Theological engagement involves complexity, challenge, and a sense of wonder. At the center of the core religion curriculum is theological reflection that invites the academic community – students and faculty – to think faithfully about the issues of life in a context of Christian commitment. Core areas of study include the following: biblical competence; philosophy, theology and Christian ethics; the nature and mission of the church; leadership; and spirituality.

Definition of Terms

By theological engagement we mean the systematic exploration of issues in human experience in light of the truth revealed in Scripture; we affirm as a matter of course that systematic inquiry calls the interpreter to prayer, discernment, and responsible action in the life of the church.

By research we mean the capacity to formulate clear and appropriate questions, to examine critically both the primary evidence and the secondary literature by which the evidence is evaluated, and to report findings and conclusions in terms which are acceptable in the academy and the church.

By biblical competence we mean the intimate knowledge of the Christian Scriptures, including both their content and the issues and skills related to their proper interpretation.

By Christian ethics we mean the systematic reflection on issues pertaining to the moral life, including the grounds of moral reasoning, virtues, consequences, and motives.

By the nature and mission of the church we mean the vocation by which the people of God are corporately called to be visible evidence of God’s intention to draw the world into relationship with Himself.

By Christian leadership we mean the awareness of the ways in which one’s calling, giftedness, and skills are integrated into a developing capacity to serve, communicate, and care for others.

By spirituality we mean the range and depth of one’s experiences of the human condition, and the processes by which persons and communities are redeemed and transformed in the service of God and humanity.

Religion Major Core Requirements

25 units

BINT 270 Research Methods for the Study of Scripture 3 units
ICST 272 A Theology of Church Mission 2 units
ICST 285 Theology and Worldview in a Multicultural Society 2 units
NT 462 Selected Themes in New Testament Theology 3 units
OT 472 Selected Themes in Old Testament Theology 3 units
PLST 310 Introduction to Christian Leadership 2 units
PLST 312 Introduction to Pastoral Care 2 units
PLST 314 Introduction to Preaching and Teaching 2 units
PLST 372 Research Methods for the Study of Ethics and Christian Leadership 3 units
PLST 420 Disciplines of the Spiritual Life 3 units

Note: The configuration of thse core requirements is built upon the core curriculum courses in religion (see Core Curriculum section of this catalog).

Concentrations of the Religion Major

Religion Major with a Concentration in Biblical Studies

Biblical studies support the mission of the Department of Religion with a thorough survey of biblical literature integrated with biblical history and culture. Upper division courses in specific books, or groupings of books, permit the student to sample meaningfully representative types of biblical literature; other courses emphasize various methods in exegetical study, the principles of sound interpretation, the distinctive theological emphasis of the various sectors of biblical thought, and the utilization of archaeological and literary backgrounds. In addition, students study selected issues and methods pertaining to theology, philosophy, ethics, and church history.

Biblical Studies Concentration Requirements

31 units

Choose one of the following sets (10 units):
BLAN 102 Introduction to Hebrew 2 units
BLAN 201 Beginning Greek I 4 units
BLAN 202 Beginning Greek II 4 units
OR
BLAN 100 Introduction to Greek 2 units
BLAN 204 Beginning Hebrew I 4 units
BLAN 205 Beginning Hebrew II 4 units
Upper Division OT/NT/BINT Electives 6 units
CHIS Elective 3 units
Upper Division NT Elective 3 units
Upper Division OT Elective 3 units
Upper Division PHIL/THEO Elective 6 units

SOCS/MATH 265C is recommended for the core curriculum requirement in mathematics. PLST 406 is recommended as an elective.

Religion Major with a Concentration in Christian Formation and Discipleship Studies

Christian formation and discipleship studies support the mission of the Department of Religion with the study of church mission in relation to the formation and discipleship of children, youth, and adults in local churches and para-church ministries. In addition to selected studies in biblical literature, theology, ethics, and church history, students engage in disciplined theological reflection on ministry skills and field experiences to bridge theory and practice in anticipated areas of vocational, church staff, and volunteer ministries.

Christian Formation and Discipleship Studies
Concentration Requirements

32 units

CFST 101 Introduction to Christian Formation and Discipleship 2 units
CFST 102 Introduction to Intercultural Studies 2 units
Choose two of the following courses (4 units): 4 units
CFST 322 Christian Formation of Children 2 units
CFST 324 Introduction to Youth Ministry 2 units
CFST 326 Adult Formation and Discipleship 2 units
CFST 430 Management in Christian Organizations 3 units
CFST 461 Integrative Field Studies 3 units
Upper Division OT/NT/BINT Elective 3 units
CHIS Elective 3 units
Upper Division NT Elective 3 units
Upper Division OT Elective 3 units
Upper Division PHIL/THEO Electives 6 units

SOCS/MATH 265C is recommended for the core curriculum requirement in mathematics. One course in a biblical language and PLST 406 are recommended as electives.

Religion Major with a Concentration in Intercultural Studies

Intercultural and urban studies support the mission of the Department of Religion with the study of church mission in relation to intercultural and urban ministry opportunities. In addition to selected studies in biblical literature, theology, ethics, and church history, students engage in disciplined theological reflection on ministry skills and field experiences, especially in global, ethnic, and urban ministries.

Intercultural Studies Concentration Requirements

32 units

ICST 102 Introduction to Intercultural Studies 2 units
Choose one of the following sets (6 units): 4 units
ICST 315 Globalization of Church Mission 3 units
ICST 485 Current Issues in Mission Studies 3 units
OR
ICST 434 Models in Urban Ministry 3 units
ICST 473 Urban Leadership/Social Transformation 3 units
ICST 312 Cross-Cultural Studies 3 units
or ICST 320 Culture Change
or ICST 464 Religion and Culture in Latin America
or Elective
ICST 461 Integrative Field Studies 3 units
Upper Division OT/NT/BINT Elective 3 units
CHIS Elective 3 units
Upper Division NT Elective 3 units
Upper Division OT Elective 3 units
Upper Division PHIL/THEO Electives 6 units

ANTH/INTBC 102 is required as the social science elective in the core curriculum; SOCS/MATH 265C is recommended for the core curriculum requirement in mathematics. One course in a biblical language and PLST 406 are recommended as electives.

Religion Major with a Concentration in Pastoral Leadership Studies

Pastoral leadership studies support the mission of the Department of Religion with the study of church mission in relation to the formation of pastoral leaders. In addition to selected studies in biblical literature, theology, ethics, and church history, students engage in disciplined theological reflection on pastoral ministry skills and field experiences to bridge theory and practice in anticipated areas of vocational and volunteer ministry.

Pastoral Leadership Studies Concentration Requirements

32 units

PLST 102 Introduction to Intercultural Studies 2 units
PLST 425 Narrative and Expository Preaching 3 units
PLST 430 Management in Christian Organizations 3 units
PLST 440 Pastoral Care and Counseling 3 units
PLST 461 Integrative Field Studies 3 units
Upper Division OT/NT/BINT Elective 3 units
CHIS Elective 3 units
Upper Division NT Elective 3 units
Upper Division OT Elective 3 units
Upper Division PHIL/THEO Electives 6 units

SOCS/MATH 265C is recommended for the core curriculum requirement in mathematics. One course in a biblical language and PLST 406 are recommended as electives.

Religion Major with a Concentration in Youth Leadership Studies

Youth leadership studies support the mission of the Department of Religion with the study of church mission in relation to the formation of youth leaders. In addition to selected studies in biblical literature, theology, ethics and church history, students engage in disciplined theological reflection on youth ministry skills and field experiences to bridge theory and practice in anticipated areas of vocational, church staff, and volunteer ministries.

To equip future youth leaders more effectively, a variety of courses and workshops are available through the Strategic Youth Alliance, a joint partnership of Vanguard University of Southern California, the Southern California District Assemblies of God Youth Ministries, and the National Institute of Youth Ministries.

Youth Leadership Studies Concentration Requirements

32 units

YLST 102 Introduction to Intercultural Studies 2 units
YLST 324 Introduction to Youth Ministry 2 units
YLST 422 Preaching and Teaching in Youth Context 2 units
YLST 432 Care and Counsel of Youth 2 units
or Elective
YLST 430 Management in Christian Organizations 3 units
YLST 461 Integrative Field Studies 3 units
Upper Division OT/NT/BINT Elective 3 units
CHIS Elective 3 units
Upper Division NT Elective 3 units
Upper Division OT Elective 3 units
Upper Division PHIL/THEO Electives 6 units

SOCS/MATH 265C is recommended for the core curriculum requirement in mathematics. One course in a biblical language and PLST 406 are recommended as electives.

Religion Major with No Concentration

For those students who prefer a general approach to the study of religion, the following electives in subject areas are required.

Religion Major with No Concentration Requirements

32 units

Any Upper Division Religion Electives 14 units
Upper Division OT/NT/BINT Elective 3 units
CHIS Elective 3 units
Upper Division NT Elective 3 units
Upper Division OT Elective 3 units
Upper Division PHIL/THEO Electives 6 units

* This information is provided for ease of use, however it is not the official record. See the academic catalog for official course descriptions and requirements.