Course Descriptions


PHIL101 Introduction to Philosophy
An introduction to the issues and methods of philosophy. Topics to be covered may include the nature of morality, arguments concerning the existence of God, free will and determinism, and knowledge and the challenge of skepticism. Credit 3 hours.

PHIL120 Ethics, Society and Choices
In this course students will develop an understanding of some of the primary moral theories of the Western tradition and reflect on the ways these theories may or may not help sort out some of the difficult moral issues that are prominent in contemporary society. Students will develop their skills in critical thinking and ethical reasoning as they strengthen their ability to analyze, evaluate and construct arguments having to do with topics in ethics. Students will enhance their writing skills as they articulate a specific position on a specific ethical issue. Credit 3 hours.

PHIL221 History of Philosophy
A survey of basic concepts and arguments of the major western philosophical systems. Key figures and systems surveyed include, but are not limited to, the ancient Greeks, the Existentialism, Pragmatism, and Postmodern philosophy. Attention will be given to the historical and cultural context of each system of thought. Credit 3 hours.

PHIL227 Logic
Methods of language analysis and deductive inference. Credit 3 hours.

PHIL320 Philosophy of Religion
An inquiry into the general subject of religion from the philosophical point of view. Among the specific questions considered are: the nature, function and value of religion; the validity of the claims of religious knowledge; the nature of evil; and the existence and character of deity. Credit 3 hours.

PHIL322 Ecology and Ethics
This course introduces students to the discipline of environmental ethics. In particular, this course provides philosophical reflections on human and non-human animals, nature, and technology. We will consider what it means to act and think morally within the natural world, and we will explore models and narratives aimed to provoke our moral imaginations. Credit 3 hours.

PHIL324 Sports Ethics
Sports ethics is a scholarly discipline that investigates questions regarding the moral frameworks required for thinking about the actions and motivations of athletes and coaches within sports, as well as spectators who enjoy watching and talking about sports. Credit 3 hours.

PHIL331 Political Philosophy
This course deals with the essence, origin, and value of the state. The justification of governmental authority, the social sources of power, and the competing conceptions of human nature are among the issues considered. Students will be exposed to several classical sources, including Machiavelli, Locke, Hobbes, and Rousseau. Credit 3 hours.

PHIL437 Professional and Business Ethics
An approach to the ethical challenges of a modern business society. The course will utilize case studies and the expertise of professionals working in the various area of business as well as the moral reasoning of ethicists. Course procedures include oral and written communications, group interaction in class, group project, and a major presentation. Cross-listed with Business. Credit 3 hours.


REL 120 Ethics, Society, and Religion
In this course students will develop an understanding of some of the primary moral theories of the western tradition and how these theories are manifested similarly and differently in the context of the three Abrahamic religions of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. Students will reflect on ethical reasoning in these respective religions on different topics under three broad categories (1) personal matters, (2) social matters and (3) last things. Students will develop their skills in critical thinking and ethical reasoning as they strengthen their ability to analyze, evaluate and construct arguments having to do with topics in ethics. Students will enhance their writing skills as they articulate a specific position on a specific ethical issue. Credit 3 hours.

REL 124 Introduction to Youth Ministry
An exploratory course that introduces students to the necessary concepts and skills related to youth ministry. The course includes observation in local church and/or para-church youth ministry settings. Credit 3 hours.

REL 130 Introduction to the Church
An introduction to the history of Christianity from the New Testament period to the present. A balance is struck between doctrinal and institutional aspects of the church. Attention will be given to broader contexts so that students get a sense of Christianity’s relationship to culture, particularly in the West. Credit 3 hours.

REL 142 DISCIPLE Bible Study 1
A survey of the Old Testament with individual and group exercises in Christian formation. Students must be members of the Discipleship Southwestern team to enroll in this class. Credit 0-1 hour.

REL 143 DISCIPLE Bible Study 2
A survey of the New Testament with individual and group exercises in Christian formation. Students must be members of the Discipleship Southwestern team to enroll in this class. Credit 0-1 hour.

REL 201 Introduction to the Bible
A survey of the narrative content of both major sections of the Bible (Old and New Testaments). Although the emphasis for this course falls on basic, “big picture” narratives, students will also be introduced to proper methods of the interpretation of Scripture, as well as questions that observant believers have regarding divine revelation, inspiration, and canonical authority. Credit 3 hours.

REL 202 Introduction to Biblical Interpretation
A study of the process of biblical interpretation. Attention will be given to the nature of Scripture as both a religious artifact that claims divine revelation and authority and a historical document written by humans in specific times and places. Students will be introduced to and will apply the various forms of biblical criticism to the text. Prerequisite: REL 201. Credit 3 hours.

REL 220 Introduction to Christian Theology
An investigation of the unity and diversity of religions in light of the relevance of religion in general and Christianity in particular to human needs and problems. Credit 3 hours.

REL 221 Hebrew 1
This course comprises the first half of a two semester study regimen and has been designed to provide an introduction to Biblical Hebrew. The range of topics will extend from learning the alphabet to beginning to master the first few paradigms of the verbal system. Credit 3 hours.

REL 222 Greek 1
This course comprises the first half of a two semester study regimen designed to provide an introduction to Biblical (Koine) Greek. Tasks will include learning the alphabet, several grammatical paradigms and vocabulary. Credit 3 hours.

REL 224 Adolescent Spirituality
A course exploring age-relevant existential questions concerning belief in God, religious experience, and young people’s relationships to the church and to each other. It includes an introduction to spiritual disciplines associated with the Christian faith. Credit 3 hours.

REL 225 Comparative Religions
An introduction to the major world religions (Hinduism, Buddhism, Confucianism, Taoism, Islam, Baha’i, Judaism, Christianity), their major teachings and practices, and their demographic make-up in the contemporary world. Credit 3 hours.

REL 242-243-342-343-442-443 Discipleship
This course is a reading and spiritual formation activity through covenant groups related to the Discipleship program. Enrolled students must be members of the Discipleship Southwestern team. Credit 0-1 hour.

REL 307 Worship Planning
An investigation of the many facets of worship, with a special emphasis on the role of integration in the worship planning process. Credit 3 hours.

REL 321 Hebrew 2
A continuation of REL 221, focus will center on vocabulary development, grammar and reading pointed (Masoretic) Biblical Hebrew. Prerequisite: REL 221 or consent of instructor. Credit 3 hours.

REL 322 Greek 2
A continuation of REL 222, focus will fall on building vocabulary, grammar, and the translation of New Testament texts. Prerequisite: REL 222 or consent of instructor. Credit 3 hours.

REL 335 History of American Christianity
A survey of American Christianity set in the larger context of world history. It invites students to explore the role Christianity has played in North America in shaping (as well as being shaped by) cultural characteristics of the United States. Cross-listed with History. Credit 3 hours.

REL 337 History of Methodism
An introduction to the general characteristics of Methodism, focusing on the United Methodist Church in the United States. Beginning with John Wesley, it moves to the history of American Methodism, considers doctrinal controversies and changes, surveys denominational structures and touches upon contemporary issues. The course provides an overall introduction to the history, doctrine, and polity courses required for seminary students planning to enter United Methodist ministry, but is accessible to all students interested in gaining familiarity with this denomination. Cross-listed with History. Credit 3 hours.

REL 359 Practicum in Music Worship
Students gain experience in planning and leading worship. Prerequisite: Consent of department head. Credit 1 to 5 hours.

REL 444 Senior Discipleship Project
This course provides engagement in a student-centered, theological content related learning experience that serves as a capstone course for students in Discipleship Southwestern. Students will explore the relationship between belief and practice. Learning will be demonstrated through reading, reflective writing, group discussions, and a final comprehensive project. Credit 3 hours.

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