Biblical Studies

Biblical Studies

Programs

      Study the Context of Scripture against Its Ancient Background

      The Biblical Studies major gives students an opportunity to study the Christian Bible in deeper, more expansive ways than most have even undertaken. You will delve into its rich chapters in a literary, historical and theological manner, while exploring the ancient text’s contemporary relevance. Through the course of your study, you will gain a knowledge and appreciation for the languages of the Bible, both Greek and Hebrew. You will uncover the meanings of the Bible’s original language versus the translations or paraphrased versions that the average person might read.

      An excellent preparation for seminary study, the Biblical Studies major also imbues students with a new and deeper appreciation for the text that is at the heart of the Christian faith.

      Special Program Highlights for a Bachelor of Arts in Biblical Studies

      • Dig deep into the context of the literature and engage in discussions with professors who are highly regarded biblical scholars and authors.
      • Participate in small classes of 10-15 students that allow you to get to know your professor and fellow students well as you explore the scriptures.
      • Study the second-temple period that is so vital to understanding the New Testament.
      • Take classes in both Biblical Studies and Religious Studies to complete your major, helping you appreciate the broader religious context within your field of study.
      • Join the Religious Studies Society that invites speakers to address specific topical themes and also encourages debate on timely issues.
      • Pursue a Youth Leadership Certificate, as a concurrent study option, if you wish, and get in-the-field experience assisting as a youth leader in an area church or para-church organization.

      Meet Your Instructors

      • Small classes allow professors to form close relationships with their students, which lead to strong mentoring relationships.
      • All professors are renowned religious scholars and published authors who bring a depth of personal experience and knowledge to the classroom that offers real value to students.
      • The faculty’s experience and educational backgrounds span the breadth of the Bible and also include non-biblical religious study and philosophy.
      • Professors have an excellent understanding of how the various religion courses interconnect. This allows them to provide a synergy of knowledge that greatly benefits students pursuing a major in the field.

      Professors

      Bruce G. Fawcett, Ph.D.

      President and Vice-Chancellor / Professor of Leadership and Religious Studies

      Read Bruce's bio

      Keith Bodner, Ph.D.

      Stuart E. Murray Professor of Religious Studies

      Contact Keith

      Stephen Dempster, Ph.D.

      Professor of Religious Studies

      Contact Stephen

      Brent Hudson M.T.S.

      Lecturer of Biblical Languages & Religious Studies

      Contact Brent

      John G. Stackhouse, Jr., Ph.D.

      Samuel J. Mikolaski Professor of Religious Studies & Dean of Faculty Development

      Contact John G.

      Daniel Cooper M.A.

      Director of Youth Leadership Certificate Program, Lecturer in Religious Studies

      Contact Daniel

      Career Outlook for Biblical Studies Majors

      A Bachelor of Arts in Biblical Studies prepares students for entry into the ministry and also for advanced studies at seminary and graduate school. Previous graduates have entered the education, social work and counseling fields in addition to Christian service.

      Sound interesting?

      Call Toll Free1-888-968-6228 for more information

      or email us at admissions@crandallu.ca

      Courses and Requirements

      Life of Jesus – Examine a historical reconstruction of the life and teaching of Jesus of Nazareth. Necessarily, Jesus will be understood against the background of the religious thought and practices of His time.

      The Church in Scripture and Society – Gain an understanding of the Church as revealed in the New Testament. The course focuses on passages that delineate the formation, nature and purpose of the Church. Consideration is given to the Church as both organism and organization. The course challenges students to explore the form and role of the Church in contemporary society.

      Psalms – Examine in some detail the literature that has been named the hymnbook of ancient Israel and the early Church. Examine such topics as the origin and authorship of the Psalms in Israelite worship, generic categories of the psalms and their theological themes. The course also considers the history of interpretation of the Psalter.

      Christian Spirituality – Explore the biblical, historical and theological dimensions of Christian spirituality based on writings from the early church to the present. There will also be opportunity to reflect personally regarding one’s own spiritual practice.

      Biblical Eschatology – Study explicit ‘end of time’ passages from both the Old and New Testaments, with particular focus on the book of Revelation.

      Two majors are available in the department of Religious Studies:  the B.A. in Religious Studies and the B.A. in Biblical Studies.

      The second digit in the Religious Studies courses indicates the general content of the course.  Those digits at or below five indicate a course with Biblical focus or orientation.  Those digits above five reflect a broader religious focus.

      The B.A. in Religious Studies is designed to allow students to study the phenomenon of Christianity from different perspectives: with respect to its origins, with respect to its historical manifestations, with respect to its making philosophical assertions, comparatively and social scientifically.

      Major:  42 credit hours in Religious Studies including 1003, 1033, 2003, 2033, plus ten further courses including at least one course from at least three of the following four perspectives:  historical, philosophical, comparative, and social scientific.  At least five of the 14 courses required for the Religious Studies major must have the second digit higher than five and a minimum of two courses must be at the 4000 level.  In addition, Religious Studies majors must take six credit hours of cognate courses in Philosophy and six credit hours of cognate courses in Psychology or Sociology.

      Honours:  54 credit hours in Religious Studies including 1003, 1033, 2003, 2033, and 4996 plus 12 further courses in Religious Studies including at least seven which have a second digit higher than five and at least two at the 4000 level.  At least one course must be taken from three of the following four perspectives:  historical, philosophical, comparative, and social scientific.  In addition, those doing Honours in Religious Studies must take two courses in Philosophy and two courses in Psychology or Sociology as cognate requirements.  A CGPA of 3.00 for the degree is required.  No mark below C- can be credited toward the degree and no mark below B- can be credited toward the major.  Admission to Honours takes place during the second semester of the third year and consists of having the thesis application approved by the Research and Ethics Committee.

      The B.A. in Biblical Studies is designed to give students the opportunity to study the Christian Bible literarily, historically, and theologically. Knowledge of the Biblical languages is an indispensable requirement of this major.  The second-temple period will also be a subject of study for this major, since knowledge of this period is important for understanding the New Testament.

      Major:  42 credit hours in Religious Studies including 1003, 1033, 2003, 2033, plus ten further courses including at least seven at the 3000-4000 level; two of the seven courses must be at the 4000 level.  All courses which count toward the major must have a second digit lower than 5.  In addition, students majoring in Biblical Studies must take the following cognate courses:  HI3213, 3223, and a Biblical language (6 credit hours).

      Honours:  54 credit hours in Religious Studies including 1003, 1033, 2003, 2033, and 4996 plus 12 further courses in Religious Studies which have a second digit below five including at least two at the 4000 level.  In addition, those doing Honours in Biblical Studies must take HI3213 and 3223 plus two courses in either Greek or Hebrew as cognate requirements.  A CGPA of 3.00 for the degree is required.  No mark below C- can be credited toward the degree and no mark below B- can be credited toward the major.  Admission to Honours takes place during the second semester of the third year and consists of having the thesis application approved by the Research and Ethics Committee.

      Religious Studies 1003 – The Themes of the Bible

      The Bible is foundational to Western literature, religion, law, history, and general culture. Basic biblical literacy is, therefore, a fundamental element of a liberal arts education.  This course introduces students to the Bible by means of an overview of its basic content and major themes.

      Religious Studies 1033 – Introduction to Christian Thought

      This course introduces students to the basic beliefs of Christianity, the basis of these beliefs in the Bible, and their historical development.  It also considers their relevance to contemporary worldviews.

      Religious Studies 2003 – The Old Testament and Its Context

      A comprehensive introduction to the Old Testament in its cultural and historical context, this course is designed to provide a survey of each of the books in the Old Testament.  Topics such as canon, text, languages, and translations of the Old Testament will also be treated.  A major focus of the course will be understanding the overall message (the big picture) of the Old Testament.

      Prerequisites:  Religious Studies 1003, 1033 or permission of the Registrar.

      Religious Studies 2033 – The New Testament and Its Context

      This course aims to introduce students first to the political and religious history of the second-temple period and secondly to the literature of the New Testament.  It seeks to answer for each New Testament book the following questions:  Who wrote it?  For whom was it written?  When was it written?  Where was it written?  What was written?  Why was it written?

      Prerequisites:  Religious Studies 1003, 1033 or permission of the Registrar.

      Religious Studies 2103 – The Pentateuch

      This course is an introduction to the main contents of the first five books of the Bible.  Although questions of authorship, text, and history of interpretation are considered, the main emphasis is with the themes of the Pentateuch and the understanding of the biblical material in its ancient near eastern context.

      Prerequisite:  Religious Studies 1003 or permission of the Registrar.

      Religious Studies 2123 – Psalms

      This course is designed to examine in some detail the literature that has been named the hymnbook of ancient Israel and the early Church.  There will be an examination of such topics as the origin and authorship of the Psalms in Israelite worship, generic categories of the psalms, and theological themes.  The course will also consider the history of interpretation of the Psalter.

      Prerequisite:  Religious Studies 1003 or permission of the Registrar.

      Religious Studies 2203 – Life of Jesus

      This course is intended as a historical reconstruction of the life and teaching of Jesus of Nazareth.  Necessarily, Jesus will be understood against the background of the religious thought and practices of his time.

      Religious Studies 2223 – The Early Church

      This course will examine the history, structure, development, and growth of the early church as described in the Book of Acts.  It will also include an analysis of such related themes as religious competitors of early Christianity, the Jewish world of the first century, and the social world of the Roman Empire in the first century.

      Religious Studies 2733* –  Survey of Eastern Philosophy

      This course pursues a study of the philosophies of India and China including Hinduism, Buddhism, Confucianism, and Taoism.

      Religious Studies 2873* – Introduction of Global Missions

      This course will explore global missions, serving as an introduction for students who may be considering a cross-cultural mission experience.  It will introduce the theology of missions and provide an overview of the history of global missions from 1850 to today.  It will examine contemporary issues facing the mission movement including the following:  the AIDS epidemic, the indigenous church and contextualization of the gospel, and how these issues affect the strategies used in modern missions.

      Religious Studies 3113 – Israelite Prophecy

      This course examines the phenomenon of Old Testament prophecy. It explores the meaning of prophecy, characteristics and function of prophecy, and the emergence and development of prophecy in ancient Israel in its historical context. In addition, one prophetic book will be examined exhaustively.

      Prerequisites:  Religious Studies 1003, 1033; Religious Studies 2003 is also recommended.

      Religious Studies 3123 – Wisdom Literature

      This course provides a comprehensive introduction to the Wisdom Literature of the Bible, with specific focus on Proverbs, Job, and Ecclesiastes.  The course will not only provide a detailed survey of the contents of these books, it will examine the meaning of “wisdom,” the social location of the wisdom movement in Israel, and wisdom literature in Mesopotamia and Egypt in order to understand more clearly the significance and role of Israelite wisdom literature.

      Prerequisites:  Religious Studies 1003, 1033; Religious Studies 2003 is also recommended.

      Religious Studies 3133 – The Church In Scripture and Society

      This course provides an understanding of the Church as revealed in the New Testament. It focuses on passages which delineate the formation, nature, and purpose of the Church. Consideration will be given to the Church as both organism and organization, and it will challenge students to explore the form and role of the Church in contemporary society.

      Prerequisites:  Religious Studies 1003, 1033.

      Religious Studies 3153* – Christian Spirituality

      This course will explore the biblical, theological, and historical dimensions of Christian spirituality from the writings of selected thinkers from the early church until the present.  Students will be encouraged to reflect academically and personally in order to enhance their own spiritual practice.

      Prerequisites:  Religious Studies 1003, 1033.

      Religious Studies 3163 – Israel’s History:  I Kings

      This course will carefully study the material in I Kings, systematically working through each portion of text on a chapter-by-chapter basis. Moreover, passages from the books of Samuel and Chronicles will also be considered, where applicable.

      Prerequisites:  Religious Studies 1003, 1033.

      Religious Studies 3233 – Pauline Studies

      This course provides an extensive look into the life and the thought of the apostle Paul.

      Prerequisites:  Religious Studies 1003, 1033; Religious Studies 2033 is also recommended.

      Religious Studies 3243 – The Letter to the Hebrews

      This course is designed as an exegetical study of the New Testament text known as the Letter to the Hebrews.  The Jewish religious-historical background of the contents of the letter will be explored as a means of understanding it more fully.

      Prerequisites:  Religious Studies 1003, 1033; Religious Studies 2033 is also recommended.

      Religious Studies 3253 – The General Epistles

      The purpose of this course is to investigate the New Testament texts known as the General Letters:  James;  I and II Peter;  I, II, and III John; and Jude.  Their background and teaching will be considered.

      Prerequisites:  Religious Studies 1003, 1033; Religious Studies 2033 is also recommended.

      Religious Studies 3303 – Jesus as Teacher

      This course is an exploration of the teaching methods of Jesus considering his aims, his cultural setting, his community’s history, and his social location as a rabbi.  Teaching is a task requiring contextualization.  It involves authority, in contrast to the thought of some who wish a truly ‘free’ school.  Jesus’ employment of lecture methods, his use of memorable sayings and of parables, and his personal modelling demands the attention of educators schooled in active learning methods.

      Prerequisite:  Must be an Education student or permission of the Registrar.

      Religious Studies 3323 – Biblical Eschatology

      This course surveys in detail the explicit eschatological passages of both Old and New Testaments, with particular emphasis on the book of Revelation.  The relevant extra-biblical apocalyptic literature and apocalyptic movements within Judaism are also considered in order to understand the biblical texts in their historical context.

      Prerequisites:  Religious Studies 1003, 1033.

      Religious Studies 3343 – Romans

      This course will be an exegetical and theological study of Paul’s letter to the Romans including an investigation into the background and structure of the letter.

      Prerequisites:  Religious Studies 1003, 1033.

      Religious Studies 3433 – The Intertestamental Period

      This course is designed to examine the period spanning the Old and New Testaments.  Both political and religious history will be foci of this course.

      Prerequisites:  Religious Studies 1003, 1033, 2003, 2033.

      Religious Studies 3453 – The Art of Biblical Narrative

      This course will introduce and develop a literary approach to biblical narrative, highlighting and drawing attention to a wealth of examples in the process. We will focus on general literary features such as plot, character, point of view, creation of suspense and intrigue, and irony.

      Prerequisites:  Any two courses of Religious Studies 1003, 2003, or 2033.

      Religious Studies 3463 – Introduction to Biblical Archaeology

      This course will introduce basic archaeological method and explore how archaeological findings can clarify and illustrate the meaning and historical background of Biblical texts.

      Prerequisites:  Any two courses of Religious Studies 1003, 2003, or 2033.

      Religious Studies 3513, 3523 – Directed Studies in Religious Studies

      These courses are available for students when their interests and the professors’ expertise allow for a more in-depth tutorial approach.  Students must be highly capable and must have completed upper level prerequisite courses in the area of the directed study.

      Prerequisite: Permission of the Registrar.

      Religious Studies 3643* – The Reformation in Europe

      This course examines the development of Protestantism as a social, economic, political, and religious reaction to the status quo of European society.

      Prerequisite:  Religious Studies 1003, 1033.

      Religious Studies 3813* – Philosophy of Religion

      A critical examination of philosophic religious problems including proof for God’s existence, the validity of religious language, conflicting truth claims, revelation, evil, and immorality.

      Prerequisite:  Six credit hours in Philosophy.

      Religious Studies 3823* – Sociology of Religion

      Examines the major issues and trends in contemporary religion from the perspective of the social sciences.  Particular emphasis is placed on the analysis of religion in Canada.

      Prerequisite:  Six credit hours in Sociology.

      Religious Studies 3853 – Christianity and Natural Science

      This course involves a study of the historical development of natural science and the relationship of science to the Bible, Christian theology, and the institutional church.

      Prerequisites: History 1113, 1123, Religious Studies 1003, 1033.

      Religious Studies 3863* – Psychology of Religion

      This course acquaints students with the fundamental elements needed to understand the role of religion in normal psychological functioning.  It includes the study of topics such as the construction of personal narratives; worldviews; moral, ethical, and spiritual development; the formation of “god concepts”; and even the psychology of witness testimony and scriptual formation.

      Prerequisites:  Psychology 1013, 1023.

      Religious Studies 3873* – International Relief and Development

      This course will explore the biblical basis for relief and development, the relationship between evangelism and relief and development, the underlying causes of poverty in the Third World, and the implementation of relief and development in that context.

      Prerequisites:  Second year standing or higher is required.  Sociology 1013, 1023 are recommended.

      Religious Studies 3883* – Intellectual History of Science and Religion (1600-1980)

      From theory to paradigm, from the telescope to the atom and beyond (with selected study of Copernicus, Newton, Darwin, biblical archaeology, Einstein, and Hawking), this course examines the Proofs Scientific, in their historical contexts, as marshalled for and against religion.  Field trips to museums are included.  (This course is normally offered in conjunction with the Crandall Oxford Study Programme.)

      Prerequisites:  History  1113, 1123.

      Religious Studies 4113 – Biblical Theology of Old and New Testaments

      This course covers the concept of biblical theology not just historically  as it has developed into a discipline of biblical studies but practically as well.  During the course a specific theme or a cluster of themes will be traced throughout the Old and New Testaments.  Frequently alongside a major theme which is explored, major biblical theologies written by scholars will also be studied.

      Prerequisites:  Religious Studies 1003, 1033

      Religious Studies 4333 – Pneumatology

      This course will introduce students to the person and work of the Holy Spirit.  Students will study His place in the Godhead, and His work as the Vicar of Christ on earth, including His work in the world, the church, and the believer.  From the Old and New Testaments, students will seek to understand such issues as names, titles, symbols, anointing, baptism, filling, fruit, gifts, indwelling, and sealing.  This course will seek to relate these issues to both historical and contemporary manifestations of the Holy Spirit.

      Prerequisites:  Religious Studies 1003, 1033, 2003.

      Religious Studies 4403 – I Samuel

      This course will feature a close reading of the book of I Samuel, and an exploration of various literary and theological issues which the text intends to raise for its audiences.  Points of study will include the role of the monarchy in Israel, the office of the prophet, and the contours of leadership for God’s people.  Other questions will include:  Why is Saul rejected?  Is Samuel an unbiased prophet?  What are the qualities in the young David that set him apart as a king?  What dynamics of human relationships are emphasized in the text?  This course provides ample opportunity for reflection on the nature of biblical narative, the portraits of key personalities, and the profound level of artistic and theological sophistication in this stretch of material.

      Prerequisites:  Religious Studies 1003, 1033, 2003.

      Religious Studies 4413 – II Samuel

      This course will feature a close reading of the book of II Samuel, and an exploration of various literary and theological issues which the text intends to raise for its audiences.  The book of II Samuel unfolds complex issues of monarchy and leadership, and also confronts readers with a number of transitions in David’s life.  David’s life presents readers with a tapestry of interpretative and theological possibilities.  This course provides ample opportunity for reflection on the nature of biblical narrative, the portraits of key personalities, and the profound level of artistic and theological sophistication in this stretch of material.

      Prerequisites:  Religious Studies 1003, 1033, 2003.

      Religious Studies 4423 – Post-Exilic Writings

      The post-exilic period witnessed the production of new kinds of literary and theological works.  The largest of these works is I and II Chronicles, and they will provide the primary text readings for this advanced seminar course which will center around close analysis of the biblical text and relevant secondary material.

      Prerequisites:  Religious Studies 1003, 1033, 2003.

      Religious Studies 4453 – The Making of the Old Testament

      This course will look at the journey of ancient writings of the Old Testament from their first forms in various writings and records to their final form in the manuscripts of the Middle Ages.

      Prerequisite:  Religious Studies 1003, 1033, 2003.

      Religious Studies 4513, 4523 – Advanced Directed Studies in Religious Studies

      These courses are available for students when students interests and the professors’ expertise allow for a more in-depth tutorial approach.  Students must be highly capable and must have completed upper level prerequisite courses in the area of the directed study.

      Prerequisite:  Permission of the Registrar.

      Religious Studies 4613* – Selected Themes:  17th Century Landscape Meditation Literature

      A study of the rise of landscape literature, with special attention to the development of individualized contemplation of landscape, art, and nature. (This course is normally offered in conjunction with the Crandall Oxford Study Programme.)

      Prerequisites:  Religious Studies 1033; English 2013, 2023.

      Religious Studies 4813* – Themes in Canadian Religious History

      This seminar-style course will focus upon selected religious themes in 19th and 20th century Canada.  Topics will vary from year to year and may include the role of religion in regional development, politics, economics, secularization, gender formation, consumerism, and education.  Students are encouraged to identify themes of interest for their major research projects.

      Prerequisites:  Religious Studies 1003, 1033, 2003, 2033 plus six additional credit hours in Religious Studies.

      Religious Studies 4823* – Milton

      This course provides an intensive study of the major poetry and prose of John Milton (1608-74) with a particular emphasis on his theology.

      Prerequisites:  Religious Studies 1003, 1033; English 2013, 2023.

      Religious Studies 4833* – Evangelicalism in Canada

      This course begins with the necessary task of defining evangelicalism.  It then examines  evangelicalism in contemporary Canada primarily through the use of social theory and survey research.  The beliefs, practices, attitudes, and demographics of evangelicals and the organizations that support the evangelical subculture are discussed.

      Prerequisite:  Religious Studies 3823.

      Religious Studies 4996 – Thesis

      Certain exceptional students, upon request prior to the completion of their third year, may be granted permission to write a thesis as an element to their Honours degree requirements.