Christian Studies & Philosophy Courses – Asbury University
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Christian Studies & Philosophy Courses

This guide provides additional information about most non-Foundations offered by the CSP department in the upcoming semester. The course schedule is subject to change, based on enrollment and staffing. For a complete listing of courses, as well as up-to-date information about what courses remain on the schedule and about times and days, please consult the official online schedule published by the Registrar.

Course Offerings for Fall 2023

▾ BTH 320 - Biblical Interpretation

Dr. Joy Vaughan     TR 9:25-10:40

A study of the methods and principles of biblical interpretation. It includes an application of interpretive principles to such areas as literary genre, historical and theological issues, the history of interpretation and the relationship between the testaments.

Prerequisites: OT 100 and NT 100.

▾ CM 100 - Ministry & Mission in the Contemporary Church

Dr. Brian Hull, Dr. Sam Kim, and Professor Caleigh Smith     TR 12:45-2:00

Do you feel a call to ministry or mission work? Are you wondering if you might? Or are you wondering how God’s call fits with your other passions? This course will help you develop some foundational concepts about “church” and “ministry” that will be central to your own calling and ministry. We will explore Christian vocation (calling) and students’ participation in God’s mission through the church. We do this by addressing five questions:
1. How are we (the church) doing? Current State of the Church
2. Who are we? The Nature of the Church
3. Where have we been? The History of the Church
4. Where are we going? The Future of the Church
5. Who is leading us? Vocation (Calling) and You

No prerequisites.

▾ CM 201 - Dynamics of Spiritual Growth

Dr. John Morley     MWF 11:00-11:50

In this course we will investigate the idea and process of spiritual formation and how Christians can grow in their personal walks with Jesus. We will use Dr. Robert Mulholland’s definition of spiritual formation as a primer for the course. “Spiritual formation is the process of being conformed to the image of God for the sake of others.” Students will have the opportunity to examine who they are in Christ (the beloved), how they best relate to God and contemplate the belief that spiritual formation is about who we are being vs. what we are doing for Christ. We will discuss the intentional integration of spiritual disciplines in one’s life as a means of creating space for God to work through these acts of love. We will utilize various learning mediums from class discussion, reading spiritual formation classics, participating in individual spiritual practice experiments and small group discussions to further the integration of faith, living and learning. Students will create a final Rule of Life project where they commit to partner with the Holy Spirit to incorporate different spiritual practices (means of grace) and sacred rhythms into their lives. This spiritual formation plan will serve as a conduit for the believer to receive the abundance of God’s love that we might be bearers of His love to the world. In the end it is hoped students will affirm the belief that we are all on a unique spiritual journey and God meets us wherever we are along our path.

No prerequisites.

▾ CM 211 - Instructional Bible Study

Professor Caleigh Smith     MWF 11:00-11:50

You are going to love this very useful and practical class that will help you study Scripture and lead others in studying Scripture. This unique class has three main parts: 1) Learn the basics of the Inductive Bible Study method so you can better observe, interpret, and apply Scripture yourself; 2) Learn how to lead small groups in a discussion based way so that they can engage Scripture together; and 3) Lead a Bible study that you have prepared throughout the class. This is an extremely useful class for any student who will be leading Bible studies of any age group now or in the future.

No prerequisites.

▾ CM 235 - CM Practicum

Professor Jeannie Banter     W 4:00-4:50

Practicum is taken for one credit as a required experience in the Christian Ministries and Youth Ministry major. The student completes the Practicum during or following the student’s sophomore year. The practicum experience gives the student the opportunity to be exposed to a variety of ministry settings, explore interests in ministry, and begin to select the focus of one’s ministry calling. Students attend five classes and complete an additional 30 hours at a ministry site (10 hours at three different sites).

No prerequisites, but majors and minors only. May be repeated once for credit.

▾ CM 361 - Worship through the Ages

Dr. Dan Pinkston     MWF 2:00-2:50

A study of worship through the lenses of Scripture and Christian history, with an emphasis on developing theological reflection skills regarding worship practices. Students develop their own philosophy of congregational worship.

Prerequisites: CM 213 or WA 101.

▾ CM 380 - Organizational Strategies in Ministry

Dr. Brian Hull     TR 9:25-10:40

Have you ever wondered how ministry actually works? How do you move from ideas to implementation? This class helps us be intentional in learning about our context, articulating a vision for ministry, and developing the methods for carrying out that vision. Our alumni often say this is the class they use the most on an everyday basis. You will work on your own ministry project in this class with lots of hands-on experience!

Prerequisites: CM 100.

▾ CM 475 - Senior Seminar

Dr. Brian Hull     TR 3:30-4:45

A reflection upon the entire field of Christian Ministries with specific orientation toward the evaluation of experience and the setting of goals for future ministry. Senior majors and minors only.

No prerequisites, but for senior majors and minors only.

▾ EM 220 - Teaching in the Church

Dr. James Bush     TR 2:10-3:25

An introduction to the educational ministry of the church, with a focus on the act of teaching as a means for leading people to Christ and to maturity in their Christian walk. Students will explore basic principles of learning and human development, curriculum design and varieties of methodology, as well as structures for Christian growth and learning in the Church.

No prerequisites.

▾ EM 340 - Children's Ministry

Staff     T 3:30-6:30

Let's take the incredible opportunity that we have with children and be intentional about raising up committed followers of Jesus Christ. We know that the majority of people who are Christians make that commitment when they are children. Come learn about innovative, grounded, ministry to and with Children. The course helps you understand what children of different ages are going through and need, how the church can help them belong to the community of faith, and challenge them to help lead us into the future.

No prerequisites.

▾ ICS 201 - Christianity & World Religions

Dr. Sam Kim     MWF 1:00-1:50

This course examines the world’s major religions and considers thoughtful Christian responses to them. You will learn basic research methodologies that help you to study and learn about world religions, including their origins, claims, messages, structures, practices and communities. You will also acquire missiological tools to engage people in other religious communities. At the end of the class, you will be better prepared to live, work, and minister in our contemporary, pluralistic society.

No prerequisites.

▾ ICS 311 - Strategies in Intercultural Communication

Dr. Sam Kim     TR 9:25-10:40

This course focuses upon the development of skills needed for effective,cross-cultural communication of the Gospel. It is designed to help you analyze of communication variables and understand how to communicate with people who are different from you. It leads you to examine of your own cultural identities and your interactions with others. In this global diversity, we will examine the interacts of values, assumptions, beliefs, traditions and communication rules.

No prerequisites.

▾ NT 265 - Honors: New Testament and the Good Life

Dr. Kevin Anderson     MWF 3:00-3:50

This is an honors course in New Testament introduction with a special emphasis on New Testament ethics. It introduces the historical context, literary features, essential content, and theology of the books of the New Testament. It also studies the New Testament as the church’s authoritative guide to Christian identity, behavior, true blessedness, and dignity.

▾ NT 350 - Writings of John

Dr. Kevin Anderson     TR 12:45-2:00

A study of New Testament passages that deal with the end times, especially the Revelation. Various theological interpretations of the data are presented for analysis and discussion.

Prerequisites: OT 100 and NT 100.

▾ OT 330 - Wisdom Literature

Dr. James Wilson     MWF 2:00-2:50

A study of wisdom in the Old Testament with an emphasis on Job, Proverbs and Ecclesiastes. Some attention will be given to wisdom in its broader ancient Near Eastern context.

Prerequisites: OT 100.

▾ PHL 231 - Ethics

Dr. Sydney Penner     TR 9:25-10:40 and TR 2:10-3:25

We all routinely make ethical judgements and encounter other people making such judgements. Sometimes we more or less agree in our judgements, though agreement often escapes our notice, being so entirely non-disruptive. Sometimes we disagree, as, for example, in the very noticeable case of abortion. Ethics as a discipline is in the business of asking questions about our ethical judgements, both about the ones subject to disagreement and those not. Which judgements are true? What justifies them? Are they relative to cultural standards or not? Does moral obligation depend on God’s commands or does secular morality make sense? Is there a systematic ethical theory that explains our disparate ethical judgements and helps us think through controversial cases? In this course we will explore answers to a sampling of such questions and we will examine a number of specific ethical theories that have gained prominence, including consequentialism, Kantianism, and Aristotelianism.

No prerequisites.

▾ PHL 251 - Philosophy of C.S. Lewis

Dr. Claire Peterson     MWF 1:00-1:50

A study of the philosophical works of Lewis dealing with arguments for the existence of God based on human rationality, the problem of suffering, objective truth, and moral law. Addresses philosophical themes in the Narnia Chronicles and Lewis’ thought in relation to popular culture. Includes viewing and discussion of pertinent videos.

No prerequisites (despite what other sources may say).

▾ PHL 265 - Honors: Science, Faith, and Our Place in the Cosmos

Dr. Sydney Penner     MWF 3:00-3:50

The Scientific Revolution in the early modern period is often hailed as one of the greatest triumphs of Western thought. That modern science has led to an exponential increase in our knowledge of the world and to the many technological marvels that rely on that knowledge would be difficult to deny. On the other hand, modern science is similarly often feared (and sometimes welcomed) as undermining crucial religious and moral values. If science says that human beings are the result of millions of years of bloody, brutal evolution—and, indeed, that human beings don’t even constitute a stable species with sharply defined boundaries—what are the implications of that understanding for faith in a providential God? For human rights?

In this course, we will examine the history and philosophy of science to come to a better understanding of what science is in the first place and therefore what its limits may or may not be. How did we get from thinking of theology as a preeminent science to thinking it is not a science at all? What does count as a science? How confident should we be in the pronouncements of science? Are there challenges to science (e.g., the problem of induction or the theory-ladenness of observations) that should give us pause? Are there other sources of knowledge than science, and, if so, how do they relate to science?

After thinking about some of those more general questions, we will turn to the revolution in biology inaugurated by Darwin. Evolutionary theory is one of the most well-supported and fruitful theories in science, but also raises some of the most difficult questions. For Christians, is it compatible with the creation account we’re given in Genesis? Even if we read the temporal details in a way that is compatible with billions of years of evolution, can evolutionary origins of human beings be squared with the doctrine of original sin? What would accepting evolution mean for our understanding as being created in the image of God? What does the Darwinian account of species as vague and changeable mean for theological, ethical, and political accounts focused on our identity as members of the human species? These and other similar questions will occupy our attention in the second part of the course.

▾ PM 400 - Pastoral Care & Counseling

Dr. Brian Hull     MWF 11:00-11:50

One of the greatest privileges and one of the hardest challenges of ministry is walking with people through some of their best and worst moments. These moments are incredible opportunities to point to and demonstrate the love of Christ that is WITH us. This course is a study of the biblical and theological framework of pastoral counseling. It will cover most of the typical problems requiring counseling faced by the local pastor, including pre-marital counseling, hospital visitation, grief counseling, and crisis ministry. It will also provide guidelines for when pastors need to refer counseling issues to more qualified and trained counselors.

No prerequisites.

▾ SOC 112 - Introduction to Anthropology

Dr. Sam Kim     TR 8:00-9:15

An introduction to the comparative study of man and his culture. Treated are such themes as social organization (e.g. marriage, kinship, social stratification, etc.), social interaction (e.g. economic and political systems, religion, social control, etc.), and cultural change.

No prerequisites.

▾ TH 393 - Seminar: Women and Theology

Dr. Suzanne Nicholson     TR 2:10-3:25

Selected topic in theology.

No prerequisites.

▾ WA 101 - Introduction to Worship Arts

Dr. Dan Pinkston     MW 3:00-3:50

An introductory examination of the content, construct, and context of the worship arts in the contemporary church. Special attention is given to music.

No prerequisites.

▾ YM 235 - YM Practicum

Professor Jeannie Banter     W 4:00-4:50

Practicum is taken for one credit as a required experience in the Christian Ministries and Youth Ministry major. The student completes the Practicum during or following the student’s sophomore year. The practicum experience gives the student the opportunity to be exposed to a variety of ministry settings, explore interests in ministry, and begin to select the focus of one’s ministry calling. Students attend five classes and complete an additional 30 hours at a ministry site (10 hours at three different sites).

Majors and minors only. May be repeated once for credit.

▾ YM 350 - Youth Ministry

Professor Caleigh Smith     TR 3:30-4:45

Youth ministry when done well is more than just dodgeball and pizza parties! It is an opportunity to walk with people at one of the most important times in their lives! This is the foundational youth ministry class that helps students learn how to theologically approach ministry with youth. More than just giving students one model for youth ministry, students will develop tools that help them understand youth culture, interpret what is happening, know what God is up to, and to adjust ministry so that it connects to youth in your place and culture.

No prerequisites, but taking CM 100 first is recommended for CM/YM majors.

Course Offerings for Spring 2023

▾ BTH 330 - Bible, Culture, Justice

Dr. Suzanne Nicholson     TR 9:25-10:40

This course will explore the biblical mandate to love our neighbors as ourselves (Lev 19:18; Mark 12:31). Drawing from all parts of Scripture, students will study biblical passages relating to some of the pressing issues Christians face in contemporary society such as human trafficking, poverty and economic justice, abortion and child welfare, discrimination, gender roles and sexual identity. The goal of the course is not to provide students with a pat answer for each issue, but to equip students with tools to evaluate and respond in Christian ways to these concerns.

▾ BTH 340 - Holiness and the Christian Life

Dr. Kevin Anderson     TR 2:10-3:25

This course explores the biblical, theological, and historical foundations of Christian holiness and its relation to the doctrine of salvation. Special emphasis will be given to a Wesleyan understanding of holiness, and its relevance in relation to contemporary expressions of Christian spirituality.

▾ BTH 475 - Senior Seminar

Dr. Brian Shelton     R 3:30-4:20

A discussion-oriented course examining issues in biblical and theological studies. Requirements include readings and written reflections, with a required ministry experience for pre-ministry majors. Passing grades are based on fulfillment of requirements, attendance and participation.

▾ CM 100 - Ministry & Mission in the Contemporary Church

Dr. Brian Hull and Dr. Sam Kim     TR 12:45-2:00

An examination of various models of the church and its ministry. Contemporary expressions of the church's mission in the world will be explored and compared to Biblical ideas, and students will develop a personal statement of ministry philosophy. Consideration will be given to the call, qualifications, and roles of ministry leaders.

▾ CM 201 - Dynamics of Spiritual Growth

Dr. John Morley     MWF 2:00-2:50

A study of the dynamics of Christian growth and maturity, with special emphasis on the Spirit-filled life. Concepts of discipleship and spiritual formation will be considered in the light of human developmental patterns. The course is concerned with students' own spiritual growth, and their facilitation of others' spiritual growth.

▾ CM 211 - Instructional Bible Study

Professor Caleigh Smith     MWF 9:00-9:50

A Bible study skill course combined with examination and application of appropriate methods and materials for teaching the Bible. Opportunity is given in lab sessions to develop personal skills in teaching and leading small group Bible studies.

▾ CM 235 - CM Practicum

Professor Jeannie Banter     W 4:00-4:50

Opportunity for observation and practical experience in ministry settings as a means to clarify direction and call to ministry through networking with professionals serving in a ministry role. Periodic class sessions provide opportunity for interaction with peers and reflection on ministry practices. Majors and minors only. May be repeated.

▾ CM 411 - Leadership in Ministry

Dr. Brian Hull     TR 3:30-4:20

A survey of foundational principles of leadership and leadership development in ministry settings. Students develop personal leadership skills relating to team ministry.

▾ EM 280 - Foundations for Educational Ministry

Professor Caleigh Smith     MWF 11:00-11:50

A study of cultural, theological, philosophical, and psychological concepts foundational to the field of educational ministry.

▾ EM 360 - Adult Ministry

Dr. James Bush     TR 2:10-3:25

An examination of the periods of adulthood from the perspective of needs, developmental tasks and spiritual formation. Includes program development and a study of principles which promote the integration of all adults into the community of faith.

▾ ICS 201 - Christianity & World Religions

Dr. Sam Kim     TR 8:00-9:15

A critical analysis of the belief systems and behavioral practices of contemporary religious systems. Special attention is given to the development of healthy interreligious dialogue and missionary strategies for reaching those people groups who practice such religious systems with the message of the Gospel.

▾ ICS 322 - Contextualization: Christianity & Culture

Dr. Sam Kim     MWF 11:00-11:50

Examines the impact of culture upon Christianity in all cultures, including our own, and the need for effective contextualization of the Gospel in every culture in order to address matters of faith and establish an indigenous church. This course is best taken by students in their last year of a degree program who have foundations in theology/Bible and culture as they prepare to be leaders and innovators in their churches and mission fields.

▾ ICS 393 - Seminar: Cross-Cultural Leadership

Dr. Sam Kim     TR 9:25-10:40

Special topics in Intercultural Studies.

▾ NT 210 - The Growth of the New Testament Church

Dr. Suzanne Nicholson     TR 12:45-2:00

A study of the emergence of Christianity in relation to the historical, religious, and philosophical milieu of the first century. Attention is given to the birth and development of the apostolic church and the variety of ways in which it witnessed to the revelation of God in Christ.

▾ OT 200 - Pentateuch

Dr. Julianne Burnett     MWF 9:00-9:50

An analysis of the general content and spiritual teachings of each of the first five Old Testament books, with special attention to historical and theological features.

▾ PHL 231 - Ethics

Dr. Sydney Penner     TR 8:00-9:15 and 12:45-2:00

Studies the major thinkers and positions in the field of ethics with attention to their relation to Christian thinking related to moral life. Among the views studied are forms of utilitarianism, Kantianism, hedonism, and virtue theory.

▾ PHL 293 - Seminar: Work and the Good Life

Dr. Claire Peterson     MWF 11:00-11:50

Selects a significant issue, problem, theme, or thinker for intensive study.

▾ PM 410 - Evangelism

Dr. Brian Hull     TR 9:25-10:40

This course provides a theological and practical introduction to the practice of evangelism, particularly in and through the local church. It prepares pastors and church leaders in fostering the evangelistic outreach of individuals and of the congregation as a whole. Students will also explore how the local church partners in world evangelization.

▾ TH 265 - Human Dignity, Depravity, and Destiny

Professor Thomas McCall     MWF 3:00-3:50

Honors Program course in Theology. Course syllabus varies by semester. Equivalent to TH 250.

▾ TH 310 - History of the Early Church

Dr. Brian Shelton     MWF 2:00-2:50

An introduction to the rise and development of the Christian church from its inception to the Council of Chalcedon in the fifth century.

▾ WA 211 - Worship Band Ensemble

Dr. Dan Pinkston     MTR 7:00 P.M. - 9:00 P.M. or MTR 9:00 P.M. - 11:00 P.M.

Required for students in the Worship Arts major (music emphasis). Members practice together and use their music in multiple ministry situations throughout the semester, especially chapel services. By audition only. May be repeated.

▾ WA 265 - Redemption Songs: History of Worship

Dr. Dan Pinkston     MWF 3:00-3:50.

This course traces the God-given impulse to create music in worship by exploring the Biblical record, medieval liturgies, Reformation transformations, the birth of Wesleyan evangelicalism, and the contemporary worship movement. Students will examine the historical, cultural, political, economic, and theological environments that led to various developments in the music of the church. Further, students will analyze and perform key historical and contemporary pieces of music that represent various expressions of worship. Students will compare the values of different approaches to liturgy and worship style, with reference to differing cultural expressions and customs. Through a biblical and historical survey of church worship practices and principles, students will develop their own theology/philosophy of music in Christian worship.

▾ WA 330 - Worship Design

Dr. Dan Pinkston     TR 12:45-2:00

Is a combination of lecture and group projects that allow students to review the elements required for a good worship experience and then to design worship experiences utilizing all of the arts, including dance, literature, visual art, theatre, digital media, and various music styles as appropriate. Leadership & team work principles, aesthetics, design, and worship history will be integrated as guidelines.

▾ YM 235 - YM Practicum

Professor Jeannie Banter     W 4:00-4:50

Opportunity for observation and practical experience in ministry settings as a means to clarify direction and call to ministry through networking with professionals serving in a youth ministry role. Periodic class sessions provide opportunity for interaction with peers and reflection on ministry practices. Majors and minors only. May be repeated once for credit.