STM courses are designed for students enrolled in advanced level degree programs (STM, ThM, DMin, or PhD). Students enrolled in first-level masters degree programs may register for STM courses with the permission of the instructor. Pastors may audit STM courses with the permission of the instructor.
To register as a student or as an auditor, please use the Registration form or the Auditor form found on the Registrar's page. Registration forms are generally available late March (for summer and fall terms) and late October (for Jan and spring terms).
STM courses are scheduled to be offered as follows (updated August 2012):
FALL SEMESTER 2012
6.209 Reformation Studies: New Methods and Hermeneutics
This course enters the international world of Reformation and Luther studies. The newest of sources and approaches are explored, as well as selected classics are perused, to facilitate cutting-edge study and interpretation of the reformers and their theologies, Renaissance/Reformation history and materials, and other pertinent themes, such as gender and women in the early modern world. Special attention will be given to the present direction of Luther studies and the global discussions around Finnish Luther research, with its ramifications in the areas of spirituality and ecumenical work. The course is recommended for all students in the STM program and particularly those considering further work in history or theology. (Interested qualified students may be invited to the annual conference of the Sixteenth Century Society.)
JANUARY TERM 2013
6.109 Law in the Ancient Near Eastern
The laws and codes for a range of human conduct set down in Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy resonate the rights and obligations of citizens of neighboring societies such as the Sumerians, Babylonians, Assyrians, Hittites, Egyptians, and the people of Ugarit. Selected readings of primary and some secondary texts (in English). The thrust of the course is to discover to what extent Hebrew laws parallel regulations in other cultures and how and why they have been adapted to a unique, monotheistic culture.
SPRING SEMESTER 2013
6.110 The Book of Acts, the Early Church, and the Church Today
The book of Acts provides a remarkable picture of the issues the early Church faced as it grew in its understanding of Jesus Christ and in its self-understanding as a community engaged in the mission of declaring and living the Gospel. This survey course of Acts will provide both an opportunity to discover the history of the early Church and to reflect on how it might inform our understanding of the Church today.
Mark Vitalis Hoffman
SUMMER TERM 2013
6.210 Sin & the Human Condition: The Seven Deadly Sins
Using the seven deadly sins as a basic structure, this course surveys a variety of ways in which the concept of human sinfulness has been articulated in the course of Christian history. Students will reflect critically on how the different doctrines of sin have influenced our understanding of both the person and work of Jesus Christ, as well as the relationships between God, humanity and creation.
Kristin Johnston Largen
6.313 Preaching Elective TBA
6.306 The Church Year in the Presence of Christ
All too often, the observance of the church year tries to function as a time machine, taking us back to “when Christ was alive.” While often a powerful teaching tool, this effort is in conflict not only with the Resurrection, but also against the fundamental evangelical tenet that God always comes to us, when and where we are. This course will not only serve as a survey of the history and practice of the Church Year, but will investigate that practice through a concentration on the abiding presence of the Crucified and Resurrected Christ in and through his disciples.
FALL TERM 2013
6.111 Documents from Qumran & Nag Hammadi
The mid-20th century witnessed the near simultaneous discovery of two collections of ancient texts that profoundly altered scholarly understanding of late Second Temple Judaism and the development of early Christianity. This course will orient students to the contents of the Dead Sea Scrolls and the Nag Hammadi Library through close readings of selected texts.
Briant Bohleke/Brooks Schramm
SPRING TERM 2014
6.315 Pastoral Formation and the Gettysburg Experience
In this course, we shall investigate the theological significance of the borough and battlefield of Gettysburg for pastoral formation and for ministry to the church and world. In doing so, we shall develop a practical theology about Gettysburg for faithful understandings about and pastoral responses to war and peace, church and state, slavery and freedom, suffering and consolation for suffering. Particular topics will include: “Formation at the Crossroads of History and Hope: Pastoral Identity and Mission on a Seminary Battlefield,” “Sacred Ground/Cash Cow: A Theology of Gettysburg Economics,” “God and Nation: Varieties of Religious Experience in Gettysburg,” “The Icon and Iconic Significance of Old Dorm: A Structure for Ministry to the World.” We shall make visits to the Seminary Ridge Museum, to the NPS Gettysburg Visitor Center and to other interesting sites throughout the borough and the battlefield.
SUMMER TERM 2014
6.112 The Gospel of Mark
Neglected through much of Church history, the Gospel of Mark is now recognized as a true work of literature that functions narratively to proclaim the "good news of Jesus, God's Son." While attending to its narrative features, this course will be attuned to how this Gospel is experienced by a variety of readers/hearers in various social locations, in order that students in the class may both appreciate the subtle power of this gospel and themselves become more effective proclaimers of this good news.
Mark Vitalis Hoffman
6.212 The Doctrine of Creation: Science, Beauty, and Faith
This course examines a Christian doctrine of creation from a variety of 20th/21st century theological lenses, including eco-theology, process theology, theology and science, and theological aesthetics. Through reading and reflection, students will explore Christian concepts of justice, beauty and truth, gaining insight into what Christian reflection has to offer contemporary discussions of pressing planetary issues.
Kristin Johnston Largen
FALL TERM 2014
6.316 The Story of Faith and Money in American Protestantism
This course is a biblical/historical study of the connection between faith and money in American Protestantism, and its impact on views toward money, possessions, and giving today. The United States is a money economy where peoples’ deepest obsession seems to be with money (or its manifestation as power, prestige and security). Money seems to be the ultimate value against which many Americans measure everything else. The methodology of this course will be to study primary historical documents, examining the ongoing struggle between faith and money from John Wesley’s writings to documents in social media from the first decade of the 21st century. The purpose is to help students move to a deeper understanding of how we got where we are, and make suggestions for where we might go as a church in the future.
JANUARY TERM 2015
6.104 Biblical Facts and Artifacts
A seminar to explore archaeological material from the ancient Near East as a means of informing the interpretation of biblical texts for preaching and teaching. Students will study and report on excavated artifacts and relevant biblical material.
6.213 Global Christologies: The Beautiful Faces of Christ
In this course we will examine a variety of ways in which both the person and the work of Jesus Christ have been interpreted in different geographical and cultural contexts. As we look at how the various pictures of Christ have been constructed, we will focus on the need for fidelity not only to Scripture and the tradition, but also to the lived reality in which a specific Christian community exists.
Kristin Johnston Largen
SPRING TERM 2015
This course uses the traditional theological locus of ecclesiology to explore what it means to be church in the 21st century world. We will explore traditional theological marks of the church by examining how they function both in the current ecumenical context of the United States, as well as the broader global Christian context.
Maria Erling/Kristin Johnston Largen
SUMMER TERM 2015
6.310 Environmental History of Christianity
Landscapes and nature have been a part of the history of Christianity, but many written accounts emphasized “great men,” and treated theology as if it did not arise from daily living in local places. Today, creation receives special attention among theologians and biblical scholars, and ecological spirituality emerges in the contemplative arts. Environmental History is an establish method among secular historians, and Ecocriticism shapes studies of literature. This course will re-read the history of Christianity using the methods of Environmental History and Ecocriticism, and survey the history of ecological spirituality from ancient to modern Christianity.
6.113 The Gospel of John
An insightful New Testament scholar once described John as the “maverick gospel” because it was so different from the synoptic gospels in so many ways. While this course will note some of the components that make John distinctive, the heart of this class will involve following the theological plot of John from its poetic prologue to its summative postlude. Intentional attention will be paid to the ways John’s gospel intended to engage and critique the late first century imperial world as well as the ways John still engages and critiques our twenty-first world and at the same time seeks to empower our call to discipleship. Finally in appreciation of John’s delight in polyvalence, we will consider daily cinematic presentations of themes related to John.