IS Course Descriptions

IS 520 The Origin, Inspiration, and Authority of the Church’s Scripture
(Prerequisite to all other IS courses; 0.5 credit)
This course is a prerequisite for other courses in the Interpreting Scripture for the Church area and must be taken within the first three hours of Interpreting Scripture credit.  The course is an introduction to some of the issues that influence how we understand and use the Bible.  The course explores how books became important for the faith community of the Israelites, how the Bible came together as a book, and what it means to say that the Bible is inspired.  In addition the course explores ways to appropriate the biblical text for today so that it can be a guide for the church’s beliefs and practices.
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IS 540 Reading the Torah in the Church Today (Required; 1.0 credit)
This course is a pastoral approach to the TORAH (Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy) for the Christian faith.  The course envisions the TORAH as having significance, meaning, and instruction for Christians in the light of the rest of the Hebrew Bible and the New Testament.  In this course, the Torah will be brought into lively discussion for theological and ethical reflection, where you also will gain an awareness of your own sensibilities as a reader of the TORAH.
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IS 541 Reading the Prophets in the Church Today (Required; 1.0 credit)
This course provides a broad overview of Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel (“the major prophets”) and selected portions of books ( Amos, Micah, maybe Habakkuk) from the Book of Twelve (“the minor prophets”).  It examines literary genres or “forms” that appear in prophetic texts; sets these books in their ancient social, economic, political, literary, and religious contexts; and asks how their messages are relevant to the life and witness of the church today.
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IS 542 Reading the Deuteronomic Histories in the Church Today (Required; 0.5 credit)
This course examines the narrative story of Israel’s Life in the Land found in Joshua through Kings. These texts are known as “historical books” (Christianity), “former prophets” (Judaism) and “the Deuteronomistic History” (modern biblical scholars). Students will learn the importance of these narratives as a framework for understanding the Hebrew Bible. The course explores the relationship between history, narrative and the Bible. It also touches on the theological and ideological shaping of Israel’s story. Students will explore how these narratives and their messages are relevant to the church today.

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IS 553 Preparing to Help the Church Read the New Testament for Today (Required; 0.5 credit)
This course is an introduction to the basic political and religious background of the New Testament.  It introduces information about the life circumstances of the time of Jesus and the early church so that one can understand these texts by setting them in their own context.   The work of this course will prepare students to do detailed study of the texts.  It will also enable one to use the New Testament in legitimate and meaningful ways in the congregation so that we hear the word of God.
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IS 554 The Gospels as Resources for the Church (Required; 1.0 credit)
This course will examine the Gospels carefully.   The course enables students to discern what kinds of writings are found in the Gospels and what we should expect to find in them.  Reflection upon how the Gospels are related to one another and how they are used in recent discussions of the historical Jesus will be included.  The course will also examine each Gospel in some detail, looking for what the writer of each wanted readers to think about Jesus, God, and the world.  This will help us think about what they say to the church today.
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IS 556 Pauline Letters as Resources for the Church (Required; 1.0 credit)
This course will set each Pauline letter in its original setting, noticing how each is a pastoral and theological response to the social, spiritual, and theological questions and problems that had arisen in the church to which he writes.  It will examine how he interprets the gospels in ways that address that church’s concerns and shows them how to be faithful to God and the gospel in the pluralistic society of the first century.  The course also explores ways to appropriate these texts for the church today, as we think about how our spiritual and religious concerns have some analogies with theirs, and how Paul’s responses to these questions do and do not give us guidance in today’s church.
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IS 560 Exegesis for the Church (On campus Intensive; required; 1.5 credit)
This course will teach the techniques of historical-critical exegesis.  We will look at the methods that help readers of the Bible come to understand what the text meant in its original setting.  It also explores the way that these results can be appropriated for the church today so that the Bible can help lead the churches beliefs and practices.
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M.Div. and MA Prerequisite:  four hours of Required IS courses

IS 570 Creation and Science (Optional; 0.5 credit)
M.Div. Prerequisite:  one required course in Hebrew Bible

IS 571 Wisdom Literature (Optional; 0.5 credit)
M.Div. Prerequisite:  one required course in Hebrew Bible

IS 572 The Catholic Epistles (Optional; 0.5 credit)
M.Div. Prerequisite:  one required course in New Testament

IS 573 Acts of the Apostles (Optional; 0.5 credit)
M.Div. Prerequisite:  one required course in New Testament

IS 574 The New Testament (or Paul) and Women (Optional; 0.5 credit)
M.Div. Prerequisite:  one required course in New Testament

IS 575 Feminist Readings (Optional; 0.5 credit)
M.Div. Prerequisite:  one required course in either Hebrew Bible or New Testament

 

IS 576 Reading the Bible in the Black Church (Optional; 0.5 credit)
M.Div. Prerequisite:  one required course in either Hebrew Bible or New Testament

 

IS 577 Reading the Bible in the Hispanic Church (Optional; 0.5 credit)
M.Div. Prerequisite:  one required course in either Hebrew Bible or New Testament

IS 578 Liberationist Readings of the Bible (Optional; 0.5 credit)
M.Div. Prerequisite:  one required course in either Hebrew Bible or New Testament

IS 579 Leadership in the Bible (Optional; 0.5 credit)
M.Div. Prerequisite:  one required course in either Hebrew Bible or New Testament
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IS 580 Reading the Hebrew Bible During Advent (Optional; 0.5 credit)
This course emphasizes three areas.  First, it examines a selection of texts from the Hebrew Bible that are read during Advent.  Second, it leads students in reading critically the familiar Nativity Stories in the Gospels.  In the reading we pay particular attention to the way these texts make use of the Hebrew Bible.  Students learn to investigate historical context and theological meaning.  Third, the course helps students think about what it means to be readers of biblical texts and helps them read these texts from new perspectives.
♦ M.Div. Prerequisite:  one of the required courses in Hebrew Bible  (With permission of the professor the prerequisite may be waived.)
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IS 581 Reading the Hebrew Bible in the Broader Religious and Civic Community (Optional; 0.5 credit)
M.Div. Prerequisite:  one required course in Hebrew Bible
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IS 582 Reading the Gospels in Advent (Optional; 0.5 credit)
This course discusses the meaning of Advent and the meaning of Lectionary texts for the particular year in which the course is taught.  It gives attention to the meaning of these texts in their settings within the Gospels and their meanings as texts read within the season of Advent.
♦ M.Div. Prerequisite:  one of the required courses in New Testament  (With permission of the professor the prerequisite may be waived.)
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IS 583 Reading the Bible in Lent (Optional; 0.5 credit)
This course discusses the meaning of Lent and the meaning of the Lectionary texts for the particular year in which the course is taught.  It gives attention to the meaning of these texts in their literary and historical settings and their meanings as texts read within the season of Lent.
♦ M.Div. prerequisite:  one of the required courses in New Testament  (With permission of the professor the prerequisite may be waived. )
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IS 590 Biblical Book Study (Optional; 0.5 credit)
M. Div. Prerequisite:  one of the required courses in New Testament

IS 585  Reading Revelation (Part I) (Optional; 0.5 credit)
M.Div. Prerequisite:  one of the required courses in New Testament

IS 586 Reading Revelation (Part II) (Optional; 0.5 credit)
M.Div. Prerequisite:  one of the required courses in New Testament and IS 584 Reading Revelation (Part I)

IS 587 Reading Romans (Optional; 0.5 credit)
M. Div. Prerequisite:  one of the required courses in New Testament