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Biblical and Theological Studies

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Master of Arts

Degree Requirements

Biblical Exegesis

Biblical Studies

History of Christianity

Theology

Doctor of Philosophy

Admission

Program Requirements

M.A. in Biblical & Theological Studies

Course Descriptions

 

Associate Dean, Professor David B. Capes

Master of Arts

The Wheaton Biblical and Theological Studies graduate program provide both a theological base and methodological skills for doctoral work and for use in a variety of ministries. Among these are teaching, campus ministries, missions, evangelism, writing and research, administration, church and parachurch groups, lay persons in various fields, and personal enrichment. The concentrations in the Biblical and Theological Studies graduate program stress the concepts, principles, history, and methods of the theological disciplines.

The program provides a scholarly, helpful, and understanding atmosphere in which students confront both traditional and contemporary interpretations and issues. It is committed to helping students formulate and articulate a biblical and global understanding of life and ministry in a setting committed to traditional biblical Christianity.

Admission to the program does not require a specific undergraduate major or prescribed set of courses. However, students are required to demonstrate sufficient knowledge in several areas. If such knowledge and proficiency cannot be demonstrated, additional undergraduate course work will be required. The areas of proficiency include:

*       A basic knowledge of the Bible and theology.

*       A general understanding of the major events, developments, and intellectual features of western civilization.

*       Good skills in written and spoken English.

 

Other areas of proficiency will be required depending on which concentration is selected within Biblical and Theological Studies.

Degree Requirements

Students must select one of four concentrations available: Biblical Exegesis, Biblical Studies, History of Christianity, or Theology. Students (excluding those pursuing the M.A. in Biblical Exegesis) are required to take a comprehensive exam. Students should register for BITH 692 Graduate Comprehensive Exam in the semester in which they intend to take the exam. Comprehensive exams can be failed only once. A student failing a particular exam (in part or as a whole) may retake the exam at the announced time in the following semester. All students desiring to write a thesis must apply in writing for the privilege. Students planning to complete a thesis during the summer must be sure their supervisor will be available. All students writing a thesis must register for BITH 698 and BITH 699 in all subsequent semesters. Students approved to write a thesis must also pass the comprehensive exam.

For M.A. programs in History of Christianity, Theology or Biblical Studies, with their advisor’s approval and instructor’s permission, students may take up to 8 credit hours of ancient or modern language study as electives in their program. These courses must be taken at Wheaton College at the 500 level, and must be done while enrolled as a graduate student. Foreign language credits may not be applied to a second M.A. degree.

The requirements for the program leading to a Master of Arts degree in the Biblical Exegesis concentration are 42 semester hours.

The requirements for the program leading to a Master of Arts degree in the Biblical Studies concentration are 40 semester hours.

The requirements for the program leading to a Master of Arts degree in the History of Christianity are 42 semester hours.

The requirements for the program leading to a Master of Arts degree in Theology are 48 semester hours.

The requirements to complete a second Master of Arts degree in Graduate Biblical and Theological Studies for students who have already completed one of the M.A. programs offered in the department will be reduced by up to 12 hours from the number of hours required for the second M.A. Students would be allowed to use up to 12 hours of the common core courses (Old Testament Theology, New Testament Theology, and Christian Theology) toward the second M.A. degree from the same department.

Most courses will be taken at the 500- and 600-level in the Biblical and Theological Studies area. Four hours of elective courses may be taken in other graduate departments, except in the Biblical Exegesis concentration and for Doctor of Psychology students pursuing an MA degree in Biblical and Theological Studies. Unless otherwise noted, a maximum of eight hours (only four hours in the Biblical Exegesis and Biblical Studies concentrations) from 300- and 400-level courses suitably enriched to carry graduate credit may be taken with approval of the student's advisor and the instructor. Each student works with an advisor to determine the appropriate concentration and to individualize the degree program based on the student's previous studies, interests, and goals.

Biblical Exegesis

Coordinator, Assistant Professor Andrew T. Abernethy

The M.A. in Biblical Exegesis aims to mobilize students to study Scripture in the original languages within an evangelical framework. The curriculum revolves around building language competency and cultivating an integrated approach to exegesis, such as factoring in hermeneutical theory, historical and cultural contexts, literary genres, and the theological contours of the canon. Students are to choose from three concentrations within this degree: Old Testament concentration, New Testament concentration, and the Old and New Testament concentration. All concentrations require 42 credit hours and require courses in hermeneutics, testament specific exegesis, language-based book studies, and theology.

M.A. in Biblical Exegesis - Old Testament concentration requires:

*       A pre-requisite of competency in two semesters worth of Hebrew Grammar. Hebrew competency is defined as passing the equivalent of HEBR 301 and 302, or passing a Hebrew Grammar exam.

*       The requirements for the Old Testament concentration include courses on the:

*       Exegetical and Hermeneutical process (8 hrs: BITH 508, BITH 524, BITH 542)

*       Theology (8 hrs: BITH 638, BITH 565)

*       Book studies in Hebrew Exegesis (12 hrs: BITH 635/636)

*       Electives (14 hrs - The student will work with their academic advisor to determine what electives will best meet the student's background interests and goals.)

*       Dossier for Biblical Exegesis (0 credit hrs: BITH 693)

 

M.A. in Biblical Exegesis - New Testament concentration requires:

*       A pre-requisite of competency in two semesters worth of Greek Grammar. Greek competency is defined as passing the equivalent of GREK 101 and 102, or passing a Greek Grammar exam.

*       The requirements for the New Testament concentration include courses on the:

*       Exegetical and Hermeneutical process (8 hrs: BITH 509, BITH 524, BITH 531)

*       Theology (8 hrs: BITH 648, BITH 565)

*       Book studies in Greek Exegesis (12 hrs: BITH 646/647)

*       Electives (14 hrs - The student will work with their academic advisor to determine what electives will best meet the student's background interests and goals)

*       Dossier for Biblical Exegesis (0 credits hrs: BITH 693)

 

M.A. in Biblical Exegesis - Old and New Testament concentration requires:

*       A pre-requisite of competency in two semesters worth of Hebrew Grammar and two semesters worth of Greek Grammar. Hebrew competency is defined as passing the equivalent of HEBR 301 and 302, or passing a Hebrew Grammar exam. Greek competency is defined as passing the equivalent of GREK 101 and 102, or passing a Greek Grammar exam.

*       The requirements for the Old and New Testament concentration include courses on the:

*       Exegetical and Hermeneutical process (14 hrs: BITH 508, BITH 509, BITH 524, BITH 542, BITH 531)

*       Theology (12 hrs: BITH 638, BITH 648, BITH 565)

*       Book studies in Hebrew and Greek Exegesis with at least 4 hrs in each language (12 hrs: BITH 635/646)

*       Electives (14 hrs - The student will work with their academic advisor to determine what electives will best meet the student's background interests and goals.)

*       Dossier for Biblical Exegesis (0 credit hrs: BITH 693)

Ancient Language Tuition Rebate Program

The M.A. in Biblical Exegesis requires either 8 or 16 hours of pre-requisites in Hebrew and/or Greek, depending on the chosen track. If a student takes Greek 101 and/or 102, and/or Hebrew 301 and/or 302 at Wheaton College upon enrolling in the program, please note that these classes do not count toward the completion of the 42-credit-hour Biblical Exegesis degree.

Wheaton College provides an Ancient Language Tuition Rebate for students who take Hebrew and/or Greek pre-requisite language courses at Wheaton. This rebate, covering up to 8 or 16 credit hours, significantly reduces the overall cost for anyone who has not previously studied the biblical languages. This rebate does not cover the cost for competency exams or the cost for ancient language courses taken at another college or university.

How does this work?

A student pays the tuition cost for a language pre-requisite course the semester they register to take the class. After successfully completing the ancient language course for that semester, the rebate is applied to the net tuition charges for the next semester the student enrolls. For example, if a student takes Hebrew 301, which is a 4 credit hour course, during the fall semester, the following semester a tuition rebate will be awarded for the amount paid for Hebrew 301 minus a proportion of any need-based grant (Wheaton Grant) OR any merit award (endowed scholarships)

It is best to take the ancient language pre-requisite courses early in your studies. The tuition rebate is not available after completing the 42 credit hours required to earn the degree. It is also not available if a student leaves the program without completing their degree. No cash will be disbursed to students who may take an ancient language course and then decide to leave the program.

Biblical Studies

Coordinator, Professor Gene L. Green

The MA in Biblical Studies degree is offered in a cohort model where students stay together as a group throughout three years of study, taking weekly evening classes and one-week intensive courses. The MABS offers a general program in biblical studies based on the English text with special emphasis upon the literature, interpretation, and themes of the whole Bible. The program helps the student to explore the biblical text within both its historic contexts and its use in modern worldwide contexts. It is designed primarily as a terminal degree for students who seek in-depth knowledge of Scripture in order to strengthen their Christian service as ordained and non-ordained leaders in local congregations, parachurch organizations or missionary agencies. The MABS also is appropriate for Christians in various marketplace vocations who seek a solid biblical foundation for the work in which they are engaged. It is not intended for those who plan to pursue formal academic studies on the doctoral level. Knowledge of the biblical languages is not required.

The Biblical Studies concentration requires the completion of 42 hours. The degree requires comprehensive courses on the Old Testament (BITH 537, BITH 538) and New Testament (BITH 544, BITH 545) that study the Scriptures with attention to contextual and background studies, issues in biblical criticism and major theological themes. The program also requires an advanced book study in each testament (BITH 536, BITH 546). Additional core courses aim to develop competency in biblical interpretation (BITH 568), to enable an astute theological reading of Scripture (BITH 565), to understand and appreciate the diversity of ecclesial traditions (BITH 569), to develop a biblical-theological account of Christian ethics and contemporary moral challenges (BITH 673), and to engage the biblical interpretation and theological reflection as practiced throughout global Christianity (BITH 625). In the final spring semester in the program, students will take a 2 credit ministry integration course, which will be chosen by the BITH department. The course will be chosen from the CFM, EVAN or INTR department.

The program concludes with a comprehensive exam.

History of Christianity

Coordinator, Associate Professor Jennifer Powell McNutt

The History of Christianity MA program (42 hrs) provides an opportunity for students to explore the contours of Christian history across two millennia in a liberal arts context. Over the course of two years, students will undertake rigorous and critical study of the history of the Christian church as it interacted with theological, social, political, intellectual, economic, gender, and cultural factors. Core courses will provide a comprehensive knowledge of Christian history and equip students with skills necessary for advanced historical work. Students will then have the foundation to progress in their understanding of the field through more in-depth seminar courses. Students may choose to tailor the program or to focus the program by selecting from three concentrations: Early Christianity, Reformation Christianity, or Modern Christianity. In addition to the pursuit of academic excellence, skills for service in the church and society worldwide will be fostered. Those who excel in the program will be prepared to undertake doctoral work in the history of Christianity, historical theology, and history.

*       24 hours in Historical Studies

*       All students must complete:

BITH 576 History of Christianity to 1900 (4)

BITH 577 World Christianity (4)

BITH 581 The Reformation (4)

BITH 585 History of Christianity in North America (4)

BITH 677 Topics in the History of Christianity (8)

 

*       Early Christianity concentration students choose either BITH 577 or BITH 585 and will complete 4 additional elective hours from BITH 677 or BITH 679.

*       Reformation concentration students are required to take one seminar (BITH 677) that corresponds with the Reformation concentration; one seminar must be taken from the Early or Modern concentrations.

*       Modern concentration students are required to take one seminar (BITH 677) that corresponds with the Modern period; one seminar must be taken from the Early or Reformation periods.

*       Students without a concentration must take seminars from two different periods, chosen from Early, Reformation, or Modern.

*       4 hours in Historical Theology

*       All students must choose from the following:

BITH 653—Historical Theology: Patristic (2)

BITH 654—Historical Theology: Medieval (2)

BITH 655—Historical Theology: Reformation (2)

BITH 656—Historical Theology: Modern (2)

 

*       Concentration students are required to take one Historical Theology course that corresponds with their concentration.

 

*       4 hours in Biblical and Systematic Theology

*       All students must choose from the following:

BITH 525—Biblical Theology (4)

BITH 565—Christian Theology (4)

 

*       Students with qualified coursework in this requirement and with permission from their advisor may choose instead from the following options:

BITH 674—Theology and the Liberal Arts (4)

BITH 625—World Christian Perspectives (2) and BITH 653, 654, 655, or 656 Historical Theology (2)

BITH 675—Advanced Systematic Theology (4)

 

*       6 hours in Historical Skills & Methodology

*       All students must complete:

4 credits from BITH 503, 504, 505, or 506 —Language Reading Course (4)

 

Students not planning to pursue doctoral work may receive permission from their advisor to use these hours towards their electives.

 

BITH 683—Historiography of the History of Christianity (2)

 

*       All students are strongly recommended to take:

BITH 684—Vocation Formation in Biblical and Theological Studies (0)

 

*       4 or 8 hours in Electives (8 if students opt out of BITH 505 with permission)

*       All concentration students are required to choose from the following:

BITH 695—Independent Study (4) in their concentrated subject, or

BITH 698—Thesis (4)

 

*          All students are required to complete:

BITH 692—Graduate Comprehensive Exam (0)

Students should not take exam before they have completed 32 hours of the program.

Theology

Coordinator, Associate Professor Jennifer Powell McNutt

The M.A. in Theology (2 years/48 credit hours) provides students with a course of graduate theological study in an interdisciplinary, liberal arts context. The M.A. in Theology trains students to engage theological ideas in the world today through a strong biblical, evangelical foundation, mastery of our diverse theological heritage, and familiarity with contemporary, global developments in theology. The concentration seeks to equip students to become responsible interpreters of Scripture and faithful stewards of Christian thought through critical graduate study leading to church service and teaching or an advanced Ph.D. program. Students choosing this degree concentration must select one of two available degree emphases: Systematic or Historical Theology.

Degree Requirements

*       8 hours in Biblical Theology

*       All students must complete:

BITH 638—Old Testament Theology (4)

BITH 648—New Testament Theology (4)

 

*       8 hours in Historical Theology

*       All students must complete:

BITH 653—Historical Theology: Patristic (2)

BITH 654—Historical Theology: Medieval (2)

BITH 655—Historical Theology: Reformation (2)

BITH 656—Historical Theology: Modern (2)

 

*       8 hours in Systematic Theology

*       All students must complete or fulfill in the first year of study:

BITH 565—Christian Theology (prerequisite to degree)

 

*       All students must complete (BITH 573 must be completed in the first year of study):

BITH 573—Scripture and Theology (4)

BITH 675—Advanced Systematic Theology (4)

 

*       8 hours in Interdisciplinary and Global Christian Thought

*       All students must complete (BITH 674 must be completed in the first year of study):

BITH 674–Theology and the Liberal Arts (4)

BITH 577—World Christianity (4)

 

*       Students enrolled with an emphasis in Systematic Theology

*       16 hours of electives in the field of systematic or related studies

Including minimum of 4 credits in BITH 676 (Seminar in Systematic Theology)

 

*       Students enrolled with an emphasis in Historical Theology

*       16 hours of electives in the field of historical or related studies

Including minimum of 4 credits in BITH 679 (Seminar in Historical Theology)

All students in the M.A. in Theology are required to take BITH 692—Comprehensive Exam (0).

Students are permitted to apply to enroll in BITH 698—Thesis (4) (with advisor approval only; oral defense required). Students electing to write a thesis must also pass the comprehensive exam.

All students are strongly encouraged to take:

*       BITH 684—Vocation Formation in Biblical and Theological Studies (0)

All students interested in pursuing a Ph.D. in Theology or a related field are strongly encouraged to take the following for elective credit:

*       BITH 505—Language Study (4) (French or German)

 

M.A. in Theology requirements for Psy.D. Degree Candidates

Candidates for the Psy.D. degree may complete the MA Theology degree in the Systematic Theology emphasis by completing the following requirements:

*       8 hours in Biblical Theology

*       BITH 638—Old Testament Theology (4)

*       BITH 648—New Testament Theology (4)

*       8 hours in Historical Theology

*       BITH 653—Historical Theology: Patristic (2)

*       BITH 654—Historical Theology: Medieval (2)

*       BITH 655—Historical Theology: Reformation (2)

*       BITH 656—Historical Theology: Modern (2)

*       8 hours in Systematic Theology

*       BITH 565—Christian Theology (4)

*       BITH 573—Scripture and Theology (4)

*       8 hours in Interdisciplinary and Global Christian Thought

*       BITH 674—Theology and the Liberal Arts (4)

*       BITH 577—World Christianity (4)

*       16 hours in Systematic Theology emphasis courses

*       BITH 675—Advanced Systematic Theology (4)

*       BITH 622—Theological & Religious Issues in Psychotherapy (2)

*       BITH 623—History of Pastoral Care (2)

*       CFM 538—Spirituality (2)

*       PSYC 861—Spiritual Direction & Care of the Soul (3)

*       PSYC 862—Advanced Integration Course (3)

 

All students in the M.A. in Theology are required to take BITH 692—Comprehensive Exam (0).

Students are permitted to apply to enroll in BITH 698—Thesis (4) (with advisor approval only; oral defense required). Students electing to write a thesis must also pass the comprehensive exam.

Doctor of Philosophy

PhD Committee Chair, Gunther M. Knoedler Professor of Theology Daniel Treier

The Doctor of Philosophy in Biblical and Theological Studies is designed to train scholars who can serve the church worldwide as teachers, researchers, pastors, and leaders. The program aims at fostering faithfulness to the teaching of Scripture in combination with creative and critical reflection on its significance for the church and contemporary culture. Students may focus on either Biblical Theology or Systematic/Historical Theology. The nature of Scripture and of the theological task demands that theology be rooted in Scripture and that Scripture be interpreted theologically. The Wheaton Ph.D. program, therefore requires that its students take a holistic approach to biblical-theological studies. Students will write dissertations that focus on one of the traditional areas of academic competence—Old Testament, New Testament, Systematic Theology, or Historical Theology—the student's "concentration." But the entire program requires integration between the fields of biblical studies and theology. In order to facilitate this integration, students in the Wheaton Ph.D. program will write dissertations that are distinctly theological in nature.

Requirements for admission to the Ph.D. program. In addition to the admission requirements for the Graduate School in general, students applying for the Ph.D. are required to have the following:

*       An M.A. (in an area of Biblical or Theological Studies) or M.Div. degree or the equivalent.

*       Normally, a minimum GPA of 3.5 in their master’s-level work.

*       An acceptable score on the GRE.

*       For international students: scores on the TOEFL of 600, on the TWE of 5.0, and on the TSE of 50.

*       Evidence of potential for doctoral-level research in the form of a substantial research paper.

*       Competency in biblical Hebrew and Greek.

*       Recommendations from three of the applicant's professors and his or her pastor.

*       Approval from the mentor with whom the student seeks to study (normally secured through a personal interview).

 

Requirements for the Doctor of Philosophy in Biblical and Theological Studies. The program incorporates the best elements from North American, British, and German doctoral models. Emphasis will be placed on guided research and independent study, though some formal courses are required. Informal learning in a community setting is integral to the program. Students will work closely with a faculty mentor, who will have primary responsibility for establishing the specific shape of the program that the student will undertake. Students are expected to engage in dissertation research and writing from the beginning of the program. The length and specific components of the program will therefore vary from student to student. All students will be required to take a minimum of 40 hours of doctoral-level courses and may be asked to take as many as 60.

The requirements are:

*       Five doctoral seminars

18 hours

*       One first-year seminar (BITH 881)

   4 hours

*       Two major field seminars (either Biblical Theology [BITH 882] or Systematic or Historical Theology [BITH 883])

   8 hours

*       One minor field seminar

   4 hours

*       One second-year capstone seminar (BITH 884)

   2 hours

*       At least one Guided Research course (BITH 795)

4 or more hours

*       One approved course at another institution

3-4 hours

*       Directed Study courses in conjunction with a master’s-level BTS class or liberal arts class (BITH 793 or 794)

0 or more hours

*       Supervised Pedagogical Experience (BITH 798)

2 hours

*       Introduction to Doctoral Research (BITH 751)

0 hours

*       Dissertation (BITH 898)

0 hours

Additional information on these requirements is available in the Ph.D. Handbook

In addition to the specific courses listed above, Ph.D. students must also demonstrate competence in biblical Greek and Hebrew (though some students in Historical Theology may substitute Latin for Hebrew) and in two research languages (German and one other language appropriate to the student's field of study), demonstrate comprehensive knowledge of the field, and write and successfully defend a dissertation. Students may apply for candidacy in the program after their first year of study. Candidacy will be awarded to students who have successfully completed all degree requirements, excepting the dissertation. Degree requirements must be completed within six years of the first date of enrollment.

M.A. in Biblical & Theological Studies

Coordinator, Associate Professor Jennifer Powell McNutt

 

The M.A. in Biblical and Theological Studies degree may be awarded to students who have completed at least 40 credit hours of doctoral coursework in biblical and theological studies, and the foreign language requirements of the Ph.D. program. In addition, students are required to satisfactorily complete their cumulative academic portfolios. The M.A. in Biblical and Theological Studies is understood as a terminal degree since the doctoral dissertation is not completed. The degree is awarded only to students who have studied in the doctoral program. Students who complete the dissertation and receive the Ph.D. degree will not be awarded the M.A. in Biblical and Theological Studies.

Bible and Theology Courses (BITH)

Graduate students, with the approval of their advisors, may take certain 300- and 400-level courses, when suitably enriched, for graduate credit (eight hours maximum); 700- and 800-level courses are open only to Ph.D. students, unless otherwise specified or with approval of the program director and course instructor. All courses listed below carry four (4) hours of credit unless otherwise noted.

BITH 502x. Hebrew. See HEBR 302.

BITH 503. Language Study. Graduate-level study of an ancient or modern language in conjunction with a one semester or advanced language course taught at Wheaton College. Requires advisor’s approval and permission of instructor. (2 or 4)

BITH 504. Language Study. Graduate-level study of an ancient or modern language in conjunction with a second semester language course taught at Wheaton College. Requires advisor’s approval and permission of instructor. (2 or 4)

BITH 505. Language Study. Graduate-level study of an ancient or modern language in conjunction with a one semester or advanced language course taught at Wheaton College. Requires advisor’s approval and permission of instructor. (2 or 4)

BITH 506. German Language Study II. Building on BITH 505/GERM 372, this course meets weekly during the subsequent semester for an intensive workshop in reading/translating academic prose (primary sources; scholarly books and articles), with a particular focus on readings in theological disciplines and the humanities. Emphasis on textual analysis, review and expansion of key structures, management of linguistic challenges, and development of global reading skills. Prerequisite: BITH 505/GERM 372 or the equivalent.

BITH 508. Introduction to Hebrew Exegesis. Hebrew language course designed for MA Biblical Exegesis students. Course will continue to develop student language acquisition through review of grammar and syntax, and through intensive reading of selected biblical texts. Introduction will be given to textual criticism, lexical semantics, and the Masoretic text. Prerequisites: HEBR 301 and HEBR 302.

BITH 509. Introduction to Greek Exegesis. Greek language course designed for MA Biblical Exegesis students. Course will continue to develop student language acquisition through review of grammar and syntax, and through intensive reading of selected biblical texts. Introduction will be given to textual criticism, lexical semantics, and modern editions of the Greek NT. Prerequisites: GREK 101 and GREK 102; or the equivalent.

BITH 517, 518. Studies in Biblical Lands. A study of cultural, historical, geographical, and theological dimensions of the Old Testament, New Testament, and the Church through classroom lecture and travel to Israel, Greece, Turkey, and Rome. In addition, through contact with leaders and communities of non-western churches, Wheaton in the Holy Lands engages students with issues of the theological development of the Church down through the centuries. Summer only.

BITH 521. Theology of Education. An examination of fundamental theological issues underlying education, including the relationship of revelation to other disciplines, the Christian conception of persons and knowing, and the relationship of the Church to culture. Required for the Master of Arts in Teaching degree. (2)

BITH 524. Introduction to Hermeneutics. A theoretical complement to the methodology courses of BITH 542 and BITH 531. This course situates grammatical-historical biblical exegesis in a Christian hermeneutic, with a view to understanding the supporting rationale, life habits, and the aims of our exegetical practices within our life as God’s people. Topics include: the history of hermeneutics; historical and theological approaches to interpretation; World Christian Perspectives; the importance and relations of authors, texts, readers, and divine agency; translation in word and life. This course is a prerequisite for BITH 532, BITH 635, and BITH 646 and a co-requisite for BITH 542 (Old Testament Hermeneutics) and BITH 531 (New Testament Hermeneutics). (2)

BITH 525. Biblical Theology. A study of the major theological themes within the Old and New Testaments, based upon the biblical text and the writings of major biblical theologians. The course will also consider the historical development and interrelationship of these themes throughout the successive periods of biblical history.

BITH 526x. Biblical Theology of Worship. See BITH 326.

BITH 528. Introduction to New Testament Exegesis. A practical hermeneutics course, orienting students to the principles and praxis of New Testament grammatical-historical exegesis. Focusing on selected Greek texts chosen from various genres, attention will be given to the literary and rhetorical strategies employed by biblical authors to achieve their intended goals. Particular issues to be addressed include textual criticism, lexical and grammatical analysis, compositional style and genre and the broader canonical and historical contexts. This course is a prerequisite for BITH 646 and BITH 532. Prerequisite: Greek language competency. (2)

BITH 531. New Testament Hermeneutics. This course will introduce those specific principles, resources, and skills that are necessary for interpreting New Testament texts that are not dependent on a mastery of the biblical languages. Primary attention will be given to genre analysis, socio-cultural worldview, biblical criticism (including issues of authorship and date of composition for individual books), the significance of the history of interpretation and the role of theology in informing interpretation. The focus throughout will be on building methods useful for exegeting the text. Prerequisite: BITH 524 Introduction to Hermeneutics. (2)

BITH 532. Greek Exegesis in the Septuagint. Introduces the Greek Old Testament and modern Septuagintal studies. Exegesis of selected passages of the Greek Old Testament with special reference to the corresponding passage in the Hebrew text and, when relevant, its use in the New Testament. Prerequisite: BITH 524 and BITH 528, completion of Greek competency and one year of Hebrew or instructor’s approval. Counts toward Greek exegesis requirement in Biblical Exegesis program. (2 or 4)

BITH 534. Pentateuch. Primeval and patriarchal history. God's sovereign rule as Creator and the choice and development of Israel as his special people. A study of the relationship between law and covenant and of Israel as a worshiping community.

BITH 535. Prophets and Prophecy. A study of the phenomenon of prophecy in ancient Israel, in its theological and cultural settings. In addition to the critical issues, the major prophets will be examined and their message and theology studied as part of the mainstream of the prophetic movement. (2)

BITH 536. Old Testament Book Studies from the English Text. Studies of the content, message, and contemporary relevance of selected portions of the Old Testament against the background and the setting of the original writer and recipients. (2 or 4)

BITH 537. Old Testament I: Pentateuch & Historical Books. A comprehensive study of the first half of the Old Testament, from Genesis through Esther, with special attention given to the place of biblical criticism, cultural backgrounds and biblical theology in scriptural interpretation. This course is only open to students in the MA Biblical Studies program.

BITH 538. Old Testament II: Prophets & Wisdom Books. A comprehensive study of the second half of the Old Testament, from Psalms through Malachi, with special attention given to the place of biblical criticism, cultural backgrounds and biblical theology in scriptural interpretation. This course is only open to students in the MA Biblical Studies program.

BITH 539. Ancient Near East Backgrounds of the Old Testament. An introduction to background and comparative studies that will focus on methodology and the conceptual world of the ancient Near East. As the cultures and literatures are compared both similarities and differences will emerge and be evaluated for their impact and role in the exegesis of the biblical text. (2)

BITH 541. Old Testament Criticism. A study of the history, method, and results of modern historical approaches to the Old Testament literature. Attention will be given to a critical assessment of these developments from an evangelical perspective. (2)

BITH 542. Old Testament Hermeneutics. This course will introduce and utilize specific principles, resources, and skills that are necessary for interpreting Old Testament texts but not dependent on a mastery of the biblical languages. Primary attention will be given to genre analysis, socio-cultural worldview, biblical criticism (including issues of authorship and date of composition for individual books), and the theological shape of the Hebrew canon, as well as the potential contribution of these subdisciplines to the exegetical task. Prerequisite: BITH 524 Introduction to Hermeneutics. (2)

BITH 543. New Testament Criticism. A study of the history, method, and results of modern historical-critical approaches to the New Testament literature. Attention will also be given to a critical assessment of these developments from an evangelical perspective. (2)

BITH 544. New Testament I: Jesus & the Gospels. The course introduces the student to the life and teachings of Jesus and to the development of the early church, focusing on the four gospels with special attention given to the place of biblical criticism, cultural backgrounds and biblical theology in scriptural interpretation. This course is only open to students in the MA Biblical Studies program.

BITH 545. New Testament II: Acts to Revelation. The course examines the book of Acts, Pauline letters, Catholic epistles and book of Revelation, with special attention given to the place of biblical criticism, cultural backgrounds and biblical theology in scriptural interpretation. This course is only open to students in the MA Biblical Studies program.

BITH 546. New Testament Book Studies from the English Text. The content, message, and contemporary relevance of selected portions of the New Testament against the background of the setting of the original writer and recipients. Logical units of the NT literature. (2 or 4)

BITH 547. Life and Teachings of Jesus. The events and teachings of Jesus in their contemporary context together with an analysis of current relevant research.

BITH 548. Life and Teachings of Paul. The major aspects of the teachings of Paul in the context of his life and times as reflected in selected parts of his letters and Acts.

BITH 551. Greco Roman Backgrounds of the New Testament. An introductory study of the Greco-Roman world, including its history, society, culture, religion, and literature, in relation to the expansion of early Christianity and the New Testament documents. (2)

BITH 552. Jewish Backgrounds of the New Testament. A study of the history, literature, and thought within Judaism in the Persian and Hellenistic periods. In providing an important backdrop to the understanding and interpretation of the New Testament, emphasis will fall on the political and economic forces at work in Palestine, as well as the religious ideas and practices. (2)

BITH 553. New Testament and Early Christian History. An investigation of the history, literature, and theology of the New Testament and Christianity prior to A.D. 325.

BITH 554x. Topics in Archaeology. See ARCH 554. (2 or 4)

BITH 558. Topics in Advanced Biblical and Theological Studies. Separate courses devoted to the study of topics of general interest. (2 or 4)

BITH 561. Theological Anthropology. A theological examination of the nature of persons with special reference to issues raised by modern philosophy and psychology. (2)

BITH 562. Introduction to Old Testament Exegesis. A practical hermeneutics course, orienting students to the principles and praxis of Old Testament exegesis. Focusing on selected Hebrew texts, chosen from various genres, attention will be given to the literary and rhetorical strategies employed by biblical authors to achieve their intended goals. Particular issues to be addressed include textual criticism, lexical and grammatical analysis, compositional style and genre and the broader canonical and historical contexts. Prerequisites: HEBR 301, 302, 401. (2).

BITH 563. Apologetics. Survey of the theological resources for meeting contemporary challenges to Christianity, including the problems of secularism, pluralism, evil, and the historicity of Jesus. (2)

BITH 565. Christian Theology. An introduction to the methods of systematic theology and the major topics within the biblical revelation. Special attention is given to the rationale for these Christian doctrines, their systematic interconnections as well as their development within the history of Christian thought, and their contemporary challenges.

BITH 566. Foundations for Biblical Interpretation. A survey of the principles, methods, and issues of biblical and theological interpretation in the past and present. Intended for students in non-theological disciplines, as well as for those in Biblical and Theological studies who have limited theological preparation.

BITH 567x. Theology of the Church. See BITH 382. (2)

BITH 568. Foundations for Biblical Interpretation. A survey of the principles, methods, and issues of biblical and theological interpretation in the past and present. Intended for students in non-theological disciplines, as well as for those in Biblical and Theological studies who have limited theological preparation. (2)

BITH 569. Christian Traditions. A survey of the major Christian traditions with an emphasis on their theological presuppositions and systematic thought, including the common tradition of the early church, as well as the Orthodox, Catholic, Reformed, and modern Protestant traditions.

BITH 571. Introduction to the History of Christianity. A summary introduction to the history of Christianity designed to provide a rapid but comprehensive overview to assist students who seek basic understanding of the history of Christianity as a background for other fields of study. The emphasis is upon succinct summary, and the course will focus on key turning points in Church history from the early church to the twentieth century. Graduate students will attend the same lectures as undergraduates in HIST 305 but receive different syllabi with different levels of required work. (2)

BITH 572x. Doctrine of Scripture. See BITH 392. (2 or 4)

BITH 573. Scripture and Theology. An in-depth examination of the ways in which theologians use Scripture in formulating theological proposals, both with regard to Christian doctrine (theology) and Christian practice (ethics). The course explores the nature of Scripture, the authority of Scripture, and ways in which the work of theology moves "beyond" Scripture in order to respond to the contemporary situation of the church.

BITH 576. History of Christianity to 1900. An introduction to the history of Christianity from the age of the apostles through the nineteenth century. The course treats the development of institutions, doctrines, and interactions with culture. It is divided into approximately equal sections on the early church, the church in the middle ages, the era of the reformation, and the period 1600-1900. The course is meant to be a complement of BITH 577, which focuses on the worldwide expansion of Christianity in the last two centuries.

BITH 577. World Christianity. A survey of the history of world Christianity since the middle of the nineteenth century. This course includes some background on the earlier missionary expansion of the Church, but its emphasis is on the transition of Christianity from a western to a world religion in the last two centuries.

BITH 581. The Reformation. The doctrines and practices of the Reformers (1450-1650) in their political, social, economic, and intellectual contexts. Special attention to Luther, the Reformed (Zwingli and Calvin), Anabaptists, the English Reformation, and the Catholic Reformation.

BITH 585x. History of Christianity in North America. See HIST 483.

BITH 622. Theological and Religious Issues in Psychotherapy. A study of the religious issues that are confronted in psychotherapy, with an emphasis on the practical clinical applications and implications of Christian theology. The role of the psychologist as a healer and minister of grace will be considered, as well as topics such as sin and evil, confession, redemption, forgiveness, and the use of prayer and Scripture. (For Psy.D. students or with permission of instructor and department chair.) (2)

BITH 623. The History of Pastoral Care. A survey of the principles and techniques of Christian nurture (the care of souls) from the time of Gregory the Great to the modern church in America. Both primary and secondary sources are read in an effort to understand how the church has ministered to persons with various needs and in varied circumstances. (For Psy.D. students or with permission of instructor and department chair.) (2)

BITH 624. Theological Ethics for Counseling. A course designed to explore the biblical and theological foundations for a Christian ethic together with a consideration of the main Christian traditions in ethics. Case study applications will be made to issues in counseling. (For Psy.D. students or with permission of instructor and department chair.) (2)

BITH 625. Majority World Theologies. Readings and discussions on the task of biblical interpretation and theological reflection in the context of world Christianity. (2)

BITH 631. Intermediate Hebrew. A comprehensive study of the basic principles and methods of interpreting the Hebrew Old Testament. Emphasis on reading as a tool to build vocabulary and understanding of Hebrew grammar and syntax. Prerequisite: working knowledge of Hebrew.

BITH 634. Poetic Books. The form and content of Hebrew poetry with its background in ancient Near Eastern literature. An examination of key passages in books such as Psalms, Proverbs, and Job. (2 or 4)

BITH 635. Hebrew Exegesis. Exegesis of books or selected portions of larger books of the Hebrew Old Testament. Capability of translation is assumed because of the prerequisite. The purpose of the course is not to teach Hebrew grammar, but to interpret the Old Testament from the Hebrew text. Prerequisites: BITH 524, BITH 508 (Introduction to Hebrew Exegesis), BITH 542 (Old Testament Hermeneutics), and HEBR 302 or Hebrew Competency. (4)

BITH 636. Hebrew Exegesis. Exegesis of books or selected portions of larger books of the Hebrew Old Testament. Capability of translation is assumed because of the prerequisite. The purpose of the course is not to teach Hebrew grammar, but to interpret the Old Testament from the Hebrew text. Prerequisites: BITH 524, BITH 508 (Introduction to Hebrew Exegesis), BITH 542 (Old Testament Hermeneutics), and HEBR 302 or Hebrew Competency. (2)

BITH 638. Old Testament Theology. The major teachings of the various parts and the whole of the Old Testament with concentration upon some of the most important themes in an attempt to discover the intention of the biblical writers.

BITH 639. Advanced Old Testament Topics. Separate courses devoted to the study of specialized topics, issues, or areas within the Old Testament field. (2 or 4)

BITH 641. Current Issues in Old Testament Studies. An examination of recent trends in Old Testament scholarship with special attention paid to significant problem areas. Prerequisite: BITH 541. (2)

BITH 645. Canonical Biblical Interpretation. An integrative course that is the capstone of the M.A. in Biblical Exegesis program. The course enables students to solidify their ability to exegete scripture with canonical sensitivity. It also guides the student in integrating a canonical perspective into the exegetical and hermeneutical enterprise, including relating parts of the testaments to one another and to their particular relevant historical backgrounds within a biblical-theological framework. Various texts and themes throughout the OT and NT will form the basis for the semester’s work. Four hours to be taken in the student’s last spring semester of the program.

BITH 646. Greek Exegesis. Exegesis of books or selected portions of larger books of the Greek New Testament. Capability of translation is assumed because of the prerequisite. The purpose of the course is not to teach Greek grammar but to interpret the New Testament from the Greek text. Prerequisite: BITH 524, BITH 509 (Introduction to Greek Exegesis), BITH 531 (New Testament Hermeneutics), and GREK 102 or Greek Competency. (4)

BITH 647. Greek Exegesis. Exegesis of books or selected portions of larger books of the Greek New Testament. Capability of translation is assumed because of the prerequisite. The purpose of the course is not to teach Greek grammar but to interpret the New Testament from the Greek text. Prerequisites: BITH 524, BITH 509 (Introduction to Greek Exegesis), BITH 531 (New Testament Hermeneutics), and GREK 102 or Greek Competency. (2)

BITH 648. New Testament Theology. An investigation of the dominant themes in the New Testament in the light of the cultures in which they were produced and the methods of representative contemporary New Testament theologians.

BITH 649. Advanced New Testament Topics. Separate courses devoted to the study of specialized topics, issues, or areas within the New Testament field. (2 or 4)

BITH 651. Current Issues in New Testament Studies. An examination of recent trends in New Testament scholarship with special attention given to significant problem areas. Prerequisite: BITH 543. (2)

BITH 653. Historical Theology: Patristic. An examination of the theological developments from the second through the fifth centuries. Special attention is given to the formation of the ecumenical creeds, developments in the doctrines of the canon, God, Christology, soteriology, ecclesiology, and the sacraments, as well as the nuances differentiating the Orthodox and Roman Catholic traditions. (2)

BITH 654. Historical Theology: Medieval Christianity. An examination of the theological developments from the fifth through the fourteenth centuries. Special attention is given to the relationship between reason and revelation, soteriology, ecclesiology, the sacraments, and popular piety. (2)

BITH 655. Historical Theology: Reformation. An examination of the key theological writings during the Reformation period, including selections by Lutheran, Calvinist, Anabaptist, and Catholic figures. (2)

BITH 656. Historical Theology: Modern. An examination of the theological developments from the Enlightenment to the present, focusing on key figures representing nineteenth-century German liberalism, neo-orthodoxy, post-Vatican II Catholicism, liberation, and postmodern theology. (2)

BITH 669. Topics in Theology. Selected topics in theology to provide for in-depth study of a selected topic of current interest. (2 or 4)

BITH 673. Christian Ethics. An investigation of the biblical and theological foundations of Christian ethics, with attention to a range of contemporary moral issues.

BITH 674. Theology and the Liberal Arts. An in-depth examination of the interactions that have taken and are taking place between theology and the arts, as well as the natural and human sciences. Students will explore the ways that theology can assist the disciplines to be “for Christ and his kingdom” (and how the disciplines might return the favor to theology).

BITH 675. Advanced Systematic Theology. An in-depth examination of theological method and the major theological topics within the traditional loci, employing classical and contemporary theological texts.

BITH 676. Seminar in Systematic Theology.

676-1. Focused seminars providing for in-depth research of particular persons, movements, events, eras, topics, and themes in Systematic Theology. (2 or 4)

676-2. Focused seminars providing for in-depth research of particular persons, movements, events, eras, topics, and themes in Systematic Theology (assumes an ancient language or modern language research component in primary and/or secondary resource materials).

BITH 677. Topics in the History of Christianity. Separate courses devoted to the study of the Christian church in specific eras or countries, or specific themes in church history. (2 or 4)

BITH 679. Seminar in Historical Theology.

679-1. Focused seminars providing for in-depth research of particular persons, movements, events, eras, topics, and themes in Historical Theology. (2 or 4)

679-2. Focused seminars providing for in-depth research of particular persons, movements, events, eras, topics, and themes in Historical Theology (assumes an ancient language or modern language research component in primary and/or secondary resource materials).

BITH 682. Colloquium in the History of American Christianity. Special courses in specific aspects or themes of the history of the church in North America. Taught in conjunction with visiting scholars sponsored by the Institute for the Study of American Evangelicals. (2 or 4)

BITH 683. Historiography of the History of Christianity. Christianity and history, with emphasis on the history of Church History, the implications for the meaning and practice of history, and the relationship of philosophies of history to the Christian faith. (2)

BITH 684. Vocation Formation in Biblical and Theological Studies. This course is encouraged for students considering doctoral work, publishing, teaching, or ministry in the fields of History of Christianity, Theology, or Biblical Studies. This course explores Christian vocation formation in scholarship, professional, and ministry contexts. Readings in Christian vocation formation are assigned and discussed. Class sessions dedicate time to equipping students with practical skills such as in academic writing, research, conference participation, and applying to Ph.D. programs. Publishing as a profession as well as teaching and church/para-church ministry are explored in terms of Christian vocation and skills. (0)

BITH 687. Seminar in American Christianity and Historical Theology.

687-1. Focused seminars providing for in-depth research of particular persons, movements, events, eras, topics, and themes in Church History. (2 or 4)

687-2. Focused seminars providing for in-depth research of particular persons, movements, events, eras, topics, and themes in Church History (assumes an ancient language or modern language research component in primary and/or secondary resource materials).

BITH 692. Graduate Comprehensive Exam. Prerequisites: The student should be in the final semester of coursework, have completed all core courses, or have completed all coursework. Fee $25. May be repeated once. Graded pass/fail. (0)

BITH 693. Dossier for Biblical Exegesis. A culminating portfolio from coursework within the M.A. in Biblical Exegesis that demonstrates a student's attainment of the program learning outcomes. The dossier will consist of a hermeneutics paper, an exegesis paper, a biblical theology paper, and a theology paper, all of which demonstrate an understanding and engagement with diverse ethnic, gender, and majority world perspectives. This course can only be taken during the final semester of a student's degree and is a requirement for the M.A. in Biblical Exegesis program. Prerequisite: Final semester of M.A. in Biblical Exegesis. (0)

BITH 695. Independent Study. Intensive research on a precisely defined topic related to some phase of Biblical and Theological Studies. Initiative for selecting the topic and proposing the methodology rests with the student. A faculty member must approve, recommend amendments (if necessary), supervise, and evaluate the project. Limit four hours in any one degree program except by special permission. (1 to 4)

BITH 696. Internship. (2 or 4)

BITH 698. Thesis.

BITH 699. Thesis Continuation. See M.A. Thesis/Applied Thesis/Action Research. (0)

BITH 751. Introduction to Doctoral Research. Orientation to doctoral research in theology and to Wheaton's Ph.D. program in Biblical and Theological Studies. (0)

BITH 793. Directed Study. Supervised independent study in conjunction with the auditing of a regular graduate BTS course. (2-4)

BITH 794. Directed Study in the Liberal Arts. Supervised independent study in conjunction with a regular undergraduate course in the liberal arts. (2-4)

BITH 795. Guided Research. Supervised independent study. (1-4)

BITH 798. Supervised Pedagogical Experience. Students participate with a faculty member in teaching a course. (2)

BITH 881. Biblical Interpretation & Theology. First year PhD students’ orientation to theological interpretation and contemporary practice in biblical theology, with special attention to hermeneutical issues.

BITH 882. Seminar: Topics in Biblical Theology. Intense study of a particular topic in biblical theology, normally including work in both Old and New Testaments.

BITH 883. Seminar: Topics in Systematic or Historical Theology. Intense study of a particular topic in systematic or historical theology.

BITH 884. Biblical/Theological Integration. Second year PhD students’ capstone regarding theological interpretation of Scripture and contemporary practice in biblical theology, with special attention to developing integrative student case study papers in relation to their dissertation subjects. (2)

BITH 898. Dissertation. (0)

BITH 899. Dissertation Continuation (Full-time). (0)

BITH 999. Dissertation Continuation (Part-time). (0)

Revision Date: July 31, 2017

 

 

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