Course Summary

Applying Critical Thinking in the Study of the Biblical Text

The course is a “capstone” type course in that it aims to measure the student's ability to demonstrate critical thinking with respect to biblical content and theology. It is a “bridge” course in that it qualifies the student for admission into either the M.T.S. or M.Div. program.  The course consists of discussion of the idea behind critical analysis and discourse on predispositions that can hinder objectivity when undergoing biblical studies.  Finally, the course considers the application of ancient biblical texts to today’s world.  The course is organized in five modules: (1) A Critical Thinking Approach to Religion, (2) Perspectives on the Authority of Scripture, (3) Authority and Tradition, (4) Text and Message, and (5) Theology and the Modern World. Prerequisites: MRS 622, M 1, M 2, M 3, and M 4. This is the first course after a student has been formally admitted to either the M.T.S. or M.Div. program.  3 semester hours of graduate credit.


• Discover the techniques of analysis
• Demonstrate how traditional predispositions filter interpretations of biblical texts 
• Synthesize the content of the foundation courses

Credit for the course requires a score of 70 on each of five essays.


Resources (The following two e-books may be accessed through Electronic Collection, Course Menu without cost to the student.)

Aden, Ross. Religion Today: A Critical Thinking Approach to Religious Studies. Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, 2012. 452 pages. $69.60 ISBN: 978-0742563728

Bovell, Carlos R. Interdisplinary Perspectives on the Authority of Scripture: Historical, Biblical, and Theological Perspectives. Wipf and Stock Publishers, 2011. 424 pages. $41.26 ISBN: 978-1608993475