Certificate and TEEM Course Descriptions

TM011  Hebrew Bible I

This course provides a grounding and framework for understanding the Old Testament (Hebrew Bible).  Introductory material will include the Lutheran understandings of the authority of Scripture, the development of the canon, the socio-historical context of the ancient Near Eastern world, and the narrative critical approach to reading and interpreting Scripture.  Students will become acquainted with a wide variety of texts, themes and issues in the Pentateuch and Psalms and reflect on these texts and their implications for pastoral and congregational ministry.

TM012  Hebrew Bible 2
This introductory course explores themes and traditions in the prophetic books and writings of the Hebrew Bible.  The course will investigate the ongoing dialogue between specific texts, their socio-historical contexts and other biblical texts and how that dialogue informs interpretation and missional ministry.   The course concludes with a discussion of the intertestamental period and how certain themes are carried into the New Testament.

TM021  Engaging the Gospels—Perspectives on Following Jesus
This course is designed to provide participants a basic introduction to the four Gospels and engage them in an informed reading of these important Christian writings.   The course will focus on Mark, Matthew, and Luke—often designated as “the Synoptic Gospels” because of their similar portrayals of the Jesus story.   Though telling the same basic story, each Gospel has its distinctive features, including how it portrays the figure of Jesus and what it means to be his disciple.   The Synoptics hence offer three models of discipleship for contemporary Christians to ponder.  The course will introduce the Fourth Gospel (John) to demonstrate its theological importance and how different it is from the other three. This course will also include a mini unit on Revelation which is required for TEEM students and optional for all other students.

TM022  Engaging the Epistles: Paul & the Pastoral Letters
While all the letters in the New Testament canon bear witness to God's saving activity through the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ, each author evidences distinct perspectives and emphases regarding such topics as Christology, ecclesiology, eschatology, soteriology, and Christian mission and praxis.  This course seeks to discover the distinctive theological views and claims of the Apostle Paul in the seven letters whose Pauline authorship is without doubt.  We will also introduce the other six letters that bear the Apostle's name but whose Pauline authorship is disputed.  Our study of the Pastoral letters will concentrate on their contextual nature and their importance to the early Church's development and mission.

TM030 Revelation in Context
There is perhaps no other book in the Bible that raises more interest or introduces more questions than Revelation. What exactly is "revealed" in Revelation? With so much speculation about this work, it is easy to forget that it is an actual letter, written to actual people, with a powerful message. This course will explore the historical and cultural context of Revelation. By learning about this important literary work in its first-century context we will find that we are much better prepared to interpret its message for today.

TM030  Introduction to the History of Christianity
This course combines an introductory survey of the history of Christianity with a deeper examination of certain issues critical to the life and development of the Church.  The basic text will be Introduction to the History of Christianity: First Century to the Present Day (Fortress Press, editor Tim Dowley), which offers an overview of Christian history.  Lectures, presentations, and selections from primary source documents will complement the text by investigating key topics in greater depth (e.g., the development of Christian identity, the person of Jesus Christ, role of women, Luther’s reformation, fundamentalism & pentecostalism, Lutherans in the United States).

TM035  Lutheran Confessions
This course will introduce the Lutheran Confessions and then examine and analyze some important confessional themes in their historical and theological contexts. This course will include a reading of The Book of Concord and selected secondary sources. Participants will consider the extent to which confessional documents define Lutheran identity and discuss them with respect to parish ministry.

TM041  Systematics 1:  Fundamentals of Christian Theology and God’s Mission in the  21st Century
This course will focus on the fundamentals of Christian theology and attend to the basic question of how the Church might faithfully respond to the call to bear witness to Jesus Christ.  We will consider the context of God’s mission in the twenty-first-century world of religious and non-religious diversity.  The course will be structured around the meaning of the Nicene Creed for today.  Students will be invited to share in both oral and written forms what is at the heart of the Christian faith as they understand it, how they do theology, and what are their sources and influences.  We will work at cultivating an atmosphere in the classroom of mutual respect and learning.  This will be a course that takes seriously meeting people where they are.

TM042  God and the World in Christ:  The Christian Narrative
The Nicene Creed briefly summarizes the basic Christian narrative of God’s engagement with the world.  It runs from creation through redemption in Jesus Christ to the ultimate consummation of all things in the power of the Holy Spirit in the resurrection of the dead.  This is the story of all creation it also is the story of each one of us.  This course will examine this basic story and ways of bearing witness to God’s engagement with the world in Jesus Christ.

TM051  Ethics in Lutheran Perspective
This course will offer an introduction to the field of Christian ethics, paying particular attention to distinctively Lutheran themes.  Lectures and readings will examine how the Lutheran theological tradition shapes ethical reflection for the church in its mission today.   How do the World of God, law and gospel, sacraments, liturgy, reason, theology of the cross, Christian freedom, vocation and two kingdoms teaching shape and condition ethical deliberation?  Together we will consider how to give constructive leadership in order that congregations become communities of moral deliberation.  DVDs of lectures must be available for this course.  Contact the TEEM office for information on how to obtain copies.

TM055  Lutheran Leadership, Ecclesiology, and Church Polity
This course contributes to the development of competency in the areas of Lutheran leadership, knowledge of ELCA polity, and ecclesiology.  The course consists of three units: 1) ecclesiology, 2) ELCA polity and ecumenical affairs, and 3) Lutheran pastoral leadership.  In the first unit, students will examine biblical images and theological marks of the church toward the formulation of a missional ecclesiology.  In the second unit, students will reflect on the nature and leadership of Word and Sacrament communities in the Lutheran tradition.  In the third unit, students will examine issues of missional leadership in congregations, pastoral authority, and boundaries.  The course will introduce family systems theory from a theological perspective.

TM061  Preaching 1
Preaching I will address the challenges of scriptural interpretation for preaching, explore the Lutheran law/gospel hermeneutic, and consider the texts and contexts that form and inform proclamation.  The course time will be a combination of large group lecture/discussion and small group time.  Prior to the on-campus intensive, students are expected to complete course readings and prepare one sermon to be delivered during the intensive.

TM062  Preaching 2
In Preaching 2, we will work toward a theological, sacramental understanding of preaching, rooted in Scripture and centered at the Cross.  We will also consider contextual aspects of preaching – the sermon and Sunday, preaching and the liturgical calendar, and occasional preaching.  Our time together will be a combination of large group lecture/discussion and small group time.  Each student will preach once during the weekend.  The course will also include reading to be completed prior to the weekend intensive.

TM065  Fundamentals of Lutheran Worship
An introductory study of the liturgical assembly focused on contemporary practice and the development of good liturgical leadership. Attention will be given to the biblical, theological, historical, and ritual foundations of Christian worship, the particular understanding and practice of worship within the Lutheran tradition, and the missional horizon of worship in the congregation. Class sessions will cover holy communion, baptism, church year, and the life passages of healing, funeral, and marriage.

TM070  The Church as Learning Community
This is a comprehensive course studying the roles and relationships of teachers and learners and the theological task of education in the Christian learning community. The group will explore the importance of setting and maintaining trustworthy learning environments. Participants will think theologically about methods, expand their competence in using a variety of methods, and explore faith development through the life cycle. How we teach teaches as powerfully as what we teach. The course will examine lifelong catechesis and the congregation as a confirming community. An important goal of this course is to aid in equipping other educators in our faith communities. Finally the course will examine the connection between education and evangelism, explore ministry in daily life, and consider parish education in the public world.

TM081  Understanding Loss and Grief: Perspectives for Effective Ministry
Loss is a pervasive human experience that comes in many shapes and sizes.    We experience it in the death of a loved one as well as in the closing of a store on Main Street.  We experience loss in social change as well as in the normal transitions of family life.  With loss comes grief—certainly one of the most disorienting and painful experiences of which humans beings are capable.  In this course we will learn to identify the wide range of losses that people experience, and to understand the grieving process.  We will learn how to minister to grieving people in ways that are both theologically and psychologically sound.

TM081  An Introduction to Pastoral Care: Caring for the Sick
Illness is a crisis that isolates us, scares us and makes us very vulnerable. How can we care for one another in Christian community when illness strikes? In this course we’ll share experiences of care (or lack of care) during sickness. We will discuss a pastor’s role in direct care and in coaching congregational care. This will give us the opportunity to explore some of the basics of pastoral care: how to listen, how to pray with someone in crisis, how to relate to children, how to live with not being able to “fix” everything.

TM091  Beyond Maintenance to Mission
This course will provide foundation for constructing a theology of the congregation. Special attention is given to the articulation of a congregation’s identify and mission.  Components of a proposed model include worship, education, fellowship, stewardship, evangelism, global connections, ecumenism and social ministry.  Practical implications for congregational implementation are examined.

TM091  Imagining Rural Ministry
This course explores the character of rural communities within the context of American society, and the character of rural congregations within the context of rural communities.  In the light of those explorations, this course considers implications for the public ministry of the gospel in rural settings. This course provides a variety of reading and writing assignments by which students will be required to reflect upon theological and sociological perspectives on the dynamics of rural communities and rural congregations.  Students will be expected to integrate their own experiences and perspectives with those of the authors of assigned texts and of one another.  All students in the course will share responsibility for teaching and learning as a shared class project.  Students will participate in mutual teaching and learning by posting original essays in response to assigned questions or topics, and by reading and replying to each other’s work.

TM091  Best Practices in Rural Ministry
This course examines the practice of ministry in rural congregations and their larger communities according to eight topics (one topic for each of the eight weeks of the course). The purpose of the course is to help students become familiar with a variety of ministry practices and to reflect upon criteria of excellence in rural ministry.

TM091  Emerging Ministry: Being Church Today
What does it mean to be the church as we live - not as we think or remember or long for, but as we live God's mission today? What does it mean to be who we are, where we are as the people of God? The emerging church conversation will be “Exhibit A” in this course as we respond to these and other important questions. Participants will explore evangelical listening and living in a radically contextual, communal way as seen in many emerging church communities.

TM091  Congregation and Community:  Multi-Generational Ministry
This course will provide a basic framework for developing theologies and strategies for ministry to and with children, youth and families.  Particular attention will be given to the role of the congregation as community and within community in shaping the lives of all generations.


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