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This unit provides students with resources for engaging in a literary and theological
exploration of the Pentateuch. The focus is upon exegetical and theological issues with
particular attention to specific passages. Students are introduced to important themes
concerning God and his dealings with the world and humankind in creation, judgment,
covenant and redemption. Opportunities are provided to consider the present day
application of the text.


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Students are first introduced to the Psalms - their origins, use in Israelite worship,
structure, exegesis and contemporary application. Attention is paid to the characteristics
of Hebrew poetry. An overview of the OT Wisdom tradition is then given and particular
attention is paid to two wisdom books. The place of OT wisdom literature within the church
is addressed. Throughout, exegetical skills are developed.


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Students consider the destination, structure and purpose of the letter alongside a study of
its major themes and exegesis of selected passages. The letter chosen will normally be
Romans but may be 1 Corinthians.


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The unit introduces students to the distinctive features of John’s Gospel, and it provides a
survey of different approaches. This is followed by exegetical studies of selected
passages and consideration of their application. [A taught unit on this Gospel is offered at
level 6.]

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The unit begins with a critical survey of the ways in which the Church has been identified
and defined - often in contrast to the scriptural concepts of ‘the world’ and ‘the Kingdom of
God’ - within a variety of ecclesiological traditions. Students are encouraged to reflect on
their own experience of Church life in response to these definitions. Particular attention is
given to Baptist and Anabaptist understandings of the Church and its relationship with
society. Notions of religious freedom also will be explored particularly with reference to the
plurality of contemporary Western society.

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The unit begins with an overview of the first five centuries of Christianity. In subsequent
sessions, the developing mission, worship and ministry of the early church are covered in
detail. Attention is given to the theological, social, political and cultural factors which
influenced religious developments. The relationship between tradition and the rule of faith
is evaluated. The Christian response to Gnosticism is considered, as are other ways the
church defined and defended the gospel. The persecution of the church and the reasons
why this persecution was ultimately unsuccessful are evaluated. Important movements
within the life of the church which receive attention include Montanism and Donatism. The
unit includes sessions on developments which took place after the ‘conversion’ of
Constantine in 312, with a particular focus on Monasticism and the churches of the Middle
East, Africa and Asia. Throughout the unit, students are encouraged to discuss the
contemporary implications and relevance of the history being studied.

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The unit begins by considering the background issues and examines the way in which the Reformation had links with Renaissance humanism.  Students give particular attention to the major streams of the European Protestant Reformation.  They also study the Catholic Reformation and the Radical Reformers.  The unit moves on to evaluate developments in England in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries.  Students examine the emergence of Puritanism (in England and Scotland), Separatism and the Free Church tradition.  Study of the relationship between spirituality, mission and society in the seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries in Europe lays the foundation for an understanding of more recent church history.

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The developments which receive most attention in this unit are the early shaping of English Baptist life in the seventeenth century, including the influence of the currents of the Reformation; the different stories of General and Particular Baptists; mission and growth; the effects of the eighteenth-century Evangelical Revival on General and Particular Baptists; overseas mission; the formation of the Baptist Union in the nineteenth century; organised home mission and church planting; nineteenth-century theological tensions and the role of theological education; the shaping and reshaping of the Baptist Union in the twentieth century; the challenges of ecumenism and Pentecostal and charismatic streams in Britain. The implications of these developments for today will be examined. Principles which shape Baptist identity will be drawn from the studies of Baptist life.

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The unit begins with a critical account of the emergence of the Anabaptist movement in various places in sixteenth-century Europe, setting this in its historical and theological framework.  It explores the development of this movement through the centuries and investigates the distinctive Anabaptist approaches to theology, ecclesiology, ethics and missiology, contrasting their strengths and weaknesses with other contemporaneous approaches.  The mission context of western society in the twenty-first century is examined, with particular reference to postmodernity and post-Christendom, and the significance of Anabaptist missiological perspectives for this context is assessed.  The unit concludes by examining and critically evaluating examples of distinctive mission activities that have emerged from the Anabaptist tradition.

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Students are introduced to the central place of leadership and human relationships in
ministry and mission. Biblical and theological models of Christian leadership are explored,
and contemporary secular theories of leadership are examined critically. The need for
credibility in the leader is emphasised and leadership style is considered with a view to the
students determining and working with understanding in their individual styles. The unit
explores personal and corporate vision, working in groups and teams, managing change,
corporate ethos and the running and chairing of meetings. The principles and skills are
applied to the student’s present and future ministry and mission. Practical exercises, role
play and case studies are used to asses and develop leadership skills and teamwork
ability.

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This unit presents a theological foundation for evangelism, with particular reference to evangelistic themes and strategies.  A variety of motivations for and methods of evangelism are explored and evaluated, and attention is given to the message of the Gospel and to ways of communicating that message, both corporately and individually.  The unit looks at various people groups within society and at ways in which evangelism can take place in these diverse contexts.  The role of an evangelist is also discussed.  Emphasis is given to the practice of evangelistic communication, and a variety of tools are presented and practised.

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This unit examines the meaning of apologetics and assesses its place in the ministry of individuals and local churches within the contemporary context.  It explores apologetic approaches to some classic issues, such as the existence of God, the problem of evil, the resurrection and the relationship between science and faith.  It examines the role of dialogue in evangelism, conversation with other faith traditions and non-religious ideologies, the relationship between persuasion and the freedom to choose and the importance of ‘civility’.  It asks whether apologetics is still relevant in a postmodern context and, if so, in what form.

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