By Tom Tehan
This fall Spring Hill College (SHC) is offering two classes as part of its extension program available here in the Diocese of Jackson, Christian Social Ethics: War and Peace, taught by Dr. Matthew Bagot and Theology of Sacrament taught by Dr. Joy Blaylock. These classes begin Sept. 7 and end Nov. 14.
Winter classes begin Nov. 16 and end Jan. 30, 2016. They are: Synoptic Gospels taught by Dr. Timothy Carmody and Eucharist taught by Dr. Steven Wilson.
SHC has changed its graduate programs in theology and ministry to new blended-format MTS, MPS and MA programs designed for adult students seeking a part-time graduate program that allows them to continue in their professional or family commitments and still pursue a deeper and more contemporary understanding of Christian faith. There are three masters degree options: Master of Theological Studies (MTS – 33 credit hours), Master of Pastoral Studies (MPS – 33 credit hours), and Master of Arts in Theology (MA – 48 credit hours).
Spring Hill also offers a graduate certificate program – Certificate of Spiritual Direction (CSD) and an undergraduate certificate program with the option to be completed as an undergraduate bachelor degree – Certificate of Theological Studies (CTS). For more information visit www.shc.edu/grad/theology or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 251-380-4665.
This fall I am registered for Christian Social Ethics. Upon completion of this class I will have a total of 27 credit hours. I plan on taking the class Eucharist in the winter to complete my requirements for the Certificate of Theological Studies. It has been a rewarding four years of study, reflection and developing of research papers. It has not always been easy and at times frustrating; however the rewards and the growing in faith have been well worth the effort. I’ve continued to work a full time job, balancing work, studies, family life and other various commitments.
This past spring I completed the course Synoptic Gospels taught by Dr. Timothy Carmody. This class will be taught again in the winter session. Synoptic Gospels is the comparison of the gospels written by Matthew, Mark and Luke. The methods of study and comparison of these gospels as taught by Dr. Carmody has left me with a way to study and reflect on the gospels gaining insights that I would otherwise not have been exposed to.
SHC has two levels of courses. Level I classes are taught online with one in person class meeting on a Saturday in either Mobile or Atlanta. Level II courses are all online. The online experience allows students to structure their time as they have available. Typically the class format is as follows:
The instructor will assign the readings for the week and pose a couple of questions to be answered online and shared with the other students in the class. A threaded discussion will follow. The student will prepare a one page response to the reading assignment each week. A midterm six-eight page paper and a final paper will be required based on a question assigned by the instructor. This format varies with each instructor.
(Tom Tehan is a member of Starkville St. Joseph Parish.)
By Tom Tehan