Christian Theology

Meeting time:  TR 2:00-3:20

Professor:        Dr. Gary L. Angel

Office:              Britt 211

Phone:             Ext. 4343

Hours:              MWF 2:15 - 4:15

                         TTH   3:20 - 4:20



Build your own text.




Readings will be from the text




1.       Students should learn the general structure of systematic theology.


2.       Students should be able to explore the conceptual and normative issues surrounding contemporary God-Talk and Christian theological symbols. 


3.       Students should learn the significance of a theological foundation for Christian ministries, and other practical endeavors.


4.       Students should be able to discuss the relationship between philosophical pre-suppositions and theological interpretation.


5.       Students should learn various theological systems, and the philosophical frameworks which inform them.




1. Students will attend every class, and students are required to participate in the class discussion.  Participation should demonstrate that the readings have been read.  The general participation grade will constitute 20% of the final grade.


2. Students will give expository presentations of the thought of a specific theologian. These must be based upon thorough research, and indicate real effort to assimilate the material in order to be able to teach the class about that theologian.  This research material must be approved by the professor, and distributed to the class via the Angel course management program one week prior to the presentation.  Students will receive instructions for posting their references online.  These presentations will cover two class days.  The grades on these presentations will constitute 20% of the final grade.


3. Students will write a semester-long, ten page (or more) position paper worth 40% of the final grade. The paper will be double-spaced and typed in Arial 12 point with four margins of one inch each. The first part of this paper will be due, in its rough form, at the end of the fourth week. These papers should reflect adequate research, and will be read in class periodically in order to demonstrate progress in understanding the chosen issue and to receive feedback.  The paper, in its entirety, will be due on the last day of scheduled classes and will include the following: a. a general understanding of the significance of the word God, and its relation to the notions of Heaven and Hell; b. an analysis of the meaning of one of the following central Christian symbols based upon the view of God offered in part a: 


         Incarnation and Christhood

         Creation and Providence

         Human existence, Sin, and Salvation

         The Church

         Faith and Revelation

         Everlasting or Eternal Life


4. Students will be responsible for building the textbook for the class.  The text will include all the resources employed in the individual presentations, as well as the final papers.  Students will work collaboratively throughout the semester in collating this text, and will be responsible for the format including the divisions of the text, the table of contents and the cited references.  The text will be graded and that grade will constitute 15% of each student's final grade.  The remaining 5% of the final grade will be based upon a peer evaluation by each student of every other student with reference to the collaborative effort to build the text.


Specific Course Goals:


1.  Students should learn the relationships between philosophical theology, symbolic theology, and applied theology.


         Format:  Lecture

         Evaluation:  1 and 3    


2.  Students should learn the vocabulary essential to theological discussion.


         Format:  Lecture

         Evaluation:  1, 2, and 3    


3.  Students should come to understand theology as the foundation of consistency in practical ministry, and moral decision-making.


         Format:  Discussion

         Evaluation:  1     


4.  Students should learn that the Christian scriptures are made up of many literary forms, and that the interpretation of the Christian symbols should not assume the scriptures to be primarily history.


         Format:  Lecture, Presentations, Discussion

         Evaluation:  1, 2, and 3  


5.  Students should learn that they do not have to sacrifice intellectual integrity in order to be participant in the Christian faith.


         Format:  Discussion

         Evaluation:  1 


6.  Students should get a basic understanding of different schools of theological thought such as traditional theology, existential theology, process theology, liberation theology, theology of hope, post-modern theology, and the various overlaps amongst these.


         Format:  Lecture, Presentations, Readings

         Evaluation:  1, 2, and 3 


7.  Students should be able to interpret specific Christian symbols based upon a general theological approach.


         Format:  Lecture, Presentations, Readings

         Evaluation:  1 and 3  


8.  Students should learn the fundamental hermeneutical problem for contemporary theology.


         Format:  Lecture, Readings

         Evaluation:  1, 2, and 3 


9.  Students should learn the basic elements of the thoughts some seminal theologians.


         Format:  Presentations, Readings

         Evaluation:  1, 2, and 3