The M.A. in Theology & Letters is a limited enrolment, academically rigorous, two-year course of graduate studies for those aspiring to recover a faithful, reformed, philological approach to theology. All students need to be able (as a minimum) to work comfortably within either Hebrew, Greek or Latin. Students will be able to study biblical or systematic theology using the philological method. This course is suitable for Bible translators, systematic theologians, those seeking pastoral training and anyone interested in pursuing a philological approach to the study of texts in their original language. The M.A. program thus provides students a unique opportunity to explore both philology and theology as they apply to numerous areas of the life of the Church.
Candidates for the M.A. degree must pass a total of 32 credits, with a minimum grade of MCH (B-) in each course. The M.A. degree requirements include:
|Year A||Year B||Year A/B||Electives (Year A and/or B)|
|Jerusalem||Translation Theory and the Work of Theology I|
|Reformed Systematics I|
|MA Thesis Project|
|Examples of Electives Offered|
|Nicea||Translation Theory and the Work of Theology II|
|Reformed Systematics II|
|Year-long Wenden House Translation Projects and Assigned Readings|
|Chalcedon||Translation Theory and the Work of Theology III|
|Reformed Systematics III|
|Westminster||Translation Theory and the Work of Theology IV |
|Reformed Systematics IV|
Generally, the resolution of theological disagreement requires an agreed-upon “theological rule book,” a rule book that can adjudicate between competing theological views. During the Reformation, this of course became particularly salient as Protestants boldly claimed that the Church had been following the wrong set of theological rules. But which theological rules are the correct ones, and who decides, and by what criteria? And even if everyone had agreed that Scripture (alone) is the correct rule book, what interpretive rules ought we use to determine what the rule book actually says? Again, says who, and by what criteria? This course navigates these issues, discussing how contemporary Christians might properly deal with the fact that many theological disagreements are second-order, or “meta” disagreements: disagreements about the fundamental rules of theology.
An important move in the development of modern historiography was made by those Protestants who used Latin to chronicle the unmistakably momentous events happening all around them. This course will read selections from these Protestant historians, such as Johann Sleidan, Richard Dinoth, John Foxe, Johannes Lerius, Joachim Camerarius, and others in the original Latin and explore what goals they set out to accomplish, what methods they followed in doing so, and why and how they used Latin to achieve those goals. The selections will cover a range of fascinating subjects running from a Calvinist colony sent to the New World, the sack of the Rome by imperial troops, the wars of religion in France culminating the St. Bartholomew’s Day Massacre, to the Protestant martyrologies of John Foxe and Jean Crespin. On the whole, the course will attempt to locate Reformation Era Latin historiography on the spectrum between Classical and Renaissance history writing and the rise of modern historiography in the nineteenth century.
This course is a year-long introduction to Systematic Theology from a Reformed perspective. We will approach theology as an exercise of regenerate reason, following the Creator’s instruction in Holy Scripture, to the end of fellowship with Him. Undertaken with the saints in the economy of salvation, derivative of God’s perfect knowledge, and reliant on His gracious provision, our theological reflection will embrace practices befitting its task, including confession, prayer, and praise. We will contemplate individual theological topics in view of the whole, giving careful attention to the placement of and connections between different elements. While using Berkhof’s arrangement as our primary guide, we will consider supplementary sources along the way.
Epic poetry is one of the great roots of Western literature. It flourished especially among peoples speaking Indo-European languages from Ireland to India and reveals cognate conceptions and practices of religion, politics, and art inherited along with the related languages. Christians in Europe encountered it primarily through Virgil and slowly absorbed its themes while transfiguring them through a Biblical sensibility, eventually producing their own epic works while also sometimes seeing the Bible in epic terms. In this course, students will look at this long literary arc from Homer and Virgil to Ariosto and Milton primarily through Lewis’ critical categories of “primary and secondary epic”, and end with a consideration of 19th and 20th century critical retrievals of elements of epic form.
This course will focus on a close reading of the Abraham narrative found in Genesis 11:27-25:11 alongside interpretations of events within this narrative found in other books of the Old Testament, the New Testament and post-biblical Jewish, Christian and Muslim traditions. Students will examine how these interpretive traditions have read the biblical narrative and how Abraham became a point of divergence between Judaism, Christianity and Islam and not a point of convergence.
This course builds upon the foundation laid in Hebrew 601-04 and aims to take the student from the Biblical period through to the Medieval period through a select reading of set texts. The first two terms will proceed from the more challenging prophetic/poetic texts to Hebrew inscriptions from the Biblical period. The course will then proceed to reading selected Hebrew texts from the Dead Sea Scrolls and 2nd Temple literature and proceed to reading select Rabbinic texts, finishing with the Medieval Hebrew Grammarians and some Medieval Hebrew Poetry.
Texts Studied: Habakkuk 1-3; Exodus 15; Judges 5; Deuteronomy 32-33; Mesha Stele; 1QpHab; Selections from the Hodayot, 11Q Melchizedek; Mishnah Sanhedrin 10; Pesikta de Rav Kahana 1:1-4; Selections from Midrash Tehillim 1; Mikraot Gedolot (medieval grammarians) on Genesis ch.3; Medieval Poetry: War (Shmuel HaNagid); Open the Gate, You lie in My Palace, Tell the Boy, Winter with its Ink (Solomon Ibn Gabriol); Love in me Stirs, A Gift of Cheese (Yitzhaq Ibn Khalfoun)
The sixteenth century was in many ways a century of satire. From posters and pamphlets to woodcuts and engravings, the era oftentimes expressed itself in caricature and lampoon. This course will explore satire as expressed in the Latin writings of figures such as Erasmus of Rotterdam, Ulrich von Hutten, Eobanus Hessus, Antonius Corvinus, Celio Secondo Curione, and Johann Hasenberg. It will look at common motifs, themes, and strategies, explore the literary traditions it taps into, and consider its objectives, both those it hoped to achieve and those it actually did. Particular attention will be paid to the use of Latin in its various styles, “dialects,” and registers and the effect the language itself was meant to have on its readership.
August 7-10, 2018 — Prologus Studiorum
August 10, 2018 — Orientation & Convocation
August 13, 2018 — Term Begins
September 21-22, 2018 — Prospective Student Weekend
October 1-5, 2018 — Final Examination Week
October 5, 2018 — Jerusalem Term Ends
October 8-12, 2018 — Fall Break
October 15, 2018 — Term Begins
October 26-27 — Prospective Student Weekend
November 19-23, 2018 — Thanksgiving Break
December 7, 2018 — First Friday
December 10-14, 2018 — Final Examination Week
December 14, 2018 — Nicea Term Ends
December 17, 2018 — Christmas Break Begins
January 14, 2019 — Term Begins
February 1, 2019— First Friday
February TBD, 2019 — Prospective Student Weekend
March 1, 2019 — First Friday
March 4-8, 2019 — Final Examination Week
March 8, 2019 — Chalcedon Term Ends
March 11-15 — 2019 Spring Break
March 18, 2019 — Term Begins
April 5, 2019 — First Friday
April 19, 2019 — Good Friday
April TBD, 2019 — Prospective Student Weekend
(during the 2019 Grace Agenda Conference)
May 6-10, 2019 — Final Examination Week
May 9, 2019 — Commencement
May 10, 2019 — Westminster Term Ends