Courses that take the conversation deeper in the areas on worship studies, theology and culture, film, art, theatre at our Pasadena and Regional campuses, online, as well as on location (immersion).

 

TC 500 Theology and Culture.

An advanced seminar primarily for doctoral students open on the 500 level on a limited basis to qualified master's-level students. Prerequisite: Permission of instructor. Various

(Also Online Course)

TC 509 Theology and Popular Culture.

This course will engage students in a two-way dialogue between pop culture and theology, with particular emphasis upon music, movies, TV, art, fashion, and sports. Students will develop a biblical, theological, and historical understanding of these art forms and a critical understanding of the advertising, consumerism, and celebrity that drives pop culture. Various. 

(Also Online Course)

TC 512 Theology and Media Culture.

The course will investigate visual media culture, with an emphasis on television, exploring the theological implications of television and mass media upon culture, and in turn seek a theological engagement with the diverse and varied contours of visual media. We live in an age where television is acquiring a renewed influence upon society. Cable networks, advances in media technology, and access are making television a prime location for cultural reflection and impact. Taylor

TC 515 Topics in Theology and Culture: Theology and Pop Music.

The course will investigate some of the social, ethical, and psychological implications of popular music upon theology, and in turn seek a theological engagement with the diverse and varied contours of popular music. We live in an age where popular music provides a "soundtrack" to our lives; this course will explore the theological implications of this cultural artifact. Taylor

TC 516 Theology, Worship, and Art.

An introduction to Christian reflection on the visual arts, developing a biblical framework for creativity and art, and, against the background of classical aesthetics, exploring the alternative positions Christians have taken. M.A.: IDPL. Dyrness

(Also Online Course)

TC 519 Topics in Theology and the Visual Arts: Art, Cinema, and Theology in Dialogue and Interaction.

The course will examine significant artists using their own work as well as cinematic biopics, putting these works into dialogue with theological issues arising out of the same time periods. Taylor

TC 521 Theology and Contemporary Literature.

This course will explore 1) contemporary attitudes toward religion found in selected American novels, and 2) the means of theological dialogue with them. While debunking or listening, symbolizing or secularizing, arguing or affirming, current American fiction is often found interacting with the religious currents that pervade our culture. As such, it invites dialogue from a theological perspective. M.A.: IDPL. Johnston

(Also Online Course)

TC 529 Topics in Theology and Literature: G.K. Chesterson and C.S. Lewis.

This course will examine selected writings from Chesterton and Lewis as well as portions of their respective biographies. This course will specifically examine what a theology of joy looks like through the lens of the twentieth century's two most thoughtful exponents of Christian joy: G.K. Chesterton and C.S. Lewis. Brunner

TC 530 Theology and Film.

This course will consider one particular aspect of a theology of culture, theology and film. The course will view and discuss selected films, provide the student the critical skills helpful for film interpretation, and explore possible theological approaches to film criticism. M.A.: IDPL. Johnston

(Also Online Course)

TC 531 Postmodern Theology, Film and Youth Culture.

Seeking to introduce students to the theological and social dimensions of the forces that shape contemporary human culture, this course will engage postmodernity theologically by studying one of adolescents' primary sources of meaning: the movies. This course will investigate some of the social, ethical, and psychological implications of postmodern film upon theology, and in turn seek a theological engagement with these movies. Taylor/Detweiler

(Also Online Course)

TC 5/848 Ritual Studies.

This is a 6-unit doctoral seminar; the 500-level, 4-unit course is open to a limited number of master's level students by special permission. To study the people of God at worship is to study ritual. There can be no legitimate study of worship without taking into consideration the actual practice and action of the people involved. The challenge, however, is to move from simple description to evaluation. How does one determine what a ritual means? How does one appraise the enacted meaning in relationship to the intended meaning of the ritual? This course will explore various models of anthropological analysis of Christian practices as means of generating data for theological reflection and appraising pastoral praxis. Secondarily, this course will examine pedagogical strategies for using participant observation in teaching. Johnson

TC 551 Theology and Theatre.

This course explore the theological meaning of the event known as theatre. Theatre occurs, in part, when one tells the story by manifesting--incarnating--the story. As Christian disciples we are invited to tell the story of the gospel by embodying it in our daily lives. This course will explore three theological categories that define the theatrical event: Incarnation, Community, and Presence. These three categories will be developed in light of their theological corollaries: Christology, Trinity and Sacramentality. Using these three categories, we will explore the history of theatre and its relationship to the church, as well as the current issues existing between theatre and the Christian faith. We will do this against the backdrop of prevailing cultural narratives and a developing culture of sensationalism. Johnson and Savidge

TC 5/860 Theology and Culture Seminar.

This is a CATS doctoral seminar (for which students at the 800 level will register Spring and Summer, TC860A and TC860B), open to a limited number of master's level students (TC560) by permission of the instructor. This seminar is designed to encourage students to develop an intentional and critical methodology for interpreting and engaging cultural products (i.e. literary texts, films, music, etc.). In the broadest sense the course is designed to develop cultural literacy from a Christian perspective. The approach will be, first of all, to focus on particular cultural "texts" and develop strategies of reading and interpretation that are informed by biblical and theological perspectives. Various

TC 5/862 Dante/Medieval Art and Theology.

This is a 6-unit seminar for doctoral students, also offered at the 500-level as a 4-unit course open to a very limited number of master's level students by special permission. The seminar will read Dante's Divine Comedy and explore its relation to fourteenth- and fifteenth-century art and theology. Student preparation and discussion will focus critical attention on the themes and characteristics of Dante's work as an expression of the medieval figural imagination and its consequent understanding of theology. Dyrness

TC 5/864 A Theology of Beauty.

This is a 6-unit doctoral seminar, also offered at the 500-level as a 4-unit course open to a limited number of master's level students by special permission. Ideas of beauty were in eclipse for much of the 20th century, but have received renewed attention recently. In this course students will explore historical, philosophical, biblical, theological and cultural understandings of beauty with the goal of understanding the role of beauty in theology and the Christian life. Dyrness

TH 5/877 Sacraments and Sacramentality.

This doctoral seminar is open to a limited number of master's level students by special permission. The word sacrament is a term that conjures up images of sacred objects and sacred actions. The theology of those ecclesial rites known as sacraments has been one of the most divisive theological topics in the history of the church. In the last century, however, there has been a great deal of convergence between traditions using as a starting point for discussion the concept of "sacramentality," that is, the general question of how God is present in the world. This seminar will take up the question of sacramentality and then explore specific expressions of God's presence in the world commonly referred to as sacraments (or ordinances). This seminar will explore the history of sacramental theology, as well as models of the relationship between the doctrine of God and sacramentality. Johnson

TC 581 Worship, Theology and the Arts Touchstone.

This course is the introductory course for all students entering Worship, Theology and the Arts (WTA) concentrations at the master's level. This course introduces the students in the WTA concentration to the methodology that will undergird their theological study of Christian worship, along with narrative, performing, and plastic arts. Beginning with Augustine's philosophy of language and learning as introduced and developed in De Magistro and De Doctrina Christina, and his assertion that all we have to communicate with are signs, words, and gestures, this course will explore methods of exegeting signs and gestures to supplement the exegesis of words. The course will be divided into modules, each one focusing on the application of this method to Christian worship and two art forms. One module will also focus on the topic of the Brehm Lectures, which the students will be required to attend.

TC 591: Theology and the Arts Capstone Cohort.

The master's project is an integrative and culminating portion of the MA-WTA, MA-WMM, and MAT-TA degree programs. It provides students the opportunity to carefully and reflectively integrate their course work with their particular areas of artistic, ministerial, and/or cultural interest. The incorporation of applied fine and worship arts, course work, research, spirituality, and theological reflection lead to the development of a summative thesis or project (which will be undertaken in the Winter quarter).

 

WS 514 History and Practice of Music and Worship.

This course is intended to be a survey of how music has been used in the church as a means of declaring the message of God in the world and an expression of faith. Students will be guided through historical periods, trends, styles, controversies, and varieties of musical media from past to present. The course will aid the student to consider the theological issues relating to the use of music in worship. Willmington

WS 515 Musical Worship Leader Practicum (2 units)

This course will be an interactive experience for planning, leading, and evaluating corporate worship, particularly from the standpoint of the musical leader. There will be personal and group experiences in the process of planning and leading worship, including journaling of worship experiences, creating materials for corporate worship, principles for working with volunteers, all combined with an emphasis on spiritual formation and pastoral and theological principles of worship leading. Students will be encouraged in the use of a wide spectrum of worship styles and resources, in addition to evaluating their use for specific purposes within sacred settings. Maximum benefit for this course will be received by the student who is an active music leader in a worship setting. Willmington

WS 5/817 Word and Meaning.

This course is a PhD seminar (for which 800-level students register Winter and Spring, WS817A & WS817B) open to a limited number of master's level students (WS517), with the professor's permission. This doctoral seminar will explore the philosophical, aesthetic, and theological significance of language. It will look at how words work as discursive and presentational symbols, how words function in creating meaning, and how words and the Word function in preaching and worship. Schmit

WS 518 Worship Ministry on the Lord's Day

This course will explore both the practical and theological dimensions of worship leadership. It will examine issues relating to the planning and implementing of worship on the Lord’s Day (Sunday or Sabbath) in various Christian traditions. A significant part of the course will be devoted to the actual practice of worship leadership and the careful theological planning of worship on the Lord’s Day.   Students will be given the opportunity to participate in the planning process of our all-seminary chapels.  Students will be exposed to various case studies of worship within congregations and then will be invited to plan worship for those churches.  Further, students will be given the opportunity to develop skills in the public reading of scripture, leading in prayer—extempore and prescribed, application of pastoral care to worship, as well as musical selection and leadership. Johnson

(Also Online Course)

WS 519  Worship Ministry in the Seasons of Life

This course will explore both the practical and theoretical dimensions of worship leadership. It will examine issues relating to the planning and implementing of worship on the feasts, fasts and other holy days of the Christian calendar across various Christian traditions. It will also explore the creation and use of pastoral rites throughout the life cycle. This course will focus on the ways in which Christian worship can be adjusted and adapted to specific times in the life of a church and the life of its people. Special attention will be paid to the rites of marriage and burial across Christian traditions. Students will be given the opportunity to participate in the planning process of our all-seminary chapels. Johnson

WS 521 Music and Theology: the Power of Music.

This course will explore the relationship between theology and music, with special emphasis on the ways that music dynamically expresses Christian faith. It will consider issues such as using music as a lens through which we understand theology, exploring the interaction between music and theology in Christian traditions, the ways that music functions liturgically, and the theologies apparent in worship songs, hymns, and sacred music. Schmit/Plantiga
 WS 522 Music for the Church Year and Occasional Services. (2 units) This course is designed to provide students with an overview of worship music that is available and appropriate for use in services designed to follow the liturgical calendar and worship designed for special pastoral occasions (weddings, baptisms, funerals, etc.). Under consideration will be music from traditional hymnody, choral repertoire, as well as music from the "contemporary music" corpus. The course will teach students both about the wealth of material available and about how to do theological and liturgical analysis of songs and hymns in order to make proper musical selections regarding ensemble and congregational song for worship occasions. Willmington
Theology

 

Our immersion courses are designed holistically in that they meet "on location" thus adding additional layers to the students' experience and learning. Students engage with material presented in lectures or readings through a multitude of senses and experiences in their immediate surroundings.  

TC 588 Theology, Film, and Culture: Engaging Independent Film(Sundance)

The course will engage postmodernity and globalization theologically by studying one of our primary, culture shaping forces: the movies. This course will investigate some of the social, ethical, and psychological implications of international, independent film upon theology. And in turn seek a theological dialogue/critique with these movies. Detweiler

TC 519 Topics in Theology and the Visual Arts: Medieval Art and Theology.

This course studies selected texts and artistic programs from the late medieval period, 1300–1500. Offered in Orvieto, Italy, it will feature in-depth study of Giotto’s “Life of St Francis” in the Upper Church of San Francesco in Assisi, Ambrogio Lorenzetti’s “Good Government and Bad Government”in the Palazzo Pubblico of Siena, and Signorelli’s fresco program in the Capella Nuova in Orvietoin the context of the theological and worship life of the late middle ages and early renaissance. Chris Slatoff will lecture on the sculpture program of Lorenzo Maitani and lead the studio portion. Dyrness, Slatoff

SP 522 Medieval and Catholic Reformation Spirituality.

This course focuses on the spiritual understanding and practices of six key figures drawn from the Medieval and Catholic Reformation era. Their stories will be set in the context of the medieval understanding of liturgy and spirituality. In particular, the tension between church-based spirituality (the Eucharist) and experiential spirituality (mystical experience) will be examined. These six figures are Hildegard of Bingen, Francis of Assisi, Clare of Assisi, Catherine of Siena, Ignatius of Loyola, and Teresa of Ávila. Judy Peace will serve as guest lecturer on the women mystics. Offered in Orvieto, Italy the course will include trips to Assisi and Siena as well as exploration of the town of Orvieto, in particular its cathedral. Richard and Judy Peace

SP 522 Medieval/Renaissance Spirituality through Liturgy and the Arts.

With the medieval city of Orvieto as the backdrop for our explorations, this course will consider the shape of Medieval and early Renaissance worship and monastic devotion as modes of spiritual formation. The music and art of the period will inform our consideration of the spirituality of the era. Through visits to key historical sites, lectures, readings, discussions, viewing of local art, and engagement in local liturgies, students will become familiar with the patterns of prayer that shaped the era's devotion and continue to provide expression for contemporary people of faith. Topics to be explored include the shape of the Roman Mass and its theology, the practice of praying the monastic hours, the place of preaching within worship, the development of monastic chant and Renaissance sacred music, and Medieval and Renaissance sculpture and painting. In addition to exploring the sacred sites within Orvieto and its environs, students will also visit the city of Assisi, monastic home of Francis and Clare. Working with the instructor will be guest artist and teacher Christopher Slatoff. Schmit.

 

TC 500 Theology and Culture.

An advanced seminar primarily for doctoral students open on the 500 level on a limited basis to qualified master's-level students. Prerequisite: Permission of instructor. Various

(Also Pasadena Course)

TC 509 Theology and Popular Culture.

This course will engage students in a two-way dialogue between pop culture and theology, with particular emphasis upon music, movies, TV, art, fashion, and sports. Students will develop a biblical, theological, and historical understanding of these art forms and a critical understanding of the advertising, consumerism, and celebrity that drives pop culture. Various. 

(Also Pasadena Course)

TC 512 Theology and Media Culture.

The course will investigate visual media culture, with an emphasis on television, exploring the theological implications of television and mass media upon culture, and in turn seek a theological engagement with the diverse and varied contours of visual media. We live in an age where television is acquiring a renewed influence upon society. Cable networks, advances in media technology, and access are making television a prime location for cultural reflection and impact. Various

(Also Pasadena Course)

WS 518 Worship Ministry on the Lord's Day

This course will explore both the practical and theological dimensions of worship leadership. It will examine issues relating to the planning and implementing of worship on the Lord’s Day (Sunday or Sabbath) in various Christian traditions. A significant part of the course will be devoted to the actual practice of worship leadership and the careful theological planning of worship on the Lord’s Day.   Students will be given the opportunity to participate in the planning process of our all-seminary chapels.  Students will be exposed to various case studies of worship within congregations and then will be invited to plan worship for those churches.  Further, students will be given the opportunity to develop skills in the public reading of scripture, leading in prayer—extempore and prescribed, application of pastoral care to worship, as well as musical selection and leadership. Johnson

(Also Pasadena Course)

TC 530 Theology and Film.

This course will consider one particular aspect of a theology of culture, theology and film. The course will view and discuss selected films, provide the student the critical skills helpful for film interpretation, and explore possible theological approaches to film criticism. M.A.: IDPL. Johnston

(Also Pasadena Course)

TC 531 Postmodern Theology, Film and Youth Culture.

Seeking to introduce students to the theological and social dimensions of the forces that shape contemporary human culture, this course will engage postmodernity theologically by studying one of adolescents' primary sources of meaning: the movies. This course will investigate some of the social, ethical, and psychological implications of postmodern film upon theology, and in turn seek a theological engagement with these movies. Taylor/Detweiler

 

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