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Instructor: Duane A. Priebe

This course is being developed in conversation with Winston D. Persaud

Basic First Seminary Level Systematic Theology Course

Minimum 5 students, Maximum 15


3 semester hours; letter grade or credit-no credit - student's choice


This course will introduce the fundamental structures of Christian and Lutheran thought, as it explores the relationship between God, humanity and the world in a history of revelation that extends from creation and fall to the consummation of all things and is centered in Jesus Christ. The course will be organized around the trinitarian framework of the Nicene-Constantinopolitan Creed. Throughout the course, the global context of the Christian witness to Jesus Christ and the engagement between the Christian message and other religious traditions will be kept in view.


Goals and Objectives


1. To begin to be aware of the resources and methods for theological thought, and to appreciate the multi-dimensional content of the gospel as it addresses the rich variety of human contexts.


2. To understand the formative power of basic structures of human thought, of Christian thought in the context of other religious alternatives, and of Lutheran thought within the horizon of ecumenical Christianity.


3. To learn to listen sensitively to people whose interpretation of the gospel and view of the world differ from one's own, including people of other religions. Such listening helps us understand others sympathetically, and learning from them enriches our own vision of reality and deepens our understanding of the gospel of Jesus Christ and its power to touch human life.


4. To appreciate the cultural and contextual relativity of every formulation of the gospel, while growing in awareness of the universal meaning of God's activity in Jesus Christ.


5. To help students effectively present the meaning of the gospel and the claim of Jesus Christ in open conversation with the world of religious alternatives in such a way that they can learn from others without being relativistic.


6. To be sensitive to the significance of the gospel for the human longing for freedom and justice in the face of violence and oppression, and to understand the relevance of the gospel for human unity in the face of the divisive forces at large in the world.



Course Procedure


1. The course will be structured as a 14-week course. Prior to the beginning of the course:


Acquaint yourselves with the technology.

If you are not yet familiar with Internet research tools, practice by using to search for information on various topics.

Read the various policies statements.

Introduce yourself to the others in the class on the "Student Home Page."

On the "Introductory Comments" Discussion Board, briefly state your personal goals for the course.

Briefly respond to at least one other student.

2. The course will have four units:


Introduction and Prolegomena, 3 weeks

First Article, 3 weeks

Second Article, 3 weeks

Third Article, 4 weeks.




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Contribution to the course and its process, 25%; short papers and group work at the end of each unit, 25%

Paper, not to exceed 3,500 words in length, 50%.

Participation in all the elements of the course and a grade of at least a C on the major paper are necessary to pass the course.

For those taking the course for grades, a C means adequate work that satisfies the requirements of the course; a B means work that engages the material either with greater depth, insight and clarity or with greater creativity; an A means work that has done both. For those who choose to take the course for credit or no-credit, the equivalent of at least a C is necessary to receive credit.



Copyright © 2014 Duane A. Priebe