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Biblical and Theological Studies

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Departmental Mission Statement

The Bible and the Liberal Arts

Biblical Archaeology

Requirements for Major

Requirements for Minor

Biblical and Theological Studies

Requirements for Major

Requirements for Minor

Requirements for Minor in Hebrew Bible

Certificate in Early Christian Studies

Archaeology Course Descriptions

Biblical and Theological Studies Course Descriptions

Religion Course Descriptions

 

Associate Dean, Professor David B. Capes

Gunther M. Knoedler Professor of Theology, Daniel Treier
Armerding Professor of Biblical Studies, Michael Graves

Carolyn and Fred McManis Professor of Christian Thought, Timothy Larsen

Kenneth T. Wessner Professor of Biblical Studies, Douglas Moo

Franklin S. Dyrness Professor of Biblical Studies, Nicholas Perrin

Blanchard Professor of Old Testament, M. Daniel Carroll R. (Rodas)

Blanchard Professor of Old Testament, Richard Schultz
Professors Jeffrey Barbeau, Marc Cortez, Gene Green, Andrew Hill, Beth Felker Jones, George Kalantzis, Daniel Master, John Walton

Associate Professors Andrew Abernathy, Vincent Bacote, Keith Johnson, Jon Laansma, Gregory Lee, David Lauber, Jennifer McNutt, Adam Miglio, Amy Peeler

The mission of the Department of Biblical and Theological Studies is to help cultivate Christians who are biblically rooted and theologically formed.

Since biblical truth stands at the center of the Christian tradition, and the Scriptures are the integrating core of a Christian liberal arts education, our programs are designed to foster Christian thinking nurtured by biblical and theological study.

We assist students to think biblically through understanding the content of Old and New Testaments as the Word of God, grasping the principal theological themes of the Bible, and interpreting the Scriptures in light of the culture, history, and geography of the ancient world.

We assist students to think theologically through comprehending classic Christian doctrine, paying special attention to its historic development and its evangelical expressions, with a view toward enabling obedient witness to Christ in our contemporary context.

Our approach to the study of Scripture and theology aims both at equipping students to interpret the Bible with a capacity for mature theological judgment, and to connect biblical teaching with the church’s responsibilities related to ethics, spirituality, and mission.

In light of this mission, we aim to foster student formation in three interrelated areas: biblical and theological knowledge; academic skills and critical reflection; and Christian life and service.

Therefore, we offer undergraduate and graduate programs that foster biblical and theological knowledge informed by rigorous, critical, and Christian engagement with classic and contemporary scholarship. We promote the development of academic skills necessary for advanced study and service in the church and society worldwide. We are committed to stimulating learning that bears fruit in lives of faithful thinking and witness for Christ and His kingdom.

The Bible and the Liberal Arts

Courses are offered in the context of a liberal arts education and seek to embrace the entire spectrum of human knowledge, culture, and experience, affirming the value of every discipline that contributes to that end. "Christian" liberal arts is distinguished by the recognition it gives to the lordship of Jesus Christ and to the Bible in its depiction of the world and the human condition, and by its commitment to glorify God and accomplish His purpose in the world.

Historically, Wheaton College affirms that the truth of Scripture is absolute and has unique authority. Furthermore, the College understands its mission as being "For Christ and His Kingdom." These commitments form its major distinctives as a Christian liberal arts college. In light of our commitment to the Bible's authority, we seek to help students evaluate the presuppositions, theories, goals, and methods of each discipline, and indeed all of life's activities, by the revelation of God's truth as found in Scripture.

Academic majors are available in Biblical Archaeology, and Biblical and Theological Studies. All Wheaton College undergraduates are required to take some course work in Biblical and Theological Studies. Master of Arts and Doctor of Philosophy degrees are also available (see Graduate Programs in this catalog).

Biblical Archaeology

Coordinator, Associate Professor Adam Miglio

Other instructors: Daniel Master, Stephen Moshier, Douglas Penney, John Walton

 

Biblical Archaeology is an integrative discipline that lies at the intersection of biblical studies, ancient languages, and the social sciences. Students in this major are trained to study the Bible within its long-term geographic, historical, cultural, and social contexts. In addition to core courses in archaeology, history, and ancient languages (including biblical languages), the major requires participation in an approved archaeological excavation and an interdisciplinary emphasis in anthropology or geology.

The combination of these disciplines provides a strong liberal arts foundation for a variety of vocations as students will be equipped to think historically, linguistically, and archaeologically. Of particular importance for the Christian is the way in which biblical archaeology provides a foundation for biblical study. Today as never before the cultural setting of the biblical text is accessible through archaeological and linguistic discoveries in the Near East. By mooring Scripture in ancient lifeways it is possible to clarify and enliven its message while exploring its contemporary relevance.

Requirements for a major in Biblical Archaeology are 36 hours beyond the 12 hours from general education requirements (ARCH 211 or ARCH 213, BITH 315 OR BITH 374) and Greek or Hebrew language competency; 20 hours of core requirements, including ARCH 345, 365, 366, six hours of biblical studies in New Testament (BITH 451 and 452) OR Old Testament (BITH 431 and 443 or BITH 635); six hours of electives (either ARCH 317 with 333x, or ARCH 334x with 367 or 369), four hours of capstone to include ARCH 412 (Prerequisite: ARCH 211 or 213, and ARCH 365, 366) and ARCH 494 (Prerequisite: ARCH 412), and six hours in a single interdisciplinary emphasis (300-level courses from either Anthropology/Sociology, Geology, Ancient Languages, or Theological Studies). Field experience involving excavation, interpretation, and studies in related regional archaeology. Other off-campus projects or research may be structured to meet the course requirements. Offered for four hours as ARCH 325, 326, or 327.

Requirements for a minor in Biblical Archaeology are 20 hours, including four hours from general education requirements (BITH 211 or 213), ten hours of core requirements (ARCH 365, 366, 412), and six hours of electives (selected from ARCH 317, 345, 367, 369). Field experience involving excavation, interpretation, and studies in related regional archaeology. Other off-campus projects or research may be structured to meet the course requirements. Offered for four hours as ARCH 325, 326, or 327.

Biblical and Theological Studies

Associate Dean David B. Capes

 

The purpose of Biblical Studies is to familiarize students with the content and concepts of the Bible, the appropriate methodologies for the interpretation and the application of biblical teaching, and the research tools and resources necessary to pursue independent study of biblical texts and topics. For career purposes, the major may be used as a terminal degree, preparing students for employment in church and parachurch agencies by achieving a level of biblical literacy that will enable them to be active in lay church leadership and teaching ministries. As an initial degree, it prepares students for seminary training or for graduate work in theology and related disciplines.

In both required and elective courses, students are trained in basic biblical and theological knowledge. They are encouraged to develop skills that enable them to take into account the original linguistic, literary, historical, and cultural contexts of the Bible. Students are thereby enabled to consider critically religious traditions, beliefs, and practice in order to bring them into conformity with biblical revelation and to evaluate all of life and thought from the perspective of biblical principles.

The ultimate goal of Theological Studies is to ensure that the church's proclamation and the individual's life are faithful to God's revelation of Himself in Scripture. Students with good theological training will know how to evaluate critically their own personal theological leaning, be aware and respectful of other theological positions, and be able to distinguish those values that are distinctly Christian from those that the secular world espouses. Because of the diverse denominational and theological traditions that enrich our faculty and make up our student body, we bring a variety of approaches to the question of the church's role in society.

These objectives are attained through the academic processes that enable students to formulate a constructive, personal stance of Christian faith, to become aware of how culture affected biblical revelation which in turn dynamically affected culture, and to act upon a personal Christian worldview in daily life.

The Biblical and Theological Studies major meets the undergraduate requirements for seminary study suggested by the Association of Theological Schools in the United States and Canada (ATS). Students contemplating graduate studies should consult with the institution in which they are interested to be informed of any particular undergraduate courses needed. Students interested in an accelerated curriculum leading to the bachelor's and master's degrees should consult with their advisors regarding the prerequisites for the Wheaton graduate program.

Requirements for a major in Biblical and Theological Studies are 32 hours beyond the general education requirement in Biblical and Theological Studies. The general education requirement (12 hours) includes Old Testament Literature BITH 211 or BITH 221 or ARCH 211. New Testament Literature BITH 213 or BITH 317 or ARCH 213 and Systematic Theology, BITH 374. Major core requirements (16 hours) include BITH 325, 372, 375; 431 or 452; and 494.

In addition, a student must take a selection of 16 elective hours in the following manner:

*       2 to 4 hours in Biblical Textual Studies (BITH 323, 332-345, 349, 433-438, 443-449); New Testament courses (BITH 323, 351-365, 368, 451, 454-469); Biblical Studies courses (BITH 323, 326-327)

*       2 to 4 hours in Theological Studies: Figures (BITH 483-488), Doctrines: (BITH 382, 385, 388-389, 392-393), Topics: (BITH 373, 377, 383, 384, 394-398)

*       8 to 12 hours in BITH or ARCH or RELI electives.

 

Students pursuing a major in Biblical and Theological Studies are encouraged to fulfill the General Education language requirement by taking Greek or Hebrew.

A departmental honors program for majors requires four hours of honors course work within the 32-hour major, plus an additional four hours of honors thesis.

Requirements for a minor in Biblical and Theological Studies: 28 hours which includes the following: 12 hours of general education in Biblical and Theological Studies (BITH 211 or 221, 213 or 317, 315 or equivalent) and 16 hours from upper division study (eight hours of Biblical Studies at 300- or 400 level, and eight hours of Theological Studies at 300- or 400-level.).

Requirements for a minor in Hebrew Bible are 20 hours including HEBR 301, 302, 401x, and BITH 443 or 635 (taken at undergrad level) a total of 16 hours, plus four hours of electives from BITH 443, 495, 635 (taken at undergrad level), 532 (taken at undergrad level), ARCH 417x, 418x, or LING 321. The Hebrew Bible minor promotes serious study of the original language of the Old Testament. Grammar and exegesis stand at the center of the minor, supplemented by readings in the Hebrew Bible, and four elective hours in cognate languages and disciplines. The minor is ideal for students anticipating advanced biblical studies in seminary or graduate school, as well as in Near Eastern studies and archaeology.

Certificate in Early Christian Studies

Coordinator, Professor George Kalantzis

The Certificate in Early Christian studies is an interdisciplinary program designed to introduce students to the systematic study of the broad fields of patristic and early Christian literature and help them investigate historical and theological questions related to the early Church. One of the primary goals of the program is to foster and develop a deeper understanding and appreciation of the history, theology, literature, and worship of the multifaceted world of early Christianity through the close study of textual and material resources in thematic and group study sessions.

The program’s academic home is the Department of Biblical and Theological Studies, with a number of courses offered through other academic departments including, but not limited to, History, Christian Formation and Ministry, Foreign Languages, Art, Sociology & Anthropology.

Students from any major are eligible for the 24-hour Certificate in Early Christian Studies. Students will complete a ten-hour core of courses that investigate the historical and theological foundations of early Christianity. This core will include a capstone course designed to integrate approaches from several key disciplines. In addition, students will select 14 hours of classes from a variety of offerings from different departments. These classes will be distributed among three main areas: ecclesiastical, contextual, and textual.

Requirements for a Certificate in Early Christian Studies and Courses Offered are 10-12 hours of Core Requirements (BITH 371, 327, 388, or BITH 385, and BITH 489), and 14 hours of Elective Requirements which should be met by selecting at least one course from each of the following areas: Ecclesiastical: BITH 381, 385, 388, 389, 396, 398, 378x, CE 343, CE 344 / CFM 694, Contextual: PHIL 311, ART 352, or BITH 354, and Textual: LATN 333, LATN 495 (with the approval of the instructor and the coordinator of the Certificate program), GREK 332, GREK 334: Advanced Koine Readings: Greek Old Testament (2), GREK 33X: Advanced Koine Readings: The Apocrypha, GREK 495 (with the approval of the instructor and the coordinator of the Certificate program), BITH 327 (may be repeated with a different topic), BITH 483, or BITH 489 (may be repeated with a different topic).

Flexible course additions (2–4 hours). On a case-by-case basis, the Certificate in Early Christian Studies can include courses and independent study work in which students participate in a class with related topics and/or pursue work directly related to the issues addressed in the certificate program.

Special Topics Courses that are offered on an occasional basis and address topics related to the early Church (such as readings in patristic literature in primary languages) may be petitioned for acceptance as partial fulfillment of the elective requirements in either the Church, Context, or Text category.

With the permission of the coordinator of the Certificate for Early Christian Studies, students are urged to consider expanding coursework into an undergraduate honors thesis.

Archaeology Courses (ARCH)

ARCH 211. Old Testament Archaeology. A survey of the Old Testament with an emphasis on archaeological research as it relates to the understanding and interpretation of the text. This course fulfills the Old Testament general education requirement.

ARCH 213. New Testament Archaeology. A survey of the New Testament with an emphasis on archaeological research as it relates to the understanding and interpretation of the text. This course fulfills the New Testament general education requirement.

ARCH 317. 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 through the centuries. This program can be taken as a partial alternative to the general education requirements in Biblical and Theological studies, or it can fill selected requirements in the Biblical Studies, Theological Studies, or Archaeology major. Su only

ARCH 325. Archaeological Field Work. Field experience involving excavation, interpretation, and studies in related regional archaeology. SI.

ARCH 326. Archaeological Field Work: Tel Shimron, Israel. Field experience involving excavation, interpretation, and studies in related regional archaeology. GP, HP.

ARCH 327. Archaeological Science. Overview and practice of methods of archaeological science applied from geosciences, chemistry and biology (zoology and botany) in an active excavation. Understanding the historical influence of physical and environmental setting on the archaeological site in its regional context. Four hours lecture, 3 hours laboratory. SP.

ARCH 333x. Historical Geography. See BITH 333. (2)

ARCH 334x. Historical Geography. See BITH 334. Su only. (2)

ARCH 345. Archaeology of the Classical World. Excavations, monuments, epigraphic materials, and papyri from the Minoan, Mycenaean, Aegean, and Greco-Roman times. Prerequisite: ARCH 211 or 213. (2)

ARCH 365. Ancient Near Eastern History. A study of the social, cultural, economic and political history of the ancient civilizations of Mesopotamia and Egypt. Prerequisite: ARCH 211 or BITH 211. HP, SI.

ARCH 366. Archaeology of Ancient Syria-Palestine. A survey of archaeological and historical materials of ancient Canaan/Palestine from prehistoric times through the Iron Age. Special attention is given to understanding the material culture of each period and the interface of biblical sources with these periods where appropriate. Four hours lecture, two hours laboratory. Prerequisite: ARCH 211. HP, SI.

ARCH 367. Jerusalem, the Holy City. Jerusalem’s special place in the biblical tradition is considered through the disciplines of archaeology and history. Special attention is given to the city’s theological significance, as well as its place in the religious traditions and history of the Middle East. Prerequisite: ARCH 211 or BITH 211 or 212 or 221 (or passing the Old Testament Competency Examination).

ARCH 369. Religions of Israel and the Near East. This course introduces key theoretical approaches to the study of religion, explores significant literary sources and engages important syntheses of the religious traditions from ancient Mesopotamia, Egypt, Israel, and Canaan. In particular, it focuses on how these traditions contribute to long-standing issues in philosophy of religion, such as "What is the nature of divinity?", "What does it mean for humans to be religious?", "How is evil and suffering explained?", and "What are the philosophical origins and implications of monotheism?". Prerequisite: ARCH 211 or BITH 211. LE, PI.

ARCH 411, 412. Advanced Archaeological Study. A concentrated analysis of one particular aspect of biblical archaeology or ancient Near Eastern studies. Offered for four hours (411) or two hours (412). (4, 2).

ARCH 415X. Ugaritic Language and Literature. See ARCH 515.

ARCH 416. Classical Hebrew Inscriptions. This course is designed to introduce students to Classical Hebrew and Canaanite sources (inscriptions) for the history of the land of Canaan during the Old Testament period. In addition to mastering the grammar of the primary sources, students will be exposed to questions about the mechanics of writing, will explore the ancient social and cultural contexts of Canaan, and will specifically engage in discussions about the origins, nature, extent and purposes of literacy during this period. Prerequisite: HEBR 301. Cross-listed with ARCH 516. HP, SI.

ARCH 417x. Egyptian Hieroglyphics. See ARCH 517.

ARCH 418x. Akkadian Cuneiform. See ARCH 518. (2 or 4)

ARCH 452x. Jewish Backgrounds of the New Testament. See BITH 552. (2)

ARCH 453x. Advanced Archaeology and the Old Testament. See ARCH 521.

ARCH 454x. Historical Geography. See BITH 333. (2)

ARCH 494. Senior Seminar. A capstone seminar devoted to exploring the current issues in Near Eastern archaeology that relate to biblical studies, especially those touching on historiography, historicity, social and cultural backgrounds, methodology, and faith. Prerequisite: ARCH 412. (2)

ARCH 495. Directed Study. Independent study of selected problems for the advanced student. (1-4)

Biblical and Theological Studies Courses (BITH)

Courses listed are examples of classes which may be offered. Not all courses are offered regularly. Upper division students, especially majors, may also take graduate courses listed at the 500-level for undergraduate credit. See the Graduate Programs section of this catalog for graduate-level Biblical and Theological Studies courses.

BITH 111. Gospel, Church, and Culture. An introduction to Christian faith and the evangelical Protestant heritage. The course gives special attention to the church’s engagement with culture and society and to the exploration of the integration of faith and learning in a liberal arts context. (2)

BITH 211, 212. Old Testament Literature and Interpretation. Equips students to understand the Old Testament as literature in its ancient historical context and to relate the message of the Old Testament to the contemporary world. Courses in this area will introduce students to the historical and geographical setting, cultural context, and transmission of the Old Testament. Courses will also facilitate direct engagement with the OT book-by-book, with special emphasis given to questions of genre, literary structure, and theology. This course will enable students to describe and evaluate approaches to biblical interpretation, and will encourage students to embrace the teaching of the OT as part of the Christian Bible. This course is not to be taken by students who have passed the Old Testament Competency Examination. Offered for four hours. (211) or two hours (212). (4, 2)

BITH 213, 214. New Testament Literature and Interpretation. An overview of the New Testament, tracing its teaching with respect to historical background and literary character. This course is not to be taken by students who have passed the New Testament Competency Examination. Offered for four hours (213) or two hours (214). (4, 2)

BITH 221. Old Testament Literature in Three Traditions. An overview of the redemptive narrative of the Hebrew Bible/Old Testament emphasizing its message and themes with respect to the historical background and literary character, and exploring its place in the three monotheistic religions tracing their origins to Abraham—Judaism, Christianity and Islam. This course is not to be taken by students who have passed the Old Testament Competency Examination. Meets General Education requirement in Old Testament BITH 211 or ARCH 211. Legacy diversity designation (4)

BITH 315, 316. Christian Thought. An investigation into the basic beliefs of the Christian faith. Prerequisites: BITH 211 or 221 or 212; and BITH 213 or ARCH 213 or BITH 317 or 214. Philosophy majors are encouraged to take BITH 374 instead of this course. Offered for four hours (315) or two hours (316). (4, 2)

BITH 317. The New Testament in the Holy Lands. A study of the New Testament integrated with field studies designed to introduce the student to the historical, geographical, cultural, and religious settings of the New Testament in locations where the events recorded occurred and the writings were composed. This is a WIHL/Shared Core Course.

BITH 318. Christian Theology in the Holy Lands. An exploration of the core beliefs of the Christian faith with special emphasis on the role of the ancient church in its historical contexts in the development of Christian though and practice. This is a WIHL/Shared Core Course. Prerequisites: BITH 211 or ARCH 211 or BITH 221 and BITH 213 or ARCH 213. Corequisite: BITH 317.

BITH 319x. Colonialism and Redemption: Native American Culture and Theology from 1492 to Wounded Knee. Legacy diversity designation. See ANTH 319. (2)

BITH 323x. Literature of the Bible. See ENGL 373.

BITH 325. Biblical Interpretation and Hermeneutics. A survey of hermeneutical theory discussing past and current views of how author, text, reader, and context contribute to the communication of textual meaning. These insights will be applied to the Bible, giving the student an interpretive strategy for exegeting the biblical text and appropriating it for the contemporary church, as well as an approach to synthesizing one's interpretive work in formulating biblical-theological themes. Basic approaches for doing biblical theology and theological interpretation will be summarized and illustrated. The course is open to non-majors and is a prerequisite for all 400 level Biblical Studies courses. Prerequisite: BITH 211 or 221, or ARCH 211 or BITH 213 or BITH 317, or ARCH 213.

BITH 326. Biblical Theology of Worship. An examination of worship in the Bible, both Old and New Testaments with a view to developing a theology of worship that is consistent with the teachings of Scripture. Special attention will be paid to the appropriate application of this theology for the church today. Prerequisite: BITH 211 or 221 or ARCH 211 or BITH 213 or BITH 317 or ARCH 213.

BITH 327. Reading Scripture with the Church Fathers. A study of the reception, transmission, and interpretation of Scripture within the early church (2nd to 6th centuries). Emphasis will be placed on the historical context of patristic exegesis, the relationship between scripture and tradition, and questions of hermeneutics. Prerequisites: BITH 211 or 221 and BITH 213 or 317. (2)

BITH 332. Ruth and Esther. A detailed study of the books of Ruth and Esther, giving special attention to historical background, literary analysis, theological emphases, ancient and traditional Jewish and Christian interpretations, recent ideological interpretations, and contemporary application. Prerequisite: BITH 211 or 221, or ARCH 211. This course counts toward the Gender Studies Certificate Program. LE

BITH 333. Historical Geography and Context in the Holy Lands. Surveys the geographical, historical, religious and archaeological material of biblical Israel and Second Temple Judaism as well as the earliest Christian communities in the Greco-Roman world. Classroom lectures are supplemented by regional studies with overnight field studies, on-site lectures and relevant preparation (map work, biblical readings, etc.). Attention is given to (1) key OT and NT historical events and their geographical location, especially in Jerusalem, Galilee, the Shephelah, Jordan Valley, Negev, and the Dead Sea region, and (2) key NT historical events and their geographical location, especially in Italy (Rome), Greece (e.g., Philippi, Delphi, Thessalonica, Corinth, Athens), and modern Turkey (e.g., Ephesus, Istanbul, Pergamum, Smyrna, Laodicea). Su only. HP

BITH 334. Historical Geography. A study of selected biblical episodes which are enriched when understood in the context of Near Eastern history and Palestinian geography. Prerequisite: BITH 211 or 221 or ARCH 211.

BITH 338. Genesis 1-11. A study of the foundational chapters for the Old and New Testaments. The central themes of creation, God, humanity, the fall, redemption, judgment, and covenant will be investigated in detail. Prerequisite: BITH 211 or 221 or ARCH 211.

BITH 341. Exodus. The exodus event is as central to OT theology as the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ to NT theology. The historical and theological implications of this book will be examined, with special emphasis given to the covenant between God and Israel. Prerequisite: BITH 211 or 221, or ARCH 211.

BITH 342. Majority World Theology. Readings and discussions on the task of biblical interpretation and theological reflection in the context of World Christianity. The course will focus on emerging theological trends in one region, such as Latin America, but will also survey contemporary developments in other regions: Africa, Asia and Latin America. The topics covered will include Majority World hermeneutics, comparative analysis with Western biblical and theological traditions, and an introduction to parallel trends in North America like Latino/a, African American, Asian American, or Native American Christian theologies. Prerequisites: BITH 211 and 213 or BITH 315 or 318 or 374. GP

BITH 343. The Old Testament in its Cultural Environment. An introduction to background and comparative studies in order to understand the impact that the literature and thinking of the ancient world had on the Israelites and on biblical literature. The course will focus on methodology and will consider both similarities and differences that emerge as the cultures and literatures are compared. Prerequisite: BITH 211 or 221 or ARCH 211.

BITH 344. The Psalms: Songs of Israel and the Church. A study of the book of Psalms in light of both the type and content of individual psalms and the organization of the Psalter as a book in the social and cultural life of Israel. Attention will be given to how the book of Psalms guides individuals and communities in their worship of God, while also imparting its own theological message for God's people. Prerequisite: BITH 211 or 221 or ARCH 211.

BITH 345. Life of David. A study of the life and thought of David as found in the Books of Samuel and Psalms with an emphasis on ‘spiritual theology.’ Prerequisite: BITH 211 or 221 or ARCH 211.

BITH 349. Old Testament Topics. Study of an Old Testament portion or theme. Course may be repeated for different topics. Prerequisite: BITH 211 or 221 or ARCH 211.

BITH 351. Jesus of Nazareth. A thorough study of Jesus' life and teaching. Primary attention will be given to reconstructing the first-century historical and cultural setting of Judaism that shaped Jesus' message. Additional emphasis on developments within current "Jesus research" and assessment of the results of critical scholarship. Prerequisite: BITH 213 or 317, or ARCH 213. HP

BITH 352. Paul of Tarsus. A study of the life and thought of Paul as found in the book of Acts and in Paul's New Testament letters. The course will synthesize the major categories of Pauline thought and emphasize their value for faith today. Prerequisite: BITH 213 or 317, or ARCH 213. (2 or 4)

BITH 354. Women in the World of the NT. This course will examine women’s lives and the concept of female in the New Testament and the wider Greco-Roman world, including Second Temple Judaism, by studying the biblical text, literary sources and archaeological evidence. This course will explore New Testament women’s participation in and contributions to the Christian story in the first century, and discuss women’s participation in leadership in the church today. General pictures of women’s lives in Judaism and the Greco-Roman world will supplement the portrait of early Christian women. Prerequisite: BITH 213 or 317, or ARCH 213. Legacy diversity designation. (2)

BITH 355. Theology of the Promised Land. An integrative course studying the theological motif of the Promised Land in the Bible. This course will explore the theology of the Land as interpreted within Judaism and Christianity over the last two millennia. Prerequisites: Old Testament Literature (BITH 211 or BITH 221) and New Testament Literature (BITH 213). (2)

BITH 356. 1 Corinthians. A section-by-section survey of 1 Corinthians dealing with the issues of the nature of the Church, Christian behavior and social responsibility, sexuality, marriage and divorce, Christian worship, the spiritual gifts, and the resurrection. Prerequisite: BITH 213 or 317, or ARCH 213. (2 or 4)

BITH 358. Acts of the Apostles. A study of the Book of Acts focused on the geographic and ethnic spread of the gospel, the birth and development of the apostolic church, the gospel’s relationship to the Jewish and wider Greco-Roman social worlds, and the theology of Acts. Prerequisite: BITH 213 or 317 or ARCH 213.

BITH 359. New Testament Topics. Study of a New Testament portion or theme. Course may be repeated for different topics. Prerequisite: BITH 213 or 317, or ARCH 213. (2 or 4)

BITH 361x. Advanced Koine Reading. See GREK 334, 335, 336. (2 or 4)

BITH 362. James. An exposition of the text of the Epistle of James, focusing on the church situations that prompted the teaching of the various themes it contains, and their correlation to corresponding New Testament motifs. Prerequisite: BITH 213 or 317, or ARCH 213. (2)

BITH 363. The Letter to the Romans. A close analysis of Paul's theological argument in the book of Romans with special attention to themes that integrate broadly with the humanities. Prerequisite: BITH 213 or 317, or ARCH 213.

BITH 364. Peter and Jude. Exercise in the interpretation of letter genre, by application to portions of 1 Peter, 2 Peter, and Jude. Students use a prescribed method and scholarly resources for productive class discussions. Attention is given to sociological exegesis. Prerequisite: BITH 213 or 317 or ARCH 213. (2)

BITH 365. Prison Epistles. Analysis of Colossians, Ephesians, Philippians, and Philemon, all written while the author was in chains. Attention will focus on the light these letters throw on Paul's life and thought, as well as on the abiding challenge of their message. Prerequisite: BITH 213 or 317 or ARCH 213. (2 or 4)

BITH 366. New Testament Topics in Historical Perspectives. The writings of the New Testaments are principle sources for understanding the early history of Christianity. Their authors interacted with the historical and cultural developments within first century Roman societies and the first readers interpreted these writings within the same historical matrix. This course will examine select New Testament writings within first century Mediterranean history and explore their place within wider cultural discussions on historiography during the period. Reading from Greek and Latin literature will be included. Prerequisite: BITH 213 or 317, or ARCH 213. (4). HP

BITH 367x. Jerusalem, the Holy City. See ARCH 367.

BITH 368. The Book of Revelation. A chapter-by-chapter analysis of the Book of Revelation with consideration of the major themes, apocalyptic symbolism, theology, prophetic character of the book, and relevance to Christian faith and discipleship. Prerequisite: BITH 213 or 317, or ARCH 213. (2)

BITH 369x. Religions of Israel and the Ancient Near East. See ARCH 369.

BITH 371. Early Christianity: From Rome to Byzantium. A history of Christianity from the first to the eleventh century. Prerequisite: BITH 315, 318, 372, 374, or 376.

BITH 372. Historical Theology. Historical survey of people and movements which have shaped the faith of the Christian church from post-biblical times to the present. The course is open to non-majors but is not a substitute for BITH 315.

BITH 373. Marriage, Sex and Family in the Christian Tradition. An examination of marriage, sexuality, and the family in the Christian tradition in light of scripture, doctrine, and church history. Prerequisite: BITH 315, 318, 372, 374, or 376.

BITH 374. Systematic Theology. A critical investigation of Christian doctrine. The course is open only to Biblical and Theological Studies and Philosophy majors. Prerequisites: BITH 211 or 221, and BITH 213 or 317.

BITH 375. Christian Ethics. An investigation into Christian ethical traditions, its biblical and theological dimensions, the development of Christian character, and the task of bringing Christian convictions to bear on ethical issues. Prerequisite: BITH 315, 318, 372, 374, or 376.

BITH 376. Theologies of Transformation. This course examines the intersection between the challenges of the urban context and the gospel's mandate for faithful Christian practice in this world. The theological emphases of evangelical, Catholic, and specifically politically oriented theologies are examined, with the aim of facilitating a theological and cultural exegesis of the urban setting and developing proposals for Christian practices which display fidelity to God's Kingdom. Only offered as a part of Wheaton in Chicago. Fulfills Gen ed requirement in Christian Theology as alternative to BITH 315.

BITH 377. Topics in Christian Thought. This course is an in-depth treatment of some theological category (doctrine, figure or topic) or the application of Christian thought to contemporary issues. This course may be repeated for different topics. Prerequisite: BITH 315, 318, 372, 374, or 376. (2)

BITH 378x. Origins of Christian Worship. See CE 344.

BITH 379x. Spiritual Theology: Knowing and Experiencing God. See CE 341.

BITH 381. Topics in Spiritual Classics. This course is an in-depth study of one or more spiritual classics from the Christian tradition. The text(s) will vary according to instructor's choice. (2)

BITH 382. Church. A study of the doctrine of the church, attending to traditional and contemporary debates and formulations. Prerequisite: BITH 315, 318, 372, 374, or 376. (2)

BITH 383. Gender and Theology. A theological examination of the representation of women and gender in Christianity. Attention is given to the historical and cultural contexts of the first century and contemporary period. Theological, historical, literary, exegetical, and feminist methods are variously employed. Prerequisite: BITH 315, 318, 372, 374, or 376. Legacy diversity designation (2)

BITH 384. Political Theology. A study of the theological basis for Christian public engagement, attending to the role of the state, responses to sociopolitical oppression, and the political dimensions of salvation. Prerequisite: BITH 315, 318, 372, 374, or 376.

BITH 385. Triune God. An overview of the doctrine of God, with particular attention to the doctrine of the Trinity. Both traditional formulations and contemporary contributions will be discussed. Prerequisite: BITH 315, 318, 372, 374, or 376.

BITH 388. Person and Work of Christ. A study of the doctrines of Christ and salvation, with attention to connections between the two. Topics include classic debates and formulations in church history and systematic theology. Prerequisite: BITH 315, 318, 372, 374, or 376.

BITH 389. Holy Spirit and Last Things. A study of pneumatology and eschatology, including biblical, historical, doctrinal, and hermeneutical approaches to the doctrines. Prerequisite: BITH 315, 318, 372, 374, or 376.

BITH 392. Scripture. A study of the doctrine of Scripture, with attention to evangelical perspectives on the doctrine. Prerequisite: BITH 315, 318, 372, 374, or 376. (2)

BITH 393. Topics in Christian Thought. This course is an in-depth treatment of some theological category (doctrine, figure, or topic) or the application of Christian thought to contemporary issues. This course may be repeated for different topics. Prerequisite: BITH 315, 318, 372, 374, or 376.

BITH 394. Topics in Christian History. This course is an in-depth study of some phenomenon (figure, event, or time period) from the Christian past. This course may be repeated for different topics. HP

BITH 395. Topics in Perennial Theological Questions. This course is an in-depth philosophical study of a particular doctrine, figure, or topic. This course may be repeated for different topics. PI

BITH 396. Roman Catholic Theology. An introduction to Roman Catholic theology and practice. The course will also attend to points of similarity and difference between Roman Catholic and Protestant theology. Prerequisite: BITH 315, 316, 318, 374, or 376.

BITH 398. Eastern Orthodox Theology. An introduction to Eastern Orthodox theology and practice. The course will also attend to points of similarity and difference between Eastern Orthodox and Protestant theology. Prerequisite: BITH 315, 318, 374 or 376.

BITH 431. Old Testament Criticism. A study of the history, method, and results of modern historical-critical approaches to the Old Testament literature. Attention will also be given to a critical assessment of these developments from an evangelical perspective. Prerequisites: BITH 211 or 221, or ARCH 211, and BITH 325. (2)

BITH 433. Jeremiah. A study of the literary content, theological message and contemporary relevance of the Book of Jeremiah against the background of Jeremiah's historical setting. Prerequisites: BITH 211 or 221 or ARCH 211, and BITH 325. (2 or 4)

BITH 434. Minor Prophets. A literary, historical and theological analysis of the Minor Prophets with special attention to contemporary application and connections with the liberal arts. Prerequisites: BITH 211 or 221 or ARCH 211, and BITH 325. (2)

BITH 438. Wisdom Literature. A selection from the Old Testament wisdom books, Job, Proverbs, and Ecclesiastes. The apocryphal books of Jesus ben Sirach and the Wisdom of Solomon may also be read and studied in relation to canonical wisdom. Prerequisites: BITH 211 or 221 or ARCH 211, and BITH 325. (2)

BITH 443. Hebrew Exegesis. Exegesis of books or selected portions of larger books of the Hebrew Old Testament. The focus of the course is to interpret the Hebrew text. The ability to translate the Hebrew text and analyze its syntactical structures is assumed because of the prerequisite. Course may be repeated for different topics. Prerequisites: BITH 211 or 221 or ARCH 211, BITH 325, and HEBR 401x. (2 or 4)

BITH 449. Old Testament Topics. Study of an Old Testament portion or theme. Course may be repeated for different topics. Prerequisites: BITH 211 or 221 or 212, or ARCH 211 (or passing the Old Testament Competency Examination) and BITH 325. (2 or 4)

BITH 451. 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. Course may be repeated for different topics. Prerequisites: BITH 213 or 317 or ARCH 213, BITH 325, and completion of GREK 201. (2 or 4)

BITH 452. 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. Prerequisites: BITH 213 or 317 or ARCH 213, and BITH 325. (2)

BITH 454. Mark. A study of the second gospel focusing on Mark's portrait of Jesus as the catalyst of the Kingdom and as suffering servant. Attention will be given to the relationship between literary forms and religious function in the writing of the gospel. Prerequisites: BITH 213 or ARCH 213, and BITH 325. (2)

BITH 457. John. A comprehensive study of John’s gospel. Its insights into personal spirituality, both in the first century and today, will be emphasized in the context of current critical Johannine scholarship. Prerequisites: BITH 213 or 317 or ARCH 213 and BITH 325.

BITH 458. Acts of the Apostles. A study of the Book of Acts focused on the geographic and ethnic spread of the gospel, the birth and development of the apostolic church, the gospel’s relationship to the Jewish and wider Greco-Roman social worlds, and the theology of Acts. Prerequisite: BITH 213 or 317 or ARCH 213, and BITH 325. (2 or 4)

BITH 462. Pastoral Epistles. Careful investigation of 1 and 2 Timothy and Titus. Detailed textual analysis will lead to better understanding of the joys and struggles of Christian leadership under Paul's direction. Social roles and cultural issues affecting the Church will receive special attention. Prerequisites: BITH 213 or 317 or ARCH 213, and BITH 325. (2)

BITH 469. New Testament Topics. Study of a New Testament portion or theme. Course may be repeated for different topics. Prerequisites: BITH 213 or ARCH 213, and BITH 325. (2 or 4)

BITH 482. Advanced Topics in Christian Thought. This course is an in-depth treatment of some theological category (doctrine, figure, or topic) or the application of Christian thought to contemporary issues. This course may be repeated for different topics. Prerequisite: BITH 315, or 318 and 372, or 374, or 376. (4)

BITH 483. Augustine. A critical analysis of Augustine’s theology in historical context. Prerequisite: BITH 315 or 318, and 372 or 374 or 376.

BITH 484. Thomas Aquinas. A critical analysis of Thomas Aquinas’ theology in historical context. Prerequisite: BITH 315 or 318, and 372 or 374 or 376.

BITH 485. Martin Luther. A critical analysis of Martin Luther's theology in historical context. Prerequisite: BITH 315 or 318, and 372 or 374 or 376.

BITH 486. John Calvin. A critical analysis of John Calvin's theology in historical context. Prerequisite: BITH 315 or 318, and 372, 374 or 376.

BITH 488. Karl Barth. A critical analysis of Karl Barth's theology in historical context. Prerequisite: BITH 315 or 318, and 372 or 374 or 376.

BITH 489. Advanced Topics in Christian Thought. This course is an in-depth treatment of some theological category (doctrine, figure, or topic) or the application of Christian thought to contemporary issues. This course may be repeated for different topics. Prerequisite: BITH 315 or 318, and 372 or 374 or 376. (2)

BITH 494. Senior Seminar: Global Christianity. This seminar allows students to pursue integration between their Biblical and Theological Studies major and the concepts they have explored throughout the Christ at the Core curriculum. This pursuit will take place in and through an examination of the contemporary state of global Christianity with attention to the social, political, and religious contexts of the church in Africa, Lain America, India, and Asia. This seminar is open to BTS majors and is to be taken during the senior year. Prerequisites: BITH 325 and BITH 374; senior standing with BITH major. (2)

BITH 495. Directed Study. Independent study by qualified students in a special category or topic not offered in a regular course. (1-4)

BITH 496. Internship. Graded pass/fail. Prerequisite: junior or senior standing with BITH major. (1-4)

BITH 499. Honors Thesis. By application only. (2 or 4)

Religion Courses (RELI)

RELI 212. World Religions: Asia. A survey of the living religious traditions of South and East Asia, including that of Hindus, Buddhists, Jains, Parsees, Taoists, Confucianists, and Shintoists. Legacy diversity designation. (2)

RELI 214. World Religions: Middle East. A survey of the living religious traditions of the Middle East, emphasizing Judaism and Islam. Legacy diversity designation. (2)

RELI 225. Major World Religions. A survey of the living religions traditions of South and East Asia, including Hinduism, Buddhism, Taoism, Confucianism, and Shintoism, and also the living religious traditions of the Middle East, emphasizing Judaism and Islam. Students will acquire understanding of the complex category of "religions," become familiar with the basic methodological approaches employed in religious studies, and gain an overview knowledge of the histories, beliefs, and practices of the various traditions discussed.  In addition, students will engage the reality of religious diversity through a distinctively Christian theological lens.

RELI 362. Judaism. An introduction to the history, beliefs, and practices of Judaism, with special attention given to Jewish-Christian relations. A visit to a synagogue service is an integral part of the course. (2)

RELI 364. Islam. A study of the origins of Islam in Arabia and its spread throughout the world. Special attention is given to Mohammed, the Qur'an, major tenets of Islam, different sects within Islam, the interface between Christianity and Islam, and the recent rise of Islamic fundamentalism.

RELI 492. Topical Studies. A phenomenological investigation across several religious traditions. Topics such as fundamentalism, cosmology, sacred writings, or mysticism will be covered. (2 or 4)

RELI 495. Directed Study. (1-4)

Revision Date: June 1, 2017

 

 

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