Courses | Science and Religion, M.A.

Course Overview

The following documents outline a suggested course schedule.

Summary

Below are some of the courses you’ll have an opportunity to take as a student in this program. Note: This list is intended to give you a quick glimpse into the program’s academic offerings, and should not be used as a guide for course selection or academic advising. For official program requirements see catalog for details.

Science and Religion Core

A survey of the history of science from antiquity through the twenty-first century and its interaction with Christianity. Emphasis is on key historical movements that continue to shape the modern dialog.

A survey of the issues and ideas involved in relating classical Darwinian and contemporary evolutionary models with a biblical worldview. Special emphasis is given to controversies that are used by skeptics to call Christian theism into question.

A survey of the issues and ideas involved in relating modern physics and astronomy to a biblical worldview. Special emphasis is given to controversies that are used by skeptics to call Christian theism into question.

In-depth focus on intelligent design to enable students to appraise the current debate on this issue.

Religious Studies Core

Research skills for use of library, Internet and key reference works. Methods of scholarly and journalistic writing with emphasis on critical thinking, persuasion and evaluation of data and testimony.

History of Christian thought from the apostolic Fathers to the modern era with an emphasis on the development of doctrine. Highlights key thinkers in the Patristic, Medieval, Reformation and Modern eras.

A course addressing the historicity, canonization and authority of the Scriptural traditions in light of modern biblical criticism.

A broad survey of the Old Testament books, including selected introductory and critical issues, relevant background, major themes and divisions and crucial problems.

A general overview of the New Testament books, including selected introductory and critical issues, relevant background, major themes and divisions and crucial problems.

A survey of essential Christian beliefs with special reference to contemporary criticism of the value and truth of doctrinal assertions.

A survey of essential Christian beliefs with special reference to contemporary criticism of the value and truth of doctrinal assertions.

Philosophy Overview

A topical study of the nature and methodology of metaphysics with emphasis on the nature and ultimate categories of being as well as specific areas (e.g., causation, space and time, the soul, freedom and determinism, personal identity and essentialism). Epistemology topics surveyed will include the definition of knowledge and justified belief, problems in skepticism, the nature of epistemic justification and the nature of truth. Special emphasis will be placed on integrating metaphysics and epistemology with the construction and defense of a Christian worldview.

A study of various issues that arise in the integration of science and Christian theology (e.g. models of integration, the scientific status of creationism, the creation/evolution debate) as well as an investigation of selected topics in the philosophy of science relevant to a Christian worldview (e.g. the realist/antirealist debate; the nature, formation, use and confirmation of scientific laws and theories; scientism and the limits of science).

Electives

A study of principles for sound interpretation and application of the Bible, including analysis of presuppositions, general rules and specialized principles for the various biblical genre and phenomena. A presentation of various approaches to studying the Bible.

An examination of current Christian worldviews in relation to the areas of history, science and philosophy.

Science and religion background including the basic content of core courses in the program.

Basic principles of language foundational to interpreting the biblical text. Overview of the structure of the biblical languages, evaluation of theories of Bible translation, and instruction in the use of various tools based on the original languages. The course will aid the student in understanding issues that arise in interpretation because of the original languages.

An introductory study of the basic elements of New Testament Greek.

An introductory study of the basic elements of New Testament Greek. Translations of portions of the New Testament.

Basic grammar with translation and written exercises.

Basic grammar with translation and written exercises. Emphasis on reading and translation of selected biblical texts.

An introduction to the science of archaeology in the Ancient Near East. Special emphasis is given to the role of specific archaeological explorations that relate to the historicity of the biblical narrative.

A study of the methods and principles used to make distinctions between good and bad reasoning, with special emphasis on the analysis of arguments related to Christian thought.

A survey of philosophical issues that arise in relation to theistic religions. Problems such as the existence of God, the problem of evil, miracles, religious language, faith and reason, etc. are discussed.

A philosophical and theological evaluation of various ethical systems and key historical figures in ethics in order to understand and effectively engage with contemporary ethical views and mindsets.

A survey of some of the most critical ethical issues of the day coming from biomedical research and practice. The course addresses the difficult questions involved in areas such as human reproduction, cloning, abortion, end-of-life issues, organ transplant, genetic engineering, euthanasia and more.

A survey of environmental issues in light of a Christian worldview. Issues such as ecology, global warming, energy production, proper land utilization, pollution and other topics related to human impact on the environment are covered.

A survey of the core beliefs of other world religions with an emphasis on the ways in which they use modern science to justify their worldviews.

In-depth focus on a specific contemporary issue in the science and religion dialogue, whereby students will understand the contemporary dynamics and learn to integrate their thinking in a mentored setting. Content varies, and seminars may be repeated for credit with different topics. Topics include: cosmological models, quantum reality, sociobiology, the anthropic principle and issues in biochemistry.

An in-depth focus on the current archaeological, anthropological and biochemical evidence related to the debate on human origins.

A detailed review of the current evidence, models and mechanisms relating to chemical evolution and the origin of life.

Directed research or project related to Science and Religion issues.