Exegetical Theology (18 credits)
Gospels I4.0 credits
Because of the centrality of Jesus Christ in the revelation of God, this will serve as a foundational course for the entire theological curriculum. After an introduction to Gospel literature as well as the history and practice of biblical interpretation, major portions of the Greek text of the Gospel of Matthew will be studied. Significant teachings such as the Nature of the Scriptures, Interpretation of the Old Testament, the Identity of Christ, the Kingdom of God, the Trinity and Baptism, the Apostolic Mission and Ministry, the Return of Christ, the Lord’s Supper, Jesus’ Death as Atonement and the Resurrection will be examined. Faithful interpretation of the Gospel of Matthew for preaching and teaching will be modeled in lectures and mentored in exegetical groups.
Gospels II: Pastoral and Missional Theology in Luke and Acts4.0 credits
This course will focus on the centrality of Jesus Christ in the revelation of God in the Gospel of Luke and the significance of the mission of the apostles in the Book of Acts. The teaching and preaching of Jesus in the Gospel, the sermons of the apostles in Acts, the sacramental theology in Luke-Acts and the missional and diakonal ministry of the early Christians will be examined. Since Luke is the only Gospel with a companion work describing the life of the Church, themes unique to Luke will be emphasized. Topics such as the Nature of the Scriptures, Interpretation of the Old Testament, the Identity of Christ, the Kingdom of God, the Trinity and Baptism, the Apostolic Mission and Ministry, the Return of Christ, the Lord’s Supper, Jesus’ Death as Atonement and the Resurrection will be examined.
Pauline Epistles4.0 credits
After an introduction to the life of the Apostle Paul, major portions of the Greek text of Galatians and Romans will be studied. Important central teachings in the Greek text of Pauls other Epistles will also be examined, such as the Person and Work of Christ, the Church, Baptism and the Lords Supper, the End Times and Pastoral Ministry. The importance of the Apostle Pauls teaching for the life of the church will be highlighted.
Pentateuch I3.0 credits
After an introduction to the first five books of the Old Testament, major portions of the Hebrew text of Genesis will be studied because of its foundational role in all theology. Creation, Marriage, the Fall into Sin, the Promise of Salvation, the Presence of the Son with the Patriarchs and other biblical themes in Genesis will be examined. Commentaries, sermons, liturgies and hymnody from the history of the church that deals with Genesis will also be considered. Integration of the Genesis narratives and teachings into the life of the church today will be accented.
The liturgical life of the church and the devotional life of her pastors have been shaped and influenced by the Psalter. This course approaches the study of the Psalter from an inter¬ disciplinary perspective by incorporating both exegetical and pastoral ministry concerns. Selected Psalms will be closely examined on the basis of the Hebrew text with specific attention not only to their grammatical issues but also to their theological content. The Psalms will also be examined as rich resources for the worshiping community and for the spiritual formation of ministers of the Word and Sacraments.
Historical Theology (12 credits)
History of Office of Deaconess3.0 credits
A survey of the history of the Office of Deaconess. The course will study the origins, development and ministries of the deaconess, with special emphasis on the deaconess vocation as a ministry of mercy and care. Special attention will be given to the description and activities of the deaconess in the early church to the 19th century revival of the office under Fliedner and Loehe and to the ministry of the deaconess in the 21st century.
Required course for Deaconess certification and M.A. in Deaconess Studies students. This course will be delivered as an online course for M.A. in Deaconess Studies (Distance) students and will be noted as HITD 125 on the students transcripts.
Church History I3.0 credits
This course introduces the student to the study of church history and offers an introduction to the thought and life of the church through the first eight centuries of its history. Emphasis is given to the emergence of institutional, theological and ethical patterns in the light of the contemporary social, cultural and intellectual environment. The student is introduced to the thought of major fathers such as Irenaeus, Tertullian, Origen, Cyprian, Athanasius, Cyril of Alexandria, Augustine and Maximus the Confessor. Attention is given to the theological controversies and church councils of the 4th through 8th centuries. Note is taken of the transition from the patristic to the medieval periods, the rise of the Carolingian Empire, the emergence of the early papacy and early forms of monasticism.
History: The Church in Missiological Perspective3.0 credits
Beginning with a description of the Church in the 21st century, especially from the perspective of trends and challenges for world-wide missions, this course looks for historical connections with contemporary Christianity from the Reformation to the present day. Students will learn about the Reformation origins of major Protestant denominations as well as of modern Roman Catholicism, but also will consider the impact on the mission of the Church from broad historical developments like pietism, liberalism and ecumenism. Special attention will be paid to the modern missions movement that has seen the planting of Christianity around the globe and what this has meant for the Church in America as well as abroad.
Church History IV3.0 credits
This course is a survey of the theology, practice and life of the Lutheran churches in America from their 17th-century beginnings to the present time. The LCMS receives special emphasis. It introduces the student to the careers and influence of American Lutheran leaders including Henry Muhlenberg, Samuel Schmucker, Charles Porterfield Krauth, C. F. W. Walther and Franz Pieper; traces the institutional and liturgical development of American Lutheranism; and provides an opportunity to investigate and assess the various theologies represented and promulgated by the Lutheran churches of America.
Systematic Theology (12 credits)
Lutheran Confessions I3.0 credits
The first in a three-course sequence is a study of the Book of Concord, which will examine the Augsburg Confession and its Apology. Emphasis will be on the basic teachings and issues which define the theology of the Lutheran Church in its historic context.
Lutheran Confessions II3.0 credits
Second course in the study of the Book of Concord, which will focus on the Small and Large Catechisms, the Smalcald Articles and the Treatise. This course will show the connection between the Confessions and catechesis, providing an appreciation of Luthers contribution to the Book of Concord.
Prerequisite: Lutheran Confessions I.
Lutheran Confessions III3.0 credits
The last course in the study of the Book of Concord, which will be devoted to the Formula of Concord. It will emphasize the rich heritage of mature Lutheran theology in its historical context and its application to our contemporary world.
Prerequisites: Lutheran Confessions I, Lutheran Confessions II.
Theology of Mercy and Diakonal Care3.0 credits
This course engages students in the systematic study of the biblical and theological foundations of God as mercy with particular emphasis of the embodiment of that mercy in the person of the Son, Christ Jesus. From the consideration of Christ’s mercy as bestowed through the life of the church, and its distinctive expression through the care of the deaconess toward the needy and the suffering, the student will develop connections between the theoretical and the practical.
Theology of Mercy and Diakonal Care II3.0 credits
This seminar will focus on incarnational mercy. e Church, like Christ Himself, has a ministry to people in need, body and soul. Students will receive instruction in research principles and will then select a research topic on theology for mercy in e Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod today. They will conduct a major research project on this topic, focusing on the biblical principles of mercy and incorporating theological knowledge acquired from their academic study. Their research will culminate in a presentation and report.
Theologia: The Means of Grace3.0 credits
This course focuses on the Word, Baptism and the Lord’s Supper as the theological acts through which the life of the church is constituted and sustained. Using the Scriptures, historic baptismal and eucharistic liturgies, baptismal catechesis and dogmatic elaboration, this course considers the way in which Christian identity is shaped through the concrete life of the church. Thus, this course seeks to create an appreciation for the integration of all the theological disciplines—exegetical, historical, systematic and practical—in the ecclesial activities of hearing the Word, undergoing Baptism and participating in the Lord’s Supper.
Practical Ministry and Mission (18 credits)
Liturgics I3.0 credits
An introduction to the theology and practice of Lutheran liturgy. This course will acquaint the student with the biblical and confessional foundations of the Lutheran liturgy, the structure and components of the Divine Service and the daily office, and provide him with opportunity to develop skills as a servant of the liturgy.
Confess Christ in Today's Wrld3.0 credits
This course is a basic introduction to missions. It will lay out biblical and theological principles for pursuing the task of bringing the Gospel to the world in varying contexts. Special emphasis will be given to emerging mission challenges and opportunities for parishes and their pastors.
This course will examine the biblical and confessional foundations for catechesis in the Lutheran congregation and seek to assist students in acquiring skills and developing practices that are consistent with these foundations. Special attention will be given to the content and pattern of catechesis reflected in the catechism of Martin Luther.
This course will be delivered as an online course for M.A. in Deaconess Studies students and will be noted as PMMD 233 on the students transcripts.
Diakonal Counseling3.0 credits
The course considers the practice of biblical counsel as diakonal care as students reflect on the application of biblical wisdom by the deaconess to the faith and life of God’s people. An overview of the history and theories of secular and Christian counseling will be explored, as well as practical and ethical guidelines for care within a biblical and confessional framework. Helping and listening skills will be introduced and practiced, patterns of interpersonal dynamics identified and mercy topics of special concern to women, youth and children addressed.
Theological Ethics3.0 credits
Theological ethics, understood from a distinctly Lutheran perspective, are contrasted with contemporary pluralistic approaches to ethics. The place of ethics is defined in relation to the doctrine of justification within a trinitarian framework. Key Lutheran themes such as the Law/Gospel distinction, two governments in relation to creation and redemption and vocation are put in conversation with current issues, especially those related to sexuality, marriage, beginning of life and end of life.
Ministry to the Sick & Dying3.0 credits
Creative ways are sought to minister to the sick and shut-in members of a congregation. Age differences and illness differences are examined in some detail. The use of Law and Gospel in the sickroom under differing circumstances form the core consideration for discussion. Establishing a theological basis and drawing upon various sources develop an understanding of the dynamics of the dying and bereavement process. Diakonal application will be stressed as well as support groups and agencies (i.e., hospice) available to assist the deaconess in her ministry to the dying and bereaved.
This course will be delivered as an online course for M.A. in Deaconess Studies students and will be noted as PMMPD 568 on the students transcripts.
Enrollment limited to M.A. in Deaconess Studies students.
Deaconess Courses (12 credits)
Deaconess Field Education I0.0 credits
Deaconess students will engage in field education concurrent with Seminary studies. Each student will be placed in a local congregation under the supervision of the pastor. This will become the students home congregation during her time at the Seminary. During the first year, students will get to know the congregations members and needs, while also conducting fieldwork activities in an institutional setting, such as jail ministry, rehabilitation programs, hospice, elder care, work with immigrant populations, work with Christian youth centers. Verbatim assignments and discussion will be completed and shared during the Field Education hour.
Enrollment limited to Deaconess Certification students.
Deaconess Field Education II0.0 credits
Deaconess students will continue to engage in field education during their second year of Seminary studies. The supervising pastor will assign fieldwork activities based on congregational need. Typical deaconess congregational field work may include shut-in home visits and/or hospital visits, womens Bible studies and teaching children and/or youth. Verbatim assignments and discussion will be completed and shared during the Field Education hour.
Enrollment limited to Deaconess Certification students.
Deaconess Internship3.0 credits
See description of the internship program on page 50 or page 55.
Enrollment limited to Deaconess Certification and M.A. in Deaconess Studies students.
Deaconess Formation Forum3.0 credits
The Deaconess Forum will be taken by M.A. in Deaconess Studies students after they have completed successfully all other academic requirements for their degree. The Forum will focus on helping the students to reflect on their formation as deaconesses and on assisting them to integrate the role of Deaconess into their existing jobs. It will include student-led case studies and other exercises toward evaluating individual strengths and weaknesses. Students will develop an ongoing plan for addressing their weaknesses and capitalizing on their strengths in order to improve the effectiveness of their service.