Thursday, February 2, 2012

Ecumenical Theology at LTSS

Christ Chapel, LTSS
In addition to my teaching responsibilities in the Master of Divinity and Doctor of Ministry programs at Gardner-Webb University School of Divinity this semester, I'm teaching a course in Ecumenical Theology at the Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary in Columbia, South Carolina. Besides the standard courses in systematic theology that are staples of the curricula of most seminaries and divinity schools in North America, the seminaries of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America require all M.Div. students to complete a course in ecumenical theology. While Baptist institutions of theological education do not typically have a comparable requirement, I did teach an earlier version of this course as an advanced theology elective at Campbell University Divinity School when I served as a member of the faculty there under the title Theology and the Quest for Christian Unity. I'm grateful for the opportunity to teach a new (and, I trust, improved) version of the course to a class that includes eighteen Lutherans, three Episcopalians, three Baptists, and two Methodists. Since several people beyond the class have expressed interest in having a copy of the course syllabus, I've posted a PDF of the syllabus on


  1. Dr. Harmon,

    The syllabus looks fantastic. However, I do find it interesting that a class on ecumenism begins with a recitation of the Nicene Creed that would be unrecitable as written for our Orthodox sisters and brothers. While there aren't any Orthodox students in your class, per this post, I wonder what thoughts you might have on a way forward for unity between West and East beginning with a reevaluation of the creeds as we recite them in our respective communities?

  2. Yes, it's the Western version with the Filioque insertion--partly because it's the version included in most Protestant and Catholic books of worship, and partly because it's the wording of the ICET translation I used. I'm on record in my book Towards Baptist Catholicity advocating the deletion of Filioque in future liturgical and confessional texts, so I'm with you. There has been some fruitful progress on the Eastern-Western divisions over the filioque in the form of the EO-RCC dialogues and a WCC Faith and Order study text (undertaken at the suggestion of Jurgen Moltmann).