THEO Course Descriptions

Table of Contents

THEO 100 Bible Survey

3 hours

This course provides an overview of the history, literature, and themes of the Christian Bible. The 6-credit-hour sequence of THEO 101-102 is a requirement of all undergraduate students at George Fox University, including transfer students, and serves as a prerequisite to further coursework. However, if students are unable to take THEO 101-102, they may substitute THEO 100 in addition to THEO 300 (3 credit hours) to fulfill the same requirement.

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THEO 101 The Bible

3 hours

When reading the Bible, you may wonder how an ancient book connects to our lives today. This course will take the time to explore the various types of writings found in the Bible and explain how those old writings have a lot to say about contemporary society. This course will provide students with the opportunity to engage Scripture and see how it impacts their lives today. An additional course fee maybe applied.

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THEO 102 Christianity

3 hours

This course utilizes the flow of Christian history to explore both the development of Christian doctrine and the context of the spiritual journeys of Christians from around the world. By tracing the history and theological development of Christianity, it reveals the foundations of the Christian faith. In doing so, it gives students both a broader perspective of the whole Christian movement over two thousand years, and helps them understand their own personal faith tradition.

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THEO 130 Christian Discipling and Leadership

3 hours

A study of biblical principles of evangelism, nurturing, and teaching. This study encompasses the Christian educational responsibilities of the local church and parachurch agencies.

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THEO 201 Old Testament

3 hours

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.

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THEO 202 Theology I

3 hours

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.

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THEO 215 Bible and Theology

3 hours

In this course students will be introduced to basic tools and scholarly attitudes for studying the Bible and theology, using a particular biblical book, theme, or theological topic as a focus. Material will be studied not only for academic knowledge but also spiritual and personal growth. Specific topics rotate, and the course can be taken more than once with different topics. Prerequisites include any one of the following: THEO 101 The Bible; THEO 100 Bible Survey; THEO 201 Old Testament or THEO 301 New Testament.

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THEO 250 Introduction to Philosophy

3 hours

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".

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THEO 275 Field Experience

1-4 hours

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.

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THEO 285 Selected Topics

1-3 hours

Occasional special courses chosen to fit the interests and needs of students and faculty.

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THEO 295 Individualized Study

1-3 hours

Individualized study or supervised research in an area of special interest to the student which is outside the regular offerings of the major. Additional course fee (per credit) is required.

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THEO 300 History and Theology of Christianity

3 hours

This course introduces students to the Christian faith and to the diverse experiences of Christians within the world context. The course will proceed along the levels of history (where and when did Christianity flourish) and theology (what have Christians believed), as well as society and culture (what has Christian practice looked like). Prerequisite include any one of the following: THEO 100 Bible Survey; THEO 101 The Bible; THEO 201 Old Testament; THEO 301 New Testament.

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THEO 301 New Testament

3 hours

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.

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THEO 302 Theology II

3 hours

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

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THEO 310 Introduction to the World Christian Movement

3 hours

The biblical basis and history of missions are considered, with a special focus upon the modern missionary movement of the last 200 years.

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THEO 315 Advanced Bible & Theology

3 hours

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.

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THEO 325 Theological Languages I

4 hours

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.

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THEO 340 World Christianity

3 hours

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.

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THEO 341 Cross-Cultural Christian Outreach

3 hours

Cross-cultural communication in Christian ministry, focusing on the concepts of identification, mutuality, the process of cultural change from a biblical perspective, and strategies for cross-cultural outreach.

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THEO 350 Logic

3 hours

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.

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THEO 360 Dynamics of Christian Education

3 hours

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.

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THEO 363 Youth Ministry: Theology and Philosophy of Ministry

3 hours

A study of motivation, guidance, and method in reference to youth and youth ministries, aimed at developing leadership skills.

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THEO 364 Youth Ministry: Culture and Practice

3 hours

A study of some of the major trends and issues confronting and shaping young people in American culture today. A premium is placed upon developing the tools to interact with these realities as Christians in ministry and to recognize ways in which youth culture both hinders and fosters opportunities for ministry to young people.

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THEO 370 Spiritual Formation

3 hours

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.

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THEO 380 Ethics

3 hours

What are we here for? How should we live? What does a good life look like today? Answering those questions begins with the commandments to love God and neighbor, and this class aims to help students properly order their loves in light of contemporary challenges and vocational goals. The class equips students to reason well about ethics and to think critically about a variety of ethical systems and positions.

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THEO 390 Biblical Interpretation

3 hours

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.

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THEO 391 Theological Praxis I: Foundation of Self

3 hours

An exploration of an individual's call to ministry and a study of present praxis in Christian ministry, with emphasis on spiritual formation and community building. This is the first of four semesters. Additional course fee is required. Requires department approval. Prerequisite: Sophomore standing or above.

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THEO 392 Theological Praxis II: Christian Community

3 hours

A study of the faith life of the Christian community, expressed through Scripture, traditions, theology and church history, as it relates to Christian theological praxis. This is the second of four semesters. Additional course fee is required. Prerequisite: THEO 391 Theological Praxis I: Foundations of Self.

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THEO 400 Speaking as Ministry

3 hours

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.

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THEO 410 World Religions

3 hours

A comparative study between Christianity and other prominent religions of the world, such as Buddhism, Islam, Hinduism, and contemporary kinds of alternative religion.

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THEO 415 Advanced Bible and Theology

1-3 hours

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.

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THEO 425 Theological Languages II

4 hours

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.

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THEO 430 Spirituality and the Intellectual Life

3 hours

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.

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THEO 435 Advanced Philosophy and Theology

3 hours

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.

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THEO 445 Continuing Language Studies

1-4 hours

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.

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THEO 455 Advanced Christian Ministries

3 hours

This advanced course will focus on contemporary issues relevant to the research interests and specialties of George Fox University faculty in Christian Ministries 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. Prerequisites: THEO 101 The Bible and THEO 102 Christianity, or by instructor permission.

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THEO 460 Issues in Contemporary Missions

3 hours

Selected movements, trends, and leaders of contemporary Christian missions are studied. Lectures, readings, and learning activities are chosen to provide tools and methods for continuing education in missiology.

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THEO 475 Field Experience

2-4 hours

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

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THEO 485 Selected Topics

1-3 hours

Occasional special courses chosen to fit the interests and needs of students and faculty.

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THEO 490 Theology Seminar

3 hours

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.

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THEO 491 Theological Praxis III: Study of Theology

3 hours

A study of various historical and multicultural theological approaches to God and ministry, with an emphasis on the role of context and community in applying theology in different vocational settings. This is the third of four semesters. Additional course fee is required. Prerequisite: THEO 392 Theological Praxis II: Christian Community.

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THEO 492 Theological Praxis IV: Critical Issues

3 hours

A co-constructed approach to the application of practical theology to contemporary theological issues within the Christian community. Pulling together the themes in THEO 391, 392, and 491, students in the course will work with the instructor to select topics for exploration together. This is the fourth of four semesters. Additional course fee required. Prerequisite: THEO 491 Theological Praxis III: Study of Theology.

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THEO 495 Individualized Study

1-3 hours

Individualized study or supervised research in an area of special interest to the student which is outside the regular offerings of the major. Additional course fee (per credit) is required.

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