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MASTER IN THEOLOGY AND MINISTRY
Place of study
NLA
Language of instruction
English
Accreditation
NOKUT, 20160707
Valid from
August 2016

Admission requirements

Admission to the Master program in Theology and Ministry is organized according to Regulations concerning Requirements for the master’s degrees (forskrift 1. desember 2005 nr. 1392 om krav til mastergrad) and the official regulations concerning admission at NLA University College (Cf. Forskrift om studier ved NLA Høgskolen), with further details explained in this section.

The Master program in Theology and Ministry is based on one of the following educational pathways:

  • a bachelor’s degree
  • a cand.mag. degree (first cycle degree which was awarded until 2005)
  • other degree or vocational education with a scope of minimum 3 years’ duration
  • an education which has been accredited as the equivalent of the above-mentioned degrees or educational pathways pursuant to section 3-4 of the Act relating to Universities and University Colleges.

Any educational pathway must include specialization in the theological disciplines biblical theology, church history, systematic theology, and practical theology, with a scope of at least 80 credits. (In special cases, the institution may recognize other documented qualifications as completely or partly equivalent to the educational pathways mentioned above.)

Candidates must document an average grade of C or higher (ECTS) in the undergraduate study. Candidates applying on the basis of undergraduate study from the former Norwegian degree system are required to possess a grade of 2.7 or higher as average score for the undergraduate cand.mag degree.

Grade records from foreign applicants will be converted either in agreement with ECTS regulations, in agreement with common conversion scales; or, if none of these options are available, by individual assessment.

English language requirements:

Applicants must document English language proficiency by one of the following:

  • English basic course (140 hours) from Norwegian upper secondary school, general studies, minimum grade of 2 in both written and oral English.
  • TOEFL with a minimum score of 500 points on the paper-based test (PBT) and 60 points on the internet-based test (IBT). TOEFL results must be sent directly from ETS (code # 1886) and the test must not be older than 2 years. 
  • IELTS (academic) with a score of 5.0 or better. IELTS must be verifiable online. 
  • University of Cambridge exams: First Certificate in English, Certificate in Advanced English or Certificate of Proficiency in English.

Exemptions: Applicants from some countries will have an adequate command of English and satisfy this requirement with the English they have taken at secondary school in their home country, see NOKUT's GSU-list.

Applicants do not have to meet the criteria for proficiency in the Norwegian language, as English is the working language of the study program. (The elective course KU321 is however only offered in Norwegian).

In the admission process, applicants are assessed competitively according to credits converted on the basis of their grade transcript of grades and other documented qualifications. Admission takes place once a year, and the academic year starts in the autumn semester (August). Additional points in the admission-process:

  • relevant education exceeding the requirements for admission is awarded 0,25 additional points per 30 credits (0,5 additional points maximum)
  • relevant work experience is awarded 0,25 additional points for every half a year (0,5 additional points maximum). 50% position in a full year or a full position in half a year is a minimum. Relevance is assessed by NLA University College.

Admission prerequisites for single courses are identical to the Master Program as such. TAM301, TAM302, TAM303, and TAM304 are additional prerequisites for admission to TAM350

Learning outcomes

A candidate who has completed his or her qualification will have the following learning outcomes defined in terms of knowledge, skills and general competence:

Knowledge

The candidate:

  • has advanced knowledge within the academic field of theology and ministry (and on developments within practical theology, biblical interpretation, spirituality, and missional ecclesiology in particular)
  • has specialized insights in the academic field of ministry
  • has thorough knowledge of theory formulation and method development in the field of practical theological research
  • can apply theological and interdisciplinary knowledge in an innovative manner within the field of theology and ministry
  • can analyze practical theological problems on the basis of the Church's history, traditions, distinctive character and place in society

Skills

The candidate:

  • can analyze established theories, methods and interpretations in practical theology and work independently with theoretical problems and problems in the practice field relevant for future ministry
  • can use and assess various practical theological research methods in an independent and apt manner
  • can analyze and deal critically with various types of sources relevant for theology and ministry, and use them to structure and formulate scholarly arguments
  • can carry out an independent, limited research project within the field of practical theology under supervision and in accordance with applicable norms for research ethics

General competence

The candidate:

  • can assess relevant academic, professional, and research ethical problems
  • can apply his/her knowledge and skills in new areas in order to carry out advanced assignments
  • can communicate extensive scholarly work and master language and terminology of the academic field of theology and ministry
  • can participate in scholarly discourses in academia, the church, and in wider society
  • can contribute to new thinking and innovation processes in church and in society

Target group

Master in Theology and Ministry addresses four primary target groups of students:

  • Graduate-students seeking education and qualification for positions in churches or Christian organizations
  • Graduate-students seeking to fulfill the admission requirements of PhD-programs in practical theology
  • Employees in churches or Christian organizations desiring supplementary training at master level
  • Postgraduates aiming at a second career in Churches or Christian organizations

Description

The condition for organized religion has changed fundamentally in secularized European societies. Both new and more traditional Churches and organizations engage in different, yet related, challenges: They identify a need for change. Innovative initiatives are taken. Old, long forgotten practices are rediscovered, redesigned and brought back to life. Faith practices are up for negation, both in the life of the gathering community and at the intersection with larger society. The Master in Theology and Ministry seeks to equip future church leaders and employees in organizations with the competences needed to engage in these challenges in a constructive and critical manner.

The academic field of theology is also in progress. Throughout the Master of Theology and Ministry, students will be brought to the forefront of practical theological research: Whereas some speak of an empirical turn, and are dedicated to the contextual and experiential side of theology, others advocate more of a theological turn interested in the distinct spiritual and revelatory nature of theology. A radical willingness to listen to the empirical reality as it is and a radical willingness to search for theological significance and response is a mark of Master in Theology and Ministry.

Master in Theology and Ministry is rooted in a discipline-oriented understanding of theology. For this reason 80 credits in theological disciplines from undergraduate studies are required for admission. Historical, systematic, and critical perspectives will run through the curriculum. This said, Master in Theology and Ministry represents an expansion from a traditional Master in Theology by including practice to a greater degree in its very subject matter.

TAM301 Thinking theologically about practice gives focus to the intersection between theological reflection and empirical research in developing modes of critical and creative theological thinking about practice.

TAM302 Encountering God through Scripture: Hermeneutical Reflections and Exegetical Explorations explores a broad range of ways to interpret Biblical texts (spiritual, critical, and missional), rediscovered from church history and recently developed in biblical scholarship.

TAM303 Spiritual formation: Traditions and Transformation offers understanding of spirituality as a phenomenon in wider society and highlights the necessity of spiritual formation for future leaders.

TAM304 Missional Ecclesiology in light of Trinitarian Faith and Contemporary Culture aims at bridging perspectives from systematic theology and cultural studies in a critical and constructive dialogue with ecclesiology.

The second year offers a specialization in ministry through the following elective courses:

TAM321Youth Ministry as Theory and Practice draws on research in the academic field of Youth Ministry to reflect on church for today’s youth and to envision a church for next generation.

TAM322 Leading Ecclesial Change and growth in contexts seeks to understand processes of change and growth in contexts in the church, and how to initiate, evaluate and lead such processes.

TAM323 Kirkelig Undervisning aims to educate future holders of the Catechist office in the Church of Norway. (MATAM does however only fulfill the requirements of catechists in a combination with Bachelor in PTL or other degrees containing a minimum of 60 ECTS supervised church internship.)

TAM350 Master Thesis is an individual small-scale research project carried out under supervision, equivalent to 30 ECTS

Organization

             

 

 Autumn   1. year

 Spring   1. year

 Autumn   2. year

 Spring   2. year

 Compulsory  courses   (60 ECTS)

 TAM301(15)  Thinking   theologically  about practice

 TAM303 (15)  Spirituality and  Spiritual  formation

   

 TAM302 (15)  Encountering  God through  Scripture

 TAM304 (15)  Missional  Ecclesiology (…)

   

 Elective courses  (30 ECTS)

   

 30 credits   from  the following:

 TAM321(15)  Youth ministry  as theory and  practice

 TAM322 (15)  Leading  ecclesial change  and growth in  contexts

 TAM323 (15)     Kirkelig    undervisning

Or: Credits   from other courses accepted by application

Or: Credits   from international exchange accepted by application

 

Master’s Thesis  (30 ECTS)

     

TAM350 (30)Master’s thesis

Assessment

Coursework requirements:

For courses in the first three semesters:

  • 80% attendance at the two on campus learning sessions. (Alternative assignments will be provided for students prohibited from attending)
  • Submitting eight minor coursework requirements online in every course.

For the course in fourth semester:

  • 80% attendance at the two on campus learning sessions. (Alternative assignments will be provided for students prohibited from attending)
  • Presenting two papers connected to the Master Thesis.

All coursework requirements are graded “Approved” or “Not approved”.

All coursework requirements must be approved for the student to be eligible for final assessment in a course.

Assessment: All modules in the Master program in Theology and Ministry is assessed by one compulsory item: a Term Paper, a Home Exam, a Term Project, or a thesis.

  • Assessment in TAM302 and TAM303 is the subject of one Term Paper.
  • Assessment in TAM301, TAM304 and TAM321 is the subject of one Home Exam.
  • Assessment in TAM322 and TAM323 is the subject of one Term Project
  • Assessment in TAM350 is the subject of one written Thesis and oral examination

All items are assessed according to the standard ECTS grading scale. See course descriptions for further details.

Further education

Master in Theology and Ministry is at an academic level that on completion is sufficient for application to relevant third cycle degree.

Employment possibilities

Master in Theology and Ministry prepares for a wide variety of jobs in the church, including the Church of Norway, Christian organizations, Christian institutions, and in the free churches. In particular it is relevant for those who lead, supervise or take part in some sort of ecclesial innovation and for those who want to lead and supervise processes of change in the church.

The target group includes: Church planters, employees in Christian organizations, Christian communicators, organizational leadership, faith educators, teachers at Bible colleges, pastors, youth ministers etc.

The elective course TAM323 is relevant for students pursuing qualification for the office of Catechist in the Church of Norway. (MATAM does however only fulfill the requirements of catechists in a combination with Bachelor in PTL or other degrees containing a minimum of 60 ECTS supervised church internship.)

The Master in Theology and Ministry does not fulfill or replace the requirements of Master in Theology or Master in Diakonia.

Exchange and Internationalization

The Master in Theology and Ministry is designed to be accessible for students living in Bergen, but also other places in Scandinavia and abroad. The student group will most likely represent a blended and international environment of inter-cultural learning.

In the third semester, students are encouraged to take part in optional international exchange. Students are required to have their exchange initiatives approved through an application process. One example is the 30 ECTS Master-level course in Ecclesiology and Ethnography offered at the University of Durham (UK).

TAM322 is designed and partly carried out in a joint effort with dioceses of Bjørgvin (NO) and Sothwark (UK).

Emner

1st year of study

Språk/Language:

Norsk

TAM301 Thinking theologically about practice (Autumn 2017)

Name Thinking theologically about practice
Credits 15
Teaching semester Autumn
Place of study NLA
Language of instruction English

Prerequisites for admission

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

Level

Master

Introduction

The course offers an introduction theological thinking in the context of practice.

Learning outcomes

Knowledge

The candidate:

  • has fundamental knowledge within the academic field of practical theology
  • has specialized insight in qualitative methods in ecclesial ethnographic research
  • has thorough knowledge of theory formulation and method development in practical theological research related to empirical research
  • can apply theological and interdisciplinary knowledge in an innovative manner in Practical Theology
  • can analyze academic problems on the basis of the practical theology and qualitative empirical research’s distinctive character and place in society

Skills

The candidate:

  • can analyze existing theories, methods and interpretations in the area of Practical Theology and work independently on practical and theoretical problems
  • can use practical theological and empirical methods for research and scholarly
  • and /or artistic development work in an independent manner
  • can analyze and deal critically with empirical research and use them to structure and formulate scholarly arguments
  • is sufficiently equipped with theory and methodology from the forefront of empirical practical theological research in order to design a limited research project of his/her own

General competence

The candidate

  • can analyze relevant Practical Theological theory and research ethical problems
  • can apply his/her knowledge and skills in the field of empirical and practical theological methods in order to carry out assignments
  • can communicate independent work and masters language and terminology of the area of empirical and practical theology
  • can participate in scholarly discourses about practical theology in academia, the church, and in wider society
  • can contribute to new thinking and innovation in practical theology

Contents

The content of TAM301 Thinking Theologically about Practice could be expressed in terms of two main foci and a cluster of central topics:

Focus 1 will be on reflexivity in theological reflection and issues of tradition and the place of empirical work in theological method.

Focus 2 will be on formal practical theological method. This will offer an overview of the discipline of practical theology.

A cluster of topics and cases form a third area of attention: Ordinary Theology, Lived Religion, Material Christianity,

Christopraxis, Ordinary Hermeneutics, practice and Theological Fragments, and Messy Church

Organization and teaching methods

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

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).

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.

Examination and assessment regulations

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: Approved/Not approved

Final assessment

Final assessment in TAM301 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 during examination: All

Grading: A – F

Curriculum

Subject to changes

Ballard, Paul and Pritchard, John (1996) Practical Theology in Action London: SPCK

Fulkerson, Mary, McClintock (2007) Places of Redemption Oxford: Oxford University Press

Osmer, Rick (2008) Practical Theology: An Introduction Grand Rapids: Eerdmans

Root, A. (2014). Christopraxis: A Practical Theology of the Cross. Minneapolis: Fortress Press.

Ward, P. (ed.) Perspectives on Ecclesiology and Ethnography (2013 Erdmann’s)

Språk/Language:

Norsk

TAM302 Encountering God through Scripture: Hermeneutical Reflections and Exegetical Explorations (Autumn 2017)

Name Encountering God through Scripture: Hermeneutical Reflections and Exegetical Explorations
Credits 15
Teaching semester Autumn
Place of study NLA
Language of instruction English

Prerequisites for admission

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

Level

Master

Introduction

Encountering God through Scripture: Hermeneutical Reflections and Exegetical Explorations (TAM302) explores strategies for biblical interpretation at the forefront of current research and in church tradition. Various models of theological interpretation as an interpretive endeavor and social practice situated in the church are particularly emphasized. The on campus learning sessions will concentrate on applying these strategies and models to selected biblical texts from the lectionary of the Christian feasts. The course aims at equipping the students with hermeneutical and methodological insights and tools relevant for writing their Master Thesis and for future ministry.

Learning outcomes

Knowledge

The candidate

  • has fundamental knowledge about critical and reflective approaches to biblical interpretation
  • has specialized insight in aims and assumptions of various models of theological interpretation of Scripture
  • has thorough knowledge of approaches to scriptural reading in church tradition
  • has thorough knowledge of selected lectionary texts for the major feasts of the liturgical year.

Skills

The candidate

  • can critically assess various interpretative strategies of the Bible.
  • can encounter biblical texts from theological, historical, missional, and spiritual perspectives
  • is sufficiently equipped with theory and methodology from the forefront of biblical interpretation research in order to design a limited research project of his/her own

General competence

The candidate

  • has a reflective stance on the interface between engaging in biblical texts critically, imaginary, and spiritually
  • can apply strategies for biblical interpretation in practical Theology and Ministry
  • can communicate independent work and masters language and terminology of biblical interpretation
  • can participate in scholarly discourses about biblical interpretation in academia, the church, and in wider society arena
  • can contribute to a renewed reflection on the Bible in church and society

Contents

Course content will include an introduction into a broad spectrum of current biblical hermeneutical methods. Special attention is given to how this repertoire of critical methods might interact and interplay with distinctively theological, missional and spiritual perspectives on the biblical texts. The hermeneutical introduction will include historical criticism and social-scientific perspectives, genre analysis, rhetorical criticism, narrative criticism, reader-response perspectives, feminist criticism and postcolonial criticism. The course will also provide in-classroom modeling of ’thick’ interpretation of selected biblical texts from the lectionary of the liturgical year, involving active student participation. The core texts are: Luke 2,1-14; John 1,1-14 (Christmas); Mark 14,22-25; Matt 28,1-20 (Easter); John 20,19-23; Acts 2,1-11 (Pentecost). The study will include commentaries and sermons on these texts from the patristic, medieval and reformation era and from modern times (collected in a reader).

Organization and teaching 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).

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.

Examination and assessment regulations

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: Approved/Not approved

Final assessment

Final assessment in TAM302 is the subject of one Term Paper. This is a written essay comprised of 5000 words ( /- 20%) on a pre-assigned topic.
The assignment is distributed at the beginning of the term, and is to be delivered for feedback prior to the second learning session. After revision, final submission of the Term Paper is on a given deadline after the second learning session. The Term Paper is an individual piece of work and is assessed according to the ECTS grading scale.

Permitted aids during examination: All

Grading: A-F

Curriculum

Subject to changes

1100 pages:

Green, Joel B. (ed.) Hearing the New Testament : strategies for interpretation. 2nd ed. Grand Rapids, Mich: Eerdmans, 2010.

Green, Joel B. Seized by truth : reading the Bible as Scripture. Nashville, Tenn: Abingdon Press, 2007.

Hall, Christopher A. Reading scripture with the church fathers. Downers Grove, Ill: InterVarsity Press, 1998.

George, Timothy. Reading scripture with the reformers. Downers Grove, Ill: IVP Academic, 2011.

Casey, Michael. Sacred reading : the ancient art of Lectio divina. Liguori, Mo: Liguori/Triumph, 1996.

Biblical texts in connected liturgically to Christmas, Easter, and Pentecost

Aditional reading:

Luther, Martin. Luther's works : 26-27 26 : Lectures on Galatians : 1535 Chapters 1-4. Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1963.

Clément, Olivier. The roots of Christian mysticism : text and commentary, Sources. Hyde Park, N.Y: New City Press, 1994.

Språk/Language:

Norsk

TAM303 Spirituality and Spiritual formation (Spring 2018)

Name Spirituality and spiritual formation
Credits 15
Teaching semester Spring
Place of study NLA
Language of instruction English

Prerequisites for admission

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.

Level

Master

Introduction

This course offers introduction to spirituality from three perspectives: Contextual: Encountering spirituality as a phenomenon in contemporary culture. Historical: Encountering writings from and about
important spiritual traditions. Personal: Encounter spiritual formation as a means of personal formation.

Learning outcomes

Knowledge

The candidate:

  • has fundamental knowledge about the academic field of spirituality
  • has fundamental knowledge about spirituality as a phenomenon in contemporary society
  • has specialized knowledge about various traditions of Christian spirituality
  • has thorough knowledge about effects of experiences and context in early childhood for spiritual life.
  • has insights into spirituality as a phenomenon in late modern society
  • can analyze the role of spirituality on the basis of the Church's history, traditions, distinctive character and place in society

Skills

The candidate:

  • can analyze the relationships between biographical narratives, faith, self, and theology
  • can discern and reflect upon central methods and phenomena in spiritual formation
  • can reflect critically and constructively on matters of spirituality
  • for personal, professional, and scholarly development
  • is sufficiently equipped with theory and methodology from the forefront of research on spirituality in order to design a limited research project of his/her owGeneral competence

General competence

The candidate:

  • can relate to professional ethical problems relevant for spiritual formation in a reflexive manner
  • can use knowledge and skills about spiritual formation for personal growth in limited assignments
  • is a capable conversation partner in ministry
  • can communicate independent work and masters language and terminology of the area of spirituality
  • can participate in scholarly discourses about spirituality and spiritual formation in academia, the church, and in wider society
  • can contribute to a renewed reflection on the role of spirituality in society and ministry

Contents

TAM303 focuses in on how Spiritual formation is framed an understood in history and how certain traditions of spiritual direction is recontextualized and brought to life in
contemporary spirituality.
The course also provides perspectives on how personal formation could be understood as a process of psychology, personal narratives, modern society and
theology. A third area of attention is on spirituality as phenomenon in contemporary society and its relation to organized religion.

Organization and teaching 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).

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.

Examination and assessment regulations

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: Approved/not approved

Final assessment

Final assessment in TAM303 is the subject of one Term Paper. This is a written essay comprised of 5000 words ( /- 20%) on a pre-assigned topic. The assignment is distributed at the beginning of the term,
and is to be delivered for feedback prior to the second learning session. After revision, final submission of the Term Paper is on a given deadline after the second learning session. The Term Paper is an individual piece of work and is
assessed according to the ECTS grading scale.

Permitted aids during examination: All

Grading: A-F

Curriculum

Subject to changes

Total number of pages: 1100

Mursell, Gordon. The Story of Christian spirituality : two thousand years, from East to West, A Lion book. Oxford: Lion Publ., 2001.

Heelas, Paul, and Linda Woodhead. The spiritual revolution: Why religion is giving way to spirituality. Malden, Mass.: Blackwell Publ., 2005.

Bianchi, Enzo. Words of spirituality: Exploring the inner life. London: SPCK Publishing, 2012, 2nd ed.

Rizzuto, Ana-Maria. The birth of the living God : a psychoanalytic study. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1979.

Chryssavgis, John (2008) In the heart of the desert, Revised: The spirituality of the Desert Fathers and Mothers. Bloomington IN: World wisdom.

Barry, William and William Connolly (2009) The Practice of Spiritual Direction 2. Rev Upd Edition. HarperOne

Walton, Roger. The reflective disciple. London, UK: Epsworth Press, 2009.

Either/Or:

Hoffman, Bengt R. and Pearl Willemssen Hoffman. Theology of the heart : the role of mysticism in the theology of Martin Luther. Minneapolis, Minn: Kirk House, 2003.

Veith, Gene E. (2010) Spirituality of the cross. Revised Ed.

Språk/Language:

Norsk

TAM304 Missional Ecclesiology in light of Trinitarian Faith and Contemporary Culture (Spring 2018)

Name Missional Ecclesiology in the light of Trinitarian Faith and Contemporary Culture
Credits 15
Teaching semester Spring
Place of study NLA
Language of instruction English

Prerequisites for admission

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.

Level

Master

Introduction

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

Knowledge

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

Skills

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

Contents

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.

Organization and teaching 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).

Examination and assessment regulations

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: 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 during examination: All

Grading: A - F

Curriculum

Subject to changes

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.K. (2007). The Trinity. Global Perspectives. Louisville/London: Westminster John Knox, s. 3-64; 123-150; 383-399. (100 p.)

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

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