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Doctor of Philosophy Courses
- RTCH700 Renewal Studies and the Academy
- Addresses Renewal Studies methodologies by analyzing a brief history of Renewal Studies within the wider theological academy, identifying major developments across various disciplines as applied to this field, and charting the most vibrant trajectories for future research. Special attention will be paid to how Renewal Studies methodologies are applied to biblical studies, the history of global Christianity, and the trends in historical, systematic, and constructive theological reflection.
- RTCH 703 Advanced Research Methodologies
- Contemporary conventions of advanced academic research and communication. The course introduces newly emerging possibilities for framing inquiries and for gathering, organizing and critically examining data.
- RTCH 774 Research Based Pedagogy
- This is a practical course that applies current research on learning, instructional praxes, and assessment methods to Renewal Studies. The focus of the course is on why and how research-based educational methods might bring about a paradigmatic shift in renewal knowledge. The purpose of the course is to promote professionalism in preparation for positions in research, teaching, and service in higher education.
Concentration Core Courses
- RTCH 701 Renewal Theological Method
- Explores the question of Christian theological method and hermeneutics from the renewal perspective. Emphasizes distinctively renewal approaches to thinking theologically while wrestling with the nature of religious identities (renewal, Christian, and other faiths). Philosophical, ontological, and epistemological assumptions will be considered vis-à-vis the questions of religious identity and theological method.
- RTCH 713 The Theory and Art of Historiography
- A seminar studying the principles and methods of historiography. This course will survey the various historic and contemporary theories of historiography and critically examine them from a Renewal perspective. Particular focus will be given to developing the practical research skills of historical method as well as the process of writing history. The seminar will focus students on specific competencies necessary for completing their dissertations in the area of history and biography.
- RTCH 751 Interpreting Scripture
- This course examines the ways the Bible can be understood and interpreted in a Renewal community of faith, focusing on the hermeneutical challenges of the diversity of the canon, the plurality of interpretative methods and theories in relation to language and text, as well as the perceived nature of contemporary society.
- RTCH 781 Guided Research in Biblical Studies, History, or Theology
- The research of a topic of interest, preferably related to the dissertation. Topics of research must be arranged with the course instructor.
- RTCH 782 Guided Readings in Biblical Studies, History, or Theology
- A review and analysis of select renewal studies literature in preparation for Ph.D. qualifying exams.
The PhD in Renewal Studies is an elective-driven program. Electives offered in the past few years include:
- RTCH 711 Christian History in Pneumatological Perspective 1
- The first of three historical courses on Pentecostal/Charismatic movements dealing with Renewal movements from CE 100 to the Reformation with emphasis upon the person and work of the Holy Spirit in the Church, both Eastern and Western. Broader historical and contextual issues will be considered in depth.
- RTCH 712 Christian History in Pneumatological Perspective 2
- The second historical course which focuses on Renewal movements within the context of Church history since the Reformation to the present, with an emphasis on the person and work of the Holy Spirit in the Church. Broader historical and contextual issues will be considered in depth. Close attention will be given to Holiness antecedents in Britain and the United States, the American social and cultural context in which the Pentecostal movement emerged, the variety of radical evangelical teachings and practices that informed its world view, the formation and development of its main denominations, and its continuing impact on American Christian life. Major attention is given to the post WWII healing and Latter Rain movements and 1950’s neo-Pentecostalism, as well as the independent Charismatic movement and the so-called “third wave” movements. Major personalities, teachings, and contemporary developments will be studied. The broader contextual, sociological, cultural, and historical influences affecting the Renewal movements will be assessed. Particular focus will be given to the current and future importance of the Renewal movements in World Christianity.
- RTCH 715 Systematic Theology
- This course focuses on a pneumatological approach to traditional theological loci such as the Trinity, creation, Christ, soteriology, pneumatolology, and ecclesiology. Focus will be on gaining familiarity with the biblical, historical, and contemporary issues and debates concerning doctrines related to the Spirit and to the task of pneumatological theology to see the interconnectedness of Christian theology from a renewal perspective and to begin to develop a personal theological method in dialogue with a pneumatological starting point.
- RTCH 720 Contemporary Theologies
- The detailed study of the key theological thinkers and movements of the modern era as the background for evaluating contemporary theological options, including those implied among Pentecostal and Charismatic movements. These thinkers and movements will be studied in their historical and cultural contexts, as well as for their contemporary relevance for Christian life and ministry.
- RTCH 739 Theology in World Context
- This course explores the challenges of doing Christian theology in the contemporary 21st Century context (postmodern, post Western, post patriarchal and post Christian) with specific focus on the Christian encounter with the world’s religious traditions. Through the reading and discussion of primary, secondary, and theoretical texts, the major historical and theological questions – including the nature of ultimate reality and of religious life, the struggle to live well, and the quest for certainty and meaning – will be approached in dialogue with world religious traditions. Students will be invited to wrestle with the tension of viewing other worldviews through specifically renewal perspectives even as they engage these others in their own terms.
- RTCH 746 Pneumatology: The Doctrine of the Holy Spirit
- A systematic presentation of the Christian understanding of the Holy Spirit, the divinity of the Spirit, the role of the Spirit in the Trinity (including the relation of the Spirit to the Father and to the Son) and discussion of the personhood of the Spirit. Current approaches to the operation of the Spirit in Catholic theology, the mission of the Spirit in Protestant theology, and the anointing of the Spirit in the renewal movements. Study of the function of the Spirit in the world and in history and the relation to spirituality. (Crosslisted with TCDH 546)
- RTCH 764 The Miraculous in the Biblical Tradition
- An in depth exploration of the miraculous element in the biblical traditions, with a focus and emphasis on the New Testament. Students will examine biblical traditions in relation to the miraculous, the history of the treatment of the miraculous (especially in relation to Jesus), the miraculous in the early Church, and recent scholarly debates about the miraculous and its potential significance for contemporary theological speculation.
- RTCH 768 Eastern Christianity
- This course is an historical and topical study of Eastern Christianity, with special emphasis on doctrine and spirituality, especially its pneumatology and charismatic elements. The course will examine in depth the distinctions of Eastern Christian churches, including Armenian, Assyrian (Nestorian), Coptic, Ethiopic, Maronite, Melkite, Orthodox (Byzantine: Greek and Russian, and other national churches), Syrian, and Uniate churches.
- RTCH 770 Theological German
- Fundamental structures of the German language, essential vocabulary and grammar are studied by students majoring in theology. Designed to prepare students for proficient reading of academic journals, books, and monographs written in German. First part of the semester: students attain general proficiency in reading German texts in the arts and sciences. Remainder of the semester offers greater focus on theological texts and vocabulary. Proficiency exam given as a culminating assessment. Credit hours do not count toward PhD required coursework. Pass/No Pass.
- RTCH 785 Nature and Grace in the 12th Century
- This course will examine the theology of key thinkers in the late eleventh and twelfth centuries on the relationship between human activity and divine activity in conversion. More specifically, it will examine their views on human nature, sin, the workings of grace, the development of virtue and the moral life, and the Holy Spirit.
- RTCH 785 Renewal and Politics
- This special topics in theology course explores the questions of political theology from a renewal perspective. While attempting to formulate distinctively renewal approaches to thinking about theology, politics, and the interface between the two both historically and in the contemporary scene, students will also wrestle with the political dimension of Christian faith in particular and of religious identities in general. Further, a broader understanding of politics that includes economics, society, and the public sphere in general invites Christian and renewal theological reflection on these topics as well.
- RTCH 785a Post-Exilic Prophets
- This course is an exegetical study of the Hebrew text of the postexilic prophets: Haggai, Zechariah and Malachi. The historical, literary and theological contributions of these books to the Hebrew canon and renewal studies will be examined.
- RTCH 785a Renewal Biblical Hermeneutics
- A tutorial seminar designed to focus students on particular readings that will complement past course work and prepare the student for comprehensive exams and dissertation research in biblical studies from a renewal perspective. This course explores the question of biblical hermeneutics from the renewal perspective.
- RTCH 785b Early Christian Spirituality
- The course aims to study the spirituality of early Christian writers in the Latin West. It will focus on the doctrine of salvation and the early Christian understanding of human nature in its fallen and redeemed conditions.
- RTCH 785b Special Studies: Book of Acts
- In this course we will study systematically the twenty-eight chapters of the book of Acts. Acts is the bridge document between the Gospels and the Letters and without it neither would be understandable. We will trace the trajectory of early Christianity from its founding on the day of Pentecost in Jerusalem to Paul's arrival in Rome. We will consider the two major figures of Acts -Peter and Paul, particularly their preaching and miraculous ministries. Paul's six journeys in Acts will be analyzed regarding purpose and results. We will focus especially on the historical, geographical, and social dimensions of the text with the rhetorical aspects being explored through the numerous speeches. We will look at the character of the Holy Spirit in his empowering and guiding role within the early church. Finally, we will investigate the critical and interpretive issues related to Acts in modern scholarship.
- RTCH 785b African American Renewal History
- This course will use historical method to critically explore the foundations, events, people and ideas that have formed the African American Holiness, Pentecostal, Charismatic and Neo-Pentecostal Movements over nearly two centuries of American religious history. We will give special attention to the unique problems of uncovering and documenting the history of the largely oral culture in which this movement developed and to archival collections that are indispensable to a thorough development of African American renewal historiography.
- RTCH 785c Charismatic Movement Today
- The purpose of this course is to survey the beginnings, growth and current developments in the Twentieth/Tewnty-first-Century Charismatic movement. The course will cover the antecedents of the various Charismatic movements and will be international in scope. Major attention will be given to the Charismatic movements in the mainline churches since 1960 as well as to current events and personalities in the independent Charismatic movements that have begun during the same period. The course will be concerned with the teachings and personalities of each movement and will attempt to evaluate their current and potential importance in world Christianity.
- RTCH 785c Hermeneutical Philosophy
- The purpose of this course is to guide students through key proponents of hermeneutical philosophy who had an important influence on contemporary theology. Special attention will be given to an analysis of the nature of understanding per se and the role of the Holy Spirit and faith in the interpretation process. Within this context the distinctives of Renewal Theology will be investigated.