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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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IF 572 – Special Topics in Theological Anthropology: Disabilities

In this course we will think about what it means to be made in the image of God through the lens of people with physical, intellectual and developmental disabilities.

Prerequisite:  IF 550
Credit:  0.5
Instructor:  Dr. Emily Askew

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IF 573 – Introduction to the Theology of Paul Tillich 

This course is an introduction to the ideas of the Christian philosopher and theologian Paul Tillich. Emphases for this introduction will be focused upon being comfortable with the theological language of Tillich’s writings and contextualizing his ideas into ministerial contexts.

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

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IF 574 – Dietrich Bonhoeffer

This course is an introduction to the ideas of the Christian theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer. Emphases for this introduction will be focused upon Bonhoeffer’s biography, Christology, Ecclesiology, Ethics, and controversial final writings. Students will contextualize these ideas in and for their own ministerial locations and identities.

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

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IF 575 – H. Richard Niebuhr’s Christ and Culture

An intensive study of H. Richard Niebuhr’s enduring classic, Christ & Culture

Prerequisite:  IF 550
Credit: 0.5
Instructor:  Faculty

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IF 576 – Contemporary Atheisms

This course is an introduction to the contemporary philosophical and theological issue of disbelief in God. Among subjects to be discussed are classical arguments for and against God; “God” and metaphysical models of the divine; the “New Atheism” movement; radical Christian responses to contemporary atheism; and practical application of these ideas for the purpose of missional leadership and evangelism in the local church.

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

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IF 577 – Narrative Theology

TBA

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

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IF 580 – The Roots of Doctrinal Teaching

TBA

Prerequisite:
Credit: 1.5
Instructor:

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IF 581 – Doctrinal Teachings

TBA

Prerequisite:
Credit: 1.5
Instructor:

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IF 582 – Augustine

This course is an introduction to Augustine’s theology.   Augustine is one of the greatest theologians of the church and continues to exert influence on Christian thought and on the life of the church in a variety of ways, including the doctrines on the triune God, the human condition, the church and its sacraments, and social ethics.   During the course, we will focus on his theological method, overall theological project in relation to Neoplatonism, thoughts on grace and human will (theological anthropology) set forth during the Pelagian controversy, and homilies on love and life together (ecclesiology) preached against the Donatists.   Through readings, discussions, and lectures, we will critically and constructively examine the relevance of his work for our own theological reflection, ministry, and Christian life.

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

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IF 583 – Introduction to Process Theology

How does God act in the world? Process theology is a worldview that matches our intuitive sense of an interconnected universe with the view of a dynamic and relational God. What happens to preaching, prayer, and pastoral care when we say that God as co-creator is present in every moment of our lives? This course explores the basic ideas of process theology, some of its key figures, and practical applications to ministry.

Prerequisite:  IF 550
Credit: 0.5
Instructor: Faculty

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IF 585 – Sacraments of Initiation

TBA

Prerequisite:
Credit: 1.5
Instructor:

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IF 586 – Sacraments of Vocation & Healing

TBA

Prerequisite:
Credit: 1.5
Instructor:

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IF 590 – IF Competency Exercise

*Please refer to section 7.1.6-7.1.8 of the Student Handbook*

Prerequisite:  Completion of all other IF 500 level work
Credit: 1.0
Instructor:  Dr. Emily Askew

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IF 628 – Ecclesiology

TBA

Prerequisite: Successful completion of one Competency Exercise and a minimum of 60% of IF 500 level work
Credit: 2.0
Instructor:  Faculty

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IF 670 – Environmental Theology

In her 1993 constructive theological offering, The Body of God, environmental theologian Sallie McFague asks us to imagine how we would treat the earth differently if we understood it to be God’s body.  Now, in the face of potentially devastating global climate change, threats to sensitive ecosystems and challenges to the purity of air and water we will leave for our children, churches are acting more intentionally to care for this Sacred Body.

In this course, students will read offerings from scientists, Christian ethicists, environmental theologians and Christian environmental activists that make evident our responsibilities to the earth in the name of God. From these, students will not only leave the course with theological tools to address environmental issues, but with plans for helping their churches and agencies begin to create necessary changes.

Prerequisite: Successful completion of one Competency Exercise and a minimum of 60% of IF 500 level work
Credit: 2.0
Instructor:  Dr. Emily Askew

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IF 671 – Gods and Monsters

Religion and horror are inextricable bound. Monsters populate the sacred texts of Judaism and Christianity as well as run rampant in popular culture. In this course we will first consider WHY religion needs monsters. What role do monsters play in religious texts? To help answer this question we will look at Leviathan, Behemoth, Tiamat along with the Whore of Babylon and the beast with the seven heads. Then we will turn our attention to monsters in popular culture. What are the religious aspects of characters like Dracula and Frankenstein? Finally we will consider the complicated history of vampires and Christianity, the rise and fall of the power of the Cross in defeating evil and death.

Prerequisite: Successful completion of one Competency Exercise and a minimum of 60% of IF 500 level work
Credit: 2.0
Instructor:  Dr. Emily Askew

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IF 672 – Theology of the Border: US and Mexico

Please join me as we explore what immigration means first hand when we spend seven days on the US/Mexico border at Tucson/Nogales. On this intensive trip you will hear the stories of migration from those who are in the process of crossing or have been deported back, listen to faithful leaders discuss their work with migrants on both sides of the border, walk dirt migrant trails winding through dangerous desert vegetation , experience mass deportation hearings in Federal Court, interview public defenders, dance with migrant children, experience the bitter cold of the desert in winter, sleep on cement floors in migrant shelters, and push yourself emotionally, physically and spiritually in ways you never thought possible. In short you will experience for yourself the complex and painful story of what some refer to as our national wound, the US/Mexico border.

Prerequisite: Successful completion of one Competency Exercise and a minimum of 60% of IF 500 level work
Credit: 2.0
Instructor:  Dr. Emily Askew

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