Course Schedule Year A 2014-2015


Classes are taught in three patterns:

  • Foundation courses (3 units): meeting on a weekday evening; 7:00 – 9:40 p.m.
  • Practicums (1 unit): these classes include the opening fall retreat and courses that meet on a weekday evening 6 times/semester; 7:00 – 9:10 p.m.
  • Intensives (2 units): meeting in January and June.

The Master of Divinity degree is 72 credit units.
Required courses: 59 credits – Elective courses: 13 credits.

The Master of Arts degree is 36 credit units.
Required courses: 31 credits – Elective courses: 5 credits.

Course Locations: As a student-centered seminary, locations will be determined by what is most convenient to the majority of enrolled students. Locations will be finalized no later than one month prior to the start of each course. NTS West is pleased to have partner congregations who have agreed to host classes on their campuses in Los Angeles, Long Beach, Santa Ana, Claremont, Riverside, La Canada, Studio City, Tustin, and Westwood.




September 8 – December 12

[14 weeks with no classes Thanksgiving week]

Opening Retreat

Elizabeth Nordquist
Practicum; Required Course for M.Div.; 1 Unit

The Opening Retreat will introduce students to the distinctive NTS West emphasis of theological education as spiritual formation. In our student-centered seminary, the retreat is an opportunity for students to get to know one another at the beginning of their course work. Various faculty and staff will present the learning/teaching strategies of the seminary, especially our emphasis on continually connecting the dots between theory and practice. Come prepared to participate with fellow students in the discernment of God’s presence in this new chapter in your life.

The Opening Retreat is a required course for entering M. Div. students, and open to entering M.A. students.


Introduction to the Hebrew Bible

Jin Hee Han (NYTS)
Foundation; Required Course for M.Div. and M.A.; 3 Units

This course presents an overview of the First Testament/Hebrew Bible commonly known as the Old Testament with a particular emphasis on the formation of the biblical literature and the background of the culture and history of ancient Israel. Special attention will be paid to the literary structure of the biblical narrative and the social history of the biblical tradition. Implications for theological reflection and ministry will also be explored.

Hybrid Online Course with New York Theological Seminary (NYTS); one or more face to face class sessions with the professor.


The Gospel of Luke

Madelon Maupin
Practicum; Required Course for M.Div. and M.A.; 1 Unit

Our immersion in the Gospel of Luke will have a dual focus. We will read the content of this Gospel with a focus on its key themes in presenting Jesus Christ as Lord of history and the Christian’s exemplar. The seminar will give attention to the political, sociological, and geographical context of the first century CE. We will also work together on how one might facilitate the learning and teaching of Luke for different audiences. Wherever you are on your journey with the Bible—you are welcome.


A Spirituality for Busy People

Shelley Irvine and Rob Tribken
Practicum; Required Course for M.Div. and M.A.; 1 Unit

This Practicum will examine how people with time-driven schedules, multiple commitments, and family, vocational and cultural challenges, make time in their lives for God. Students will be invited to examine the “real” world in which they live–work, study and worship–as well as their own “habits of the heart.” Working together we will identify particular ways in which our spiritual life can be nourished as we seek to live “in” Christ. Through creative class dialogue, informal community interaction, and selected readings, we will “stitch together a context” for understanding how busy people encounter and are encountered by the Holy Spirit.


Reading and Teaching the Bible in a Multicultural World

Christine Blair
Practicum; Required Course for M.A.; 1 unit

In reading the Bible, our native cultures are lenses through which we read and understand God’s Word for us. In Southern California, our congregations have members from diverse cultures. How do their cultural differences shape biblical interpretation? How do we read and teach the Bible faithfully while honoring cultural differences? In this seminar we will deepen our appreciation of the Bible and our understanding of the role of culture in shaping our reading and teaching of biblical texts. Our goal is to work together to develop strategies for finding unity amid diversity.



INTENSIVE January 5 – 30

Judaism, Christianity, Islam: Related Religious Traditions

Reinhard Krauss
Intensive; Required Course for M.Div; 2 Units

The course offers an analysis of the complex interrelatedness of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. The aim is to present these religions as living traditions whose historical origins, current interactions, and future development is the dynamic context for ministry in the multi-religious world of Southern California. To acquire a grasp of the internal ethos of each of these traditions, renowned scholars and recognized leaders will be guest presenters.

The course culminates in a forum in which scholars of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam engage in a “Trialogue” to explore the commonalities and differences on a key issue of common concern. This forum is open to the public.




February 2 – May 15
[14 weeks with no classes during Holy Week]

Introduction to the New Testament

Efrain Agosto (NYTS)
Foundation; Required Course for M.Div. and M.A.; 3 Units

This course is an introduction to the canonical writings of the New Testament [Second Testament] with particular attention to narrative and epistolary genres. Each document of the New Testament will be surveyed for its historical background, basic structure, and overall message. Some attention will be given to reading strategies for various genres of the New Testament.

Hybrid Online Course with New York Theological Seminary; one or more face to face class sessions with the professor.


Faith-Rooted Organizing

Alexia Salvatierra
Foundation; Required Course for M.Div.; 3 Units

Faith-Rooted Organizing (FRO) offers an alternative to standard community organizing approaches in that it is shaped and guided from the ground up by the deepest beliefs and values of the Christian faith. FRO is designed to enable Christians to contribute our unique gifts to the broader movement for justice. Since the 1930’s, organizing movements for social justice have largely been built on assumptions that are secular in origin – such as reliance on self-interest and having a common enemy as the primary motivation for change. But what if we as Christians were to shape our organizing around all the implications of the truth that God is real and Jesus is risen? This model of organizing emerges directly from our Christian conviction and helps faith leaders to lead their congregations into “whole gospel discipleship” integrating evangelism, direct services, community development and community organizing as expressions of God’s love for the world. Students gain practices and tools that help inspire the church to work for a just, equitable and sustainable world.


1 Corinthians

Peter Hintzoglou
Foundation; Required for M.Div. and M.A.; 3 Units

The purpose of our study of 1 Corinthians will be to help us become acquainted with the content of the letter in its cultural, socioeconomic, and historical context. We will consider Paul’s teaching on the person of Christ, the nature and unity of the church, his theology of the Holy Spirit, spiritual gifts and the leadership of the church. Our purpose will be to examine what the text says, and also what it means, that is, how does it apply to the church’s ministry and witness today. A component of our study will involve reflection on how to study the text (principles of Biblical interpretation) and how to apply the ancient text with relevance to the context of today.

Women Christian Mystics

Janna Gosselin
Foundation; Required for M.Div. and M.A.; 2 Units

Women Christian Mystics offers a deep and rewarding study of women who until recently were forgotten or neglected. Catholic mystics Hildegard of Bingen, Julian of Norwich, and Teresa of Avila, as well as lesser known Protestant women Anna Maria van Schurman and Lillian Stavely, write out their feminine experience and their sense of God’s presence and the practices they develop from these encounters. In each session we will engage in a spiritual practice derived from these women mystics as we seek to enrich our own understanding of and connection to God.

The Psalms

Jeff McCrory
Foundation; Required for M. Div. and M.A.; 3 Units;
Course Teaser; 1 unit

The Old Testament Book of Psalms is perhaps the most important book of the Bible for ministry. The New Testament quotes the Psalms more than any Old Testament book. Jesus shapes his Kingdom work from the Psalms. The church’s worship and spiritual formation takes root in the Psalms. In this seminar we will learn together: (1) the content, literary features, and theological message of the Psalms, (2) the historical and cultural setting of the Book of Psalms (3) how to interpret various psalms moving from a psalm text to whole Bible context and then to our context (4) to pray and sing the Psalms for worship and spiritual growth.


Elements of Successful Leadership

James R. Appleton
Intensive; 1 Unit.

This seminar will develop a definition of leadership that comports well with Christian values and translates into practical application. It will provide a clear understanding of the elements required for successful leadership in churches and organizations and will enable participants to develop ways to be more effective in real case situations important to them. The objectives of the seminar: to enable participants to further develop the skills of leadership and gain the confidence to exercise effective leadership.

The seminar will meet May 30 and June 6; enrollment will be limited to 25 students.


The Book of Daniel

Jin Hee Han (NYTS)
Intensive; Required for M.Div. and M.A.; 2 Units

In this course, we will study literary, historical and social readings of the book of Daniel. Other apocalyptic writings, including the book of Revelation, will be examined in light of sociological dynamics that are believed to shape the apocalyptic. Theological and political implications of contending interpretations of Daniel will also be explored.

Hybrid Online Course with New York Theological Seminary.