Course Descriptions


F1: How to Read the Bible According to the Early Church Fathers

James Kang Hoon Lee, Associate Professor of the History of Early Christianity, Director, Doctor of Ministry Program, Perkins School of Theology

This course explores how early Christian theologians interpreted the Bible, and how such approaches to the reading of Scripture might be useful today.  Among the issues we will examine are: a) the formation of the Biblical canon and the criteria for determining the books of the Bible; b) Biblical inerrancy, divine inspiration and human authorship; c) the different senses of Sacred Scripture (e.g. literal, spiritual, allegorical); and d) preaching and Biblical interpretation.  This course will introduce students to the works of early Church Fathers such as Irenaeus, Origen, Gregory of Nyssa, John Chrysostom, and Augustine of Hippo.  

Read in preparation: Biblical Interpretation in the Early ChurchMichael Graves.

F2: An Unconventional God: The Holy Spirit According to Jesus

John R. (Jack) Levison, W. J. A. Power Professor of Old Testament Interpretation and Biblical Hebrew, Perkins School of Theology

Read in preparation: TBD

S1: How Do We Solve A Problem Like...Mary?

Jeanne Stevenson-Moessner, Professor of Pastoral Care and Pastoral Theology, Perkins School of Theology

Mary, mother of Jesus, is present at the crucial events in Jesus’ life: Annunciation, Birth, Life in the temple and at weddings, Suffering and Death, Resurrection and Ascension. Protestants have tended to shy away from Mary, although we affirm her role as God‐bearer in the Apostles’ Creed. As a child, I was steered away from Mary for fear I would become Roman Catholic. As an adult, I could not connect with her apparent passivity and helplessness. Only when a Jesuit‐trained spiritual director asked me to meditate on Psalm 131:2 and image myself (metaphorically speaking) on Mary’s lap, did I understand her pivotal place for my life, theology. Join me in this day‐long course to explore and help solve a problem like Mary!

Read in preparation: The Hidden Years and Incarnational Theology: Mary, Mother of God

S2: Truth Telling in a Post-Truth World

D. Stephen Long, Cary M. Maguire University Professor of Ethics, Perkins School of Theology

Will truth set us free? Jesus’ words in John 8:32 were put to the test in his day when Pilate asked, “What is truth?” and assumed no answer was possible. Jesus’ words are put to the test in our own day as well. This course will examine the reasons many find it difficult to believe Jesus’ claim and why it is imperative that people of faith affirm it. In particular, we will explore (1) why truth matters for a politics of freedom (2) how politics became “post-truth” and the dangers it poses (3) how Pilate’s question can be answered. The letter to the Hebrews and the Gospel of John will be given particular attention in crafting an answer to Pilate’s question.

Read in preparation: Participants would benefit from reading the Gospel of John paying particular attention to the role of “truth.”

S3: Models of Evangelism

9:30 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.

Priscilla Pope-Levison, Associate Dean of External Programs, Professor of Ministerial Studies, Perkins School of Theology 

Read in preparation: TBD 

S4: An Introduction to Black Liberation Theology

1:00 p.m. - 3:30 p.m.

Ray Jordan, Adjunct Professor, Simmons School of Education

*What is Black Liberation Theology? Discover the defining theoretical tenets.

*Why Black Liberation Theology NOW? Identify the contemporary needs that ALL congregations can fulfill at this moment.
*How do we move forward with Black Liberation Theology? Discuss the concepts.
Ask questions, and gain clarity. Discern your path toward progress, regardless of denomination or demographics.

Read in preparation: TBD