Fuller Logo

Winter 2013/Seattle


T. A. Dearborn


DESCRIPTION: This course provides a basic introduction to theological reflection as this has developed in various places and is currently emerging in multiple contexts. The goal is to provide the background and terminology necessary for students to begin exploring theology as an expanding conversation about the meaning of Scripture and the Christian life that extends itself through history and around the world.

SIGNIFICANCE FOR LIFE AND MINISTRY: This course provides the student with the opportunity to reflect on fundamental issues of the Christian faith and the witness of the Church in a variety of cultural contexts. The readings and assignments are designed to facilitate this kind of reflection from the point of view of a biblical and dynamic pastoral activity in multiple cultural, ecclesial, and theological contexts.

LEARNING OUTCOMES: At the end of the course students will (1) recognize the basic terminology and structure of Christian theology; (2) be acquainted with a range of cultural and contextual matters that have shaped Christian life; (3) be familiar with the theological insights of influential non-Western Christians; and (4) begin to develop their own theology in critical dialogue with global and culturally diverse views.

COURSE FORMAT: This course will meet once a week for ten weeks.

REQUIRED READING: If you have previously read any of the required texts, please select an alternative text from the recommended reading list or a book approved by the instructor.

Dearborn, Tim, Beyond Duty:A Passion for Christ, a Heart for Mission. CreateSpace, 2012. ISBN: 978-1480-05281-9

Dyrness, W. A., and V.-M. Kärkkäinen, eds. Dictionary of Global Theology. InterVarsity Press, 2008. ISBN: 978-0-8308-2454-0, New $50, used $30.00, Kindle $28.00.

McGrath, Alister, Christian Theology. 5th ed. Oxford: Blackwell, 2011. ISBN: 978-1-4443-3514-9

Oden, Thomas, How Africa Shaped the Christian Mind. InterVarsity, 2007. ISBN: 978-0-8308-2875-9

Course Reader of texts by Oduyoye, Augustine, Anselm, Beltran, Wan, Wright, and Fulljames.

Additional 250 pages selected from a bibliography of global theological books and journal articles provide in the course reader.


Kärkkäinen, V.-M. The Trinity in Global Perspectives. Westminster Press, 2007. ISBN: 9780664428903, $39.95.

Katongole, Emmanuel. Mirror to the Church. Zondervan, 2009. ISBN: 978-0-310-28489-5

See the course syllabus for additional recommended texts.


  1. Students will write two 4-5 page reviews of selected readings (of which one must be McGrath), focusing in particular on the interplay of Western theological traditions with non-Western issues and perspectives (15% each = 30%).
  2. A 4-page biography/study of a major Majority World theologian (15%).
  3. In the last two weeks present in class a theological analysis of a particular case or issue in the global Church that engages issues from both Western and Majority world traditions (20%).
  4. One 10-12 page paper dealing theologically with a major issue (this should be an elaboration of the case presented in class) (35%).


RELATIONSHIP TO CURRICULUM: Meets Seminary Core Requirement (SCR) for MATM, MACL, MAICS, and MAFS degrees (beginning Winter 2010); meets core competency for (pre 2010) MACCS degree.


NOTE: This ECD is a reliable guide to the course design but is subject to modification. Textbook prices are set by publishers and are subject to change.