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Master of Arts in Biblical and Theological Studies

  • OT/NT 600 Advanced Hermeneutics. This course surveys the history of biblical interpretation and addresses issues in contemporary hermeneutics. The contribution of literary genre, linguistics, history, theology and culture to the hermeneutical task is considered. Specific topics in hermeneutics, such as lexical semantics, textual criticism and Ethiopian Orthodox hermeneutics, are also explored. MABTS Core Course

    OT 601 Advanced Hebrew In this course, students will read significant amounts of the Hebrew of the Old Testament to reinforce the basic grammar and vocabulary learned in Hebrew 1 and 2. Further, the course is designed to build the student’s grammar and vocabulary to an intermediate level. The student will also be introduced to and become acquainted with the BHS, the standard critical edition of the Hebrew text, and to HALOT, the standard Hebrew lexicon. Pre-requisite: Hebrew 1 and 2. Old Testament Concentration Core Course.

    Old Testament Background Courses

    OT 602 Old Testament History and Background. Students examine the cultural and social background to the Old Testament as well as the development of Israel’s national history within the Old Testament period.

    OT 603 Old Testament Theology: Selected Issues and Themes. Students examine various issues of method in doing Old Testament Theology and selected themes within Old Testament Theology that are of particular significance for understanding the canonical significance of the Old Testament or are of special relevance to Ethiopia.

    OT/NT 604 Intertestamental Literature. This course examines various books of the Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha and/or other Jewish literature of the Second Temple Period,
    enabling students to grasp key historical elements of the period. The world-views, beliefs and values of different Jewish groups are considered, and selected issues of historical and theological relevance are examined. Students discover the extent to which an understanding of Second Temple Jewish texts can inform and illuminate the reading of the New Testament.

    OT/NT 605 Septuagint and New Testament Use of the Old Testament. This course introduces students to the field of Septuagint studies. Attention is given to Septuagint history, text criticism, translation technique, and use within Ethiopia. In addition, this course examines the various ways in which the New Testament makes use of the Old Testament. Particular concern is given to text form, exegetical technique, intertextuality, the significance of the use of the Old Testament for New Testament theology, and the theological relationship of the Old and New Testaments.

    Old Testament Exegetical Courses

    OT 606 Hebrew Exegesis: Selected Texts. This course is an introduction and orientation to Hebrew exegesis of the Old Testament, using selected texts from various genres of the Hebrew Bible to illustrate and practice method.

    OT 607 Pentateuch: Selected Texts. This course guides students through an exegesis of selected texts which are of particular importance in understanding the Pentateuch or which have special significance to the Church in Ethiopia.

    OT 608 Prophetic Literature: Selected Texts. This course guides students through an exegesis of selected texts which are of particular importance in understanding the Prophetic Literature or which have special significance to the Church in Ethiopia.

    OT 609 Wisdom Literature: Selected Texts. This course guides students through an exegesis of selected texts which are of particular importance in understanding the Wisdom Literature or which have special significance to the Church in Ethiopia.

    OT 610 Historical Books: Selected Texts. This course guides students through an exegesis of selected texts which are of particular importance in understanding the historical books of the Old Testament, or which have special significance to the Church in Ethiopia.

    Other

    OT 611 Special Topics in Old Testament Studies. This course takes advantage of specialized knowledge of visiting lecturers in specific aspects of Biblical Studies.

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  • NT/OT 600 Advanced Hermeneutics. This course surveys the history of biblical interpretation and addresses issues in contemporary hermeneutics. The contribution of literary genre, linguistics, history, theology and culture to the hermeneutical task are considered. Specific topics in hermeneutics, such as lexical semantics, textual criticism and Ethiopian Orthodox hermeneutics, are also explored. MABTS Core Course

    NT 601 Advanced Greek This course aids students in reading and exegesis of the New Testament, by facilitating a greater understanding of Greek grammar, syntax and exegesis. Pre­requisite: Greek 1 and 2. New Testament Concentration Core Course

    New Testament Background Courses

    NT 602 The Mission of Jesus and the Rise of Early Christianity. This course explores the mission of Jesus and the rise of early Christianity, and enables students to understand early Christianity as an eschatological, messianic and missionary movement, marked from its earliest stages by diversity but unified in its perception and presentation of itself as the divinely intended development of Israel’s history. Students gain an appreciation of the fundamentally historical nature of Christian faith and of the reliability of the New Testament documents as a record of historical events within this period.

    NT 603 New Testament Theology: Selected Issues and Themes. This course deals with important and relevant issues and themes within the New Testament, rather than a comprehensive presentation of New Testament Theology. Issues related to methodology in New Testament Theology are discussed, and selected themes that are of special relevance to Ethiopia are explored, such as Christology, possession and exorcism, wealth and poverty, Paul’s understanding of Law and justification, and the issue of apostolic ministry in the New Testament and today.

    NT/OT 604 Intertestamental Literature. This course examines various books of the Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha and/or other Jewish literature of the Second Temple Period, enabling students to grasp key historical elements of the period. The world-views, beliefs and values of different Jewish groups are considered, and selected issues of historical and theological relevance are examined. Students discover the extent to which an understanding of Second Temple Jewish texts can inform and illuminate the reading of the New Testament.

    NT/OT 605 Septuagint and New Testament Use of the Old Testament. This course introduces students to the field of Septuagint studies. Attention is given to Septuagint history, text criticism, translation technique, and use within Ethiopia. In addition, this course examines the various ways in which the New Testament makes use of the Old Testament. Particular concern is given to text form, exegetical technique, intertextuality, the significance of the use of the Old Testament for New Testament theology, and the theological relationship of the Old and New Testaments.

    Exegetical Courses

    NT 607 A Synoptic Gospel. After examining the various interpretive and critical methods of importance to the study of Synoptic Gospels, students are guided through an exegesis of one of the Synoptic Gospels with special attention given to issues of relevance to the Church in Ethiopia.

    NT 608 Romans Students are guided through a detailed exegesis of Romans with reference to their historical setting, the various key theological themes presented, and to their theological significance for the church in Ethiopia.

    NT 609 1 and 2 Corinthians. Students are guided through a detailed exegesis of the Corinthian letters with reference to their historical setting, the various rhetorical and social scientific approaches to the letters, and to their theological significance for the church in Ethiopia.

    NT 610 Revelation. This course undertakes detailed exegesis of the book of Revelation, giving special attention to its historical setting, genre and theological significance for the Church in Ethiopia.

    NT 611 Hebrews Students are guided through a detailed exegesis of Hebrews with reference to its historical setting, the various key theological themes presented, and to their theological significance for the church in Ethiopia.

    NT 612 Special Topics in New Testament Studies. This course takes advantage of specialized knowledge of visiting lecturers in specific aspects of Biblical Studies.

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  • ST 600 Foundations for Christian Theology. This course equips students with a basic knowledge of the crucial philosophical and methodological issues underlying the practice of Christian theology today. The influence of Greek philosophy, Enlightenment modernism and contemporary postmodernism on theology will be addressed, as well as crucial questions in epistemology such as the relationships between faith and reason, general and special revelation, faith and doubt, theology and science. Throughout the course, students are confronted with core questions to help them better comprehend and articulate the philosophical assumptions that undergird their own theology, especially assumptions embedded in our Ethiopian cultural context. MABTS Core Course

    CH 600 History of the Church in Africa. This course gives an overall view of the Church in Africa from the early churches in Egypt, Ethiopia and Nubia to church formation owing to the expansion of Europe, mainly Portugal and the Jesuit order. The nature of the planting of the church in Africa by western mission agencies, before, during and after the period of ‘high imperialism,’ is explored. Ancillary to European colonialism within Africa, a study of African internal colonialism, vis a vis Ethiopia’s Menelik II and the planting of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church in Wollega and Southern Ethiopia is pursued. The effects of Italian colonialism in Ethiopia are also considered. The phenomenon of African Initiated Churches is analyzed as well as autonomous churches and mission-church problematic. An effort is made to explain the enormous church growth in Africa and the growth of today’s Pentecostalism in African churches. MABTS Core Course

    Theology Courses

    ST 601 Doctrines of God and Humanity. This course investigates how God has been understood theologically over the last 20 centuries. The doctrine of the Trinity is given special emphasis as the integrating theme for knowing God. Modern challenges to classical theism including liberation theology, process theology, open theism, African theology and religious pluralism are explored. Theological understandings of creation, especially in relationship to
    modern science, humanity in the image of God, and human sin are also addressed. Care is taken to relate these topics to the Ethiopian context wherever possible.

    ST 602 Issues in Christology. This course addresses the history of the Christological debates in Ethiopia and current evangelical responses to Orthodox Christology. Other contemporary approaches to Christology and their impact on Ethiopian evangelical churches are also explored. Pre-requisite: ST 600 Foundations for Christian Theology

    ST 603 Issues in Pneumatology . This course seeks to address contemporary issues within the fields of Pneumatology faced by Christians in Ethiopia. Students are given opportunity to identify and analyze specific issues in light of Scripture and recent theological works.

    ST/MI 604 Theology of Mission Students explore the historical trends of global mission theologies to which the Ethiopian churches have been exposed. These are evaluated in light of biblical theology and may include topics such as church growth, contextualization, the Great Commission as obligation, power encounter and evangelism. There is an attempt to evaluate actual expressions of theology of mission in Ethiopia in terms of worship, song and literature.

    ST/MI 605 Contextualized Theology in Ethiopia. This course is intended to enable students to give personal and local expression to the theology they have grasped, by doing theology themselves that is biblical, historical and relevant to present day Ethiopia, rather than being simply the recipients of a finished product. Included is discussion of varieties of religious phenomena, including folk religion, and how these religious phenomena are defined, meet human needs, and their missiological implications. Special emphasis is placed on methodologies of contextualization.

    ST/CH 606 Reformation History and Theology. This course seeks to place the origins and development of Protestant theologies within their historical context. Medieval Roman Catholicism and the ’causes’ of the Reformation are explored. The courses of various movements for reform throughout Europe, including the Roman Catholic ‘counter-Reformation,’ are charted. The careers and emphases of reformers such as Martin Luther, Huldrich Zwingli, Menno Simons and John Calvin are examined. The great reformation themes of justifying faith, sovereign grace, the primacy of scripture, the role of Sacraments and the purpose of the Church are studied in depth.

    ST 607 Comparative Theologies of the Sacraments This course addresses the ways in which differing views of the Sacraments create discussion and division between Orthodox, Catholics and evangelicals, as well as among evangelical denominations. Differing views of the Sacraments are studied in light of larger issues of ecclesiology and the subsequent self- understanding of the various churches that hold them. There is no attempt to promote one position, but to enable each student to see his/her own views in relation to the views of others, with the goal of working toward greater understanding, particularly among Evangelical churches in Ethiopia.

    ST 608 African Theology In this course we discuss the concept of African Theology. What significant characteristics for such a theology are there and how has the discussion of it developed? More cultural approaches like John Mbiti’s and Charles Nyamiti’s groundbreaking works, voices of Black Theology like Desmond Tutu, African Liberation Theology and

    Reconstruction Theology voiced by Jesse Mugambi, and feminist perspectives like Mercy Amba Oduyoye are compared. The role of ancient African theology is discussed in light of later independent African theology from the 1950’s and forward. Theology from different parts of Africa, the North, West, East and South, are presented. The shifting evaluation of African Initiated Churches and the role of a growing Pentecostalism is analysed within a general African religious background. The challenge to African theology as to its public role is considered.

    ST 609 Advanced Studies in Christian Ethics. The aim of this course is to acquaint students with the moral vision of the New Testament and how this vision can be applied to current ethical issues. On the basis of this biblical teaching, various contemporary issues with relevance for Ethiopian churches are discussed, with the aim of preparing students to help Ethiopian churches find their own ethical basis and give their own answers to contemporary moral issues.

    ST 610 Special Topics in Theological Studies. This course takes advantage of specialized knowledge of visiting lecturers in specific aspects of Theology.

    ST/MI 616 Pastoral Theology and Leadership This course offers both a theological and practical foundation for pastoral ministry by reflecting on the theological resources for Christian ministry and how they inform and guide the daily life of a pastor or Christian worker. Significant time will be devoted to theological perspectives on practical concerns arising from a variety of issues of spiritual leadership, including case studies offered by students.

    History Courses

    CH 601 The Evolution of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church with special reference to Church and State relations. In this course we follow the evolution of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church from its beginning in the fourth century until today. It enables students to understand the complex interdependence between church and state beginning with Constantine (Rome) and Ezana (Axum). Because the Ethiopian Orthodox Church has experienced over 1600 years of interdependence with the state, this course attempts to assess critically the strengths and weaknesses of this lengthy relationship and the implications for Christianity within Ethiopia since the official separation of church and state. Special attention is given to the EOTC contact with other churches, Catholic orders and various missions from abroad. The EOTC interrelation with the growing evangelical movement from the 19th century onwards is discussed in depth.

    CH/MI 602 The Evangelical Movement in Ethiopia. This course offers an in-depth study of the historical background, geographical distribution and methodologies of the various missionary societies that were influential in launching the evangelical movement in Ethiopia, and in particular the contribution of indigenous pioneers. Emphasis is placed on the growth and development of the Churches that constitute the Evangelical Churches Fellowship of Ethiopia, especially the KHC, the EECMY, Meserete Kristos and Mullu Wongel.

    CH/MI 603 Historical development of the World Christian Movement. The purpose of this course is the missiological interpretation of the history of the Church worldwide, and the application of the insights which emerge to present strategies for mission. This course primarily examines the dynamics of the Church’s expansion rather than its theological and institutional development. Special attention is paid to means of renewal, structures of mission, and the relationship between the two.

    CH 604 Historical Theology of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church. This course is an in-depth study of the polity, liturgy, doctrine and ethos of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church. The influence from Alexandria, Syria and other streams is highlighted. The importance of the four first Ecumenical Councils of the Christian Church, the following division and the impact of the Chalcedonian decision upon Axumite Christianity are emphasized. The evolution of how EOTC has organized itself, its hierarchy, monasteries, hermits, liturgical developments as well as doctrinal discussions are spelled out. Behavioural codes of today’s EOTC are analyzed. The aim of this course is to understand today’s EOTC from an ecclesiological point of view. In this course the contribution of lecturers from EOTC will be an asset.

    CH/ST 605 Reformation History and Theology. This course seeks to place the origins and development of Protestant theologies within their historical context. Medieval Roman Catholicism and the ’causes’ of the Reformation are explored. The courses of various movements for reform throughout Europe, including the Roman Catholic ‘counter-Reformation,’ are charted. The careers and emphases of reformers such as Martin Luther, Huldrich Zwingli, Menno Simons and John Calvin are examined. The great reformation themes of justifying faith, sovereign grace, the primacy of scripture, the role of Sacraments and the purpose of the Church are studied in depth.

    CH 606 The Roman Catholic Church. This course offers a broad overview of the growth of the Roman Catholic Church, with special emphasis after the Council of Trent and subsequent reform movements within Catholicism. Traditional teachings on papal infallibility, the role of Mary, and the sacraments are examined. The impact of the Ecumenical Councils after Chalcedon, including Vatican II, on Ethiopia is considered. An effort is made to describe the contemporary Catholic Church in Ethiopia.

    CH 607 Ecumenism This course explores the theological basis for unity amongst Christians, which may differ between more African relational attitudes concerning ecclesiology compared to Western more rational deliberations. One such example is the Conferences of Ethiopian Evangelical Churches from the 1940’s to the 1950’s, followed by the Council for Cooperation of Churches in Ethiopia and the Evangelical Churches Fellowship of Ethiopia. The formation of the World Council of Churches is considered, as well as the relationship between the Orthodox Church and the WCC. African ecumenical and interdenominational organizations, such as the All Africa Conference of Churches and the Association of Evangelicals of Africa, are studied. The special roles within Africa and Ethiopia of inter- and non-denominational agencies such as World Vision, Lutheran World Federation, Tear Fund and the International Fellowship of Evangelical Students are also explored. The role of International Bible societies in ecumenical efforts is highlighted.

    CH 609 Special Topics in Historical Studies. This course takes advantage of specialized knowledge of visiting lecturers in specific aspects of Church History.

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  • MI 600 Gospel and Culture. This course integrates the Christian faith with insights gained from anthropological studies for more effective witness of the Gospel. Attention is given to helping
    students understand their own culture so as to be able to avoid ethnocentrism as a barrier to ministry in cross-cultural contexts. Students gain an appreciation for the various aspects of cultures in which the Gospel is witnessed, and which are to be brought under Christ’s Lordship. Additionally, anthropological insights are used to gain an understanding of the Bible as a cross- cultural book. MABTS Core Course

    MI 601 Biblical Foundations for Mission. This course explores the relationship of the Bible to mission theory and practice. It looks at the development of the Kingdom of God through the Bible, and what this means for God’s mission through God’s people in God’s world. From this, insights for the Ethiopian church’s mission in the 21st Century are developed. Mission Concentration Core Course

    History of Mission Courses

    MI/CH 602 The Evangelical Movement in Ethiopia. This course offers an in-depth study of the historical background, geographical distribution and methodologies of the various missionary societies that were influential in launching the evangelical movement in Ethiopia, and in particular the contribution of indigenous pioneers. Emphasis is placed on the growth and development of the Churches that constitute the Evangelical Churches Fellowship of Ethiopia, especially the KHC, the EECMY, Meserete Kristos and Mullu Wongel.

    MI/CH 603 Historical Development of the World Christian Movement. The purpose of this course is the missiological interpretation of the history of the Church worldwide, and the application of the insights which emerge to present strategies for mission. This course primarily examines the dynamics of the Church’s expansion rather than its theological and institutional development. Special attention is given to the dynamics of the growth and expansion of the Evangelical churches in Ethiopia.

    Other Mission Courses

    MI/ST 604 Theology of Mission Students explore the historical trends of global mission theologies to which the Ethiopian churches have been exposed. These are evaluated in light of biblical theology and may include topics such as church growth, contextualization, the Great Commission as obligation, power encounter and evangelism. There is an attempt to evaluate actual expressions of theology of mission in Ethiopia in terms of worship, song and literature.

    MI/ST 605 Contextualized Theology in Ethiopia. This course is intended to enable students to give personal and local expression to the theology they have grasped, by doing theology themselves that is biblical, historical and relevant to present day Ethiopia, rather than being simply the recipients of a finished product. Included is discussion of varieties of religious phenomena, including folk religion, and how these religious phenomena are defined, meet human needs, and their missiological implications. Special emphasis is placed on methodologies of contextualization. There is an attempt to evaluate actual expressions of theologies in Ethiopia in terms of worship, song, and literature.

    MI 606 Spirit and Mission. In this course, students explore how the Holy Spirit is the source and power for participation in mission. Personal spirituality, historic spiritual practices, and the nature and means of spiritual warfare are considered. Particular attention is given to the
    widespread practices of spiritual ministry within the various Ethiopian denominations.

    MI 607 Cross-Cultural Communication. Building on a foundation of general communication theory, this course examines the specific challenges and requirements of cross-cultural communication. Issues of both linguistic and cultural barriers are explored. Students are challenged to consider the implications for communicating the gospel in the varied and changing environment of Ethiopia.

    MI 608 Missional Congregations. This course explores the essential role of mission in the life of local church bodies. The identity of each congregation as part of the worldwide church is presented as foundational to the calling to participate locally and globally in the movements of God’s kingdom. Students are challenged to find strategies for mobilizing their own congregations for cross-cultural outreach.

    MI 609 Discipleship Across Cultures This course examines the biblical instructions and models for discipleship. Recognizing that discipleship is formed in new ways in different cultures, the challenges of cross-cultural ministry within specific Ethiopian contexts, both urban and rural, will be considered. Issues related to mission among unreached peoples and oral societies will be researched.

    MI 610 Special Topics in Mission. This course takes advantage of specialized knowledge of visiting lecturers in specific aspects of mission practice or Islamic studies. Topics may include: culture and worldview change, indigenous church planting, evangelism in mission, ethnomusicology and others.

    Islam and Christianity Courses

    MI 612 Islam and Christianity. This course introduces the most important aspects of Islamic history and doctrine, and analyzes them in relation to Christian history and doctrine. Doctrinal claims that are common between the two faiths as well as those that are divergent are covered, including the doctrines of God, Jesus, revelation, salvation, and law. Concerning historical issues, periods of both peaceful coexistence and conflict are covered, including Muhammad and the Qur’an, the early Islamic expansion, the Crusades, the Reformation, and the modern period. Some time are also devoted to historical and contemporary Christian-Muslim relations in Ethiopia. Pre-requisite for other courses within the Islam and Christianity focus.

    MI 613 Jesus in Islam. This course focuses on the fundamental view of Jesus in Islam, as well as various divergent views among Muslim groups (e.g., the Ahmadiyah). Emphasis is given to the reading and analysis of primary historical Islamic texts (in English translation) concerning Jesus, such as the Qur’an, the Hadith literature, apologetic literature, and Sufi/popular literature. Christian responses, both historical and contemporary, are also included. Consideration is given to how Christians today can discuss the person of Jesus with Muslims. Prerequisite: Islam and Christianity.

    MI 614 Contemporary Issues in Christian-Muslim Relations. This course analyzes the development of Islam in the modern period, especially since the late 19th century. Special attention is given to the rise of conservative Islamic movements that have given shape to modern “Islamism” or “Islamic Fundamentalism.” The relation of these developments to contemporary

    Christianity, particularly Christian mission, is analyzed. Special attention is given to Christian- Muslim relations in contemporary Ethiopia, including missiological theories and practices concerning Christian outreach among Muslims. Prerequisite: Islam and Christianity.

    Practical Theology Courses

    MI 615 Educational Leadership This course prepares students to address political, institutional, social, religious, and personal contexts that influence teaching and learning in Ethiopian churches, Bible schools and other theological training institutions. Students interact with current educational theory and practice implementation of approaches such as needs assessment, dialogue education, and awareness of multiple learning styles.

    MI/ST 616 Pastoral Theology and Leadership This course offers both a theological and practical foundation for pastoral ministry by reflecting on the theological resources for Christian ministry and how they inform and guide the daily life of a pastor or Christian worker. Significant time will be devoted to theological perspectives on practical concerns arising from a variety of issues of spiritual leadership, including case studies offered by students.

    MI 617 Pastoral Counseling This course offers integration of insights from the behavioural and social sciences with a theological understanding of human persons. Practical skills are offered to equip counsellors to deal with a variety of situations and issues that frequently arise in Ethiopian church and religious settings.

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Integration Seminars

These two courses consider issues of current relevance from Biblical, Theological, Historical, Missiological and Leadership and Management perspectives. They are designed to provide students with the opportunity of bringing together elements and ideas from different disciplines in examining a particular area of study. MABTS students will take Integration Seminars I and II in the fall and spring semester of the year they intend to graduate.