New lineup of seminary courses this year

Posted: July 9, 2012

Choosing which seminary classes to take this year could be difficult.

Students now have more flexibility in the classes that can count toward their required credits in four core areas: Old Testament, New Testament, ministry formation, and history/theology. This has made room for several new courses to be offered this year.

Seminary dean, Dustin Resch, is excited about this process and the new course lineup.

“Rather than having to offer the same courses every year – once a year for everybody – we have more room to try some different things and allow professors to follow their areas of interest,” he said. “Seminary graduate education should allow for more student choice.”

Resch chose 11 courses coming up this year to highlight.

Creative Problem and Polarity Management – September 17-21 – Paul Magnus

Paul MagnusThis course is designed to help students understand the perspectives, procedures, and processes needed for problem solving, polarity management and vision-setting. “The journey of leadership often poses challenging problems and/or polarities for us to work with,” Magnus explained. “Each participant in the class will have opportunity to gain creative peer insight, feedback, advice, direction and help in distinguishing between a problem and a polarity and then in building a path to bring appropriate resolution. The class will be conducted to work with ’the case in point‘ design so that (students can) obtain confidence and competence with process and will also gain significant help with their case. It will be a highly engaging and fun class.”

Foundations of Marriage and Family – October 1-5 – Neil Soggie

Neil SoggieAlthough this course has been offered for a number of years, it is the first time that the new director for Briercrest’s marriage and family counseling program, Dr. Neil Soggie, will be the professor. “It is my hope that students grow in four key areas within this course,” Soggie said. “A stronger appreciation of the theology of marriage and the value of the family; finding a role to play in Christ’s redemptive work within people’s lives; a deepening awareness of where each student comes from and his/her personal story; and a stronger sense of the professional skills needed for a ministry of counseling.”

Ecclesiastes – October 15-19 – Eric Ortlund

Eric OrtlundJoin Eric Ortlund for an up-close look at Ecclesiastes and what the book says for the Church and ministry leaders in particular. “Ecclesiastes is one of the most difficult books in the Bible, in part because it tells us truths about our mortality and insignificance which are difficult to hear,” Ortlund explained. “But this book also contains great encouragement for the Lord’s servants about how to enjoy our lives and labors in ministry in a world which we can’t control. In this class, we will explore how Ecclesiastes guides us to identify the value of our work not in terms of visible results, but in terms of its status as a gift from God.”

Pastoral Theology and Practice – November 13-17 – Doug Doyle

Doug DoyleJoin Doug Doyle, Briercrest’s new M.Div. program coordinator for his debut course in the seminary. For the last 20 years, Doug was the lead pastor at Redwood Park Church in Thunder Bay, Ont. before he recently took on the lead pastorate at the Fort McMurray Alliance Church. “In thinking about and learning the skills of what it means to be an effective pastor, I can’t think of anybody more qualified for that than (Doug),” Resch exclaimed. “We’re really looking forward to sharing him with our students and anybody else who’d like to join us.”

I & II Peter and Jude - December 10-14 - Josh Stigall

Josh StigallJosh Stigall, the new director for continuing and distance education (CDE), received his undergraduate degree from Briercrest, and recently completed his doctoral degree at Baylor in Waco, Texas. “As part of the collection known as the General Epistles, 1 Peter, 2 Peter, and Jude have, ironically, been generally neglected in study of the New Testament,” Stigall explained. “In addition to this, mystery surrounds these documents regarding their authorship, their date, and their audience. Despite the neglect of these three letters and the mysterious nature of their provenance, 1 Peter, 2 Peter, and Jude offer a unique window into early Christian worship of Jesus. Please join me as we study these important documents and seek to understand their message and how they inform our understanding of Christian discipleship today.”

Child, Church and Mission – January 4-12 – Myra Daugherty/ Barry Slauenwhite

Myra DaughertyTake this unique opportunity to learn about and experience holistic child development in Ecuador with Briercrest’s instructor in children’s studies, Myra Daugherty and Compassion Canada president Barry Slauenwhite. “Students are privileged to discuss methodologies of holistic child development in the beautiful and developing country of Dress up Games Ecuador,” Daugherty said. “Students then go out to the projects to put into practice those methodologies alongside the president, vice-president and Ecuadorian personnel of Compassion Canada. The practicality and hands-on experience are life-changing.”

Ministry Issues in Contemporary Culture – February 11-15 – Doug Doyle

Doug DoyleHow do we read our culture? How do we proclaim and live the gospel faithfully within the culture where we find ourselves? Join Doug Doyle as he helps those in ministry to effectively answer these questions. "One thing I appreciate about Doug is his ability to pick up really quickly on cultural cues,” Resch said. "(Issues such as) 'What’s distinctive about a particular place and about the values of the people?' I can’t think of another person that would be better to teach this kind of a course.”

Acts of the Apostles – February 25-March 1 – Susan Wendel

Susan WendelJoin Susan Wendel for an in-depth study of the book of Acts which sets out to “unearth essential clues for recognizing how the ways and actions of God intersect with human destinies.” The book of Acts recounts the realization of the purposes of God among his people and the nations.” Wendel said. “In other words, Luke does not simply narrate the spread of the gospel throughout the Roman Empire; instead, he provides an account of how God acts to accomplish his plan through the work of the Spirit and the obedience of human agents.” "Susan’s expertise is in the literature of Luke and Acts,” Resch said. “So she’s right in the area of her strength here.”

Kingdom and Resurrection: Themes in Eschatology – March 4-8 – David Guretzki

David Guretzki“There’s lots of a conversation going on about the doctrine of hell and different views of personal and corporate eschatology,” Resch said. “As long as I’ve known David he’s had a theological interest in the topic of eschatology—both in terms of last things but also of resurrection and theology – of what it means to die: individual eschatology and eternal punishment and these kinds of things that are so much at issue these days." Join David Guretzki as he addresses many questions that are at the forefront of the Western Church world today.

Stewardship and Generosity – April 22-26 – Tom Berekoff

Tom BerekoffCome and join Tom Berekoff, Briercrest’s executive lead for development and fund raising, as he takes on the topic of money – stewarding well what we have as well as generously giving. Berekoff’s knowledge on the subject makes this a useful course not only for seminary students but also for college business students as well as pastors and denominational leaders. “Gaining a fuller appreciation for the biblical stewardship and generosity is a pivotal aspect of realizing the significance of every individual’s faith walk,” Berekoff explained. “A deeper understanding and appreciation of these principles will enable those who lead ministries to encourage their congregants to experience the joy through their obedience in giving. For all participants, the course will include theological exploration, personal and organizational application, reflection and interaction as the class grows together in the knowledge of a one-kingdom view where the Lord has ownership over all, and where Christ-followers and ministries can rejoice in the knowledge of God’s abundance.

History of Evangelicalism – May 6-10 – Bruce Hindmarsh

Bruce HindmarshBruce Hindmarsh, a Briercrest college graduate as well as a former professor in the seminary, returns to Briercrest to teach in his area of expertise. Bruce is currently the James M. Houston professor of spiritual theology at Regent College. “Bruce is a North American expert on evangelicalism,” Resch said. “He’s written a really important book on John Newton and another book more recently on the idea of conversion narrative. We’re just delighted to have him back to teach in his area of strength on modern evangelicalism.”