This seminar will subsist in the close reading of primary texts of St. Thomas Aquinas, especially but not exclusively from his great Summa of theology. Rhetorical, pedagogical, and literary strategies, historical and doctrinal considerations, and constructive ends will all come in for attention, as we piece together something of Thomas's total accomplishment as a landmark in the history of Christian thought. Special consideration will be given to Aquinas as a "spiritual master" and a scriptural theologian. A high level of student preparation for each class period will be essential. Short, exegetical papers, one longer argumentative essay, and attendance in class will determine final grades.
Dr. Christopher Wells, PhD; executive director of the Living Church Foundation and editor of The Living Church
Spirituality and Spiritual Direction are popular topics in 21st century American religious life—many people seek to explore them, but few people understand what these words mean or the traditions behind them. The course will be divided into two parts: the history and theology of Anglican spiritual guidance, and the methods and tools necessary to begin the practice of spiritual direction.
This course will include Biblical and theological foundations for Christian spirituality, a brief historical sketch of spiritual guidance in the Anglican tradition, a review of major authors relevant to the practice of direction, the nature of the direction relationship, the difference between direction and pastoral counseling, psychological issues pertinent to direction, how to listen and how to question, and finally how to exercise spiritual integrity in one’s personal and group relationships.
The Rev. Arnold Klukas, PhD, Professor of Liturgics and Ascetical Theology
The Rev. Nancy Eggert, retired Lutheran Pastor (ELCA); Doctorate in Public Administration (DPA); STM, Nashotah House.
In this course, we will explore the canonical role the Old Testament has played in the church since its inception. Special attention will be given to its material form as Law, Prophets and Writings and the hermeneutical significance of its canonical shape. From this grappling with the Old Testament’s own self-witness, we will turn to its history of reception. The aim of this historical overview is to identify the interpretive “family resemblance” within the broad stream of the Christian hermeneutical tradition. What are the interpretive instincts inherited from the church’s interpretive tradition? What does it mean to read the Old Testament in the context of the rule of faith? Pursuant to the preceding claim, is Yahweh triune and what material significance does this play in our reading strategies? The course will combine lecture with seminar as we work together toward a better understanding and appreciation for the first part of our Christian canon.
Dr. Mark Gignilliat; Associate Professor of Divinity, Old Testament, Beeson Divinity School
This course will examine the ministry of Christian healing in a parish setting. We will cover Biblical and church historical documents to ensure we're approaching healing from an orthodox and mature perspective. We will look at the various kinds of Healing Services that exist with a view to discerning which of these might be right for each course participant's parish. Finally, we will discuss the various issues that arise in introducing or enhancing an existing healing ministry, including responding to parishioners' objections to a healing ministry; the selecting, training and deploying a lay healing team; the understanding and use of the various "gifts of the Spirit" as they relate to a church-based healing ministry; and the integrating of a healing ministry into the general life of the parish.
The Rev. Canon Mark Pearson
This course will equip students for research by giving an overview of the process and skills necessary for the Doctorate of Ministry. It will cover each aspect of research presented in the program. Students will be trained in ethnography to help them investigate a specific ministry context. Secondly, they will be instructed in methodology to help them clarify their perspective on research and select methods appropriate for their context. Thirdly, the course will equip them with tools for in-depth theological reflection on ministry in their context in order to cultivate more faithful ministry practices in the Church. This module is recommended for those in the second year of the program. It is required for all DMin students (starting in 2012) and is open to any others interested in honing research skills.
The Rev. Jack Gabig PhD, Associate Professor of Practical Theology, Nashotah House
The Rev. David Jones, ThD
Written on stone, papyrus, or parchment, The Word of the Lord was given to us that it might be brought to life though the human voice in the midst of the gathered Eucharistic assembly. All of liturgy, including preaching, is sacramental, for it done to and for the glory of God. This course will present the grammar and structure of the major homiletic theories of the 20th and early 21st centuries, evaluate how each one works to enhance the reception of the fullness of Christ's life as he comes to us in the Holy Eucharist, and help students to develop a liturgical hermeneutic, i.e., a performative doxological eucharistic exegesis of the Holy Word as a basis for their preaching.
The Rev. Dr. Amy C. Schifrin, STS
In what may be called a post-Christian era in the western world and facing up to drastic defections/losses and ageing congregations many church leaders are re-examining catechetical methods used in the early Church. The course will examine catechesis in the early Church, examine implications of American culture pertinent to the task and demonstrate a proven model based on Jesus’ method of making disciples who were called to new life and to share in His ministry.
The Rev. Canon William Blewett, PhD
The Rev. Jack Gabig, PhD, Associate Professor of Practical Theology, Nashotah House
Between roughly 1400 and 1750, Christianity in Europe experienced a reorientation of its liturgical, theological, ecclesiastical, and ascetical life in addition to the dissolution of Latin Christendom. While attention is regularly paid to the reformation of doctrine and church polity, this course will offer a sustained discussion of the development of distinct and rich patterns of prayer and devotion in the Early Modern world. Covering a range of regions and personalities, this course will examine attitudes toward art and the material context of devotion, the role of music and silence, and the increasingly didactic character of public worship during an axial period. Throughout, we will consider the dynamic relationship between Christian thought and Christian practice to better appreciate the ascetical background of many contemporary Christian churches today. A particular concern will be for the English context and early Anglicanism. Research methods and tools will also be discussed as students prepare final papers
The Rev. Calvin Lane, PhD, Affiliate Professor of Church History, Nashotah House
This course is an exploration of the role of preaching and preachers in Anglicanism and its spirituality in particular. It will examinethe formation and content of sermons by exemplary Anglican preachers, e.g. Donne, Andrewes, Pusey. It will also explore thespirituality of preaching, namely its formative impact on both the preacher and the hearer.
The Right Reverend Michael Marshall; a noted author, retired Bishop of Woolwich, former president of the Anglican Institute anddirector of Evangelism at Chicester Theological College.
This course will investigate the history of Anglican attitudes towards monasticism as well as its re-institution, flourishing and decline from the 19th to 21st centuries in the Anglican Communion. The course will examine the monastic ethos of Anglican spirituality and practice (that Anglicanism has been historically monastic even when it did not have monastic orders), especially the influence of monasticism on Anglican liturgical life as well as the liturgical practices of Anglican monastic communities. Mention will be made of Nashotah House's monastic roots and ethos. Finally, the course will consider the place of monastic life in Anglicanism today. (AT)
The Rev. Greg Peters, PhD; Associate Professor of Medieval and Spiritual Theology, Director of Faculty Advancement, Torrey Honors Institute, Biola University
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