Certificates and Degrees
To receive a certificate or degree, you must complete the following:
- For a Certificate of Biblical Studies – 8 courses (2-OT, 3-NT, 2-CM, 1-TH)
- For a Certificate of Biblical Maturity – 12 courses (3-OT, 4-NT, 3-CM, 2-TH)
- For a Master of Theology – 19 courses (5-OT, 5-NT, 3-CM, 3-TH, 2-CL + Practicum)
- For a Master of Theology and Ministry – 24 courses (5-OT, 5-NT, 3-CM, 5-TH, 5-CL + Practicum)
Complete Course List and Descriptions
Old Testament Studies (OT)
OT1 Old Testament Survey – The Old Testament makes up approximately three-quarters of our Bible and forms a critical foundation for Christian beliefs. This course examines the background, structure, forms, and primary messages of the 39 Old Testament books and how they reflect God’s grace and character – first through the Covenant revelation to the Jewish people, and then as a foundation for the coming of Jesus Christ.
OT2 Old Testament Theology – Theology has been defined as “faith seeking understanding,” and mature Christians should see the theological importance of the Old Testament as a foundation for understanding our lives and salvation in Christ. This course considers the primary theological themes of the Old Testament, with a special emphasis on how these support and integrate with New Testament faith.
OT3 Pentateuch – The first five books of the Old Testament – Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy – are known to the Jewish people as Books of the Law. These five books (“Pentateuch”) have been among the most authoritative and influential religious writings in human history, and the foundation for many of the beliefs of both Jews and Christians. Here we are first introduced to the God of the entire universe, are told how that universe (and humanity) came into existence, what is broken in the human condition, how the Hebrew people were created and became God’s unique representatives on earth, and much more. This course considers the history, structure, content and themes of the Pentateuch in a more in-depth way than in Old Testament Survey (OT1). Suggested prerequisite: OT1.
OT4 Message of the Prophets – The prophetic books of the Old Testament are certainly among the most fascinating works of literature ever written. Through them, God spoke to His ancient people Israel and continues to speak to us today. Our class will examine both major and minor prophets – their context, content and meaning for today.
OT5 History Books – The historical books of the Old Testament tell the story of God’s relationship with His Chosen People, the Jews – from their entry into the Promised Land; through the creation, division and eventual destruction of the Hebrew nation; to the time of return and rebuilding after the Babylonian Captivity. In the process these books teach us about the nature, love, faithfulness and forgiveness of God. Suggested prerequisite: OT1.
OT6 Wisdom Books – The Wisdom Literature of the Old Testament is made up of five books that teach us about God and about how to live a virtuous life. From the struggles of Job, to the beauty of the Psalms and Proverbs, to the reality check of Ecclesiastes and the romantic poetry of the Song of Songs – the Old Testament wisdom literature give us insight into the practical meaning of human life before God. Suggested prerequisite: OT1.
New Testament Studies (NT)
NT1 New Testament Survey – The New Testament is the ‘good news’ of the life, death, resurrection and atonement of the Lord Jesus Christ; the birth and early growth of the Christian Church; and the development of the Christian faith. This course examines the writings and content of the New Testament, as well as the historical and cultural context in which the New Testament was written, and how it has come down to us today. Suggested prerequisite: OT1.
NT2 New Testament Theology – The New Testament not only tells the story of Jesus and of the Early Church – it lays the theological foundations for our entire Christian faith. This course considers the primary theological themes and issues of the New Testament (what it means), with a special emphasis on how these great truths are reflected in a mature Christian faith and life.
NT3 The Life and Teachings of Jesus – The New Testament Gospels tells us almost everything we know of Jesus, his life and his teachings. This class will consider how and why we have four Gospel accounts and what they teach us about Jesus’ life, his message and the impact he had on those who surrounded him during his life. We will also consider how and why billions of people over the past two millennia have believed these accounts of Jesus as having been the incarnate Son of God himself.
NT4 The Early Church in the Book of Acts – The thirty or so years recorded in the Book of Acts are perhaps the most important in human history. From the resurrection and ascension of Jesus, the establishment of the Jewish-Christian church in Jerusalem, the first Gentile converts and the expansion to the west – this book records the details of how the Christian church was born and became established. Our class will examine the context and content of Acts, including its message for us today.
NT5 Pauline Epistles – Converted to faith by a miraculous meeting with the resurrected Jesus, and empowered by the Holy Spirit, the Apostle Paul is more responsible for articulating and formulating Christian doctrine than any other person who has ever lived. Through the thirteen letters he contributed to the New Testament, Paul gives a complete scope of what it means to believe in Jesus as Savior and Lord.
NT6 The General Epistles and Revelation – Following the letters of Paul in the New Testament are the General Epistles – eight letters, written by five different authors, covering a wide range of topics and apparently intended either for all Christians believers or for an audience much broader than Paul’s more targeted epistles. And following these general epistles – the last book in the New Testament – is the Revelation (or Apocalypse) of St. John – one of the most fascinating and difficult of all the books of the Bible.
Christian Maturity (CM)
CM1 How to Study the Bible – The Bible is God’s own Word to us – evidence that God loves us and wants us to know Him and live joyfully in His will. Yet too often people are intimidated or confused about how to read and study God’s Word. In this course, we will examine several strategies for effective Bible study, with a practical approach to using study aids effectively and learning to apply the truths and principles of Scripture to our lives.
CM2 Spiritual Disciplines – Our ability as Christians to grow in godliness – becoming more like Christ – is greatly impacted by our understanding and practice of the historic Christian disciplines, including Scripture reading, prayer, worship, meditation, fasting, and journaling. Properly understood and practiced, these disciplines become the pathway to greater Christian maturity and to far greater spiritual satisfaction.
CM3 Practical Theology – Our Christian faith calls us to more than just head knowledge and church attendance, because Jesus calls us to more than that. The obedient and fulfilling Christianity life must be about stewardship – of our call, our vision, our time and opportunities, our resources and our influence. This course examines these responsibilities as a way of understanding practical theology as a means to a more satisfying Christian life.
CM4 Apologetics – This course presents a rational basis for the Christian faith, especially as a means to defend the faith against objections. We will examine practical ways to effectively present and defend Christianity with historical evidence and rational argument.
CM5 Apologetics 2 – In the past decade a number of best-selling books have promoted an aggressive form of secularism and anti-theism. Claiming to be advancing reason and science, these “new atheist” authors have gained notoriety by advocating that “religion should be countered, criticized, and exposed by rational argument wherever its influence arises.” This course will examine the arguments of the new atheists, and how we as Christians can refute their claims.
TH1 Church History 1 – Christianity is a historical religion. It is founded on God’s revelation of Himself in time – especially through the incarnation of His Son, Jesus, some 2000 years ago. One of the great failings of Christians today is that we do not have a better sense of how God has worked in history through the Church that Jesus created and the Holy Spirit empowered. This course examines the people, places and historical events that are the history of the Church from the time immediately after the resurrection of Jesus, up to the year AD 1500 – the time just prior to the Protestant Reformation.
TH2 Church History 2 – In the 1500s the Protestant Reformation turned the Western world upside down and inside out. In a very real way, almost all significant historical events in the West since that time have either been in support of the values and goals of the Reformation or a reaction against it. This course examines what led to the Protestant Reformation, the main characters and events of that time, and how the Reformation shaped the church and the world ever since. Suggested prerequisite: TH1
TH3 Systematic Theology 1 – Systematic theology is, quite simply, a comprehensive and organized approach to answering the question, “What does the Bible teach us today?” As such, an evangelical systematic theology is a critical area of study for all Christians, because it gives us a much clearer understanding of what we believe and why.
TH4 Systematic Theology 2 – In this class we continue where Systematic Theology 1 (TH3) left off. Prerequisite: TH3.
TH5 Philosophical Theology – Philosophy (literally “love of wisdom”) teaches us how to think well and the draw right conclusions. Christian philosophy teaches us to think well within the context of the witness of Scripture and God’s will for us as followers of Jesus. This course covers basic logic, epistemology, metaphysics, philosophy of religion, philosophy of science, human nature and philosophy of politics, ethics, and aesthetics.
TH6 Practical Theology – Christian faith calls us to more than just head knowledge and church attendance, because Jesus calls us to more than that. The obedient and fulfilling Christian life must be about stewardship – of our call, our vision, our time and opportunities, our resources and our influence. This course examines these responsibilities as a way of understanding practical theology as a means to a more satisfying Christian life.
Christian Leadership (CL)
CL1 Biblical Interpretation – Interpretation of Scripture is best done through an understanding and application of the related disciplines of exegesis and hermeneutics – exegesis being the means of accurately determining what the text says; while hermeneutics concerns itself with interpreting what the text means. This course uses techniques of exegesis and hermeneutics to create an effective and comprehensive approach to analyzing, interpreting and articulating the message of Scripture. Prerequisite: CM1 How to Study the Bible
CL2 Homiletics and Communication – Homiletics is the discipline of practical theology concerned with preaching and teaching Christian truth. This course will focus on how to prepare sermons and teachings, as well as a practical approach to better communications through a more effective presentation style.
CL3 Biblical Ethics – Christians are called upon to live in the world and bear witness to the goodness and holiness of God. But in a world where moral ambiguity seems to dominate, how do we determine exactly how our Christian faith applies to moral issues? This course looks at the biblical and theological foundations of Christian ethics, and consider how we are to construct a Christian ethic that is practically applicable in our daily lives.
CL4 Praise and Worship – This course explores the compatibility between praise and worship as well as how they differ. Students will learn the various forms of praise and the many benefits of praising God. They will also learn the meaning, purpose, and importance of worship.
CL5 Preparation for Ministry Seminar – This course prepares the student for their Practicum (CL6). It addresses leadership, preaching, providing care for others, self-care, and teaching.
CL6 Practicum –This course integrates classroom studies with practical ministry experience both inside and outside the walls of a church building. Typically the student takes this course after completing most of their coursework. Prerequisite: CL5 Preparation for Ministry Seminar
Policies and Requirements
- Students seeking a certificate or degree must register in advance of the start of class.
- No fees will be charged for classes, but all students seeking a certificate or degree will be required to purchase the required textbooks.
- Anyone not in a certificate or degree track may attend any class, at any time, at no cost.
- Students in certificate or degree tracks may miss no more than one class per course without arrangements made in advance with the instructor to make up missed work (at the discretion of the instructor).
- Students in certificate or degree tracks will be required to take a final exam in each course, based on study guidelines provided by the instructor.
- Students in certificate or degree tracks must make a passing grade in each course in order to receive credit for that course toward a certificate or degree.
- Candidates for degrees (Master of Theology and Master of Theology and Ministry) must be approved by the Institute Dean before admission into a degree program.