Online MA New Testament Coursework

Prerequisites

The following are required for students who have not completed 27 or more undergraduate or graduate credits in Bible:

Old Testament Survey

This course is designed to survey the Old Testament books with the intent of highlighting the major personalities and events relevant to the story of God’s Old Testament people. (3 credits)

New Testament Survey

This course introduces students to the main people, places, events, and themes of the New Testament. It is a graduate course in that it requires the student to master a larger amount of material and to do some thinking and writing at an abstract level. However, it is also an introductory course in that it presupposes no prior academic study of the Bible. A student who successfully completes this course and its companion Old Testament course will have a knowledge base necessary for further study of the Bible at the graduate level. (3 credits)

Core Coursework

Introduction to Graduate Studies / Orientation

Each student will take a brief online orientation to the MA in New Testament program.

New Testament Introduction

This course offers a study of the authorship, date, audience, and purpose of each book of the New Testament. Attention will be given to the ways in which different schools of biblical interpretation attempt to answer these introductory questions. The text and canon of the New Testament will also be considered. (3 credits)

World of the New Testament

This course presents (1) a description of the world in which Christianity began to flourish, focusing especially on principal cities, institutions, and individuals relevant to the early Roman Empire, and (2) an introduction to significant texts and movements dating from roughly around the time of the New Testament. Material covered in this course provides students with both “facts” and “framework”: facts regarding the social, political, and cultural dynamics operative in the first century, and a framework that will enable students to consider how those facts help readers in the twenty-first century contextualize the New Testament texts more appropriately. (3 credits)

New Testament Research Methods

This course introduces graduate students to the theory and practice of New Testament exegesis, the tools and methods of biblical research, and the academic writing process. Students must complete this course as the first course in their program. (3 credits)

New Testament Theology

This course provides a comprehensive study of the theological perspectives of the New Testament writers and the underlying unity that connects their diverse expressions. (3 credits)

History of New Testament Interpretation

This course presents (1) historical information that contextualizes the Church’s reading of the New Testament through history, and (2) samples of actual biblical interpretation from various historical periods. Material covered in this course pays special attention to the period of the Apostolic Fathers—in which the principles, methods, and traditions of biblical interpretation were originally developed—and to the Enlightenment period—in which contemporary methods of critical biblical interpretation were forged. (3 credits)

Gospel of Matthew

This course provides a detailed study of the Gospel of Matthew. Through reading, writing, and individual research, students will explore the meaning of the text in its first-century setting, gaining experience in using the tools of biblical study. (3 credits)

Acts

This graduate course is a study of the text of the Acts of the Apostles with special attention to the historical, cultural, linguistic, chronological, archaeological, and theological issues which are crucial in the understanding of this book. Literary features of this text will also be analyzed in their relation to the message of the New Testament book. (3 credits)

Romans

This course focuses on Paul—as author of the Epistle to the Romans—and the text of Romans itself. Material covered in this course places Paul within the context of the first-century Roman imperial world (including both Jewish and pagan dynamics) and traces the rhetoric and theology of Romans in terms of this context. This course also focuses on the overall movement and argumentation of Romans and places each section of Paul’s epistle within this overall movement. (3 credits)

Concentration Coursework

Preaching Concentration

Expository Preaching
This course provides foundational instruction in expository preaching. Students will learn to study sermon texts with sound exegesis, and then relate the messages of these texts to contemporary audiences through expository sermons that include effective thesis statements, introductions, conclusions, applications, and illustrations, using both deductive and inductive forms. They will also learn verbal and nonverbal elements of effective delivery.

[Expository Preaching is required of all students on the preaching track who have not previously completed at least six credit hours of college/university and/or graduate level homiletics courses. The class is also recommended for those who have not completed such courses in the prior ten years or who could benefit from a comprehensive review of basic preaching principles. Subsequent preaching courses assume an understanding of expository preaching—the conviction that sermons grow from, are governed by, and driven by the biblical text. Subsequent courses assume students have the ability to develop and deliver such expository sermons using sound exegesis, both deductive and inductive sermon forms, and effective thesis statements, introductions, conclusions, transitions, illustrations, and applications. Any student who does not feel comfortable with these terms and confident in these abilities should consider taking Expository Preaching.] (3 credits)

Advanced Expository Preaching

This course will advance the principles learned in Basic Expository Preaching (or previous homiletics courses). Students will gain a deeper understanding of the relationship between sound exegesis and effective preaching, learn to preach accurately from various biblical genres, and learn to utilize various sermon forms to communicate biblical truth most effectively. (3 credits)

Preaching & Teaching for Spiritual Formation

This course prepares students to provide opportunities for spiritual formation of churches through their preaching and teaching. Students learn to focus on their own spiritual formation as a basis for the ministry of the Word, assess a congregation’s spiritual condition, determine how congregations develop spiritually, and design specific preaching and teaching methodologies that effectively shape corporate and individual spiritual formation. [Spiritual Formation and Leadership track students take this course as a summer school resident, one-week intensive course; Preaching track students may take the course either online or as a summer school resident course.] (3 credits)

Preaching Contexts

A practical study of New Testament passages which lend themselves to the development of sermons and lessons for the church. Attention will be given to the use of Greek textual resource tools for the purpose of undergirding sermons and lessons with sound exegetical conclusions and of providing captivating illustrative materials from the Greek text for spicing up sermons and lessons. Particular focus will be directed toward Romans 9-16 and its preaching possibilities. (3 credits)

Preaching Project—Fall Term

This project allows students to integrate New Testament and preaching courses through writing an exegetical paper on a New Testament passage. (1 credit)

Preaching Project—Spring Term

This continuation of the preaching project allows students to integrate New Testament and preaching courses through writing a sermon which is delivered during Preaching Emphasis Week in the spring semester. (2 credits)

Spiritual Formation & Leadership Concentration

Introduction to Spiritual Formation

This course serves to introduce students to the concept, process, and practice of spiritual formation. Particular emphasis will be placed on the examination and the practice of classical spiritual disciplines and other devotional practices. The purpose is to help students with their own spiritual formation. [Summer School Resident, One-Week Intensive Class] (3 credits)

History of Christian Spiritual Formation

The purpose of this course is to examine the varieties of spiritual and devotional movements throughout the history of Christianity. The strengths and weaknesses of these movements will be explored with the intent of appreciating the role of history and tradition in spiritual formation and applying valid spiritual principles to contemporary practice in individual and corporate contexts. [Taken online with cohort members in fall semester] (3 credits)

Preaching & Teaching for Spiritual Formation

This course prepares students to provide opportunities for spiritual formation of churches through their preaching and teaching. Students learn to focus on their own spiritual formation as a basis for the ministry of the Word, assess a congregation’s spiritual condition, determine how congregations develop spiritually, and design specific preaching and teaching methodologies that effectively shape corporate and individual spiritual formation. [Spiritual Formation and Leadership track students take this course as a summer school resident, one-week intensive course; Preaching track students may take the course either online or as a summer school resident course.] (3 credits)

Spiritual Formation & Leadership Project I & II

This project consists of two parts: a written research project integrating New Testament studies with spiritual formation and a two-night/three-day retreat. (3 credits)

Research Concentration

*Prerequisite: Students must demonstrate proficiency in translating and exegeting New Testament Greek texts by earning semester credit hours (or equivalent) of university or seminary credit in Hellenistic Greek or passing a proficiency test administered by the graduate faculty.

  • 1 Corinthians: Greek Text (BIBL 6207) – 3 credits
  • Prison Epistles: Greek Text (BIBL 6211) – 3 credits
  • Apocalypse: Greek Text (BIBL 6227) – 3 credits
  • Thesis (BIBL 6201) – 3 credits

Customized Concentration

Students who choose the Customized Concentration complete the Core Curriculum and a group of related courses agreed upon by the student and the faculty, including an integrating project or thesis. The Concentration may include coursework completed at Johnson University and/or transferred from an accredited institution(s) approved by the faculty (e.g. regionally accredited, ATS, and ABHE institutions). Students pursue the learning goals and objectives negotiated with the faculty.