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Christian Leadership - Religion (REL) and Philosophy (PHL)

The Christian Leadership program stresses critical intellectual pursuit in three areas:

  1. Christian theology, Biblical studies and comparative religion:
  2. entrepreneurial leadership skills: and
  3. training in one of five areas of Christian leadership.

The five areas of Christian leadership are:

  1. 1. Ministry to children:
  2. 2. Ministry to youth and young adults:
  3. 3. Church leadership and administration:
  4. 4. Christian mission: witness and service: and
  5. 5. Church planting and renewal.

The Christian leadership program emphasizes spiritual formation and service. All participants in the program are required to participate each semester in a small group for spiritual discipleship and formation. Furthermore, students are required to participate in at least one church-based ministry project as a part of each class in the program.

Major
Christian Leadership

PHL 101 Philosophy of Life  or

 

PHL 220 Introduction to Ethical Issues 3
REL 210 Understanding the Old Testament 3
REL 212 Christian Faith and Practice 3
REL 215 The Life and Teachings of Jesus 3
REL 216 The Life and Letters of Paul 3
REL 299 Special Topics 3
302* Faith and Reason 3
REL 314 World Religions  or  
REL 315 American Religions  or  
REL 360 Death, Dying and Life after Death 3
REL 323 Biblical Interpretation and Proclamation 3
REL 380 Classics in Christian Thought  or  
REL 390 Contemporary Christian Thought  or  
REL 415 Theology of John Wesley 3
REL 461 Travel Seminar  or  
499 Special Topics  (Old Testament) 3
  Concentration 9
  Total 42

*COR 301 Interdisciplinary Investigations I: Faith and Reason can substitute for REL 302.

Students in the College of Arts and Humanities must pass two semesters of foreign language.

Areas of Concentration
Additional courses to be approved by the department chairman.

Entrepreneurial Leadership

BUS 315

Leadership and Communication  or

 

BUS 371

Marketing

3

ENT 225

Entrepreneurial Leadership I

2

ENT 350

Readings in Entrepreneurial Leadership

1

PSL 210

Introduction to Leadership and Public Service

3

 

Total

9

Ministry to Children (Students will be subject to background checks)

EDU 201

Foundations of Education

3

EDU 311

Educational Psychology or

 

PSY 337

Adolescent Psychology

3

PSY 237

Developmental Psychology

3

 

Total

9

Ministry to Youth and Young Adults

PSY 237

Developmental Psychology  or

 

PSY 337

Adolescent Psychology

3

REL 370

Pop Culture and Theology

3

REL 461

Travel Seminar  or

 

REL 240

Sexuality, Spirituality and Loving

3

 

Total

9

Church Leadership and Administration

BUS 315

Leadership and Communication or

 

BUS 321

Organizational Behavior

3

BUS 322

Human Resource Management  or

 

BUS 383

Contemporary Issues  or

 

BUS 373

Advertising

3

COM 325

Introduction  to Mass Communication

3

 

Total

9

Christian Mission: Witness and Service

ECO 336

Economics of Development or

 

HIS 313

Latin American History  or

 

HIS 386

Asian History  or

 

MUS 250

World Music  or

 

POL 354

World Politics

3

GEO 205

World Geography

3

REL 410

Church Growth: Mission and Evangelism

3

 

Total

9

Church Planting and Renewal

BUS 321

Organizational Behavior  or

 

BUS 371

Marketing

3

ENT 325

Entrepreneurial Leadership II

2

ENT 350

Readings in Entrepreneurial Leadership

1

REL 410

Church Growth: Mission and Evangelism

3

 

Total

9

Individualized Concentrations
Opportunities for individualized programs that prepare students for work in areas of worship arts, church-based counseling or church camping ministry can be offered in consultation with the chairman of the religion and philosophy department.

Minor
Christian Leadership

REL 210

Understanding the Old Testament

3

REL 212

Faith and Practice

3

REL 215

The Life and Teachings of Jesus

3

REL 216

The Life and Letters of Paul

3

REL 299

Special Topics

3

REL 302

Faith and Reason  or

 

REL 323

Biblical Interpretation and Proclamation  or

 

REL 461

Travel Seminar  or

 

REL 499

Special Topics  (Old Testament)

3

ENT 225

Entrepreneurial Leadership I

2

ENT 350

Readings in Entrepreneurial Leadership

1

 

A course listed in areas of concentration above

3

 

Total

24

If Christian mission or church planting and renewal are chosen as a minor, the only class acceptable to complete the minor is REL 410 Church Growth: Mission and Evangelism.

Other Programs
Pre-theology
The department seeks to meet the preprofessional needs of people preparing for seminary by offering background courses and a flexible combination of courses in the major that students can pattern to individual types of ministry.  While a great variety is found in the requirements of various theological schools, the American Association of Theological Schools lists these fields where students should have proficiency before entering seminary study.  Below are courses and number of credits recommended for students planning to continue on to seminary.

English

 

 

 

Literature, writing, speech and related studies

 9

 

History

 

 

 

Ancient, modern, European and American

 6

 

Philosophy

 

 

 

Historical development, content and methods

 6

 

Natural Sciences

 

 

 

Physical chemistry or biology

 6

 

Social Sciences

 

 

 

Psychology, sociology, economics, political science and education

18

 

Foreign Language

 

 

 

Some seminaries require biblical language; a modern language is also considered desirable

 6

 

of each language

Religion

 

 

 

Basic knowledge of the Bible with introduction to the major religions of the world

 9

 

Of the possible fields of study for a college major, most theological schools regard these as useful: English, philosophy, religion, history, political science, psychology and sociology.

For certain nontraditional students with significant experience and ability, an accelerated 3-3 program is available in which the first year of seminary counts as the senior year at DWU.  This program links Dakota Wesleyan and Sioux Falls Seminary (SFS) in a cooperative effort to provide an accelerated program of training for certain students pursuing the ministry.  It provides nontraditional students of unusual background and ability the opportunity to specialize their focus and shorten the time of their training.  It is called the 3-3 program because it involves three years of study at each institution.

3-3 Program Criteria for Admittance
The program is intended for students who:

  1. are nontraditional, mature students who have been out of higher education at least five years, who have been in the workforce and are perhaps choosing ministry as a second career;
  2. have considerable experience from participation in, or working in, various phases of the life of the church;
  3. are committed to entering a church-related career; and
  4. have a minimum 3.5 GPA in previous educational background.

3-3 Program Requirements
In the three years at DWU, students must:

  1. be accepted by SFS for pre-enrollment in the 3-3 program;
  2. meet DWU competency skill requirements;
  3. meet all General Education requirements (42 hours);
  4. meet requirements for a minor;
  5. establish senior status by earning 93 credit hours; and
  6. maintain a minimum 3.5 GPA.

Dakota Wesleyan University will accept the first year of courses at SFS as the senior year of study at DWU and as the completion of a Christian leadership major.  At the end of that year the student will graduate from DWU with a Bachelor of Arts degree.

Individualized Majors and Minors
The religion and philosophy department provides opportunities for special interdisciplinary programs that help prepare students to work in other church-related areas.

Course Descriptions
Religion (REL)
101 Philosophy of Life                                                                          3 hours                  F,S
(Refer to PHL 101)

210 Understanding the Old Testament                                                    3 hours                     F
Students explore the basic teachings of the Hebrew Scriptures as represented in the teachings, prophets and poetry of the Old Testament.  This course gives attention to the Old Testament’s meaning in its own historical setting, as well as its connections to the New Testament and Christianity.
General Education: Personal Growth and Maturity

212 Christian Faith and Practice                                                            3 hours                     S
This course will explore the intellectual content of historic Christian faith as it has been expressed in the ecumenical creeds and other features of its intellectual tradition. Students will be immersed in the unique contributions of the three great communions of Christian tradition (Orthodoxy, Catholicism and Protestantism) and in the Wesleyan spiritual tradition that underlies DWU.  The class will outline aspects of Christian spirituality such as prayer, meditation and lectio divina, with a view toward how these beliefs and practices can be re-energizing for contemporary spirituality.                                       
Prerequisite: Consent of instructor. 
General Education: Personal Growth and Maturity

215 The Life and Teachings of Jesus                                                      3 hours                     S
This course examines the Gospels in their historical setting and contemporary significance, and is aimed at understanding what we know about Jesus and the lifestyle he lived and taught.
General Education: Personal Growth and Maturity

216 The Life and Letters of Paul                                                             3 hours                     F
This course examines Paul’s life and letters in the context of the growth and problems of the early churches.
General Education: Personal Growth and Maturity

240 Sexuality, Spirituality and Loving                                                    3 hours                     S
A study of the ethics of sexuality and the values associated with our physical existence, this course examines the basic physiology of human reproduction and discusses emotional and ethical issues surrounding sexual relationships.  The course also gives attention to diverse beliefs about spirituality and sexuality in Judaism, Christianity and their Scriptures.
General Education: Civic Values and Engagement
275 Field Experience                                                                             3 hours            F,S,SU
This is an opportunity for guided experience in local or area churches to explore and become acquainted with various phases of church work.  Students can take REL 275 or REL 450 as part of a regular semester’s program, as a full-time internship during a summer or as a full professional semester.  Only three hours may count toward a major.

299 Selected Topics – Basic                                                                1-3 hours                 TBA

302 Faith and Reason                                                                            3 hours                  F,S
This class will explore the tensions between faith and reason, the reasonableness of historic Christian faith and the tensions between religion and science.   It will shed light on questions concerning belief in God, the scriptures as divine revelation, views on interpretation of the biblical creation stories, science and design inferences from science. 

314 World Religions                                                                             3 hours                 S14
This course is a comparative survey of the major religious systems of the world, both Eastern and Western, with emphasis on those religions currently in practice.
General Education: Cultural and Global Awareness

315 American Religions                                                                         3 hours                 S13
This course is a study of religious groups in America, both historical and contemporary, including a survey of traditional denominations and their beliefs, as well as newer movements and cults.

323 Biblical Interpretation and Proclamation                                         3 hours                 S13
This course will introduce students to best principles and practices for biblical interpretation.  The class will explore the history of biblical interpretation, biblical interpretation as it is practiced within the Bible itself, and various theories of text interpretation. The class will seek to train students in best practices for teaching and preaching the scriptures in a church context.           
Prerequisites: REL 210, REL 215 or REL 216

330 Hellenistic Greek I                                                                          3 hours                  F12
This course is the first half of a study of the Koine form of the Greek language, which was used in the Hellenistic world and in the New Testament. The two-semester sequence will provide a basic reading knowledge of the New Testament, the Septuagint and other early Greek literature. This course is offered directed study and does not count toward a Christian leadership major or minor.

331 Hellenistic Greek II                                                                         3 hours                  S13
This course is the second half of a study of the Koine form of the Greek language.  This course is offered directed study and does not count toward a Christian leadership major or minor.

332 Biblical Hebrew I                                                                           3 hours                  F13
This course will explore the grammar, syntax and vocabulary of Biblical Hebrew in a two-semester sequence with a view toward competency in reading, understanding and interpreting the Hebrew Scriptures. 
Prerequisites: REL 210

333 Biblical Hebrew II                                                                          3 hours                  S14
This course is the second half of a study in the exploration of the grammar, syntax and vocabulary of Biblical Hebrew with a view toward competency in reading, understanding and interpreting the Hebrew Scriptures. 
Prerequisite: REL 332

360 Death, Dying and Life after Death                                                    3 hours                 F12
Students will explore the biological process of dying, the various meanings that cultures attach to death and what different world religions teach about life after death.  The course gives attention to near-death experiences, the process of grieving, and the biblical concepts of immortality of the soul, resurrection of the body and eternal life.
General Education: Personal Growth and Maturity

370 Pop Culture and Theology                                                              3 hours            S13,SU
This course discusses the understandings of God found in all types of media (advertising, celebrities, music, movies, television, fashion, sports, art, and video games).  Advocating neither wholehearted acceptance nor rejection of pop culture, students will analyze critically the media around them.  They will become aware of the “silent shaping” of media in their theology and define a theology of God through it.
General Education: Personal Growth and Maturity

380 Classics in Christian Thought                                                         3 hours                 F12
This survey of the great thinkers in the history of Christian thought examines crucial issues and theological ideas.  These will serve as an introduction to the theological task of learning how to talk about God.  Designed to acquaint students with the Christian heritage, this course also provides a basis for critically assessing the many theological claims in our world today.

390 Contemporary Christian Thought                                                    3 hours                 F13
This course is an exploration of the thought of contemporary theologians and movements.  The objective is to understand the variety of positions and attempt to understand and better communicate religious ideas to people in our own time.  Key religious beliefs and issues will be the focus, with opportunity for discussion and development of the student’s personal understanding.

410 Church Growth: Mission and Evangelism                                        3 hours                 S13
Students will learn various theologies of mission and evangelism and the nature and logic of Christian conversion.  Students will explore the best practices for churches to seek and effectively draw new persons into Christian discipleship in both foreign and domestic contexts. Class limit: 20
Prerequisite: Consent of Instructor

415 Theology of John Wesley                                                                3 hours                 TBA
A survey of the history and theology of the United Methodist tradition, this course begins with John Wesley and the rise of early Methodism, and ends with contemporary thinking and issues in the United Methodist Church.

420 Reading Biblical Greek                                                                   3 hours                 TBA
This course will primarily involve translating biblical Greek texts, discussing syntax, textual variants, shadings of word meaning and interpretive possibilities.  The course will also review intermediate level Greek grammar and strategies and best practices for Greek text interpretation. 
Prerequisites: REL 215, REL 216 and REL 333

424 Reading Biblical Hebrew                                                                 3 hours                 TBA
This course will primarily involve translating biblical Hebrew texts, discussing syntax, textual variants, shadings of word meaning, and interpretive possibilities.  The course will also review intermediate level Hebrew grammar and strategies of interpretation in Hebrew. 
Prerequisites: REL 215, REL 216 and REL 333

450 Practicum                                                                                       3 hours            F,S,SU

460 Independent Study                                                                       1-3 hours                  F,S
Students complete individual work in religious topics.

461 Travel Seminar                                                                             1-3 hours                 TBA
The seminar provides credit for travel on mission trips or visits to important sacred places.  The course includes background reading and evaluative reports.
General Education: Cultural and Global Awareness

499 Selected Topics – Advanced                                                          1-3 hours                 TBA

Course Descriptions
Philosophy (PHL)
101 Philosophy of Life                                                                          3 hours                  F,S
An introduction to the realms of philosophy and religion, this course consists of an examination of values for living and of the variety of systems of meaning that humans have constructed for themselves in answering life’s important questions.
General Education: Personal Growth and Maturity
220 Introduction to Ethical Issues                                                         3 hours                 F12
This course examines ethical decision making in the context of contemporary issues that are a part of our personal and social life, such as lying, sexual morality, capital punishment, war and euthanasia.
General Education: Civic Values and Engagement

305 Biomedical Ethics                                                                           3 hours                 TBA
An examination of the ethical questions that arise in connection with selected biomedical issues, PHL 305 explores issues such as abortion, genetic engineering and euthanasia.  This course is particularly useful for healthcare personnel, those interested in ministry or social work, and others with a general interest in these areas.
General Education: Civic Values and Engagement

352 Political Thought                                                                            3 hours                 TBA
(Refer to POL 352)

381 Business Ethics and Social Policy                                                   3 hours                     S
(Refer to BUS 381)

460 Independent Study                                                                          3 hours                  F,S
Students complete individual work in philosophy.

499 Selected Topics – Advanced                                                          1-3 hours                 TBA

 

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