Biblical theology is vital for understanding the Scriptures of the Old and New Testament. The DMin concentration in biblical theology at Southern will equip pastors and ministry leaders to understand the Bible in accordance with the intentions of its Spirit-inspired human authors. Jesus taught the authors of the New Testament how to understand the Old Testament, and Jesus himself learned to understand the Old Testament from the way the Old Testament Prophets interpreted Moses. Our aim is to understand and embrace the interpretive perspective that is reflected in the writings of the Old and New Testaments, the interpretive perspective Jesus taught his followers. This is what it means to pursue Christian interpretation of the Bible.
Our aim is to build on the foundation laid in the student’s Master of Divinity program by strengthening the student’s skill in the biblical languages and in putting the whole Bible together for the purpose of expository preaching that declares the whole counsel of God. To this end we will pursue a course of instruction that includes review of Greek and Hebrew, along with overviews of Old and New Testament Theology and the way the biblical authors interpret earlier Scripture. The written project that will serve as the capstone of this degree will be a biblical theological sermon series, manuscripts of sermons that set the biblical text being preached in the context of the Bible’s big story and themes.
Here’s the course of study:
Introduction to Doctoral Research & Writing: This seminar introduces professional doctoral students to the standards of doctoral research and writing. Particular emphasis is placed on the standards pertaining to seminar papers, project proposals, and research projects. Stress is also placed on utilizing the necessary library resources for doctoral work.
Project Methodology: This course provides preparation for the research project and interaction between students, faculty supervisors, and resource persons.
Hebrew Review Course: This course is designed as a refresher for those who fulfilled basic Hebrew requirements during their MDiv programs. **A proficiency examination will be administered at the end of the Greek and Hebrew review courses. The successful completion of these exams is required in order to continue in the program.
Old Testament Theology: An examination of the interpretive perspective of the biblical authors in the OT. A particular focus will be placed upon the big story they presuppose and the imagery, symbolism, and patterns they use to summarize and further interpret that story.
Greek Review Course: This course is designed as a refresher for those who fulfilled basic Greek requirements during their MDiv programs. **A proficiency examination will be administered at the end of the Greek and Hebrew review courses. The successful completion of these exams is required in order to continue in the program.
New Testament Theology: An examination of the interpretive perspective of the biblical authors in the NT. A particular focus will be placed upon the big story they presuppose and the imagery, symbolism, and patterns they use to summarize and further interpret that story.
Use of the Old Testament in the Old Testament: An examination of the way later Old Testament authors interpret earlier Old Testament Scripture.
Use of the Old Testament in the New Testament: An examination of the way the New Testament authors interpret the Old Testament.
Contextualized Writing Seminar: This course is designed to aid the student in applying the program curriculum to the writing of the final project.
This is close to what I was hoping for when I was encouraged by Piper’s comments on the DMin program in his book, Brothers, We are NOT Professionals!:
The theory is good: continuing education makes for better ministers. But where can you do a D.Min. in Hebrew language and exegesis? Yet what is more important and more deeply practical for the pastoral office than advancing in Greek and Hebrew exegesis by which we mine God’s treasures?
Why then do hundreds of young and middle-aged pastors devote years of effort to everything but the languages when pursuing continuing education? And why do seminaries not offer incentives and degrees to help pastors maintain the most important pastoral skill – exegesis of the original meaning of Scripture?
No matter what we say about the inerrancy of the Bible, our actions reveal our true convictions about its centrality and power.
This is not quite the DMin program in Exegesis I proposed to The Master’s Seminary years ago, but it’s the closest thing I’ve seen and it focuses on biblical theology!