Religion (REL)

REL 100. The Bible. (3 Credits)

This course is an overview of the Bible intended to acquaint the student with its background, content, and messages. This introductory course satisfies the core curriculum requirement for Bible content for students who are not in a program that requires the enhanced church-work core.

REL 100C. Worldviews. (3 Credits)

REL 105. Church Leadership Seminar. (1 Credit)

This course introduces the students to the lay ministry program by seeking avenues for theological and spiritual formation to serve in the church.

REL 110. Christian Faith. (3 Credits)

This course is an overview of Christian theology intended to acquaint the student with key theological concepts as they relate to everyday life. This introductory course satisfies the core curriculum requirement for Christian doctrine for students who are not in a program that requires the enhanced church-work core.

REL 110C. Systematics. (3 Credits)

REL 159. Heritage of Faith. (3 Credits)

This course examines the faith stance of various biblical personalities as well as various literary forms used by biblical authors to enable the student to read the Bible with a more profound grasp of its message as well as a deeper appreciation for its role in the literature of the Western world.

REL 201. Old Testament. (3 Credits)

This course is an overview of the Old Testament intended to acquaint the student with its background, content, and messages. This introductory course satisfies the core curriculum requirement for Bible content, but students who take it must also take REL 203 New Testament elsewhere in their programs. It is required for students in a church-work program. Requires enrollment in church-work program or permission of instructor.

REL 203. New Testament. (3 Credits)

This course presents an overview of the New Testament intended to acquaint the student with its background, content, and messages. The New Testament is read with a focus on the life of Jesus, his teaching and miracles, death and resurrection. The other major people of New Testament are also studied through their writings, especially the apostles Paul, Peter, and John.

REL 204. Biblical Theology. (3 Credits)

This course is a systematic study of major areas of Christian doctrine with an emphasis on what Scripture says, as well as how Lutheran doctrine reflects what Scripture teaches. This introductory course satisfies the core curriculum requirement for Christian doctrine, and is required for students in a church-work program.

REL 210. The Great Commission. (3 Credits)

This course presents an overview of the biblical basis for evangelism and an in-depth study of the basic components of the message and technique of Christian witness. Outreach elective (evangelism).
Prerequisites: (REL 100 or 201 and REL 203) and REL 110 or 204.

REL 215. Friendship Evangelism. (3 Credits)

This course develops the ability of the student to share the Gospel with a non-Christian in the context of a growing friendship. Prior enrollment in REL 210 is recommended. Outreach elective (evangelism).
Prerequisites: (REL 100 or 201 and REL 203) and REL 110 or 204.

REL 227. Youth Ministry I. (3 Credits)

This course equips the student with the understandings, attitudes and skills needed to begin youth ministry in a congregation. Along with the scriptural and theoretical principles of youth ministry, this course prepares students for practical experiences encountered in REL 245 Ministry Practicum.
Prerequisites: (REL 100 or 201 and REL 203) and REL 110 or 204.

REL 229. Religious Education of Youth and Adults. (3 Credits)

This course equips the student with practical methods, skills, and resources to teach religion to youth and adults in a parish setting. Provides students with opportunities to strengthen their ability to communicate the Gospel effectively. Religious education elective. Religion elective.
Prerequisites: (REL 100 or 201 and REL 203) and REL 110 or 204.

REL 233. Communicating Bible Messages. (3 Credits)

This course examines the preparation and delivery of devotional messages based on a careful study of the biblical text. Classroom discussions center on the proper distinction between Law and Gospel, the correct interpretation of biblical texts, the structure of effective devotional messages, and the techniques of delivering these messages. Religious education elective.
Prerequisites: (REL 100 or 201 and REL 203) and REL 110 or 204.

REL 245. Ministry Practicum. (3 Credits)

This course is intended for students interested in practical experience in a specified area of church work. Forty hours for each credit hour earned will be spent in a parish or institution with involvement in hands on, supervised training with a skilled supervisor. Time will also be devoted to readings and discussion sessions. REL 245 may be repeated in subsequent semesters with different ministry specializations.
Prerequisites: (REL 100 or 201 and REL 203) and REL 110 or 204.

REL 275. Theology and Film. (3 Credits)

This course explores the medium of film and how film may communicate biblical theology for a visual age. Motion pictures contain many theological ideas, and because films can be persuasive without arguing their case, it is important to be able to critique their content impartially, and to distinguish between an appreciation of artistic integrity and truth as revealed in Scripture. Special attention will be given to Christianity in the interrelationship of faith and culture.
Prerequisites: (REL 100 or 201 and REL 203) and REL 110 or 204.

REL 287. Christian Care Giving. (3 Credits)

This course offers the student preparing for full-time church work the opportunity to understand and apply the theology of the cross and the practice of the church in Christian care giving.
Prerequisites: (REL 100 or 201 and REL 203) and REL 110 or 204.

REL 294. Genesis. (3 Credits)

This course covers the teachings of Genesis with special reference to the origins of the human race, the creation-evolution debate, the flood, and the patriarchs. Bible elective (OT).
Prerequisites: (REL 100 or 201 and REL 203) and REL 110 or 204.

REL 298. Faith and Culture. (3 Credits)

This course explores the role of religion in defining our way of life and self-understanding and how culture, in turn, may shape spirituality. Major world views and their influence on the faith experience will be analyzed. Special attention will be given to Christianity in the interrelationship of faith and culture.
Prerequisites: (REL 100 or 201 and REL 203) and REL 110 or 204.

REL 307. Wisdom of Israel. (3 Credits)

This course is an examination of the wisdom literature of the Old Testament: Job, Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, and the Song of Songs. The course studies biblical poetry, devotional literature, and the major questions of life. Bible elective (OT).
Prerequisites: (REL 100 or 201 and REL 203) and REL 110 or 204.

REL 310. Religion in America Today. (3 Credits)

This course provides the student an overview of the religious life of people in America today. Such topics as the role of religion in society, culture and politics, the relation of church and state to one another, mainline Christian denominations, other major religions prevalent in America today, the ecumenical movement, Protestant traditions, the rise of sects and cults in America are all discussed. Comparative religions elective.
Prerequisites: (REL 100 or 201 and REL 203) and REL 110 or 204.

REL 311. Church in Mission. (3 Credits)

This course presents the mission of the church with a vision toward contemporary ministry and outreach. Emphasis will be given to cross-generational and cross-cultural outreach methods. Outreach elective (evangelism).
Prerequisites: (REL 100 or 201 and REL 203) and REL 110 or 204.

REL 312. Office of the Professional Church Worker. (3 Credits)

This course studies the role of auxiliary ministries in light of the New Testament and the Lutheran Confessions. It pays particular attention to church administration and conflict resolution in congregations.
Prerequisites: (REL 100 or 201 and REL 203) and REL 110 or 204.

REL 316. World Missions I. (3 Credits)

This course explores the biblical foundations, the theology, and practice of Christian missionary work and provides students with some initial background in preparation for missionary service. Outreach elective (missions).
Prerequisites: (REL 100 or 201 and REL 203) and REL 110 or 204.

REL 326. World Missions II. (3 Credits)

This course provides additional background information for students considering missionary service, continuing the exploration of missions begun in REL 316 World Missions I. This course looks into the history of missions, contemporary issues of missions, and the practice of missions. Outreach elective (missions).
Prerequisite: REL 316.

REL 327. Youth Ministry II. (3 Credits)

This course develops skills in youth ministry acquired in REL 227. Special attention is given to organizational competence at the beginning of service as a youth director, with emphasis on budgeting, staff relationships, and risk management. Students will explore obstacles teens encounter, and will develop short-term, Gospel-centered, ministry skills.
Prerequisites: (REL 100 or 201 and REL 203) and (REL 110 or 204) and REL 227 and 245.

REL 328. Family and Youth Ministry. (3 Credits)

This course explores congregation ministry with and for families by providing students with an understanding of parent and child relationships, teen development, and the place of faith and the church in family life. Special attention is paid to family life education, intergenerational ministry, and strategic planning, with the goal of building ministries that strengthen family relationships.
Prerequisites: (REL 100, 159 or 201 and REL 203) and REL 110 or 204.

REL 333. A Survey of Christian Thought. (3 Credits)

This course reviews how Christians have expressed the mystery and majesty of God's truth, from early Christian writers to the intellectual searchers of the twentieth century, from Augustine and Anselm to Bonhoeffer and Barth. This course familiarizes students with some of the most influential thinkers of Christianity. Students explore the themes that have fascinated generations of Christians through the centuries: What drives someone to martyrdom? Why did Christ have to be a man? Can we prove God's existence? Who can be saved through a cross? Why does the Church have sacraments? Must Christians be ignorant and stupid? Where do we go from here?
Prerequisites: (REL 100 or 201 and REL 203) and REL 110 or 204.

REL 334. Spirituality of the Middle Ages. (3 Credits)

This course explores the flourishing of spirituality and thought about God from the Fall of the Roman Empire to the Reformation. Rejecting the false caricature that the Middle Ages were a time of uniformity and ignorance, this course surveys the development of Christian thought from antiquity to the Reformation. Special attention is given to how medieval theology and institutions continue to shape today’s world.
Prerequisites: (REL 100 or 201 and REL 203) and REL 110 or 204.

REL 335. The Person and Work of Christ. (3 Credits)

REL 336. God, Man, and Creation. (3 Credits)

REL 340. Life of Christ. (3 Credits)

This course covers the religious and social conditions of the world into which Christ came, His life and teachings as found in the four Gospels, with an overview of the opinions expressed in the apocryphal Gospels, the ancient Church, and modern historical criticism. Bible elective (NT).
Prerequisites: (REL 100 or 201 and REL 203) and REL 110 or 204.

REL 342. Dead Sea Scrolls. (3 Credits)

This course investigates how these two-thousand-year-old documents have changed the way people think and write about the Bible and provide a valuable window into the early history of Jews and Christians. Students will be challenged to discover answers to the continuing questions of modern biblical and historical scholarship as it relates to the Christian faith. Bible elective (OT/NT).
Prerequisites: (REL 100 or 201 and REL 203) and REL 110 or 204.

REL 343. The Gospel of Mark. (3 Credits)

This course covers the Gospel of Mark as a distinct presentation of the ministry of Jesus. The course will focus on Mark’s choices of Jesus’s miracles, parables, and travels. The deliberate structure of the Gospel will be highlighted. Bible elective (NT).
Prerequisites: (REL 100 or 201 and REL 203) and REL 110 or 204.

REL 344. Luke/Acts. (3 Credits)

This course will study the main themes of Luke and Acts through a structural, Christ-centered, and historical approach. Selected passages will be given special attention as the portrait of Christ and the founding of his Church are unveiled. Issues that will merit special attention are: Jesus’ kingship, His prophetic office, Christian worship in the Early Church, the mission of the Church, end times and Jesus’ passion.
Prerequisites: (REL 100 or 201 and REL 203) and REL 110 or 204.

REL 345. Johannine Literature. (3 Credits)

This course presents the writings of St. John in the New Testament, namely his Epistles, Gospel, and Revelation. Students examine the Johannine message concerning the person and work of Jesus Christ. Characteristic terms, themes, and doctrines are made the subject of special study. Bible elective (NT).
Prerequisites: (REL 100 or 201 and REL 203) and REL 110 or 204.

REL 346. Pauline Literature. (3 Credits)

This course presents selected writings of the Apostle Paul to familiarize the student with the historical background, content, purpose, message, and distinctive characteristics of five of Paul’s epistles. Bible elective (NT).
Prerequisites: (REL 100 or 201 and REL 203) and REL 110 or 204.

REL 347. Law and Gospel in the Life of the Church. (3 Credits)

This course leads the student to see more clearly the significance of two major Christian doctrines and the correct relationship between them for a Christian’s life. Sections of Scripture, of the Lutheran Confessions, and of current theological literature are analyzed in the light of these fundamental teachings.
Prerequisites: (REL 100 or 201 and REL 203) and REL 110 or 204.

REL 349. Acts. (3 Credits)

This course covers the book of Acts with special focus on the Apostle Paul. The course provides some background on key cities visited by Paul, places his teachings in context of the Greco-Roman world and that of first century Judaism, examines his use of the Old Testament, and compares Luke’s presentation of Paul with the evidence from the letters of Paul.
Prerequisites: (REL 100 or 201 and REL 203) and REL 110 or 204.

REL 351. Prophets of Israel. (3 Credits)

This course covers Old Testament prophecy and the prophetic movement, including its origin, development, purpose, methodology, message, and impact. Bible elective (OT).
Prerequisites: (REL 100 or 201 and REL 203) and REL 110 or 204.

REL 352. Revelation and End Times. (3 Credits)

This course explores the doctrine of eschatology as it is revealed in the Scriptures. Special emphasis is placed on understanding apocalyptic literature as a key to interpreting the Book of Revelation. Texts from Daniel, Ezekiel, Matthew, and the writing of Paul are also examined as they relate to the full range of eschatological topics: the millennium, the rapture, Armageddon, the anti-Christ, death, Christ’s second coming, resurrection, and the eternal state.
Prerequisites: (REL 100 or 201 and REL 203) and REL 110 or 204.

REL 356. Life of Paul. (3 Credits)

This course gives an overview of the life and teachings of the Apostle Paul in terms of his place in the New Testament as an apostle of Jesus Christ against the background of his birth and development. Studies are based on selected texts from Acts and the Pauline Epistles. Bible elective (NT).
Prerequisites: (REL 100 or 201 and REL 203) and REL 110 or 204.

REL 357. Women and the Church. (3 Credits)

This course explores the multiple dimensions of women’s gifts and activities as recorded in the Christian Scriptures and experienced throughout the history of Christianity, with particular interest in applying biblical principles to contemporary feminist perspectives as well as that of women in the church.
Prerequisites: (REL 100 or 201 and REL 203) and REL 110 or 204.

REL 365. Explorations in Historical Theology I: The Early Church. (3 Credits)

This course traces the roots of Christian thinking from late first to the fifth century. In a vibrant period of growth, change, institution, and regulation, Christianity moves from being a persecuted sect to a dominant religion, as theologians clarify Christian doctrine and the church’s proclamation in view of Judaism, Hellenistic philosophy, Paganism, a host of heresies, and a crumbling empire. With special focus on primary sources, this class will give attention the works of the Apostolic Fathers and of apologists, martyrs, monks, bishops, and other influential theologians, especially as they interact with the councils of the period.
Prerequisites: (REL 100 or 201 and REL 203) and REL 110 or 204.

REL 376. Christian Ethics. (3 Credits)

This course explores the distinct nature of Christian ethics in dialogue with other forms of ethical inquiries. Contemporary Christian responses to timely ethical issues (including medical topics) will also be explored.
Prerequisites: (REL 100, 159 or 201 and REL 203) and REL 110, AL 210 or REL 204.

REL 380. Church and Ministry. (3 Credits)

What is it like being married to Jesus? Scripture describes the church as the bride of Christ. This course explores the nature and essence of the church to ask what kind of life Christ intends for his bride. The question is explored by reading Scripture and theologians from throughout the history of the church as they wrestle with what the church is, how it is structured, and what blessings the Lord gives to us through His church.
Prerequisites: (REL 100 or 201 and REL 203) and REL 110 or 204.

REL 383. Gospel of Luke. (3 Credits)

This course surveys foundational principles and techniques in biblical interpretation using the Gospel of Luke. The life and ministry of Jesus is studies through the distinctive parables, songs, characters, and events of Luke. Bible elective (NT).
Prerequisites: (REL 100 or 201 and REL 203) and REL 110 or 204.

REL 387. Christ's People Thru the Ages. (3 Credits)

This course surveys Christian history from Pentecost to the present. Distinctive eras in Christian history will be discussed, with attention given to their main contours and the principal dynamic forces at work within them. Special attention is given to the development of world Christianity within the history of the church.
Prerequisites: (REL 100, 159 or 201 and REL 203) and REL 110 or 204.

REL 388. Varieties of Belief. (3 Credits)

Varieties of Belief provides a framework for knowing about the teachings, practices, organization and historical development of world religions and various Christian communities. Emphasis is also placed upon the Christian living in relation to the peoples of other faiths especially in the North American context with compassion, biblical confession and a missional intention. Prerequisites: Bible Content ( REL 100 [or 201 203]); Christian Doctrine (REL 110 [or 204]).

REL 393. Christian Care-Giving for Health Professionals. (3 Credits)

This course offers the student preparing for a vocation in Health Care to understand and apply the theology of the cross and the practice of the church in Christian care giving.
Prerequisites: (REL 100 or 201 and REL 203) and REL 110 or 204.

REL 404. Lutheran Confessions. (3 Credits)

This course is an overview of the historical background and major teachings of the documents of The Book of Concord, the confessions of the Evangelical Lutheran Church. Students will explore the confessional heritage of the Lutheran tradition as expressed in the ancient creeds and in confessions of the Lutheran Reformation, which serve as norm for contemporary teaching and practice among Lutherans and as a model for confessing the faith today.
Prerequisites: (REL 100 or 201 and REL 203) and REL 110 or 204.

REL 410. World Religions. (3 Credits)

This course surveys living, non-Christian religions in terms of worship, beliefs, values, history, and their relationship to Christianity. Comparative religions elective.
Prerequisites: (REL 100 or 201 and REL 203) and REL 110 or 204.

REL 416. The Practice of Missions. (3 Credits)

This course facilitates a supervised mission experience for students interested in local or international missions. Outreach elective (missions). Must complete Missions Internship Contract (available from the theology department).
Prerequisites: (REL 100 or 201 and REL 203) and REL 110 or 204.

REL 420. Church Ministries Internship. (3 Credits)

This course puts theory into practice in a specialized setting unique to the individual student’s need. The student intern is introduced to the congregational or institutional arena of professional church work. This presents the student intern the opportunity to experience the vocational option of service as a professional church worker. Requires completion of Level I and Level II of the online lay ministry certificate program.
Prerequisites: (REL 100 or 201 and REL 203) and REL 110 or 204.

REL 430. Christ in the Old Testament. (3 Credits)

This course surveys the messianic teachings found in the OT, traces their thematic development, identifies their fulfillment in the New Testament, and explores scholarly controversies about their interpretation. Bible elective (OT).
Prerequisites: (REL 100 or 201 and REL 203) and REL 110 or 204.

REL 432. The Psalms. (3 Credits)

This course is a study of the hymnal of ancient Israel, with its interpreters, historical context, and enduring liturgical and theological value. Bible elective (OT).
Prerequisites: (REL 100 or 201 and REL 203) and REL 110 or 204.

REL 440. Lutheran Worship: Theology and Practice. (3 Credits)

This course introduces the terms, history and theology of worship in the Lutheran Church. The student is exposed to a variety of art forms and ways in which they can be incorporated into the worship experience. Along with learning the principles involved in developing and leading a worship service, the student practices these skills in class.
Prerequisites: (REL 100 or 201 and REL 203) and REL 110 or 204.

REL 441. Lutheran Worship: Theo & Pract. (3 Credits)

This course introduces the terms, history and theology of worship in the Lutheran Church. The student is exposed to a variety of art forms and ways in which they can be incorporated into the worship experience. Along with learning the principles involved in developing and leading a worship service, the student also practices these skills in class.
Prerequisites: (REL 100 or 201 and REL 203) or REL 110 or 204.

REL 445. Life and Thought of Luther. (3 Credits)

This course is a study of Luther the man and the theologian in relation to the world in which he lived. The student will be asked to read and analyze some of Luther’s major works.
Prerequisites: (REL 100 or 201 and REL 203) and REL 110 or 204.

REL 450. Topics in Theology. (3 Credits)

This course is an elective in which students travel to the annual Lutheran theological symposium in Fort Wayne. Students attend the five-day conference and participate in all conference activities related to both exegesis and theology. This course will include both pre-conference readings and a post-conference paper.
Prerequisites: (REL 100 or 201 and REL 203) and REL 110 or 204.

REL 456. Pastoral Epistles of Paul. (3 Credits)

This course surveys the letters of 1–2 Timothy and Titus, relating Paul’s concerns for the burgeoning church of the day to such contemporary issues as women in the church, the office of the ministry, and twenty-first century theological formulations. Bible elective (NT).
Prerequisites: (REL 100 or 201 and REL 203) and REL 110 or 204.

REL 458. Hebrews and Two Letters of Peter. (3 Credits)

This course studies the background and the content of these epistles from the New Testament. Students will be led to discover for themselves what these letters are teaching and to apply their messages to their own lives and to the Christian Church today. Bible elective (NT).
Prerequisites: (REL 100 or 201 and REL 203) and REL 110 or 204.

REL 476. Holy Land. (3 Credits)

This course offers students the opportunity to experience the land of Israel in person. Students will walk the streets of Jerusalem and Bethlehem, sail on the Sea of Galilee, and taste the brackish waters of the Dead Sea. Guided sightseeing will be supplemented with on-site lectures by scholars, museum visitations in Jerusalem, and background readings. Bible elective (OT/NT).
Prerequisites: (REL 100 or 201 and REL 203) and REL 110 or 204.

REL 490. Senior Seminar I. (3 Credits)

This course will lead students to demonstrate the ability to synthesize knowledge, skills, and attitudes from two or more areas in order to create and support a new point of view in a senior seminar project that contributes to the discipline, in a culminating undergraduate experience. Requires senior standing.
Prerequisites: (REL 100 or 201 and REL 203) and REL 110 or 204.

REL 491. Senior Seminar II. (3 Credits)

This course will lead students to demonstrate the ability to synthesize knowledge, skills, and attitudes from two or more areas in order to create and support a new point of view in a senior seminar project that contributes to the discipline, in a culminating undergraduate experience.
Prerequisites: (REL 100 or 201 and REL 203) and REL 110 or 204.

REL 495. Director of Church Ministries Seminar. (1 Credit)

This course brings into focus the church’s overall mission as it applies to God’s mission. The participants will present, in light of Lutheran confessional theology, their personal vocational goals to serve in the church and especially the youngest generation in the church. Requires completion of Level 1 and 2 of the Church Ministries Program, and completion of Level 3 admission process.