Department of Theology

Mission Statement

The Department of Theology helps undergraduate students become complete people who reason and think reflectively about responses to the world. The department equips and encourages undergraduate students to become effective and faithful as scholars and servants by bringing them into fruitful engagement with a broad range of theological and philosophical resources and developing in them suitable analytical, reflective, and expressive skills.

Extracurricular Activities

The department recognizes that a successful learning experience must go beyond the classroom to interact with real-life issues that are the focus of modern faith. Toward this end, the theology program sponsors several ongoing extracurricular activities that bring the academic study of theology into conversation with the elements of a living Christian faith. 

Coram Deo

Coram Deo is a student-led association of friends of theology. The Latin phrase coram deo means “before God,” “in the presence of God,” or “face to face with God,” and through this association, students serve as facilitators of theological dialogue for the university community, choosing relevant themes for interdisciplinary discussion that bring theology into direct engagement with the challenges of faith in a modern world. Each year, student facilitators choose a broad theme for discussion by an interdisciplinary panel of faculty from the APU community. This experience enhances theological reflection, develops leadership skills among the student facilitators, and broadens their understanding of the parameters of theology to move it beyond intellectual deliberation to serve the Church and the world.

Biennial Rome Study Away Program

Every other summer, a faculty member from the theology program directs an in-depth study away experience in Rome and northern Italy to explore the origins of the Christian faith through an examination of the art, architecture, and history of the Roman Empire through the Italian Renaissance. This experience provides an opportunity for direct engagement with the Western foundations of Christianity and Western civilization.

Theology Conferences

On a periodic basis, the theology program hosts world-renowned theologians whose work is studied by theology students. This experience enhances faith integration and invites further theological reflection beyond the classroom. Past guests have included Stanley Hauerwas and Justo González. 

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

Department Chair

Paul C. Boles, Ph.D.

Professors

Dennis Okholm, Ph.D.

Jacquelyn E. Winston, Ph.D.

Assistant Professors

Justin Ashworth, Th.D.

Todd Pokrifka, Ph.D.

Jessica Wong, Ph.D.

Faculty Emeritus

Craig Keen, Ph.D.

Adjunct Faculty

Melisa Berry, M.Div.

Amy Chilton-Thompson, Ph.D.

Steve Emerson, Ph.D.

Christopher Green, Ph.D.

Seth Heringer, Ph.D.

David Hunsicker, Ph.D.

Michael Jimenez, Ph.D.

Jennifer Rosner, Ph.D.

Steve Sommers, Ph.D.

Steve Wiebe, Ph.D.