Academic Programs

 

COURSES AT HARTFORD SEMINARY

Fall Semester 2009

An asterisk (*) indicates that the course fulfills core area requirements for the Master of Arts program.

ARTS OF MINISTRY (AM)

The Art of Preaching (AM-575) View Syllabus
Thursdays from 7 p.m. to 9:20 p.m., beginning Sept. 10

Combining the substance of an introduction with the intimacy of a workshop, this course will explore theological and rhetorical foundations for preaching and provide practical experience in delivery and critique. Noting variety among denominational, theological and cultural traditions, the course will take an ecumenical approach rooted by an affirmation of the hermeneutic centrality of Scripture and the liturgical significance of preaching. Students will complete written assignments and special exercises, preach, and offer constructive critiques of sermons. Benjamin K. Watts, Faculty Associate in the Arts of Ministry and Senior Pastor, Shiloh Baptist Church, New London

Urban Ministry and the Kingdom of God: In Search of Lost Treasure (AM-623) NEW Wednesdays from 7 p.m. to 9:20 p.m., beginning Sept. 9 View Syllabus

From its beginnings, Christianity has grown largely in urban contexts. Augustine's image of the "city of God" projects the enduring notion that divine grace permeates the common good, enlivening the religious, commercial and political life of cities across the world. Now we are living at a time when fragile communities of faith are located in urban environments that are themselves equally fragile and beleaguered. What are the hopes and dreams of God for cities and city churches alike? How does the kingdom of God continue to break through the harsher realities of urban life? What lost treasures of the gospel can be discovered and re-claimed as we seek to bear witness to the kingdom of God in our cities? Through this course we will lay claim to the joy of urban ministry, explore its opportunities and its challenges, and imagine ways and practices in which city churches can thrive within the urban contexts where they have been planted. The Rev. Dr. Edward G. Horstmann, Adjunct Professor of Arts of Ministry and Senior Minister, Immanuel Congregational Church, Hartford

DIALOGUE (DI)

Dialogue in a World of Difference (MA-530) View Syllabus
Mondays from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., beginning Sept. 14 (10 weeks)

A required course for all students enrolled in the M.A. degree program. Students and faculty in a collegial setting will explore in depth the principles and the practice of dialogue in a pluralistic world. Goals of the course include the development of listening and communication skills in multi-cultural contexts; fostering an understanding of one another through information sharing and community building action; and learning how to discuss potentially divisive issues constructively and without animosity. This course is graded on a Pass/Fail basis. Heidi Hadsell, Professor of Social Ethics and President of the Seminary and Yehezkel Landau, Faculty Associate in Interfaith Relations

Interfaith Dialogue at Home and Abroad: Parliament of World Religions (DI-605) NEW Tuesdays from 4:30 p.m. to 6:50 p.m., on Sept. 15, Oct. 6, Nov. 17 and Dec. 15 plus travel seminar from Dec. 3 through Dec. 9 View Syllabus

This course will examine different approaches to, organization of, and levels of, interfaith dialogue. It will include consideration of interfaith relations in religious congregations and faith communities, local and regional interfaith organizations, interfaith gatherings around specific interests and themes, and international interfaith organizations of several different types. This course will include visits to local interfaith groups such as the Connecticut Committee for Interfaith Understanding, and conversations with local and regional interfaith leaders. The course will include careful preparation for, and participation in, the Parliament of World Religions meeting, December 3-9, in Melbourne, Australia. Travel costs will be subsidized by a grant from the Luce Foundation to the Parliament of World Religions' Task Force on Theological Education and Interfaith Initiatives. Heidi Hadsell, Professor of Social Ethics and President of the Seminary

DOCTOR OF MINISTRY(DM)

Doctor of Ministry Colleague Seminar I, Part I (DM-710) View Syllabus
D.Min. Schedule: Starts with mandatory retreat from Sunday, Sept. 13 to Tuesday, Sept. 15, followed by Mondays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Oct. 5, Oct. 26, Nov. 16, and Dec. 14

The purpose of the two-year Colleague Seminar is to explore the reflective practice of ministry in an atmosphere of personal and professional sharing, eventually producing a set of analytical and theological papers as background for the Ministry Project. The goal of this first semester seminar is to ground the practice of ministry in an understanding of its contextual and organizational realities and their theological significance. Required of first-year D.Min. students. David Roozen, Professor of Religion and Society

Doctor of Ministry Colleague Seminar II, Part I (DM-720)
Starts with mandatory retreat from Sunday, Sept. 13 to Tuesday, Sept. 15 followed by Mondays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Oct. 5, Oct. 26, Nov. 16 and Dec. 14

In the second year Colleague Seminar, we will explore ways of reflecting theologically on your congregation, or your ministry setting, and your practice of ministry within it. This will involve examining both classic and constructive approaches to theology. It will also involve paying close attention to personal experience and to the broader cultural environment as sources of theological insight. The culmination of this fall semester course will be a paper in which the students will work out a theology for ministry that genuinely reflects the manner in which they practice it. Kelton Cobb, Professor of Theology and Ethics

Ministry Project Colloquium (DM-795 – Non-Credit)
Mondays from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Sept, 14, Oct. 26, and Dec. 14

Students who have successfully completed Colleague Seminars I and II and at least four of the six elective courses may enroll in the Ministry Project Colloquium. The Colloquium will provide a supportive environment for the preparation of ministry project proposals, the execution of ministry projects, and the writing of ministry project final reports. Highly recommended but not required. F. Maner Tyson, Facilitator, and Pastor, Waterbury Baptist Church

ETHICS (ET)

Comparative Religious Ethics* (ET-660) View Syllabus
Thursdays from 7 p.m. to 9:20 p.m., beginning Sept. 10

This course explores the ethics of Buddhism, Christianity, and Islam. The aim is to develop the ability to recognize distinctive elements of the moral consciousness that have arisen in each tradition. This will be accompanied by a more general inquiry into the relation between religious convictions and religious ethics, as well as into the extent to which these religions might find common ground in specific areas of moral concern (human rights, the environment, the use of power). Kelton Cobb, Professor of Theology and Ethics

HISTORY (HI)

The Life of the Prophet Muhammad* (HI-536) ONLINE
Beginning Tuesday, Sept. 15 View Syllabus

The Prophet Muhammad is believed by Muslims to be the final prophet of God and the model for their lives as individuals and communities. Through translated selections of original historical sources, the course will survey interpretations of the personality and achievement of the Prophet made by Muslim and non-Muslim scholars. Muslim emulation of the Prophet will be examined with reference to the Hadith literature and devotional prayers. Shadee M. Elmasry, Adjunct Professor of Islamic Studies

American Religious History* (HI-571) View Syllabus
Tuesdays from 4:30 p.m. to 6:50 p.m., beginning Sept. 15

In God we trust. If America is the most religious country in the world, how did we get that distinction? This course is designed to offer students a glimpse at the rich diversity of religious history of the United States. The readings, lectures and discussion will highlight major movements and religious figures that shaped the distinct forms of faith in our society. The course will conclude with an examination of current trends and possible future forms of American religion. Borden Painter, Adjunct Professor of History and Professor of History, Emeritus, at Trinity College, Hartford, CT

Islamic History I* (HI-624)
Tuesdays from 4:30 to 6:50 p.m., beginning Sept. 15

This course explores the history of Islamic societies and civilization from its beginnings in seventh century Arabia until the fall of Granada in 1492. Attention will be given to the expansion process of the Dâr al-Islâm, the changing nature of the caliphate and the development of regional powers, as well as to socio-economic realities, ideological evolutions and significant cultural achievements. Students will read selections of important primary sources available in English translation. Yahya Michot, Professor of Islamic Studies and Christian-Muslim Relations

LANGUAGE (LG)

Introduction to New Testament Greek, Part I (LG-561) View Syllabi
Tuesdays from 4:30 p.m. to 6:50 p.m., beginning Sept. 15

The focus of this introductory course, which assumes no prior knowledge of the Greek language, is on the basic grammar and vocabulary of New Testament Greek. Students will begin reading selected passages of the New Testament. Edward F. Duffy, Adjunct Professor of New Testament and Minister of the First Presbyterian Church, Fairfield, CT

Introduction to Arabic Phonology and Script (LG-580) View Syllabi
Mondays and Wednesdays from 4:30 p.m. to 5:40 p.m., beginning Sept. 9

Students will master the writing system of standard Arabic, as well as the sounds of the language. A basic vocabulary of over 100 words will be learned, and at the end of the term students will be able to engage in short, simple conversations. Both Levantine and Egyptian pronunciation will be covered. Assumes no prior knowledge of Arabic. Steven Blackburn, Faculty Associate in Semitic Scriptures and Librarian

Introduction to Biblical Hebrew (LG-570) View Syllabi
Mondays from 4:30 p.m. to 6:50 p.m., beginning Sept. 14

In this course the basics of Biblical Hebrew will be introduced. The goal is to obtain a grasp of the structure of Biblical Hebrew and some of the complexities in the language; by the end of the course students will be able to work with certain texts in the Hebrew Bible. Uriah Kim, Professor Hebrew Bible

Intermediate Arabic, Part I (LG-650)
Mondays and Wednesdays from 5:45 p.m. to 6:55 p.m., beginning Sept. 9

This course is designed for participants to consolidate their knowledge of Arabic. Prerequisite: LG-581 or permission of the instructor. Steven Blackburn, Faculty Associate in Semitic Scriptures and Librarian

Readings in the Greek New Testament, Part I (LG-661) View Syllabi
Tuesdays from 2 p.m. to 4:20 p.m., beginning Sept. 15

This intermediate level course is designed to enable students to read the New Testament in Greek, concentrating on grammar and vocabulary building. Students will be introduced to the wide variety of Greek styles present in the New Testament writings. Prerequisite: LG-562 Introduction to New Testament Greek, Part II or permission of the instructor. Edward F. Duffy, Adjunct Professor of New Testament and Minister, the First Presbyterian Church, Fairfield, CT

DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY (PHD)

Research Skills Preparation (PHD-699)
Three day-long retreats; dates to be determined

Exclusively required for the Transition Year students, this course provides a comprehensive survey of the academic expectations involved in a Ph.D. Students will be required to find relevant Ph.D. dissertations and offer a critique of the quality; in addition faculty will make presentations on time management, note taking, and doctoral level arguments. Faculty

RELIGION AND SOCIETY (RS)

Global Pentecostalism* (RS-681) NEW View Syllabus
Thursdays from 4:30 p.m. to 6:50 p.m., beginning Sept. 10

Since the beginning of the Twentieth Century a diverse expressivist Protestant religious movement labeled as Pentecostalism has revolutionized Christian religion around the world. This movement has altered mission efforts, reshaped indigenous worship practices, reformed religious organizations and in some cases even transformed governments and the directions of nations. This course will look at the origins of this movement and then trace its effects across the continents and influences in different layers of society. It will also examine how these changes are felt in local congregations of many different non-pentecostal traditions. Scott Thumma, Professor of Sociology of Religion

SCRIPTURE (SC)

Hebrew Bible Survey II* (SC-520) View Syllabus
Thursdays from 4:30 p.m. to 6:50 p.m., beginning Sept. 10

An introduction to the Hebrew Scriptures, this course will apply historical-critical methods of study to develop a framework for understanding the origins of the texts and the relationship of the texts to one another. Attention will be given to contemporary theories of biblical interpretation. Survey II will examine the prophetic corpus, poetry wisdom and the rest of “the writings” in the Hebrew Bible. Uriah Kim, Professor of Hebrew Bible

Matthew, Mark and Luke: The Synoptic Gospels* (SC-540) View Syllabus
Wednesdays from 4:30 p.m. to 6:50 p.m., beginning Sept. 9

This course is an in-depth study of the Jesus of history and the Christ of faith in light of current biblical scholarship with special attention to the theological perspectives of Matthew, Mark and Luke as reflected in their varying presentations of the Good News in these three “synoptic” Gospels. Wayne Rollins, Adjunct Professor of Scripture

Biblical Models of Leadership for Ministry Today: Jesus and Paul* (SC-610) NEW, ONLINE, beginning Sept. 8 View Syllabus

This course mines the gospel stories and the letters of Paul to explore issues of leadership theory and practice in earliest Christianity with a view toward understanding the role of religious leadership in the exercise of ministry today.  Jesus and Paul, as the major figures of the early years of the Christian movement, pronounced words, proclaimed teachings and took actions that formed communities of faith.  Implicitly and explicitly they exemplified the type of leadership that they considered necessary for ministry in their day.  We will pay particular attention to the picture of leadership presented in the Synoptic Gospels (Matthew, Mark and Luke) and leaders and practices which Paul discusses in various ways in his letters.  What such historical, literary and theological study yields in terms of leadership and ministry today will occupy a major portion of this course.  Efrain Agosto, Professor of New Testament

Major Themes of the Bible and the Qur’an* (SC-634) View Syllabus
Tuesdays from 7 p.m. to 9:20 p.m., beginning Sept. 15

This course will study in depth the worldviews of the Hebrew Bible, the New Testament and the Qur’an. This will be done through an examination of common and divergent themes in the three Scriptures. More specifically, we shall study the three major themes of Revelation, Creation and Salvation. Within this framework, we shall pay special attention to such major themes as mercy, love and justice, atonement, sin and forgiveness, and the theology of creation, redemption and eschatology. Mahmoud Ayoub, Faculty Associate in Islam and Christian-Muslim Relations

Theology (TH)

Putting Your Theology Together: A Systematic Theology* (TH-500) View Syllabus
Tuesdays from 7 p.m. to 9:20 p.m., beginning Sept. 15

In this course students will be invited to reflect on the shape of theology which is suitable for today's world.  Starting with the questions of why do systematic theology and how to do systematic theology, students will be invited to look at the Trinity, Creation, Sin, Evil, Providence, Incarnation, Atonement, Ecclesiology, Sacraments, and Eschatology (and on the way learn what all these words mean).  Different approaches to systematic theology will be described.  And at the end, students will be encouraged to have formulated their own views on these issues. Marcus Elder, Adjunct Professor of Theology and Ethics.

Major Religious Figures: Dietrich Bonhoeffer* (TH-670) View Syllabi
Tuesdays from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Sept. 15 and from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Oct. 6, Oct. 27, Nov. 17 and Dec. 15

Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s theology and ethics as seen through the new editions of his writings and the latest research. Readings in his main works including Discipleship, Life Together, Ethics, and Letters and Papers from Prison. Study of Bonhoeffer in his historical context of Hitler’s Germany, but equally with concern for Christian life, ministry, and the church in twenty-first century America. Clifford Green, Professor Emeritus of Theology and Ethics. Prof. Green is author of “Bonhoeffer: A Theology of Sociality”

WORSHIP AND SPIRITUALITY (WS)

Women’s Leadership Institute* (WS-553 – Six Credits)
Fridays from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. and Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sept. 26-27, Oct. 24-25, Nov. 21-22, and Dec. 19-20

A year-long six credit course in leadership and applied spirituality rooted in women’s experience and from a feminist perspective that meets monthly from September through May and requires a separate admissions process. Prerequisite: enrollment in the Women’s Leadership Institute. Miriam Therese Winter, Professor of Liturgy, Worship and Spirituality and Director, Women’s Leadership Institute

Spiritual Autobiography* (WS-615) NEW View Syllabus
Wednesdays from 7 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. (12 weeks), beginning Sept. 9

Have you ever wished you could tell your story in such a way that your experience of God and your grappling with grace were the primary storyline? Guided by selected readings and literary examples, we will explore depths that underlie and thin places that surround the bare bones of biographical data, revealing a testament to faith and an evolving spirituality. Participants will creatively chronicle their spiritual autobiographies in ways that are individually fulfilling as a keepsake of the past and a legacy for the future. Miriam Therese Winter, Professor of Liturgy, Worship and Spirituality and Director, Women’s Leadership Institute

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