Louisville Seminary will offer several courses during its January and Spring terms that are open to non-degree seeking students. The courses cover a variety of topics in biblical studies, theology, and practical theology, and some will be held during evening hours to provide greater accessibility.
LPTS is enrolling more students who have first explored the possibility of masters-level study and theological education by taking classes as a non-degree student. Additionally, more of today’s students need to earn their degrees while also maintaining full- or part-time employment.
“As an older student returning to an academic environment, attending classes as a non-degree student gave me a good understanding of how much work would be involved. I discovered that I would need to make more room in my life for studying than I had originally imagined,” said Sharon Perkins, who called her part-time exploration toward a counseling degree the “scratch and sniff” year.
“After being at LPTS for a year, I am now enrolled as a part-time, degree-seeking student in the Master of Arts in Marriage and Family Therapy (MFT) program. I am more sure than ever that counseling is what I want to do.”
In response to the growing trend in degree exploration, the faculty at LPTS have developed a curriculum that allows students to earn master-level degrees in three, five, or six years through full-, half-, or part-time degree programs. Although they are intense, courses offered during inter-terms (January and June) provide the most flexibility and the least time requirements.
In January, Old Testament Professor Patricia K. Tull will teach a one-credit, preparatory course, History, Religion, and Culture in the Land of the Bible (OT410). The weeklong class will be taught in conjunction with the Middle East Study Tour that departs January 14; however, individuals who are not registered for the trip are invited to enroll.
The Women’s Center at Louisville Seminary is sponsoring a January Artist-In-Residence program with modern dancer, writer, and teacher Judith Rock, who has helped to shape the field of art and theology since her first commissioned dance concert in 1977. Dr. Rock is offering a three-credit course called The Body of Knowledge (PX400), which will lead students to integrate three kinds of knowledge—kinetic, spatial, and verbal—by bringing together the body of the Word with the body of movement. Portions of each week will be divided between core sessions and rehearsal sessions.
Although several prerequisites are required for her course, newly called Professor of Homiletics and Worship Debra Mumford will be in residence to teach From Text To Sermon (PW445). Her course will focus on the importance of understanding culture in sermon preparation, which she calls the exegesis of the congregation. Mumford will begin teaching full-time at LPTS in June.
Three January term courses will be offered during late afternoon or evening hours. They are: The Moral Thought of Frederick Douglass and His Times (TH219), taught by Dr. Scott Williamson; Dr. Kathryn Johnson’s Traditions of Cistercian Spirituality (TH425), which includes a weeklong experience at the Abbey of Gethsemani; and Worship in the Reformed Tradition (PW317), with Dr. Sheldon Sorge, newly appointed associate director of The Louisville Institute.
Several new or revised courses will be introduced in the spring semester.
Professor Tull is offering a course to guide individuals in developing a helpful response to the oft-repeated comment, “I don’t like the Old Testament God.” In Portraits of God in the Old Testament (OT321), she will explore the ways God is understood throughout the Hebrew Scriptures and the relationship of this God to Christian theological assumptions. This two-credit evening course runs February 15 through March 15.
Rabbi David Ariel-Joel will return to the LPTS campus to teach Introduction to Judaism: Jewish Rhythms, Ideas, and Beliefs (RE403), a popular course offered several years ago. By encountering primary texts such as the Talmud, Jewish philosophy, and biblical commentary, he will explore the dominant values and practices of what has become traditional Judaism.
Dr. Johnny Hill, who began teaching theology at LPTS in the fall, is teaming up with Professor Williamson to teach Resistance and Reconciliation (TH243), a course to help students build upon their foundations in theological and ethical reflection. By exploring the twin themes of resistance and reconciliation in African American theological discourse, students will gain an appreciation for the ways in which these theologians and ethicists have contributed to the witness of the church in society.
Other courses offered during evening hours will include, History and Doctrine of Methodism (MS105) with Dr. Dianne Reistroffer; Scripture I: Intro to the Old Testament (OT100) with Professor Emeritus W. Eugene March; To Be Reformed (TH430) with Dr. Christopher Elwood; Mission in Cross-Cultural Perspective (EM337) with global missions and evangelism professor Dr. Frances S. Adeney, and Presbyterian Polity (CM217) with Dr. David Sawyer.
Like Perkins, who decided to pursue a counseling degree by testing the academic waters before taking the plunge into enrollment, an individual who is sensing a call to other areas of ministry can explore their calling by attending classes as a non-degree student. Additionally, they have the potential to earn up to 12 credits that can be applied toward a degree upon later application.
“This was really good advice for me. I thoroughly enjoyed the classes, and being on campus was a wonderful opportunity to get to know students and faculty,” said Perkins, who took the Marriage and Family Therapy theory and practice course, Scripture 1, and an MFT elective in chemical dependency.
“I highly recommend the non-degree option as a way to discover what LPTS is like or to clarify which degree program to pursue. There is no substitute for actual classroom experience,” she said.
Enrollment for these courses is on going while room remains available in each. Contact the Office of the Registrar or browse our online Catalog for course descriptions, some course syllabi, and registration information.
Select the following link to learn more about the LPTS faculty.