This 4-unit seminar course is open to RS majors and minors, and to others by permission. It explores the Christian faith as articulated and passed on, through one or more major texts of the Christian catechism, such as the Apostles’ Creed and other confessions, the Lord’s Prayer, the Ten Commandments, and the practices of the worshipping church. The course fulfills elective requirements toward the RS major and minor. Introduction to Christian Doctrine (rs20) or the equivalent is a prerequisite.
At the core of the Christian faith is the good news, which as news needs to be passed along to new audiences, generations, and cultures in order for the tradition itself to have integrity. Catachesis, Christian education, is intrinsic to Westmont's theological project.
So what do students need to carry on lives of theological pursuit? I believe you need catechizing, and training in catechizing others. You need to know the mission of God and of the Church. You need to begin becoming leaders. You need to understand the terrain of theology, the contexts of theology, the purposes of theology, and the uses of theology. You need to understand theology's relationships with philosophy, history, biblical studies, and ethics. You need to know what is at stake in this discipline. You need to love more deeply. You need formation in the practices theology serves.
Of course, these needs are already being met elsewhere in your lives, in the Westmont curriculum, and in your major. I have designed this course to meet them further. Our activities mean to move you along in the process of becoming a religious studies major and (more importantly) a leading theological participant in the Church of Jesus Christ. They are demanding activities, because these are demanding goals. They are worthwhile goals, insofar as they are bound up with the goals, the work, and the worth of the Kingdom of God.