University of Chester

Programme Specification
Applied Theology BA (Hons) (Single Honours)
2017 - 2018

Bachelor of Arts (Single Honours)

Applied Theology

Applied Theology (Regents Theological College - PHASE IN FROM 2017/18)

University of Chester

Regents Theological College

Regents Theological College

Undergraduate Modular Programme

Full-time and Part-time

Classroom / Laboratory,

3 years full time or 6 years part time

7 Years

Annual - October

Yes

17a. Faculty

17b. Department

Arts and Humanities Theology & Religious Studies

Theology and Religious Studies

Theology and Religious Studies

Friday 25th November 2016

The programme aims to:

  • Develop students’ knowledge and understanding of Christian theology with a particular emphasis on the Pentecostal and Evangelical traditions through the study of biblical theology, systematic theology and practical theology.
  • Equip students with intellectual and practical skills for critical and methodologically informed engagement in Christian theology and its interaction with the Church, society and academy.
  • Develop professional and transferable skills which will contribute significantly to subsequent and sustained employability in the Elim Pentecostal Church, the wider Christian Church, para-church organisations, and other careers/professions.
  • Provide an engaging and challenging programme which will enable students to subsequently study at postgraduate level.

Successful students will:

Level 4

  • Demonstrate knowledge of the main traditions, doctrines and practices in the wider Christian Church and more specifically within the Pentecostal movement (e.g. TH4183).
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the main principles of biblical interpretation (e.g. TH4182).
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the main aspects of practical theology (e.g. TH4184).

Level 5

  • Demonstrate a reasoned understanding of the nature, development and practice of Pentecostal theology (e.g. TH5185).
  • Gain a knowledge and understanding of the various ways in which biblical texts can be analysed and interpreted, demonstrating an ability to recognise and evaluate concepts and cultural influences (e.g. TH5183 and TH5184).
  • Interpret and evaluate different approaches to Christian ministry in the UK and the global Church (e.g. TH5147, TH5195 and TH5181).

Level 6

  • Demonstrate an ability to apply detailed knowledge and critical understanding of practices, concepts and skills from other disciplines to the analysis and implementation of the principles of Christian thought and doctrine, with reference to advanced scholarship and an appreciation of uncertainty and complexity (e.g. TH6164, TH6174, TH6177, TH6178, TH6190 and TH6191).
  • Demonstrate detailed knowledge and critical understanding of the different models of Christian leadership and models of ministry in the UK and the global Church (e.g. TH6170, TH6182, TH6184 and TH6190). 

Successful students will:

Level 4

  • Be able to describe and interpret scriptural and other theological texts, demonstrating an ability to creatively and analytically employ a range of reading strategies ranging from naïve fundamentalist to a developed hermeneutic of suspicion (e.g. TH4182 and TH4183).
  • Have acquired appropriate information-retrieval skills needed to garner, discriminate, synthesise and organise material (all modules).

Level 5

  • Have developed competence to critically evaluate the significance of research, and an ability to craft a coherently written presentation that will convince and influence the audience (all modules).
  • Have identified a range of practices and rhetorical/logical skills relevant to the presentation of arguments to convince an audience of the merits of various religious points of view (e.g. TH5185 and TH5191).

Level 6

  • Demonstrate significant critical and analytical skills in developing ideas and constructing cogent arguments in oral and written forms, and be able to apply these methods to extend knowledge and understanding (all modules).

Successful students will:

Level 4

  • Demonstrate engagement with the skills and processes of different aspects needed for work with multi agencies and church organisations (e.g. TH4180, TH4184, TH4189 and TH4196).
  • Apply learning and have developed creative skills needed for the realisation of practice-based work (e.g. TH4181 and TH4190).

Level 5

  • Demonstrate an ability to engage critically with the skills and processes of different aspects needed for work with multi agencies and church organisations (e.g. TH5147, TH5181 and TH5195).
  • Apply learning imaginatively and have developed creative skills needed for the realisation of practice-based work (e.g. TH5146, TH5182 and TH5197).

Level 6

  • Demonstrate a competent ability to engage critically with the skills and processes of different aspects needed for work with multi agencies and church organisations (e.g. TH6171, TH6184 and TH6190).
  • Be able to become analytical and effective advocates for the Church in matters of poverty, ethics and social justice (e.g. TH6164 and TH6182).

Successful students will:

Level 4

  • Communicate accurately and demonstrate appropriate use of primary and secondary sources with full and accurate references, within a structured and coherent argument (all modules).

Level 5

  • Formulate a coherent argument with appropriate use of data/evidence and an awareness of the implications of divergent views (all modules).
  • Demonstrate qualities and transferable skills, such as, those requiring the exercise of personal responsibility and decision-making which are necessary for employment (e.g. TH5146, TH5182 and TH5197).

Level 6

  • Develop projects and assignments through independent enquiry which sustain an analytical argument, drawing on a range of scholarly resources including research articles and primary sources (all modules).
  • Resolve problems and make decisions in contexts involving some complexity (e.g. TH6171, TH6184 and TH6190).

The BA (Hons) Applied Theology consists of three internal tracks, namely, (1) Theology Track, (2) Church Leadership Track and (3) Youth Ministry Track, which provide students a vocational context for studying applied theology. When students start the programme, they must choose in consultation with the Regents faculty their preferred track. Most students are expected to complete their studies within one track, although some students may decide to change tracks at the beginning of a new level of study. All internal track changes, however, must be approved by the Programme Leader.

There are three types of modules:

  1. Compulsory modules which all students must take.
  2. Track specific modules which students on a specific track must take (note: timetable permitting students may also choose modules from other tracks).
  3. Optional modules which students may take based on personal preference.

Level 4

At level 4 students must take the following compulsory modules:

  • TH4182 Biblical Interpretation
  • TH4183 History and Doctrine of the Church
  • TH4184 Introduction to Practical Theology

At level 4 the track specific modules are:

  • Theology Track: TH4196 Theology in the Public Sphere
  • Church Leadership Track: TH4189 Preparation for Leadership in Ministry
  • Youth Ministry Track: TH4179 Culture and Context; TH4180 Professional Development 1 or TH4181 Youth Ministry Placement 1

Theology Track Students and Church Leadership Track Students then need to choose a further 40 credits, and Youth Ministry Track Students a further 20 credits from the remaining optional modules.

Level 5

At level 5 students must take the following compulsory modules:

  • TH5183 The Torah: Genesis-Deuteronomy in Christian Perspective
  • TH5184 Gospels and Acts
  • TH5185 Pentecostal Theology

At level 5 the track specific modules are:

  • Theology Track: TH5146 Vocational Placement
  • Church Leadership Track: TH5195 Ministry in the Local Church
  • Youth Ministry Track: TH5180 Adolescent Faith Development; TH5181 Professional Development 2 or TH5182 Youth Ministry Placement 2

Theology Track Students and Church Leadership Track Students then need to choose a further 40 credits, and Youth Ministry Track Students a further 20 credits from the remaining optional modules.

Level 6

At level 6 there are no compulsory modules.

At level 6 the track specific modules are:

  • Theology Track: TH6174 Theology Dissertation; TH6191 Issues in Contemporary Theology
  • Church Leadership Track: TH6190 Practical Theology Project; TH6184 Christian Leadership and Management
  • Youth Ministry Track: TH6190 Practical Theology Project; TH6170 Models of Youth Ministry; TH6171 Professional Development 3

Theology Track Students and Church Leadership Track Students then need to choose a further 60 credits, and Youth Ministry Track Students a further 40 credits from the remaining optional modules.

Mod-Code Level Title Credit Single
TH4149 4 Culture and Context 20 Optional
TH4180 4 Professional Development 1 – Ethical Frameworks in Youth Ministry 20 Optional
TH4181 4 Youth Ministry Placement 1 20 Optional
TH4182 4 Biblical Interpretation 20 Comp
TH4183 4 History and Doctrine of the Church 20 Comp
TH4184 4 Introduction to Practical Theology 20 Comp
TH4185 4 Interpreting Biblical Hebrew 20 Optional
TH4186 4 Interpreting Biblical Greek 20 Optional
TH4189 4 Preparation for Leadership in Ministry 20 Optional
TH4190 4 Church Ministry Placement 1 20 Optional
TH4194 4 Evangelism and Apologetics 20 Optional
TH4195 4 Pentecostal Worship 20 Optional
TH4196 4 Theology in the Public Sphere 20 Optional
TH5146 5 Vocational Placement 20 Optional
TH5147 5 Counselling and Pastoral Care 20 Optional
TH5180 5 Adolescent Faith Development 20 Optional
TH5181 5 Professional Development 2: Leading Others 20 Optional
TH5182 5 Youth Ministry Placement 2 20 Optional
TH5183 5 The Torah: Genesis-Deuteronomy in Christian Perspective 20 Comp
TH5184 5 Gospels and Acts 20 Comp
TH5185 5 Pentecostal Theology 20 Comp
TH5186 5 Interpreting Biblical Hebrew 20 Optional
TH5187 5 Interpreting Biblical Greek 20 Optional
TH5191 5 World Religions 20 Optional
TH5195 5 Ministry in the Local Church 20 Optional
TH5197 5 Church Ministry Placement 2 20 Optional
TH6164 6 Christian Ethics 20 Optional
TH6170 6 Models of Youth Ministry 20 Optional
TH6171 6 Professional Development 3 – Learning and Communication 20 Optional
TH6174 6 Theology Dissertation 40 Optional
TH6177 6 The Old Testament Prophetic Literature: Theologies and Applications 20 Optional
TH6178 6 Pauline Theology 20 Optional
TH6182 6 Church and Mission 20 Optional
TH6184 6 Christian Leadership and Management 20 Optional
TH6190 6 Practical Theology Project 40 Optional
TH6191 6 Issues in Contemporary Theology 20 Optional

120 credits: Certificate in Higher Education
240 credits: Diploma in Higher Education
360 credits: BA (Hons) Applied Theology

The typical applicant will normally have a minimum of 112 UCAS points from GCE A Levels or equivalent (such as BTEC National/OCR Diploma).

Applicants may also typically have:

  • Access to HE Diploma
  • International Baccalaureate
  • Irish Highers/Scottish Highers:
  • Open College Units or Open University Credits
  • The Advanced Diploma

This is consistent with the normal entry qualifications for other single honours humanities programmes across the institution. Applicants will normally be interviewed, and will be expected to demonstrate a subject-related interest.

The design, structure and content of this programme have been informed by the QAA Theology and Religious Studies Benchmark Statement published in 2000 and revised in 2007 and 2014. This benchmark statement details the range of subject knowledge (3.1), the qualities of mind (3.2), and generic skills (3.4) acquired and developed in TRS degree programmes.

In keeping with the statement’s view that a single honours programme in theology and religious studies would usually have "a broadly based core" while allowing for more specialised study in depth of some aspects of the field, the BA (Hons) Applied Theology is founded on compulsory modules such as Biblical Interpretation (TH4182), History and Doctrine of the Church (TH4183), Introduction to Practical Theology (TH4184), The Torah (TH5183), Gospels and Acts (TH5184), and Pentecostal Theology (TH5185). These compulsory modules provide the basis for more focused modules which develop and extend studies in biblical studies (e.g. TH4185, TH4186 and TH6177), systematic theology (e.g. TH6164 and TH6191), and practical theology (e.g. TH4180, TH4189, TH4196, TH5181 and TH6184).  

In keeping with the statement’s expectation that students demonstrate an intelligent engagement with one or more religions during their degree programme, the BA (Hons) Applied Theology focuses primarily on the Christian tradition with particular emphasis on Pentecostalism and Evangelicalism (e.g. TH4183 and TH5185), although some provision is made for the study of other religions (e.g. TH5191). The programme also consider the relationship between religion, culture and the Church (e.g. TH4179, TH4184, TH4196, TH5180, TH5195, and TH6191), and encourages students to critically analyse a range of themes from a number of perspectives and to apply insights from other disciplines to further theological reflection. The programme has a strong vocational theme running throughout the course where students can apply theory in the context of a vocational setting (e.g. TH4181, TH4190, TH5146, TH5182, TH5197 and TH6190).

The BA (Hons) Applied Theology engages students in the reading, analysis and interpretation of ancient and modern texts, developing ability for close reading of primary and secondary sources (e.g. TH4182, TH4183, TH5183, TH5184 and TH6178). In keeping with the benchmark statement, the programme encourages students to assess critically and with sensitivity the claims to certainty that arise within theological traditions and to reflect critically on their own positions. Students are also expected to apply and evaluate a number of methods of study in analysing material (e.g. TH4179, TH4189, TH5147, TH5191, TH6164 and TH6191) and are given opportunities to identify their own independent areas of enquiry (e.g. TH6174 and TH6190).

All modules on this programme cultivate empathy, self-discipline and the ability to respond sensitively to diverse views. All modules develop writing skills, with some developing oral presentation skills (e.g. TH4184, TH4194, TH5195 and TH6171).      

Generic skills are developed through the learning ethos of the department and specifically through formative learning methods such as class discussion, seminars, workshops and communication class. Self-discipline and self-direction are particularly tested in modules with an assessed placement component (e.g. TH4181, TH4190, TH5146, TH5182 and TH5197) or with the double module dissertation (TH6174 and TH6190).

The learning and teaching approach employed in the BA (Hons) Applied Theology is participant centred with an emphasis on students taking responsibility for their own learning with the aim of becoming independent/interdependent learners within a flexible learning community. To this end the programme will offer two specific ways, approaches and/or learning environments within which students can complete their studies. These are campus based approach and context based approach which can be undertaken either full-time or part-time. Most modules for both campus and context based students are delivered intensively over five week blocks (full-time) or ten week blocks (part-time), and are completed consecutively rather than simultaneously (i.e. one at a time). Each module typically consists of a focused face-to-face lecture week, and other learning activities, such as, seminars, workshops and tutorials delivered either face-to-face or online (depending on whether the student is studying campus or context based). In addition, campus based students are offered some modules that run on a weekly basis to enhance the residential learning experience, and context based students are offered specific placement modules to help maximise learning in their ministry environment.  

Campus Based Approach

For campus based students there are six main learning and teaching activities employed by modules. All activities are designed to develop students’ (1) knowledge and understanding, (2) cognitive skills, (3) professional skills, and (4) communication skills. However, some of these activities will focus primarily on one or two of these four aspects. The learning activities are:  

  1. Lectures – The primary purpose of the lectures is to enhance students’ knowledge and understanding. The lecturer will also model to students knowledge and understanding, cognitive skills, professional skills, and communication skills with respect to the subject matter of the module.
  2. Seminars – These are student lead, although a tutor or an appropriately trained postgraduate student will be involved in supervising the seminars. The aim of the seminars is to primarily enable students to develop their knowledge/understanding and cognitive skills.
  3. Workshops – The main aim of the workshops is develop students’ professional skills. For practical theology this might mean having a workshop on reflective practice, for biblical studies on textual criticism, for systematic theology on theological methodologies, etc.
  4. Communication Class – The primary aim of the communication class is to develop students’ communication skills. This includes written and oral communication for both specialists and non-specialists audiences.
  5. Academic Tutorials – The aim of the tutorials is to develop all four aspects.
  6. Guided Study – The aim of guided study, which incorporates material/activities on the VLE (e.g. Discussions Forums), is to develop all four aspects. Both formative and summative assessments are also included within guided study.

Context Based Approach

For context based students there are five main learning and teaching activities employed by modules. These learning activities also aim to develop students’ (1) knowledge and understanding, (2) cognitive skills, (3) professional skills, and (4) communication skills. Moreover, they are designed to provide context based students an equivalent learning experience (even if not identical) to campus based students. The learning activities are:

  1. Lectures – Context based students have an identical lecture experience with the campus based students, and the primary purpose of the lectures is to enhance students’ knowledge and understanding. The lecturer will also model to students knowledge and understanding, cognitive skills, professional skills, and communication skills with respect to the subject matter of the module.
  2. Webinars – Rather than having seminars on campus, context based students have webinars which are mainly student lead, although a tutor or an appropriately trained postgraduate student will be involved in supervising the sessions. The aim of the webinar is to primarily enable students to develop their knowledge/understanding and cognitive skills.  
  3. Online Workshops – Context based students will not have face-to-face workshops, but instead are offered online workshops. The main aim of these workshops is to develop students’ professional skills. For practical theology this might mean having a workshop on reflective practice, for biblical studies on textual criticism, for systematic theology on theological methodologies, etc. The online workshop is facilitated on the Regents VLE platform and will often involve some reading material, short video footage, and an online interactive exercise (e.g. test or quiz).
  4. Online Academic Tutorials – The online tutorials are facilitated through Skype / Google Hangouts (or equivalent programs) and their aim is to develop all four aspects.
  5. Guided Study – The aim of guided study, which incorporates material/activities on the VLE (e.g. discussions forums), is to develop all four aspects. Both formative and summative assessments are also included within guided study.

Unlike campus based students, context based students have no scheduled communication class. However, typically module leaders will request context based students to carry out an oral communication task related to the module in their particular context (e.g. a short sermon or teaching session). Moreover, context based students may be provided increased VLE activities to support their learning.

Learning Hours

The 200 learning hours of a 20 credit module for a normal campus based module consists of 30 scheduled hours, comprising of 20 hours of lectures, 3 hours of seminars, 3 hours of workshops, 3 hours of communication class, and up to 1 hour of academic tutorials. The remaining 170 hours are guided study.

The 200 learning hours of a 20 credit module for a normal context based module consists of 24 scheduled hours, comprising of 20 hours of lectures, 3 hours of webinars and up to 1 hour of academic tutorials. There are typically also 3 hours of online workshops which can be completed asynchronously. The remaining 173 hours are guided study.

Levelness

At level 4, learning is predominantly tutor-designed and guided, and students are supported in developing individual initiative and collaborative enquiry within this framework, which provides groundwork in critical reflection, subject-specific methods, transferable study skills and skills of accurate communication.

At level 5, learning design remains largely tutor-guided with encouragement to work in collaboration with tutors and fellow-students, but with more opportunity for independent learning. There is opportunity for consolidation and development of appropriate study skills and for experiencing a wider range of appropriate methods of study, and opportunity to apply their learning and skills in fieldwork.

At level 6, students increasingly take full responsibility for their own learning, both independent and collaborative. There is encouragement to articulate personal engagement and response in the context of respect for the views of others, with an appreciation of the complexity, ambiguity and uncertainty in some aspects of theology.

Range of Assessments

Assessment is designed to allow students to demonstrate achievement of the stated learning outcomes of every module they study. Given the constant relationship between practice and theory, students will encounter a range of assessment demands including:

  • Oral examination
  • Formal research papers
  • Case studies
  • Role plays
  • Reflective papers
  • Seminar presentations
  • Practical demonstrations
  • Public performance
  • Presentations supported by appropriate media
  • Planning and facilitating workshops for others
  • Short tests
  • Written examinations

Formative Assessments

Formative assessment in the form of pre-assessment, peer appraisal and self-appraisal is widely employed at Regents. Students are encouraged to work together on many projects collaborating on the most effective study methods for each individual in the group.

Reflection and critical contextual commentary on the student's own practice will be encouraged through ongoing discussion, especially in the Communication Classes.  Reflective writing will also be used to further develop students' autonomy as both learners and practitioners.

Formal essay skills will be developed across the whole programme.  Many modules provide Mock examination or research papers mid-way through the module.

Patterns of Assessments

Modules in the BA (Hons) Applied Theology are assessed in line with general academic wisdom which seeks that progressive development for the student should occur between successive levels within the overall programme. The weighting of assessed components within modules places greater emphasis on critical analysis and evaluation of practice as informed by increasing theoretical understanding as the student progresses from level 4 to level 6.  Components of assessment in individual modules generally follow the pattern of requiring students to interrogate theoretical concepts against practice, either existing or proposed, together with a credible implementation strategy for the latter. The emphasis is continually on the requirement for the student to demonstrate the applied nature of any principles enunciated.

The QAA graduate characteristics include the abilities 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 judgements, 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.

Qualities and transferable skills necessary for employment requiring:

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

Students graduating from the programme will be able to work independently, to manage their time effectively, and to access and process information in forms appropriate to particular tasks. In addition they will have acquired a great deal of experience in oral presentations and team dynamics, as part of the practical components of the course; students completing the degree programme should possess the confidence and the ability to function well in professions in which the ability to present oneself and the ability to work well as a member of a group are useful skills. 

Modules in the programme offer opportunities for addressing questions of gender, sexuality, race and religious identity. There are no confessional requirements for entry to or success in the programme.

N/A

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