christian ethics requires a commitment to the life of the Church, a life that is joined to a love for the world for which Jesus died.
The teachings of Jesus have reached across many centuries with a strong witness against violence: “Love your enemies.” People in many cultures have found the Sermon on the Mount foundational for understanding the core of Jesus’ ethical teaching and practice. The earliest Christians placed this instruction at the forefront of their witness on what it means to be Christian. Are we willing to be instructed in this way of Christ today, as the movement takes form in the third millennium? This course builds on the Old Testament Jewish backgrounds for Jesus’ teaching. Two further horizons are surveyed: the resonance with this core (Matthew 5-7) in other ethical instruction of the New Testament, and the strong echoes down through Christian history where this teaching has been translated into lived practices.
We live in a time of substantial confusion regarding sexual beliefs and behaviors. Such a context calls for theological clarity about sexuality for those providing church leadership. This course will engage students in theological reflection about the meaning and purpose of human sexuality from a Christian perspective. In conversation with biblical, historical and contemporary writings, this course will challenge participants to articulate the sexual theology that informs their ministry and practice.
Biblical Foundations for Justice and Peacemaking (3 SH)
Churches and Social Transformation (3 SH)
This course emphasizes the social and theological development of the history of Christianity from the Early Modern period to the 21st century. The course will focus on expansion, cross cultural encounter, events, persons, issues and movements that have shaped Christianity (ies) in Europe, Colonial America and the United States. We will interpret this history by giving attention to social and ecclesial issues of power and authority.
CTH 529 Anabaptist History & Theology
CTH 611 Prayer in the Christian Tradition
CTH 641 Mennonite History & Thought
Theology is the essential and ongoing task of faithful reflection on our life lived with deliberation in the presence of God. Theology involves and engages all we are and all we do, and demands our attentiveness to everything around us. The theological integrity of the Christian community is grounded in this task of disciplined, discerning examination of the meaning of daily life in Christ. When we do this task well, with the guidance of the Holy Spirit, it illuminates everything we do. Through an engagement with a variety of texts, written and otherwise, this course will help us know what it means to embrace “living theology."
Forty years ago John Howard Yoder wrote The Politics of Jesus. The central task of this book is to bring to the surface the social-political dimensions of the Gospel of Jesus Christ—as displayed throughout the New Testament (which includes showing the pacifist implications of its message). The Politics of Jesus was deliberately intended to be a broadly evangelical book with clear ecumenical sensibilities—speaking to a wide range of scholars and other interested Christians. It was a book calling for a paradigm shift. This course will engage the following question: Taking cues from Yoder’s creative work, what might it look like to articulate afresh a call to embody the good news of Jesus Christ, within the body of Christ, for the sake of our present world? Put differently, what does The Politics of Jesus look like when remixed for the second decade in this new century?
Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s life stands as an extraordinary witness against the backdrop of that long, dark night known as Nazi Germany. He is rightly well known for his popular and influential books, Discipleship and Life Together. However, this pastor, theologian and director of a seminary also penned numerous other writings in biblical studies, ethics, systematic and practical theology—as well as unforgettable letters from prison—that have etched his influence in large letters into the face of contemporary theology. This course reflects on Bonhoeffer’s life, theology and ongoing witness.