Biblical Studies Courses


RELI 106 Service Learning Practicum I [1]
Engages the greater community as a practical learning context in which students serve 3-5 hours per week to address issues and topics identified by community partners. Emphasizes servant leadership and the opportunity for faithful Christian witness in word and/or deed. Class sessions provide time for reflection on the service experience with a faculty advisor.

RELI 107 Service Learning Practicum II [1]
Engages the greater community as a practical learning context in which students serve 3-5 hours per week to address issues and topics identified by community partners. A continuation of RELI 106, this course emphasizes reflection on service experiences and the relationship between service and vocation.

RELI 111 The Bible and Worldview [4]
An overview of the Hebrew Bible (Old Testament) and New Testament’s narrative themes and introductory issues; begins with a discussion of textual topics and a review of the historical settings (with their political, cultural, and religious dimensions). The Bible’s major literary units and themes are integrated with worldview (Weltanschauung) issues—such as cosmology, anthropology, the human predicament and redemption/renewal—which are foundational for understanding stewardship of creation, current global issues, and a beginning understanding of diverse worldviews.

RELI 112 Vocation and Formation I [1]
Engages students in intellectual, spiritual and vocational 119 discovery, developing skills that broaden their global perspective, encourage them to think critically, and explore the Christian concept of vocation as a way of life. Through readings, discussion, and reflection, students in this course are equipped to fully participate in the resources offered by Trinity’s Living-Learning community.

RELI 113 Vocation and Formation II [1]
Exploring Vocation and Spirituality: Continues exploration of vocational and spiritual formation with a particular emphasis on service learning, career guidance, and vocational discernment. Prerequisites: RELI 112

RELI 114 Synoptic Gospels [3]
Examines the person, teachings and mission of Jesus Christ, as presented in the three Synoptic Gospel accounts of Matthew, Mark, and Luke. Compares and contrasts the three parallel accounts of the life of Christ, and seeks to highlight the unique voice of each Gospel writer in their telling of the story of Jesus. Issues such as historical context, canon history, and interpretational methodologies are introduced, and prominent themes such as the Kingdom of God and Jesus’ use of parables are explored.

REI 114 Synoptic Gospels Lab [1]
Introduces inductive Bible study methods and Bible study resources to equip faithful interpretive processes. One Synoptic Gospel passage will be studied thoroughly, applying the systematic process. May be met with RELI 215.

RELI 206 / 207 Service Learning Practicum [1]
Provides the opportunity for service learning in the greater community through regular volunteer service (3-5 hours per week) or a focused project (approx. 40 hours). Emphasizes relationship of service to student’s academic and professional interests. May be repeated.

RELI 211 Introduction to the Pentateuch [4]
Explores the first five books of the Hebrew Bible (Old Testament) to impart a deeper appreciation of God‘s great acts in creation and history. Shows God‘s intervention in the lives of God’s people as they respond to God’s faithfulness and love. It further sheds light on God’s self-revelation as Yahweh, and examines God’s covenant relationship with Israel and the greater fulfillment of that covenant in Jesus Christ. Prerequisites: RELI 111 and RELI 114

RELI 212 Introduction to the Prophets [4]
Surveys the whole body of Hebrew Bible (Old Testament) prophetic literature; special attention given to Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and selected minor prophets. Prerequisites: RELI 111 and RELI 114

RELI 213 Introduction to the Writings [4]
Surveys the whole body of Hebrew Bible (Old Testament) writings or Hagiographa, with special attention to the nature of Hebrew poetry, the literary structure and importance for study of the wisdom writings. Prerequisites: RELI 111 and RELI 114

RELI 214 Research Skills for a Digital Age [2]
Developing skills and capacity in computer-aided research by utilizing leading industry-standard software, internet resources, professional online journal databases, bibliographic management software, and related resources to aid research in biblical studies and related fields. Students will explore tools with beginning application through an inductive Bible study portfolio project. Meets RELI 114L

RELI 221 Introduction to Johannine Literature [4]
Explores the Fourth Gospel and letters attributed to John, researching John‘s handling of the divine and human person of Jesus Christ, his call to faith in Jesus’ name, his proclamation of eternal life as a future gift yet already realized in the life of the believer, and his vision of the fulfillment of all things in the person of Jesus. Discernment of several distinctive Johannine motifs that are woven into the literary fabric of the Fourth Gospel. The three letters of John extend the main themes of the Gospel—especially eternal life, abiding in Christ, and love for one another—and apply them to specific controversies faced by Johannine congregations in Asia Minor. Prerequisites: RELI 111 and RELI 114

RELI 222 Introduction to Pauline Literature [4]
A survey of Pauline epistles and their place in the historical missionary activity and church planting of the Apostle Paul and his associates. Principles of reading and interpreting NT letters as Occasional Literature will be explored, as well as prominent theological themes such as the nature of the Church, the meaning of salvation and the central role of the cross in Paul’s theology. Prerequisites: RELI 111 and RELI 114

RELI 306 Biblical Studies Practicum [1]
Provides a major-specific opportunity in Service Learning Practicum to experience a ministry context that may be encountered in professional or volunteer work in the church or community. In consultation with the instructor, select an area of service that provides both challenge and opportunity to further develop ministry skills and competencies. Prerequisite: Junior status and RELI 114. 120

RELI 307 Chapel Planning [1]
In this course students will get hands-on learning experience in the art of “worship curation” by participating in planning and implementing Chapel at Trinity Lutheran College. A worship curator reads the scriptures and the context of their community and then arranges the gifts of that community in the art form known as worship—an interactive experience which is designed to help participants encounter God and to respond in meaningful and transformative ways. This course can be repeated for credit.

RELI 310 Pentateuch [4]
Examines the first five books of the Hebrew Bible (Old Testament) in greater depth and with attention to issues of critical and literary scholarship (such as source, form, rhetorical, canonical, and narrative criticism); and theological themes (such as creation, covenant, historical narrative, and Missio Dei). Students who have completed of one year of Hebrew are encouraged to take this at the 400-level. Prerequisite: Junior status and RELI 114.

RELI 312 Topics in Christian Thought [4]
Involves a lively exploration of key themes, thinkers, and traditions in Christian thought, generally following the outline of the Apostles’ Creed. With special attention to the Loci Communes method of approaching biblical topics, students will develop thoughtful perspectives on the relationship between historic Christianity and church controversies, contemporary religions and ideologies, science, politics, art, architecture, and popular culture. Prerequisites: RELI 111 and RELI 114 and at least one 200-level RELI course.

RELI 323 Prophetic Literature [4]
Examines the whole body of Hebrew Bible (Old Testament) prophetic literature in greater depth with attention to issues of critical and literary scholarship and theological themes; special attention given to Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and selected minor prophets. Prerequisite: Junior status and RELI 114. Students who have completed of one year of Hebrew are encouraged to take this at the 400-level.

RELI 324 Wisdom Literature and Contemporary Reason [4]
Examines writings such as Job, Proverbs, and Ecclesiastes. Probes the theology of Hebrew Wisdom Literature, its relation to Near Eastern Wisdom traditions and the role of Wisdom in the teachings of Jesus and the New Testament. Explores historical and theological contexts of Wisdom Literature, as well as the practical and ethical implications of Wisdom teaching for contemporary Christian living. Important themes include the problem of suffering, principles of decision-making, speech ethics, and character formation. Prerequisite: RELI 114.

RELI 326 The Writings [4]
Examines the whole body of the Hebrew Bible (Old Testament) writings or Hagiographa in greater depth, with attention to issues of critical and literary scholarship (such as source, form, rhetorical, redaction, canonical, and narrative criticism); and theological themes (such as covenant faithfulness, theodicy, identity, exile); with features including Hebrew poetry and wisdom writings. Prerequisites: Junior level and RELI 114. Students who have completed of one year of Hebrew are encouraged to take this at the 400-level.

RELI 331 Acts and Paul [2]
Examines the second of Luke’s two-part work, which presents the continuing work of the Spirit in the early Church,focusing on the course the early Church took as it spread beyond the narrow confines of Palestine and Asia Minor to infiltrate the farthest reaches of the Roman Empire through the missionary labors of St. Paul. Intended to deepen knowledge and trust of Christ for more effective service to Him and the Church. Prerequisite: Junior status and RELI 114. Students who have completed of one year of Greek are encouraged to take this at the 400-level.

RELI 332 Pauline Literature [4]
Examines Pauline theology in greater depth, and surveys the whole body of Pauline literature with attention to issues of critical and literary scholarship and theological themes;special attention given to such pivotal epistles as Romans, 1 and 2 Corinthians, Galatians, Philippians, and Ephesians. Prerequisite: Junior status and RELI 114. Students who have completed of one year of Greek are encouraged to take this at the 400-level.

RELI 334 History of Christianity [4]
This capstone course of the CRUX overviews the impact of historical, religious, cultural, political, and sociological factors upon the development of Christianity from Pentecost to the present. The formation of the Church, Christian institutions, creeds, and thought will be considered in their historical contexts. Prerequisite: Junior status and RELI 114

RELI 336 Hebrews and the General Epistles [2]
Studies the message of several New Testament books- Hebrews, James, 1-2 Peter, and Jude- which appear to have been written to a wider or “general” audience. Hebrews encourages the believer to live with bold and confident trust in Jesus, who is presented as the fulfillment of the Old Testament. James addresses matters of faithful daily living in Christ and insists that “faith without deeds is dead.” 1 Peter is a summary of Christian proclamation and practice. 2 Peter addresses the doctrine of the second coming of Christ. Jude warns against the influence of those who falsify their faith by immoral conduct. Prerequisite: Junior status and RELI 114. Students who have completed of one year of Greek are encouraged to take this at the 400-level.

RELI 337 Johannine Literature [4]
Explores the Fourth Gospel and letters attributed to John, researching John’s handling of the divine and human person of Jesus Christ, his call to faith in Jesus’ name, his proclamation of eternal life as a future gift yet already “realized” in the life of the believer, and his vision of the fulfillment of all things in the person of Jesus. Discernment of several distinctive Johannine motifs that are woven into the literary fabric of the Fourth Gospel. The three letters of John extend the main themes of the Gospel—especially eternal life, abiding in Christ, and love for one another—and apply them to specific controversies faced by Johannine congregations in Asia Minor. Prerequisite: Junior status and RELI 114. Students who have completed of one year of Greek are encouraged to take this at the 400-level.

RELI 340 Women of Faith [2]
Explores the history, theology, and ministry of women from Biblical to current times. Examines ways that Scripture and the Western Christian Tradition have shaped the lives and experiences of women, with an introduction to feminist hermeneutics Prerequisite: Junior status and RELI 114.

RELI 344 History of Christianity [4]
This capstone course of the CRUX overviews the impact of historical, religious, cultural, political, and sociological factors upon the development of Christianity from Pentecost to the present. The formation of the Church, Christian institutions, creeds, and thought will be considered in their historical contexts.

RELI 345 Early Christian Church and Patristics [2]
Studies the history of the Christian Church from its earliest post-biblical roots in the second century through the Patristic Fathers of the early seventh century. Focuses on the writings of the post-canonical collection of letters and didactic treatises known as The Apostolic Fathers. Follows two different yet concurrent paths of development of the Eastern (Greek) and the Western (Latin) church identities. Special attention given to the Council of Nicea and its ecumenical creed. Prerequisite: Junior status and RELI 114.

RELI 355 Christian Spirituality: Practicing Our Faith [4]
Aids spiritual growth by (1) laying a biblical and theological foundation for approaching spirituality, (2) investigating the major traditions of spirituality in the Christian church and some of the classics of devotion, and (3) enabling and guiding the construction of a personal Christian spirituality for today. This module explores the history of Christian spirituality. Prerequisite: Junior status and RELI 114.

RELI 371 The Book of Revelation [2]
Explores the apocalyptic literature of the Bible, especially Daniel and Revelation, an extension of prophetic literature that calls God’s people to patient endurance in difficult times and gives hope for the future. Explores various ways of interpreting these books. Prerequisite: Junior status and RELI 114. Students who have completed of one year of Greek are encouraged to take this at the 400-level.

RELI 385 Dean’s Circle [1]
A seminar-based course in which students and the Academic Dean explore pressing academic issues of the day. Topics have included critical theory, contemporary fiction, holocaust studies, secularization, digital technologies, etc. Associated with the Dean’s Circle scholarship.

RELI 406 Biblical Studies Practicum [1]
Provides a major-specific opportunity in Service Learning Practicum to experience a ministry context that may be encountered in professional or volunteer work in the church or community. In consultation with the instructor, select an area of service that provides both challenge and opportunity to further develop ministry skills and competencies. Prerequisite: RELI 306.

RELI 410 Exegesis in the Pentateuch [4]
Examines the first five books of the Hebrew Bible (Old Testament) in greater depth and with attention to issues of critical and literary scholarship (such as source, form, rhetorical, canonical, and narrative criticism) and theological themes (such as creation, covenant, historical narrative, and Missio Dei) while integrating prior learning in the biblical Hebrew language. Prerequisite: Junior status and RELI 114; completion of one year of the Hebrew language.

RELI 423 Exegesis in Prophetic Literature [4]
Examines the whole body of Hebrew Bible (Old Testament) prophetic literature in greater depth with attention to issues of critical and literary scholarship and theological themes while integrating prior learning in the biblical Hebrew language; special attention given to Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and selected minor prophets.; special attention given to Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and selected minor prophets. Prerequisite: Junior status and RELI 114; 400-level requires completion of one year of the Hebrew language.

RELI 426 Exegesis in the Writings [4]
Examines the whole body of the Hebrew Bible (Old Testament) writings or Hagiographa in greater depth, with attention to issues of critical and literary scholarship (such as source, form, rhetorical, redaction, canonical, and narrative criticism); and theological themes (such as covenant faithfulness, theodicy, identity, exile) while integrating prior learning in the biblical Hebrew language; with features including Hebrew poetry and wisdom writings. Prerequisites: Junior level and RELI 114.

RELI 432 Exegesis in Pauline Literature [2]
Examines Pauline theology in greater depth, and surveys the whole body of Pauline literature with attention to issues of critical and literary scholarship and theological themes while integrating prior learning in the biblical Greek language; special attention given to such pivotal epistles as Romans, 1 and 2 Corinthians, Galatians, Philippians, and Ephesians. Prerequisite: Junior status and RELI 114; 400-level requires completion of one year of Greek.

RELI 433 Contemporary Theology [4]
Focuses on theologians and movements of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. An introduction to the challenge of continually relating the Christian faith to a changing world. Prerequisite: Junior status and RELI 114.

RELI 434 Contextual Theology and World Christianity [2]
Identifies contemporary issues in world Christianity and the rise of the “global south.” Provides focused introductions to the movements of current importance, such as Pentecostalism and representative indigenous Christian movements. Studies the way local communities and culture groups receive the Christian faith, apply its message to their life contexts, and voice its relevance through writings and traditions. Areas of special focus will be: theological approaches, models and criteria for contextual theologies; understanding how to respond to multiple expressions of the Christian faith within the one worldwide church, and case studies in contextual theology.

RELI 435 Theology of the Cross [2]
A biblical perspective of the Lutheran Theology of the Cross and freedom in Christ will be based primarily upon the book of Galatians with an analysis of Martin Luther’s interpretation found in A Treatise on Christian Liberty (1520). This foundation will be examined in light of contemporary applications in Christian life and faith. Prerequisites: Junior level and RELI 114.

RELI 437 Exegesis in Johannine Literature [4]
Explores the Fourth Gospel and letters attributed to John, researching John’s handling of the divine and human person of Jesus Christ, his call to faith in Jesus’ name, his proclamation of eternal life as a future gift yet already “realized” in the life of the believer, and his vision of the fulfillment of all things in the person of Jesus while integrating prior learning in the biblical Greek language. Discernment of several distinctive Johannine motifs that are woven into the literary fabric of the Fourth Gospel. The three letters of John extend the main themes of the Gospel—especially eternal life, abiding in Christ, and love for one another—and apply them to specific controversies faced by Johannine congregations in Asia Minor. Prerequisite: Junior status and RELI 114; 400-level requires completion of one year of Greek.

RELI 451 Missional Theology [2]
A mission-focused survey of Scripture provides the framework from which this course engages students in theological and vocational reflection that is integrated with previous coursework and internship experiences. Following a seminar format, students will engage God’s Word with their newfound perspectives on the world, and vice versa. Students will research the theological and missiological import of a topic pertinent to their academic and vocational interests, and also will develop a personal “theology of mission.” Prerequisite: Junior status and RELI 114.

RELI 471 Exegesis in Book of Revelation [2]
Explores the apocalyptic literature of the Bible, especially Daniel and Revelation, an extension of prophetic literature that calls God’s people to patient endurance in difficult times and gives hope for the future. Explores various ways of interpreting these books. Prerequisite: Junior status and RELI 114; 400-level requires completion of one year of Greek.

RELI 490 Seminar in Biblical Hermeneutics [4]
Intended for pre-seminary students but open to all; Introduces current issues and tools of biblical interpretation. Examine both historical critical methodology and more recent approaches to interpretation. Explore the assumptions behind modern methods and the possibilities and limits of their use. The working presumption is that the Bible is a human word that can be studied with the aid of literary tools and is, at the same time, God’s word through and through, calling God’s people to reverent listening. Prerequisite: Junior status and REI 114.

RELI 499 Integrative Biblical Seminar [2]
A capstone course, intended for pre-seminary students but open to all. Individual research, faculty and student presentations, and seminar-style discussions to explore biblical theology in an integrative and comprehensive manner. Designed to be taken during the senior year, this course draws upon the student’s accumulated learning in general studies, biblical studies, and theology to provide an opportunity to engage in integrative creative thinking around biblical and theological themes. Prerequisite: Senior status.

RELI 492 Theology and Philosophy Thesis or Capstone Project [4]
Work with an internal and external supervisor to research, write, and defend a written thesis, or conduct and report on a supervised capstone project. Special attention will be given to graduate school application and preparation, as well as career preparation. Prerequisite: Senior status.

RELI 499 Integrative Biblical Seminar [2]
A capstone course, intended for pre-seminary students but open to all. Individual research, faculty and student presentations, and seminar-style discussions to explore biblical theology in an integrative and comprehensive manner. Designed to be taken during the senior year, this course draws upon the student’s accumulated learning in general studies, biblical studies, and theology to provide an opportunity to engage in integrative creative thinking around biblical and theological themes. Prerequisite: Senior status.