TAM304 Missional Ecclesiology in light of Trinitarian Faith and Contemporary Culture

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TAM304 (2018—2019)
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Course code: TAM304

Course name: Missional Ecclesiology in light of Trinitarian Faith and Contemporary Culture

Semester: Spring

Location: Bergen

Academic year: 2018–2019

Language: English

Credits: 15 ECTS Credits

Available for course students: No

Required prerequisite knowledge

The basic educational pathway is an obtained bachelor–s degree with 80 ECTS specialization in theology and with a grade average of C or higher (ECTS). Language requirements apply as for the entire Master program. For details and alternative pathways, see the curriculum for Master in Theology and Ministry.

Recommended prerequisite knowledge

2 years of experience from Ministry or Church practice.

Relevance within study programme

Compulsory course in Master in Theology and Ministry

Elective for Master of Theology or Christian studies


Missional ecclesiology is a subject of central importance for different types of ecclesial ministry. In this subject the in-depth study of Missional ecclesiology is related to central themes in Christian dogmatics and culture-analytical perspectives on Church and society.

Learning outcomes descriptors


The candidate:

  • has fundamental knowledge about theories of missional ecclesiology from an insider–s and outsider–s perspective
  • has specialized knowledge of Trinitarian faith as an organizing principle of Christian theology in relation to missional ecclesiology
  • has thorough knowledge of important themes in contemporary Christian dogmatics including advanced knowledge of the doctrine of justification, the sacraments and the interrelation of creation and redemption
  • can apply contemporary dogmatics and cultural analysis to ecclesiology
  • can analyze the contemporary condition of Western societies, with particular regard to the role of the church, based on culture-analytical methods and theories on the role of religion



The candidate:

  • can reflect on the interpretation of theological themes in a Trinitarian perspective as situated in the context of missional ministry, including Christian life and church practice
  • can reflect on the role of the church–s missional ministry in the context of the wider culture and society
  • can critically analyze theological arguments and articulate theological arguments with a distinct voice
  • can construct theological responses to relevant contemporary themes in church and society
  • is sufficiently equipped with theory and methodology from the forefront of research on missional ecclesiology in order to design a limited research project of his/her own


General competence

The candidate:

  • can contribute to processes of innovation and change in missional church and ministry responding to contemporary challenges
  • can communicate independent work and masters language and terminology of the area of missional ecclesiology
  • has the ability to give qualified responses to public debates about culture and religion
  • can contribute to reformulating missional ecclesiology


The subject gives advanced knowledge of theories of the missional church. Its main focuses are (1) the intersection of missional ecclesiology and contemporary dogmatics, and (2) the intersection of missional ecclesiology and culture-analytical perspectives. The subject thus takes both and insider–s and an outsider–s view of the ministry of the church in the world, aiming to reflect on the content of Christian faith and how it can be communicated in the contemporary situation.

Central topics are: Missional ecclesiology and the visible church, Secularity and the secular society, The ritual dimension of religion, The notion of spatiality of religion and the importance of place in Christian faith and practice, Trinity and Christology as organizing principles of Christian theology, The doctrine of justification, The doctrines of the sacraments and ecclesial offices, and The interrelation of the doctrines of creation and redemption.

Teaching and learning methods

Two weeklong learning sessions on campus comprised of lectures, group-seminars, and case-based classes.

Participation in an online learning-program stretching over eight weeks before and between the learning sessions. Each week is comprised of at least one video-lecture, self study of syllabus related to the week–s topic, online office hour (a live-chat with a lecturer), and a small assignment (coursework requirement).


375 h

Coursework requirements

  • 80% attendance at the learning session is a requirement. (Alternative assignments will be provided for students prohibited from attending).
  • 8 minor online assignments. (Alternative submission deadline may occasionally be approved)

Grading, coursework requirements

Approved/Not approved

Final assessment

Final assessment in TAM304 is the subject of one Home Exam. This is a written essay comprised of 5000 words (+/- 20%) on a pre-assigned topic. Duration: 10 working days.The Home Exam is an individual piece of work and is assessed according to the ECTS grading scale. The wording of the assignment and date of submission is announced after the final learning session in the course.

Permitted aids under examination


Grading, examination

The Home Exam is assessed according to the ECTS grading scale, A-F.

Assessment language


Alternatively, one of the Scandinavian languages.

Other languages could be accepted by application.



Credit reductions

Reduction of KMA302 by 5 ECTS

Course evaluation

Students will be encouraged to evaluate the course module online (itslearning)upon completion. Lecturers will evaluate the course module through mutual conversation, and based on student evaluations.

Available for Course Students



Bell, C. 1997. Ritual: Perspectives and Dimensions. Chapters 6, –Ritual density–, and 7, –Ritual change– (79 p.)

Hegstad, H. (2013): The Real Church: An Ecclesiology of the Visible. Eugene: Pickwick, 1-96, 171-199, 227-230. (130 p.)

Hill, G. (2012): Salt, Light, and a City: Introducing Missional Ecclesiology. Eugene: Wipf and Stock. (275 p.)

Kärkkäinen, V.-M. (2014). Trinity and revelation.  A Constructive Christian Theology for the Pluralistic World, Vol. 2. Grand Rapids/Cambridge: Eerdmans, p. 179-282 (100 p.).

Smith, J. K. A. (2014): How (not) to be Secular: Reading Charles Taylor. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans. (140 p.)

Storey, J. (2013). Cultural Theory and Popular Culture: An Introduction, 6th ed. New York: Routledge (or 2012, Pearson Education Limited), p. 1-14; 187-217. (44 p)

Stump, R.W. 2008. The geography of religion: faith, place and space. Lanham, Md.: Rowman and Littlefield Publishers. Chapters 4, –Religious Territoriality in Secular Space–, and 5, –The Meanings and Uses of Sacred Space– (142 p.)

Tanner, Kathryn (2010) Christ the Key. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, p. 1-246; 274-301 (273 p.).

The Lutheran World Federation (2000). Joint Declaration on the Doctrine of Justification by The Lutheran World Federation and the Catholic Church. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans

*) Vanhoozer, K. J. (2003). «Theology and the condition of postmodernity: a report on knowledge (of God)», p. 3-25 in: The Cambridge Companion to Postmodern Theology, edited by Kevin J. Vanhoozer. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. (22 p.)

World Council of Churches (1982). Baptism, Eucharist and Ministry (=BEM; Lima document). Faith and Order paper no. 111. Geneva: World Council of Churches

* ) Made available electronically via Itslearning