Upcoming Classes for Spring 2020

The NALS will have three online courses available during our Spring 2020 semester, beginning on January 21 and running until May 11. These classes are open and available to all students, whether they’re pursuing ordination or just interested in boosting their knowledge of Lutheran theology and practice. Registration for Spring 2020 opens December 4 and closes January 6. Our online classes are either asynchronous (done out of sync with the residential class) or synchronous (held at the same time as the residential class). If you would like to register or have any questions, please feel free to email us at [email protected] or call us at 724-385-8000. We’d love for you to join us!

Spring 2020 Online Offerings

ST550 Lutheran Confessions, the Rev. Dr. Maurice Lee – Asynchronous
Lutheran (and other) church traditions at times claim to be distinctively confessional. But what could being “confessional” possibly mean, and how might it be worth understanding and defending? In this course, we will study the 16th-century confessional writings—not only the famous (like the Augsburg Confession) or the once-familiar (like the Catechisms) but also the lesser-known and perplexing (like the Formula of Concord)— of the Lutheran church as gathered in the Book of Concord, interpreting their theological content as public doctrine, evaluating their arguments in light of the Biblical gospel, and giving attention to their ecumenical and pastoral implications. We will seek to see more clearly how these texts might aid and abet a Christian faith that boldly confesses the truth and the love of God in the 21st-century. This class, taught by the Rev. Dr. Maurice Lee, will run from 

ST 670 Theology II (Lutheran Focus), Dr. David Yeago – Asynchronous
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 II, we will build on the Trinitarian and Christological theology of Theology I, and address questions of creation, fall, the saving work of the Holy Spirit as manifested in the gathering of the Church, Word and Sacraments, justification and new life, and the Last Things.  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.

ST755 Christian Ethics in the Lutheran Tradition, Dr. David Yeago – Asynchronous
Christian Ethics is the discipline in which Systematic Theology meets pastoral care and the Christian life. This course is a theological study of human agency, created, fallen, and made new in Christ. It proceeds on Lutheran assumptions such as the focus of the doctrine of original sin on the First Commandment, the bondage to sin that corrupts our choices, the incapacity even of God’s own law to bring us to live good lives. It pays special attention to the renewal of human agency through faith in Christ by the work of the Holy Spirit in Word and Sacrament, and the lifelong struggle of the new, believing person with the “Old Adam.” It likewise examines the ordering of the human field of action by God the Creator, to whom we are reconciled in Christ. We consider the neighbor God sets before us, the “holy orders” (Luther) of church, marriage/household, and civil community, and the necessity of both work and Sabbath. The course concludes with reflection on suffering and the approach of death as challenges to the believer’s renewed agency. Readings come largely from Lutheran theologians from Luther to Dietrich Bonhoeffer and more contemporary writers. Special attention is paid to Luther’s Christian Liberty as a theological template for understanding human agency theologically. The goal of the course is that pastors and leaders in the church learn to think theologically about the created setting in which human beings live and act (whether they know it or not) and the bearing of sin, law, gospel, and faith on human agency within that setting. 

PT 650 DS Homiletics II , the Rev. Dr. Amy Schifrin – Synchronous, Tuesdays from 9:20 a.m. to noon
This course, as a continuation of Homiletics I, seeks to expand the skills necessary to move from the biblical text to homiletic proclamation within the ongoing life of the church. Emphases will be on refinement of content and oral delivery. Students will have multiple opportunities to preach and receive feedback in conjunction with the residential classroom. They will work on expanding their homiletic horizons through reading, analyzing and delivering portions of sermons from the church Fathers through the 21st century; discern the purpose/s of preaching in the life of a congregation; have an opportunity to enter into the relationship between pastoral care and preaching that is essential for the health of a parish; design a Lenten catechetical series for use in a congregation; understand and articulate the relationship between theology and preaching; and practice, practice, practice the art and craft of biblical preaching so that they are prepared for the homiletic responsibilities of preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ in internships, vicarages, transitional diaconates and/or their first parish call.