Course Descriptions

Course Descriptions

Registration is open for students who have spoken with their advisors prior to registering.

For assistance in registering, contact the Seminary Registrar (for on-campus) at 412-321-8383 or online@bcs.edu for online registration questions.

Summer I 2022 Online Courses

(Mark Collins and Rev. Christiaan Kappes)

This research class provides the basics for successfully performing graduate-level research as well as developing skills for critical reading and writing. This includes analysis and evaluation of print primary as well as secondary resources, online databases, Internet sources and proper research sources and authorities. In addition, students will learn the basics of formatting a document in Microsoft Word including pagination, table of contents, use of linked headings, footnotes and endnotes, inserting images, and captioning. Short lessons on PowerPoint and Excel as research aids are also included.

By the end of this course, the learners should be able to:
  • Summarise, paraphrase and quote useful data from a variety of sources.
  • Critically evaluate data/information.
  • Format complex Word documents.
  • Successfully utilize PowerPoint and Excel in support of research.
  • Analyse, comment on and critique scholarly theological literature.

(2 hour; 1 semester)
(Rev. Stelyios Muksuris)

This elective studies the concept of evil from the perspective of both an ontological force (demonology) and the voluntary rejection and absence of good. The understanding of evil from various ideologies and religions are explored, followed by a particular emphasis on the Judeo-Christian scriptural tradition and its extensive treatment by patristic writers throughout history. At the forefront of this detailed textual survey is the inescapable issue of theodicy and all the arguments associated with it. Following a historical study of how ancient indigenous cultures throughout the world dealt with the problem of evil and demonic spirits ritually, attention will be given to the Eastern Church's practice of baptismal exorcisms and their accompanying prayers within the manuscript tradition. In addition, isolated prayers of exorcism performed in individual cases of adults, together with their theology, will be examined. Finally, the course will briefly look at the Roman Catholic order of exorcists and unique cases of actual exorcisms performed in both the East and West, highlighting the meaning and ramifications of such an activity within the Christian life.

The goals of the course are:
  • to present, in a systematic and coherent fashion, a comprehensive history of the development of the notion of evil and demonology within various socio-religious contexts, especially in the Judeo-Christian milieu;
  • to discern the relationship and interplay between evil as an ontological force and the voluntary rejection and absence of God;
  • to explore how various cultures around the world understood and thus coped with the problem of evil through various religious rituals, and to determine how these rituals affect the “possessed” individual, his peers, and the general populace;
  • to examine in depth the theological meaning behind pre-baptismal exorcisms through the careful probing of the prayers of exorcism in the Eastern Church’s rite of baptism;
  • to study isolated non-baptismal exorcism prayers from the Church’s manuscript tradition, performed in individual cases of adults deemed “possessed” by evil spirits;
  • to investigate actual, documented rites of exorcism performed in both the Eastern and Western Church, highlighting the meaning and implications of such an activity for the Christian community of the twenty-first century.

Prerequisite: LT 100

(3 hours; 1 semester)

Summer II 2022 Online Courses

(Dr. Sandra Collins)

This online course offers perspectives on Catholic-Orthodox/East-West relations in hopes, “that they all may be one” (John 17:21). Students enrolled in this class for credit will virtually prepare a paper in conjunction with faculty-led readings, including primary ecumenical statements as well as current publications highlighted in the lectures and discussions which focus on ecumenism.

Students will learn the following:
  • Engagement with current state of Catholic-Orthodox dialogue.
  • Familiarity with primary ecumenical readings.
  • Critical thinking concerning modern ecumenical topics.
  • Modes of dialogue with significant theological issues from Catholic and Orthodox perspectives.

(1 hour; 1 semester)
(Abouna Justin Rose)

Pioneers, adventurers of the Spirit, eccentric and radically orthodox, the Desert Monastics continue to hold popular and scholarly imagination because of their lives, wise sayings, and living legacy. In the sayings and stories collected, copied, and preserved, we find passionate devotion to God and a revolutionary answer to the call of the Gospel to leave all and follow Christ. These monastics lived in a time of great transition for the Roman Empire and the Christian Church. This course relies heavily upon both primary and secondary reading with lecture and discussion to allow students to enter a world that is stark, foreign and unforgiving and yet rich and relevant even today.

(3 hours; 1 semester)