Course Descriptions

THEO 511. Understanding the Old Testament.

Cr. 3 A study of the history and theology of the Old Testament with attentiontion to its role in Christian faith.

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THEO 512. Understanding the New Testament.

Cr. 3. A study of the history and theology of the New Testament with attention to its rootage in the Old Testament.

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THEO 514. The Pentateuch.

Cr. 3. A study of the Pentateuch with emphasis on Israel’s understanding of the beginning,the history of the patriarchs, the exodus, the wilderness wanderings, and the preparation for entering the promised land.

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THEO 515. The Prophets.

Cr. 3. A study of the role of the prophets in Israelite religion. Special attention is given to the historical origins of the prophetic movement, its impact on Israel’s political, social and religious life, and the continuing significance of the prophetic message in Jewish and Christian thought.

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THEO 517. The World of the New Testament.

Cr. 3. A study of the societies and culture in which Christian communities arose with a view to understanding the New Testament better and determining its contemporary significance more accurately.

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THEO 518. Jesus and the Gospels.

Cr. 3. A comparative study of the New Testament gospels with a focus on the uniqueness of each in its presentation of the story of Jesus

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THEO 519. Topics in Biblical Studies.

Cr. 3. A study of a specific topic such as understanding the Old Testament, understanding the New Testament, and Jesus and the Gospels. May be repeated for credit if topics vary.

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THEO 523. Reformation Theology.

Cr. 3. A study of major theological developments of the sixteenth-century reform movements, both Protestant and Catholic.

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THEO 524. Christianity in America.

Cr. 3. An investigation of the history of Christianity in America, with emphasis on the interaction between religion and cultural developments.

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THEO 528. Topics in Lutheran History and Theology.

Cr. 3. An examination of selected issues, movements, thinkers, or institutions within the Lutheran tradition. May be repeated for credit if topics are different.

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THEO 529. Topics in Christian History.

Cr. 3. An examination of a selected topic or thinker in the history of Christian thought and institutions. May be repeated for credit if topics are different.

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THEO 530. Christian Theology in the Eighteenth and Nineteenth Centuries.

Cr. 3. A study of themes and problems (e.g., the relation of faith and history, the relation of faith to emerging modern science, the nature of religious authority) in the period from Kant and Reimarus to Ritschl.

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THEO 531. Christian Theology in the Twentieth Century.

Cr. 3. A study of themes and problems (e.g., the nature of God and revelation, divisions within the church, the church's relation to Judaism, the nature of secularization) in the period from Barth to John Paul II.

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THEO 533. Black Theology and Black Church.

Cr. 3. A study of Black theological discourse in the United States and Africa. The course focuses on the composite causes of racial oppression and explores the relationship between black theology and “third world’’ peoples, women’s struggles, black families, and, most importantly, the praxis of black church ministry.

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THEO 545. The Church in the World.

Cr. 3. A study of the life and mission of the church with emphasis on movements for renewal, reform and reunion. Special attention is given to developments in Latin America and/or Africa.

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THEO 546. Studies in Theology, Health and Healing.

Cr. 3. An examination of a selected topic such as death and dying, spiritual needs and health care,etc. May be repeated for credit if topics vary. 

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THEO 550. Studies in Practical Theology.

Cr. 3. An examination of a selected topic such as Christian response to social victims, Christianfaith and politics, ethics of cultural encounter, and Christian education. May be repeated for credit if topics vary.

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THEO 551. Theology of Diaconal Ministry.

Cr. 3. A study of the historical and theological foundations of diaconal ministry. Attention is given to the role of the diaconate in the church, the development of diaconal community, and the nurture of a spirituality of service. Designed principally for deaconess and church work students. Others must have the consent of the instructor.

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THEO 553. Clinical Education for Ministry.

Cr. 3. A carefully supervised practicum in ministry to the physically ill and the elderly. Designed principally for senior Deaconess and Pre-Seminary students, this course in practical theology engages students in disciplined reflection on their ministry. Usually S/U basis.

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THEO 556. Church Music and Liturgical Theology.

Cr. 3. An intensive academic study of the history and practices of music and liturgy in Christian churches with an emphasis on the Lutheran heritage. Study includes both primary liturgical theology (participation in a variety of liturgical expressions), and secondary liturgical theology (reflection on liturgical forms and structure). Topics include theologies and practices of music, history of hymnody, and music in worship. Open to graduate theology majors; other non-majors may be admitted by permission of the instructor.

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THEO 561. Indian Religions and Culture.

Cr. 3. A study of religious traditions of India, viewed through both popular devotional practices and religious texts and rituals.

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THEO 562. Islamic Religion and Culture.

Cr. 3. A study of the life of Muhammad, the teachings of the Quran, traditional practices and institutions in Islamic society, and significant contemporary developments in the Muslim world.

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THEO 563. Religions of China and Japan.

Cr. 3. A study of the religious traditions (Confucianism, Taoism, Buddhism, and Shinto) of China and Japan.

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THEO 567. Topics in South Asian Religions.

Cr. 3. A study of a selected topic in the religionsof South Asia. May be repeated for credit if topics are different.

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THEO 568. Topics in Abrahamic Religions.

Cr. 3. A study of a selected topic in those religious traditions (Judaism, Christianity, Islam) that trace their history from Abraham. May be repeated for credit if topics are different. 

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THEO 590. Topics in Theology.

Cr. 1-3. Selected topics based on special interests of students and faculty. This course may be repeated for credit if the selected topics vary.

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THEO 610. Advanced Topics in Biblical Study.

Cr. 3. A study of a specific topic such as understanding the Old Testament, understanding the New Testament, and Jesus and the Gospels. May be repeated for credit if topics vary.

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THEO 615. Pentateuch and Wisdom Literature.

Cr. 3. Study of the relationship between the biblical message and the history, culture, and problems of the era in which the Bible was composed. Students learn the content of the Pentateuch and the Wisdom Literature of the Old Testament, become acquainted with exegetical reference works and discover major issues in the history of the Old Testament interpretation.

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THEO 620. Advanced Topics in Christian History.

Cr. 3. A study of a specific topic such as representative Christian thinkers, comparative Christianity, Lutherans in America, and Catholics in America. May be repeated if topics vary.

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THEO 630. Advanced Topics in Contemporary Theology.

Cr. 3. A study of selected topics such as contemporary Lutheran theology, feminist theology, black theology, and liberation theology. May be repeated if topics vary.

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THEO 640. Advanced Topics in Religious Ethics.

Cr. 3. An examination of a selected thinker, theme in religious ethics, or of contemporary moral issues. May be repeated for credit if topics vary.

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THEO 643. Marriage and Sexuality.

Cr. 3. An interdisciplinary approach including psychology, sociology, biology, philosophy, and literature used to explore how religion, culture, and value shape contemporary issues associated with sexuality, gender, and marriage.

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THEO 644. Religion in the Age of Science.

Cr. 3. Study of the controversy between religion and science and the potential benefit of ongoing dialogue between theologians and scientists. Topics include creation and evolution, cosmology and theology, genetic and human uniqueness, and origins of both scientific and religious truth and morality.

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THEO 653. Clinical Deaconess Education.

Cr. 3. A supervised practicum in ministry to the physically ill and the elderly. Designed principally for senior and graduate Deaconess students, this course in practical theology engages students in disciplined reflection on their diaconal ministry. Graded on S/U basis. 

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THEO 660. Advanced Topics in the History of Religions.

Cr. 3. A study of a selected topic such as Judaism, South Asian religions, the Buddhist Tradition, Islamic Religion and Culture, religions of China and Japan, and Latin American religions. May be repeated for credit if topics vary.

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THEO 665. Toward Understanding Islam.

Cr. 3. An introduction to the origins of Islam, the Quran, Muslim worship, and characteristics of Muslim life in the modern world, as well as the challenges and prospects of interfaith dialogue. Usually offered online in collaboration with the Lutheran School of Theology in Chicago. Prerequisite: approval of the MALS Theology advisor.

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THEO 680. Practicum in Theology and Ministry.

Cr. 1-4. A supervised, applied learning experience within religious institutions in which students engage reflectively in meaningful activities. May include worship activities. Written summary and reflective paper required. May be repeated for credit provided experiences are different. Only 3 credits of Practicum may be applied to meeting degree requirements. Graded S/U. Approval of the Chair of the Department of Theology required.

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THEO 681. Basic Homily Preparation.

Cr. 1. A basic introduction to methods of preparing and delivering biblical, liturgical homilies in a variety of worship settings. This course may be repeated for a maximum of two credits, and is offered on an S/U basis.

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THEO 690. Advanced Topics in Theology.

Cr. 1-3. An investigation of selected topics and issues in theology. May be repeated if topics vary. Frequently cross-listed with LS 650: Seminar in Religion, Culture, and Value.

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THEO 692. Research Project.

Cr. 3. Research on a topic of special interest to students under regular supervision of a faculty advisor. A concluding paper of substantial proportions is required. A copy of the paper is to be filed in the department upon completion of the project. Prerequisite: approval of instructor and department chair prior to registration.

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THEO 695. Independent Study.

Cr. 1-3. Investigation of a special topic of interest to the student and having relevance to the student's program of study. The study is supervised by a faculty advisor and normally results in substantial written summary and analysis, which is filed in the department.