Department of Biblical and Religious Studies

Mission Statement

The Department of Biblical and Religious Studies at Azusa Pacific University aims to equip undergraduate students by offering degree programs in biblical and religious studies, supporting the General Education program with courses in biblical studies, and preparing undergraduate men and women for ministry, graduate programs, and various public- and private-sector vocations. Emphasis for biblical studies majors is placed upon training them in informed interpretation of the Christian Scriptures and integrating their understanding of the Bible with their responses to God, neighbor, and self, as well as with just responses to human need. Emphasis for religious studies majors is placed upon training them to be faithful, well-informed, and culturally sensitive participants in intercultural and interreligious dialogue and to engage the world from a place of committed Christian faith, awareness, and praxis.

Majors in:

Minors in:

Certificate of Distinction in:

ALNG 456, Ancient Languages, 1-4 Units

This course is offered according to the needs of the student. It provides opportunity to learn basic grammar and vocabulary in Arabic, Akkadian, Aramaic, Coptic, Latin, Ugaritic, or other ancient languages relevant to the study of biblical history and literature. May be repeated for advanced language study or learning an additional language.

Prerequisites: GRKB 201 and/or HEBB 201 or Instructor's consent

GRKB 200, Elementary Greek I, 4 Units

Lecture 3 Hours; Discussion 1 Hour: The elements of New Testament Greek, with emphasis on the mastery of the basic forms, syntax, and vocabulary, are covered in this two-part beginning course. Two semesters of the same language are required to meet the General Education requirement. Meets the General Education Requirement: Foreign Language. 

GRKB 201, Elementary Greek II, 4 Units

Lecture 3 Hours; Discussion 1 Hour: The elements of New Testament Greek, with emphasis on the mastery of the basic forms, syntax, and vocabulary, are covered in this two-part beginning course. Classes meet four hours weekly. Two semesters of the same language are required to meet the General Education requirement. Meets the General Education Requirement: Foreign Language. 

Prerequisite: GRKB 200 or Instructor's consent

GRKB 300, Intermediate Greek I, 3 Units

This course consists of continued study of the forms, syntax, and vocabulary of New Testament Greek with an introduction to exegesis of the Greek New Testament.

Prerequisite: GRKB 201 or the equivalent

GRKB 301, Intermediate Greek II, 3 Units

Students undertake reading and exegesis of various passages in the New Testament.

Prerequisite: GRKB 300

GRKB 454, Greek Readings, 1-4 Units

This course requires directed reading in the Greek New Testament. It is offered according to the needs of the student. It can be repeated for credit, thus providing fifth and sixth semesters of Greek.

Prerequisite: GRKB 301, or completion of two years of biblical Greek at another institution or Instructor's consent

GRKC 200, Elementary Classical Greek I, 4 Units

Lecture 3 Hours; Discussion 1 Hour: Elementary Classical Greek is for students with little or no background in Classical Greek. The elements of classical Greek, with emphasis on the mastery of the basic forms, syntax, and vocabulary, are covered in this two-part beginning course. Two semesters of the same language are required to meet the General Education requirement. No previous knowledge of Classical Greek is assumed.

GRKC 201, Elementary Classical Greek II, 4 Units

Lecture 3 Hours; Discussion 1 Hour: This is the second semester of a two semester, introductory course in Classical Greek language as well as classical Greek culture. The course is designed for students with little or no background in Classical Greek. The elements of Classical Greek, with emphasis upon the mastery of the basic forms, syntax, and vocabulary are covered in this two-part beginning course. Two semesters of the same language are required to meet the General Education requirement.

Prerequisite: GRKC 200

HEBB 200, Elementary Hebrew I, 4 Units

Lecture 3 Hours; Discussion 1 Hour: The basic grammar and syntax of Hebrew are taught. The course aims to provide a reading knowledge of biblical Hebrew prose and an acquaintance with basic conversational, modern Hebrew. Classes meet four hours weekly. Two semesters of the same language are required to meet the General Education requirement.

HEBB 201, Elementary Hebrew II, 4 Units

Lecture 3 Hours; Discussion 1 Hour: The basic grammar and syntax of Hebrew are taught. Using selected readings from the Hebrew Bible, the course provides a reading knowledge of biblical Hebrew prose and an acquaintance with basic conversational, modern Hebrew. Classes meet four hours weekly. Two semesters of the same language are required to meet the General Education requirement. Meets the General Education Requirement: Foreign Language. 

Prerequisite: HEBB 200 or Instructor's consent

HEBB 300, Intermediate Hebrew I, 3 Units

This course consists of continued study of the morphology, syntax, and vocabulary of biblical Hebrew with opportunities for reading and exegesis of various genres of the Hebrew Bible. This course counts toward a minor in Ancient Languages.

Prerequisite: HEBB 201 or equivalent

HEBB 301, Intermediate Hebrew II, 3 Units

This course consists of reading and exegesis of the Hebrew Bible with a particular emphasis on Hebrew in relation to other Semitic languages. Readings of nonbiblical Hebrew and Aramaic material expose students to the development of Hebrew throughout history. This course counts toward a minor in Ancient Languages.

Prerequisites: HEBB 300 or equivalent

HEBB 455, Hebrew Readings, 3 Units

This course consists of directed reading in the Hebrew Bible and is offered according to the needs of the student. It can be repeated for credit, thus providing fifth and sixth semesters of Hebrew. This course counts toward a minor in Ancient Languages.

Prerequisite: HEBB 301 or completion of two years of biblical Hebrew at another institution or Instructor's consent

LTN 200, Elementary Latin I, 4 Units

Lecture 3 Hours; Discussion 1 Hour: Elementary Latin is for students with little or no background in Classical Latin. The elements of classical Latin, with emphasis on the mastery of the basic forms, syntax, and vocabulary are covered in this two-part beginning course. Two semesters of the same language are required to meet the General Education requirement. No previous knowledge of Latin is assumed.

LTN 201, Elementary Latin II, 4 Units

Lecture 3 Hours; Discussion 1 Hour: As the sequel of Elementary Latin I, Elementary Latin II is accessible to students who have taken Elementary Latin I. The elements of classical Latin, with emphasis upon the mastery of the basic verb systems (the five declensions and four conjugations), forms, syntax, vocabulary, and techniques in reading and translating simple Latin prose are covered in this two-part beginning course. Two semesters of the same language are required to meet the General Education requirement. Meets the General Education Requirement: Foreign Language. 

Prerequisite: LTN 200

RELG 200, Introduction to the Study of Religion, 3 Units

This course offers a study of global religious traditions in their cultural and historical contexts. Students will critically examine various definitions and methodologies of global religious studies from the perspectives of confessing Christians. Traditions examined will include Hinduism, Primal Religions, Buddhism, Confucianism, Taoism, Islam, Judaism, and Christianity. Meets the General Education Requirement: Intercultural Competence. 

Prerequisites: UBBL 100, MIN 108 or Department Consent

RELG 350, Introduction to Judaism, 3 Units

This course offers an introduction to the texts, the traditions, and the practices of Judaism as they have developed over the centuries. The students will be exposed to the literature of classical Judaism, including the Hebrew Bible, the Mishnah, Midrash, and Talmud. These texts will be read in conjunction with a study of the historical, sociological, and phenomenological environments in which they developed and which mediated them from one generation to the next. The course includes a study of how Judaism has responded to the changes wrought by modernity and the creation of the State of Israel. Meets the General Education Requirement: Intercultural Competence. 

RELG 351, Introduction to Islam, 3 Units

This course offers an introduction to the texts, the traditions, and the practices of Islam as they have developed over the centuries. The course will focus on rituals, ethics, and practices of Islam, along with discussion of Islam's holiest text, the Qur'an. It will include study of the historical, sociological, and phenomenological environments in which these elements developed and which mediated them from one generation to the next. The course includes a study of how the various forms of Islam have responded to the changes wrought by the modern world. Meets the General Education Requirement: Intercultural Competence. 

RELG 352, Introduction to Hinduism and South Asian Traditions, 3 Units

This seminar course will explore the major indigenous religions of South Asia with particular emphasis on shared concepts such as karma, the cycle of rebirth (samsara), and the transcendence of rebirth (nirvana/moksha) in order to equip Christians for global Christian praxis and inter-religious theological and philosophical dialogue. We will trace the evolution of Indian religion from its roots in the Vedas and the Upanishads through the development of Jainism, Hinduism, and Sikhism, and we will conclude with an examination of "inclusivist" and "exclusivist" approaches to religious pluralism in contemporary Indian thought. Meets the General Education Requirement: Intercultural Competence. 

RELG 353, Introduction to Buddhism and East Asian Traditions, 3 Units

This seminar course examines East Asian (or Taoist) religions including Mayahana or Ch'an Buddhism, Confucianism, and Taoism, with minor emphasis on Chinese folk religions and Shinto in their Chinese, Korean and Japanese contexts, with minor emphasis on Vietnamese perspectives in order to equip Christians for global Christian praxis and inter-religious theological and philosophical dialogue. Meets the General Education Requirement: Intercultural Competence. 

RELG 400, Special Topics in the History of Religion, 3 Units

Students explore selected epochs, movements, or issues in the history of the Church as it relates to various non-Christian global religious traditions.

Prerequisites: RELG 200, PHIL 220/HUM 224, THEO 354, any 300-level RELG course, or Department Consent.

RELG 495, Special Topics Seminar-Contemporary Christianity and Religious Studies, 3 Units

Students explore movements or issues related to contemporary Christianity as it relates to various non-Christian global religious traditions.

Prerequisites: RELG 200, PHIL 220/HUM 224, THEO 354, any 300-level RELG course, or Department Consent.

RELG 498, Religious Studies Capstone Course, 3 Units

This course develops and offers practical opportunities to master the concepts and methodologies used within the field of Religious Studies and apply them to a particular religious tradition. It will culminate in a Capstone Paper, which is a significant religious studies project requiring extensive research and writing and conducted under the guidance of an approved faculty member. The Capstone Paper is equivalent in work to a typical senior thesis, with the focus on research methods, analysis, and critical evaluation.

Prerequisites: Senior Standing, three 300-level RELG courses, UDWI course, or Department Consent.

UBBL 100, Introduction to Biblical Literature: Exodus/Deuteronomy, 3 Units

This course introduces Old Testament biblical literature, hermeneutics, and literary critical methodologies with a primary focus on the books of Exodus and Deuteronomy. Students learn to observe the overall structure of these books, their historical settings, and modern approaches to their literary analysis. Students learn to interpret individual texts within each book. Students study how Deuteronomy uses the material of Exodus to communicate God's Word to a new generation. Meets the General Education Requirement: Exodus/Deuteronomy. 

Prerequisite: MIN 108 (may be taken concurrently)

UBBL 230, Luke/Acts, 3 Units

This course introduces New Testament biblical literature, hermeneutics, and literary critical methodologies with a primary focus on the Gospel of Luke and Acts of the Apostles. Special attention is given to the text with regard to their political, cultural, religious, and geographical setting; the literary structures and genres employed; and how those texts are relevant for faithful Christian living. Meets the General Education Requirement: Luke/Acts. 

Prerequisites: UBBL 100 or department approval

UBBL 310, I and II Samuel, 3 Units

Students study the books of I and II Samuel, giving special attention to the text with regard to its politics, culture, religions, geographical setting, and literary genre. Meets the General Education Requirement: Upper Division Bible. 

Prerequisite: Completion of 100 and 200 level General Education Bible requirements or instructor consent.

UBBL 311, Hebrew Prophets I, 3 Units

This course offers a critical and exegetical study of the pre-exilic prophets, with special consideration given to the social, political, and religious conditions of their times. Attention is given to the ministry and message, both for their time and the present age. Meets the General Education Requirement: Upper Division Bible. 

Prerequisite: Completion of 100 and 200 level General Education Bible requirements or instructor consent.

UBBL 317, Ruth and Esther, 3 Units

This course offers an informed and exegetical study of the books of Ruth and Esther with special consideration to their geographical, political, cultural, religious, and literary dimensions. Additionally, attention is given to the various ways in which Ruth and Esther have been used as resources for contemporary communities of faith. Meets the General Education Requirement: Upper Division Bible. 

Prerequisite: UBBL 100, UBBL 230

UBBL 320, Hebrew Poetical and Wisdom Literature, 3 Units

Students undertake an advanced study of Hebrew poetry and wisdom literature. Attention is given to the development of the literature as well as an investigation of each book's composition. Meets the General Education Requirement: Upper Division Bible. 

Prerequisite: Completion of 100 and 200 level General Education Bible requirements or instructor consent.

UBBL 330, Life and Teachings of Jesus, 3 Units

The life, ministry, and teachings of Jesus Christ are the focus of this course. Special attention is given to the content of the synoptic gospels as well as the social, political, and religious conditions of the time. Meets the General Education Requirement: Upper Division Bible. 

Prerequisite: Completion of 100 and 200 level General Education Bible requirements or instructor consent.

UBBL 340, Romans and Galatians, 3 Units

This course provides an analytical, exegetical, and expositional study of the biblical texts of Romans and Galatians. Special attention is given to the nature of Paul's ministry, the theological, social, and practical issues he addressed, and how these texts are relevant for faithful Christian living. Meets the General Education Requirement: Upper Division Bible. 

Prerequisite: Completion of 100 and 200 level General Education Bible requirements or instructor consent.

UBBL 341, Thessalonian and Corinthian Epistles, 3 Units

Paul's letters to the churches at Thessalonica and Corinth are studied, with attention given to the nature of Paul's ministry and the doctrinal and practical issues he addressed. Meets the General Education Requirement: Upper Division Bible. 

Prerequisite: Completion of 100 and 200 level General Education Bible requirements or instructor consent.

UBBL 350, Biblical Lands and Cultures, 3 Units

This comprehensive course of study emphasizes the geography, history, and archaeology of Israel and its neighbors in biblical and postbiblical times. Students will also be introduced to the complex social, political, and religious issues facing the Middle East today. The course will be taught as a semester class on the Azusa campus or in conjunction with a tour of the Bible lands. Meets the General Education Requirement: Intercultural Competence. 

UBBL 351, Near Eastern Archaeology, 3 Units

The history and material culture of the Levant are surveyed from prehistoric times through the Iron Age, with particular emphasis on the contributions of ancient Israel to the development of culture. Attention is also given to the nature, goals, and methods of scholarly inquiry and interpretation.

Prerequisite: Completion of 100 and 200 level General Education Bible requirements or instructor consent.

UBBL 352, Archaeological Field Excavation, 3 Units

An introduction to the theory and practice of archaeological excavation as carried out in Israel and other parts of the Middle East. The student will be trained in the methods of survey, field excavation, recording, and pottery analysis. The student will also learn how to intelligently assess and explain the results of Near Eastern Archaeology as it relates to the Bible.

Prerequisite: Completion of a 300-level General Education Bible requirement or department approval.

UBBL 420, The Dead Sea Scrolls and the Biblical World, 3 Units

This course investigates the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls in the late 1940s and the subsequent events surrounding their acquisition and scholarly evaluation. The archaeological excavation of the Qumran site, the implication of the findings for the understanding of the community that populated it, and the texts associated with it are explored as well. The importance of the scrolls for the text, critical study of the Old Testament, and the history of Judaism at the time of Jesus are considered, and various interpretations of the identity of the Qumran sectarians are evaluated.

Prerequisite: Completion of a 300-level UBBL course.

UBBL 430, Johannine Literature, 3 Units

Johannine theology, as found in the gospel and epistles of John, is the basis of this course. Special attention is given to John's concept of God, the logos, the Spirit, life, light, love, and knowledge. John's treatment of the Gnostic problem is studied. Meets the General Education Requirement: Writing 3: Writing in the Disciplines. 

Prerequisites: one 300-Level New Testament Course: UBBL 330, UBBL 340, UBBL 341, UBBL 343, or Department Consent

UBBL 442, Prison and Pastoral Epistles, 3 Units

This course is a study of Pauline theology as revealed in these two groups of letters. Special attention is given to Pauline Christology and ecclesiology and their practical relevance for the contemporary Church.

Prerequisites: one 300-Level New Testament Course: UBBL 330, UBBL 340, UBBL 341, UBBL 343, or Department Consent

UBBL 443, The General Epistles, 3 Units

This course covers Hebrews, James, I and II Peter, and Jude as they relate to the theological and ethical content of Christianity.

Prerequisite: One 300-Level New Testament Course: UBBL 330, UBBL 340, UBBL 341, or Department Consent.

UBBL 450, Old Testament World, 3 Units

This course examines the history and culture of ancient Israel within the broader context of the Ancient Near East from the beginnings of civilization through Alexander the Great. Special attention is given to the political, cultural, and religious systems of Egypt, Mesopotamia, Anatolia, and the Eastern Mediterranean world, and their contributions to present day culture.

Prerequisite: Completion of a 300 level Old Testament course or department approval.

UBBL 451, New Testament World, 3 Units

The social, political, religious, philosophical, ideological, and literary environment of the Greco-Roman world is studied as the cultural context of Second Temple Judaism, early Christianity, and their literature.

Prerequisite: UBBL 230 and one UBBL 300 level course

UBBL 460, Theology of the Old Testament, 3 Units

The basic theology of the Old Testament, including the subjects of God, revelation, humanity, redemption, and the Messiah, is covered in this course.

Prerequisites: UBBL 100, and a 300-level Old Testament course or department approval

UBBL 461, Theology of the New Testament, 3 Units

This course is a study of the theology of the New Testament in its own historical setting, categories, and thought forms and on its own terms. The course describes what the New Testament's major authors (the authors of Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, and the Pauline letters) wrote about God, Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit, the Church, the reign of God, etc. Special attention is given to methodology, the student's literary-critical investigation of theological themes, and their practical relevance for faith integration.

Prerequisites: one 300-Level New Testament Course: UBBL 330, UBBL 340, UBBL 341, UBBL 343, or Department Consent

UBBL 470, The Religious Development of Israel, 3 Units

Students undertake a critical analysis of the development of Israel's religious consciousness. Attention is given to the sociocultural background of Israel.

Prerequisite: Any 300 or 400 level Old Testament course or department approval.

UBBL 472, Biblical Apocalyptic, 3 Units

Students learn about the rise and development of the apocalyptic literature found in the collections of the Old Testament, Pseudepigrapha, Apocrypha, and New Testament. Special attention is given to Daniel, Matthew 24-25, 1 and 2 Thessalonians, and Revelation and how those texts are relevant for faithful Christian living.

Prerequisites: one 300-Level New Testament Course: UBBL 330, UBBL 340, UBBL 341, UBBL 343, or Department Consent

UBBL 476, Writing 3: Women in the Biblical Tradition, 3 Units

This course enables students to participate in the discourse community of their major by assessing the rhetorical situations they will encounter when they enter their academic field or profession. Students also create documents in at least two genres, implementing the techniques they have developed in Writing 1 & 2. The writing component will complement an introduction to the students to how women are depicted in biblical tradition. It includes careful reading of narratives about women in the Bible, both Old and New Testaments, as well as the reception of and expansion on those narratives in early Church tradition. Furthermore, the student explores the way contemporary readers/hearers encounter these texts in light of their own cultural location and faith perspectives. Meets the General Education Requirement: Writing 3: Writing in the Disciplines. 

Prerequisite: Completion of GE Writing 2 requirements and 100-, 200-, and 300-level General Education UBBL requirements.

UBBL 481, History of Biblical Interpretation, 3 Units

This is an upper-division humanities course that introduces the student to the rich history of the interpretation of biblical writings. The focus rests on the ways in which the various faith communities, Jewish as well as Christian, received the writings, rendered them comprehensible and relevant to contemporary concerns, and passed them on to subsequent generations. The chronological range covered by this course begins during the biblical period itself and extends to the present day.

Prerequisite: Completion of a 300-level UBBL course.

UBBL 482, Global Biblical Interpretation, 3 Units

This course examines how Christians in the non-Western world have received the Bible and have made it meaningful to their own cultural concerns. Students examine alternate approaches to the science and art of biblical interpretation, approaching non-Western interpretation of the Bible from theoretical, sociological, literary-critical, theological, and practical perspectives. Meets the General Education Requirement: Intercultural Competence. 

Prerequisite: UBBL 100, UBBL 230, and one 300-level UBBL course or department consent.

UBBL 483, Postcolonial Biblical Interpretation, 3 Units

This course examines the modern history of biblical interpretation, giving special attention to the development of postcolonial biblical criticism, an innovative approach to reading sacred texts that draws from the life experiences of those who have suffered from colonial and imperial oppression. Students examine the various themes of postcolonial theory in order to assess its strengths and consider its blind spots. Students also learn to apply its various principles to the exegesis of biblical texts.

Prerequisite: Completion of a 300-level UBBL course.

UBBL 496, Senior Seminar: Biblical Theology and Ethics, 3 Units

This senior seminar examines an important theological and ethical issue facing Christians today. This course explains selected methods and content from the fields of biblical theology and biblical theology and biblical ethics and prepares students to articulate various ways in which the Christian faith can be lived out in the contemporary world. The seminar format includes an oral presentation and a thesis. Meets the General Education Requirement: Integrative and Applied Learning. 

Prerequisite: Senior standing; Completion of a 100, 200, and 300 level UBBL General Education course; One General Education Theology course; and Writing 3.

UBBL 497, Readings, 1-4 Units

This is a program of study concentrating on assigned readings, discussions, and writing arranged between, and designed by, a student of upper-division standing and an approved professor. This course may be repeated for credit. An independent study fee is assessed for each enrollment in this class.

UBBL 498, Directed Research, 1-4 Units

This course provides instruction in research design and technique, and gives students experience in the research process. The 1-unit expectation encompasses no less than 30 hours of work with accompanying reading, log, writing, and seminar presentation within the department or in a university research symposium. No more than 1 unit may be used to fulfill preparatory readings requirement. An independent study fee is assessed for each enrollment in this class.

Prerequisite: Junior or Senior Standing

Faculty

Department Chair

Robert Mullins, Ph.D.

Professors

Alice Yafeh-Deigh, Ph.D.

B.J. Oropeza, Ph.D.

Matthew Hauge, Ph.D.

Kathryn Higuera Smith, Ph.D.

Keith Reeves, Ph.D.

Kenneth L. Waters, Ph.D.

Robert Duke, Ph.D.

William Yarchin, Ph.D.

Associate Professors

Arlene M. Sánchez-Walsh, Ph.D.

Federico A. Roth, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor

Justin Marc Smith, Ph.D.

Professor Emeritus

Bruce Baloian, Ph.D.