This course is a semester long meditation on death and its death, namely resurrection. Topics related to final things -- judgment, death, new creation, and resurrection -- are considered in light of biblical, systematic, liturgical, art-historical, and philosophical resources. Particular emphasis is placed on the role of the Bible and systematic theology in the construction of a Christian theology of death, dying, and resurrection. Emphasis is placed on the material's usefulness to the ministry of the church, including but not limited to the ministry of the sacraments, the preaching of the Gospel, care for the dying and catechesis.
What does it mean to be a public witness to Jesus Christ in a pluralistic, post-secular, consumer society? Using classical and contemporary thinkers in systematic theology, students will think critically about how and in what ways God encounters us in and through our neighbors, calling us to examine our own assumptions about who God is and what God does in law and promise. Centered in Jesus Christ crucified and risen, the course examines how justification/sanctification by faith alone turns us outward from the self through the Holy Spirit to participate in God's work of reconciliation, justice, and peace with our neighbor and for our neighbor. Students develop their identity as Christian leaders and grow in their theological capacity to offer public leadership in a wide range of ministry settings.
This course provides instruction and practice in theologically-based practical reasoning for ministerial contexts, including a comprehensive, coherent presentation of the articles of faith, and cultivating theological imagination in view of communities and neighbors through current questions, challenges to faith, and awareness of diverse contexts. Each class will focus on a particular article of the creed or related Christian doctrines for the practices of ministry. Focus: God the Creator
A study of the confessions of the Lutheran Church as set forth in the Book of Concord. The documents of the reforming movement, viewed in the historical settings, are explicated in the light of their witness to the centrality of the gospel of justification by faith. Consideration is given to the contemporary importance of this witness for the life and mission of the Lutheran Church in a post-secular age. A central question of the course focuses on what it means to confess today in ecumenical engagement, in culturally diverse situations and interfaith contexts, and how that confession is shaped by those contexts.
The office of the keys in doctrine and practice. Historical teaching and modern debates are considered, with the emphasis on current use of repentance and absolution in church and world.