Educating Servant Leaders for Ministry
St. Petersburg Seminary and Yeshiva
An Association of St. Petersburg Theological Seminary and Netzer David International Yeshiva

Academics

• Graduate School of Bible and Theology

The Graduate School of Bible and Theology has three Areas, each with its own set of objectives, and with sub-groups to implement these objectives:

  1. Biblical & Theological Studies with the following sub-groups:
    • Bible
    • Theology
  2. Cultural & Historical Studies with the following sub-groups:
    • Church History
    • Judaic Studies
  3. Professional Studies with the following sub-areas:
    • Congregational Ministries, with the following sub-groups:
      • Missiology, Evangelism and Student Ministry
      • Pastoral Studies
      • Sacred Music
    • Religious Education/Education
    • Counseling
  1. Biblical and Theological Studies: The first Area of the Seminary's curriculm deals with the documents that are the basis for the whole enterprise.  It has two sub-groups, Bible and Theology, which support the following goals and objectives of the Area:
    • Goal: To provide knowledge and a reasonable understanding of the Jewish setting for the Bible and the Christian Faith.
    • Objectives: The course offerings of each of the sub-group will:
      1. Provide the investigative tools that will enable students to distinguish and explain the varieties of perspectives in and types of Biblical literature.
      2. Assist students in the discussion of those conditions that lead to spiritual strength and discipleship as reflected in the Biblical literature.
      3. Enable students to generalize the principles and content of an apologetic for the Biblical faith as expressed through a Jewish perspective.
    • Bible (BIE, BNT, BOT).  The Bible sub-group supports the Area of Biblical and Theological Studies by offering courses with the following goals and objectives:
      • Goal: To provide knowledge, a reasonable understanding, and application of the historical, grammatical and cultural context of the Biblical literature.
      • Objectives: The course offerings of the sub-group will enable students to:
        1. Demonstrate the interpretive influence of the textual, archeological, historical critical, and sociological data contained in the Biblical literature and by means of which the ideas and concerns of the authors of the Biblical literature were communicated.
        2. Discover the specific influences of the Jewish setting that formed the thinking of the authors and readers of the Biblical literature and that provided the cognitive and affective foundation for the personal faith based on this literature.
        3. Distinguish between the types of theologies presented in the Biblical narratives.
        4. Interpret the various ways it is possible to celebrate the living message of the Biblical literature as a lifelong study.
        5. Produce habits that support a lifelong study of the Bible.
    • Theology (BST).  The Theology sub-group supports the Area of Biblical and Theological Studies by offering courses with the following goals and objectives.
      • Goal: To provide knowledge, a reasonable understanding, and application of the fundamental doctrines of Judaism and Christianity.
      • Objectives: The course offerings of the sub-group will enable students to:
        1. Distinguish between historical, Biblical, systematic, and homiletical theology.
        2. Explain the distinguishing features of Jewish and Christian approaches to systematic and Biblical theology along with the characteristics that these two traditions have in common.
        3. Interpret the implications of the theologies of the texts of these traditions for establishing an apologetic for belief based on the Jewish and Christian traditions.
        4. Distinguish and classify the principles and data necessary for the building of an apologetic for belief based on the Jewish and Christian traditions.
        5. Produce habits that support a lifelong study of the reflective analysis of the teachings rooted in the Biblical narratives
  2. Cultural and Historical Studies. The second Area of the Seminary's curriculum involves students in the study of the historical and cultural context of the writing of the Biblical literature.  It is the core of the Seminary's vision that the cultural, historical and grammatical perspectives of the times and places of the Biblical narratives are key to understanding the text.  Thus, this Area lies at the heart of all the degree programs and, indeed, of the courses throughout the curriculum, with the following goals and objectives.
    • Goal: To provide knowledge and a reasonable understanding of the Jewish setting and, primarily European, Christian extension of the Biblical Faith.
    • Objectives: The course offerings of the sub-groups in the Area will:
      1. Provide the data necessary to know what are the common bonds of Judaism and Christianity.
      2. Contain the historical and cultural information that explains the divergence of Judaism and Christianity and the dominance of the Western perception of the faith as this developed in Europe and then was spread by the mission movement of the 18th and 19th centuries.
      3. Explain the variety of movements and heritages that develop among the adherents of the faith that expressed itself in Peter's Pentecost sermon.
      4. Show how the Messianic movement of the 20th century is related to the broader Jewish and Christian traditions.
      5. Produce habits that support a lifelong study of the common heritage between Judaism and Christianity.
    • Church History (CCH).  The courses in the sub-group of Church History support the Area of Cultural and Historical Studies with the following goals and objectives.
      • Goal: To provide knowledge, a reasonable understanding, and application of the development of the believing communities that are rooted in the teaching of Jesus.
      • Objectives: The course offerings of the sub-group of Church History will enable students to:
        1. Describe the dynamics of social change, including the patterns of response to conflict, oppression, economic challenge, and environmental restrictions.
        2. Distinguish between the various historical developments of the followers of the Way that in Antioch of Syria came to be called in translation "Christian."
        3. Explain the relations between the variations in the believing communities and the cultural patterns in which these communions are expressed.
        4. Interpret the significance of change in these communions for the development of a heritage for spiritual growth and maturation.
        5. Produce habits that support a lifelong study of the development in the various faith heritages that share their roots in the Biblical narratives.
    • Judaic Studies (CJS).  The sub-group of Judaic Studies offers courses toward a degree that supports the Area of Historical and Cultural Studies with the following goals and objectives.
      • Goal: To provide knowledge, a reasonable understanding, and application of roots and present manifestation of a Jewish expression of faith.
      • Objectives: The course offerings of the sub-group of Judaic Studies will enable students to:
        1. Identify the variations of Jewish culture through its long history, including the features of its variations in theology, geography, languages, family, and national consciousness.
        2. Extrapolate from the Biblical history of Israel, along with the cultural and linguistic variations during this long history, the considerations that assist in clarifying the Biblical literature.
        3. Discover the salient features of the continuum of the history of Judaism to the present.
        4. Produce habits that support a lifelong study of the common heritage between Judaism and Christianity.
  3. The Area of Professional Studies. The third area of the Seminary's curriculum organizes the Seminary's efforts around the professions into which those educated in the theological arts can go.  There are three sub-Areas: Congregational Ministries, with its three sub-groups, Religious Education/Education and Counseling, which support the following goals and objectives.  The courses offered in each of the sub-groups are designed to support each of these objectives, as reflected in the various degree programs.
    • Goal: To provide knowledge and a reasonable understanding of selected career applications for ministry in the use of the Biblical heritage.
    • Objectives: The course offerings of each of the sub-groups in the Area will:
      1. Define carefully the specific career path that can be selected in that sub-group as it supports the degree program needed to enter a specific ministry.
      2. Explain the moral and legal scope and limitations of the professions as rooted in a Biblical ethic.
      3. Operate selectively in the field where experience provides direction for the effectiveness of ministry in its various applications.
      4. Prepare students for the spiritual and professional demands of the ministry appropriate to the degree being earned.
    • Congregational Ministries.  The sub-area of Congregational Ministries offers courses in the Area of Professional Studies in the following sub-groups with the following goals and objectives.
    • Missiology, Evangelism and Student Ministry (CWM).  The sub-group of Missiology, Evangelism and Student Ministry offers courses in the Area of Professional Studies: Congregational Ministries, with the following goals and objectives.
      • Goal: To provide knowledge, a reasonable understanding, and application of the conditions for effective communication and leadership in conveying the Biblical faith to others for the purpose of conversion or discipleship.
      • Objectives: The course offerings of the sub-group of Missiology, Evangelism, and Student Ministry will enable students to:
        1. Identify and classify the ways in which communication can be made of the claim that Jesus is to be confessed as the Lord of one's life.
        2. Distinguish the methods for effective and appropriate congregational planting and nurturing.
        3. Outline and extrapolate the means by which individuals are effectively discipled in the belief that they can grow in obedience to Jesus as Lord.
        4. Distinguish and examine the various contexts for mission, evangelistic, and student ministry work.
        5. Produce habits that support a lifelong study of the applications of the Biblical insights to that career path which has been chosen.
    • Pastoral Studies (PPT).  The sub-group of Pastoral Studies offers courses that support the Area of Professional Studies: Congregational Ministries, with the following goals and objectives.
      • Goal:  To provide knowledge, a reasonable understanding, and application of the calling of the parish minister.
      • Objectives:  The course offerings of the sub-group of Pastoral Studies will enable students to:
        1. Identify the scope of the pastoral ministry.
        2. Examine and prepare the principles for Biblical and moral guidelines for effective spiritual leadership.
        3. Discuss the ways to promote growth in pastoral habits and thinking necessary for functioning effectively in the profession.
        4. Use in field experiences to apply and illustrate the skills necessary to function effectively in the profession.
        5. Produce a habit of study and reading that will support life long development of one's skills as a pastor and as a disciple of Jesus.
    • Sacred Music (PSM).  The sub-group of Sacred Music offers courses that support the Area of Professional Studies: Congregational Ministries, with the following goals and objectives.
      • Goal: To provide knowledge, a reasonable understanding, and application of skills necessary for effective use of music in worship and ministry.
      • Objectives: The course offerings of the sub-group of Sacred Music will enable students to:

        1.  Identify the great variety of music forms and the history of their use in ministry;
        2.  Discover ways that music can be creatively applied to the fields of sacred music;
        3.  Produce a lifelong habit of expanding exposure to the varieties of music that are and can be used in worship and ministry.

    • Religious Education/Education (PRE).  The sub-area of Religious Education/Education offers courses that support the Area of Professional Studies with the following goals and objectives.  It combines religious education with professional education, allowing professionals to fulfill educational certification requirements with a clear religious values component.  This two-fold set of course offerings makes it possible for students to prepare for either religious, public, or private school careers in teaching at either the elementary, secondary or post-secondary levels.
      • Goal:  To provide knowledge, a reasonable understanding, and application of learning needed to be a Director of Religious Education in a congregation, a teacher in the religious K-12 educational system, post-secondary educational programs, or to work for certification in either religious or public school systems.
      • Objectives:  The course offerings of the sub-group of Religious Education/Education will enable students to:
        1. Describe clearly the conditions of professional qualification and growth in education.
        2. Associate the building of a Biblical worldview with the methods of education.
        3. Identify and classify the competencies required of public school teachers.
        4. Produce in field experience that which assists students in the understanding of teaching within the classroom context.
        5. Support a habit of study and reading that enriches and strengthens a lifelong growth in effectiveness in the classroom or congregation and as an educator.
    • Counseling (PSY).  The sub-area of Counseling offers courses that support the Area of Professional Studies with the following goals and objectives.
      • Goal:  To correlate the knowledge of God and of human nature at crucial times of growth and in the crises times of spiritual, moral, emotional, and physical distress, to understand how to concentrate the power of God upon the vulnerable openings of a sick soul, a confused mind, or a weakening body, to understand the way that the word of truth can be used to assist people to look beneath their "vital lies" and find spiritual resources for an abundant life, and to evaluate the means of assisting suffering individuals into a healing community, viz., the body of believers.
      • Objectives:  The course offerings of the Department will enable students to:
        1. Distinguish the various areas of counseling application for which a professional in counseling is qualified.
        2. Discuss the origin and manifestations, of specific kinds of personal issues, e.g., family conflict, personal addictions, financial difficulties, etc.
        3. Classify the ways in which personal issues are identified by and for those struggling with them.
        4. Describe the means by which the various personal issues and challenges in life can be met and successfully overcome.
        5. Explain the means by which Biblical information can be applied in the process of creatively addressing and solving personal problems.
        6. Produce a lifelong habit of reading and studying in the field of counseling.

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