+724 385 8000 nals@tsm.edu

Upcoming Classes

Online Offerings for Fall 2019

This coming fall semester, August 26 through December 10, the North American Lutheran Seminary is offering three classes online. These classes are open and available to all students, whether you’re pursuing ordination or just interested in boosting your knowledge of Lutheran theology and practice. ST540 and ST660 are offered asynchronously—you can listen to the recorded lectures and participate in class on your own schedule. PT550 is offered synchronously—it is offered from 9:20 a.m. to noon on Tuesdays, beginning August 27. Registration for Fall 2019 opens July 3 and runs until August 14. If you have any questions, please feel free to email us at nals@tsm.edu or call us at 724-385-8000. We’d love for you to join us!

ST 540 Creeds and Catechisms, The Rev. Dr. R. David Nelson – Asynchronous

The Rev. Dr. R. David Nelson

Do we still have a need for creeds and catechisms in an age marked by denominational fracturing, distrust of institutions and traditions, and privatized modes of spirituality? In this course, we will consider the abiding significance of creeds and catechisms for Christian faith and practice. The course consists of an introduction to the content and structure of the Christian faith through a close study of the Ecumenical Creeds and Martin Luther’s Small and Large Catechisms. While we will examine the historical and political issues surrounding the development of these documents, our focus will be on the role of creeds and catechisms as summaries, confessions, and rules of the church’s faith. We will pay special attention to the theology encapsulated in creedal and catechetical statements. Additionally, we will take note of the different ways creeds and catechisms give shape to Christian preaching, teaching, biblical interpretation, worship, and pastoral care. Our hope is that students will come away from the class with a deeper appreciation of the significance of creeds and catechisms for the church and the Christian life, and an eagerness to incorporate the creedal and catechetical traditions into the practices of public ministry. 

ST 660 Theology I (Lutheran Focus), Dr. David Yeago – Asynchronous

Dr. David Yeago

Theology is the search for appropriate speech about God and the things of God. Christian theology is the study of the way the Holy Scriptures speak of God and the Savior he has sent, Jesus Christ. The goal of Christian theology is to discern and articulate the coherence and unity of the witness to God and his Christ in the Scriptures. Theology thus arises from Scripture and, in turn, sheds light on Scripture. Orthodox doctrinal formulae summarize what has been discovered in a corporate enterprise of reflection, discussion, and discernment that has been going on since the Day of Pentecost. Church doctrine guides us into the scriptural witness to Christ, disciplining and deepening both our understanding and our proclamation. In Theology I, we will focus on the foundational doctrines of the Trinity and the incarnation. We will ask, “How can we speak of God at all? What does the word ‘God’ mean in Christian speech? Who is Jesus Christ and how is he related to God and to us? How shall we read his story in the Gospels? What has he done to save us?” The goal of this course is not only to learn the orthodox formulae, but also to discern how they interpret Scripture, how they are related to one another, and how they articulate the mystery of Christ and the salvation he has accomplished.

PT 550 Homiletics I, The Rev. Dr. Amy Schifrin – Tuesdays, 8:30 a.m. to noon, Aug. 27 through Dec. 10, Synchronous

The Rev. Dr. Amy Schifrin

This course is designed to introduce students to the art and craft of biblical preaching in the Western Rite, particularly within Lutheran and Anglican expressions of the Divine Liturgy. Students will become familiar with 20th- and 21st-century homiletic theories and their doctrinal origins as they begin to design and deliver sermons to contemporary Christian assemblies. Students will work with the interplay of orality and literacy as they acquire competencies in addressing the lives of Christians in this day. By the completion of the course, students will have learned the basics of the classic law/gospel dialectic and be able to use it as a hermeneutical resource for the shaping of their preaching from the Holy Scriptures. 

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