Fuller Logo

Fall 2011

Fuller NW





DESCRIPTION: This course is designed to give students preparing for ordination and service in the PCUSA (and to a lesser degree those in other Reformed traditions/denominations) an introduction to the theology, polity and worship of the PCUSA as contained in its Constitution and grounded in the Reformed theological tradition. The Essential Tenets of the Reformed Faith is the foundation upon which worship, ministry and mission are ordered. Our polity is what enables, equips, and encourages the Church to order its worship, ministry and mission. This course will guide students preparing for the PCUSAs Ordination exams in Theology, Polity and Worship, as well as give students a deeper awareness, knowledge and direction of the PCUSA.


SIGNIFICANCE FOR MINISTRY: Every Presbyterian (and to a lesser degree those in other Reformed traditions) seeking ordination must have a working and growing knowledge of Presbyterian theology, polity and worship and how they order and direct the worship, ministry and mission of the church locally and denominationally. This course seeks to be immediately relevant to those who will be sitting for their Ordination Exams in the PCUSA and who desire to pass them to meet the requirements of the PCUSA.


COURSE OBJECTIVES/LEARNING OUTCOMES: Upon completion of this course, students will have demonstrated that they have: a greater understanding of the distinct nature of Reformed Theology; a greater understanding of the essentials of Presbyterian polity and the ways in which it can assist in ordering the churchs worship, ministry and mission; have a greater understanding of the distinct nature of Reformed Worship; a deeper sense of commitment and calling to worship, ministry and mission in the church and the unique ways in which they will be called upon to provide leadership within the church in a wide variety of capacities.


COURSE FORMAT: The course will meet Monday evenings from 6:00-9:00pm over ten weeks, for a total of 30 hours and will include lecture, discussion, in class presentations and final exam.



       McKim, Donald K. Introducing the Reformed Faith: Biblical Revelation, Christian Tradition, Contemporary Significance. Louisville: Westminster John Knox, 2003. 320p. ISBN: 9780664256449.

       Old, Hughes Oliphant. Worship: Reformed According to Scripture. Louisville: Westminster John Knox, 2002. 195p. ISBN: 9780664225797.

       Rogers, Jack. Presbyterian Creeds: A Guide to the Book of Confessions. Louisville: Westminster John Knox, 1991. 292p. ISBN: 9780664254964.

       PCUSA Book of Order (20011-2013) Must have this new current version.

       PCUSA Book of Confessions (STUDY EDITION)

       PCUSA Book of Common Worship

       Due to the timing of this course and the recent changes in PCUSA governance, the new Book of Order is required and other resources may become available at the time of the class.



       Chapman, William. History and Theology in the Book of Order: Blood on Every Page. (Witherspoon 1999) 126pp.

       Leith, John. Introduction to the Reformed Tradition. (WJKPC 1981) 284pp

       McKim, Donald. Encyclopedia of the Reformed Faith, (WJKP 1992) 440pp

       Rice, Howard, Introduction to Reformed Spirituality, (WJKP 1991) 236pp

       Rice, Howard and Huffstutler, James. ReformedWorship , (Geneva Press 2001) 248pp

       David Willis-Watkins (Ed), Michael Welker (Ed), Matthias Gockel (Ed), David Willis (Ed), Toward the Future of Reformed Theology: Tasks, Topics, Traditions (Eerdmans 1998) 533pp



1.     Regular Reading Assignments as Required WITH READING JOURNAL (5-7pp) (20%)

2.     Class Discussions of Case Studies as Assigned in class. (20%)

3.     Class Engagement with sample standard ordination exams for preparation to sit ordination exams of the PCUSA. (20%)

4.     7-10pp Research/Reflection Paper Summarizing the Students Perspectives on the essentials of Presbyterian and reformed theology, polity and worship and their relevance to the worship, ministry and mission of the church. (40%)



RELATIONSHIP TO CURRICULUM: Meets MDIV MIN6 core requirements in Pastoral Ministry and Theology

FINAL EXAMINATION: YES. In Class, Open Discussion moderated by Professor