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PHILLIPS THEOLOGICAL SEMINARY

DISCIPLES OF CHRIST HISTORY AND POLITY


HS 530- FALL 2009
JOHN M. IMBLER
john.imbler@ptstulsa.edu
online at
http://fishersnet.blackboard.com/

PURPOSE: This course will present an overview of the history, theology, traditions, and
structures of the Stone-Campbell movement in relation to its current forms of worship,
missions, and ministry: denominationally, ecumenically, and culturally.

LEARNING GOALS: 1) To integrate academic knowledge with practical applications


for the pursuit of ministry within the (Disciples of Christ). 2) To become acquainted with
resources in order to provide informed, responsible leadership to Disciples congregations,
ministries, and related organizations. 3) To foster an appreciation of the heritage and
practices of the denomination in its congregational, regional, and general expressions.

METHOD: Over a thirteen weeks period consisting of readings, lectures, postings, and
research, the denomination will be studied through its major movements and social shifts
from 1801 to the present. Attention will be paid to Disciples leaders, literature, and issues
related to concurrent themes in North American Christianity and interfaith engagement.
The approach will be thematic rather than chronological. Assigned readings will
be made and selected topics will be presented in weekly lectures and discussion board
sessions. Guests may be invited to address specific items.

REQUIREMENTS: At the beginning of each class week I will pose a question or present
a topic on the discussion board that relates to the assigned readings. The discussion
period then runs from Sundays through Thursdays. You are to make two informed
responses or observations—that is, do not merely write “I believe” or “I think” but
provide evidence for your statement. These postings do not need to be long—anywhere
from a few sentences to a couple of short paragraphs—but they do need to be carefully
reasoned. You are invited to respond to each other’s comments or questions which can
fulfill one posting obligation.
The third required posting each week is a question you raise prompted by the
week’s lecture or assigned readings. Be sure to refer to the readings by author and page.
Class weeks will run from 12:01 a.m. Sundays to 6:00 p.m. Thursdays Central
Standard Time. Three substantive postings not made by 6:00 p.m. on any given Thursday
will constitute a class absence. Papers not received by 6:00 p.m. on the Thursdays they
are due will be marked with the loss of one full letter grade for each day they are late.
EXPECTATIONS: It is expected that students will keep up with the reading and writing
assignments. Participation is important for effective learning. By not making necessary
contributions to the discussions, you detract from your ability to learn and adversely
affect the vitality and continuity of the whole class. Missing more than 20% of the course
is cause for a failing grade. Refer to the current Student Handbook for the seminary
attendance policy. As three posts per week are required, failure to comply will result in
an absence marked for that week. The fall withdrawal deadline is October 22.
Papers must adhere to PTS standards of form and style. Gender-biased language
must not be used when referring to persons and to God. Citations from historical texts
should retain the original language of the writers even though any current interpretation
or analysis you prepare must be free of gender bias and stereotypes.
Online etiquette (Netiquette) applies to both students and instructor: Participants
in online discussions do not have the benefit of visual and auditory clues as those in
classrooms for interpreting the tone and substance of contributed comments. Courtesy
requires that we respect one another at all times, including the opinions of others that may
not be consistent with our own. Refer to the PTS website for Netiquette guidelines.

GENERAL INFORMATION: Library research is recommended for the completion of


assignments and the final exam. The Disciplina Resource Room at PTS is available for
those on campus and those who need to receive materials by mail. Contact the library
staff for assistance. A number of volumes has been selected as additional resources for
your reference identified as Suggested Reading List included in this syllabus.
Please note that Wikipedia is not an acceptable research tool.
It is my intention to return written work with comments and a grade within one
week of the due date, except for late papers. If at any time you need an assessment of
your course work, please let me know that. Submit written work and content questions to
me at john.imbler@ptstulsa.edu.
Requests for incompletes will be granted only in the most extreme circumstances.
The seminary deadline for an incomplete request is December 10. Graduating seniors
may not request an extension and expect to graduate in December.

DISABILITY ACCOMMODATION: Phillips Theological Seminary is committed to


providing equal access to its programs of graduate professional education for all qualified
students with learning, physical, medical, or psychological disabilities. The Seminary
aims to provide reasonable accommodation for qualified individuals with a disability
(based on clinical documentation) to ensure their access and participation in Seminary
programs. For details, see “Disabilities Policies and Procedures” in the current Student
Handbook. Please contact the Associate Dean for Admissions and Student Services for
consultation.

READINGS: Specific weekly reading assignments are listed on the following schedule
which is identified by week numbers and dates of Sundays through Thursdays. In

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addition to the assigned readings, you are encouraged to become acquainted with the
entries in the Encyclopedia of the Stone-Campbell Movement.

GRADES: a letter grade will be issued at the end of the term based upon:
A. attendance and informed class participation through required postings (20%);
B. one research paper (4-6 typewritten pages, double-spaced in 12pt. font) on the
theology and meaning of Disciples ordination from your perspective including
a statement on ministerial accountability (20%);
C. a project outlining a Disciples worship service describing the various elements
of the service with a theological rationale for the order of service you’ve
sketched (20%); More information will be presented on this.
D. final examination: take home test covering history, theology, and polity (40%).
Three questions will be taken from the required texts and lectures. Those who
wish may elect to write a research paper of 12-15 pages on a topic of personal
interest relating to Disciples history, theology, and/or structure. The topic
must be pre-approved by me.

SCHEDULE

Week 1 Orientation to the course; Description of the church;


Aug 29-Sep 2 Introduction to three foundational documents
Encyclopedia (E) – Declaration and Address, Last Will and
Testament of the Springfield Presbytery, Names of the
Movement; Also see Alexander Campbell, Thomas
Campbell, Walter Scott, and Barton Warren Stone in E

Week 2 Disciples in the American Context


Sep 5-9 E – pp. xxi-xxxiv; Kinnamon and Linn (KL) – Chapt.
1; Toulouse (T) – Introduction& Chapt. 1

Week 3 Biblical and Theological Developments


Sep 12-16 KL – Chapt. 3; T – Chapt. 2; Suggested E readings:
Biblical Authority, Christology, Common Sense
Philosophy, Consensus Fidelium, Faith, God
(Doctrine of), Holy Spirit

Week 4 Restorationism and the Church


Sep 19-23 T – Chapt. 3; Suggested E readings: Restoration,
“Restoration,” E.S. Ames, D.S. Burnett, Jacob
Creath, Jr., Isaac Errett, Tolbert Fanning, J.H. Garrison,
Marcia Goodwin, Moses Lard, David
Lipscomb, J.W. McGarvey, Robert Milligan, W.T.
Moore, Robert Richardson
Week 5 Theology and the North American Perspective
Sep 26-30 T – Chapt. 5; E – Atonement, Calvinism,
Dispensationalism, Eschatology, Grace, Providence,

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Regeneration, Salvation, Sanctification,
Universalism

Week 6 Ministry
Oct 3-7 T – Chapt. 7; KL – Chapt. 9; E – Deacons/Diaconate,
Elders/Eldership, Ministerial Training, Ministry;
www.disciples.org – Theological
Foundations and Policies and Criteria for the Ordering
of Ministry including attention to Ministerial Code
of Ethics; “The Design for the Christian Church (Disciples
of Christ)” – paragraphs 84-87

October 11-15 Reading Week – No Class

October 18-22 Concentrated Course Week – No Class

Week 7 Mission and Missions


Oct 24-28 T – Chapt. 8; KL – Chapt.7; E – Missions in Africa,
Ordination Paper Due Asia, Australia, Canada, Latin American and the
Caribbean, New Zealand, Puerto Rico, American Christian
Missionary Society, Foreign Christian Missionary Society,
Missions, Missiology, United Christian Missionary Society

Week 8 Sacramental Life


Oct 31-Nov 4 T – Chapt. 6; KL – Chaps. 4&5; E – Baptism, Lord’s
Supper; Ordinance, Sacrament; Preamble to “The
Design”

Week 9 Worship
Nov 7-11 Cartwright (C) – All chapters; E – Hymnody, Instrumental
Music, Preaching

Week 10 Underrepresented Constituents


Nov 14-18 E – African Americans in the Movement, Asian American
Disciples, Samuel Cassius, Christian Woman’s
Board of Missions, Christian Women’s Fellowship,
Church Women United, Sarah Crank, William Fox,
Hispanics (in the Movement), Sadie McCoy, National
Christian Missionary Convention, National Convocation,
Caroline Neville Pearre, Preston Taylor; If you can,
read Hull and Jha

November 21-26 Thanksgiving Week – No Class

Week 11 Ecumenism
Nov 28-Dec 2 T – Chapt. 4; KL – Chapt. 6; E – Peter Ainslie, George

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Worship Papers Due Beasley, Consultation on Church Union, Council on
Christian Unity, Disciples Ecumenical Consultative
Council, Ecumenical Movement, Lunenburg
Letter, United Church of Christ-Disciples of Christ
Ecumenical Partnership

Week 12 Nature of the Church


Dec 5-9 T – Chapt. 9; KL – Chapts. 2&8; E – Atlanta Declaration
Final Exam Due Committee, Conventions, Council of Agencies,
for Seniors International Convention, Louisville Plan, World
Convention of Churches of Christ, Restructure;
“The Design”

Week 13 The Post-Modern Church


Dec 12-16 T- Chapt. 10; KL – Chapt. 10
Final Exam due
for those not graduating

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DISCIPLES HISTORY AND POLITY BOOKLIST
HS 530 - Fall 2010

Required:

Cartwright, Colbert S. Candles of Grace: Disciples Worship in Perspective. Chalice


Press, 1992 – can purchased at the front desk of the seminary for $10.00.

Foster, Douglas A., et.al., eds. Stone-Campbell Encyclopedia. Wm. B. Eerdmans, 2004.
ISBN 0-8028-3898-7

Kinnamon, Michael and Jan Linn. Disciples: Reclaiming Our Identity, Reforming Our
Practice. Chalice Press, 2009. ISBN 978-08272-0635-9

Toulouse, Mark G. Joined in Discipleship: The Shaping of Contemporary Disciples


Identity. Chalice Press, 1997. ISBN0-8272-1710-2

www.disciples.org
General Ministries
General Ministry Directory
Disciples Home Missions
Search and Call
Code of Ethics
Beginning a Pastoral Ministry
Closing a Ministry
Pastoral Letter of Call
Ethical Guidelines for Congregations
Theological Foundations and Policies and Criteria for the Ordering of Ministry

Strongly Recommended for class reference and building a ministerial library:

Boring, M. Eugene. Disciples and the Bible: A History of Disciples Biblical


Interpretation in North America. Chalice Press, 1997. ISBN 0-8272-0622-4

Cartwright, Colbert and O.I. Cricket Harrison, comps. & eds. Chalice Worship. Chalice
Press, 1997.

Cummins, D. Duane. The Disciples: A Struggle for Reformation. Chalice Press, 2009.
ISBN 978-0-8272-0637-3

Hull, Debra B. Christian Church Women: Shapers of a Movement. Chalice Press, 1994.
ISBN 0-8272-0463-9

Jha, Sandhya Rani. Room at the Table: Struggle for Unity and Equality in Disciples
History. Chalice Press, 2009. ISBN 978-0-8272-5656-1