IF Course Descriptions

IF 550 – Theology and Theological Language

This course is the prerequisite for all other theology courses.  In this course students will be introduced to the basic vocabulary, concepts, paradigms and figures central to studying and practicing theology.

Prerequisite:  None
Credit: 1.0
Instructor: Dr. Emily Askew

_________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

IF 552 – Theology of Sermons

Theology is essential for effective preaching.  Students will survey a range of theological approaches to preaching, identify conversation partners within this spectrum, and develop a critical definition of their own approach to preaching.

Prerequisite:  IF 550 and LW 550
Credit: 0.5
Instructors: Dr. O. Wesley Allen Jr. & Dr. Emily Askew

_________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

IF 553 – Made in the Image of God:  Theological Anthropology 

This course is a close consideration of the doctrine of theological anthropology:  the study of human beings as a creation of God.  Students will be introduced to the essential questions theologians answer in studying human beings theologically as well as historical and contemporary answers to those questions.

Prerequisite:  IF 550
Credit:  1.0
Instructor:  Dr. Emily Askew

_________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

IF 554 – The Nature of God:  Theology

In this course we will be considering traditional and contemporary understandings of the nature and work of God.  We will look at ideas about creation and providence, God’s dual nature as both immanent and transcendent, theodicy and the nature of God as Trinity.

Prerequisite:  IF 550
Credit: 1.0
Instructor: Dr. Emily Askew

_________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

IF 555 – “One Bread, One Body”: Theology of the Church

In this course we will pay attention to the curious institution that is the church.  Most of the time we take church for granted, but when we think about its call, to be both relevant and prophetic, to be grounded in the world with eyes toward the Kingdom of God, it looks not only odd, but maybe impossible.  Yet, this is the community Christ called, so we continue to do the best we can in faith that our work will be made right by God. To think about the church, we will study the ways theologians have dealt with difficult questions of how to “be” church and we will apply those theological glimmers to a focused study of our own congregations.

Prerequisite:  IF 550
Credit: 1.0
Instructor:  Dr. Christopher Rodkey

_________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

IF 556 – “Why Do You Say That I Am?”: Christology 

This course combines two separate but closely related theological doctrines: the study of Christ (his two natures, his works, his death, his place in the Trinity) with a study of salvation, how Christ’s death brings atonement, who is saved and the nature of heaven and hell.

Prerequisite: IF 550 + two additional IF credits
Credit:  1.0 (Offered during On-Campus Intensives)
Instructor:  Dr. Emily Askew

_________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

IF 557 – Theology and Pastoral Care:  Discussing Suffering and Hope

There is no easy answer to the question “Why?” when a child dies, or a house burns or cancer is diagnosed.  As preachers, teachers and care-givers, it is our responsibility to learn when and how to respond and when and how to stay silent.  In this course we will think about God’s role in suffering and in hope.  We will think about ways that we can help people (including ourselves) reflect on struggle and on the cultivation of hope.  We will by-pass any answers that only serve to make us, the care-givers, feel better and focus instead on the deep theological resource that can be brought to bear as we negotiate life.

Prerequisite:  IF 550
Credit:  1.0
Instructor:  Dr. Daniel Shin

_________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

IF 558 – God Save Us:  Soteriology

The doctrine of Soteriology (salvation) integrally depends on the doctrines of Christology, Creation, Theological Anthropology, Theology, Eschatology and Ecclesiology in order to have any meaning all.  If you think about it, figuring out what it means to be saved means we have to ask these questions: “From what must we be saved?” By what mechanisms does salvation occur?” and “To what will we be saved?” The theological shortcut for these questions looks like this, “From what/through which/To what?”  It is this formula that will guide our time together, as we work together on one of the most difficult questions professional theologians, and lay theologians alike wrestle with which is: “What happened on the cross?”

Prerequisite: IF 550 + two additional IF credits
Credit:  1.0 (Offered during On-Campus Intensives)
Instructor:  Dr. Emily Askew

_________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

IF 570 – The Church and Homosexuality 

According to Rev. Cynthia Breen, “Sexuality is simply too important, too beautiful and too potentially dangerous to be ignored in a religious community.” (Gibb, 1999) At no time has this sentiment been more accurate than it is today.  Families, churches and denominations have split over issues related to homosexuality and the will of God.  It is imperative that in order to address the divides that presently exist and help to heal all those who live in pain because of these divides, that those who lead the church must become literate about all aspects of the conversation.  This is what we will do in this course.  You will leave this course supplied with information to help lead your congregations in dialogue around issues related to the church and homosexuality.

Prerequisite:  IF 550
Credit:  1.0
Instructor:  Dr. Emily Askew

_________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

IF 571 – African-American/Womanist Theology 

In this course we will examine the rise and present state of African-American theology from James Cone to Jeremiah Wright. We will also look at the theologies developed by African Americans (called ‘womanist’ theology) which black women forged in response to what they have called their “triple oppression”: being female, being black and being poor.  Neither the theologies of black men (African American theology) nor white women (feminist theology) directly addressed the blessings and burdens of being a black woman in dominantly white culture.

Prerequisite:  IF 550
Credit:  1.0
Instructor:  Dr. Emily Askew

_________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

IF 573 – Introduction to the Theology of Paul Tillich 

Prerequisite:  IF 550
Credit: 0.5
Instructor:  Dr. Christopher Rodkey

_________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________