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Block Courses

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Bell Playing Classroom

Block classes are offered once a week in a single three-hour session,
typically in afternoons or evenings.


Preaching and Public Discourse, M 125, Dawn Ottoni-Wilhelm

This course provides an introduction to the art and craft of preaching as it attends to the religious and public witness of Christian faith in the context of worship. We will explore the exegesis of Scripture, community contexts of church and society, and public theology as well as ethical and aesthetic dimensions of preaching. Through reading, lectures, and classroom discussions, and the preparation, presentation and evaluation of sermons, students will learn to engage the gospel in a ministry of preaching for the church and the world. 3 semester hours.

Christian Ethics, TS 336, Lonnie Valentine

An examination of the Christian moral life and the theological convictions that animate it, including its understanding of the good, of conscience, the nature of humanity, and the faith community’s public witness. These proposals are considered in conversation with selected issues requiring careful and responsible Christian engagement: for example, war and peace, the environment, and genetic engineering. Prerequisite: T/TS 101. 3 semester hours.

Intro to New Testament, B 102, Dan Ulrich

This course offers a survey of the 27 writings that compose the New Testament canon.  We will study each of these writings with attention to their literary form and content, their origins in the life of early Christian communities, and their meanings for readers today. 3 semester hours.

Anger, Shame, and Guilt, PC 358, Jim Higginbotham

This class is a holistic investigation of three of the most powerful and misunderstood human experiences.  The psychological and sociological dynamics as well as theological and Biblical perspectives of these feelings will be explored. The class will also examine ministerial and other practical implications – both “positive” and “negative” – including assertiveness, scapegoating, and forgiveness. 3 semester hours.

Narrative Theology, P 313, Scott Holland

Recent decades have witnessed and welcomed a "narrative turn" in theology, hermeneutics, homiletics, biblical studies, and peace studies. This course will bring a variety of narrative theologies into constructive conversation with literary critical models of narrative theory as we study the form and function of story-shaped approaches to naming ourselves and rendering God’s name in history. Special attention will be given to how story might serve the task of seeking cultures of peace as we apply our narrative studies to autobiography (William Stafford’s Down in My Heart) and fiction (Pat Barker’s Regeneration). Students may earn theology credit by devoting their final project to a topic in narrative theology and hermeneutics or they may earn Peace Studies credit by researching and writing on the theme of story and peace-building. Prerequisite: P 126 or T/TS 101. 3 semester hours.

Young Adulthood in Developmental and Theological Perspectives, M 233, Russell Haitch

This course probes issues of young adulthood, especially those of vocation and intimacy. Human science concepts will be put into conversation with biblical and theological ones, with a view toward understanding "spiritual maturity" and improving ministerial judgment. Case histories may be drawn from literature as well as experience. 3 semester hours.

Preaching the Gospels, M 328, Dawn Ottoni-Wilhelm

What is the gospel we preach and how does it relate to the biblical witness of Jesus Christ and the Spirit's presence among us? This upper-level course in preaching will develop a practical theology of preaching that arises out of our encounter with the synoptic Gospels and their relationship to the dynamic movement of the gospel in the church and the world today. With attention given to difficult passages of Scripture and difficult challenges facing our culture and congregations, we will explore the good news revealed in Jesus' own preaching and the horizon of hope it offers us today. Students will preach at least two sermons and prepare a paper outlining their own theology of preaching as it is informed by reading, lectures and class discussions. Prerequisite: M 120 /125 or PM 101 or B102. 3 semester hours.

Topics in Practical Theology, M 300, Russel Haitch

Students do interdisciplinary work by integrating learning from theology and the human sciences. From year to year, topics could include: forgiveness and reconciliation; the roots of violence; understandings of marriage and family; prayer and healing; and the relationship between gospel and culture. Attention will be given to the way that these topics relate to the practice of ministry, especially education and/or work with youth and young adults. The topic for the current year will be an interdisciplinary study of childhood. Readings will be drawn from the fields of biblical studies, history, psychology and theological anthropology. Prerequisite: T/TS 101. 3 semester hours



*Please note that specific course time scheduling does not take place more than a year ahead,
so it is not yet certain which traditional courses may be scheduled as block courses. 
Therefore, please see the Traditional Courses page for information on
potential Block Courses for any dates past what is listed above!


Course listings are subject to change.  Please be sure to check the Registrar's current course schedule
on the Seminary Academic Services website for possible additional courses or corrections.

Staci Williams
(Master of Divinity Connections)

"Determined to make it happen"

My call came to me as I was sitting at a spiritual retreat talking about women in ministry. Suddenly I just had this overwhelming feeling that I knew I was supposed to be one of those women. That event started me on a journey that has been remarkable, wonderful, challenging, and sometimes scary. But one certainty has been clear since the beginning: Bethany Theological Seminary was going to be a part of that journey. It took me six years to finish my undergraduate degree, and then I took a year to rest, but I finally made it here!