Bachelors (BA) in Theology

Overview

The theology major with concentrations in biblical studies, ministry, and philosophy offers a 38–40 semester-hour course of study designed to provide students a good foundation for church ministries, work with youth and parachurch organizations, teaching in Christian school settings, law school, and further graduate work. The student who majors in Theology will acquire an in-depth working knowledge of Scripture, theological tradition, and methods of Christian interpretation, and the philosophy concentration offers features similar to other classic liberal arts majors. Students in all three concentrations develop skills in critical thinking and clear communication, preparing them for careers in business and industry. Students are required to obtain a minimum grade of C- in all courses taken for the major.

Program Objectives

Graduates with a BA in theology will:

  • Demonstrate basic skills in the language and research method of their chosen
    concentration (e.g., biblical languages for Theology & Biblical Studies, basic ministry
    techniques and tools for Theology & Christian Ministries, and core skills in logic and
    introduction to philosophy for Theology & Philosophy)
  • Explain the historical-social circumstances of the books within both the Hebrew
    Bible/Old Testament and the Christian New Testament, as well as the basic theological
    trajectory of Christian thought throughout the ages after the biblical period
  • Create a scholarly argument that incorporates a theological, historical, philosophical,
    and/or spiritual perspective
  • Articulate basic content knowledge of the Christian Bible and the Christian theological
    tradition, and explain how theological concepts, theories and skills interact with the
    content of disciplines outside of their area of concentration
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Major Requirements

Complete the following:

Using selected books and portions, the Old Testament will be studied with attention given to historic contexts, major religious themes, and literary forms of the Bible.
In this first part of a two-part sequence, students begin their journey into the breadth and depth of Christian theology, studying what Christians have believed and practiced. Emphasis is placed on major themes, figures, texts, and on students connecting their Christian practice with the intellectual traditions of the Church.
Using selected books and portions, the New Testament will be studied with attention given to historic contexts, major religious themes, and literary forms of the Bible.
In this second part of a two-part sequence, students continue their journey into the breadth and depth of Christian theology, studying what Christians have believed and practiced. Emphasis is placed on major themes, figures, texts, and on students connecting their Christian practice with the intellectual traditions of the Church. Prerequisite: THEO 202 Theology I

Concentrations (26-28 hours) - choose one

Complete the following:
In this course students will study languages relevant to their biblical and theological study (options include ancient languages such as Hebrew, Greek, Latin, or inscriptions, as well as modern languages such as German, French, Spanish, etc.). Basics of vocabulary and grammar and special aspects of the language will be covered in the first semester, while the second semester moves more heavily into reading primary sources.
Ethics consists of an analysis of the ethical theories and systems by which persons make judgments and choices, with special attention to contemporary moral issues and the modern revival of virtue theory.
In this course students will study the history of Biblical interpretation as it has been practiced within the Bible itself and by Christians throughout the first 1500 or so years of the Church. We then turn to examine interpretation in the modern, “critical” period after the Enlightenment, and explore the wide variety of interpretive methods that have blossomed in the 20th and 21st centuries. Students will also engage in a process toward considering what faithful and creative interpretation of the Bible might look like in their personal study and in their various communities. Prerequisites: THEO 201 Old Testament and THEO 202 Theology I; or instructor permission.
In this course students will study languages relevant to their biblical and theological study (options include ancient languages such as Hebrew, Greek, Latin, or inscriptions, as well as modern languages such as German, French, Spanish, etc.). Basics of vocabulary and grammar and special aspects of the language will be covered in the first semester, while the second semester moves more heavily into reading primary sources. Prerequisite: THEO 325 Theological Languages I.
Having gained reasonable command of biblical content and the Christian theological tradition, in this course students are invited into advanced academic study at the intersection of theology and biblical studies. Topics will vary, but will include readings, seminar discussion, and research on the relationship between the Bible and theology, contemporary problems in theology and biblical studies, and the relationship among these fields of study and the contemporary world. Prerequisites: THEO 301 New Testament, THEO 302 Theology II, and THEO 390 Biblical Interpretations.
Complete 9 hours from the following:
Theology and Biblical Studies are vibrant and dynamic fields of study, with profound implications not only for communities of faith but also for the study of politics, literary studies, philosophy, history, and popular culture. This course will focus on contemporary issues relevant to the research interests and specialties of George Fox University faculty in theology and Bible and will offer an opportunity for students and faculty to collaborate in the dual process of research and personal transformation. Specific topics rotate, and the course can be taken more than once with different topics. Prerequisite: THEO 101 I Believe and THEO 102 I Believe, or by permission.
Theology and Biblical Studies are vibrant and dynamic fields of study, with profound implications not only for communities of faith but also for the study of politics, literary studies, philosophy, history, and popular culture. This advanced course will focus on contemporary issues relevant to the research interests and specialties of George Fox University faculty in theology and Bible and will offer an opportunity for students and faculty to collaborate in the dual process of research and personal transformation. Specific topics rotate, and the course can be taken more than once with different topics. Prerequisite: THEO 301 New Testament and THEO 302 Theology II, or by instructor permission.
In this course students will continue their language study from the THEO 325-425 sequence, reviewing grammar and vocabulary as necessary but moving into primary source readings, research papers requiring use of the language, and other skills as appropriate. Prerequisites: THEO 325 Theological Languages I and THEO 425 Theological Languages II.
Supervised internship or other experience in the areas of Christian ministry, biblical studies, philosophy, teaching, or other related fields as appropriate to the student’s discipline. Administered by application or instructor permission as required by a student’s academic program. Graded Pass/No Pass
Complete the following:
A study of biblical principles of evangelism, nurturing, and teaching. This study encompasses the Christian educational responsibilities of the local church and parachurch agencies.
The biblical basis and history of missions are considered, with a special focus upon the modern missionary movement of the last 200 years.
This course examines the diversity of the global Christian Church through an exploration of key theological texts written by the foremost theologians from the continents of Africa, Asia, Latin America, and Europe.
A study of the historical background and philosophical development in Christian education, with an examination of the influence of these antecedents upon theory and practice. Contemporary trends in current and emerging ministries will be assessed against such perspectives.
A study of motivation, guidance, and method in reference to youth and youth ministries, aimed at developing leadership skills.
An exploration of how people grow and change spiritually. The study integrates biblical insights, classic Christian spirituality, developmental theory, and contemporary individual and corporate practice in spiritual formation. It will critically explore how spirituality relates to vocation, relationships, and the demands of daily living.
A practical course providing methods and introductory techniques for preparation and delivery of Christian speaking as ministry. A variety of message construction types will be studied, and students will have opportunity to speak and receive student and instructor evaluation. This course will cover sermon preparation and delivery, devotional and inspirational speaking, extemporaneous sharing, and broader aspects of communicating Christian truth.
A comparative study between Christianity and other prominent religions of the world, such as Buddhism, Islam, Hinduism, and contemporary kinds of alternative religion. [THEO 410 and INTL 440 are identical courses].
Supervised internship or other experience in the areas of Christian ministry, biblical studies, philosophy, teaching, or other related fields as appropriate to the student’s discipline. Administered by application or instructor permission as required by a student’s academic program. Graded Pass/No Pass
Complete the following:
This course is designed to introduce students to what it means to think and live philosophically. There are a number of different variations of this course. Each variation picks a different topic through which to explore how philosophy be a tool for interpreting, understanding and interacting with the world. Not only that, we will also examine how philosophy can shape the way in which we live out our lives. Each course includes some reading of Plato and at least one other major philosophy in the tradition. Examples of different variations of this course include: "God, Freedom and Evil", "Simplicity", "Socrates and Plato", "Land and Humans", and "Virtue and Faith".
Logic involves a study of Aristotelian forms of deductive reasoning, including the syllogism, inductive reasoning, fallacies, and some aspect of symbolic logic, including Venn diagrams and truth tables. Its goal is to facilitate sound thinking that is both creative and critical.
Ethics consists of an analysis of the ethical theories and systems by which persons make judgments and choices, with special attention to contemporary moral issues and the modern revival of virtue theory.
This course seeks to overcome the opposition between spirituality and the intellectual life. We will examine ways in which spirituality can deepen and undergird the intellectual life, as well as finding ways that a reflective, deep thinking life can nurture and strengthen one's spirituality. We will not only examine these relationships abstractly, but will attempt to put into practice patterns of integrating mind and spirit.
Having gained reasonable command of biblical content and the Christian theological tradition, in this course students are invited into advanced academic study at the intersection of theology and biblical studies. Topics will vary, but will include readings, seminar discussion, and research on the relationship between the Bible and theology, contemporary problems in theology and biblical studies, and the relationship among these fields of study and the contemporary world. Prerequisites: THEO 301 New Testament, THEO 302 Theology II, and THEO 390 Biblical Interpretations.
Complete 12-hour of the following course with different topics:
This course will be offered with various topics.
Theology and Philosophy are vibrant and dynamic fields of study, with profound implications not only for communities of faith but also for the study of politics, literary studies, philosophy, history, and popular culture. This advanced course will focus on contemporary issues relevant to the research interests and specialties of George Fox University faculty in theology and philosophy and will offer an opportunity for students and faculty to collaborate in the dual process of research and personal transformation. Specific topics rotate, and the course can be taken more than once with different topics. Prerequisite: THEO 202 Theology I, THEO 250 Introduction to Philosophy or THEO 302 Theology II.