Courses In Session

One of the major effects of our contemporary post-modern culture on churches across the U.S. are globalization and pluralism. This course provides conceptual and contextual theological, ecclesiological, and missiological studies of the global church in the twenty-first century, with emphasis on the urban Black Church (predominantly African American memberships). Although the missional nature of the church will be explored from a Christocentric church viewpoint and Trinitarian theological perspective, the Church’s ministry and responsibility towards other religious beliefs, cultures, injustices, poverty, urbanization, and ecology will be explored and studied from a global perspective. Special attention will be given to the development of the Christian faith and theological reflections in the cultural contexts of African Americans (Black), other cultures, other Americans, and Women, as well as the quests of the overall post-modern pluralistic urban society of North America. Major themes such as religious pluralism vs. religious fundamentalism will be explored and studied. The relationship between Christianity and Islam will be presented as one of the most significant issues facing the 21st-century global church. Emphasis will be given to the mission of the people of God as an instrument for peace and reconciliation among world communities and nations. Hopefully, this course will lead towards a renewed or transformed articulation of one’s theology, or mission and/ or vision for the local church.

The goal of this course is to examine, explore, and form further questions of inquiry that would warrant further research from relativistic and systematic ways of knowing. On a Masters level, this theological research is more of an inquiry, and the goal or deliverable is the development of a Thesis Proposal. With modifications according to institutions' writing format, this proposal will be highly useful for proposing a Doctor of Ministry's final project. Nevertheless, all writing in this course points towards the application of Practical Theological Methods through qualitative research principles, and through coherent study of established methodological designs of narrative, phenomenology, grounded theory, ethnography, and case study. The issues of alternative knowledge claims, validity or trustworthiness, in-depth field work, and data collection and analysis will be examined through a course-long collaborative narrative journal centered on course learning.

Part of the M.Div. or D.Min. Program’s success depends on an evaluation system devoted to constant scrutiny and valid assessment. The information gained from such a rigorous process helps implement the type of change needed to strengthen the program and better serve future candidates. Washington Baptist Theological Seminary may archive candidate course work to aid in this endeavor.