BIBLICAL STUDIES SUBJECT AREAS:
OLD TESTAMENT: In our OT courses we seek to communicate an enthusiasm for Old Testament studies. We offer a range of introductory, general and specialised modules looking at the historical, literary and theological dimensions of Old Testament texts. Students acquire appropriate interpretative skills and learn to consider and evaluate a range of different points of view.
The elementary course in Hebrew is designed to introduce students to the language and to a basic reading knowledge. Students come to realise the value of reading the OT text in the original language. Various advanced Hebrew courses are available at both undergraduate and at Master's levels – as are introductory courses in Biblical Aramaic and in Syriac.
Professor J.P. Taylor, Union Theological College
Dr T.D. Alexander, Union Theological College
Dr W. Ford, Belfast Bible College
Dr C. Hadjiev, Belfast Bible College
Dr James McKeown
Dr Jim Williamson
Professor W.G. Campbell, Union Theological College
Dr G. Burnett, Union Theological College
Dr P. Firth, Irish Baptist Colllege
Dr B. Keay, Belfast Bible College
Rev J. Unsworth, Edgehill Theological College
Dr K. Fulton, Belfast Bible College
SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY AND CHURCH HISTORY
CHURCH HISTORY: The aims of the Church History Board are to teach, challenge and encourage all our students through the study of Church History. The benefits of studying Church History are fourfold: 1) to enable students to critically handle evidence. 2) to enlarge our understanding of our rich Christian heritage. 3) to provide a context for our theology. 4) to help us obtain a balanced perspective on our current situation.
HISTORICAL THEOLOGY: Historical Theology surveys the nature, emergence and development of key Christian doctrines, for example the doctrines of God, revelation, the Trinity, the Church, salvation. It is mainly descriptive in that it looks at the content of Christian theology, at the debates and controversies which have surrounded doctrines over the centuries, and also at some of the most influential theologians, their writings and ideas. Given the broad nature of the subject, it is not possible to consider every doctrine or every historical era in detail, but students will complete the Historical Theology modules with an understanding of (1) the nature of Christian theology and (2) the factors which have shaped the discussion and formulation of Christian theology and have led to the emergence of the various Christian traiditions.
Professor L.S. Kirkpatrick, Union Theological College
PHILOSOPHY OF RELIGION: Philosophy is the 'love of wisdom', but it is more than that, it is a handmaid to the 'queen of the sciences'. If theology is to succeed it must engage in serious philosophical thinking. Therefore by studying some of the contributons made by major philosophers from Plato to the present day one is better equiped to analyse important concepts such as the nature of God, the existence of evil, the meaning of faith and evaluate current moral and ethical problems.
Christianity is a faith that has always reached beyond itself, seeking to bring its message to the whole world. World Perspectives explores the interaction between Christianity and the world that the Church attempts to reach with its message. We look at how this mission has developed since apostolic times and how the Church now manifests itself in many different forms as it has taken root in a huge variety of cultures. We also seek to understand both the other global religions and the contemporary world as a whole as the context in which the Church maintains its witness. Pastoral Studies, sometimes called Pastoral Theology or Practical Theology, deals with the relationships between theology and everyday life in its individual and corporate aspects. Modules cover such diverse areas as pastoral care, worship, the church in society, inter-church relations, and reconciliation.
Professor A. Gibson, Union Theological College
Rev Dr Graham Cheesman, Belfast Bible College
Dr Jacob Thomas, Belfast Bible College
Dr S. Boldt, Edgehill Theological College
Rev Dr H. Morris, Edgehill Theological College