Our Systematic Theology classes are full of depth and meaningful discussion, enriching your time as a ThM/PhD student here at Westminster. See our current course listing below, inclusive of course topics, professors, and prerequisites/restrictions. 

Systematic Theology ThM/PhD Level Courses
ST 700 New Modernity
Purpose:

  • To exhibit a deeper love for the absolute and personal triune God, His word, and His church
  • To become acquainted with a significant strand of post-Enlightenment doctrinal development concerning God and His self-revelation
  • To grow in theological discernment by engaging a variety of coeval forms of contemporary theological prolegomena.

This ThM course explores the philosophical and theological foundations of select post-Enlightenment figures whose thought has influenced the contemporary Christian church. After surveying the rise of theological liberalism as represented by Friedrich Schleiermacher, the course focuses on Karl Barth's response to liberalism, as well as Barth's own influence upon the post-liberal theologies of Hans Frei and George Lindbeck, and the theology of John Webster. 

Special attention is paid to the ways prolegomena bears on the nature and task of theology, with implications for philosophy of ministry and preaching.

Summer term. Dr. Wynne

ST 701 Topics in Medical Ethics
Topics covered include bioethics, medicine as a Christian calling, in vitro fertilization, AIDS, genetic engineering, and euthanasia.

Fall semester. Dr. Edgar.

Prerequisites: ST 231.

ST 702 Law and Gospel in Reformed Theology
Purpose:

  • To deepen the understanding of a biblical, theological, and historical study of the Law in relation to covenant and the Gospel

Topics covered include the historical-theological development of the Law within the canon; covenant and Law; the relationship of law to justice; merit, conditionality, and unconditionality; and the Law in the Christian life and ethics. A theme throughout the course is the relationship of Law and Gospel in history and theology.

Winter term. Dr. Garcia.

ST 733 Trinitarian Theology: Ancient and Modern
Purpose:

  • To exhibit a deeper love for the absolute and personal triune God, His word, and His church
  • To become acquainted with key primary sources from church history on the doctrine of the Trinity
  • To grasp the key theological terms, debates and doctrinal developments related to the doctrine of the Trinity

This seminar surveys primary sources from church history on the doctrine of the Trinity. Students will sharpen their own understanding of Trinitarian dogma as they trace the history of Trinitarian reflection from the Patristic era to 4th century debates, up through Aquinas and the Reformers, to the Puritans and Old Princeton, to Van Til, concluding with the modern Trinitarian theologies of Karl Barth and Wolfhart Pannenberg.

Spring semester. Dr. Wynne.

ST 761 Topics in the Doctrine of Man
Purpose:

  • To deepen understanding of man and our theological method through use of biblical theology and linguistics

Topics covered include the relation of classical theological anthropology to biblical-theological method, including theology of sonship in Paul and John; special attention to the image of God; dichotomy and trichotomy; the covenant with Adam; and the nature of sin.

Fall semester. Dr. Poythress.

ST 773 Studies in Historical Theology II
Purpose:

  • To provide opportunity for reading and seminar reflection on important theologians from the Reformation to the early 20th century

Topics covered include representative writings of Luther, Calvin, Turretin, Schleiermacher, and Barth. 

Seminar presentation is required.

Spring semester. Dr. Tipton.

ST 781 The Theology of Romans
Purpose:

  • To examine aspects of the teaching of Romans for their bearing on systematic theological issues

Topics covered include some prolegomena for systematic theology and for studying the theology of Romans, and exegetical-theological comments on selected passages.

Fall semester. Dr. Tipton.

ST 791 Issues in Theology Proper
Purpose:

  • To introduce students to current discussions related to theology proper
  • To develop a response to challenges to a Reformed doctrine of God

Students will be expected to analyze and critique both classical and contemporary essays that look at language about God, God and evil, and God and morality, in addition to God’s necessity, omnipotence, omniscience, eternity, providence, foreknowledge, and simplicity. Seminar discussions will be held in these and related areas.

Fall semester. Dr. Oliphint.

ST 803 The Theology of Karl Barth
Purpose:

  • To understand the place of Barth in his western-European post-Enlightenment context
  • To evaluate the foundations of Barth’s theological approach
  • To gain exposure to some of Barth’s theological writings
  • To reflect on the critique of Barth offered by Cornelius Van Til

Spring semester. Dr. Tipton, Dr. Wynne.

ST 811 Covenant Theology 

Purpose:

  • To provide a thorough understanding of critical issues in the development of Reformed covenant theology

Topics covered include Trinity and covenant, the pactum salutis, the covenant of works, the covenant of grace, covenant theology and justification, and covenant theology and epistemology. 

Special attention will be given from an exegetical perspective to the development of Reformed covenant theology.

Fall semester. Dr. Tipton.

ST 901 The Trinitarian Theology of Cornelius Van Til
Purpose:

  • To investigate the context, structure, and significance of Cornelius Van Til’s Trinitarian theology
  • To encourage the student to engage critically central issues in Trinitarian theology from a Van Tillian perspective

Topics covered include the architectonic significance of the Trinity, both in Van Til’s theology and apologetics. Special attention will be given to Van Til’s historical and theological context; his theology of triune personhood; the structure and function of the representational principle; the distinctively Trinitarian character of the transcendental method; and Van Til's place in contemporary discussions of Trinitarian theology, ranging from the theological function of perichoresis to the notions of relationality and temporality within the Godhead.

Fall semester. Dr. Tipton.

ST 921 The Theology of Adoption
Purpose:

  • To investigate the importance of adoption in Pauline, biblical, and historical theology in detail 

Topics covered include the historical neglect of the doctrine, its renewed treatment in contemporary theology, and its place in pastoral theology. Course work includes the preparation and presentation of detailed investigative papers.

Spring semester. Dr. Garner.

ST 923 The Theology of Wolfhart Pannenberg
Purpose:

  • To examine in a critical manner the systematic theology of Wolfhart Pannenberg from a historically Reformed perspective 

Pannenberg has been called one of the most important theologians since Karl Barth. His thought has not only influenced disciplines as diverse as anthropology and cosmology, but also helped to propel the Open Theism movement within the evangelical world. This seminar explores a variety of epistemological, hermeneutical, and theological challenges related to Pannenberg's post-Enlightenment theology in a way that underscores the significance of orthodox biblical theology.

Fall semester, two hours. Dr. Wynne.

ST 930 Union with Christ
Purpose:

  • To explore predestinarian, past-historical and present personal union with Christ

Topics covered include the distinction between the historia salutis and ordo salutis, the resurrection structure of the ordo salutis, and the bearing of Christ's own death and resurrection on those united to Him by faith. The course will also examine the context, nature, pattern and benefits of present personal union with Christ in historical, theological and exegetical perspective. 

Special attention will be given to exegetical concerns in an attempt to develop a theology of union with Christ that is sensitive to pneumatology and eschatology as the broader context in terms of which we situate the church's union with Christ.

Summer term. Dr. Tipton.

ST 932 The Westminster Standards
Purpose: 

  • To exposit the theology of the Westminster Assembly by means of a study of the Westminster Confession of Faith

Topics covered include the origin, convening, and theology of the Westminster Assembly.

Spring semester. Dr. Garner, Dr. Jue.

ST 944 The Philosophical Theology of Thomas Aquinas
Purpose:

  • To begin to understand some of the basic elements of Aquinas’ philosophical theology
  • To evaluate Aquinas’ philosophical theological view of knowledge and cognition
  • To assess (critically) Aquinas in light of historic, Reformed orthodoxy
  • To appreciate those elements in Aquinas’ philosophical theology that have their foundation in Scripture

Topics covered include, primarily, the doctrine of God, but also Aquinas’ view of knowledge, the metaphysics of the Incarnation, and the doctrine of providence and suffering.

Fall semester. Dr. Oliphint.

ST 972 Calvin’s Doctrine of the Holy Spirit
Purpose:

  • To research Calvin’s teaching on the person and work of the Spirit, with attention to his expositions in the Institutes, Commentaries, and Treatises

Seminar presentation required.

Winter term. Dr. Garcia.

ST 990 Reformed Ecclesiology
Purpose:

  • To familiarize students with the theological foundations, principles, and practices that embody the Reformed tradition’s understanding of the doctrine of the church through its contributions in Biblical, systematic, and historical theology, by acquainting the student with a variety of the best expressions of ecclesiology in the wider Reformed family
  • To consider the relationship between the church and the state, the world, and the kingdom of God
  • To provide the student with resources to answer the ancient and modern challenges of sacramental, ecumenical, consumeristic and postmodern views of the church

Winter term. Dr. Troxel.

Courses listed for other concentrations which may be counted as concentration courses in Systematic Theology: CH 863, CH 883, CH 891, CH 901, CH 943, CH 951, CH 961, NT 853, NT 881, NT 931, NT 951,NT 961, NT 993, AP 713, AP 743, AP 753, AP 763, AP 861, AP 931, AP 963, AP 981.

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