Division of Religion and Philosophy

About the Division

The programs available in the undergraduate division’s four departments offer courses of study that encourage the search for truth about God, human existence in relationship to God, and the world as God’s creation. Students are guided in this search through an analysis of the Christian Scriptures, historical and contemporary statements of Christian belief, human experience of God and the world, and rational reflections on the nature of reality by great thinkers past and present. The goal of this study is to prepare men and women for service to God, as either lay or professional ministers in His Kingdom. Academic study is therefore balanced with a concern for individual involvement in practical ministry.

The departments offer six major courses of study (biblical studies, Christian ministries, philosophy, religious studies, theology, and youth and family ministries), eleven minors (ancient languages, biblical studies, Christian ministries, philosophy, philosophical apologetics, practical and professional ethicsreligious studies, sports ministry, theology, youth and family ministries, and youth outreach and discipleship), and three special programs (the Certificate of Distinction in Biblical Studies, the Certificate of Distinction in Philosophy, and the Certificate of Distinction in Theology).

Each major course of study builds on the General Education program’s Biblical, Theological, and Philosophical Formation requirement. Transfer students take the number of units required by the registrar. Courses are selected from the list of core courses for General Education in consultation with a department advisor. All majors in the undergraduate division must maintain a minimum 2.5 cumulative grade-point average in all courses for the major.

In general, correspondence courses are not accepted as fulfillment of religion or philosophy requirements. A student may, however, petition to have 3 correspondence units count toward his/her major or minor upon department approval. The course(s) must match existing courses, and the student may be asked to pass an exam. Double majors require 24 units that are distinctive to one major; 18 units must be upper division. Each minor course of study requires 12 units of upper-division work in the area of the minor. Courses may not be counted toward a minor if they are being applied toward a major or another minor.

General Education

Biblical, Theological, and Philosophical Formation 

Required Courses for All Majors in the Division of Religion and Philosophy

MIN 108Christian Life, Faith, and Ministry3
UBBL 100Introduction to Biblical Literature: Exodus/Deuteronomy3
UBBL 230Luke/Acts3
UBBL 3XXAny UBBL General Education Bible course3
Select one of the following: 13
Theology and the Christian Life 2
Church History: Apostolic Era to the Eve of the Reformation
Church History from the Eve of the Reformation to the Present
Contemporary Christian Theology
Select one of the following:3-4
Introduction to Philosophy
Core Texts in Philosophy (3 units on Azusa Campus; 4 units at High Sierra Semester)
Total Units18-19
1

For the General Education Doctrine requirement, the School of Theology recommends either THEO 303, THEO 352, THEO 354, or THEO 363. HUM 325 also fulfills the requirement.

2

THEO 303 is required of all Christian ministries and youth and family ministries majors.

Major Sr. Seminar Requirement
Biblical StudiesUBBL 496, THEO 496, or MIN 496
TheologyTHEO 496
PhilosophyPHIL 496 or THEO 496
Christian Ministries/Youth and Family Ministries: Church and Pastoral Ministries Practices concentrationMIN 496, THEO 496, or UBBL 496
Christian Ministries/Youth and Family Ministries: Intercultural Christian Ministries concentrationMIN 496, THEO 496, or UBBL 496
Christian Ministries/Youth and Family Ministries: Ministry in Urban and Social Service Contexts concentrationMIN 496, SOCW 496, THEO 496, or UBBL 496
Christian Ministries/Youth and Family Ministries: Sports Ministry concentrationPE 496
Christian Ministries/Youth and Family Ministries: Youth Outreach and Discipleship concentrationMIN 496, THEO 496, or UBBL 496

Students transferring into the university may waive some of the General Education Biblical, Theological, and Philosophical Formation requirements for the major as follows: sophomore standing, 3 units; junior standing, 9 units; and senior standing, 12 units. The specific courses waived are selected in consultation with a department faculty advisor.

PHIL 210, Introduction to Critical Thinking, 3 Units

Students study principles of deductive and non-deductive logic. Principles are used to evaluate arguments in a variety of contexts, including the popular media and the professional practices of philosophy, theology, science or law. Students are also expected to assess and improve the logical rigor and clarity of their own reasoning.

PHIL 220, Introduction to Philosophy, 3 Units

This course helps students understand the world better by studying significant interpretations of self, the world, and God- the major concerns of philosophy that have been offered by thinkers, past and present. Meets the General Education Requirement: Philosophy. 

PHIL 220H, Introduction to Philosophy - Honors, 3 Units

This course helps students understand the world better by studying significant interpretations of self, the world, and God that have been offered by thinkers, past and present - the major concerns of philosophy. Meets the General Education Requirement: Philosophy. 

Prerequisite: To enroll in the course, must be a student admitted to the Honors Program and be considered a member in "active" status.

PHIL 225, Critical Thinking and Informal Logic, 3 Units

Students study the principles of logic with some attention to semantics and the philosophy of language. They are encouraged to use logic as an aid in evaluating arguments offered in books and periodicals and to test the validity and clarity of their own reasoning.

PHIL 301, Practical Ethics, 3 Units

In this course, students both (1) learn the fundamental theories and principles that influence contemporary ethical discourse, and (2) develop the ability to apply these theories and principles to contemporary moral problems. Meets the General Education Requirement: Civic Knowledge and Engagement. 

PHIL 303, Systems of Apologetics, 3 Units

The purpose of this course is to equip students with tools for understanding and communicating the rich intellectual foundations of a Judeo-Christian worldview. The course is divided into three sections. In section I, we consider various approaches to apologetics and discuss strengths and weaknesses of those approaches. This section also includes a survey of the epistemology of religious belief more broadly. In section II, we apply various apologetic approaches with an aim to showcase the rich intellectual foundation for (a) the existence of a perfect Being and (b) the revelation of God through Christ. Finally, in section III, we survey common atheological arguments, ranging from the problem of evil to the problem of hell. In all these sections, students will learn how to (i) package ideas in clear, organized form, (ii) effectively relate their ideas to their audience, and (iii) think critically and analytically about enduring, big questions relevant to all human beings.

Prerequisite: PHIL 220 OR HUM224 OR PHIL 225

PHIL 310, Formal Logic, 3 Units

This course defines logic as the skill of assessing arguments. The course assists students to recognize arguments in both academic and nonacademic forms, increasing confidence in their ability to form a structure of techniques and values to be used as a basis for critiquing others' arguments and creating their own.

PHIL 315, History of Ancient Philosophy, 3 Units

Students explore the development of philosophy from its early beginnings in Greece to the early thought of Augustine. Special attention is given to the Socratic, Platonic, and Aristotelian contributions to the field.

Prerequisite: PHIL 220 or HUM 224

PHIL 316, Medieval Philosophy, 3 Units

This course helps students understand the importance of the medieval era and its contributions to the historical development of philosophy. Thinkers considered in this class include the late Augustine, Averroes, Avicenna, Maimonides, Anselm, Bonaventure, Aquinas, Duns Scotus, and Ockham. Topics considered include the relationship of theology to philosophy, the divine attributes, ontology, and ethics.

Prerequisite: PHIL 220 or HUM 224

PHIL 320, History of Early Modern Philosophy, 3 Units

This course covers the development of philosophy from the Renaissance through the 18th century.

Prerequisite: PHIL 220 or HUM 224

PHIL 325, History of 19th and 20th Century Philosophy, 3 Units

This course offers a study of the significant philosophical movements and figures from late modernity to the turn of the 21st century.

Prerequisite: PHIL 220 or HUM 224

PHIL 330, Ethics, 3 Units

The basic principles of ethical conduct are examined as applied to personal and social problems. The chief theories of the "good life" are investigated, with special attention given to the principles underlying a consistent ethical outlook on life. Meets the General Education Requirement: Civic Knowledge and Engagement. 

Prerequisite: PHIL 220 or HUM 224

PHIL 340, Concepts of Human Nature, 3 Units

This course explores the significant questions concerning human nature. Special emphasis is placed on philosophical, psychological, and sociological theories of the uniqueness of human activity. Meets the General Education Requirement: Writing 3: Writing in the Disciplines. 

Prerequisite: PHIL 220 or HUM 224

PHIL 360, Social and Political Debates, 3 Units

The aim of this course is to prepare students to use ethical principles to argue for justice in the formation of public policies. With this end in mind, students both (1) examine the fundamental principles of social and political philosophy and (2) deliberate about how to employ these principles in contemporary social and political debates. Finally, they put their deliberations into practice by competing in the California Regional Ethics Bowl

PHIL 362, Business, Virtue, and the Good Life, 3 Units

This course provides students with a moral framework for being wise and just business professionals. Students begin by learning the most prominent ethical theories and principles. They then develop the ability to analyze, to evaluate, and to apply these theories and principles in a way that helps them to lead good and virtuous lives-lives that properly balance often competing moral obligations to one's business associates, to one's fellow citizens, and to one's friends and family members.

PHIL 364, Bioethics, 3 Units

In this course, students both (1) learn the most prominent theories and principles used in contemporary bioethics, and (2) develop the ability to analyze, to evaluate, and to apply these theories and principles in the context of contemporary medical practice.

Prerequisite: PHIL 220; Recommended: PHIL 300 or PHIL 330

PHIL 366, Environmental Ethics, 3 Units

In this course, students will investigate, craft a proposal for, and practice living according to an environmental philosophy as a way of life based on a virtue approach. Additionally, students will research the arguments for and against various environmentally ethical dilemmas in the modern world, aiming to analyze and respond to these arguments and drawing reasonable and actionable conclusions.

Prerequisite: PHIL 220 or HUM 224; Recommended: PHIL 300 or PHIL 330

PHIL 410, Philosophy of Religion, 3 Units

Religious experience is studied from the standpoint of philosophy. An examination is made of the contributions of philosophy to religion and religion to philosophy.

Prerequisite: PHIL 220 or HUM 224

PHIL 415, Philosophical Theology, 3 Units

The purpose of this course is to analyze rational arguments concerning the divine nature. In it, students apply the laws of logic and principles of sound reasoning to empirical evidence (including claims about the direct experience of God) and introspective intuition concerning the concept of God, enabling us to understand the logical limits of that concept.

Prerequisite: PHIL 220 or HUM 224

PHIL 430, Philosophy of Science, 3 Units

The course explores the nature of scientific method and knowledge and the character of scientific explanations. Ways in which ethics and religion interrelate with the sciences are also covered.

Prerequisite: One Lab Science and PHIL 220

PHIL 440, Epistemology, 3 Units

This course exposes advancing philosophy students to the major problems in the theory of knowledge. While some historical background is covered, the principle focus is on the contours of the contemporary debates about such issues as skepticism, epistemic justification, foundationalism, coherentism, internalism, and externalism. Some application is made specifically to the epistemology of religious belief.

Prerequisite: PHIL 220 or HUM 224

PHIL 445, Metaphysics, 3 Units

This course is an introduction to metaphysics that gives the student a broad perspective into contemporary issues of interest concerning what exists and its nature. This involves classroom discussion of readings from the introductory text and primary source material.

Prerequisite: PHIL 220 or HUM 224

PHIL 450, Special Topics in Ethics, 3 Units

In this course, students utilize their foundational knowledge of ethical theories and principles to analyze contemporary debates concerning recent work in meta-ethics, normative ethics, moral epistemology, or moral psychology.

Prerequisites: PHIL 220 and PHIL 330 or consent of the instructor

PHIL 451, Race, Sex and Science, 3 Units

This course examines concepts of race and sex in relation to the history of modern western science. Students analyze readings in feminist philosophy, critical race theory and postcolonial studies, which argue that the sciences often presume and perpetuate Eurocentric, androcentric bias. Through this analysis, students cultivate the virtues of epistemic justice and intellectual humility required for intercultural competence and a Christlike character. Meets the General Education Requirement: Intercultural Competence. 

Prerequisite: 3xx PHIL or 3xx BIOL course or instructor consent

PHIL 452, Classical Chinese Ethics, 3 Units

This course provides an introduction both (1) to key texts written by a variety of classical Chinese philosophers - e.g., Konzi (Confucius), Mozi, Mengzi (Mencius), Laozi (Lao Tzu), Zhuangzi, and Xunxi - and (2) to their fundamental ethical teachings - e.g., the nature of the dao, the nature of being human, the role of ritual in the moral life, whether virtue requires partiality to one's family and one's culture, and so forth. More importantly, it teaches students to analyze, to evaluate, and to apply the insights of these texts and teachings to their own lives. Through both academic study and thoughtful cultural engagement, it offers a life-enriching, cross-cultural encounter with the classical systems of Chinese ethics that shaped eastern Asian cultures and continue to influence eastern Asian immigrant communities around the world.

Prerequisite: PHIL 301 or PHIL 330

PHIL 495, Seminar in Philosophy, 3 Units

Students are assisted in relating philosophical insights to current moral, political, religious, and social issues. Each seminar offers an area of emphasis for study, such as values or the future. It may be taken more than once as topics change.

Prerequisite: PHIL 220 or HUM 224

PHIL 496, Senior Seminar: Professional Ethics, 3 Units

This course considers ethical issues in the modern world from a Christian perspective. Included is an examination of options in ethical theory, biblical ethics, and professional responsibility. Meets the General Education Requirement: Integrative and Applied Learning. 

Prerequisite: Senior standing, completion of the majority of the units required for Biblical, Theological and Philosophical Formation, and Writing 3.

PHIL 496H, Senior Seminar - Honors, 3 Units

Prerequisites: Senior Standing and upper-division writing intensive course. Must also be a student admitted to the Honors Program and be considered a member in "active" status.

PHIL 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 a full-time professor. May be repeated for credit. An independent study fee is assessed for each enrollment in this class.

PHIL 497H, Readings - Honors, 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 a full-time professor. May be repeated for credit. An independent study fee is assessed for each enrollment in this class.

Prerequisite: To enroll in the course, must be a student admitted to the Honors Program and be considered a member in "active" status.

PHIL 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

THEO 301, Faith and the Arts, 3 Units

This course provides an introduction to the doctrines of the Christian Church, focusing on the integration of Christian faith with the visual, music, and performance arts. Meets the General Education Requirement: God's Word the Christian Response (Doctrine). 3 units of biblical studies, MIN 108, or department consent. MIN 108 is waived as a

prerequisite for students transferring 60 or more units. All other prerequisites apply.

THEO 303, Theology and the Christian Life, 3 Units

The course provides an introduction to the doctrines of the Christian church, focusing on the Christian life and its relationship to theology. The course approaches theology from an inductive method in the Wesleyan tradition, helping the student learn to think theologically from the Scriptures, orthodox ecumenical tradition, experience, and reason. Meets the General Education Requirement: Theology. 

Prerequisites: 3 Units of UBBL, MIN 108, PHIL 220 or HUM 224 or HUM 324, or department permission.

THEO 303H, Theology and the Christian Life - Honors, 3 Units

The course provides an introduction to the doctrines of the Christian church, focusing on the Christian life and its relationship to theology. The course approaches theology from an inductive method in the Wesleyan tradition, helping the student learn to think theologically from the Scriptures, orthodox ecumenical tradition, experience, and reason. Meets the General Education Requirement: Theology. 

Prerequisites: 3 units of UBBL, MIN 108, PHIL 210 or PHIL 220 or HUM 224 or HUM 324, or instructor's permission. Must also be a student admitted to the Honors Program and be considered a member in "active" status.

THEO 352, Church History: Apostolic Era to the Eve of the Reformation, 3 Units

This course provides a study of the major developments in the history of Christianity from the early Church to the eve of the Reformation. Emphasis is placed on the growth of Christian doctrine. Meets the General Education Requirement: Theology. 

Prerequisite: 3 UBBL units, MIN 108, or department consent.

THEO 352H, Church History: Apostolic Era to the Eve of the Reformation - Honors, 3 Units

This course provides a study of the major developments in the history of Christianity from the early Church to the eve of the Reformation. Emphasis is placed on the growth of Christian doctrine. Meets the General Education Requirement: Theology. 

Prerequisites: 3 units of UBBL, MIN 108, or department permission. Must also have "active" status in the Honors Program. MIN 108 is waived as a prerequisite for students transferring in 60 or more units. All other prerequisites apply.

THEO 354, Church History from the Eve of the Reformation to the Present, 3 Units

This course provides a study of the major developments in the history of Christianity from the eve of the Reformation to the present. Emphasis is placed on the development of the Christian Church in the West and recent developments in the two-thirds world. Meets the General Education Requirement: Theology. 

Prerequisite: 3 UBBL units, MIN 108, or department consent.

THEO 354H, Church History from the Eve of the Reformation to the Present - Honors, 3 Units

This course provides a study of the major developments in the history of Christianity from the eve of the Reformation to the present. Emphasis is placed on the development of the Christian Church in the West and recent developments in the two-thirds world. Meets the General Education Requirement: Theology. 

Prerequisites: 3 units of UBBL, MIN 108, or department permission. Must also have "active" status in the Honors Program. MIN 108 is waived as a prerequisite for students transferring in 60 or more units. All other prerequisites apply.

THEO 363, Contemporary Christian Theology, 3 Units

Contemporary Christian theologies are explored in the context of important changes in modern thought in the post-Enlightenment era, emphasizing issues of concern in today's Western, post-Christian culture.MIN 108; PHIL 220 or HUM 224 or HUM 324; 3 Units of UBBL; THEO 301 or THEO 303 or THEO 352 or THEO 354. MIN 108 is waived as a

prerequisite for students transferring in 45 or more units. All other prerequisites apply.

THEO 410, Systematic Theology I, 3 Units

This is the first in a two-course sequence introducing theological thinking in relation to the great teachings of the Church, and inquiring into the meaning and implications of the doctrines of holiness, revelation, the Trinity, creation, the person and work of Jesus Christ, the person and work of the Holy Spirit, the Church, the sacraments, and eschatology. These courses focus on the witness of Scripture, the historic testimony of the Church, classical and contemporary modes of thought, and the meaning of theological thinking for the life of the student and the Church.

Prerequisite: THEO 363 and completion of 75 units

THEO 411, Systematic Theology II, 3 Units

The second in a two-course sequence introducing theological thinking in relation to the great teachings of the church, and inquiring into the meaning and implications of the doctrines of holiness, revelation, the Trinity, creation, the person and work of Jesus Christ, the person and work of the Holy Spirit, the Church, the sacraments, and eschatology. These courses focus on the witness of Scripture, the historic testimony of the Church, classical and contemporary modes of thought, and the meaning of theological thinking for the life of the student and the Church.

Prerequisite: THEO 410

THEO 420, Christian Apologetics, 3 Units

Apologetics is the reasoned and faithful response by the Christian church to problems and criticisms of the faith. This course surveys several of the major problems and criticisms of the Christian church: its history, life, and faith. It also reviews the intellectual and faithful responses that Christian scholars have provided to them.

Prerequisites: Junior or Senior Standing, UBBL 100, UBBL 230, PHIL 220

THEO 423, Seminar in Church History, 3 Units

Students explore selected epochs, movements, or issues in the history of the Church.

Prerequisites: MIN 108, THEO 352 or THEO 354, or department permission. (repeatable for credit)

THEO 424, The Formation of Early Christianity, 3 Units

In this church history seminar, students explore the theological, social, historical, intellectual, cultural, political, and popular influences on the development of early Christianity through the establishment of the imperial Christian Church in the late fourth century A.D. Meets the General Education Requirement: Writing 3: Writing in the Disciplines. 

Prerequisite: THEO 352 or THEO 354, or department consent

THEO 425, American Christianity, 3 Units

In this church history seminar, students examine the social, historical, intellectual, cultural, political, and popular influences upon the development of American Christianity from colonial Puritanism of the 17th century through the revivals, Civil War, and Jesus movements of the 20th century. Meets the General Education Requirement: Writing 3: Writing in the Disciplines. 

Prerequisite: THEO 352 or THEO 354, or department consent

THEO 427, Writing 3: The History of Christian Spirituality, 3 Units

In this church history seminar, students explore the church's views of healing, miracles, and other gifts of the Holy Spirit from the birth of the church in Acts 2, through the early church fathers, medieval mystics, Protestant reformers, and 19th c. holiness movements to the present-day Pentecostal and Charismatic movements through the successful completion of a critical analytical research paper using primary and secondary sources. Meets the General Education Requirement: Writing 3: Writing in the Disciplines. 

Prerequisite: Writing 2, MIN 108, THEO 352 or THEO 354, or department consent.

THEO 428, Global Christianity, 3 Units

In this church history seminar, students examine the historical, cultural, political, and religious influences upon the formation of global configurations of Christianity, including the impact of indigenous religions and worldviews and Western imperialism. Meets the General Education Requirement: Intercultural Competence, Writing 3: Writing in the Disciplines. 

Prerequisite: THEO 352 or THEO 354, or department consent

THEO 440, The Theology of John Wesley, 3 Units

Students explore aspects of John Wesley, including his thought regarding personal and social ethics. The course emphasizes Wesley's theology of holiness, especially as it is articulated in his understanding of God's sovereign love, the self-giving life of Christ, the work of the Holy Spirit, the Christian life as a radical love for God and other humans, responsibility toward the poor and disenfranchised, and other issues.

Prerequisites: three units of upper division Theology coursework

THEO 442, Theologians and Theological Movements, 3 Units

This course examines major Christian theologians and theological movements of importance and interest to students of systematic theology. The course has a seminar format.

Prerequisites: three units of upper division Theology coursework

THEO 444, Doctrinal Theology, 3 Units

This course examines in depth one of the major loci in Christian theology. Consideration will be given to its biblical and historical foundations and contemporary expression. This course has a seminar format.

Prerequisites: UBBL 230 and 3 units of upper division Theology coursework

THEO 445, Theological Ethics, 3 Units

This course is an inquiry into the relationship between God's work in the world and the task of human beings to live well in light of a Trinitarian understanding of faith.

Prerequisite: THEO 363

THEO 454, Christian Traditions, 3 Units

Students are introduced to the three major branches of the Christian Church: Roman Catholicism, Eastern Orthodoxy, and Protestantism. The course investigates the history, theology, polity, and worship practices of each tradition.

Prerequisite: THEO 352 or THEO 354, or department consent

THEO 480, Theology from the Margins, 3 Units

This course explores the rise of theological movements outside the Western mainstream, inviting students to consider ways theology has been practiced among the oppressed and marginalized. Representative theological perspectives include those of Latin Americans, African Americans, women, and persons with disabilities. The course may include an experiential learning component. Meets the General Education Requirement: Intercultural Competence. 

Prerequisite: THEO 363

THEO 495, Topics in Systematic Theology, 3 Units

Current topics of importance and interest to students of systematic theology are studied. The course has a seminar format. It may be taken more than once as topics change.

Prerequisites: THEO 303 or THEO 363, or department permission.

THEO 496, Senior Seminar: Theology and Social Issues, 3 Units

This senior seminar is designed for those who wish to further their understanding of an important issue facing Christians today. The course consists of a seminar format, including a major paper and oral presentation. Students combine Christian theology, biblical studies, and ethics to examine various ways in which the Christian faith can be lived out today. Meets the General Education Requirement: Integrative and Applied Learning. 

Prerequisites: Senior standing, completion of the majority of the units required for God's Word and the Christian Response, and upper-division writing intensive course.

THEO 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 a full-time professor. This course may be repeated for credit. An independent study fee is assessed for each enrollment in this class.

THEO 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 fewer 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

Associate Dean, Division of Religion and Philosophy

Kenneth L. Waters, Ph.D.

Professors

Robert Duke, Ph.D.

Kenneth L. Waters, Ph.D.