Biblical Studies and Christian Ministries Courses

The Old Testament core requirement (BCM101) and the New Testament core requirement (BCM103) are generally taken during the first year. Both courses are prerequisite to all offerings in this department.

*BCM101 Old Testament History, Literature and Theology (4)
Examines Old Testament history and teaching against cultural, geographical and literary background of Ancient Near East. Archaeology, comparative history and literature; key theological themes foundational to New Testament and Western culture.

*BCM103 New Testament History, Literature and Theology (4)
Examines history and teachings of New Testament in political, social and religious contexts. Highlights important theological themes such as sin, grace, justification by faith, Kingdom of God.

BCM104 Introduction to Christian Ministries (4)
Provides overview of theology, tradition and theory which inform Christian ministries. Introduces nature of church as God's agent of redemption, practical theology as a research method for Christian ministries, and various Christian traditions which support faithful living in response to Gospel. Explores various fields of Christian ministry from specialized populations to specialized contexts.

BCM105 Foundations of Youth Ministry (4)
Examines purpose of youth ministry, youth in modern American culture, needs of youth and their parents, history and future of youth ministry profession, and elements of programming.

*BCM201 Greek I (4)
Introduces fundamentals of Greek of New Testament era. Emphasizes grammar and reading skills.

*BCM202 Greek II (4)
Continues Greek I; extensive reading in Johannine literature of Greek New Testament. Prerequisite: BCM201 (with a C or better) or equivalent.

BCM203 Gospel of Matthew (4)
Examines in detail the first Gospel in light of its literary and historical-cultural milieu. Attention given to the book’s theological distinctives and reception history. Prerequisites: BCM101, 103.

BCM204 Luke/Acts (4)
Studies Christian origins according to Gospel of Luke and Acts of the Apostles. Examines literary features, socio-cultural context and theological themes in narratives. Also comparative analysis of continuity and discontinuity in ministries of Jesus Christ of Nazareth and that of Paul of Tarsus. 
(Alternate years, offered 2014-15.) Prerequisites: BCM101, 103.

BCM205 Corinthian Correspondence (4)
Surveys Paul's correspondence with the Corinthian church, problems arising in the clash of Christian faith with pagan culture, and relevance for today's Church. (Alternate years, offered 2014-15.) Prerequisites: BCM101, 103.

BCM206 Foundations of Urban Ministry (4)
This course is designed to be an introduction to the field of urban ministry studies - a track within the larger Christian Ministries department. The extensive movement of the world’s population to city centers calls for a specialized understanding of the unique challenges of this setting for ministry, evangelism and church planting. This course will seek to introduce the student to theological foundations, insights of urban sociology, and case studies of contemporary urban ministry operations, in an attempt to lay a foundation for further study and experiential exposure to the field. The cities of Lynn and Boston will provide fieldwork exposure for student projects and special guest lecturers.

BCM209 Romans and Galatians (4)
Studies two of Paul's most important letters and their basic Christian teachings against background of current thought concerning problems of sin, guilt, faith and religious experience. Prerequisites: BCM101, 103. 

BCM210 Prison Epistles (4)
Focuses on historical background, structure, theology and message of Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians and Philemon.  Attention also given to issues of authority, literary genre, development of Pauline thought and contemporary relevance of documents studied.  (Alternate years, offered 2014-15.) Prerequisites: BCM101, 103.

BCM211 Pentateuch (4)
Examines in detail history, culture and law of early Israel and the role each played in development of Judaism and Christianity. (Alternate years, not offered 2014-15.) Prerequisites: BCM101, 103. 

*BCM215 Foundations for Global Christianity (4)
Comprehensive introduction to world Christian movement as involved in mission. Course provides systematic and critical understanding based on biblical foundations, historical developments, cultural issues and strategic approaches. Analysis of dynamics of growth of Christian movement from Apostolic era to present day. Fulfills core Global Understanding theme.

*BCM216 Contemporary Developments in World Missions (4)
Analysis of recent developments and debates in mission circles. Addresses issues pertaining to traditional missionary service and tentmaking through teaching, government service, international business and healthcare. Special attention given to major leaders in evangelization of new peoples and nations and to diverse structures of mission outreach. Topics include contextualization, demographic shifts, cross-cultural family life, healthcare overseas, relationship between justice and evangelization, and liberation theology. Fulfills core Global Understanding theme.

BCM220 Introduction to Biblical Studies (4)
Introduces academic study of the Bible and related topics; addresses historical and geographical backgrounds, literary and socio-anthropological approaches to text, selected theological issues and research methods. Prerequisites: BCM101, 103.

BCM225 Preparation for World Missions (2)
Designed to be taken spring prior to students embarking on summer missions trips. Prepares students for cross-cultural summer missions experiences focusing on cultural analysis and sensitivity, and cross-cultural living.

BCM227 Prophetic Literature (4)
Studies history and exegesis of selected writings from prophets of ancient Israel. Views New Testament revelation in relation to and applied to modern thought and contemporary literature. (Alternate years, offered 2014-15.) Prerequisites: BCM101, 103.

BCM232 Biblical Archaeology (4)
Studies archaeological discoveries and documents which shed light on the Bible and its world. Emphasizes Dead Sea Scrolls. Field trips to museums. (Alternate years, not offered 2014-15.)

BCM234 Modern Jewish Culture  (4)
Studies emergence of contemporary Judaism in comparison with biblical Judaism. Traditions in life of a Jew from birth to death. History of Christian-Jewish relations. Numerous field trips and discussions with rabbis. Not open to freshmen. Prerequisites: BCM101, 103.

BCM235 Engaging High-Risk Youth: Transformational Approaches (3)
Provides a comprehensive analysis of juvenile justice ministry, delinquency, and the juvenile justice system. Lays a theological, theoretical and philosophical methodology for working with juvenile offenders to offer opportunities for transformed character. Content grounded in Scripture, research-based evidence on resilience, and transformational change theory. Prerequisites: BCM101, 103. 

BCM236 Juvenile Justice Ministry: The Role of the Juvenile Justice Worker (3)
Critiques transformational character development against incremental self-improvement for the highest at-risk adolescents. Particular attention given to understanding one’s own issues of pain, anger, unmet needs, and prejudice. Explores and critiques 12-step recovery programs and expectations, motivations and pitfalls that occur over the course of such programs. Prerequisites: BCM101, 103. 

BCM237 Juvenile Delinquency and Its Contributing Factors (3)
Explores myriad of complex internal and external risk factors contributing toward delinquency in children. Focused attention given to understanding the impact of dysfunctional family systems, over-stressed communities, learning and mental health issues, racial tension and disproportional minority confinement, gangs, criminal thinking patterns, and various types of addiction and substance abuse issues. Prerequisites: BCM101, 103. 

BCM241 Family and Adolescent Counseling (4)
Examines needs and problems of normal and troubled adolescent experience. Attention given to developing strategy of ministry through counseling.

*BCM253 Leadership Theories and Practice (4)
Surveys variety of philosophies, styles, issues and current challenges for developing leadership in youth ministry. Students challenged to grow as leaders and develop personal philosophy of Christian leadership. Fulfills core Civic Responsibility theme.

*BCM260 Christian Formation in Cultural Contexts (4)
Examines dynamics of Christian formation in adolescence within sociocultural environments of ancient and contemporary worlds. Emphasizes interrelated and distinct stages of faith formation, theological interplay between Christ and culture, and ways culture influences our understanding of God, ourselves and the Church. Prerequisites: BCM101, 103. Fulfills core Human Person theme.

BCM270 Worship: Theology and Practice (2)
Introduction to theological foundations, history and practice of Christian worship, with special reference to basic forms and practices. Designed to help students develop biblical and practical
framework for understanding worship. (Offered alternate spring semesters.) Prerequisites: BCM101, 103.

BCM275 Leadership for Short-Term Missions (2)
Provides overview of leadership principles, philosophy and practice related to short-term missions. Explores biblical theologies of missions, anthropological implications, and various legal and ethical issues related to short-term missions. Prerequisites: BCM101, 103.

BCM277 Future of Youth Ministries (2)
Focuses on broadest possible understanding of youth ministries across cultures and traditions. Students engage in analysis and critique of variety of emerging movements in youth ministries. Course fee and participation at one of national youth ministry conventions required. (Offered alternate fall semesters.) Prerequisites: BCM101, 103.

BCM291 International Seminar: Historical and Geographical Settings of the Bible (4)
Intensive three-week academic field study designed to introduce geography, history and archaeology of Israel. Regional studies, on-site lectures, preparatory lectures on campus and required map work prior to arrival help students apply geographical context of the land to biblical studies. (Summers.) Prerequisites: BCM101, 103.

BCM301 Christian Doctrine (4)
Examines great doctrines of Christian faith. Emphasizes biblical bases of doctrines and application to life of the Church and Christian. (Alternate years, not offered 2014-15.) Prerequisites: BCM101, 103.

BCM302 Old Testament Theology (4)
Jewish roots of Christian faith as developed throughout Old Testament Scriptures. Emphasizes humanity, covenant, Kingdom of God, Messianic teaching, sin, salvation, worship and Old Testament authority. (Alternate years, offered 2014-15.) Core-requisites: BCM101, 103.  

BCM303 Greek III (4)
Requires translation of New Testament Greek materials; emphasizes vocabulary building and mastery of grammar. Prerequisite: BCM202 or equivalent.

BCM304 Seminar in Greek Exegesis: Gospel of Mark (4)
Introduces students to techniques of Greek exegesis through analysis of the Gospel of Mark. Exegesis papers written and discussed. Can be taken for senior seminar credit. Prerequisite: BCM303 or equivalent, BCM101, 103.

BCM305 Development of Christian Thought (4)
Studies historical development of selected doctrines from end of New Testament to Protestant Reformation. Reformation studied through life and teachings of Martin Luther. (Alternate years. Not offered 2014-15.) Prerequisites: BCM101, 103.

BCM306 Christianity from the Reformation to the Present (4)
Traces historical development of Christian theology since Reformation; begins with study of John Calvin; concludes with 21st-century theological issues. No prerequisite. (Alternate years. Not offered 2014-15)

*BCM308 Christian Theology (4)
Introduces key ideas, traditions and people who have shaped the development of Christian theology from antiquity to the present. Considers importance of theology as foundation for Christian thought, as guide to the Church, and as a primary resource for living reflective lives and engaging broader world with the gospel. Prerequisites: BCM101, 103.

BCM310 New Testament Theology (4)
Studies major biblical-theological themes of New Testament: creation/new creation, covenant, salvation, Kingdom of God, Messiah, people of God, life in Christ, etc.  Main focus on Old Testament antecedents of these themes and climactic fulfillment in Christ and New Testament. (Alternate years. Not offered 2014-15) Prerequisites: BCM101, 103.

*BCM311 Hebrew I (4)
Introduces fundamentals of biblical Hebrew; emphasizes grammar, vocabulary and syntax. (Alternate years. Offered 2014-15.)

*BCM312 Hebrew II (4)
Continues Hebrew I; readings and exegesis of selected prose and poetic portions of Hebrew Bible. Exegesis paper required if taking course for senior seminar credit. Prerequisite: BCM311. (Alternate years. Offered 2014-15.)

BCM313 History of Israel (4)
Studies geographical, economic, social, political, cultural and religious changes in ancient Israel from patriarchs to intertestamental period. Includes focus on land of the Bible stressing relevant biblical, historical and archaeological materials that inform our understanding of biblical Israel. (Alternate years. Offered 2014-15.) Prerequisites: BCM101, 103.

BCM314 Survey of World Religions (4)
Surveys major non-Christian religions of the world. Focuses on history, belief structure and relationship to culture; key issues in presenting gospel message to adherents of each religion. Prerequisites: BCM101, 103.

BCM315 Educational Theories and Methods (4)
Investigates historical and contemporary philosophies of education, educational theory, components of curriculum theory; evaluates and critiques published curricular materials, and designs teaching-learning experiences appropriate for Christian ministries. Prerequisites: BCM101, 103.

BCM317 Gospel of John (4)
Studies Gospel of John from number of perspectives, emphasizing literary analysis, historical and exegetical issues as well as theological distinctives. (Alternate years. Not offered 2014-15.) Prerequisites: BCM101, 103.

BCM318 Gender in the Church: Biblical and Theological Perspectives (4)
Emphasizes critical study of Scripture that moves beyond experiential arguments concerning gender issues through historic overview, examining relevant Scripture passages alongside interpretations from various perspectives, outlining possibilities for feminist theology, and exploring contemporary gender issues in the Church. Prerequisites: BCM101, 103.

BCM320 Expository Communication (2)
Explores communication strategy and elements of homiletical theory in effective presentation of gospel message to youth. Opportunities to design and deliver youth talks. Prerequisites: BCM101, 103.

BCM321 Evangelism and Discipleship (4)
Analyzes spiritual decision-making process, communication theory and strategy for contemporary culture, and art of persuasion; spiritual formation and nurture. Incorporates individual experiences in personal evangelism and small-group discipleship. Prerequisites: BCM101, 103.

BCM322 American Christianity (4)
Studies development of Christianity in America from 17th century to today; people (e.g., Edwards, Rauschenbusch) and movements (e.g., Revivalism, Social Gospel Movement, Fundamentalism) which gave it form. Field trips to Boston. Prerequisites: BCM101, 103.

BCM324 Pastoral Epistles (4)
Studies New Testament documents known as "Pastoral Epistles", I and II Timothy and Titus, focusing attention on background and occasion of each book, and, more importantly, structure and theology. Considers issues of authority and contemporary relevance to life of Church. (Alternate years. Offered 2014-15.) Prerequisites: BCM101, 103.

BCM325 Wisdom Literature  (4)
Examines wisdom writings of biblical period in historical and literary contexts to find meaning and practical application to today; Job, Ecclesiastes, Proverbs, Song of Solomon, Egyptian parallels; selected intertestamental writings and New Testament illustrations. (Alternate years. Not offered 2014-15.) Prerequisites: BCM101, 103.

BCM/BUS326 Church and the City (4)
See BOS326 course description. Cross-listed as BOS326. Prerequisites: BCM101, 103.

BCM335 Biblical Hermeneutics (4)
Studies selected critical problems relating to origin, transmission and interpretation of biblical books. Prerequisites: BCM101, 103, 220. Nonmajors require permission of instructor.

BCM345 Effective Juvenile Justice Aftercare Models (3)
Explores theoretical aftercare models after experiencing several active programs in context of community outreach, and court and family advocacy. Analyzes effective case management and evaluation models useful for data collection, funding proposals, and enhancing ministry effectiveness. Models of residential aftercare, discipleship homes, community-based aftercare, and collaboration analyzed in detail. Prerequisites: BCM101, 103.

BCM347 Contexts for Effective Institutional Juvenile Justice Ministry (3)
Focuses on program development within juvenile facilities. Innovative models examined and experienced within local juvenile facility, including Bible studies, drug and alcohol recovery groups, character development programs, retreats and chapel services, with emphasis on spiritual development in juvenile offenders. Students develop strategic program development plan. Prerequisites: BCM101, 103.

BCM360 Christian Apologetics (4)
Introduction to Christian apologetics through critical analysis of theology pertaining to articulation of Christian faith. Challenges students to broaden understanding of what they believe to be true and why they believe it, in order to develop a personal statement of faith and verbally explain and defend their faith in an atmosphere of doubt. Prerequisites: BCM101, 103.

BCM371 Selected Topics (2-4)
Upper-level seminar course focuses on select topics not regularly taught. Designated as repeatable with a different topic. Prerequisites: BCM101, 103.

BCM377 Future of the Church (2)
Focuses on broadest possible understanding of contemporary church. Students engage in analysis and critique of a variety of emerging movements in North American and global churches. Course fee and participation at church leadership conference required. (Offered alternate fall semesters.) Prerequisites: BCM101, 103.

BCM425, 426 Practicum In Christian Ministries I, II (2-6; 2-6)
Involves 400 hours of ministry experience in a church or parachurch setting under supervision of on-site minister. Placements made in summer following junior year or during senior year. Practicum students attend on-campus meetings throughout academic year or are visited by instructor on-site in summer. Repeatable for elective credit if completed in a dissimilar context. International placements may fulfill core Global Understanding theme. Pre- and/or concurrent requisites: BCM105, 241, 253, 260, 320, and 321 or by permission of instructor. International placements may fulfill core Global Understanding theme.

BCM427 Missions Practicum (0-8)
Provides students with eight-week cross-cultural experience overseas. Practicum emphasizes completion of particular missions project under direction of field missionary or missions agency. Must be prearranged and approved by instructor. Prerequisites: BCM215, 216, 225 and 314. Fee.

BCM428 Jewish Studies Concentration Internship (2)
Provides students opportunity to serve within Jewish community, gaining firsthand experience on community projects and learning about Jews and Judaism with purpose of further fostering positive relationships between Jewish and Christian communities. Prerequisites: advance approval by supervising faculty member and registrar, and minimum cumulative GPA of 2.50.

BCM471, 472 Research I, II (2, 4)
Individual research for senior honors thesis in Christian Ministries. Prerequisites: senior standing and permission of supervising faculty member.

BCM491 Senior Seminar in Christian Ministries (4)
Reading and research in selected area of ministry. Integrative experience brings to culmination various facets of ministry; for senior majors or minors. Pre- and/or concurrent requisites: BCM425, 426 or permission of instructor.

BCM492 Senior Seminar in Biblical Studies (4)
Reading and research in selected areas of Old Testament, New Testament or theology. Topics 2014-15: To be announced. Prerequisite: permission of instructor.

*Fulfills Core Curriculum requirement

Interdisciplinary Christian Studies (ICS): Chesterton House at Cornell University

ICS 207 Discipleship and Vocation in the Gospel of Mark – 2 credits
This course examines the themes of discipleship and vocation through the lens of Mark’s Gospel, with particular reference to its historical and cultural context, theological background and message, and narrative styles and themes.

ICS 226 Identity, Community, Vocation – 2 credits
This integrative seminar explores issues of identity, community and vocation, drawing upon philosophical, sociological, and theological readings. Students will also design personally tailored research plans for exploring their skills and sense of calling and then conduct their research alongside their progress through course readings and lectures.

ICS 228 Wisdom and Worldview in the Book of Proverbs – 4 credits
The course is founded on the assumption that people who lived almost three millennia ago are enough like us that their proverbial wisdom has value for us today. Thus, we explore their ideas about the good life, death, faith, education and knowledge, value, desire, culture, vocation, friendship, selfhood, suffering, politics, justice, ethics and law.

ICS 240 Biblical and Cultural Hermeneutics – 2 credits
This course provides an introductory study of hermeneutics and the philosophy of language with a particular interest in interpretation in the church, studying the turn in recent Western philosophy away from problems of knowing (the “epistemological project”) toward those of language and interpretation.