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Advanced-Level Degrees: Current and Upcoming Courses

For information on 2017-18 courses to be offered by the United Lutheran Seminary (opens July 1, 2017), see

Note that the courses below are those specifically created for students at the post-MDiv level and higher. STM and DMin-level students are also eligible to “upgrade” courses on a limited basis from among the offerings of the first theological degree programs (MDiv, MAR, MAPL). Consult the full course schedule for a complete list of course offerings.

All LTSP courses include online course components, so computer literacy and competency is expected. Registered students will be provided access to the LTSP course Moodle site. Participation in the course may require access and participation in various electronic and social media platforms.

 Fall 2016 | January 2017 | Spring 2017 | Summer 2017


ICE900G PhD Teaching Seminar

A non-credit requirement for all PhD students. This year-long seminar will explore the continual reflective practice of teaching, pedagogical methods, assessment, and the art of teaching.

PhD seminar – Religions and Violence (Dr. Jon Pahl)

Course Description forthcoming.


STM/DMin – Interpreting the Gospels in a World Context (Dr. David Kuck)

The way we interpret Jesus and the Gospels cannot be limited to any one perspective, in view of the wide variety of readings found in churches around the world. This course will explore some of the ways interpreters in different contexts, such as Africa, the Caribbean, Latin America, and Asia, are reading the Gospels. Participants in the course will reflect on how awareness of these situational readings may open up fresh ways of understanding the Gospels in our own settings.  The course will give critical attention to the hermeneutical principles involved in producing and assessing various interpretations.

STM/DMin – Ethics of Life (Dr. Robert Arner)

Jesus tells us that God “is not the God of the dead, but of the living, for to him all are alive” (Luke 20:38). This course considers human life both as God’s gift and as our responsibility in caring for the life and lives God has given us. Special emphasis is placed on issues concerning theological anthropology, the nature of the human person in the context of God’s creation, and our unique dual roles as both part of God’s creation and stewards over it. Much attention is given to issues in which life may be compromised, including, war, capital punishment, abortion, poverty, and euthanasia.

2016 LUTHER COLLOQUY at the Lutheran Theological Seminary at Gettysburg (information will be posted on the LTSG site)



STM/DMin – Faith Across the Lifespan (Dr. Elaine Ramshaw)

As a human experience, faith can be thought of as our way of interpreting life in light of the promises of God. The way we do this looks different at different points in our lives; it is affected by both development and circumstance. In this course we will look at several theories of the relationship between human development and faith: James Fowler, Elizabeth Liebert and others. We will also discuss how faith can change in response to crises, losses or transitions. Students will be asked to focus on a particular stage of development (childhood, adolescence, etc.) or a particular crisis for their research, which they will present to the class, leading discussion on how faith can change, dissolve or grow in this stage or situation. We will explore the implications for pastoral care, Christian formation, and other aspects of church life.

STM/DMin – Reclaiming the Great Commission: Evangelizing Today (Dr. William Hurst)

An overview of biblical, theological and historical foundations of evangelization.  We will also review and seek to better understand contemporary theologies of evangelism in the context of the broader issues of Christian mission in a pluralistic and postmodern society.  Finally, the course will explore and analyze various strategies in the practice of evangelization at the congregational level.

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January 9-13 – STM/DMin – Discerning a Direction Toward Renewal (Pr. John Herman)

There are no magic formulas for transforming congregations. In this course, we will examine and critique multiple 21st century approaches to renewal. Participants will have the guided opportunity to assess the strengths and challenges of particular mission contexts in order to develop a strategic plan for their own congregations.

January 17-20 – STM/DMin – Prepare to Preach/Teach the Gospel of Matthew (Dr. Audrey West)

The Gospel of Matthew has long been a favorite gospel of the church, and elements of its narrative are familiar even to persons who are not Christian. Matthew portrays Jesus as the consummate teacher and preacher, whose words and actions proclaim the presence of “God with us.” This seminar will engage Matthew’s narrative as a whole and through selected pericopes in order to lay the groundwork for proclamation and teaching in today’s ministry contexts.

January 23-27 – DMin only – DMin Collegial Seminar (Dr. John Hoffmeyer)

A seminar for DMin that provides for collegial conversations around problems and issues in ministry based upon case studies, including the role of public theology and ministry.

STM/DMin students are also invited to consider the following MDiv-level courses, available for upgrade:

  • January 9-13 — Word, Spirit and Sacraments (Dr. Nelson Rivera)
  • January 23-27 — Exploring and Examining Global Christianity (Dr. Jayakiran Sebastian)

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PhD seminar – Scriptural Theology Seminar (Dr. Robert Robinson)

Describing writings as scripture signifies a special status and function for those works within communities of faith. This course will examine the historical development of doctrines of scripture, the various ways in which the authority of scriptural writings has been understood, the implications of scriptural status for strategies of interpretation, and the relationship between the authority of the scripture within a community of faith and within the larger realm of public discourse. Primary focus will be on the biblical tradition, but other scriptural traditions will be considered as well.

STM/PhD – Research Methods (Dr. Mrinalini Sebastian)

A thorough examination of the variety of research methodologies available for STM theses and PhD dissertations in scriptural/theological/historical/social-ethical disciplines. Special attention is given to the actual theses and dissertations being proposed by the participants.


STM/DMin – Books of Faith: Print, Politics, Public Event (Dr. Karl Krueger)

A study of the complex and turbulent printing history of the Bible from the invention of moveable type (1453) to the present. Topics covered include the sociology of reading, book production, editorship, page and book format, paratexts, illustrations, censorship, distribution and impact of the editions on the public sphere at the time of publication. The course will utilize the rich holdings of the Rare Book Room of the Krauth Memorial Library.


STM/DMin/PhD – Trinitarian Theology (Dr. John Hoffmeyer)

An examination of the classical development and contemporary revitalization of the doctrine of the Trinity, with an emphasis on using the doctrine of the Trinity as a lens for focusing theological and ethical reflection in church and world today. [PhD students will be required to attend on-campus group sessions.]

STM/DMin – Power, Harassment and Conflict in Congregations (Dr. Shirley Guider)

Using the framework of systems theory we will: explore power dynamics in congregations; examine the impact of boundary issues and violations; discuss the effect harassment (of the pastor as well as by the pastor); bullying and conflict in congregational settings.

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June 12-15 – DMin Colloquia I & II (The Rev. Allison deForest)

Colloquium I introduces students to the DMin program and advanced level study in a peer learning environment, while Colloquium II prepares students for their DMin Project.  Both Colloquia are offered concurrently.


June 26-30 – STM/DMin – Public Theology and Racism (Dr. Andrew Hart)

Western Christianity has deeply entangled itself with white supremacist oppression and colonization in the United States and around the world over the past few centuries. This course will consider, from a theological vantage point, the logics of race and how it strangely imagined and produced a very different sociality than the witness Jesus lived and taught in scripture. Through social analysis, theological reflection, and historical context, we will grapple with the distortions of the Christian faith that aided in producing modern racism as we know it. By recognizing the touchpoints of western Christianity and white supremacy, we will seek to envision a fresh and necessary public articulation of the gospel for our 21st century society.

STM/DMin students are also invited to consider the following MDiv-level courses, available for upgrade:

  • June 5-9 — Sacraments, Hospitality and Globalization (Dr. Cláudio Carvalhaes)
  • June 19-23 — Spiritual Formation (Dr. Jonathan Linman)

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"Centered in the Gospel of Jesus Christ, The Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia seeks to educate and form public leaders who are committed to developing and nurturing individual believers and communities of faith for engagement in the world."