Well, the first week of school has come to a close. What did I learn so far? Well, I’ve learned that I have a lot to learn! In the next three months I’ll be enrolled in seven classes. Two of these classes meet for two hours a week, namely Ecumenical Creeds and Intro to Ministry and Mission. Intro to Theology, NT Textual Criticism, and OT Textual Criticism are all one hour a week. The Final two courses, OT Hebrew and NT Greek, meet for 3 hours a week.
The bulk of the work will come from our Hebrew and Greek language classes, as expected. By the end of the semester we should know all the vocabulary used more than fifty times in the scriptures. So far the language classes have focused on seeing exactly how much knowledge the different students have, and working towards getting us all on equal footing. In Hebrew we’ve started by reviewing the basic grammar rules. Because I’ve studied Hebrew for three years I seem to be doing quite well. In Greek we worked on translating a passage in 1 John. The whole class seems to be having difficulty right now, as our vocabulary and grammar is a bit rusty. Some students have never read Greek out loud while others, like me, have done ample amounts.
Our textual criticism and Intro to Theology classes seem to be quite heavy on the readings with minimal assignments. Which is great except that the final exams are worth 60-80% of the course grade… Let the note taking begin 🙂
In Ecumenical Creeds we’ll be studying the importance and history of Christian Creeds, as well as their function in the church. As far as assignments go, this course has quite a few. First up is memorizing the Apostles’ Creed (done) and the Nicene Creed (working on it), we also have to know the outline of the Athanasian Creed and its main points. In early November we will be tested on our knowledge of the Heidelberg Catechism, Lord’s Days 1-31 (I’ve learned up to 11 so far). Final we have to write a 4000 word research paper addressing an aspect or article of a creed. I think I will look at the history of the descendit, (He descended into Hell), but I’m not totally sure right now.
We also have a Sermon Session which meets for a two hour block on Wednesdays. Freshman don’t prepare any sermons in the first semester thankfully, so it is basically an opportunity to think critically about the structure and delivery of a sermon. To help with this we have a public speaking workshop once a semester. In two or three weeks I’ll by taking the opportunity to tell about an event that happened to me in the past. I’ve already started working on that assignment and have decided to right about a minor car accident I was in a few years ago.
Our first Intro to Ministry and Mission class will be on Monday. I suspect that it will have a similar structure to the Ecumenical Creeds course. Overall it’s been a very exciting week. I’ve really enjoyed the reading assignments and am looking forward to the weeks to come.
In my Reading I came across a nice quote by John Calvin that I thought was relevant
“Let us show ourselves to be such disciples as our Lord wishes to have – poor, empty, and void of self wisdom; eager to learn but knowing nothing, and even wishing to know nothing but what He has taught[.]” – John Calvin, Psychopannychia