TS510/610 Introduction to Theological Studies (15 credits)
[Compulsory for all students]
This course will survey the landscape of theological studies to give students an overall understanding of the field, and its development over the years; to introduce students to basic beliefs of the Christian tradition, and to enable them to do critical theological thinking and reflection on public and contextual issues.
TS511/611 Introduction to Ethics (15 credits)
[Compulsory for all students]
This course offers an orientation to Christian ethics. It will explore the moral implications of the Christian commitment, the formulation and development of the principles of Christian ethics for persons and within communities, and their application to areas of contemporary life. Because Christian ethics is a form of reflection which arises out of moral conflict, the course utilizes specific moral problems as a way of exploring these themes.
TS612 Doing Theology in Aotearoa (15 credits)
Prerequisites: TS510/610 and TS511/611 [Required for Theological studies strand]
This course engages critically with the shifts in hermeneutics and theological discourses, and reassess the significant move towards contextual and cross-cultural theology. Various modes of contextual theology will be scrutinised in class, with particular reference to theologies from Oceania and Aotearoa. Students also trace the emergence of a range of contextual approaches that are current within contemporary theology leading to the undertaking of a major contextual project.
TS520/620B Re-storying Christianity I/II (15 credits each semester)
Prerequisites: TS520/620A [Recommended for Theological studies strand]
This course will run in two semesters (A & B).
TS620A retells the story of Christianity from the first century CE to the Reformation era, and pays close attention the development of the Christian tradition, key theological debates, schisms, and issues that shattered the unity of the movement.
TS620B retells the story of Christianity from the Reformation period to the present, and pays close attention the story of Christianity in Oceania and Aotearoa. Contemporary challenges that confront Christian churches, and the emergence of new groups will be given due examination and critical scrutiny. This story of Christianity will be shared alongside its historical counterpart, colonisation.
TS621 Re-thinking God (15 credits)
Prerequisites: TS510/610, TS511/611 and TS520/620
This course reconsiders the basic theological tenets of Christianity, especially the Christian doctrine of Trinity, from a 21st century, multi-faith and multi-cultural perspective. It gives students an opportunity to re-think, from their own standpoints, the idea of God, and to re-examine the development of the theology of God, the Christ, and the Spirit. What does it mean to believe in a God? Who really is this person called the Christ? What exactly is the Holy Spirit? What has God got to do with humans and earth? Questions such as these and more will be discussed and debated.
TS522/622 Being Human (15 credits)
Prerequisites: TS510/610 and TS511/611
What does it mean to be human? This course takes as its focus the key theological question of what can be said about the nature of being human. The course will examine a variety of theological responses from traditional Christian understandings, which understand humanity as created in God's image, to more contemporary perceptions of what it means to be human. Theological aropology can be the driver of other doctrines in a systematic theology; it also underpins work not necessarily seen as theological, such as ethics, development, and human rights. A rich understanding of this antropology will be helpful in assisting students in addressing key spiritual, ethical, and material challenges facing humanity in our current contexts.
TS630 Moana Eco-Theology (15 credits)
This course briefly traces the origin and development of eco-theology, the current trend in eco-theological debates, and the relevance of those debates to the current ecological climate and realities in the context of Oceania, and Aotearoa in particular. The purpose of the course is to raise awareness amongst those who are training for ministry to the reality of climate change, and to set a platform for appropriate church and/or faith community responses.
TS631 Revisioning Church (15 credits)*
No prerequisite [Compulsory for all ministry candidates]
What does it mean to be a church in the 21st century? Does the church need to reinvent itself to be relevant? What challenges does it face? How much does it need to change? Is its traditional mission viable? If not, what is the new mission and vision? These, and many other, questions will be the focus of this course. Participants will be encouraged to engage critically with the theologies and practices of the church past and present in order to find what is best for the church going forward. Is there a place for the church in the future?
TS531/632 Special Topic: Religious Fundamentalism (15 credits)
This course aims at understanding and comparing fundamentalist movements in Christianity, Islam, Judaism and Hinduism. Participants will examine the term "fundamentalism" as it has evolved from describing an American Protestant form of religiosity to signifying a global phenomenon spanning different religions and cultures. The goal is to understand religious fundamentalism and its impact on public life.
RETS650 Research Essay in Theological Studies (30 credits)
Prerequisites: TS510/610, TS511/611, TS512/612 and TS520/620
This option is for those who have completed the core and required courses for a Theological Studies strand with an average B grade or above. The duration for the project is one full semester. A research proposal has to be approved by the Lecturer in Theological Studies prior to conducting the research. The research project is equal to two 15-credit courses.