Following are the course descriptions of all the courses that Global Ministries University offers. The TH preceding course numbers indicates a master’s level course, IPA/IPE designates a Master of Divinity required course. Courses for doctoral level programs will have a letter designation of DM for the Doctor of Ministry or a DR for the Doctor of Theology instead of TH on student’s Program Schedule.
TH415 Healing and Rehabilitation of the Prisoner This course will tap on how a prisoner can heal and re-habilitate. This course deals directly with the origin causes of crime, violence, and addiction and offers a realistic approach to affecting growth that speaks particularly to the challenges facing incarcerated men and women.
TH420 The Role of a Prison Chaplain This course is intended to be a starter for further study and discussion into what a chaplain’s role is in the corrections system. Thus, the course will teach the student a number of ways in which Chaplains, Administrators, and lay ministers can prepare themselves for this very unique and specialized ministry.
TH425 Ministry to the Incarcerated In this course the author mentions his experiences as an ordained minister, a nineteen-year police veteran, and a prison chaplain to examine the problems of the incarcerated.
TH427 Prison Minister: Chaplain and Volunteer Ministering the Inmate This course will go step by step explicating the basics in ministering to the incarcerated. It will cover the prison inmate, the crisis in our Criminal Justice System, a history of the Penal System, and a good ultimate clarification of the modern prison setting.
TH430 A Study of Prison Culture In this course the minister/or chaplain will see prison ministry as an empowerment in doing valuable prison ministry by providing a meticulous inside-out view of prison life. Thus, in this course the study of prison culture and prison ministry will be seen at length.
TH451 A Course in Miracles This course will familiarize students with some basics of A Course In Miracles, henceforth referred to as the Course, a self-study curriculum about psychological and spiritual development. It consists of a text, workbook, and manual for teachers. It illuminates the integration of practical psychology with an in depth spirituality.
TH501 Contemporary Theology for the People of God This course offers a new inclusive, innovative educational program for spiritual transformation for contemporary believers, activists and ministers.
TH504 (DR504) Introduction to Buddhism This course provides basic information on the core beliefs, values, and practices of the main Buddhist traditions. Historical and Cultural contexts will be covered throughout. The first part of the course focuses on life of the Buddha and the foundational concepts fundamental to all Buddhist traditions: karma & rebirth and the Four Noble Truths. The Theravada Buddhist tradition will be introduced followed by the fundamental concepts of Mahayana Buddhism, as well as discussing major Mahayana traditions, such as, Zen and Tibetan Buddhism. Finally, the modern period is presented addressing doctrinal developments in modern Buddhism and the transmission of Buddhism to the West.
TH505 A Theology of Church A study of the structures, history, and theology of the Catholic Church.
TH506 (DM/DR506) Christian and Muslim Perspective on Science and Religion This course will familiarize students with the historical context of the dialogue and debate over Religion and Science within the Islamic and Christian philosophical and theological. It will examine the various models of interaction between Religion and Science as developed by Ian G. Barbour: conflict, independence, dialogue and integration.
TH507R Introduction to Systematic Christian Theology/Rahner Student will do a directed study of a selected theologian pending approval of the Global Ministries University Curriculum Council. A major paper is required once reading is completed.
TH507K Introduction to Systematic Christian Theology/Kung Student will do a directed study of a selected theologian pending approval of the Global Ministries University Curriculum Council. A major paper is required once reading is completed.
TH508 Feminist Theology Beginning with socioanthropological roots of women’s religious experiences, this course seeks first to reinterpret such experience and give voice to the hitherto silenced female voices, and ultimately to define the meaning of ‘feminist theology.’ It will explore the works of late 20th century feminist scholars in religion and assess their contributions to the re-envisioning of religious traditions today.
TH509 Ecological Theology This course encourages the awareness of the global ecological crises. Student will examine various approaches to ecological concerns and their theological implications. The readings will provide scientific, feminist, and cross-cultural perspectives. Students are expected to establish their own ecological ethic and theologize it within their own context/project.
TH510 Introduction to Ecumenical Theology This course covers the theological and historical aspects of ecumenism in Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox, Protestant and Roman Catholic Churches. Finally modern-day problems in this realm are studied and the process of healing past wounds is stressed.
TH511 (DM/DR911) History of God This course covers the evolution of monotheism within the Abraham faith traditions of Judaism, Christianity and Islam. In addition to the theological perspective that led formulations of the divine nature and salvific history based upon revelation, the course also features philosophical perspectives on the nature of God within these traditions.
TH512 Theology of Interfaith Dialogue This course is a study of a globally responsible model for dialogue, common cause and ground, eco-human justice as a criterion for religious truth, and examples of globally responsible dialogue.
TH514 Introduction to Contemporary Theology The purpose of this course is to present an overview of emerging ideas of who God is, how God acts, and what it means to say “We believe in one God.” The course invites students to examine liberation, feminist, black, Hispanic, interreligious, ecological and Trinitarian theologies.
TH515 (DM/DR909) Comparative Religion The course will study an introductory survey of world religions using a comparative model of exploration. The focus will be on the nature of religious experience and the forms and expressions it takes in diverse cultures and diverse parts of the globe.
TH516 Evolutionary Spirituality Celebrating the communion of science and faith, Painting the Stars explores the promise of evolutionary Christian spirituality. Featuring over a dozen leading evolutionary theologians and progressive thinkers, the seven session program will be used with discussion questions in the syllabus that make up the written assignments. The basic format for each is a three part 20 minute DVD presentation followed by guided discussion that the written questions provide.
TH517 Spiritual Ecology When our Western monotheistic culture suppressed the many gods and goddesses of nature and banished God to heaven, we began a cycle that has left us with a world destitute of the sacred, the connection between our soul and the soul of the world, the knowing that we are all part of one living, spiritual being. This course examines a collection of writers who deeply understand our relations with the Earth.
TH520 Ethics in Pastoral Ministry Explore the ethical dimensions of the way professional requirements may enhance or conflict with personal needs. The student will reflect upon how their own theological/philosophical understanding of both the self and their vocation shapes the spiritual care of others.
TH523 LGBTIQ Theologies and Feminism The roots of many LGBTIQ theologies are in feminist theoretical and practical work although they remain largely unacknowledged. This course will explore and expand these roots with a primary focus on the Christian tradition. Particular attention will be paid to the contributions of women scholars to the development of queer studies in religion and the practice of inclusive religious leadership.
TH525 (DM/DR910) Ethics of War and Peace in Religion This course provides basic information on ethics of war in the major religions of the world as well as secular points of view. It introduces the student to the basic history and terminology of ethics of war. The Abrahamic traditions along with secular views constitute the main focus of the course.
TH528 Catholic Social Teaching This course will introduce students to the wisdom tradition known as Catholic Social Teaching by providing an overview of its modern and postmodern expressions in their interwoven historical, philosophical, and theological dimensions. Underlying this overview is the judgment that postmodern Catholic Social Teaching supports the creation of a postmodern ecological Global Civilization called to be holistically regenerative, and a post-colonial World Church called to serve the new Global Civilization.
TH530 Introduction to Moral Theology Basic principles for Christian living. This course presents the meaning and history of moral theology, the moral person, moral law in Scripture, natural law, traditional moral and the theology of human law.
TH535 Feminist Ethics and Moral Theology This course will introduce the basic concepts of post-modern social ethics and its historical development, exposing the students to both the main currents of ethical thought today and its major contributors.
TH536 Sexuality and Spirituality This course covers attitudes related to sexuality and spirituality in an historical-critical approach to development of principles, feminist ethics of “friendship;” and bringing spirituality into a sexual relationship and a sense of self.
TH538 Spirituality and Aging This course provides an avenue for exploring and celebrating the aging process from a multi-cultural and multi-faith context as an opportunity for growth in wisdom and grace. It will include overviews of adult physical, spiritual, and psychosocial development, as well as realistic assessment of both the joys and challenges of aging.
TH540 Spirituality for the 21st Century Students will do a directed study of a selected individual of the 20th or 21st century, pending approval of the Global Ministries University Curriculum Council. A major paper is required once reading is completed.
TH571 Reshaping the Priesthood as a Discipleship of Equals Students are given the opportunity to express their vision of prophetic, visionary priesthood and examine the impact women ministers/pastors will have in this journey to the Discipleship of Equals.
TH572 Feminist Liberation Theologies Women directed theological projects around the world. will be surveyed in light of their similarities and differences. Issues including language and imagery about the divine, ethical priorities, models of ministry and religious community and inter-religious implications will be explored.
TH573 African Religious Traditions This course is an exploration of the meaning of African traditional religion.
TH575 (DM/DR912) Mysticism in the Christian Tradition and Beyond The student will explore the mystic quest within Christianity: Purgative, Illuminative and Unitive Ways, and compares Christian Mysticism with that found in Judaism and Islam, and finally evaluates the way a contemporary spiritual writer outside the Christian tradition explains the Way to Knowledge of God.
TH576 (DM/DR904) Interreligious Dialogue This course will be conducted primarily from a Catholic Christian perspective sensitive to the breakthroughs of Vatican II in understanding and dialoguing with other world religions.
TH577 (DM/DR907) Religious Traditions of the World This course is a general introduction to the major living religious traditions of the world and covers the various approaches commonly used in studying world religion, specifically how they differ, how they are alike, and how they are complementary on questions such as faith and salvation.
TH579 (DM/DR908) Introduction to Islam This course aims to foster a critical understanding of Islam and the challenges it created its own adherents and for all of us. We will start with basic questions: Who are the Muslims? What is Islam is all about? We will address Islam’s beginnings, setbacks and contemporary responses to globalization. What is Islamism? What makes a radical? What do Muslim women want? The course also addresses issues related to who speaks for Islam, especially after 9/11.
TH580 Creation Spirituality The basics in living the theology of Creation Centered Spirituality will be given in this course and a clear differentiation from Fall-Redemption theology will be made. The student will study the four paths — the Via Positiva, the Via Negativa, the Via Creativa, and the Via Transformativa — with an emphasis on the experiential as well as the intellectual content.
TH586 (DM/DR914) History of Sufism Sufism is the mystical branch of Islam which flourished in the Middle Ages in many parts of the Islamic world including the Middle East, North Africa and Spain.The focus mostly is on the history of Sufism from the tenth century CE to the fourteenth century CE when many of the classic Sufi texts were written. The major Sufi writers we will examine include Ibn Arabi, Al Ghazali, Rumi and Mansur Al Hallaj
TH588 An Overview of Spiritual Direction This course provides an overview of the ancient practice of spiritual companionship or spiritual mentoring in the Christian tradition. It provides helpful input about the spiritual journey provided from the experience of the mystics, a knowledge of prayer techniques and an understanding of the difference between spiritual direction and pastoral counseling.
TH591 Music Education Fundamentals I This course is designed to help students develop a philosophy of music education, concepts of program development, and current approaches to music teaching. The role of technology and music in special and continuing education will be introduced.
TH592 Music Education Fundamentals II Students will examine the mystery of music and its profound impact and importance on the human race. They will also study the significance of listening, musicianship, multiculturalism, creativity, curriculum, and development; finally, they will survey the philosophical and psychological aspects of a music education.
TH593 Integration of Music into the Liturgical Celebration Students will examine and integrate sacred music into the liturgical celebration such as the Eucharist, the Mass, Special Days of Obligation and other important celebration the church celebrates.
TH594 Music Theory This course is an introduction to basic materials and concepts of music theory. It will focus on commonalities of selected historic and geographic literatures through the study of fundamentals, melodic and harmonic writing, and terms and symbols.
TH595 History of the Gregorian Chant: Students will study the historical aspects of Gregorian chant including the traditional Roman liturgy (calendar, Divine Office, Mass).
TH596 History of Sacred Music History of Sacred Music is an introductory course about the story of Christian music from Gregorian chant to the black Gospel style of music.
TH597 Music in the Renaissance Students will review the history of Renaissance music and learn about the different composers, instruments, styles of music, and characteristics.
TH598 Psychology of Music An introductory course to the theory and research of how people learn musical knowledge and how these manifests themselves in musical behavior.
TH599 Analysis Techniques of Music Ministers This course will help the students integrate theoretical and analytical concepts with our experiences as musicians, while helping them to build familiarity with repertoire and musical issues of the eighteenth, Nineteenth, and twentieth centuries.
TH612 Introduction to the Old Testament This course presents the latest archeological research to understand the historical and cultural setting of the various books of the Hebrew Scripture so that the student can understand the writing of the Old Testament authors within the context of their original environment.
TH620 Introduction to the Old Testament Prophets The intention of this course is to do a close reading of the major and minor prophets and to become familiar with the use of modern methods of biblical criticism.
TH630 Spirituality of the Psalms This course will explore the theological content found in the Psalms but also how the Psalms have functioned as the heart of the Jewish and Christian devotional life over the centuries.
TH640 Women of the Bible The goals of this course are: to present the stories of women in the bible as a liberating, hopeful message of women’s empowerment; to affirm women as images of the Holy One; to explore woman as role models for contemporary women and men in living fully and spiritually; to present recent scholarship of feminist theologians on the background and context of women of the bible.
TH642 Visionary Women in the Christian Tradition This course presents the spiritual legacy of women mystics and leaders through the ages: Julian of Norwich, Hildegard of Bingen, Catherine of Siena, Joan of Arc, Teresa of Avila, Kateri Tekakwitha, Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz, Thea Bowman and many more.
TH644 Celtic Women in the Christian Tradition The goals of this course are: to reflect on the myths and miracles of Celtic holy women whose strength and wisdom have been transmitted through the ages; to discover that springs and holy wells were associated with birthing and healing and the powerful Celtic feminine; to present women as equals and leaders in the Celtic tradition from the fifth through the eighth centuries; to reflect on Celtic holy women as mentors for spiritual seekers in the twenty-first century.
TH646 Journey Into the Spiritual Center In this course, the students are introduced to the poetic record of a contemporary woman’s faith-walk into a deeper understanding of God as the in-dwelling Presence.
TH647 The Ordination of Catholic Women Upon completion of this course, students will be able to outline the main stages of development in women’s involvement in Christian ministry. They will know the background of the ordination of women deacons and will have gained a professional grasp of the correct rules of assessing what is, and what is not, genuine Christian Tradition.
TH648 The Ministry of Women in Christianity Students will be able to outline the main stages of development in women’s involvement in Christian ministry. They will gain a professional grasp of the correct rules for assessing what is and is not genuine Christian tradition.
TH650 Introduction to the Gospels This course will offer an introduction to the Christian Gospels, including their development, historical context, transmission, translation and interpretation and will give the students a grounding in the context, content, and critical issues related to understanding the Gospels.
TH651 New Testament Studies This course is a sequence to TH650, Introduction to the Gospels. It is a study of the letters of Paul and the Book of Revelation.
TH655 A Contemporary Overview of the New Testament This course presents a compelling study of the four gospels which was conducted in relatively recent times. It is common knowledge that Jesus did not say or do all that is presented in the New Testament; the purpose of this study was to determine how much of the content in the four gospels is what Jesus actually said and what events actually took place. The implications are profound and could change the way the gospels are read.
TH656 Progressive Christianity-Part I (DVD) This innovative course is Part I of a three-part series that is completely on DVD entitled ‘Living the Questions.’ The content of the series focuses on Christianity in today’s world, featuring many prominent theologians and ministers who offer their insights into sensitive questions related to our faith. Part I, An Invitation to Journey, contains seven thought-provoking sessions, three of which are entitled Taking the Bible Seriously, Stories of Creation, Lives of Jesus. (It is recommended that student also take all three courses, Part I, Part II, and Part III consecutively but it is not mandatory to do so.)
TH657 Progressive Christianity-Part II (DVD) This innovative course is Part II of a three-part series that is completely on DVD entitled ‘Living the Questions.’ The content of the series focuses on Christianity in today’s world, featuring many prominent theologians and ministers who offer their insights into sensitive questions related to our faith. Part II, ‘Reclaiming the World,’ contains seven thought-provoking sessions, three of which are entitled Evil, Suffering and a God of Love, Practicing Resurrection, and Reclaiming the World. (It is recommended that student also take all three courses, Part I, Part II, and Part III consecutively but it is not mandatory to do so.)
TH658 Progressive Christianity-Part III (DVD) This innovative course is Part III of a three-part series that is completely on DVD entitled ‘Living the Questions.’ The content of the series focuses on Christianity in today’s world, featuring many prominent theologians and ministers who offer their insights into sensitive questions related to our faith. Part III, ‘Call to Covenant’ contains seven thought-provoking sessions, three of which are entitled A Kingdom Without Walls, Incarnation: Divinely Human, and Compassion: The Heart of Jesus’ Ministry. (It is recommended that student also take all three courses, Part I, Part II, and Part III consecutively but it is not mandatory to do so.)
TH660 Exploring the Identity and Role of Jesus Australian theologian Michael Morwood explores some of the fundamental issues of Christian faith in the context of today’s understanding of the beginnings of the universe, the formation of the planets, the emergence of life and the development of culture.
TH662 Jesus Agenda: Gospel Equality and Empowerment This course presents an overview of what Jesus of Nazareth said and did about gender,power and money. This course focuses on rediscovering the revolutionary Jesus as a source of empowerment for all especially women and all who are on the margins of institutional religion and in society.
TH665 Jewish Midrash and the Gospels This course will center on J.S.Spong’s compelling view of the Gospels as thoroughly Jewish texts, a collection of Jewish midrashic stories written to fill needs in the Jewish Calendar and Jewish Liturgical Year by early Christians. It provides the student with the most recent and reliable scholarly research on the Gospels.
TH670 The Writings and Influence of Paul the Apostle This course will look at the way Paul has been interpreted over the centuries and how he is viewed today. Students will compare the forms of Christianity found in the Pauline letters of the first century with the forms of Christianity found in the 21st century.
TH672 A Profile of Paul for the 21st Century (DVD) Eclipsing Empire presents in a lively and accessible manner the message of Jesus as preached by Paul the Apostle in contrast to the message of the Roman Empire. The Mission, Character, Vocation Letters, Ethics, Theology, Eschatology of Paul will be studied in depth. A comparison of Roman Empire and American Empire is made.
TH674 From Jesus to Christ (DVD) This course uses a text by Paula Fredriksen and DVD by PBS to explore the life of Jesus and the movement he started, challenging familiar assumptions and conventional understandings of the origins of Christianity. It explores the ways that the new Christian communities interpreted his mission and message in light of the delay of the Kingdom he had preached.
TH680 Early Church History This course covers the period from the Pauline letters to the establishment of Christianity as the approved religion of the Roman Empire in the 4th century and includes the career of St. Augustine (354-430).
TH690 Medieval Church History In this course the students study the history of monasticism and its impact on the growth of Christianity during the barbarian invasions, the growth of the papacy after Gregory the Great and the use of Roman law to solidify Church order. Students will also study the writings of at least one medieval mystic or one medieval theologian.
TH695 Modern Church History This course will study the history of the Christian Church from the Reformation to the present, under the following four periods: 1. The Protestant Reformation and consequences for Protestantism and Catholicism, 2. Reactions of the Churches to the Enlightenment, Rationalism, Secularism and Pietism, 3. Colonialism and Missionary Expansion, 4. Vatican I, end of an era for the Roman Church and Vatican II, start of an era for the Roman Church.
TH700 Graduate Certificate Project This course provides mentoring by the Dean for required Certificate Projects.
TH701 Religious Fundamentals of Peace Building An introduction to peace studies surveying theory and philosophy of world religious leaders.
TH702 Nonviolence: Spirituality, Theory, & Practice The theory and practice of nonviolence according to various religious philosophies.
TH703 Making Global Peace: Negotiation and Mediation for Religious Leaders A survey of theory and practice in negotiation and mediation for religious leaders working for peace.
TH704 Gender and Peace Building Designed to provide theoretical and practical experiences in the importance of incorporating the gender dimension in peace processes
TH705 Education for Social Transformation This course will help participants develop an understanding of the main roots of violence and culminate in a student designed program to shift knowledge, attitudes and behaviors towards a culture of peace.
TH710 The Philosophical Christian Mind This course critically examines the relationship between Christian theology and broad philosophical concepts, and interrogates the compatibility of Christian philosophical precepts and the rigor and quest of logic and reason.
TH721 Psychology of C.G. Jung and the Spiritual Life This course places Jung in juxtaposition with his peers – Freud, Adler, and Assigioli. It addresses the structure of the psyche, persona, ego, and consciousness versus shadow and complex personal unconscious as well as the collective unconscious. Topics explored include archetypes anima and animas, dream interpretation, the symbol, psychological type, theory and application with the goal of individuation and its interaction with spirituality and mysticism.
TH799 Master of Theology Thesis (6 credits) In lieu of a supervised internship, students will be required to demonstrate extensive research skills and will design a research project leading to a Master’s Thesis.
TH903 Buddhist Ethics Directed reading in Buddhist ethics will prepare the student to critically examine and reflect on the ethical aspects of current healthcare and other issues by utilizing the presuppositions and doctrines of Buddhist thought and practice.
DM/DR990 Doctoral Thesis or Ministry Project The course provides mentoring by the Dean for a required thesis or project.
The course designation IPA and IPE are for M. Div degrees, TH are for M Th. degrees.
IPA553 (TH553) Interfaith Rituals, Prayers and Ceremonies This course is designed to teach ministers how to write and perform prayers, ceremonies, and rituals, to serve interfaith or multi-faith communities during times of transition and celebration.
IPA554 (TH554) Interfaith Weddings and Commitment Ceremonies This course will provide training to write and perform weddings and commitment ceremonies for interfaith, religiously unaffiliated and same-sex couples, including commitment ceremonies, Holy Unions (non-legal religious weddings for same-sex couples) and reaffirmations.
IPA680 Psychology and PastoralTheology A basic introduction to pastoral care and counseling in faith communities.
IPA682 Religious Education Contemporary theory and applications arranged with Mentor.
IPA684 (TH552) Preaching Tutorial Contemporary theory and application of how to create a homily and implement an effective delivery.
IPA686 Feminist Homiletics and Preaching Contemporary theory and application of how to create a homily and implement an effective delivery. Women from a variety of faith traditions and ethnic backgrounds share preaching styles and sermons from stories of their relationships, cultures and lives.
IPA688 Spiritual Direction as Companioning Anam Cara in the Celtic Tradition This course provides an introduction to the ancient practice of spiritual companionship or spiritual friendship in the Christian tradition. It provides helpful input about the spiritual journey from the experience of the mystics, a knowledge of prayer techniques, and an understanding of the difference between spiritual direction and spiritual or pastoral counseling.
IPA701 Feminist Liturgies This course invites participants to reflect and design new liturgies that celebrate women’s physical, spiritual and emotional rites of passage and bless women in life-changing times.
IPA702 (TH551) Ceremonies and Services Principles, dynamics and acutalization of liturgical celebration, including sacraments, paraliturgies and prayer services.
IPE565 (TH565) Feminist Sacramental Theology and Inclusive Liturgies This course provides insight into gender, sacrament and priesthood. It invites participants to reflect how gender exclusivity obscures the vitally important ways in which the sacraments enact how God is immanent within daily life.
IPE570 (TH570) Introduction to Worship and the Christian Sacraments Theological reflection on liturgical experience and expression of Christian communities. Principles, dynamics, and actualization of liturgical celebration, including sacraments, para-liturgies and prayer services.
IPE617 Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) 1 mandated credit (400 hours) in an approved setting or an approved equivalent.
IPE618 Pastoral Integration Seminar This will include an approved Supervised Field Education ministry of 9 months duration, and a Reflection Paper. Six mandated credits for satisfactory completion.
IPE619 Contemporary Congregational Life A course in the theory and dynamics of effective contemporary Christian congregations and faith communities.
IPE620 Dynamics of a Faith Community This course will cover the dynamics experienced within a faith community.
IPE621 Personal and Social Transformation Intensive This course incorporates attendance at an educational experience conducted by a Global Ministries University cognate group ministerial partner, related preparatory reading, and the composition of an integrative reflection paper accepted by a Global Ministries University departmental faculty member.
IPE622 Self-Care in the Ministry A course in professional self care conducted as directed study under the supervision of a faculty member in the Global Ministries University Department of Pastoral Care and Counseling.
IPE623 Alcoholism/Drug Addictions and Spirituality This course focuses on the dynamics of substance abuse and addiction; spirituality and the impact of substance abuse and addiction on the individual, family and society.
IPE624 Pastoral Care of the Minister In this course the student will learn a process of structured introspection for pastoral care of oneself.
IPE625 M.Div. Practicum This course allows students to demonstrate learning in a four-month supervised practicum within a particular area of ministry/interest. The practicum must be arranged by the student, and will require an integrated paper/project. This course should be taken as a culminating course in the M.Div. program.