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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Divinity : Divinity

Undergraduate Course: Church, Sacraments and Ministry (DIVI10024)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Divinity CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 10 (Year 3 Undergraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThe theology of the church and its ministry particularly in the context of the relationship of word and sacrament, relating these to contemporary issues facing the church and its ministry.
Course description Academic Description:
The course explores the understanding of church, sacraments and ministry in Reformed and ecumenical contexts. Focus is upon the history, doctrine and practice of ordained ministry with particular reference to Scottish Reformed contexts. The course is required of all Church of Scotland candidates, although it is open to all other qualified students.

Syllabus/Outline Content:
Attention is devoted to contested accounts of the church, infant baptism, the real presence of Christ in the Eucharistic elements, theologies of ordination, visual culture and the Reformation, church and state, new approaches to mission, and the history of worship in Scotland.

Student Learning Experience Information:
Each session will comprise a short lecture from the course teacher followed by a student-led presentation of the prescribed text. For ease of access, texts will be made available electronically. Essay topics enable students to explore other themes (e.g. confirmation or the eldership) and to work from different ecclesiological perspectives (e.g. Scottish Episcopalianism). There will be a short format take-home exam where students will be asked to answer three questions (chosen from ten) on material explored in lectures and seminars.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Students MUST have passed: ( The God(s) of the Philosophers: Proposals and Problems (THET08018) OR The God(s) of the Philosophers: Proposals and Problems (DIVI08026)) OR ( Christian Theology: Doctrines and Debates (THET08017) OR Christian Theology: Doctrines and Debates (DIVI08025))
Prohibited Combinations Students MUST NOT also be taking Church, Sacraments and Ministry 3/4 (THET10001)
Other requirements Students who have previously taken the following course MUST NOT enroll: Church, Sacraments and Ministry 3/4 (THET10001)
Information for Visiting Students
Pre-requisitesVisiting students should have at least 3 Divinity/Religious Studies courses at grade B or above (or be predicted to obtain this). We will only consider University/College level courses.
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2023/24, Available to all students (SV1) Quota:  18
Course Start Semester 1
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Seminar/Tutorial Hours 27, Feedback/Feedforward Hours 1, Summative Assessment Hours 2, Revision Session Hours 1, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 165 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 50 %, Coursework 30 %, Practical Exam 20 %
Additional Information (Assessment) 20% - Seminar presentations and participation

30% - Essay (3000 words)

50% - Exam (short take-home format). Students will be asked to answer 3 questions (chosen from 10) on material explored in lectures and seminars.
Feedback Ahead of essay submission, students are invited to email an essay outline (2-3 pages) to receive formative feedback. After essay submission, students will receive formal feedback within the timeframe specified by the University.
Exam Information
Exam Diet Paper Name Hours & Minutes
Main Exam Diet S1 (December)2:15
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Demonstrate an understanding of Reformed theologies of church, sacraments and ministry in historical and theological perspective.
  2. Demonstrate an understanding of different approaches to Christian worship with particular regard to the relationship between word and sacrament.
  3. Read critically and comment upon a number of important texts in the designated areas of study.
  4. Relate the study of historical and theological texts to issues of concern in the contemporary church and its ministry.
  5. Show they have enhanced the development of their presentational and communication skills in a small group setting.
Reading List
'Introduction' in Paul T. Nimmo and David A. S. Fergusson, Cambridge Companion to Reformed Theology (Cambridge University Press, 2016), 1:7.

David F. Wright, What has Infant Baptism done to Baptism? An enquiry at the end of Christendom (Milton Keynes: Paternoster, 2005), 11-33.

Paul Nimmo, 'Baptismal Theology and Practice in the Church of Scotland', in D.B. Forrester and D.C. Gay (eds.) Worship and Liturgy in Context (London: SCM, 2009), 92-106.

John Calvin, Institutes IV 17, 1:34, 'The sacred supper of Christ, and what it brings to us.'

John Dyer, 'Digital Communion: History, Theology, and Practices'

Iain Torrance, 'A Reflection on Communion by Internet', Scottish Church Service Society Record (Volume 55, 2020, 1-4

David Fergusson, 'The Theology of Worship: A Reformed Perspective', in D. B. Forrester and D. C. Gay (eds.) Worship and Liturgy in Context (London: SCM) 67-80.

Nicholas Wolterstorff, Hearing the Call: Liturgy, Justice, Church and World (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2011) 1:16, 29:38.

William Dyrness, Reformed Theology and Visual Culture: The Protestant Imagination from Calvin to Edwards (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2004), 62:84.

Sally A. Brown, Sunday's Sermon for Monday's World: Preaching to Shape Daring Witness (Eerdmans, 2020), 71-101.

David Fergusson, Church, State and Civil Society (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press), ch. 7, 'Church and nation', 140-165.

Elizabeth Henderson, 'From Monochrome to Colour', in Colin Maclean and Kenneth Veitch, eds., Scottish Life and Society: A Companion of Scottish Ethnology, Volume 12, Religion (Edinburgh: John Donald, 2006), 56:71.

Mary Levison, Wrestling with the Church: One Woman's Experience (1992), 73-106.

Extracts from Theological Commission on Same-Sex Relationships and the Ministry, General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, 2013.
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills - Empathy and imaginative insight, with a tolerance of diverse positions
- Capacity to modify, suspend or otherwise change position when warranted
- Analytical ability and the capacity to formulate questions and solve problems
- Ability to engage critically with the meaning of documents and recognise that meanings may be multiple
Course organiserProf Susan Hardman Moore
Tel: (0131 6)50 8900
Course secretaryMiss Rachel Dutton
Tel: (0131 6)50 7227
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