We want to offer an opportunity where deep theology (the study of God) is taught at the local church level. Not everyone wants to or can go to seminary, but maybe you desire to know more about God and His Word. Then the Theological Institute is for you.
We invite you to take a look at the syllabus below. If you plan to join us after you know what is expected, then email or call one of the teachers below so we can plan for you. We will make sure there is enough food, have childcare for your children, and get you a textbook to read before you come.
Systematic Theology Syllabus
THEOLOGY INSTITUTE PURPOSE
The aim is to create an environment for deeper understanding of God resulting in deeper worship.
John Denby, D.Min. Jonathan Beames, Ph.D.
Phone: (936) 234-3659 (713) 628-9844
We will meet monthly on set Mondays (see schedule below) from 6:00-7:30 p.m.
A light meal and childcare will be provided.
The class will meet in the parlor at Harvest Point Church, 2708 South Street, Nacogdoches, TX 75964. Entrance will be through the main or handicap doors.
Systematic theology addresses the issue of Christian doctrines which the Church has historically understood to be critical in shaping her identity, proclamation, and ministry in the world. It is ‘systematic’ in that it moves issue-by-issue. It is ‘Biblical’ in that it uses the whole Bible as its primary source and final authority. It is ‘historical’ in that it uses classic expressions of Biblical truth as a sounding-board for strengths and weaknesses in how these truths are proclaimed and practiced in the life of the Church. We will emphasize several key truths throughout the semester:
- Theology isn’t about being “Bible-trivia Champ;” its about knowing, loving, and obeying God.
- Faith, hope, love, and humility are the key virtues of a good theologian.
- God is God, and you are not! (Corollary: God is not like you.)
- We should do what we do because we believe what we believe. (Theology matters for ministry.)
The goal of the course is that the student will to learn to think and to act like a Christian theologian. Specifically, this means:
- Students will gain a basic knowledge of key ideas and biblical texts in the field of systematic theology.
- Students will be able to explain theological concepts in a way that someone who is unfamiliar with them could understand.
- Students will be able to discern implications of Christian theology for Christian living and ministry, and evaluate applied ministry strategies in light of orthodox theological commitments.
Christian Theology by Christopher W. Morgan
You will be expected to have read the assigned reading prior to the beginning of class on the day for which they’re assigned. Please note that reading a written text involves reading each word of it with understanding, consulting dictionaries and other sources as needed. Since the texts we’ll be reading together are not “light bedtime reading,” understanding them will require more than merely passing your eyes over the words they contain. It will require active participation from you. To facilitate such participation, I recommend taking careful notes as you read.
Monday, February 20 1. Knowing God
Monday, March 20 2. God’s Revelation
Monday, April 17 3. God the Trinity
Monday, May 15 4. God’s Attributes and Works
August 5. Humanity and Sin
September 6. Jesus
October 7. Jesus’s Saving Work
November 8. Salvation
January 9. The Holy Spirit
February 10. The Church
March 11. The Future
April 12. The Christian Life
- Each student will be expected to share what God is teaching them with someone else outside the class. This can be a spouse, family member, coworker, neighbor, etc.
- In addition to sharing what God is doing, each student will write a summary of the chapter after the class not to exceed one page.
Peter Drucker sums up why these kinds of assignments will be beneficial: “No one learns as much about a subject as the man who is forced to teach it, no one develops as much as the man who is trying to help others to develop themselves. Indeed, no one can develop himself unless he works on the development of others.”
 Peter F. Drucker, Management (New York: Harper Business, 2008), 428