RS180 Senior Seminar: Missional Theology

Westmont College - Spring 2014

Professors:         Helen Rhee and Telford Work

Class:                 Mon/Wed, 3:15-5:05, VL 203

Contact:        Rhee:, x6834, Porter Center 14

Work:, x6199, Porter Center 5

Office hours:        Rhee: Mon and Wed 11:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. (lunch), 2:00 - 3:00 p.m., and by appointment

Work: Wed 11:30-12:30 in the DC (sign up, or drop in if I'm free); Thurs 10:25-11:55 and 1:10-2:10 in my office (sign up); and by appointment


I. Course Description

An exegetical and theological exploration of missional theology. This seminar will engage key biblical texts, explore theological themes, and discuss historical and contemporary questions in missional theology and thus will call upon, strengthen, and integrate students’ skills in areas of biblical exegesis and interpretation, church history, and historical and systematic theology. It will also draw on the areas of special interest of both instructors so as to develop interconnections and interdependencies more effectively than either instructor could. RS 180 satisfies the Integrating the Major Discipline requirement of Westmont’s general education curriculum.

II. Learning Outcomes.

Students will

  1. apply a range of recognized skills in the interpretation of biblical and other religious literature focusing on Christian missional theology.
  2. reason according to the logic of the Christian faith as they engage readings and topics in missional theology.
  3. participate in Christian life and mission with engaged ecclesial commitment.

III. Textbooks

Required readings:

Lesslie Newbigin, Foolishness to the Greeks, Eerdmans

Christopher Wright, The Mission of God's People, Zondervan

Augustine, City of God (selections)

Soong-Chan Rah, Many Colors, Moody

Timothy Keller, Center Church, Zondervan

Amos Yong, Disability, Bible, and Church, Eerdmans

John Stackhouse, Finally Feminist, Baker

Pope Francis, Evangelii Gaudium

Book report options:

To be announced

IV. Assignments and Assessment

  1. Participation in class activities and discussions. These will be focused on putting our readings, other instructional resources, and our own concerns and contexts into conversation with each other. This may include submission of written questions on the day’s readings at the beginning of class. (10%)
  2. Meet with each professor at least once during the semester.
  3. Delivery of two or so in-class written presentations on the reading for the day.
  4. Unless giving an in-class written presentation that day, submission of Critical Reading Notes (CRNs) comprised of one observation and two questions for each day's reading (20%).
  5. Periodic written assignments.
  6. Preaching on a biblical text pertinent to the course content.
  7. Analysis and in-class report on a book from the list of recommended books.

        Assignments 3, 5, 6, and 7 total 70%.

V. Schedule

Date        Reading        Book reports

1-6        Introduction

1-8         Newbigin preface and chs 1-3

1-13         Newbigin chs 4-5

1-15         Newbigin ch 6; Wright preface, intro, and ch 1

1-21         Wright chs 2-5

1-22         Wright chs 6-8 and interlude

1-27         Wright chs 9-11

1-29         Wright chs 12-14

2-3         Wright ch 15; Augustine XXXXX

2-5         Augustine XXXXX

2-10         Augustine XXXXX

2-12         Keller intro and chs 1-5

2-19         Keller chs 6-10

2-24         Keller chs 11-14; Rah intro and chapter from The Next Evangelicalism

2-26         Rah chs 1-3 

3-3         Rah chs 4-6

3-5         Rah chs 7-10

3-17         Keller chs 15-18

3-19         Keller chs 19-23

3-24         Keller chs 24-30 and epilogue

3-26         Yong preface and chs 1-2

3/31         Yong chs 3-4

4-2         Yong ch 5; Stackhouse preface, XXXXX (additional chapter)

4-7         Stackhouse chs 1-2

4-9         Stackhouse ch 3 and appendices

4-14         Francis paragraphs 1-75 

4-16         Francis paragraphs 76-175

4-23         Francis paragraphs 176-288 

4-28         Final Exam @ 3pm