Department of Systematic Theology

Welcome to the Department of Systematic Theology. All theology taught at WRS is rooted in and developed from the Holy Scriptures with the starting point that the Bible alone is the written Word God. Theology is viewed as the queen of academic sciences because it reveals the God of creation and redemption, and it gives God’s servants answers for living in the here and hereafter. Students will read and discuss classic systematic theology writings by Reformed theologians like Calvin and Charles Hodge.


311 Theology 1: Doctrine of the Word of God

Revelation, inspiration, inerrancy, and authority of the Word of God; covenants; methodology in biblical and systematic theology. 3 hrs.

312 Theology 2: Doctrine of God

The existence, knowability, attributes of God; God as Father, Son, and Spirit; Trinity; deity of Christ and of the Spirit; incarnation of Christ; the work of God, His decrees, creation, preservation, and providence. 3 hrs.

313 Theology 3: Doctrine of Man, Sin, and Salvation

Man as created (origin, nature, and state); his fall; sin and its effects; the redemptive work of Christ, application of work of Christ by the Holy Spirit in grace; predestination, election, calling, regeneration, repentance, faith, justification, adoption, union with Christ, sanctification, perseverance. 3 hrs.

314 Theology 4: Doctrine of the Church and Eschatology

Origin, nature, and purpose of the church; biblical covenants; the sacraments; church government; relation of the church to eschatology; the intermediate state, resurrection and judgment, the eternal state; premillennialism compared with amillennialism and postmillennialism; varieties of premillennialism. 3 hrs.

331 Theology 5: Apologetics & Ethics

The Christian life and defense of the faith; discussion of moral and social concerns, world view, faith and reason, philosophy and history. 3 hrs.

341 Survey of Theology 1

Prolegomena; revelation; theology proper, the Trinity, creation, providence; anthropology; hamartiology. 3 hrs.

342 Survey of Theology 2

Christology, soteriology, predestination, the atonement, ecclesiology, eschatology. 3 hrs.

351 Westminster Standards

Survey of the history of the Westminster Assembly and the development of the Standards; content of the standards and approaches to subscription; memorization of the Shorter Catechism; required for M.Div. and M.T.S. students. 2 hrs.

352 Seminar in Systematic Theology

A seminar concerning a specific theological issue tracing both the biblical foundation and theological development of the issue. 2 hrs.

353 Seminar on Biblical Theology

A seminar discussion concerning the theology of either a biblical book, author, or type of literature; e.g., theology of Genesis, Mosaic theology, or the Law. 2 hrs.

380 Independent Study in Systematic Theology

Individual study of issues in theological method and/or systems available to those interested in advanced research. Department permission required. 2 hrs.

382 Independent Study in Biblical Theology

Individual study of issues in biblical theology available to those interested in advanced research. Department permission required. 2-3 hrs.

390 Thesis in Systematic Theology

A thesis of approximately 10,000 words, prepared under the direction of the Systematic Theology department, defending a proposition related to systematic theology. The thesis is to follow the format described in the latest edition of Kate L. Turabian, A Manual for Writers of Term Papers, Theses, and Dissertations. 2 hrs.

392 Thesis in Biblical Theology

A thesis of approximately 10,000 words, prepared under the direction of the Theological Studies department, defending a proposition related to biblical theology. The thesis is to follow the format described in the latest edition of Kate L. Turabian, A Manual for Writers of Term Papers, Theses, and Dissertations. 2 hrs.

3111 Introduction to Traditional Logic

An introduction to the subject of logic from the traditional standpoint. Includes categories, predicables, propositions, distribution of terms, immediate inferences, syllogisms and related forms, and common fallacies. 2 hrs.

3112 World Religions and Biblical Witness

A survey of the scriptures and distinctive beliefs of major non-Christian religions of the world and the most effective Christian witness to them; includes readings, lectures, and student projects and presentations.  2 hrs.

3114 Classic Fundamentalism

This class will study the historical and theological background and the early history of Christian fundamentalism in America. Topics include the liberal-fundamentalist controversy, with an emphasis on the developing conflict in the Presbyterian Church USA; the early fundamentalist scholars and writers; the mixing of Reformed and dispensational streams of fundamentalism; and the subsequent divergence of fundamentalism and evangelicalism. M.T.S. students may take the class for either the historical theology or the systematic theology emphasis. 2 hrs.

3115 Postmodernism in Church and Culture

Background, history, and development of postmodernism in philosophy and theology. The main features of postmodernism and its critiques of modernism. Effects of postmodernism on various aspects of church doctrine and life, including church government and worship, theologies of paradox, charismaticism, ecumenism, subjectivism, and mysticism, and on various aspects of social and cultural life, such as sexual identity and marriage, individual and collective rights, medical ethics, and right to life. The biblical response of the individual Christian and the church to postmodernism and its effects. The course will consist of lectures, readings, and student presentations. 2 hrs.

3311 Theological Systems

An introduction to the various theological positions throughout Christendom: Reformed, Arminian, Roman Catholic, Lutheran, Pentecostal, Anglican, Baptistic, etc. 2 hrs.

3312 Westminster Doctrine of Scripture

A detailed study of the doctrine of Scripture has propounded in the Westminster Standards and as explicated by the Westminster divines and their contemporaries; recent debates as to the doctrine of the inerrancy of Scripture as taught by the Westminster Standards; other current controversies related to the Westminster doctrine of Scripture. 2 hrs.

3313 Westminster Doctrine of God

A careful study of the doctrine of God as propounded in the Westminster Confession of Faith and Catechisms and as held by the Westminster divines and their contemporaries, including God’s existence, nature, and attributes; comparison and contrast with views of God held by ancient heresies and modern alternate theologies. 2 hrs.

3314 Science and Theology

Survey of different schools of apologetics and the relation of science to the defense of the Christian faith; history of relation of science and theology; survey of biblical descriptions of creation and the universe; different viewpoints of Christian apologists regarding the creation; confirmation of the Bible from fields of science, including physics, astronomy, cosmology, and biology.

3521 Issues in the Christian Life

An in-depth study of the issues of making theology relevant to the growth of a Christian; survey of different approaches to sanctification. 2 hrs.

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