Biblical Studies Courses


RELI 105 Inductive Bible Study Methods [1]
Introduces inductive Bible study methods and Bible study resources to equip faithful interpretive processes. One Bible passage will be studied thoroughly, applying the systematic process.

RELI 106/107 Service Learning Practicum [1]
Engage the greater community as a practical learning context and serve 3-5 hours per week to address issues and topics identified by community partners. Emphasizes servant leadership and the opportunity for faithful Christian witness in word and/or deed. Class sessions provide time for reflection on the service experience with a faculty advisor.

RELI 111 The Bible and Worldview [4]
An overview of the Hebrew Bible (Old Testament) and New Testament’s narrative themes and introductory issues; begins with a discussion of textual topics and a review of the historical settings (with their political, cultural, and religious dimensions). The Bible’s major literary units and themes are integrated with worldview (Weltanschauung) issues—such as cosmology, anthropology, the human predicament and redemption/renewal—which are foundational for understanding stewardship of creation, current global issues, and a beginning understanding of diverse worldviews.

RELI 112/113 Vocation and Formation I [1]
Engage in intellectual, spiritual and vocational discovery, develop skills that broaden global perspective, encourage critical thinking, and explore the Christian concept of vocation as a way of life. Through readings, discussion, and reflection, students are equipped to fully participate in the resources offered by Trinity’s Living-Learning community.

RELI 114 Synoptic Gospels [4]
Examines the person, teachings and mission of Jesus Christ, as presented in the three Synoptic Gospel accounts of Matthew, Mark, and Luke. Compares and contrasts the three parallel accounts of the life of Christ, and seeks to highlight the unique voice of each Gospel writer in their telling of the story of Jesus. Issues such as historical context, canon history, and interpretational methodologies are introduced, and prominent themes such as the Kingdom of God and Jesus’ use of parables are explored.

RELI 206/207 Service Learning Practicum [1]
Provides the opportunity for service learning in the greater community through regular volunteer service (3-5 hours per week) or a focused project (approx. 40 hours). Emphasizes relationship of service to academic and professional interests. May be repeated.

RELI 211 Pentateuch [4]
Explores the first five books of the Hebrew Bible (Old Testament) to impart a deeper appreciation of God’s great acts in creation and history. Shows God’s intervention in the lives of God’s people as they respond to God’s faithfulness and love. It further sheds light on God’s self-revelation as Yahweh, and examines God’s covenant relationship with Israel and the greater fulfillment of that covenant in Jesus Christ.

RELI 212 Prophets [4]
Surveys the whole body of Hebrew Bible (Old Testament) prophetic literature; special attention given to Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and selected minor prophets.

RELI 213 Writings [4]
Surveys the whole body of Hebrew Bible (Old Testament) writings or Hagiographa, with special attention to the nature of Hebrew poetry, the literary structure and importance for study of the wisdom writings.

RELI 221 Johannine Literature [4]
Explores the Fourth Gospel and letters attributed to John, researching John‘s handling of the divine and human person of Jesus Christ, his call to faith in Jesus’ name, his proclamation of eternal life as a future gift yet already―realized in the life of the believer, and his vision of the fulfillment of all things in the person of Jesus. Discernment of several distinctive Johannine motifs that are woven into the literary fabric of the Fourth Gospel. The three letters of John extend the main themes of the Gospel—especially eternal life, abiding in Christ, and love for one another—and apply them to specific controversies faced by Johannine congregations in Asia Minor.

RELI 222 Pauline Literature [4]
A survey of Pauline epistles and their place in the historical missionary activity and church planting of the Apostle Paul and his associates. Principles of reading and interpreting NT letters as Occasional Literature will be explored, as well as prominent theological themes such as the nature of the Church, the meaning of salvation and the central role of the cross in Paul’s theology.

RELI 301 Loci Communes (Theological Topics) [4]
Examine common topics in Christian theology, focusing on the Epistle to the Romans, and tracing the development of theology as a discipline from the early church to the contemporary context.

RELI 306 Biblical Studies Practicum [1]
Provides a major-specific opportunity in Service Learning Practicum to experience a ministry context that may be encountered in professional or volunteer work in the church or community. In consultation with the instructor, select an area of service that provides both challenge and opportunity to further develop ministry skills and competencies.

RELI 307 Chapel Planning [1]

RELI 310 Advanced Pentateuch [2]
Explores the first five books of the Hebrew Bible (Old Testament) to impart a deeper appreciation of God’s great acts in creation and history. Shows God’s intervention in the lives of his people as they respond to his faithfulness and love. It further sheds light on God’s self-revelation as Yahweh, and examines God’s covenant relationship with Israel and the greater fulfillment of that covenant in Jesus Christ.

RELI 311 Contemporary Jewish Life [2]
Surveys the important historical and cultural developments that have shaped and defined modern Jewish life, culture and religion. Issues such as past and present expressions of anti-Semitism, the Holocaust, basic Jewish teachings, Jewish-Christian relationships, Jews in North America, the Land of Israel, Zionism, Jewish celebrations and festivals, rites of passage, worship in the synagogue, Jewish literature, the Israeli/Arab conflict.

RELI 312 Topics in Christian Thought [4]
Involves a lively exploration of key themes, thinkers, and traditions in Christian thought, generally following the outline of the Apostles’ Creed. With special attention to the Loci Communes method of approaching biblical topics, develop thoughtful perspectives on the relationship between historic Christianity and church controversies, contemporary religions and ideologies, science, politics, art, architecture, and popular culture.

RELI 322 History of Ancient Israel [2]
Reveals God’s faithfulness to this covenant as shown through the stages of history from Joshua to Nehemiah. Follows the kingdom of Israel from its beginning to its division and exile, observing suffering of the people under captivity, and their renewed hope as they return to the land. Provides a background for the study of the prophetic literature.

RELI 323 Advanced Prophetic Literature [2]
Examines the whole body of Hebrew Bible (Old Testament) prophetic literature in greater depth; special attention given to Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and selected minor prophets.

RELI 324 Wisdom Literature [2]
Examines writings such as Job, Proverbs, and Ecclesiastes. Probes the theology of Hebrew Wisdom Literature, its relation to Near Eastern Wisdom traditions and the role of Wisdom in the teachings of Jesus and the New Testament. Explores historical and theological contexts of Wisdom Literature, as well as the practical and ethical implications of Wisdom teaching for contemporary Christian living. Important themes include the problem of suffering, principles of decision-making, speech ethics, and character formation.

RELI 325 The Five Scrolls [2]
Studies five of the shorter Old Testament books—Ruth, Esther, Song of Solomon, Ecclesiastes and Lamentations—which have been gathered up by the Jewish community as “The Scrolls” and read regularly as the Scripture texts for five Jewish festivals. Examines the message of these books for the times in which they were written, for later Israel and the Church, and for the daily life of the believer today.

RELI 330 Advanced Synoptic Gospels [2]
Examines the person and mission of Jesus Christ, as presented in the three Gospel accounts of Matthew, Mark, and Luke. The course focuses on tone of the three Gospel accounts, makes comparisons with the other two, and explores the nature and extent of the synoptic relationship. Issues such as historical context, canon history, and interpretational methodologies are introduced.

RELI 331 Luke-Acts [2]
Explore Luke’s two-part work, which presents the person and mission of Jesus Christ and the continuing work of the Spirit in the early Church. Acts focuses on the course the early Church took as it spread beyond the narrow confines of Palestine and Asia Minor to infiltrate the farthest reaches of the Roman Empire through the missionary labors of St. Paul. Intended to deepen knowledge and trust of Christ for more effective service to Him and the Church.

RELI 332 Advanced Pauline Literature [2]
Explores Pauline theology in greater depth, and surveys the whole body of Pauline literature, with special attention given to such pivotal epistles as Romans, 1 & 2 Corinthians, Galatians, Philippians, and Ephesians.

RELI 336 Hebrews and the General Epistles [3]
Studies the message of several New Testament books—Hebrews, James, 1-2 Peter, and Jude—which appear to have been written to a wider or “general” audience. Hebrews encourages the believer to live with bold and confident trust in Jesus, who is presented as the fulfillment of the Old Testament. James addresses matters of faithful daily living in Christ and insists that “faith without deeds is dead.” 1 Peter is a summary of Christian proclamation and practice. 2 Peter addresses the doctrine of the second coming of Christ. Jude warns against the influence of those who falsify their faith by immoral conduct.

RELI 337 Advanced Johannine Literature [4]
Explores the Fourth Gospel and letters attributed to John, researching John’s handling of the divine and human person of Jesus Christ, his call to faith in Jesus’ name, his proclamation of eternal life as a future gift yet already “realized” in the life of the believer, and his vision of the fulfillment of all things in the person of Jesus. Discernment of several distinctive Johannine motifs that are woven into the literary fabric of the Fourth Gospel. The three letters of John extend the main themes of the Gospel—
especially eternal life, abiding in Christ, and love for one another—and apply them to specific controversies faced by Johannine congregations in Asia Minor.

RELI 340 Women of Faith [2]
Explores the history, theology, and ministry of women from Biblical to current times. Examines ways that Scripture and the Western Christian Tradition have shaped the lives and experiences of women.

RELI 343 History of Christian Thought [4]
Presents the origin and development of Christian doctrines from a biblical and historical perspective. The historical development of selected Christian doctrines and factors that were influential in their formulation. Key figures and movements in the history of Christian thought from the time of the early church through modern times.

RELI 355 Christian Spirituality: Practicing Our Faith [3]
Aids spiritual growth by (1) laying a biblical and theological foundation for approaching spirituality, (2) investigating the major traditions of spirituality in the Christian church and some of the classics of devotion, and (3) enabling and guiding the construction of a personal Christian spirituality for today. This module explores the history of Christian spirituality.

RELI 371 Apocalyptic Literature [2]
Explores the apocalyptic literature of the Bible, especially Daniel and Revelation, an extension of prophetic literature that calls God’s people to patient endurance in difficult times and gives hope for the future. Explores various ways of interpreting these books. Prerequisite: Junior status. If you have completed one year of either Hebrew or Greek you are encouraged to take this at the 400-level.

RELI 372 Intertestamental Period [2]
Surveys the history and literature of Palestine during the last four centuries before Christ. Often called “the four hundred silent years,” this period was anything but quiet for the Jews: It was a period of tremendous upheaval, both politically and spiritually. A better understanding of this period sets the political and religious stage for the New Testament and provides a clearer picture of who Jesus is.

RELI 381 Biblical Culture and Archaeology [2]
Instills a deeper understanding of the people and cultures of the biblical world. It examines the manners and customs of daily life in both the Old and New Testaments and investigates the archaeological discoveries pertaining to biblical lands, to enrich understanding and appreciation of the Bible’s message. Classroom presentations and personal research increase appreciation of the background picture into which the people and events of the Bible fit.

RELI 382 Holy Land Studies Tour [4]
An on-site study of the land, cultures, and history of Israel. Pre-tour orientation prepares the student for field and classroom work through the Jerusalem Center for Biblical Studies.

RELI 398 Special Topics [2-3]
Explores special topics of faculty or student interest to broaden or deepen the curriculum. May involve a guest instructor, workshop, or seminar format.

RELI 399 Directed Study [1-4]
Offers opportunity to study, research, and analyze, and integrate a subject of personal interest. Readings and projects are selected and facilitated under the direction of the professor. Submit an independent study proposal for approval by the professor and the academic dean before registering.

RELI 406 Biblical Studies Practicum [1]
Provides a major-specific opportunity in Service Learning Practicum to experience a ministry context that may be encountered in professional or volunteer work in the church or community. In consultation with the instructor, select an area of service that provides both challenge and opportunity to further develop ministry skills and competencies.

RELI 410 Exegesis in the Pentateuch [3]
Explore the first five books of the Hebrew Bible (Old Testament) to impart a deeper appreciation of God’s great acts in creation and history. Show God’s intervention in the lives of his people as they respond to his faithfulness and love. It further sheds light on God’s self-revelation as Yahweh, and examines God’s covenant relationship with Israel and the greater fulfillment of that covenant in Jesus Christ.

RELI 422 Exegesis in the History of Ancient Israel [3]
Reveals God’s faithfulness to this covenant as shown through the stages of history from Joshua to Nehemiah. Follows the kingdom of Israel from its beginning to its division and exile, observing suffering of the people under captivity, and their renewed hope as they return to the land. Provides a background for the study of the prophetic literature.

RELI 423 Exegesis in Prophetic Literature [3]
Examines the whole body of Hebrew Bible (Old Testament) prophetic literature in greater depth; special attention given to Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and selected minor prophets. Special attention given to Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and selected minor prophets. Prerequisite: Junior status; 400-level requires completion of one year of the Hebrew language.

RELI 424 Exegesis in Wisdom Literature [3]
Examines writings such as Job, Proverbs, and Ecclesiastes. Probes the theology of Hebrew Wisdom Literature, its relation to Near Eastern Wisdom traditions and the role of Wisdom in the teachings of Jesus and the New Testament. Explores historical and theological contexts of Wisdom Literature, as well as the practical and ethical implications of Wisdom teaching for contemporary Christian living. Important themes include the problem of suffering, principles of decision-making, speech ethics, and character formation.

RELI 425 Exegesis in The Five Scrolls [3]
Studies five of the shorter Old Testament books—Ruth, Esther, Song of Solomon, Ecclesiastes and Lamentations—which have been gathered up by the Jewish community as “The Scrolls” and read regularly as the Scripture texts for five Jewish festivals. Examines the message of these books for the times in which they were written, for later Israel and the Church, and for the daily life of the believer today.

RELI 440 Exegesis in the Synoptic Gospels [3]
Examines the person and mission of Jesus Christ, as presented in the three Gospel accounts of Matthew, Mark, and Luke. Focuses on tone of the three Gospel accounts, makes comparisons with the other two, and explores the nature and extent of the synoptic relationship. Issues such as historical context, canon history, and interpretational methodologies are introduced.

RELI 431 Exegesis in Luke-Acts [3]
Explore Luke’s two-part work, which presents the person and mission of Jesus Christ and the continuing work of the Spirit in the early Church. Acts focuses on the course the early Church took as it spread beyond the narrow confines of Palestine and Asia Minor to infiltrate the farthest reaches of the Roman Empire through the missionary labors of St. Paul. Intended to deepen knowledge and trust of Christ for more effective service to Him and the Church.

RELI 432 Exegesis in Pauline Literature [3]
Explores Pauline theology in greater depth, and surveys the whole body of Pauline literature, with special attention given to such pivotal epistles as Romans, 1 & 2 Corinthians, Galatians, Philippians, and Ephesians.

RELI 433 Contemporary Theology [3]
Focuses on theologians and movements of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. An introduction to the challenge of continually relating the Christian faith to a changing world.

RELI 436 Exegesis in Hebrews and The General Epistles [3]
Studies the message of several New Testament books—Hebrews, James, 1-2 Peter, and Jude—which appear to have been written to a wider or “general” audience. Hebrews encourages the believer to live with bold and confident trust in Jesus, who is presented as the fulfillment of the Old Testament. James addresses matters of faithful daily living in Christ and insists that “faith without deeds is dead.” 1 Peter is a summary of Christian proclamation and practice. 2 Peter addresses the doctrine of the second coming of Christ. Jude warns against the influence of those who falsify their faith by immoral conduct.

RELI 437 Exegesis in Johannine Literature [3]
Explores the Fourth Gospel and letters attributed to John, researching John’s handling of the divine and human person of Jesus Christ, his call to faith in Jesus’ name, his proclamation of eternal life as a future gift yet already “realized” in the life of the believer, and his vision of the fulfillment of all things in the person of Jesus. Discernment of several distinctive Johannine motifs that are woven into the literary fabric of the Fourth Gospel. The three letters of John extend the main themes of the Gospel—especially eternal life, abiding in Christ, and love for one another—and apply them to specific controversies faced by Johannine congregations in Asia Minor.

RELI 450 Faith & Visual Culture [4]
Christianity has historically been a visual religion—and has at times turned on its own symbols and images. Students engage the ways that faith and spiritual experiences translate into and out of visual arts.

RELI 471 Exegesis in Apocalyptic Literature [3]
Explores the apocalyptic literature of the Bible, especially Daniel and Revelation, an extension of prophetic literature that calls God’s people to patient endurance in difficult times and gives hope for the future. Explores various ways of interpreting these books. Prerequisite: Junior status; 400-level requires completion of one year of either Greek or Hebrew.

RELI 490 Seminar in Biblical Hermeneutics [3]
Intended for pre-seminary students but open to all, Introduction to current issues and tools of biblical interpretation. Examine both historical critical methodology and more recent approaches to interpretation. Explore the assumptions behind modern methods and the possibilities and limits of their use. The working presumption is that the Bible is a human word that can be studied with the aid of literary tools and is, at the same time, God’s word through and through, calling God’s people to reverent listening.

RELI 491 Integrative Biblical Seminar [3]
A capstone course, intended for pre-seminary students but open to all. Individual research, faculty and student presentations, and seminar-style discussions to explore biblical theology in an integrative and comprehensive manner. Designed to be taken during the senior year, draws upon accumulated learning in general studies, biblical studies, and theology to provide an opportunity to engage in integrative creative thinking around biblical and theological themes.

RELI 492 Thesis or Capstone - Theology & Philosophy [4]
Work with an internal and external supervisor to research, write, and defend a written thesis, or conduct and report on a supervised capstone project. Special attention will be given to graduate school application and preparation, as well as career preparation.

RELI 498 Senior Special Topic - Biblical Studies [2-3]
Functions as a guided independent senior thesis and pursues a special topic of personal interest.

RELI 499 Independent Study [1-4]
Offers opportunity to study, research, analyze, and integrate a subject of personal interest. Readings and projects are determined in collaboration with the professor. Submit an independent study proposal for approval by the professor and the academic dean before registering.