Somehow over the course of my seminary career I’d gotten into the habit of getting sick during holidays – even one-day holidays. Or, more accurately, my immune system had the habit of letting me down during the holidays. For whatever reason, it took a break whenever I did, and while I don’t want to claim any kind of consciousness for my immune system, the uncanny parallel between sickness and holidays is highly suggestive.
Last semester was different, though, and I stayed healthy all the way through, even through the Christmas break. But the dues have come, as they always do, and I and my family have been paying them these first two weeks of school. Alas.
Anyways, here’s a rundown of this semester’s courses. I’ve included the brief course description from the syllabi and listed the textbooks. Do note that a textbook is merely a book from which readings are assigned, not a book that we read cover to cover:
1. Dogmatics – Dr. Van Vliet.
“Using Holy Scripture as the foundation, this course begins with the diverse aspects of our salvation and ends with the culmination of God’s redemptive work in final glory.”
– Systematic Theology by Louis Berkhof.
– Concise Reformed Dogmatics, by J. Van Genderen and W.H. Velema.
2. Church History – Dr. Van Raalte.
“This course covers church history in North America from the 16th c. to the present. Colonization, the First and Second Great Awakenings, the rise of Evangelicalism, and more recent developments receive attention. The history of the Christian Reformed, Free Reformed, Protestant Reformed, and Canadian Reformed Churches is also studied in this context.”
– A History of Christianity in the United States and Canada, by Mark A. Noll.
– Seeking a Better Country: 300 Years of American Presbyterianism, by Darryl G. Hart and John R. Muether.
– Inheritance Preserved, by W.W.J. Van Oene.
– A History of the Churches in the United States and Canada, by Robert Handy.
– J. Gresham Machen, by Stephen J. Nichols
– Our Family Album, by James C. Schaap
– Church History, Volume II, by John D. Woodbridge and Frank James III.
3. Church Polity – Dr. Van Raalte.
“This course surveys the articles 44-76 of the Church Order of the Canadian Reformed Churches. Through lectures and case studies, the class will study the practical aspects of the broader assemblies; worship, sacraments, and ceremonies; and church discipline in the Reformed tradition.”
– Book of Praise.
– The Church Order Commentary, by Idzerd Van Dellen and Martin Monsma.
– Proposed Joint Church Order 2012.
4. Contemporary Issues – Dr. Van Vliet.
“The church today is confronted with numerous challenging issue, both doctrinal and ethical. A number of these issues will be explored and evaluated on the basis of God’s Word and the Reformed confessions.”
– Christian Ethics: Contemporary Issues and Options, by Norman Geisler.
– The Vitality of Reformed Theology: Proceedings of the International Theological Congress 1994, edited by J.M. Batteau, J.W. Maris, and K. Veling.
– Anthology of articles mostly from Clarion and Reformed Perspective.
5. Greek – Dr. Visscher.
“This course aims to maintain and deepen the students’ skills in Greek, the language of the New Testament. This is done through reading the New Testament and the study of Greek grammar.”
– The Basics of New Testament Syntax: An Intermediate Greek Grammar, by Daniel B. Wallace.
– A Workbook for New Testament Syntax: Companion to Basics of New Testament Syntax, by Daniel B. Wallace and Grant G. Edwards.
6. New Testament History of Revelation – Dr. Visscher.
“This course deals with the progress of revelation in the New Testament writings. A primary focus of the course is on the progress from the Gospels to the writings of Paul.”
– Paul, Apostle of God’s Glory in Christ: A Pauline Theology, by Thomas R. Schreiner.
– What Saint Paul Really Said, by N.T. Wright.
7. Poimenics – Dr. de Visser, et al.
“In this course we study the pastoral care of individuals and families in the congregation of Christ, with special attention to the counseling of those who need special care. While Dr. De Visser organizes the course and teaches most of the lectures, several guest lecturers will come in to speak on special topics.”
– Christian Counseling: A Comprehensive Guide, by Gary R. Collins.
– The Pastor and Counseling: The Basics of Shepherding Members in Need, by Jeremy Pierre and Deepak Reju.