A study of the core doctrines of the Christian faith, including the Triune God, Scriptures, Creation, Humanity, and Sin from the Wesleyan-Arminian perspective.
Students will master the basic sources and methods of theology needed for theological reflection with particular attention to application. Some time will be taken to compare and contrast Christian Theology with the majority religious view in the area of the school.
Introduction to Theology covers origins and the implications for humanity. Theology is closely tied to worship and is actually the work of the whole Body of Christ. If our worship is correct, our theology will also be correct. In the same way, if our theology is wrong or off course, our worship will be false or misdirected. The main purpose of theology for beginning ministers is to help them guide their congregation into healthy, holy lives. In most areas of Asia-Pacific, the existence of God is not as much a question as what kind of God He is in contrast to other concepts that are common in an area.
CN-5 Ability to identify and explain the main characteristics of the theological foundations of Christianity.
CN-6 Ability to explain how the theological foundations of Christianity proceed from the Scriptures.
CN-7 Ability to explain scriptural holiness from the Wesleyan-Armenian holiness perspective.
CN-14 Ability to summarize the sources of theological reflection, its historical development, and its contemporary expressions.
CN-15 Ability to demonstrate theological reflection that integrates the Wesleyan approach to Scripture, Tradition, Reason and Experience.
CN-17 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-3 Ability to plan, participate in, and guide others in worship.
CH-7 Ability to reflect theologically on life and ministry.
CX-7 Ability to respond with a biblical perspective about issues relevant to the Asia-Pacific context including issues like magic, spiritism, demonic possession, ancestral veneration, divine cure.
ACC-3 Explain how Christ’s submission to the Father is the example for submission within human relationships.
Counsel – Listen
CON-1 Demonstrate the character qualities of Christ essential in creating an effective counseling relationship built on biblical foundations.
Dealing Biblically with the Spirit World
DBS-3 Articulate a clear understanding of the role of discernment in a spiritual power encounter. Explain how the Church has historically and biblically responded to the spirit world and other religions.
DIS-3 Model spiritual disciplines for individuals and small groups including: prayer, devotional reading, fasting, solitude, and public worship.
DIS-4 Use the reading of God’s Word to foster spiritual growth and for personal devotions.
DIS-9 Describe the difference between a “works salvation” and the obedience that proceeds from faith.
DIS-13 Explain how sin affects humanity, i.e., the condition of humanity since falling into sin, and how God’s grace in Christ brings new life. Explain what effects of sin are cured through entire sanctification. Demonstrate how to lead a person to the experience of entire sanctification.
MIN-3 Formulate a theological rationale for leading a missional church.
Personal Spiritual Development (Holiness)
HOL-8 Explain the differences between a Wesleyan practice of spiritual development and Calvinistic, Roman Catholic, and Lutheran practices.
PRA-1 Model the prayers of Christ and His relationship to the Father through a strong passion for a life of prayer shown by devoting time to prayer and keeping a prayer journal, including a list of lost people for whom God has made them responsible.
PRE-4 Compare and contrast the teaching of the book of Genesis regarding the nature of God, humanity, sin, and creation, with local beliefs and interpretation of these stories.
PRE-7 Clearly explain either orally or in writing a Wesleyan-Arminian understanding of the Trinity, humanity as created in the image of God and fallen into sin, salvation in the person and work of Jesus Christ, the sanctifying work of the Holy Spirit, the inspiration and authority of the Bible, and the mission and ministry of the church.
PRE-9 Identify several terms used to express experiential holiness, know their historical or Biblical context, and express their individual strengths and weaknesses in reference to the cultural context in which the students will most often find themselves.
PRE-13 Explain how God communicated his word to humanity as recorded in the Bible and the place of preaching in this.
Investigating Theology I. RIIE Course Module. Kansas City: Clergy Services, 2002.
Lyons, George, Al Truesdale, J. Wesley Eby. Dictionary of the Bible and Christian Doctrine in Everyday English 2nd ed. Kansas City: Beacon Hill Press, 2004. ISBN: 978-0834120860
Moore, Frank. Coffee Shop Theology. Beacon Hill Press, 1998.
Powell, Samuel M. Discovering Our Christian Faith: An Introduction to Theology. Kansas City: Beacon Hill Press, 2008.
Wynkoop, Mildred. A Theology of Love: The Dynamic of Wesleyanism, 2nd edition. Kansas City: Beacon Hill Press, 2015.
Available at the Wesleyan Holiness Digital Library www.whdl.org:
Dunning, H. Ray, and William M. Greathouse. An Introduction to Wesleyan Theology. Kansas City: Beacon Hill Press.
Purkiser, W. T., Richard S. Taylor, Willard H. Taylor. God, Man, and Salvation: A Biblical Theology. Kansas City: Beacon Hill Press.
Wiley, H. Orton. Christian Theology, Vols. 1-3. Kansas City: Beacon Hill Press.
- The local school’s attendance policy should be placed here.
- Bible Reading and Prayer Journal: Students should read through the Bible as designated in the Master Plan for Bible Reading in the Course of Study. For this course, students will read Judges 1 – 1 Samuel 14 and Luke 21 – John 6. The focus of the Scripture reading for this course will be on encountering the Holy Spirit through prayer. In addition to reading the Scripture noted above, students will spend at least one hour per week in prayer. Each week, students should choose one different issue in which God is changing them and choose one different person for whom to intercede before God and makes these two things the focus of the prayer time. At the close of the week, students should write an entry into their journal at least one paragraph of 200 words about their experience.
(Outcomes CH-7, ACC-3, CON-1, DIS-3, DIS-4, PRA-1)
- Small Group Reporting: At the close of each lesson, small groups will reflect on questions from the day’s topic. Each student will be asked to report to the large group something that his or her small group talked about. These questions may focus on topics such as theological words, concepts, biblical basis, ideas or quotations from theologians, and understanding among church people.
- Section Content Evaluations: The teacher will compose an assessment for each section. It will be given at the beginning of each lesson and will cover the material presented in the previous lectures. The topics for these evaluations may include:
- The Triune God
- The source and authority of Scripture
- The creation and purpose of the universe
- The image of God in humanity
- Sin and the effects of sin in the world
(Outcomes CN-5, CN-6, CN-7, CN-14, CN-15, CN-17, DBS-3, DIS-9, DIS-13, MIN-3, HOL-8, PRE-13)
- Glossary of Theological Terms and Concepts: Students will create a glossary of theological words and phrases that are taught in each lecture and the required readings during the whole course. The glossary should be in the student’s local language. The glossary should have at least 50 words.
(Outcomes CN-5, CN-6, CN-7, CN-14, CN-15, CN-17, PRE-9)
- Final Essay: In an essay of 1500 words, compare the doctrine (teachings) about God as taught in this class to the doctrine of God as found in one of the local belief systems. This may involve interviews from people in the community, visiting a place of worship, or research in written resources (printed or internet). Note to teacher: This exercise can be done orally.
(Outcomes CN-14, CN-15, CN-17, CX-7, PRE-4, PRE-7)
- Worship Service: Plan and organize a worship service for the triune God for a local church in your context. This should include relevant music, Scripture readings, prayer (provide basic content of prayer), and sermon (provide title, Scripture passage, and basic outline). The worship service should fit the context and mission of this church.
(Outcomes CP-3, PRE-7)
Small Group Reports 10%
Section Content Evaluation 20%
Theological Glossary 10%
Final Essay 30%
Worship Service 20 %
The teacher will need to arrange the topics according to the needs of the culture and religion their students are encountering on a regular basis.
- Introduction to Theology
- How do we know? Epistemology (the study of how we know things): its function, focus, and the practice in the local Church
- The Person of God
- Relational God
- Creator God
- Self-revealing God
- Application to the Christian Life…
- In what way is the Holy Spirit in these particular words?
- How did the Holy Spirit use humans as writers?
- Source of Truth (Demaray, FF Bruce, McDowell, Wiley).
- Historical reliability of the Resurrection of Jesus (William Lane Craig).
- Historical reliability of Luke / Acts (William M. Ramsay)
- Source of Authority
- What are Persons / Humans?
- What does it mean that humans are created in the image of God?
- What is implied in the creation of Family and community?
- Ethics (universal moral qualities)
- Free / Determined will / Love in relation to Choice
- Role of Reason
- Unique Attributes
- The Fall
- The effects of the fall on the whole of humanity
- The effects of the fall on the rest of creation
- Biblical concepts of Sin contrasted with morality in other world views.