Each module (other than the Study-Abroad tour) contains the following courses:
- Historical Theology: Ancient Insights for Today (4 credit hours) Dr. Peter Fitch
- Biblical Studies/Theology (2 credit hours) Dr. Brad Jersak
- Philosophy (1 credit hour) Dr. Brad Jersak
- Spiritual Formation in Classical Traditions (1 credit hour) Lorna Jones, Ignatian Spiritual Director
- Counselling (2 credit hours for 2/3 modules) Dr. Walter Thiessen
- Culture/Justice (2 credit hours 1/3 modules) Dr. L.A. Henry , Dr. David Moore
This course looks at interpretation of various Old and New Testament passages and asks provocative questions about the healthiest way to treat sacred texts.
This module introduces students to some major themes in the teaching of St. Paul the Apostle, reading them in the historical and literary context of his NT Epistles. It then examines how the early church understood Paul through reflections of the church fathers on key passages in their commentaries and homilies. Finally, it considers the meaning of these themes, reading Paul by applying the interpretive practices of the early church.
This module engages students on what Jesus of Nazareth revealed about the nature of God and the kingdom of God. It approaches the self-revelation of God in Christ from below (biblical studies) and above (systematic theology), using the core texts and Bible as guides. These findings are integrated in order to see God’s nature and kingdom as kenotic and cruciform, ruled by divine and human consent and participation. These themes will then be applied to practical ministry, such as healing people’s image of God and the sharing of a “more beautiful gospel.”
Focuses on enabling students from a wide variety of backgrounds and experience to become safe listeners and helpers. On a foundation of a basic counselling model, this week aims at increasing self-awareness of the ways that we can unintentionally hurt rather than help people. Some basic understandings of mental illness and counselling ethics are introduced.
Explores methods of counselling and prayer ministry that promote “whole- brained” or experiential change. Students are introduced to new and old models of inner healing prayer, the importance of metaphors and symbols, and the power of narrative or story.
HISTORY OF CHRISTIAN SPIRITUALITY
An examination of the development of Christian thought and spirituality in historical context from Acts to Benedict’s Rule (Module 1, 1st–6th centuries), from Gregory the Great to Thomas à Kempis (Module 2, 7th–15th centuries), and from the Reformation to Today (Module 3, 16th–21st centuries) with an application to ministry in the contemporary church and world.
Includes reading and discussion of the Apostolic Fathers, Athanasius’ Life of Antony, Eusebius, St. Augustine, Benedict’s Rule, as well as other primary and secondary sources, with a particular focus on interpretation of Scripture and the development of an “ancient-future paradigm”.
Includes reading and discussion of Gregory the Great’s Pastoral Care, Bernard of Clairvaux, Francis and Clare, Thomas à Kempis, as well as other primary and secondary sources, with a particular focus on caring for those who suffer.
Includes reading and discussion of Luther, Calvin, Teresa of Avila, Pascal, Herbert, Baxter, Wesley, Thérèse de Lisieux, Bonhoeffer and C. S. Lewis, as well as other primary and secondary sources, with a particular focus on justice issues and questions raised by the emerging church.
Experiential instruction in and practice of spiritual formation exercises in Ignatian and other classical traditions. Students will be encouraged to develop a “contemplative attitude” to God through reflection on Scripture and personal experience, with the hope that there will be growth in freedom to respond to God’s call.
PHILOSOPHY & CULTURE
Discovering truth and meaning through narrative philosophy in the writings of the Existentialists
Explorations in philosophy on the Good God, just society and the just person.
Learning to appreciate diversity, hold difference and create social change.
This two-week study–abroad class is designed to familiarize students with the historical and cultural context of parts of the Biblical world (typically Greece and Italy) at the same time as it highlights the lives of some of the luminaries who, through art or thought or saintly lives, helped to change the world in their day. The countries visited also provide unique opportunities for interfaith and ecumenical experiences. And, of course, a highlight is the rich community that forms around shared learning experiences.
MASTER OF MINISTRIES – RESEARCH COMPONENT
The Ministry project (approximately 60–80 pages, double-spaced) involves a practical strategy that is designed and implemented under the supervision of a mentor and then described in written form. Since it is primarily professional or practical in nature (i.e. non-academic), we also generally ask for a 20- to 30-page theoretical/academic defence.
In lieu of a ministry project, students may opt to complete two directed studies. These are research papers created and completed in conjunction with a supervisor. The topics can be tailor-made according to the student’s interest and will involve significant reading and research components leading to a major paper.
MASTER OF ARTS IN THEOLOGY & CULTURE – RESEARCH COMPONENT
The research methods course is an online-based course that will guide students toward choosing an area of study, a topic and supervisor for their forthcoming thesis. Once a supervisor is secured, the student will walk through the steps of composing a complete thesis proposal. Once approved, the student will be cleared to write their thesis.
The thesis involves the preparation of a research dissertation. Students must have demonstrated a strong ability to do research and to write in order to gain academic approval. To graduate, the approved thesis would need to be a minimum of 15,000 words (60 pages double-spaced), not including bibliography and appendices. For students considering pursuing doctoral studies, we recommend a minimum of 20,000 words (80 pages), not including bibliography and appendices. The maximum length allowed for the thesis is 25,000 words (no more than 100 pages).
St. Stephen’s University reserves the right to cancel or revise any of the courses listed or to withdraw for the semester any course for which there is insufficient demand.