University of Chester

Programme Specification
Biblical Studies and Theology BA (Hons) (Single Honours)
2017 - 2018

Bachelor of Arts (Single Honours)

Biblical Studies and Theology

Biblical Studies and Theology (Mattersey Hall College)

University of Chester

Mattersey Hall College

Mattersey Hall College and by Distance Learning

Undergraduate Modular Programme

Full-time and Part-time

Distance, Residential and Open,

3 years full-time, 6 years part-time

7 Years

Annual - September

V600

Yes

17a. Faculty

17b. Department

Arts and Humanities Theology & Religious Studies

Theology and Religious Studies

N/A

Theology and Religious Studies

Wednesday 14th December 2016

The aims of the programme are:

  • To offer a degree with a focus on the core disciplines of biblical studies and theology.
  • To prepare students intellectually and practically for a variety of forms of vocational Christian ministry including the development of presentation and communication skills, understanding of ministry and mission in cross-cultural and intercultural contexts, and the ability to apply biblical and theological knowledge within a ministry and mission setting.
  • To develop knowledge and understanding of concepts central to the disciplines of biblical studies and theology, along with an appreciation of their interrelationship, complexity and ambiguity.
  • To develop a range of transferable skills such as communication, formulating and evaluating a coherent argument, the appropriate use of data and evidence, the awareness of the implications of divergent views, the exercise of personal responsibility and decision-making, resolving problems and making decisions in contexts involving some complexity.
  • To provide a learning environment in which student learning is supported and encouraged, which is sensitive to and caters for the abilities and needs of all learners, and which is dedicated to enhancing the students’ engagement with biblical studies and theology, and their confidence in the learning experience.
  • To provide the academic basis for possible further study in the area of biblical and theological studies.    

Overall outcomes

Students graduating with an honours degree in Biblical Studies and Theology should be able to:

  • Engage with and demonstrate critical understanding of the contents of the Bible and other related texts (where appropriate in its original languages), and demonstrate understanding of exegetical and interpretative approaches (e.g. TH4354, TH4362, TH4367, TH4369, TH4370, TH4371, TH5350, TH5356, TH5358, TH5370, TH5375, TH6350, TH6351, TH6354, TH6355, TH6362).
  • Demonstrate critical knowledge and understanding of key concepts relating to the historical and theological development of Christianity and the Christian Church (e.g. TH4359, TH4361, TH4362, TH5360, TH5361, TH5362, TH5366, TH5367, TH5373, TH6362). 
  • Engage with and demonstrate critical understanding of political, social, cultural and ethical issues relating to Christian theology and its development, to ecclesiological practice and to Christian mission, at home and abroad (e.g. TH4362, TH4363, TH4364, TH4365, TH4368, TH5364, TH5365, TH5369, TH6365, TH6373, TH6362).

Outcomes by level

Level 4: Students should be able to demonstrate knowledge of key concepts of the disciplines of the programme and an ability to evaluate and interpret them (e.g. TH4359, TH4361, TH4364, TH4370, TH4371).

Level 5: Students should be able to demonstrate knowledge and critical understanding of key principles of the subject and of how those principles have developed (e.g. TH5350, TH5360, TH5361, TH5364, TH5365, TH5375).

Level 6: Students should be able to demonstrate detailed knowledge and critical understanding of areas of biblical studies and theology, with reference to advanced scholarship and with an appreciation of uncertainty and ambiguity (e.g. TH6350, TH6352, TH6362, TH6369, TH6372).    

 

Overall outcomes

Students graduating with an honours degree in Biblical Studies and Theology should be able to:

  • Demonstrate the appropriate use of a range of methods of study, including philosophical, historical, linguistic, hermeneutical, practical and pastoral, and the ability to evaluate different methodological approaches (e.g. TH4350,  TH4361, TH4364, TH4365, TH4369, TH4371, TH5350, TH5364, TH5375, TH6350, TH6351, TH6352, TH6354, TH6355, TH6362).
  • Demonstrate a capacity to apply knowledge and understanding of the subject to a variety of practical situations within church and mission contexts (e.g. TH4364, TH4368, TH4371, TH5366, TH5367, TH5369, TH6362, TH6365).
  • Present their own arguments whilst acknowledging and representing, fairly, the views of others (all modules).

Outcomes by level

Level 4: Students should be able to demonstrate the use of a range of appropriate methods for their studies (see above), and demonstrate the exercise of an open and questioning approach to familiar and new material (e.g. TH4350, TH4351, TH4352, TH4365, TH4371).

Level 5: Students should be able to demonstrate development in their competence in a range of methods of study, to build arguments and to choose and to evaluate, critically, the appropriateness of, different approaches (e.g. TH5350, TH5364, TH5365, TH5373, TH5375).

Level 6: Students should be able to apply a range of complementary methods of study, to review and evaluate methods, arguments and assumptions, critically, to consolidate and extend their knowledge and understanding and to devise and sustain critical arguments using ideas and techniques at the forefront of the discipline (e.g. TH6350, TH6351, TH6352, TH6362).    

Overall outcomes

Students graduating with an honours degree in Biblical Studies and Theology should be able to:

  • Interpret biblical texts critically and with a well-developed knowledge and understanding of current scholarship in the area, and to apply that interpretation to contemporary church and mission contexts (e.g. TH4353, TH4370, TH4371, TH5350, TH5370, TH5375, TH6350, TH6351, TH6352, TH6355, TH6362)
  • Apply a well-developed knowledge and understanding of theological ideas to contemporary church and mission contexts (e.g. TH4359, TH5360, TH4364, TH4365, TH4367, TH5361, TH5364, TH5365, TH5367, TH5373, TH6362, TH6365, TH6373)
  • Present and communicate Christian teaching in a range of settings, including in a cross-cultural context (e.g. TH4364, TH4368, TH4371, TH5365, TH5366, TH5369, TH6362, TH6365, TH6373)
  • Demonstrate a firm grasp of theory and its relation to praxis (e.g. TH4350, TH4362, TH4364, TH4365, TH4371, TH5350, TH5364, TH5367, TH5375, TH6350, TH6352, TH6362, TH6365, TH6369, TH6373)
  • Collect and use appropriate primary and secondary to set out and defend an argument (all modules)
  • Undertake self-directed study and show independence of thought and critical awareness of their own outlook, commitment and prejudices, possibly in preparation for further study (e.g. TH6362)
  • use technology and computer skills to identify appropriate source material and data, support research, and enhance presentations (all modules)

Outcomes by level

Level 4: Students should be able to evaluate different approaches to solving problems related to the area of study and demonstrate transferable skills necessary for employment requiring the exercise of some personal responsibility (e.g. TH4350, TH4359, TH4364, TH4368, TH4370, TH4371).

Level 5: Students should be able to apply underlying concepts and principles outside the context in which they were first studied, including in an employment context and demonstrate qualities and generic skills necessary for employment requiring the exercise of personal responsibility and decision-making (e.g. TH5364, TH5369).

Level 6: Students should be able to demonstrate an ability to resolve problems and make decisions in contexts involving some complexity and to exercise initiative and personal responsibility (e.g. TH6350, TH6352, TH6362, TH6373).

Overall outcomes

Students graduating with an honours degree in Biblical Studies and Theology should be able to:

  • Communicate information, ideas, arguments, principles and theories, to an intended audience by a variety of means, including written and/or oral and visual (all modules).
  • Develop and present the results of research accurately and reliably through coherent and structured argument (all modules).

Outcomes by level

Level 4: Students should be able to communicate accurately and demonstrate appropriate use of primary and secondary sources, with full and accurate references, within a structured and coherent argument (e.g. TH4350, TH4370, TH4371).

Level 5: Students should be able to formulate a coherent argument, with appropriate use of data and evidence, and with an awareness of the implications of divergent views (e.g. TH5350, TH5364, TH5365, TH5370, TH5375)

Level 6: Students should be able to develop projects and assignments which sustain and evaluate an argument, largely through independent enquiry, and which draw on a range of scholarly resources including research articles and primary sources (e.g. TH6362)    

At Level 4:

Students must choose:

  • TH4359 Christian Doctrine (1)
  • TH4370 Bible Survey
  • TH4371 Understanding and Communicating the Bible

Distance Learning students are also required to take TH4350 Study Skills (10 credits). This module is not available to on-campus students.

Students then choose additional modules from TH4353–TH4368 (see below, 24b) to make the total number of Level 4 credits up to 120. For students studying by Distance Learning TH4364 and TH4368 are not available, and TH4369 is only available subject to satisfactory provision for required examinations. TH4353 is only available to Distance Learning students.

TH4367 Biblical Languages for Christian Ministry provides an introduction to Biblical Greek and Hebrew. This may be developed at Level 4 in TH4369 Introductory New Testament Greek and at Level 5 in TH5356 Intermediate New Testament Greek (1), TH5357 Intermediate New Testament Greek (2), TH5358 Introductory Biblical Hebrew (1), TH5359 Introductory Biblical Hebrew (2) and at Level 6 in TH6354 Mark’s Gospel in Greek, TH6355 John’s Gospel in Greek.

At Level 5:

Students choose 120 credits from TH5350–TH5377 (see below, 24b) subject to the following requirements:

Students must choose: 

  • TH5350 Old Testament Studies
  • TH5375 New Testament Studies (A)

And at least one of:

  • TH5360 Early Church History
  • TH5373 Pentecostal and Charismatic Studies

For students studying by Distance Learning TH5359 is not available, and TH5358, TH5359 and TH5377 are only available subject to satisfactory provision for required examinations.  

At level 6

Students must choose the compulsory module, TH6362 Dissertation (BST)

Students then choose a further 80 credits from TH6350–TH6373 (see below, 24b) with at least 40 credits taken from:

  • TH6350 Old Testament Theology
  • TH6351 The Book of Isaiah (in English)
  • TH6352 New Testament Theology
  • TH6355 John’s Gospel in Greek OR TH6354 Mark’s Gospel in Greek

Although knowledge of Hebrew is not required for TH6351 The Book of Isaiah (in English), students who have studied Hebrew will have opportunity to use their language skills in exegetical assignments.

TH6347, TH6348, TH6374–TH6395 are advanced versions of earlier level modules, designed, primarily for Graduate Diploma students. These may also be available to BA students who have not taken the earlier level module.

Mod-Code Level Title Credit Single
TH4350 4 Study Skills 10 Optional
TH4353 4 John’s Gospel in English (A) 20 Optional
TH4354 4 John’s Gospel in English (B) 10 Optional
TH4356 4 Communicating the Bible 10 Optional
TH4359 4 Christian Doctrine (1) 10 Comp
TH4361 4 Church History Survey 10 Optional
TH4362 4 Lukan Perspectives on Mission 10 Optional
TH4363 4 Introduction to Missions 10 Optional
TH4364 4 Missions Trip (1) 10 Optional
TH4365 4 Christian Worldview 10 Optional
TH4367 4 Biblical Languages for Christian Ministry 10 Optional
TH4368 4 Local Church Ministry 10 Optional
TH4369 4 Introductory New Testament Greek 10 Optional
TH4370 4 Bible Survey 20 Comp
TH4371 4 Understanding and Communicating the Bible 20 Comp
TH5350 5 Old Testament Studies 20 Comp
TH5352 5 New Testament Background 10 Optional
TH5356 5 Intermediate New Testament Greek (1) 10 Optional
TH5357 5 Intermediate New Testament Greek (2) 10 Optional
TH5358 5 Introductory Biblical Hebrew (1) 10 Optional
TH5359 5 Introductory Biblical Hebrew (2) 10 Optional
TH5360 5 Early Church History 20 Optional
TH5361 5 Christian Doctrine (2) 10 Optional
TH5364 5 Christian Personal and Social Ethics 10 Optional
TH5365 5 Christian Missions 20 Optional
TH5366 5 Cross-Cultural Ministry 20 N/A
TH5367 5 Biblical Perspectives on the Local Church 10 Optional
TH5368 5 Pentecostal Church History 20 N/A
TH5369 5 Missions Trip (2) 10 Optional
TH5370 5 Pauline Studies 20 Optional
TH5373 5 Pentecostal and Charismatic Studies 20 Optional
TH5375 5 New Testament Studies (A) 20 Comp
TH5377 5 Introductory New Testament Greek 10 Optional
TH6347 6 Introductory New Testament Greek 10 Optional
TH6348 6 New Testament Studies (A) 20 Optional
TH6350 6 Old Testament Theology 20 Optional
TH6351 6 The Book of Isaiah (in English) 20 Optional
TH6352 6 New Testament Theology 20 Optional
TH6354 6 Mark’s Gospel in Greek 20 Optional
TH6355 6 John’s Gospel in Greek 20 Optional
TH6356 6 Intermediate Biblical Hebrew (1) 10 Optional
TH6357 6 Intermediate Biblical Hebrew (2) 10 Optional
TH6361 6 Trinity, Incarnation and Atonement 20 Optional
TH6362 6 Dissertation (BST) 40 Comp
TH6363 6 Intermediate New Testament Greek (1) 10 Optional
TH6364 6 Intermediate New Testament Greek (2) 10 Optional
TH6365 6 Contemporary Apostolic & Prophetic Leadership 20 Optional
TH6369 6 Pentecostal and Charismatic Studies 10 Optional
TH6372 6 Global Pentecostalism: a survey 20 Optional
TH6373 6 Church Planting 20 Optional
TH6374 6 Pauline Studies 20 Optional
TH6376 6 Old Testament Studies 20 Optional
TH6378 6 New Testament Background 10 Optional
TH6379 6 New Testament Studies 10 Optional
TH6384 6 Introductory Biblical Hebrew (1) 10 Optional
TH6385 6 Introductory Biblical Hebrew (2) 10 Optional
TH6386 6 Early Church History 20 Optional
TH6387 6 Christian Doctrine (2) 10 Optional
TH6390 6 Christian Personal and Social Ethics 10 Optional
TH6391 6 Christian Missions 20 Optional
TH6392 6 Cross-Cultural Ministry 20 Optional
TH6393 6 Biblical Perspectives on the Local Church 10 Optional
TH6394 6 Pentecostal Church History 20 Optional
TH6395 6 Pentecostal and Charismatic Studies (A) 20 Optional

Level 4 - 120 credits - Certificate of Higher Education
Level 5 - 240 credits (120 @ Level5 + 120 @ Level 4) - Diploma of Higher Education
Level 6 - 360 credits (120 @ Level6 + 120 @ Level5 + 120 @ Level 4) - BA (Hons)    

N/A

N/A

Students should display demonstrable potential to complete the course successfully. 

Minimum entrance requirements for admission to the BA (Hons) programme in Year 1 are, normally, 2 A-levels or equivalent. Mature applicants (21+), who do not have formal qualifications, may be admitted to the programme if the Board of Studies deem them able to complete the programme successfully. As part of this assessment applicants will normally be required to submit an essay on a Biblical subject.

Those seeking admission to the BA programme will normally be accepted only subject to satisfactory references and, in the case of on campus students, also a satisfactory interview.

For students wishing to transfer credits into the scheme from other UK universities and recognised institutions, the rules followed will comply with the rules and processes for APCL and APEL of the University of Chester. The eligibility of credits gained from overseas institutions will be assessed using UK NARIC guidelines.

English language requirements:

All students must provide evidence of appropriate competency in written and spoken English. For students whose first language is not English, and who have not studied in English up to at least Level 2 the normal requirement will be IELTS 6.0 (with no less than 5.5 in any band) or equivalent.   

The Theology and Religious Studies (TRS) Subject Benchmark Statement, published by the QAA in 2000 and revised in 2007 and 2014, details the range of subject knowledge (3.1), the qualities of mind (3.2), and the generic skills (3.4) acquired and developed in TRS degree programmes.

The Subject Benchmark Statement notes the dynamic nature of the subject (1.1), and the need to stimulate curiosity and promote in-depth study in a critical and empathetic manner (1.3).  The Statement also notes the complexity of the relationship between academic study and religious communities and the benefits understanding brings to the development of that relationship and both areas (1.12). These features in particular are foundational to the intention and aims of the BA in Biblical Studies and Theology. Modules are designed and structured to develop the student's observation and investigative ability, whilst also introducing them to descriptive, analytical and critical thinking about texts, theologies and doctrines and their relationship to their Christian ministry setting.

Subject Knowledge

  • A broadly based core that gives opportunity for more specialised study. Level 4 includes core subjects in the areas of biblical studies (TH4370), hermeneutics (TH4371), theology (TH4359) and an introduction to biblical languages (TH4367), supported by a range of other introductory modules exploring church history (TH4361), missions (TH4362, TH4363, TH4364), worldview (TH4365) and homiletics (TH4371). These are then built on and developed in levels 5 and 6 (e.g. TH5350, TH5358, TH5361, TH5364, TH5365, TH5373, TH5375, TH6350, TH6351, TH6355, TH6362, TH6365, TH6372, TH6373).
  • Origins, history and development of one or more religions (e.g. TH4361, TH4363, TH4365, TH5360, TH5361, TH5367, TH5368, TH5373, TH6365, TH6372).
  • Reading, analysis and interpretation of sacred texts (in original or translation format), including historical context, close reading and hermeneutical questions concerning current meaning and application (e.g. TH4367, TH4369, TH4370, TH4371, TH5350, TH5358, TH5359, TH5370, TH5375, TH5377, TH6350, TH6351, TH6352, TH6354, TH5355)
  • Engagement with some of the major religious thinkers, prophets, teachers, ascetics, mystics, healers or leaders through their extant work or subsequent influence (e.g. TH4359, TH4361, TH4362, TH4365, TH4370, TH5350, TH5360, TH5361, TH5370, TH5373, TH5375, TH6350, TH6351, TH6352, TH6372) 
  • Application of a variety of critical methods of study, to the study of texts, practices and religious communities as social or cultural entities (e.g. TH4350, TH4363, TH4365, TH4371, TH5350, TH5365, TH5369, TH5375, TH6350, TH6351, TH6352, TH6362, TH6365, Th6372, TH6373) 

Qualities of mind

  • Development of the student's ability to understand contexts and beliefs different to their own tradition and background, whilst developing a sensitivity for and understanding of the breadth and complexity of diverse worldviews (e.g. TH4363, TH4364, TH4365, TH4368, TH4370, TH5350, TH5364, TH5365, TH5366, TH5367, TH5368, TH5375, TH6350, TH6352, TH6372, TH6373)
  • Development of critical and analytical skills, self-awareness and the ability to reflect on and apply a variety of methods of study in order to set out clear accounts and coherent arguments (all modules)

Generic skills

All of the modules have been designed to develop certain generic key skills in keeping with the Benchmark Statement, in particular empathy and imaginative insight, with a tolerance of diverse positions, self-discipline, ability to attend to others and have respect for others' views, commitment to lifelong learning and ability to work with others.  In addition to this various levels aim to develop the following:

  • Level 4: Capacity for reflexive learning, ability to gather, evaluate and synthesise different types of information, IT skills, including word-processing, communicating by email and using the web, accessing information from electronic as well as non-electronic sources, writing skills, including accurate referencing and clarity of expression.
  • Level 5: Independence of mind and initiative, capacity to modify, suspend or otherwise change position when warranted, presentation skills, both oral and written and ability to attend closely to the meaning of written documents.
  • Level 6: Analytical ability and the capacity to formulate questions and solve problems and ability to read texts in a different language.

These are developed through the learning ethos of the department and specifically through formative learning methods such as class discussion, group seminar presentations, assignment proposal development, dissertation research and presentations. Self-discipline and self-direction are particularly tested/demonstrated with the Dissertation (TH6362).    

For students studying on campus at Mattersey Hall, teaching and learning is normally though classroom-based activity (normally 18 hours for a 10-credit module and 36 hours for a 20-credit module), and will include lectures, seminars, group-work activities, and student-led presentations and feedback. There is also some field work (in the form of Missions Trips). Tasks and other formative exercises may be set, and reading lists and guided learning notes are provided. In addition to scheduled group contact with lecturers, students will also normally spend around 82 hours per 10-credit module and 164 hours per 20-credit module in independent study, including time preparing for assessment and reading material in and around the themes of lectures.

The Dissertation (TH6362) has no formal teaching associated with it, proposals are discussed individually with students, and once a title has been agreed, a tutor will be assigned who will normally meet with the student to give guidance in planning and structuring the dissertation. Continuing guidance and support will be available both by e-mail and in further one-to-one tutorials.

Students studying by distance learning will receive a Study Guide or textbook for each module taken and, where appropriate, additional notes. The material supplied will contain sufficient information to guide the student through the module, and will include self-assessment questions, and points for further reading and research. A consideration for the future is to supplement this material with videos and/or audio files of the corresponding on-campus lectures. In addition to the Personal Tutor assigned to each student, DL students will also be assigned a Module Tutor, for each module taken. The Module Tutor will be available via e-mail or other online communication, to give guidance and ongoing support to students in areas specifically relating to the subject material of the module. The amount of time available will be substantially less than the on-campus lecture contact time (we anticipate around 4-5 hours); but that is made up for in that this is one-to-one interaction. We believe that this additional tutorial support will ensure greater parity with students studying on campus.

Modules will, generally, be assessed by a portfolio of work with a total (equivalent) word count of 2000 per 10 credits (where a one-hour examination has a word-count equivalent of 1000 words).

Written coursework assesses students’ subject knowledge, as well as their ability to conduct independent research, to identify, analyse and evaluate sources, and to present a coherent argument. This provides summative assessment of the students’ ability to study a topic in some depth.

Formative assessment for the guidance of teaching is through classroom observation, interaction, presentation and feedback. In the case of students studying by Distance Learning, it is through regular e-mail and other online exchanges. Because the feedback from assessments contains more general and generic comments, as well as module specific comments, this, too, provides formative information for students.

At Level 4, learning is predominantly guided by tutors, and students are expected to offer a more descriptive response in assignments, demonstrating understanding of issues and sources, subject-specific methods, critical reflection and presentation of accurate information in a coherent argument. Assignments may be broken up into smaller components.

At Level 5 there is more scope for independent research and study. There is also the expectation of a greater level of critical engagement with the subject and sources, with opportunity to demonstrate a wider range of methods of study. Assignments are generally longer, giving greater scope to develop structured arguments.

At Level 6 students develop a greater responsibility for their own learning, and are expected to demonstrate a still greater level of critical analysis and evaluation. Assignments for modules at this level may include longer components (3000–4000 words) giving more scope to develop a sustained argument.    

Following the acquisition of this award, students will be equipped to follow a number of related career pathways, including work in teaching and religious professions.

Through this programme students develop the abilities to:

  • Conduct independent research into a particular area of study
  • Gather, organise and assess data from primary and secondary sources
  • Critically analyse and evaluate the views and arguments of others
  • Structure and communicate ideas effectively by written and verbal means
  • Organise their own workload towards the meeting of deadlines
  • Show critical self-awareness and open-mindedness towards other cultures and viewpoints
  • Present an argument to support their own view
  • Demonstrate improved IT skills.

Successful students will be able to apply the methods and techniques that they have learned to review, consolidate, extend and apply their knowledge and understanding, and to initiate and carry out projects; critically evaluate arguments, assumptions, abstract concepts and data (that may be incomplete), to make judgments, and to frame appropriate questions to achieve a solution - or identify a range of solutions - to a problem; communicate information, ideas, problems, and solutions to both specialist and non-specialist audiences.

Students will also have qualities and transferable skills necessary for employment requiring:

  • The exercise of initiative and personal responsibility;
  • Self-discipline and time-management
  • Decision-making in complex and unpredictable contexts; and
  • The learning ability needed to undertake appropriate further training of a professional or equivalent nature.    

A number of modules on this programme offer opportunities for addressing questions of gender, sexuality, age, disability, race and religious identity, whether in the context of biblical backgrounds, church history or contemporary cultural and church contexts.

The BA in Biblical Studies and Theology programme conforms to the University of Chester’s policies and priorities regarding admissions, widening access and participation, equal opportunities and AP(E)L; and it offers individual academic support to all its students.

 

 The programme is enriched by the opportunity to take part in 10-day Missions Trips, usually in a cross-cultural context, in each year of their degree programme. These give students the opportunity to experience and engage with individuals and groups from a range of different religious and social backgrounds. This helps to develop reflective skills and an awareness of, and sensitivity to, other cultures.    

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