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The unit is introduced from a basis of pastoral theology and a biblical framework for pastoral work in the local church. The underlying relationship between pastoral care and mission features. Examples of historical patterns of pastoral practice are considered and appraised. The contemporary cultural settings of pastoral care are examined, with particular focus on the mandate for the church to be a pastoral and caring community. The concept of small groups and the importance of leadership quality and training also feature in this unit. Questions about the nature and purpose of the pastoral task are raised, together with the relationship of pastoral care to public teaching, the sacraments, worship and the pastoral visit. Methods of organising and administering pastoral work are explored and consideration given to methods of training pastoral workers. There is opportunity for application of the teaching to the students’ church ministry through reflection on their own current practice and the observation of others.

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This unit provides an introduction to the process of studying Christian theology. After considering various approaches to the theological task; the unit explores an integrated, theological approach which gives due weight to Scripture, tradition and context. Far from being an irrelevance, such faith seeking understanding is vital to the health and mission of the Christian church. The unit considers various aspects of critical thinking, and illustrates the significance of critical thinking for an academic study of theology. In addition, a range of learning activities provides students with the opportunity to refresh essential study skills or be introduced to them for the first time. These skills are developed through a short formative assignment which forms the basis for the assessed essay expected at the end of the unit. Students are expected to take into account the feedback on the formative assignment as they prepare their final essay.

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This unit introduces students to basic principles of biblical interpretation and translation. It introduces the major literary genres found in the Bible and explores their potential for use in various situations in ministry today. Different contexts in which the Bible is used are examined, with a view to drawing out how that use may be both faithful and effective.

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This unit examines biblical texts related to mission drawn from a variety of genres in both the Old and the New Testaments. Consideration is given to literary, historical, contextual, theological, and missiological issues. Students will be encouraged to reflect critically on these texts and to think through their implications for contemporary mission.

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The unit is designed around the theme of the Word of the Lord in the Old Testament and its relevance for today. It includes sections on:   the nature of the prophetic literature and of prophecy; a survey of the prophetic literature; the message of the prophets; hermeneutical issues involved in preaching the prophets;  the application of prophetic themes to the contemporary context.

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There’s no doubt that knowing some Greek is helpful in our understanding of the New Testament, and this unit is designed to help you learn enough to begin to work at the New Testament text and to understand the commentaries on it which often demand some knowledge of Greek to get the most out of them.  

Language learning is a time consuming business and different students will take different lengths of time to grasp the content of this unit.  The good news is that every effort put in will reap its rewards! Students study the basic grammar and syntax as contained in the textbook, and they learn idiomatic expressions in New Testament Greek.

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This unit introduces some of the key disciplines in biblical studies, and in particular explores the nature of and relationship between the Synoptic Gospels. A range of themes central to the mission of Jesus is discussed, including the kingdom of God, parables, miracles and discipleship. Throughout the unit students are encouraged to let their developing understanding of the story of Jesus inform their own understanding of Christian faith and life, and of the practices of the Church.

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The first half of the unit begins with an overview of Paul’s career and background and goes on to explore the letter genre and assess debates about authorship. In addition, major Pauline theological themes are explored including Christ, Church, salvation, grace holiness and some attention is given to the apocalyptic frame which shaped Paul’s views, not least his expectations of Parousia. In the second half of the unit five shorter Pauline letters are explored with a view to developing exegetical skills as well as knowledge of Paul’s life and thought.

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The unit offers a brief overview of the Gospels, their genre, their origin and context in history and literature, and their use in Christian tradition and preaching. It introduces the Gospels as stories, with special reference to Jesus, the central character, and to the Evangelists’ purpose as authors, and pays attention to the importance of this for preaching. The dynamics of preaching the smaller stories (e.g., parables, miracles, conflict stories, birth / passion / resurrection narratives) is explored, and principles are drawn out by which the Gospel story and stories can be related to the students’ preaching.

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Lectures focus on the task of theology as reflection on the Gospel narrative. An exploration of the biblical foundation of doctrine, its historical development and cultural shaping is rooted in a sustained examination of the Apostles’ Creed. This will facilitate an appreciation of the contemporary, practical implications of Christian belief. A foundation is laid for later units which focus on the nature of theological thinking and the relationship between doctrine and ethics.

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The unit outlines the main developments in the history of Christian preaching by studying selected preachers in the context of their historical background. Their approaches to such matters as the form, content and setting of preaching, and the preacher’s call and qualifications, are examined. Since preaching has been seen as an important agent in Christian formation, the unit also looks at the impact of preaching in the history of the church. A Reader is provided, containing sermons and extracts from texts on homiletics of different periods, and the unit gives students practice in reading and evaluating such material. Throughout the unit, students are invited to reflect on their own situation in the light of what they are learning.

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The unit explores a variety of theological themes, including mission as Missio Dei, incarnation and the Kingdom of God, and a range of biblical themes and passages which form the basis for missiology are considered. There is an introduction to different aspects of mission, such as evangelism and social action, and to contemporary missiological issues, such as contextualisation. Current cultural trends and their implications for mission are considered. 



The unit assumes that most students will be ‘apprentice preachers’ seeking help in gaining better practical skills. An introductory overview of contemporary objections and the need for a theology of preaching lead into a study of communication skills, contrasting skilful public speaking with skilful preaching. Special emphasis is given to the distinctives of preaching, including the ‘call to preach’, the use of Scripture, the role of the Holy Spirit and the preaching context. Students are introduced to different models of preaching and to important practical steps for preaching effectively.

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Students are introduced to the biblical foundations for corporate worship and to the relationship between worship and doctrine. The value of different traditions and styles of worship that exist today is explored. The place and use of symbols, ceremonies and sacraments is examined and the question of freedom and liturgy is studied, with consideration given to the practicalities of leading different styles of worship. The unit includes two additional special units of practical work in which students are able to apply the material they have been studying and preparing.

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The unit begins by evaluating different understandings of the term ‘spirituality’ and seeks to establish a framework within which Christian spirituality can be analysed. Foundational themes in Christian spirituality are considered such as the Bible, prayer, contemplation, the sacraments, holiness and the relationship between the inner and outer dimensions of Christian spirituality. The unit also offers an introduction to some of the main spiritual streams of the Christian faith: Evangelical, Eastern Orthodox, Black and Celtic spiritualities are considered. Specific experiences such as the dark night of the soul are also given attention, as are questions relating to personality and spiritual development. Throughout the unit there is a focus on the practice of Christian spirituality.

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