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This research program focuses on Hebrew Bible and Early Christian (canonical and apocryphal) literature. Students in this concentration will have competence to teach undergraduate and graduate courses in the languages, literature, history, and religion of ancient Israel and early Christianity. In addition to teaching competencies, graduates will be prepared to conduct research and scholarship in biblical studies. Students may specialize in select areas of either Hebrew Bible or the New Testament and their cognate literatures.
Application in this concentration presupposes a minimum of one year of Hebrew and one year of Greek, along with demonstrable usage of each language within the last three years. The application process for this concentration also requires a research paper in biblical studies, preferably an analysis of a biblical text, and it assumes general background in biblical literature and history.
Students develop a study plan in consultation with their advisors. Prior to advancement to degree candidacy, students in the Biblical Interpretation (BI) concentration are expected to have acquired a thorough mastery of both Hebrew and Greek. Proficiency in these languages is assessed in the preliminary interview.
The concentration in Religion and Psychological Studies (RPS) has two emphases: (a) Religion and Behavioral Sciences and (b) Pastoral Theology and Care.
The Religion and Behavioral Sciences track is designed to help persons explore the relationship of behavioral sciences, personality theory, and religion. Students in this track will be prepared to do research and teach in the fields of religion and personality and psychology of religion. Graduates from this track would, therefore, be in a position to teach at the college, university, or seminary level in the general field of psychology of religion. Successful degree candidates will be conversant with other disciplines and methods of inquiry in religious studies.
The Pastoral Theology and Caretrack is designed to train persons critically and constructively to relate theological and psychological resources to spiritual/pastoral care, clinical work, teaching, and research in the field of pastoral theology and care. The stipulations of this track are consistent with the membership requirements of the American Association of Pastoral Counselors. This track is not designed to prepare persons to meet the requirements for licensing as clinical psychologists, though many of the courses have been used as a partial basis for licensure in the State of Colorado as a Professional Counselor.
The concentration in Religion and Social Change (RSC) is an interdisciplinary research program focusing on the relation of religions and societies. Religion functions sometimes to conserve values in the midst of change; sometimes to inhibit urgently needed change, and sometimes to empower and motivate qualitative change. The concentration provides a scholarly context for pursuing descriptive, analytic and constructive examination of these complex interrelationships between religions and societies. A commitment to explore the ways religious thought may contribute to responsible engagement with contemporary societal and global challenges is a major dimension of this concentration. A critical aspect of this exploration is the systemic whole of globalization within which particular contexts and problems are located.
Academic disciplines especially germane to this interdisciplinary concentration are social sciences (e.g. sociology, anthropology, international studies); religious, intellectual and cultural histories; and critical reflection (ethics, philosophy, theology, cultural theory). An assumption of this program is that the interrelationships of religions and societies are most fruitfully understood through a combination of descriptive, historical and critical theories and methods.
The Theology, Philosophy, and Cultural Theory (TPCT) concentration comprises four subfields:
Students graduating from this concentration will have developed competency to teach at least one undergraduate course in each of the four subfields. They will also be prepared to do research, publish, and teach in their subfield of specialization. Admission into this concentration presupposes a master's degree with an appropriate background for study in the subfields.