The Biblical Studies Department offers a broad range of courses in biblical languages, Old Testament, and New Testament.
MDiv students are required to take twelve credits, including Orientation to Old Testament Studies and Orientation to New Testament Studies, which are normally taken during the first year. Students also take one additional course in Old Testament and one in New Testament, one of which is classified as a “close reading of the text.”
Although not required for the MDiv degree, students are encouraged
to take Greek and/or Hebrew, and language-based exegesis courses. Exegesis courses are offered on two tracks: English-based and
Entering students who have studied Greek and/or Hebrew in a college or university setting and who wish to have an introductory language prerequisite waived must take the appropriate language placement examination(s). Students who have studied the equivalent of two full semesters or more of a biblical language at an ATS-accredited seminary or divinity school and have earned a grade of B or better do not need to take a placement examination.
At PTS, students have the opportunity to learn from professors who are at the cutting edge of their fields. These are just some of the many courses that showcase the innovative and integrative ways the Biblical Studies department challenges students to think broadly and deeply about the meaning of scripture in its various contexts and its relevance for ministry in today's world.
Gender and Sexuality in the Bible explores the intersection of gender, sexuality and power relationships in the Bible. The class will examine the cultural constructions of gender and sexuality as presented in the Bible and how they relate to the forging of ethnic, political, and religious identities in ancient Israel. The main focus will be on the Hebrew Bible, but New Testament and ancient Near Eastern texts will also be discussed.
Texts of Terror, Texts of Hope provides an assessment of the use of Old Testament texts to support problematic social structures such as slavery and the patriarchal household and to marginalize women, ethnic groups, and LGBT people. The course will also look at how marginalized groups marshaled other Old Testament texts about liberation, inclusion of foreigners, and just treatment of outsiders and the poor to hermeneutically resist oppressive uses of the Bible.
Biblical Theology and the Practice of Ministry examines selected biblical texts that seeks to place the Old and New Testaments in theological and practical dialogue with one another and with contemporary ministry situations and struggles. Designed to help students use Scripture as a theological resource for shaping and guiding parish ministry. Topics will include issues of life and death, church and state, worship and sacraments, and law and gospel.
What is “Love”? critically examines the diversity of relationships represented by love, as expressed in biblical passages like Lev. 19, 1Cor. 13, and the commandment of love in the Gospel of John. To what extent is love (ahava, hesed, eros, agape, philia), according to our biblical traditions, the foundation of hope? The course begins with a search for comprehending love from Plato to Fromm and includes a component on preaching (e.g., How can we preach love of enemies today?).
“One of the biggest lessons I learned was how to be charitable to views other than my own. Christian charity was shown to me, not just in the readings for class, but from the professors, and the Seminary community.”