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New Courses unveiled for Summer and Fall terms

Apr 08, 2009
The Summer and Fall 2009 course schedules have been posted on the Louisville Seminary website, along with a rich array of new courses being offered between June and December.

This Summer
For students who have taken History of Christian Experience, Dr. Christopher Elwood, Professor of Historical Theology, is offering the new course, Biblical Radicalism, May 21-June 12. Elwood says the course will “examine closely three movements—the thirteenth and fourteenth-century Franciscans, Anabaptist groups of the sixteenth century, and the twentieth-century Catholic Worker movement—as representative of a diverse tradition of biblical radicalism and historical periods that have emphasized the necessity of a distinctive biblical, theological, and social witness that stands in opposition to culture.”

“We will seek to gain clearer understandings of the characteristics of this tradition and its unique contributions to Christian witness,” Elwood adds in the course description.

As a complement elective course in the area of theology, history, and ethics, Dr. Alex Hwang, Assistant Professor of Historical Theology, will be teaching Medieval Theologians, an introduction to the lives and thoughts of Prosper, Anselm, and Aquinas. The course will run from May 21 through June 12, and it will focus on a single theological theme, with attention to how these significant theologians integrate practice and belief, spirituality and theology.

Offered to all students in all Masters-level degree programs, Dr. Wayne Clark, Director of Clinical Training in the Louisville Counseling Training Center, is teaching Care of Children: Clinical and Pastoral Counseling Dimensions, June 1-19. This course includes an emphasis on examining the responsibility of the church in advocating for the needs of children. Dr. Dianne Reistroffer, Professor of Ministry, will lead the very popular Child Advocacy and the Church course at the Alex Haley Farm in Tennessee (July 20-24), and, once again, two practical workshops, offered through Lifelong Learning and Advanced Degrees, will be offered for course credit: Emotional Intelligence and Human Relations Skills (August 24-28) with Dr. David Sawyer, Director of Lifelong Learning and Advanced Degrees and Professor of Ministry, and Roy M. Oswald, Director of the Center for EQ-HR Skills; and the second-annual Worship and the Arts Conference: Beyond Borders, coordinated by Dr. Claudio Carvalhaes, Assistant Professor of Worship and Preaching, and Worship, Theology and Education of the Presbyterian Church (USA).

The Fall Lineup
Four new courses will be offered in the fall, including the new Senior Seminar on the topic of Vocation and the Public Good. As part of the curriculum revision, initiated in 2006, a Senior Integration Experience is required for graduating students. Senior students have the option of preparing and defending a Statement of Faith in Ministry, which is graded on a pass/fail basis, or they may enroll in the three-credit Senior Seminar that focuses on an area of theological study related to the practice of ministry. The latter option includes producing a substantial essay related to the selected topic for the seminar. In the fall, Professors David Sawyer and Scott Williamson, Robert H. Walkup Professor of Theological Ethics, will lead the seminar.

“Women and men come to ministry by way of a vocation. However, vocation is not a once and for all experience. Each person continues to discern a path for ministry in each new situation and facing major new dilemmas. Both vocation and ethics carry an edge of ambiguity. This course is designed to help students recognize both vocational directions and the public vocation of Christian ethics. Students will evaluate vocation as an instrument of change for the public good. The key is to gain skill in integrating faith traditions, using both biblical and theological knowledge, into reflection and action on vocation directions that aspire to social justice,” state the professors in their course description.

Dr. Clifton Kirkpatrick, Visiting Professor of Ecumenical Studies and Global Ministries, will teach the course, The Ecumenical Movement and its Current Developments, an overview of the history and theology of the ecumenical movement. “We are living through a period in ecumenical life that promises to substantially reshape the character of ministry, especially in mainline churches, for years to come,” states Kirkpatrick about his course. “This course is designed to share the fresh insights from the ecumenical movement,” such as reclaiming the legacy of Calvin for the renewal of ministry in the 21st century, “and current ecumenical developments; to understand their implications for the ministry of our congregations; and to give visible expression to the Seminary’s commitment to ‘preparing men and women for ministry in a religiously diverse world.’”

In the area of biblical studies, Professors David Hester, Harrison Ray Anderson Professor of Pastoral Theology, and Patricia Tull, A.B. Rhodes Professor of Old Testament, are introducing Teaching the Bible: Wisdom Literature, which will focus on the practice of teaching Bible in the congregation. The practical course will give close attention to the skills of biblical exegesis, interpretation methods, and teaching designs. Students will work with texts from Job, Ecclesiastes, and Proverbs as illustrative of Israel’s wisdom tradition.

And rounding out the new courses for the fall lineup, Dr. Hwang will look at context, debate, and major figures in the Church’s historical struggle to define the doctrine of grace in his course, Grace, Freewill and Predestination in the Early Church, which also will provide opportunities, through class discussions and writing assignments, for students to reflect on their own theology of grace.

To learn more about the summer and fall schedules or to register online, visit the Semester Schedules webpage.

To learn more about the Louisville Seminary faculty, read their bios online at Faculty Online.

To register for classes, view semester schedules, and explore course syllabi, go to Syllabi Online.

Louisville Seminary offers a high quality theological education that is grounded in the history and Scripture of the Christian movement, informed by the Presbyterian and Reformed tradition, and guided by the vision of an ecumenical church that is committed to ministry in a global, multicultural, and religiously diverse context and to religious leadership that is competent in the practices of Christian ministry.

The Seminary’s 24 full-time professors represent the Presbyterian Church (USA), United Methodist, American Baptist, Reformed Church in America, and Lutheran (ELCA) denominations. Further, Louisville Seminary is recognized as an approved source of theological education for the United Methodist, American Methodist Episcopal (AME), AME Zion, and Christian Methodist Episcopal Churches.

In addition to the Master of Divinity degree, Louisville Seminary offers degrees in marriage and family therapy—one of only a few accredited, seminary-based programs in the nation—the Master of Arts (Religion), and the Doctor of Ministry, plus dual degree programs are available in Theology with Law, Administration, Social Work, and Spirituality, in collaboration with the University of Louisville and Bellarmine University.

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