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Course Descriptions

Acts of the Apostles

This course involves a verse-by-verse treatment of the biblical book. Additionally, background information is evaluated regarding authorship, date of writing, place of writing and canonicity. The establishment and early history of the church for which Jesus died is chronicled. The New Testament fulfillment of Old Testament prophecies about the kingdom is emphasized. Important biblical doctrines that appear in the Book of Acts are highlighted, relating to the resurrection of Christ, redemption, verbal inspiration, authority in religion, congregational organization and worship upon the first day of the week. Several Bible characters are noticed, including the significant contributions of the apostles Peter and Paul. The evangelistic quality of the Book of Acts is not overlooked, but practical implementation in contemporary settings is urged. Also, a film extolling archaeological efforts in Asia Minor visually acquaints the student with the current terrain there and it’s past biblical history. Students are required to memorize outstanding Scriptures that doubtless they will use often in their ministry over the years. Further, students are afforded the opportunity for oral homiletic exercises in class where they can employ what they learn from the Book of Acts.

Bible Geography, Archaeology and Sacred History.

This course interweaves 4,000 years of sacred history with the geographical locations in which the biblical events occurred. Extensive archaeological references (including slides and films) undergird the biblical evidence. Proficiency with maps of the biblical world is emphasized. Biblical chronology with significant events and dates highlighted is impressed upon each student. This course provides the preaching student with an essential foundation on which he is expected to build throughout all his biblical classes and life-long study.

Christian Evidences I (The Existence of God)

This course consists of acquainting the student with that which serves as the basic foundation for the case of Christianity, viz. (1) the law of rationality and the laws of thought, (2) the essentiality of logic, and (3) the logical proof which necessitates the conclusion that God exists. Emphasis is given to the validity of general revelation (in the world and man) as proof that God exists.

Christian Evidences II (The Inspiration Of The Bible)

This course aims to establish (1) the necessity and probability of special revelation, (2) the proper role of reason in identifying special revelation, and (3) the logical argument which proves that the Bible is the word of God. Emphasis is given to identifying the list of characteristics which individually and collectively necessitate the conclusion that the Bible is the word of God.

Christian Evidences III (The Deity of Jesus Christ)

This course seeks to (1) establish that Jesus of Nazareth lived as a real historical person and (2) set forth the evidence from His person and work which prove that He is the Son of God. The evidence for the Deity of Christ is presented within the framework of a logical argument which involves the premise that His person and work are beyond human invention.

Church History

The course gives a general summary of Church history from its beginning in the 1st century to the present day. The study follows developments in Church history, primarily looking at its unfolding in Western civilization as it began in the Ancient era, continuing through the Medieval period, through the Reformation and into Modern times. The student who successfully completes the course will have an introduction to the leading doctrines, figures and institutions of Church history. The student will have insight into the meaning and purpose of Christianity as it has unfolded through the centuries and have an acquaintance with the various social and historical forces which have influenced and shaped Christianity. In addition, the student will be familiarized with the various resources available for further study in Church history.

First Corinthians

This course involves a verse-by-verse treatment of the biblical book. Additionally, background information is evaluated, including authorship, date of writing, place of writing and canonicity. This study impresses upon the student the real conflict between the divine ideal for the Lord’s church and the reality of its imperfect, human membership. Yet, error is not condoned but to be corrected to make Christians and the church they comprise pleasing to God. The several doctrines enumerated throughout the epistle are carefully studied, including unity versus division, human wisdom versus divine wisdom, sexual sins, miracles, the resurrection, and New Testament worship. A film helps the student visualize the biblical surroundings and history relative to the city of Corinth. Students are required to memorize outstanding Scriptures that doubtless they will use often in their ministry over the years. Further, students are afforded the opportunity for oral homiletic exercises in class where they can employ what they learn from the book of First Corinthians.

Second Corinthians and James

This course involves a verse-by-verse treatment of the biblical books. Additionally, background information regarding each book is evaluated, including authorship, date of writing, place of writing and canonicity. New Testament doctrine in Second Corinthians is carefully examined, including the replacement of the old law with the gospel, righteousness, apostolic authority, judgment, Christian living and service, and worship. Also, the exemplary life of service by the apostle Paul in the face of great adversity is duly noted. New Testament doctrine found in the book of James is reviewed, too, including temptation to sin, trials, the gospel as law, Christian service, biblical faith, sins of the tongue, Christian living and service, prayer and evangelism toward erring Christians. The book of James is also favorably compared with other New Testament biblical books that treat some of the same material. Students are required to memorize outstanding Scriptures that doubtless they will use often in their ministry over the years. Further, students are afforded the opportunity for oral homiletic exercises in class where they can employ what they learn from the book of Second Corinthians and James.

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The Book of Daniel & Premillenialism

Daniel was taken captive as a youth to the land of Babylon where he was trained to serve in the court of Nebuchadnezzar, the great king. He lived through the entire seventy years of Captivity and into the reign of Cyrus the Great of Persia. During this time God revealed to him many great and wonderful prophecies of the coming King who would set up a Kingdom which would surpass all the kingdoms of men. Daniel and his book come under great attack by the liberal theologians because of the accuracy of his prophecies. The book of Daniel is a rewarding study.

The doctrine of Premillennialism is one of the most widespread among religious people in the United States. Some estimate that between 75-85 percent of Protestant denominations believe this doctrine. The purpose of this course is to study the history of Premillennialism with its basic tenants and show from the Holy Scriptures that it is indeed a false doctrine which will destroy the soul eternally unless one repents. It is a contradiction to the Scheme of Redemption revealed in the Bible. The student will have a more complete understanding of Bible prophecy and the kingdom of Christ after this study.

Denominational Doctrines/World Religions

The course requires 60 hours of classroom instruction, involving an in-depth look at some of the major religious denominations today in light of New Testament teaching. Consideration is given to organization and to some of the primary doctrines held by these groups.

English Grammar I & II

English Grammar, with particular emphasis on spoken English, is considered a necessary tool in preaching from the English translations. It is the conviction of the Hillview Terrace eldership, the administration and faculty of the West Virginia School of Preaching that every preacher be thoroughly prepared in all aspects of spoken as well as written communicative skills. The structure, grammatical marking, parsing and diagramming of sentences are studied in considerable detail. Composition of bulletins and pertinent articles for publication in brotherhood and secular periodicals is encouraged. Also, time is devoted to spoken English in which brief public discourses are made and critiqued by peers and faculty members.

Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, & Philemon

These prison epistles of the great apostle Paul are four of the thirteen books in the New Testament that are directly attributed to him. The book is a great spiritual primer and gives us many insights into the spiritual side of Christianity. Paul explains to us that Christ died to make it possible for us to sit in heavenly places in Christ. The book of Colossians deals with the second heresy to come up in the apostolic period of the church. Paul is dealing with a form of Docetism that has Judaism mixed with it, and therefore has some of the aspects of the mystical as well. Philippians is a book which expresses Paul's love and optimism to the church at Philippi. Probably no church was as dear to Paul as was this one. As we do with the book of Hebrews, we make a very careful study of the English text of this book. Philemon is the study of Paul's attitude toward the master of a run-away slave by the name of Onesimus, as well as Paul's attitude toward the slave. The instructions in this book are great for making an applicationas to how those who are enemies of Christ can find reconciliation in Christ.

Ezekiel

The study of the book of Ezekiel is critical to one's understanding of a number of Bible themes.  As can be argued of all the books of the Bible, Ezekiel teaches general themes that are timeless and consistent with all other Scripture.  From a historical perspective, Ezekiel provides prophetic insight into the post-exilic period, along with the other prophets of his day.  In a special sense, Ezekiel is of help in introducing the student to the notion and style of apocalyptic writing, a distinct style of highly figurative writing (not necessarily unique to the Bible).  Having at least a general grasp of apocalyptic writing can prevent many common misunderstandings, including (but not limited to) errors in interpreting Revelation.  As is appropriate with all textual courses, the preaching student will be expected to gain a knowledge of the contents of the book as it applied to its first readers, to gain a better understanding of the style of writing, to make applications of principle to Christian life, and to learn to preach effectively from it.

General Biblical Introduction

The course involves a careful study of Revelation, Inspiration, and Canonicity. The study sets forth evidence that Revelation plus Inspiration equals the Bible (R + I = B). Evidence is set forth to prove the conclusion that the Word of God is the final, written Revelation from God and that man is amenable to the Bible. The student is introduced to the fact that God has two books of Revelation: General (nature) and Special (Bible). Man can come to know God through His general Revelation, but can only know how to obey God through His special Revelation, the Bible. While Revelation is the message, Inspiration is the method by which God used “Holy men” to inscripturate the Holy Scriptures. Canonicity examines how and why only sixty-six books compose the Bible in order to give man a complete, final canon. This tripartite study provides sufficient evidence to show the inerrant, inspired, authoritative Word of God is in man’s possession. Part of one class period is used to study why the Apocrypha books, in the Roman Catholic Bible, are not a part of God’s Old Testament.

Genesis and Exodus

This is a textual survey of Genesis through Exodus. Content includes introductory material for each book, textual outline, historical background, and enduring principles. Since much of the Bible is predicated upon the foundation truths found in these early chapters, creation and deluge evidences are heavily emphasized. Also, rather than dismissing skeptical theories, we learn to disprove and dismantle them.

The Godhead

The class involves a 60 hour study of the Godhead with an emphasis on the part Each has played and does now play in the atonement in all of its facets, including conversion and the Christian life. The nature of Each Person of the Trinity is studied with the atonement as central to an understanding of the righteousness of God, of grace, faith and morality. This will include a comprehensive view of God's purpose in Christ; of the work of Christ as Spirit in conversion and in the production of Christian doctrine to guide the church in Christian work and worship, and to guide the Christian in the abundant life in the home, in the church and in the world. An effort will be made to use biblical terminology and to avoid speculation regarding those things not specifically revealed by the Holy Spirit through the Word.

Hebrew History I, Joshua – 2 Samuel

This class covers the books of Joshua through 2 Samuel (including parallel material from 1 Chronicles). This is a study of the periods of conquest of Canaan, the judges, and the united kingdom. Our first objective is to learn facts from these historical events, and then to investigate the proper application of them in the Christian age. Questions of textual integrity are also considered in light of external evidence.

Hebrew History II, 1 Kings – Esther

In this class, we study the historical books of 1 Kings through Esther, including the divided kingdom, the captivity, and the restoration periods. Our primary goal is to know the text, but historical and introductory data which may help to enlighten it are also emphasized. The successes and failures of this dramatic period teach unmistakable and invaluable lessons, thus we seek to apply these principles whenever appropriate.

Hebrews

The book of Hebrews deals with the great concerns of the Christian priesthood and the matter of living by faith. Early Christians converted from the Jewish system were perilously close to reverting to old, no-longer-authorized ways. The treatise is written to show them in logical form how Christ's way is superior in every way to the Old Covenant. We aim to study paragraph by paragraph and verse by verse, while gaining the big picture of the flow of argumentation. Practical application to those situations where modern religionists try to carry over items from Old Covenant times is emphasized.

Hermeneutics

God did not create man and leave him without obligations. Obligations grow out of our actions, which are the product of our attitude. No individual can properly understand and correctly teach the Bible unless he understands the rules of hermeneutics or interpretation. While “faith” comes by hearing God’s Word (Rom. 10:17) and we are to “walk by faith” (2 Cor. 5:7), the Christian student must learn how God authorizes through command, account of action (“example”), and expediency. Only when the student understands how God authorizes can he be certain about anything he says or does in the realm of religion.

Homiletics I

This course is the first in a series, the focus of which is the preparation and delivery of sermons. Homiletics I is foundational with regard to the ultimate objective of preaching (i.e. to be approved of God), the basic qualification for the preacher (i.e. character) and the major task of the preacher (i.e. to proclaim the Gospel of Christ). Emphasis is also given to a definition of biblical preaching and the essential elements of a sermon.

Homiletics II

This course helps provide the student a practical awareness of sermon design and delivery by explaining and providing laboratory experience in the art of outlining sermons. Emphasis is given to a biblical definition of topical and textual preaching, and the student is given opportunity to outline and deliver several of both types of sermons.

Homiletics III

Expository preaching is the total emphasis of this course. The challenge, preparation, explanation, structure, and delivery of the expository sermon are basic elements of this study. The student is provided opportunities to prepare and deliver expository sermons with the objective of leading him to an understanding of the potential power of this method of declaring the word of God and motivating him to become an expository preacher.

Homiletics IV

This is a practical course of the study of “The Preacher and His Work.”  The course is divided into three sections: (1) The Preacher’s Service based on a thorough exegetical study of 1 Timothy 4:12-16. (2) The Preacher’s Library and Study is based on the preacher being a man of one Book—the Bible. This section entails a detailed study of the importance of how to build, develop, and organize all of the preacher’s tools in his library. A booklist suggesting valuable books for the preacher is available to the student. (3) The Preacher’s Life and Work is a thorough study of the personal life of the preacher, his wife, and his family. This involves both his work with the local congregation and his personal life in relation to his wife, his children, and his work. Extensive study covering the areas of the church bulletin, writing, counseling, weddings, funerals, visitation, taxes, record keeping, contract, etc., are given to help the student in his ministry.

The Book of Isaiah

Isaiah was the statesman prophet giving counsel and admonition to rulers and kings and rebuking a sinful nation urging them to come back to God or face the consequences of Divine wrath. This lengthy book of sixty-six chapters is the most Messianic of all the prophetic books. It gives great insight into God’s unfolding Scheme of Redemption through the coming Christ and His Kingdom. The student will appreciate and respect this great prophet and his book when the study is completed.

Jeremiah and Lamentations

The course involves 60 hours of classroom instruction. Jeremiah is one of the most prolific writers in the Old Testament. We believe that history books of the Kings and Chronicles were written by this great man, as well as the book that bears his name, and the one that bears the name which means a dirge or a song of sadness. (The latter two books were written by the hand of Jeremiah’s faithful servant Baruch, rather than by the prophet himself.) Jeremiah is one of the most unusual characters of all time. From the reign of Josiah until the fall of Jerusalem, a period of about forty years, he preached to the people concerning the great danger from the north which was Babylon. Even though the Babylonian army made three visits to Jerusalem before she finally fell, still the people would not accept the fact that the holy city of the Jews would fall, and she would do so because God wanted to punish her for her rebellion and idolatry. Jeremiah was resisted by the Jews on every hand just as Ezekiel was resisted by the Jews who had already gone into captivity in Babylon. Jeremiah wrote the book of Lamentations, which is a series of poems lamenting the fall of the city of Jerusalem. In both these books, as well as in Ezekiel, God promised that the children of Israel would someday return to their homeland. In the book of Jeremiah there are several beautiful prophecies of the coming of Christ and of the Christian era. During the quarter, we give a paragraph-by-paragraph study of these great books.

The Book of Job

The Book of Job is widely recognized by many as one of the most unique books of the Sacred Scriptures. It ranks among the great literary masterpieces of all time. The purpose of this course of study is to enable the student to develop an understanding of the basic message of the Book of Job and a deep appreciation of how this book contributes to the completeness of the biblical revelation. These goals are accomplished through a chapter by chapter textual study of Job as well as special studies concerning such relevant topics as suffering, the devil, evil, Christology in Job, and the date and authorship of Job. Each student is required to research a relevant topic related to the Book of Job and write a thorough report of his research in an 8-10 page paper.

The Book of John

The Gospel of John is the last written account of the life and ministry of Christ. John selectively writes of signs, wonders and miracles which are designed to bring the reader to believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God and the Savior of the world. Your appreciation for this great book will grow and your faith in Jesus will be firmly established as you study this Gospel account by John the apostle.

Leviticus – Deuteronomy

In this textual survey of Leviticus through Deuteronomy, introduction, history, text and principles are studied. In this brief time period, we study the wilderness wandering and the giving of God’s law through Moses. This class emphasizes not only the specifics of the law, but also the nature of it and the principles it teaches. We also learn evidence which supports the traditional integrity of the text.

Life of Christ

The purpose of this course is to harmonize the textual accounts of the Synoptic Gospels (Matthew, Mark, and Luke) by assembling the details of the text into a chronological sequence with the ultimate aim of encouraging a deeper understanding and love for Jesus Christ. The primary resources used to accomplish this task are the classic volume, The Fourfold Gospel, co-authored by J. W. McGarvey and Philip Y. Pendleton, and The Life of Christ, 1-2, A Supplement by David L. Roper. With these resources the student is challenged by more than 2000 pages of material on the life of Christ. In addition to a thorough textual study of the Synoptics, special studies are conducted on crucial selected topics such as Source Criticism, Form Criticism, Redaction Criticism, and the genealogies of Jesus.

Marriage and the Family

The course involves 30 hours of classroom instruction. Study for this class begins with responsibly choosing a mate for life. The material covered emphasizes what the Bible teaches about marriage, divorce and remarriage with analysis of many currently held errors in this regard. The practical applications of this study deal with the topics of husbands, wives, parents, children, conflict resolution and family finances.

The Minor Prophets

No study of the Bible is complete without a study of the prophets. The prophets of the Old Testament were God’s spokesmen delivering His word without fear or favor. The Twelve Hebrew Prophets are wonderful sources of information and inspiration. The prophets show that God rules in the kingdoms of men (a message sorely needed by modern men). This study will cover each of the Minor Prophets verse by verse. It will strengthen your faith and put zeal in your preaching!

The New Testament Church

The course involves 60 hours of classroom instruction. Covered in this class are the nature, origin, mission, membership, government, identity and worship of the New Testament church. The closing lessons draw from the examples of several churches recorded in the New Testament. The texts of the Bible relating to each section are considered with an attempt to familiarize the student with the New Testament church.

New Testament Greek for Beginners

The course involves 120 hours of classroom instruction. This course is designed with a holistic emphasis on the Koine Greek of the New Testament. The course covers the Greek alphabet, verbs, nouns, adjectives, prepositions, the article, moods, participles, and infinitives. In forty weeks of study the student is introduced to textual criticism, morphology, word study, syntax and discourse. The goal of this study is to enable each student to read from the actual Greek text, translate from the original text and utilize the Greek study tools and commentaries available for such work. This course aims to produce a workable knowledge of Koine Greek to enhance one’s exegesis and exposition of God’s Word. One does not leave this course a scholar; however, one will leave with a solid foundation to be a student of New Testament Greek for a lifetime.

Personal Evangelism & Prayer

This is among the most practical and foundational courses available to the Bible student. It gets to the heart of the work of a preacher which is the saving of lost souls. During thirty hours of classroom study, this course endeavors to instill within the student a zeal for evangelism, as well as equip him with the proper tools and methods which will help him to be effective. The student will learn how to set up and teach home Bible studies. The textbook for this course is the Bible and the student will leave with a greater knowledge of the Scriptures.

First Peter — Jude

This course of sixty classroom hours covers the epistles of Peter, John, and Jude. These six epistles (sixteen chapters) provide a wealth of instruction for today’s Christians and a multitude of sermons for today’s preacher. Emphasis is placed on understanding these epistles as intended for their original recipients, as well as how they apply today.

Proverbs and Ecclesiastes

The course involves 60 hours of classroom instruction in two of the great books of Wisdom Literature. The course involves a careful study of the text with an emphasis on the practical nature of these two books for man today.

Psalms & Song of Solomon

This course, containing sixty hours of in-class instruction, provides the student with a better understanding of Hebrew poetry which is necessary for proper study of these two Old Testament books. The primary focus of the class will be upon the examination of the biblical text. Student expectations will include preparing a notebook, writing sermons, and memorizing portions of text. These two books are deep wells of knowledge which can more than satisfy the thirst of the eager student.

The Restoration Movement

The course gives a general account of Restoration history from its background in the Reformation to its present state. The focus of this study is on the attitudes toward Scripture which have shaped and continue to shape the Restoration plea. Upon completion of the course the student will have a useful and practical introduction to the leading figures, publications, and institutions in the American Restoration movement. The student will gain insight and focus as to the meaning and purpose of the plea for restoring New Testament Christianity so that recognition of the real worth and significance of the Restoration concept will be gained. The student will also become acquainted with the various resources available for further research in Restoration history.

The Book of Revelation

This textual study of the book of Revelation compares apocalyptic literature of the Old Testament, and considers the use of figurative language.  The class seeks to understand the meaning to the original readers and then question how it applies to today's audience.  A survey of different views on Revelation is afforded.  The student will be encouraged to think carefully, and interpret this difficult book in light of other, more plainly understood passages of Scripture

 

Romans and Galatians

The course involves 60 hours of classroom instruction, during which each verse is examined. These two books go hand in hand in studying both briefly, and in depth, the problems that faced the early church so far as the Jews and the Judaizers were concerned. Both these books teach that one is no longer guided by the Law of Moses, but by the glorious Gospel of Jesus Christ. It can be said that the theme of both these books is that "The Just Shall Live by Faith." Paul points out that the Gospel is for everyone, both Jew and Gentile, and that it is the Christian people who are God’s chosen ones, and no longer the Jews because they have descended from Abraham. Very careful attention is given to the many arguments in both these books that "The just shall live by faith," and not by fleshly descent, or by the law of Moses. The study of these books is intentionally slow, so that the student has the opportunity to grasp the fullness of the arguments that Paul makes in these books.

Song Leading

This course establishes the basic fundamentals of non-instrumental music in the worship. Since psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs are commanded of each of us in the worship it is without a doubt an act that should be done to the best of our ability. We are fortunate to be in an age where so many tools are at our disposal and this class is designed to assist the average singer/song leader, as well as make him aware of those tools available. Through this quarter we will learn the timing, pitch, notes, and theory behind the songs that we sing as well as gain a better understanding of the vital role singing plays in the worship service.

I Thessalonians-Titus

The course involves 60 hours of classroom instruction, during which each verse is examined. The Thessalonian epistles detail the New Testament doctrine concerning final things. Particular interest is shown in sermon outline and presentation of these letters from Paul. Also, mock Bible study classes offer the students a forum in which they may gain practical experience in fielding a myriad of questions and comments covering this subject material. The epistles to Timothy and Titus serve to further emphasize the character and responsibilities of evangelists.