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08 Doctrine of Holiness TH102

Course Description

A study of the doctrine and lifestyle of Scriptural Holiness as taught both in the Bible, historically in the Christian Church and finally developed most fully in Wesley’s theology, with a special focus on the Wesleyan distinctive of entire sanctification or Christian perfection. The student will be equipped to lead others (or themselves if needed) into the experience of entire sanctification.

Course Rational

The Wesleyan Doctrine of Entire Sanctification with the supporting concepts of Arminius forms a different theological hermeneutic than typically found in Reformed theology. It is a different worldview, not simply a re-definition of terms. It is extremely important that the student be exposed to this hermeneutic as well as to the experience that emerges from it.   It is required for pastors in the Church of the Nazarene to testify to the experience of Entire Sanctification.   Preparation for those pastors cannot ignore the need of students to be clearly led into this experience and learn how to clearly lead others as well.

Program Outcomes
(Asia Pacific Regional Sourcebook)

CN-6 Ability to explain how the theological foundations of Christianity proceed from Scriptures.
(To identify and articulate the Old and New Testament foundations for the doctrine of holiness)
CN-7 Ability to explain Scriptural holiness from the Wesleyan-Armenian holiness perspective.
CN-13 Ability to explain the Nazarene position on speaking in tongues.
CN-25 Ability to accurately identify and explain the main characteristics of the nature of God, Christ, the Holy Spirit, the Human Person, Sin, Salvation, the Christian Life, the Church and Sacraments, and Eschatology.

CP-19 Ability to teach the position of the Church of the Nazarene on the doctrine of holiness.
CP-20 Ability to express humility and interdependence in all of one’s personal relationships through openness, righteousness, and honesty.
CP-21 Ability to love God with all one’s heart, soul, mind, and strength, and to live out the experience of entire sanctification.
CP-22 Ability to communicate orally and visually according to the culture.


CH-7 Ability to apply OT insights to one’s life and spiritual formation.


CX-10 Ability to understand the relevance of OT to contemporary society in Asia – Pacific.


Activity Outcomes

ACC-1 Explain and demonstrate how the Christian life of accountability is shown in relational integrity, leadership integrity, and financial integrity, toward God, church leaders and in other relationships.

ADM-1 Explain and demonstrate how a pastor leads in love while balancing the demands of administration, leading with vision, following those in authority, and the shepherding concerns of the church.

Counsel – Listen
CON-1 Demonstrate the character qualities of Christ essential in creating an effective counseling relationship built on biblical foundations.

DIS-3 Read God’s Word to foster one’s spiritual growth for personal devotions.
DIS-4 Explain the basic essential concepts of discipleship, what is a disciple, how to be a disciple, why would a person become a disciple, and how to make more disciples.
DIS-5 Demonstrate how to develop questions and make observations of the group that enables the group to more fully understand each other’s spiritual condition and how applying God’s word cares for the growth of the disciples.
DIS-7 Lead by example by demonstrating being discipled and discipling others as well.
DIS-8 Explain the nature of growth in grace, leading up to and following salvation, leading up to and following Entire Sanctification.
DIS-11 Describe the effects of sin on humanity and the condition of humanity as fallen into sin.
DIS-13 Teach others the Nazarene Articles of Faith. Clearly explain either orally or in writing a Wesleyan-Arminian understanding of the Nazarene Articles of Faith
DIS-17 Explain of the effects of sin on humanity and the condition of humanity as fallen into sin and the restoration through redemption then demonstrate how to lead a person to the experience of Entire Sanctification, curing the effects of sin.

Discipline Personal and Family
DPF-1 Develop an activity that prioritizes discipling the whole family.   The student (if married) will have family devotions, and plan for their family to be involved in ministry activities. The student will develop and demonstrate an effective system for personal spiritual development, holistic personal care and articulate the importance of accountability for these.

Personal Spiritual Development (Holiness)

HOL-1 Identify the spiritual development practices that are important and speak to the student the most in their spiritual growth. Explain what the Holy Spirit has shown them will need to change in their life that would make them more like Christ. (Psalm 139). Prepare a testimony about their personal experience of entire sanctification and deliver it in a non- academic environment. A student that is uncertain of their current experience should clearly identify where they understand themselves to be in that journey, and what steps they are taking to embrace the experience of heart holiness.
HOL-4 List then define several of the historical terms used for Entire Sanctification. Compare and contrast their benefits. Explain the differences between a Wesleyan understanding of spiritual development and some other theological traditions.

Impact Community
ICO-4 Explain the basic steps toward individual or community disaster relief, if possible, in cooperation with other organizations or ministries, use Scriptural examples and themes when possible. Create a social impact activity that demonstrates holiness as love in action.

MIN-3 Demonstrate the ability to reflect on ministry practices in light of a Wesleyan focus on ministry.

PRA-1 Demonstrate a strong passion for a life of prayer, and devote himself/herself into prayer, and can demonstrate a life of prayer by keeping a prayer journal including a list of lost people God has made them responsible for.
PRA-3 Explain why we need to pray, what is a occasional prayer and what is unceasing prayer. Explain how to teach their congregation to pray, using OT and NT examples to foster passion in prayer.

PRE-2 Identify the various terms used to express experiential holiness, know their historical context, and express their individual strengths and weaknesses in reference to the cultural context in which the student will most often find themselves.
PRE-6 Explain at least 4 ways to help the congregation apply the truth of the sermon.
PRE-22 Explain clearly, either orally or in writing, a Wesleyan-Arminian understanding of sin and its impact on humanity and the creation.

Content 37%
Competency 29%
Character 23%
Context 11%

Core principles of this curriculum

Prayer is an essential activity for every Christian, pastor, teacher and layperson. We must include prayer as a constant and vital part of our teaching. We must include prayer in the classroom, not just as an introduction to the session, but as an active part of the activities, teamwork, and discussions. We should study prayer historically, explore different types, encourage silence, shouting, and read prayers. Teams should pray together. They should learn how to pray short prayers, and be given assignments that included long hours spent in prayer. The student should interact with God during the class, not just examine Him at a distance.

Activity Focus
Students will engage in some of these pastoral activities in each class.

Accountability; Administration; Continuing Education; Counsel – Listen; Dealing Biblically with the Spirit World; Discipline – Personal and Family; Disciple; Evangelize; Fasting, Impact Community; Leadership, Ministry; Personal Spiritual Development (Holiness); Preach; Prayer; Ritual; Sabbath; Small groups.

We will engage the student in these pastoral activities while in the classroom and use those activities as bridge points or opportunities to learn content. For example, the theology of preaching is discussed as the student preaches. Communication theory is taught while evaluating the student’s sermon. Sociology and learner focus pedagogy are discussed while the student is developing lesson plans. Major projects are typically outside the classroom environment and done in teams.

Congregational Focus
The role of the pastor strongly influences activities needed in the classroom. In Ephesians Paul lays out five different types of ministers; apostles, evangelists, prophets, shepherds and teachers. Each of these has a different set of activities, types of ministries and a bit different focus but the main point of each of their ministry is the SAME; equipping of the Body of Christ for the work of ministry.

We aim to equip the pastor to teach and train others for ministry! THEIR work of service. The teacher needs to see the students demonstrate that ability – often – during their classes. We need to build the expectation into the students that equipping is their role, and help them gain the confidence to equip others.

We want a student to consider the ordinary problems that believers face as they minister to their family, co-workers and community. This is why there are four engagements in every class. People in a local church should be able to apply what the student is learning.

Four Engagements
We want our students to engage in four ways in every single class. The form this takes will vary greatly from class to class, but some form of all these four must be included in every class.
1) With themselves
2) With other students
3) With a worshipping community
4) With the larger non-Christian community.
Lets look at these more closely.

With themselves. The student needs to grow in, character, understanding, confidence, and skill. Each class should help the student see clear evidence of their own growth as they fulfill the outcomes for that class. This will show them that their understanding is growing, their skill level is growing, and give them confidence in their continued ministry.

With other students. Learning to function in teams and to lead teams is a crucial skill for pastors. Teams will normally be cohorts structured so that the leadership constantly rotates. Often a team will be a cohort but not always. In fact at times it will be helpful to put the students in new groups to help them understand the dynamics of changing personnel. Leadership skills, teamwork skills, issues of hard work, integrity, timelines, trust, roles (and others) will be dealt with over and over within each of the classes. This way, a student’s faults and shortcomings will be constantly addressed. They will have many opportunities to improve on weaknesses and to identify and build strengths. By practicing these skills in every class and having some form of feedback on their progress, students will have the opportunity to grow well in areas of teamwork and leadership. It is important that every teacher briefly remind students why they are being formed into teams and what they are expected to learn from the team process.

With a worshipping community. The student must be a part of a worshiping Christian community to properly develop as a pastor. Projects assigned in the class must be accomplished within a local church / congregation / church plant. This means that the students will need to work with their pastor to have steady opportunities to minister in their local congregation. If the student is a pastor they can work with their local church board. At times the student themselves must develop a ministry, outreach or opportunity with the encouragement and support of their local congregation. Members of the congregation should be aware of the student’s study and be willing to encourage and help the student progress and develop. The student will develop the crucial skill of engaging others in ministry and working within a congregational structure to develop ministries. This skill will be important for the long term success of their ministry. They will need to develop healthy attitudes toward criticism and input. They will need to learn to look past the emotional content of criticism and find ways to improve themselves. They will also need to learn how to deal with destructive people who may try to manipulate, embarrass, or demean them in the presence of others. It is impossible to encounter the wide possible range of attitudes in one or two times of ministry with a congregation. It is crucial that a student is engaging with the congregation in every class so that they deal with a wide range of both opportunities and obstacles.

With the larger non-Christian community. Community engagement is a crucial skill for pastors. The ability to meet people in poverty and distress, business people, community leaders, government officials, wealthy individuals and people without a title but with strong influence in the community, sick and prisoners and other ordinary individuals will enable the pastor to preach the gospel to the whole community. Each class will have some project for the student in the community. They will engage people from different social and economic backgrounds. This builds the student’s confidence as they move into new ministry settings and begin to understand how the whole community functions. They will begin to understand how influential people in a community can help make (or oppose) good changes. They will also begin to develop the skills of community assessment and development.

Cohort and Mentor
Cohort. Students will be formed into small groups of 3 or 4 to study together both in class and if possible outside of class. We call this type of group a cohort. If possible the student will stay with their cohort for the whole time they are in the Course of Study. In some cases they will be assigned a new cohort each time they attend a class.
This cohort will function in several ways.

  1. As a study group. Students will meet before class and make sure that each of them has been able to complete the pre-class assignments.
  2. As an accountability group. Students will pray for each other and function as a spiritual growth and accountability group.
  3. As a classroom team. When teams are formed in the classroom, the cohort will be the primary team structure. At times, the teachers will want to mix members of teams so that other perspectives and personal interactions can be experienced.
  4. As a discussion group. One of the keys to a quality education is the ability to ask questions and discuss issues and ideas with other people. This cohort will give a natural group where these discussions can take place.
  5. As a coaching / mentoring group for active ministry. Each of the students will be engaged in active ministry as they take classes. Getting feedback, coaching and mentoring is a key to growing in leadership, grace, and personal confidence. Some mentoring or coaching needs to come from long-term pastors who can give guidance, but some needs to come from peers who are walking a similar journey and can often more easily identify with the problems and needs.

Coach / Mentor. Each student should have an assigned mentor / coach who will meet with them as they journey through the Course of Study. This person will help them connect to ministry in their local area. If the student is a member of the Church of the Nazarene, the mentor will guide them through the Nazarene steps toward ordination and provide feedback, coaching and guidance as they progress in ministry. This person should be an Ordained elder in the Church of the Nazarene. For a non-Nazarene who might be taking our Course of Study, this should be an Ordained elder from their own group.

It will be part of the enrollment process to make sure the cohorts and coach / mentors are identified. There should be a mechanism at each educational provider to make sure that these structures stay in place and continue to function. A person from the school should be checking on the mentor / coaches and making sure that meetings with the students are happening at least once every three months. Cohorts that have a change in members should be reformed with new members at the next class session.



The student will bring a Bible to class

Students will be formed into groups of three for the whole class.   These teams / groups will form discussion groups that examine Biblical examples and various other discussion points.   The group will rotate responsibilities, one opens in prayer for each of the team, one leads the discussion, and one reports to the class.

Class Activities

  1. Regular attendance to all course sessions and preparation of all assignments prior to their deadlines. (Schools will put in their local policy on student attendance). ADM-1
  2. Students will share an oral testimony on their personal experience and growth in the life of holiness. In this testimony students offer a personal report on their progress in understanding the doctrine of holiness and the transformation that they notice in their daily lives. (Outcomes DIS-8, DIS-11, DIS-17, HOL-1).
  3. Students will be grouped in twos or threes to discuss the role of the Holy Spirit from a Wesleyan-Holiness perspective in the practice of living a holy life, including:
    1. the testimony of the Spirit in our entire sanctification,
    2. the gifts of the Spirit,
    3. the fruit of the Spirit, and
    4. the Nazarene position on speaking in an unknown tongue
    5. The group will select a spokesperson to share with the instructor their findings (Outcomes, CN-13, ACC-1, DIS-5, HOL-1)
  4. Students will share at least two stories from daily life that help in understanding and explaining the practical side of the holy life. (Outcomes DIS-8, MIN-3 )
  5. Students will draw a line (or diagram or picture) of life (grace of holiness continuum) designed to teach 12-15 year olds (or adult learners in a Church of the Nazarene membership class). This will be an in-class exercise without notes (quiz). The diagram(s) will depict the following:
    1. God’s prevenient pursuing grace before coming to Christ in the initial experience of grace
    2. The crisis (event) experience of the first work of grace in its various realities: regeneration, justification, adoption, redemption, reconciliation, initial sanctification. Give at least two Scripture verses (or passages) for each of these six realities of the first work of grace.
    3. Progressive sanctification (or growth in grace). Cite at least two Scriptures.
    4. The crisis (event) of entire sanctification, with cleansing, entire consecration, and the witness of the Spirit, and give at least four Scripture verses (or passages)
    5. Progressive sanctification following entire sanctification (more growth in grace, accessing the ‘means of grace’ for living the holy life).
    6. Final sanctification (or glorification). Cite two Scriptures.
    7. The student will explain the drawing to the instructor or to a designated instructor’s assistant. (Outcomes DIS-11, DIS-13, DIS-17).
  6. Students will be put in groups of twos and threes as spiritual accountability partners. They will spend a certain time during each session discussing their personal spiritual development as it relates to what has been discussed in class. Students will share a three minute summary of their discussions with the instructor or a designated instructor’s assistant. (Outcome CON-1, DIS-4, DIS-7)
  7. Students will participate in a role play where they will try to lead a seeker toward the experience of entire sanctification. Prayer for cleansing, entire consecration, and the witness of the Spirit. (Outcome DIS-7, DIS-17, HOL-1)
  8. Students will preach a final 10 minute sermon. (Outcomes PRA-1, PRE-2, PRE-6, PRE-22)
  9. Teams will develop a community project that demonstrates love in action. (Outcome ICO-4)


  1. 5% Journal Bible Reading of passages assigned. (DIS-3)
  2. 5% Prayer Journal
  3. 5% Team Participation
  4. 5% Family or Local Congregational Devotional Plan. (DPF-1, PRA-3)
  5. 10% Drawing of the Christian Life
  6. 10% Role play leading a person to Entire Sanctification
  7. 20% Tests
    1. List terms used for Entire Sanctification and their meaning. (HOL-4, PRE-2)
    2. List key people in history who taught Entire Sanctification, choose one and describe their contribution
    3. Explain the characteristics of Carnal Mind with Scriptural examples.
    4. List Biblical individuals who walked in perfect faith and pick one to explain how their faith was made complete.
    5. Explain the difference between Holiness through our own effort and Holiness by faith.
  8. 20% Teams will develop a community project that shows love in action.
  9. 20% Preach a sermon on Entire Sanctification (Final Test)

Course Resources

The sessions and course readings may be taken from the following texts

Arminius, James, The Works of James Arminius – Vol. 1 Nine Theological Questions



Becoming Holy People. RIIE Course Module. Kansas City: Clergy Services, 2004.

Calvin, John, “TULIP” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Calvinism#Five_points_of_Calvinism

Drury, Keith. Holiness for Ordinary People (Beacon Hill Press of Kansas City: Kansas City, MO, E.U.A.), 1992.

Greathouse, William M. The Fullness of the Spirit. (Beacon Hill Press of Kansas City, Kansas City, MO, E.U.A.), 1986.

Horton, Stanley M. What the Bible Says about the Holy Spirit (Gospel Publishing House, Springfield MO), 2007.

LeClerc, Diane, Discovering Christian Holiness: The Heart of Wesleyan-Holiness Theology, (BEACON HILL PRESS), 2009

Maddox, Randy L., Responsible Grace: John Wesley’s Practical Theology (Kingswood Series), (ABINGDON PRESS), 1994

Moore, Frank. Breaking Free from Sin’s Grip (Beacon Hill Press of Kansas City; Kansas City, MO), 2001.

Purkiser, W.T. Conflicting Concepts of Holiness: Issues in Holy Living (Beacon Hill Press of Kansas City, 96pgs) released 1972-07-31.

Purkiser, W.T, The Gifts of the Spirit. (Beacon Hill Press of Kansas City, 80pgs) released 1975-02-01.

Wesley, John, A Plain Account of Christian Perfection – Paraphrase, by David Phillips ((The Works of John Wesley (1872 ed. by Thomas Jackson), vol. 11, pp. 366-446.) – Basis for paraphrase. Wesley Holiness Digital Library http://www.whdl.org/plain-account-christian-perfection-paraphrase)

Wesley, John, compilation of various articles and books. http://wesley.nnu.edu/john-wesley/


Outline of the Course

Why We Believe in Holiness

  • An Introduction

Basic Questions (Discussion activity)

Definition of Holiness

“Holiness is Not . . .”

Potential Questions about Holiness

  • Biblical Perfection

Old Testament and Perfection

Study of the faith walk of several OT persons (teams)

Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Joseph, Moses, Samson, Samuel ,David, Daniel, Job

New Testament Concept of Perfection

Study of the faith walk of several NT persons (teams)

John the Baptist, Jesus, The Apostles before Jesus death and after Pentecost, Paul, Thessalonians

  • Our Sin Problem

Sin, defined

Two Types of Sin: Original and Actual

Sin as rebellion, deed, actions

Sin nature

Sin as Conditioning and Social Structure

  • God’s Grace Response

What We Believe about Holiness

  • Coming to Terms with the Terms: Regeneration—Justification—Sanctification

Defining Justification and Sanctification

Four Views of Sanctification

  • Entire Sanctification, defined

“An Act of God . . .”

“Subsequent to Regeneration”

“Free from Original Sin”

“Entire Devotement to God” DIS-17

“Holy Obedience of Love Made Perfect”

Purity: “Baptism of the Holy Spirit, Cleansing of the Heart”

Maturity: “Abiding, Indwelling Presence of the Holy Spirit, Empowering Believer for life and service”

  • Preparation of Grace

Consecration DIS-17


Inward and Outward Holiness

The Role of the Holy Spirit (including a Small Group Discussion)

Growing in Grace through the Means of Grace

  • History Behind the Holiness Message: John Wesley

Excerpts from A Plain Account of Christian Perfection

  • More Readings from John Wesley’s Writings

John Wesley on Searching the Scriptures

John Wesley on Prayer

John Wesley on Entire Sanctification (On Repentance in Believers)

John Wesley’s 30 Biblical References for Holiness


How We Experience Holiness

  • Objections and Obstacles to an Instantaneousness Second Work of Grace

The “Myth” of Perfectionism

The Pharisees

Suppression Theory of Sanctification

Imputed Holiness: Being “In Christ”

Continual Growth Theory (Keswick)

  • Hindrances to Holiness

Problems and Promises of Philippians 3:11-15

Perfectionism: The myth of perfectionism.

Legalism: The Suppression Theory and the Pharisees

Judgmentalism: Imputed and Imparted Holiness

Privatism: Not Alone But in Community

Introspection: Continual Growth Theory

Self-deception: Rationalizing Sin

Avoiding These Hindrances to Holiness

  • Mistakes, Failures, and Human Weaknesses in the Holy Life
  • Holy Living: What is the Difference?
  • Going on the Journey to Christlikeness (Guideposts chart)
  • How Can We Live Scriptural Holiness?
  • Covenant of Christian Conduct: How can you live a holy life in your context today?
  • Presenting the Decisive Moment of Entire Sanctification: What must one do to be filled with the Spirit? (Role Play)


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