Detailed Program Description

Course Descriptions

For the Master of Theology Program

(The discriptions below were written in June 2013 and are subject to revision)

The Core Curriculum (16 credits)

All students in the Middle Eastern Theological Studies program take all of the following courses:

Ancient Middle Eastern Source Texts (3 credits)

Biblical Studies course for all students that develops skills in dealing with source texts, critical questions, pre-modern biblical interpretations, and comparative studies.† The course typically focuses on one subject, for example: Context and Reception of Genesis 1-11 (readings include Enuma Elish, Gilgamesh Epic, Philo, Jubilees, Apocryphon of John, etc.).

History of Middle Eastern Theology and Exegesis (3 credits)

A Christianity in the Middle East course for all students that develops historical awareness and skill in identifying significance of historical events.† Contents may address such topics as the Churchís struggle with Gnosticism, the campaign of Athanasius, the dialogue of Timothy I, Medieval Arab theologians, and the approach of Kenneth Cragg.

Constructive Theology in Middle Eastern Context (3 credits)

A Systematic Theology course for all students that develops skills in logical argument, consistency, and creative reflection. A typical topic for the class would be the doctrine of God.

Research Principles and Methods A and B (4 credits)

A general course that covers various research and academic writing skills and helps students develop a thesis proposal. Two year part-time students take a two-credit course each fall, while one year full-time students take a two-credit course in fall and a two-credit guided reading course during the January term.

Bible, History, and Theology Research Seminar (3 credits)

A general course that develops researching, oral, compositional, and relational skills by asking each student to prepare a series of presentations on the broader area in which he or she is going to write a masterís thesis.

Specialization Courses for Biblical Studies (11 credits)

Biblical Studies January Course (2 credits)

A course in either Old or New Testament Studies typically taught by a visiting professor in his or her area of expertise.

Hebrew Texts for Theologians (3 credits)

In this course students deepen and integrate their knowledge and skills in the areas of Hebrew, textual criticism, exegesis, theology, and hermeneutics.† Attention may also be paid to the structure of Hebrew poetry, the ancient Near Eastern context, history of interpretation, and/or paradigms of biblical interpretation.† The course is usually centered around a book of the Old Testament.† For example, the Book of Psalms (with special attention to the problem of evil), or the Book of Isaiah (with special attention to the question: Who is God?).

Greek Texts for Theologians (3 credits)

In this course students develop their skills in New Testament interpretation by advancing their knowledge of Greek morphology, syntax, and textual criticism, and by using this knowledge, for example, in the exegesis of verses in which the word theos (God) is (allegedly) used for Jesus.†

Biblical Topic for Theologians (3 credits)

This course explores a chosen theme in either the Old or New Testament.† For example, God in the Religion of Israel and in the Hebrew Bible, or Messiah, Jesus, Christ (an exploration of the development from Jewish messianic expectations through the historical Jesus to early Christology).

Specialization Courses for Christianity in the Middle East (CME) (11 credits)

CME I (3 credits)

An introduction to the development of the Christian community in the Near East from the 1st to the 7th centuries, giving special attention to the non-Greek speaking communities in Egypt, Syria, Persia, and North Africa, and the specific communal, political, and theological issues of each community (Graduate Studies Manual, 2006).

CME II (Credits)

This course will explore the effect of Islam on Middle Eastern Christian communities throughout the Middle Ages and the development of Roman Catholic missionary and uniate movements until the invasion of Egypt by the French under Napoleon (Graduate Studies Manual, 2006).

CME III (2 Credits)

A study of the church in the Middle East from the 19th century to the present, with special attention to four aspects:† (1) European occupation of the Middle East and its effects upon the church; (2) changes in the ministry of the Coptic and indigenous other churches in the area; (3) Western mission efforts, both Catholic and Protestant, and their effects;† (4)† contemporary issues facing the church and the their response. (This course will generally be taught in the January term.)

Muslim-Christian Dialogue (3 credits)

How have Christians and Muslims talked to each other over the centuries?† How has this history shaped the discourse in the Middle East today.† What forms of discourse are appropriate to advancing our life together, and what are not.† This course will examine the theoretical and practical issues related to interfaith dialogue in the Middle East, approaches to dialogue, and the experience of dialogue in a real situation.

Specialization Courses for Systematic Theology (11 credits)

Systematic Theology January Course (2 credits)

A course in Systemic Theology typically taught by a visiting professor in his or her area of expertise (generally Arab theology).

The Theology of Matta al-Miskin (3 credits)

The aim of this course is to get acquainted with the central tenets of the theology of Matta al-Miskin. Special foci will be on the christocentricity of Matta's theology and its cultural implications in the wake of the current Egyptian revolution, Orthodox-Reformed dialogue, and inter-religious dialogue. A considerable portion of Matta's various writings will be read weekly. This is a seminar-type, discussion-based course. Weekly discussions will be based on presentations and responses to these presentations by students. This course is limited to 12 students (enrollment priority is for graduating students).†

A Topic in Reformed Theology (3 credits)

A course that explores a topic in the Reformed theological tradition.† Topics will vary depending on the professor.† Typical topics include: 16th-century Reformed Confessions, or the theology of Herman Bavinck.

A Topic in Recent Western or Global South Theologies (3 credits)

In this course students will interact with recent theological thought about a locus (subject) like pneumatology or eschatology.†



Tel: (202) 2482.0574 x603
Fax:(202) 2685.7412


Tel: (202) 2482.0574 x607
Fax:(202) 2685.7412


Tel: (202) 2482.0574 x600
Fax:(202) 2685.7412


Tel: (202) 2482.0574 x606
Fax:(202) 2685.7412