SCR 5131 Hebrew Bible: This course is an introduction to the Hebrew Bible from a theological and exegetical perspective. Students will: (1) familiarize themselves with God's word as revealed to Israel; (2) understand how contemporary Jews and Christians have appropriated the Hebrew Bible's teachings and interpret it today; (3) become familiar with various approaches to biblical study, including critical methodologies; (4) gain beginner's competence in biblical exegesis. 3 credits. Dr. Wilson or Dr. Joseph.
SCR 5141 New Testament Foundations: This course will study the New Testament from theological, hermeneutical, historical and critical perspectives. Topics include: the teachings Jesus, efforts to identify the Jesus of history, the life and teachings of Paul, the theological perspectives of the New Testament writers, and the historical contexts that shaped their message. Attention will be given to contemporary interpretations of New Testament texts based upon an informed understanding of the ancient context for these writings, and some attention will be given to developing exegetical skills. 3 credits. Faculty.
SCR 5142 New Testament in Context: Offers fresh and in-depth insights into New Testament writings and theology by responding to contemporary issues and challenges to traditional faith beliefs. Students will study the historical and cultural contexts of the biblical text and examine the role that the New Testament played in shaping Christian thought and western history. We will also look at contemporary challenges to New Testament teachings on Jesus, ethics, the role of women, and the gay heresy. 3 credits Faculty.
SCR 5151 World Scriptures and World Peace: This course studies the major world religions by focusing on their sacred texts as primary sources for belief and practice. Students will become familiar with key scriptural texts and through them explore various points of conflict and convergence between religions. Attention will be given to the hard texts as well as the golden texts that have become meeting-points for peace. The main focus of this course will be on the Abrahamic religions and their scriptures: the Hebrew Bible, the New Testament, and the Qur'an. 3 credits. Faculty.
SCR 5302 The Prophets: This reading of the prophets will emphasize exegesis of prophetic texts, the prophets' call for social justice, and what these texts reveal about God's providential expectation for Israel and the coming Messiah. Students will study the human side of the prophets—their religious experience, theological outlook, political activities, persecution and struggle. Students will explore the modern relevance of the prophetic message. Prerequisite: SCR 5131. 2 credits. Dr. Wilson.
SCR 5303 The Writings: Job, the Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Song of Songs, Ruth, Esther, Daniel, Lamentations, Ezra, Nehemiah, and 1 and 2 Chronicles are among the books that constitute the third section of the Hebrew Bible known as The Writings. Students will concentrate their attention on a book of their interest. Selected topics may include: the role of the Psalms in shaping liturgy and personal spirituality; the outlook of wisdom literature and its lessons for leading the good life; the feminine side of faith as seen through Ruth, Esther and the Song of Solomon; apocalyptic visions in Daniel and expectations for the return of Christ. Prerequisite: SCR 5131. 2 credits. Faculty.
SCR 5311 Genesis: This seminar will do a close reading of the Book of Genesis, examining theological issues raised by the text. A selection of modern, traditional Christian and Jewish commentaries will be studied in order to gain deeper insights into the stories of Creation, the Fall, Cain and Abel, the Flood and the patriarchal narratives. Prerequisite: SCR 5131. 2 credits. Dr. Wilson.
SCR 5312 Isaiah: More than any other book of the Old Testament, the prophet Isaiah gives voice to God's sovereignty and man's dependence on Him, to the ideal of God's Kingdom and God's plan of salvation through Christ. This course is an in-depth study of the book of Isaiah, read in English translation. We will look at the message of Isaiah in its historical context, in the context of the message of the whole Bible, and in light of contemporary events. Prerequisite: SCR 5131. 2 credits. Dr. Wilson.
SCR 5412 Life and Teachings of Jesus: The possibility of historical biography of Jesus has been generally denied since the days of Albert Schweitzer, but attempts continue in film and literature. This course will examine the historical data that can be assembled for a life of Jesus, including material from apocryphal gospels. The teachings of Jesus will be examined from a critical reconstruction of the logia tradition. 3 credits. Faculty.
SCR 5413 Life and Letters of Paul: This course is an investigation of Paul's life, his writing, and his role in the development of Christianity. It will present interpretations of Paul as a Hellenist, a rabbi, a mystic sectarian, a clever rhetorician and more, of Paul defined against his Jewish background or by light shed from his opponents. Contemporary research into Paul's attitudes to the Law and Judaism as well as the sociological context of his missions and letters will be discussed. Claims about Gnostic influences on Paul and his standing in Gnostic communities is also important for evaluating his role in history. The class will discuss Paul's effects upon modern theologians and some trenchant criticisms of his influence. 3 credits. Faculty.
SCR 5421 The Gospel of Matthew: We will investigate the Gospel of Matthew as the teaching of Jewish-Christianity that suffered through the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 A.D., and as a window into the historical Jesus. Topics include the Sermon on the Mount as a peace teaching at a time of war and rebellion, and the earliest Christian kerygma in relation to Jewish Messianism. 3 credits. Dr. Wilson
SCR 5422 Mark and the Kingdom of God: The objectives of this course will be to provide an analysis of and consideration of the Gospel of Mark as the primary source by which to understand the term "kingdom of God." Students will examine what this term means for the Gospel writers, for modern Christian interpreters, and consider how the ways in which it is defined affect the ministry of the contemporary Christian church. 2 credits. Dr. Jones.
SCR 5424 The Gospel of John: The Gospel of John will be studied within the context of questions of authorship, community and sources. Johannine "perfectionism" will be defined and affiliations with the Gnostic writings explored. 2 credits. Faculty.
SCR 5502 The Bible: Theological and Historical Introduction: This course is designed for students from non-Christian backgrounds who have little exposure to the Bible aside from its use in Unification doctrinal texts. It will familiarize the student with most-beloved passages from the Old and New Testaments and their meaning for a religious life. As an introduction to the discipline of Biblical Study, it will briefly introduce critical questions of authorship, redaction and context; however the chief focus will be the Bible as a fount of theological knowledge for use in ecumenical activities and the proclamation of the Unificationist message. 3 credits. Dr. Wilson
SCR 5501 Biblical Hermeneutics and Preaching: This course introduces students to issues encountered in the interpretation of a biblical text. The goal is for students to develop competency in exegetical method. Issues to be explored include the history of biblical interpretation, the qualifications of a biblical interpreter, the role of pre-understanding, and interpretation as application to contemporary contexts. Students sharpen their hermeneutical skills through analysis of selected passages. 3 credits. Dr. David.
SCR 5701 The Qur'an: An introduction to the Qur'an in English translation, this course will familiarize students with the entire Qur'an, focusing on major themes and doctrines of the Muslim faith. 3 credits. Faculty.