The Roberts Department of Christianity offers the following courses. Not all courses are offered each term or every year. Class schedules, which include the names of the professors of record for each section, are published by the Office of the Registrar twice a year.
Unless otherwise stated, either CHR 101 or 150 is a prerequisite to all other courses in the Christianity Department.
CHR 101. Old Testament (3 hours)
An introduction to the history, literature, and theology of the Old Testament. (Every semester)
CHR 150. New Testament (3 hours)
An introduction to the history, literature, and theology of the New Testament. (Every semester)
CHR 170. Beginning with Abraham (3 hours)
A thematic exploration of the traditional scriptures of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam with attention given to the nature of sacred texts, the importance of communities of faith, and the influences of Judaism,Christianity, and Islam in contemporary global culture. The course will address at least two and no more than three relevant themes: the figure of Abraham, the emergence of monotheism, the role of prophets, women in society, violence and war, poverty, and the importance of a worshiping community. (Every Semester)
CHR 210. History of Christianity (3 hours)
An introduction to developments in Christian history from the first century to the present. (Every two years)
CHR 250. Theological Research and Writing (3 hours)
An introduction to basic theological vocabulary, bibliography, library resources, and research methodologies with a rigorous emphasis on improving writing skills. (Every fall semester)
CHR 300. Introduction to Christian Theology (3 hours)
An introduction to the major topics in Christian theology. Issues explored include the nature of theological language and theological methods, the concept of revelation, the character of God, the character of humankind, the reality of sin, the significance of Jesus the Christ, the identity of the church, and the shape of Christian hope. (Every three years)
CHR 302. Biblical Interpretation (3 hours)
A study of the principles and methods by which the Bible is interpreted. (Every three years)
CHR 305. Old Testament Prophets (3 hours)
Prerequisite: CHR 101.
A study of the prophets of the Old Testament, including the nature and history of the prophetic movement in Israel and the messages of selected prophets. Emphasis will be given to Amos, Hosea, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and Second Isaiah. (Every two years)
CHR 310. Jesus (3 hours)
Prerequisite: CHR 150.
An investigation of the Gospels’ portraits of Jesus in the light of other ancient literature, the world of Jesus, and scholarship about the Jesus of history. (Every two years)
CHR 315. Paul (3 hours)
Prerequisite: CHR 150.
A study of the life and thought of Paul based on Acts and the letters of Paul in their literary, historical, social, and religious contexts. (Every two years)
CHR 320. New Testament Theology (3 hours)
Prerequisite: CHR 150.
An introduction to the theology of the New Testament. (Every three years)
CHR 325. Contemporary Christian Theology (3 hours)
An exploration of trends in Christian theology since 1960 with emphasis upon examples of liberation theologies, contextual theologies of Asia and Africa, the emergence of postliberal and postmodern theologies, and the changing face of evangelicalism. Some attention also may be given to dominant mid-twentieth-century theological movements that formed a backdrop for theological developments in the 1960s and beyond. (Every three years)
CHR 330. Approaches to Christian Ethics (3 hours)
An exploration of Christian ethics that focuses on classic texts drawn from a broad range of church history. Although the course will deal with some specific moral issues, the focus will be on how thinkers have used insights from the Bible, theology, philosophy, the sciences, and human experience to address a range of questions that may include: What does it mean to be moral? Why be moral? How do we know what is moral? How do we become moral? How can we make responsible decisions? (Every two years)
CHR 335. Christian Ethics In America (3 hours)
An exploration of Christian ethics that focuses on the implications of Christian faith for life in civil and political society in the United States. The course will engage readings in Christian ethics since the 1960s that address a variety of issues that may include character, race, economic justice, the environment, family/marriage, gender, sexuality, the professions, politics, and violence. The course may also require participation in service-learning opportunities.(Every two years)
CHR 353. Christianity in America (3 hours)
An examination of the history, practices, and influence of various Christian groups in the United States. Attention will be given to the development of denominations, the rise of nondenominational sectarian groups, and the plurality of contemporary expressions of Christianity in America. (Every two years)
CHR 356. Eastern Religions (3 hours)
An examination of the history, sacred texts, beliefs, and practices of the major religious traditions originating in India and East Asia. Religions studied will include Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, Sikhism, and religions indigenous to China and Japan. Attention will be given to the development of these religions in their places of origin and to their growth beyond Asia, especially in North America. (Every two years)
CHR 357. Western Religions (3 hours)
An examination of the history, sacred texts, beliefs, and practices of the major non- Christian religious traditions originating in the Middle East, Europe, Africa, and the Americas. Special attention will be given to Islam and Judaism, but other religions studied may include Zoroastrianism, African indigenous traditions, ancient European traditions, and Native American traditions. (Every two years)
CHR 363. Women and Christianity (3 hours)
(Same as WGS 363)
Prerequisite: CHR 101 or CHR 150, and WGS 180 or permission of the instructor.
A biblical, historical, and theological examination of the role of women within the Christian tradition. (Every three years)
CHR 365. Baptist Traditions (3 hours)
A study of Baptist identity and its free-church character in the light of Baptist history. Attention will be given to its various expressions from its origins in England and the United States to the development of Baptist life around the world. (Every two years)
CHR 380. Biblical Hebrew (4 hours)
An extensive introduction to biblical Hebrew, covering grammar, vocabulary, and readings from the Old Testament. The schedule includes a one-hour per week laboratory session.This course does not count toward credit in foreign languages. (Every three years)
CHR 385. Junior Colloquium (1 hour)
Prerequisites: junior status and declaration of a major in the department.
A course of readings and discussion based upon topics selected by members of the department and essays prepared by senior-level majors in the department. (Every semester)
CHR 400. Supervised Independent Reading (1-3 hours)
An intensive study of a topic in religion, limited in scope, for the purpose of developing a bibliography, concentrated reading, and tutorial discussion with the instructor. (As needed)
CHR 410. Seminar on Selected Topics in Religion (1-3 hours)
An in-depth investigation of a significant topic in religion not available through other departmental offerings. (As needed)
CHR 420. Directed Independent Research (3 hours)
Prerequisites: junior or senior status and departmental approval.
Requirements include selection of a problem area or project, survey of relevant literature, research, and formal report of findings. (As needed)
Prerequisites: senior status and declaration of a major in the department.
A course of readings and discussion based upon topics selected by members of the department and essays prepared by senior-level majors in the department. Each senior enrolled will prepare an essay under the direction of a member of the department and present the essay to the class. (Every semester)