BTH in Community Leadership (Christian Ministry major) | Intermediate Level

Biblical Studies II

 

Hermeneutics (16 credits)

This module is comprised of two parts, namely Applied Hermeneutics and Theoretical Hermeneutics.

Part 1: Applied Hermeneutics: Reading from the Margins
Here students are introduced to the importance and value of reading the bible with others (i.e., the marginalised, whether women, children, the poor, the illiterate). The module enables the student both to recognise the value of being a trained reader and the responsibility to use such training in transformative, public, connected, dialogic and integrated ways. The module combines both theoretical and practical outcomes. The theoretical outcome of the module is achieved by defining who the others are and by laying the conceptual framework for what it means to read with others and how practically to do so. The practical outcome is achieved by assigning students to an actual reading site in which they will participate by applying the theoretical framework.

Part 2 : Theoretical Hermeneutics
In this part, the branch of knowledge know as hermeneutics is explored in greater detail. Concerned with the art and science of establishing meaning through interpretation, this part provides the necessary orientation for making sense of Scripture. This includes cultivating, in the student, an awareness of the otherness of Scripture, both in its form and in its content; surveying the richness of the many ways in which one might approach the Scriptures and thereby appropriate its meaning; and, offering some guidelines for sensitive engagement with the Scriptures towards establishing meaning. A significant amount of time is dedicated to examining biblical texts within their socio-rhetorical setting.

Pentateuch/Synoptic Gospels (16 credits)

These modules will be offered on a rotational basis, with only one module. – either Pentateuch or Synoptic Gospels – being offered every alternate year.

Pentateuch

This module is a focused study of the Torah (or Pentateuch) with particular attention given to the nature and character of these writings as Israel’s core testimony concerning Yahweh. Some attention is given to the theo-sociological motifs (Law and Justice, Gender, Political Deliverance, and Economics and the Poor) embedded within the Torah and the role of these motifs in community identity formation.

Synoptic Gospels

This module is a focused study of one of the Synoptic Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke – Acts) within its historical and literacy context and places a significant emphasis on the descriptive task (exegesis of representative passages within the specified Gospel) to note distinctive theological themes. Special attention is also given to the synthetic task of locating the Gospel within the broader canon of the NT Gospels.

 

Systematic Theology II

 

Theology in Historical and Eschatological Context (16 credits)

Christian theology is concerned with the story of God in relation to the world. With God as the subject of theology, students are introduced to the various ways in which the church has sought to speak meaningfully about the God who reveals himself in history and through the biblical witness. The module this focuses on the historical development of ‘speech about God,’ and proposes that such speech be rooted within an eschatological framework; that understanding God means tracing the trajectory of his story to its ultimate climax. Implications of this doctrine are considered in the light of South African contextual realities.

Human Identity and Christology (16 credits)

Building on our understanding of God’s story and its trajectory in human history, this module looks at the question of human identity. It works from the premise that the meaning of life, of what it means to be human, to be created, comes into sharper focus when viewed biblically and theologically. Moving from the various biblical, theological and historical responses to the question of human identity, the module looks to the doctrine of Christ for its ultimate answer, unpacking the story of God’s restoration in and through Jesus Christ. Implications of this doctrine are considered in the light of South African contextual realities.

 

Practical Theology II

 

Christian Spirituality: Foundations (16 credits)

This module provides an introduction to Christian Spirituality as it has unfolded across time and explores different facets of contemporary spiritual life and practice. It surveys various forms of worship as expressions of the range of biblical and traditional understandings, and also examines the theory and practice of worship in contemporary communities of faith and life. This module also includes a compulsory tutorial for spiritual formation.

Pastoral Care Theory (8 credits)

This module is both a theoretical and praxis-orientated introduction to pastoral care and counselling. Some attention is given to the historical development of our understanding of cura animarum (care of the soul). Models and techniques of the pastoral conversation are learnt and practiced and a sense of pastoral identity is developed.

 

Communication and Homiletics (16 credits)

This module is designed to introduce the student to the study of the communication process in various contexts, including cross-cultural contexts. The dynamics of interpersonal, intercultural, group and mass communication are explored, with special focus on communication in teaching and learning. This included the study of public speaking, audience analysis, listening, speaking and conflict management. With the basic theoretical framework in place, student are equipped with the necessary skills for effective sermon preparation and delivery. Attention is given to increasing the student’s ability to express ideas clearly and competently, in both written and oral forms of communication, giving the student a comprehensive understanding of the theory and praxis of expository preaching. Students are also exposed to a variety of topical and evangelistic preaching models in order to increase their awareness of the importance of these homiletical methods in the preaching process.

 

Public Theology II

 

Peace Studies (8 credits)

The purpose of this module is to lay the foundation for biblical and contemporary theoretical approaches to reconciliation and peace-making. While this module introduces to student the various models of peace-making at interpersonal levels, it is more specifically aimed at exploring reconciliation in social and political settings. The module will be squarely located in the concrete realities of South Africa, paying specific attention to South Africa’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC). It will also explore themes such as forgiveness, restitution and re-humanisation in the context of communities of faith and in broader society.

Conflict Resolution (8 credits)

The purpose of this module is to introduce students to a foundation for a biblical and theological approach to conflict management that will guide church and community leaders in responding to interpersonal conflict both in the church and in the community. Students are introduced to the theory and practice of conflict resolution, equipping them with specific communication skills to enhance their relationships (interpersonal and intrapersonal). Students explore personal attitudes and approaches to conflict. This module makes use of case studies to assist students to reflect on the strategies, tactics and approaches used during conflict situations and emphasises the link between faith, communication, behaviour and conflict.

 

Leadership Studies II (8 credits)

In this module students engage in the application of leadership theory as it related to the three majors, namely Theology, Psychology and Community Development. Here students explore the practice of leadership in the context of the church, faith-based organisations and the public sector. Attention is given to issues such as the process of effectively utilising and developing human resources, sharing control and responsibility, teamwork, conflict management, strategic planning and managing diverse communication styles in the three areas of Theology, Psychology and Community Development.

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