Systematic Theology is the contemporary intellectual reflection on the content of divine revelation as an interrelated whole. The faculty seek to develop the student’s ability to treat theological material systematically and constructively; that is, according to a method that attends to the coherence and interconnectedness of the elements of the Christian tradition. The necessary role of historical, dogmatic and descriptive theological activity is thereby acknowledged. Systematic theology emphasizes the inter- relationships that exist among central theological themes and topics while being sensitive to the socio-cultural contexts and dynamics within which these issues emerge.
Coursework Requirements (12-16 courses)
At least six courses in systematic theology
Two courses in an area other than the major or minor
Selection of a minor (Ethics, Bible, Historical, Comparative Theology, or Pastoral Theology) and courses determined by the area minor
Systematics colloquium for at least first two years
- Two modern research languages in theology (normally French and German)
A two-hour written examination on theological method
A two-hour written examination on a systematic theological locus
A two-hour written examination pertinent to the student’s proposed dissertation topic
A two hour written examination based upon one of the student’s two elective topic bibliographies
A written examination in the minor area
An oral examination of one and a half to two hours (the viva voce) based upon the five written examinations.
In consultation with their advisor and examination committee members, students will generate six bibliographies designed to demonstrate broad competence in the major area and to promote progress towards the dissertation. The final bibliographies are due to the comprehensive exam committee for approval a minimum of sixty days before the exam takes place.
Three bibliographies are dedicated to major theologians in the Christian Theological Tradition covering four historical periods: Early (Christian Origins to 800 CE), Medieval (800 CE to 1500 CE), Reformation/Modern (1500 CE to 1920 CE), and Contemporary (1920 CE to present).
Three bibliographies are dedicated to Elective Topics and should adhere to the established protocols listed in the systematics manual.
Systematic Theology Minor
Three courses in Systematic Theology
Together with an advisor, the student will develop a bibliography on a special theological topic from within the general area of Systematic Theology, or on a major theological author, or on a coherent cluster of minor authors (e.g., a group of liberation theologians).
Comprehensive Examination requirements
A written examination in the minor area based on the special project.