Bachelor of Arts Course Overview

All courses for the BA in Intercultural Ministry Studies and Bible & Theology are taken in a modular class structure. All students take the same classes in the sequence below.

The classes and sequence below can change a little from year to year, so be sure to look through our BGU catalog on the forms and documents page to get the most up to date course list.

Freshman Year

Semester 1

BTH 11 1 Old Testament I (3 credits)

A study of the historical background and themes of the OT books giving an overall perspective on the message of the OT in the light of its contemporary setting. This course covers creation, the fall, the flood, the Abrahamic covenant, the Patriarchs, the exodus, the Mosaic covenant, the tabernacle and other topics within the Pentateuch. It also covers sacrifices, feasts, wanderings in the wilderness, conquest, judges, Kings, exile and return from exile.

BTH 121 Synoptic Gospels (3 credits)

This examines the themes, principles, parables, and teachings of Matthew, Mark, and Luke in a harmonic and chronological order. Attention will be placed principally on the Gospel of Matthew and its relevance and importance for our lives today.

ENG 111 English Composition (2 credits)

In this course, students will focus on the process of writing comprehensible, correct, and effective essays. They will learn how to express thoughts logically, clearly, and coherently in a variety of rhetorical modes. The course will teach students how to critically revise and edit their own compositions while avoiding mechanical, grammatical, and orthographical errors.

MIS 111 Intro to Missions (3 credits)

A broad overview of God’s mission in the world as revealed through His activity in the Old and New Testaments. The course also introduces the historical, cultural, strategic, and practical dimensions of the world’s mission mandate.

MIS 112 Evangelism, Discipleship and Community (3 credits)

This course is designed to establish a biblical framework for missions with a focus on the crucial activities of the church: evangelism, discipleship and the creation of community. The course will examine how these activities integrate for the purpose of seeing God’s Kingdom come and His will done on the earth.

SPD 111 Power of the Cross I (1 credit)

This course explores practical/spiritual development from the perspective of the complete work of Christ on the cross and challenges the student to live an empowered lifestyle as men and women after God’s heart.

HUM 112 Critical Thinking and Logic (2 credits)

This course focuses on training heart, mind, soul, & strength to know, love, and serve God by developing foundational skills in spiritual formation, inductive Bible study, critical thinking, and logic. Students will use these foundational skills throughout all their subsequent courses during their BGU program.

SPD 131 Community, Character and the Cross I (0 credits)

Preparation for a lifetime of service in ministry to God and to his people requires an integrated approach, providing the student with an opportunity to live out and practice what they are learning. Many of the skills necessary to serve well both within one’s own culture and in another culture are skills related to behavior, character, and interpersonal relationships. While teaching of these is covered throughout the curriculum it is daily life and interaction with others that is the evidence of learning. This course combines assessments from multiple areas of community life, ministry and work as well as the “in the journey” training and mentoring that takes place in those contexts.

Semester 2

BTH 122 Acts and the Work of the Holy Spirit (3 credits)

This is a survey course, emphasizing the structure and sequence of the events in the book and their relevance to modern missions and missionary strategy. Acts is perceived, not only as a doctrinal dissertation, but as a series of inspired “sample cases” of the Church responding to the impulses of the Spirit in the promotion of world evangelism. The third week covers the work and ways of the Holy Spirit. There will be an emphasis on being filled with the Spirit, the gifts of the Holy Spirit, the fruit of the Spirit and a culture of revival.

BTH 131 Theology I (3 credits)

This studies of the existence, person, and attributes of God and the person and work of Jesus Christ.

CHM 111 Kingdom Impact Plan (1 credit)

This course is designed to assist students discover the role God intends for them to play in His plan for the world’s redemption. It is their “Kingdom Impact Plan.” This is accomplished through an examination of God’s interaction with the student through key passages from the Word, prophetic words given by reputable servants of Jesus, previous journal entries and values that God has worked into your life. These are all factors which give evidence of God’s direction in the past and allow for reflection and summary for future direction.

CHM 123 Global Internship Introduction (0 credits)

This course is to allow for students to be fully introduced to the structure, processes, and relationships which will prepare them for a successful Global Internship.

HUM 111 Worldviews (3 credits)

This course provides a broad overview of the nature and development of a worldview, a critical evaluation of dominant non-biblical worldviews, and an assessment of the biblical worldview in the Western world. Special attention will be given to applying the discovery of worldviews in a missionary context.

MAT 111 Personal Finance (3 credits)

This course is designed to help the student understand and apply personal finance management at a basic level with specific attention to practical day-to-day applications. The course is structured as an online class and it utilizes Dave Ramsey’s Foundations in Personal Finance: College Edition. The student will learn how to establish a savings plan, how to develop a personal budget, calculate interest, evaluate bargains and sales, understand mortgage and interest calculations, understand insurance policies, and develop an investment plan.

SPD 112 Power of the Cross II (1 credit)

This course explores practical/spiritual development from the perspective of the complete work of Christ on the cross and challenges the student to live an empowered lifestyle as men and women after God’s heart.

SPD 132 Community, Character and the Cross II (0 credits)

This course is the continuation of SPD 131. Preparation for a lifetime of service in ministry to God and to his people requires an integrated approach, providing the student with an opportunity to live out and practice what they are learning. Many of the skills necessary to serve well both within one’s own culture and in another culture are skills related to behavior, character, and interpersonal relationships. While teaching of these is covered throughout the curriculum it is daily life and interaction with others that is the evidence of learning. This course combines assessments from multiple areas of community life, ministry and work as well as the “in the journey” training and mentoring that takes place in those contexts.

Sophomore Year

Semester 1

BTH 212 Old Testament II (3 credits)

This is the second course in the study of the historical background and general themes of the Old Testament books with a view to giving the student an overall perspective on the message of the Old Testament in the light of its contemporary setting. This course will cover the national covenant, the tabernacle, the sacrifices, the feasts, the wanderings in the wilderness, the judges, the kings, the prophets, and the exile.

MIS 212 Theology of Suffering (1 credit)

The early church considered suffering as part of the known cost of following Christ. Each generation of the Church has continued to experience persecution and suffering, and it is expected that this will intensify as we approach the return of the Lord. Western missionaries have historically been more protected from intense suffering than the nationals they minister among, but they must be prepared both to personally face suffering and to serve a suffering church. This course establishes a theology for suffering from both New and Old Testament and will challenge each student to come to terms with God’s purposes in suffering.

BTH 233 Intro to Eschatology (3 credits)

Often relegated to the back closets of systematic theology, eschatology is one of the most vitally important areas of study for one aspiring to advance the Kingdom of God. Apart from knowing where we’re going and what we will face as revealed in the prophetic Scriptures we will be hard pressed to live upright lives in a crooked generation, attempt various missions strategies that God will not endorse, build church structures that cannot withstand the pressures coming and likely become disillusioned when the judgments of God are poured out on the earth. Students will be compelled to consider what we know about the future and therefore be motivated to align their lives and thinking accordingly.

BTH 241 Hermeneutics and Exegetical Skills (3 credits)

Students study the principles, methods, and rules necessary for correctly understanding the meaning of Scripture and applying that meaning to our lives today. The course will examine the rules and approaches necessary for the different literary genre of scripture.

CHM 211 Prep for Ministry I (1 credit)

This course is designed to enable practical preparation for students as they plan for ministry in another culture. Students will be preparing for participation in the Global Internship program or for other future ministry opportunities. The students in the course will focus on practical matters, interpersonal relationships, and look at the joys and disappointments in Kingdom service while developing the skills that they need for future ministry placement.

HUM 211 Survey of World Religions (3 credits)

This course will provide both an academic understanding of the different major world religions as well as practical insights as to the working of those systems through people who have lived in these religious contexts.

SPD 211 Power of the Cross III (1 credit)

This course explores practical/spiritual development from the perspective of the complete work of Christ on the cross and challenges the student to live an empowered lifestyle as men and women after God’s heart.

SPD 231 Community, Character and the Cross III (0 credits)

This course is the continuation of SPD 132. Preparation for a lifetime of service in ministry to God and to his people requires an integrated approach, providing the student with an opportunity to live out and practice what they are learning. Many of the skills necessary to serve well both within one’s own culture and in another culture are skills related to behavior, character, and interpersonal relationships. While teaching of these is covered throughout the curriculum it is daily life and interaction with others that is the evidence of learning. This course combines assessments from multiple areas of community life, ministry and work as well as the “in the journey” training and mentoring that takes place in those contexts.

Semester 2

BTH 221 Message of the Cross (2 credits)

This course is considered a foundational piece of the curriculum at Bethany. It is an in-depth, exegetical study of Paul’s epistle to the Church of Rome. A strong emphasis is given to Romans 6-8 to examine the role of the Cross as righteousness, providing freedom from the power of Sin and the Law, and victorious living through the empowerment by the Holy Spirit.

BTH 232 Theology II (3 credits)

The course deals with a biblical evaluation of mankind, his fallen nature, his inability to save himself and the nature of the gracious salvation afforded by Christ’s finished work on the cross.

COM 211 Partnership Development (2 credits)

This course is designed to enable practical preparation for students as they plan for ministry in another culture. Students will be preparing for participation in the Global Internship program or for other future ministry opportunities. The students in the course will focus on practical matters, specifically partnership development.

LDR 211 Leadership (2 credits)

This course offers an overview of the biblical basis and dynamic principles of effective leadership with a view toward personal application of these principles in life and work. Students will examine their own leadership experiences and make application to future leadership opportunities.

COM 212 Communications (3 credits)

Missionaries and ministers of the gospel must be skilled communicators with individuals as well as to small and large groups of people. This course explores communication theory as well as introduces the dynamics of cross cultural communication. Much further study of cross cultural communication will occur during Global Internship course work for those who choose the B.A. program.

ICS 212 Cultural Anthropology I (2 credits)

This course is designed as an introduction to Cultural Anthropology, especially those concepts which have practical application for cross-cultural field missionaries as they seek to both live and proclaim the gospel. Throughout the course following each lecture a real-life case study will be examined in small group discussions for the purpose of gaining sensitivity into how traditions, personalities, personal ambition and Satan could neutralize the effectiveness of your message or destroy your missionary career.

SPD 212 Power of the Cross IV (1 credit)

This course explores practical/spiritual development from the perspective of the complete work of Christ on the cross and challenges the student to live an empowered lifestyle as men and women after God’s heart.

SPD 232 Community, Character and the Cross IV (0 credits)

This course is the continuation of SPD 231. Preparation for a lifetime of service in ministry to God and to his people requires an integrated approach, providing the student with an opportunity to live out and practice what they are learning. Many of the skills necessary to serve well both within one’s own culture and in another culture are skills related to behavior, character, and interpersonal relationships. While teaching of these is covered throughout the curriculum it is daily life and interaction with others that is the evidence of learning. This course combines assessments from multiple areas of community life, ministry and work as well as the “in the journey” training and mentoring that takes place in those contexts.

Junior Year

The entire junior year of courses are taken online while on your global internship overseas. Much of the content will be customized to fit the internship location. For example, if you go to Thailand, you will study the Thai language, learn Thai culture, and study the history of the Thai people.

You will take 3 semesters of courses over your junior year in the fall, spring, and summer.

Semester 1

BTH 321 Philippians (2 credits)

A missionary needs to know and understand the Word of God, not only for their own life, but also as they minister to and teach others. Knowledge of the Word includes understanding how to understand it, read it, learn from it, share insights with others and apply it to one’s own life. This course is designed to dig deeply into the New Testament writings of Paul to the churches of Philippi. The course will be based on a group Bible study approach.

CHM 321 Ministry Practicum I (2 credits)

The student will participate regularly in assigned local ministry opportunities designed to give them a broad view of ministry in context as well as specific opportunities to innovate, create impact and value available for future consideration.

SSC 311 Intro to Ethnographic Research: Exploring Material Culture (4 credits)

Learning to learn from the context is considered a key adaptation skill for cross-cultural missionaries. The ethnographic research that students do on a daily basis forms a foundation for understanding the culture they are living in and for their future role in understanding whatever culture they find themselves in. This course is built on daily observations recorded in a field journal and discussed in a biweekly collaborative meeting to share and understand those observations. The observations and discussions for this term will focus on material culture and language practices.

LNG 321 Language Competence I (3 credits)

A significant part of living and learning overseas is a commitment to learn the local language. Learning the host language is considered essential for effective continued ministry. The host language contains elements which reveal the cultural assumptions and worldview of the people and therefore is the way in which their “heart” speaks. Language learning allows greater access to deeper issues, which in turn allow for greater ministry opportunities. During the first term of studies, all students will engage in a formal concentrated 12-week study of the language, devoting significant time to study and practice. We want the learner to both learn the local language and learn how to learn a language.

SPD 311 Missionary Life Practicum I (2 credits)

As students enter a new culture, many things challenge faith and spirituality. This course encompasses the daily life lessons of the individual and the team during their Global Internship program. Attention will be given to assessment of community life, personal disciplines and issues of character with regular discussions of the implications of life in a new culture to the student’s ongoing spiritual walk. Students are required to pass this course to be considered for continuation in the Global Internship into the following term.

HIS 311 History in Context (2 credits)

During the first term of the Global Internship, students will discover the local history of the geographic region of the world including ancient to recent political movements, social trends, people migrations, religious trends and the influence of geography, climate, religion, and economics on the current social structures. Focus of this course varies according to Global Internship site.

Semester 2

BTH 322 James (2 credits)

A missionary needs to know and understand the Word of God, not only for their own life, but also as they minister to and teach others. Knowledge of the Word includes understanding how to understand it, read it, learn from it, share insights with others and apply it to one’s own life. This course is designed to dig deeply into the New Testament writings of James. The course will be based on a group Bible study approach.

SPD 322 Missionary Life Practicum II (2 credits)

As students enter a new culture, many things challenge faith and spirituality. This course encompasses the daily life lessons of the individual and the team during their Global Internship program. Attention will be given to assessment of community life, personal disciplines and issues of character with regular discussions of the implications of life in a new culture to the student’s ongoing spiritual walk. Students are required to pass this course to be considered for continuation in the Global Internship into the following term.

ICS 314 Local Area Religions (2 credits)

This course is designed to explore the prominent secondary religions and cults within the region. The religions examined will be determined by the context, but each will be examined through an overview of the beliefs and histories of the religion and the implications to ministry within the region. Each of these prominent religions will be examined to understand the extent of their influence, the key beliefs and values system, the impact to daily life and the interaction of these religions with other religions. If prominent Christian-based cults are also present in the region, these will be explored as well.

SSC 312 Religious Systems and Structures (4 credits)

This course continues application of ethnographic research with a specific focus on exploring the religious systems and structures of a particular culture. This course is built on daily observations recorded in a field journal and discussed in a biweekly collaborative meeting to share and understand those observations.

LNG 322 Language Competence II (3 credit)

This course is a required practical learning lab as a continuation of lessons learned in LNG 321 during the 2nd Global Internship term. As a response to the ongoing need to use the local language for relationships, ministry and daily living, students will continue to pursue language study throughout the term by regular meetings with a language tutor or informant and accountability to their team for progress.

SPD 312 Missionary Life Practicum II (2 credits)

As students enter a new culture, many things challenge faith and spirituality. This course encompasses the daily life lessons of the individual and the team during their Global Internship program. Attention will be given to assessment of community life, personal disciplines and issues of character with regular discussions of the implications of life in a new culture to the student’s ongoing spiritual walk. Students are required to pass this course to be considered for continuation in the Global Internship into the following term.

Semester 3

BTH 421 Galatians (2 credits)

A missionary needs to know and understand the Word of God, not only for their own life, but also as they minister to and teach others. Knowledge of the Word includes understanding how to understand it, read it, learn from it, share insights with others and apply it to one’s own life. This course is designed to dig deeply into the New Testament writings of Paul to the churches of Galatia. The course will be based on a group Bible study approach.

CHM 421 Ministry Practicum II (3 credits)

The student will participate regularly in assigned local ministry opportunities designed to give them a broad view of ministry in context as well as specific opportunities available for future consideration.

SSC 411 Social and Political Structures (4 credits)

This course continues application of ethnographic research with a specific focus on exploring the social and political structures of a particular culture. This course is built on daily observations recorded in a field journal and discussed in a biweekly collaborative meeting to share and understand those observations.

LNG 421 Language Competency III (3 credit)

This course is a required practical learning lab as a continuation of lessons learned in LNG 322 during the 3rd Global Internship term. As a response to the ongoing need to use the local language for relationships, ministry and daily living, students will continue to pursue language study throughout the term by regular meetings with a language tutor or informant and accountability to their team for progress.

MIS 411 Evangelism and Discipleship in Context (2 credits)

This course will specifically look at the presentation of the Gospel within the local context, examining the issues and looking at historical and contemporary responses to them used by effective ministers. The course also gives a survey of prevalent models contrasted with innovative models of evangelism and discipleship used by local ministries within the region.

SPD 411 Missionary Life Practicum III (2 credits)

As students enter a new culture, many things challenge faith and spirituality. This course encompasses the daily life lessons of the individual and the team during their Global Internship program. Attention will be given to assessment of community life, personal disciplines and issues of character with regular discussions of the implications of life in a new culture to the student’s ongoing spiritual walk. Students are required to pass this course to be considered for continuation in the Global Internship into the following term.

Senior Year

The first semester of your senior year is the last semester of your 16 month global internship, leaving the last semester as a time for re-entry.

Semester 1

BTH 422 Ephesians (2 credits)

A missionary needs to know and understand the Word of God, not only for their own life, but also as they minister to and teach others. Knowledge of the Word includes understanding how to understand it, read it, learn from it, share insights with others and apply it to one’s own life. This course is designed to dig deeply into the New Testament writings of Paul to the churches of Ephesus. The course will be based on a group Bible study approach.

CHM 422 Ministry Practicum IV (2 credits)

The student will participate regularly in assigned local ministry opportunities designed to give them a broad view of ministry in context as well as specific opportunities available for future consideration.

CHM 431 Local Ministry Study (2 credit)

In the 4th term of Global Internship, students will do an independent study lab to research a local ministry or opportunity which they believe relates to their future involvement in missions. Students will visit the ministry, conduct interviews, explore options and describe opportunities available to them. Some regional travel may be involved as time and budget allow.

ICS 422 Contextualization (4 credits)

This course borrows from the lessons learned in SSC 311,312 and 311 (Ethnographic Research) and seeks to integrate that learning into the development of a holistic strategy for consideration of the specific worldview issues, belief systems and value systems which either inhibit or provide opportunity for contextualization of the Gospel message for a particular culture. Students will examine principles of contextualization and examine what they have learned from the culture during their Global Internship sojourn to describe this strategy. Students will continue to record observations in a field journal and discuss these observations and their implications in a biweekly collaborative meeting.

LNG 422 Language Competency IV (3 credit)

This course is a required practical learning lab as a continuation of lessons learned in LNG 421 during the 4th Global Internship term. As a response to the ongoing need to use the local language for relationships, ministry and daily living, students will continue to pursue language study throughout the term by regular meetings with a language tutor or informant and accountability to their team for progress.

SPD 412 Missionary Life Practicam IV (2 credits)

As students enter a new culture, many things challenge faith and spirituality. This course encompasses the daily life lessons of the individual and the team during their Global Internship program. Attention will be given to assessment of community life, personal disciplines and issues of character with regular discussions of the implications of life in a new culture to the student’s ongoing spiritual walk.

Semester 2

BTH 412 Genesis to Revelation: The Story of the Gospel (2 credits)

The purpose of this Biblical Studies course is to review the story of God’s mission in terms of the Gospel in both the Old and New Testament. The study includes introductory matters (geographical and historical backgrounds), a content summary and the use of Bible storying to better understand major theological themes.

BTH 431 Practical Theology (2 credits)

Practical Theology focuses upon the synthesis of ministry philosophy with ministry practice. Yet in the course of ministry, some preconceived philosophies become incongruent with ministry practice, thus leaving the Christian leader confronted with a ministry crisis. This class will provide a proactive approach towards the inevitable incongruence of ministry philosophy and practice, by helping the student lay a foundation of personal insight, while providing practical skills for ministry effectiveness.

CHM 412 Missionary Member Care (2 credits)

This is an opportunity for students who have finished the 16-month internship as missionaries under Bethany International Ministries to pour back into the organization that supported them. Students will get first-hand experience in the home side of missionary operation by participating in and providing logistical support to programs for furloughing missionaries and new missionary candidates.

ICS 431 Integrative Project (2 credits)

As students prepare to launch out in the vision that God is growing in their hearts for after graduation, this course is intended to provide an opportunity to reflect on what each has learned, articulating their philosophy of ministry, recognized gifts and callings from the Lord and a strategic plan of their direction post-graduation.

MIS 415 Cultural Innovation and Change (3 credits)

This course will cover the issue of directed cultural change. All cultures change, the question becomes do they change for the better or for the worse. This course will examine the forces of cultural change, a process that leads to beneficial cultural change, as well as case studies of significant change agents. Central to this class will be the principle that God intends His church to make a dramatic difference in people’s lives and therefore in their communities and cultures. Beneficial cultural change should be an expected outcome of discipleship and church planting. In this light, the student will learn the thought processes and methods of problem solving, developing creative solutions, and marshaling support for actual implementation of effective change.

MIS 421 Re-Entry (2 credits)

Students returning from their cross-cultural internship go through the same experiences common to all missionaries. This tension facing the re-entering missionary is often not dealt with simply because the opportunity to express this— to tell the story—is not provided. This course is designed to provide students with the opportunities to tell their stories to one another, to communicate their experiences, to reflect on those experiences, feelings, and thoughts as well as to examine the conclusions that they have come to regarding ministry, culture, their own self and their relationship with God.

SPD 431 Community, Character and the Cross V (0 credits)

This course is the continuation of SPD 231. Preparation for a lifetime of service in ministry to God and to his people requires an integrated approach, providing the student with an opportunity to live out and practice what they are learning. Many of the skills necessary to serve well both within one’s own culture and in another culture are skills related to behavior, character, and interpersonal relationships. While teaching of these is covered throughout the curriculum it is daily life and interaction with others that is the evidence of learning. This course combines assessments from multiple areas of community life, ministry and work as well as the “in the journey” training and mentoring that takes place in those contexts.

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