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The Academic Catalog includes program descriptions, policies, and courses.

This page includes articles about Trinitarian theology, biblical studies, and an introduction to the GCS program. 

Interviews with Trinitarian theologians. Most are available in video and audio; all are available as edited transcripts. Most are about 28 minutes long.

This section contains information to help students navigate the website, download lecture material, and post assignments. We provide links to the GCS library and we list our faculty and staff.

This course surveys various methods of analyzing the biblical text, gives a brief introduction to using biblical Greek, and discusses how to use various forms of analysis in exploring the original meaning and contemporary applications of biblical passages. [Short syllabus]

This course studies the prophetic literature of the Hebrew Canon, the Former and Latter Prophets in order to grasp the foundation and formation of the kingdom of God. We will seek to apprehend the establishment and development of the monarchy with Ancient Israel as moved by the renewal of the Biblical Covenant Relationship that we are taught by the Prophets. [Short syllabus]

This course gives students an overview of the New Testament documents: the authors, dates, places, genre, structure, and themes. Attention is given to individual documents, and how the documents work together for canonical unity. [short syllabus]

This course explores the cultural background of the New Testament, including Jewish history, literature and religion, and Gentile culture and religion, so that students might interpret the writings in their original context. This course also covers matters that involve the entire New Testament: canonization, textual transmission, and chronology. [Short syllabus]

This course examines the four canonical Gospels to see what each of these four portraits of Jesus tells us. Students will explore the literary and theological relationships between the Gospels, and the major themes each one presents. Students will describe how the teachings of Jesus can be used in our very different circumstances today. [short syllabus]

This course chronicles the characters and events in the book of Acts to study the early development of the Christian church from its Jewish base to the inclusion of all peoples. The lives of the apostle Peter and apostle Paul set the background for studies of the General Epistles and Pauline Epistles. [Short syllabus]

This course examines the 13 letters attributed to Paul in the New Testament. Students will learn the circumstances in which each letter was written - the problems Paul was attempting to address and the way he responded to them. Lectures will include questions of date and authorship, theological considerations involved in what Paul wrote, and how students find modern significance in these letters. [short syllabus]

This course allows students to study additional materials and perform additional research relevant to areas of interest, primarily in topics for which GCS does not have a specific course. This course may carry from one to four units in biblical studies or theology. Prerequisite: at least two previous courses in the discipline, with a grade of B or better. [syllabus]

Church History 1: The First Millennium is a survey of the events, people, and ideas of Christianity from Jesus’ ascension to the “Great Schism” of 1054. The focus is on mastering the key events and cultural contexts of the period as well as introducing the student to the writings, leaders and theology of the church’s first millennium. Proctored Exam. [Short syllabus

This course surveys the Western Church from the time of the first Crusade (1095) down to today's latest renewal movements. "The Church reformed must always reform itself" is a central theme. It addresses the Western Church at the height of its power, the crisis that triggered the Reformation and the “great ideas” of Luther and Calvin. It examines the Enlightenment, the rise of Science, and pivotal American experience. Cultural influences, theology, and grass-roots spirituality are seen as dynamically interacting in this broad overview. Proctored Exam. [Short syllabus]


This course develops concepts of knowing oneself and developing plans for growth in relational skills for service in ministry. Practical concepts of personal mission and development of leadership traits, communication and problem-solving skills are examined. This course is required for the Advanced Diploma in Christian Ministry and the Masters degrees. [Short syllabus]

This course examines a multi-disciplinary approach to counseling drawing on insights from Scripture, incarnational Trinitarian theology, and psychology regarding God, humanity (including sin, human change and well-being) and Christian ministry. Application of these insights is then made to the practice of short-term, church-based counseling ministries that participate effectively, through the Holy Spirit, in the ongoing ministry of Jesus Christ, the "wonderful counselor." [Short Syllabus

This course helps students develop an Incarnational Trinitarian theological approach to several common elements of pastoral ministry, including administration of baptism and the Lord’s Supper, worship planning, preaching, pastoral care, evangelism, discipleship, church administration, and family ministry. [Short Syllabus]

This course explores the issue of women and men serving together as leaders in the church. Students will survey biblical evidence about women in leadership. Discussion will include differences in the way that women and men tend to think, and challenges that women often face in this role that has historically been dominated by men. [Short syllabus

This course examines the relationship of theology and youth ministry practice as it has developed in North America. The course explores the centrality of Jesus in all ministry in the relationship that Jesus already has with young people. That relationship is explored in its post-Christian, post-modern cultural context, with an emphasis on the importance of mentoring as a relational/incarnational tool in youth ministry. [Short syllabus]

This course studies spiritual formation. Participation is required in a three-day retreat that presents students with the opportunity to come to know God more intimately through silence, solitude, meditative prayer, communion, worship, and other spiritually formative activities. This retreat experience is informed by a study of the dynamic of these practices as they relate to Scripture and the call of the Triune God to know him better. [Short Syllabus]  See below for Video Introduction. [Video Intro]


This course explores the practical application of starting new churches that are centered on Jesus Christ, culturally relevant, share the gospel, make disciples, and continue to multiply new churches. Principles and practices discussed in this course can be applied by pastors and ministry leaders to help established congregations participate more effectively in Jesus’ mission and prepare to “re-plant”, i.e. relocate a congregation to more effectively participate in Jesus’ mission to a focus group or community. [short syllabus]

This course is designed to help students understand denominational life and polity within Grace Communion International. We will give the student an overview of the church’s history, its leaders, and its theological journey. The primary objective of the class is to help the student get a better understanding into the culture and organizational structure of Grace Communion International and then to ably function within the denominational system. [short syllabus]

 

 

This course surveys various methods of analyzing the biblical text in order to develop an expository sermon to be given to a congregation. This course also surveys various approaches to the sermon and analyzes which approaches work best in various contexts. This course involves instructor evaluation of video sermons prepared and submitted by the student to the instructor, and the critique by an ecclesiastical supervisor and by the instructor of a sermon (submitted on video) given by the student to a congregation/audience. Prerequisite: BI501. [short syllabus]

This course integrates learning from biblical, theological, and ministry studies into a research thesis that explores one aspect of ministry, or an overview of the student’s philosophy of ministry. This three-unit course often covers two semesters, and it is conducted as an independent study under the guidance of the professor. Prerequisite: Student must have at least 36 units, and must pass a summative exam. Note: For the Master of Pastoral Studies degree, TM501 is the appropriate course. [short syllabus]

FE501 is 2 credit hours per semester. Students are to reflect on the Incarnational Trinitarian theological foundations of their ministry work and how their ministry work is centered in Christ. The course entails 90 hours of student work per semester on a ministry-related project. The course includes 1) developing and implementing a Ministry Action Plan (MAP) for a project, 2) forum discussions, and 3) a project summary/reflection paper, which integrates the student’s previous academic studies with the ministry projects they select. [short syllabus]

FE502 is two credit hours. Students are to reflect on the incarnational Trinitarian theological foundations of their ministry work and how their ministry work is centered in Christ. This course entails 90 hours of student work on a ministry-related project. The course includes developing and implementing a Ministry Action Plan for a project, forum discussions, and a project summary/reflection paper, which integrates the student’s previous academic studies with the ministry projects they select. Students should select only one ministry project for FE502; the project for FE502 must differ from that for FE501. Prerequisite: FE501. [short syllabus]

FE503 has 2 credit hours per semester. Students are to reflect on the incarnational Trinitarian theological foundations of their ministry work and how their ministry work is centered in Christ. The class entails 90 hours of student work on a ministry-related project. The course includes developing and implementing a Ministry Action Plan (MAP) for a project, forum discussions, and a project summary/reflection paper, which integrates the student’s previous academic studies with the ministry projects they select. Prerequisites: CM501, CM504, FE501, FE502. The project for FE503 may be a repeat (updated and improved) of a project done for FE501 or FE502. [short syllabus]

This course provides an introduction to the doctrines of the Christian church. It studies the nature of biblical revelation and inspiration from the writing of the texts to canonization of the New Testament. Primary focus is placed on the nature of God as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit and on the natures of Jesus Christ.  [Short syllabus]

This course studies the nature of human beings, of evil, and the inherent effects of sin. The work of Christ in salvation history is central. Issues of predestination and the order of salvation are studied. [Short syllabus]

This course covers the doctrine of the Holy Spirit, the Christian understanding of the church, and Christian teaching about biblical eschatology. [Short syllabus]

This course explores what it might mean today to ground our thinking about science, nature, and creation in the foundational theological perspectives of the Incarnation, Resurrection, and Trinity. This course surveys some of the conflict points for science and religion frequently encountered in modern culture, reassessing them in light of the theological perspectives of the Trinitarian theology of Thomas F. Torrance, and incorporating insights from the writings of C. S. Lewis. [short syllabus]

This course explores in depth the Christian doctrine of the Holy Trinity, with its biblical foundations in God's revelation, the nature of theology, the foundational historic creeds and controversies, key elements and current obstacles to a fully Christian faith in the Triune God. This course examines vital implications of the doctrine of the Trinity for ethics, worship, the church and proclamation of the Gospel of the Grace of God through Jesus Christ in the Spirit. [Short syllabus]

In this course we will survey C.S. Lewis’s primary works and two of his fictional works to see how Lewis understood the central tenets of Christian faith and their inter-relationships. We will consider how Lewis communicated the Christian faith in his context through his fiction and how we might more faithfully communicate the Christian gospel in our day. [short syllabus]

This course surveys the Christological thought of theologian Thomas F. Torrance with a focus on the person, life and work of Jesus Christ. Consideration will also be given to the topics of the church and eschatology (the last things), as explicated in his two-volume series of edited lectures on Christology originally delivered to students at New College, University of Edinburgh. [short syllabus]

This course allows students to study additional materials and perform additional research relevant to areas of interest, primarily in topics for which GCS does not have a specific course. This course may carry from one to four units in biblical studies or theology. Prerequisite: at least two previous courses in the discipline, with a grade of B or better. [syllabus]

This course involves research and discussion of a selected topic in theology. Students will write a research paper, present that paper to other students, and lead an online discussion of the topic. There is a minimum of three students and a maximum of six. [Short syllabus]

This course integrates learning from biblical, theological, and ministry studies into a research thesis on a theological topic. This three-unit course normally covers two semesters, and it is conducted as an independent study under the guidance of the professor as the capstone course for the Master of Theological Studies degree. Prerequisite: Student must be within 6 units of completing the Master's program and must pass a summative exam. [short syllabus]

This course integrates learning from biblical, theological, and ministry studies into a capstone paper or research thesis that expresses one's theology of ministry. This course is conducted as an independent study under the guidance of the professor as the capstone course for the Master of Pastoral Studies degree. Prerequisite: Student must be within 6 units of completing the Master's program and must pass a summative exam. [short syllabus] 

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