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BA (Hons) Theology - Union Theological College

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BA (Hons) Theology (BA)

This programme welcomes students from all backgrounds to study Christian theology. Students will explore and engage with key areas of theology such as Biblical Studies, Systematic Theology, Church History, and Practical Theology.



The BA (Hons) Theology programme welcomes students from all backgrounds, and from any faith or none, to study Christian theology. This three–year programme, validated by St. Mary’s University, Twickenham, will explore and engage with key areas of theology such as Biblical Studies, Systematic Theology, Church History, and Practical Theology. Learning and teaching will be delivered through a high–quality, research–informed curriculum using a combination of lectures, tutorials and independent study.  

Graduates will be equipped with a theological literacy that will enable them to flourish as individuals, and contribute positively to society and culture. Graduates from our undergraduate programme should be those who are:

  • Morally self–conscious, with an awareness of the virtues and values that promote human flourishing and positive social relationships
  • Academically excellent, with subject–specific expertise and an appreciation of the contributions of different disciplines to theological, ethical, and cultural issues 
  • Lifelong learners, with an aptitude for innovative, self–directed, and collaborative learning 
  • Intellectually flexible, with a repertoire of well–developed skills of critical thinking 
  • Effective communicators, who can engage with others in order to enhance their understanding and influence others in a positive and respectful manner
  • Culturally literate, equipped for life and work in diverse contexts and environments 
  • Digitally literate, equipped for life and work in an increasingly digital world
  • Proactive individuals, who can work and make decisions both independently and collaboratively
  • Locally and globally engaged, with an awareness of their privileges and responsibilities and an appreciation of the concepts of vocation, enterprise, and leadership

BA (Hons) Theology

This programme welcomes students from all backgrounds to study Christian theology. Students will explore and engage with key areas of theology such as Biblical Studies, Systematic Theology, Church History, and Practical Theology.

Duration

3 years full-time
6 years part-time

Programme Fee

Full time students:

Annual Tuition Fee for NI & ROI students: £4,630
Annual Tuition fee for GB, EU & International students: £7,500

Annual bursary available to GB, EU & International students.

Part Time students (UK/ROI/International, including GB): Part time students tuition fees will be charged pro rata.

There is a £300 annual registration fee for all students.

Registration fees for all courses must be paid at the beginning of the academic year before starting the course.

All fees and charges are subject to annual inflationary increases

Overview

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Module 1

Level 4: Early Church History (Core)

This module provides an introduction to aspects of the history of early Christianity through the study of select figures, events, and texts. The module aims to introduce students to the study of Christian history, equipping them with knowledge and the skills necessary to engage in historically–engaged thinking.

Module 2

Level 4: God, Christ and Salvation in Early Christian Thought (Core)

This module deals with three main areas of doctrine in early Christian thought: God, Christ, and Salvation. The module aims to introduce students to the study of historical theology and systematic theology, equipping them with knowledge of some key doctrines and the skills necessary to engage with abstract theological ideas and their consequences.

Module 3

Level 4: Introduction to Biblical Languages (Core)

In this module, students will learn the basics of Biblical Hebrew and New Testament Greek, along with core knowledge of the Bible’s history and foundational skills for interpretation. Students will acquire facility in pronunciation, grammar, and vocabulary of Hebrew and Greek, and they will become familiar with key historical aspects of the transmission and shape of the Christian canon.

Module 4

Level 4: Introduction to Christian Ethics (Core)

This module aims to introduce students to the study of Christian ethics, equipping them with knowledge to understand what constitutes ‘the good life’. It also provides an opportunity to develop the skills necessary to engage in ethical reflection and decision–making about complex contemporary questions in ethics.

Module 5

Level 4: Introduction to Jesus and the Gospels (Core)

This module aims to help students understand Jesus in his first–century context and think critically, from a range of perspectives, about the contemporary relevance of his ancient portrayals. Students will also acquire the basic skills necessary for close reading and responsible interpretation of New Testament texts (notably, the Synoptic Gospels), in their English versions.

Module 6

Level 4: Introduction to the Pentateuch (Core)

The aim of the module is to introduce students to the study of the Pentateuch, the first five books of the Old Testament/Hebrew Bible. The module will involve a broader study of the themes that unify the Pentateuch, as well as a close reading of selected passages. Students will also be introduced to the various critical methods by which the Pentateuch has been approached in the past three hundred years.

Module 7

Level 5: Biblical Hebrew Texts (Option)

This module is designed to enable students to develop their knowledge of biblical Hebrew, building upon their prior knowledge of the language. Students will further develop language and exegetical skills through the study in Hebrew of selected books (or portions of books) from the Hebrew Bible.

Module 8

Level 5: Letters of Paul (Option)

The aim of the module is to help students further develop their interpretative skills as readers of New Testament texts in their English versions. Students will explore some of Paul’s ancient communicative contexts and their dynamics, including the values, virtues and ethics in play, to understand key debates that have arisen in the history of the reception and influence of Paul’s letters, and to consider how Paul’s letters can be relevantly and responsibly read today.

Module 9

Level 5: Christian Doctrinal Tradition (Option)

This module aims to provide a carefully–sequenced learning experience, characterised by both breadth and depth, in historical theology and systematic theology, dealing with material as an integrated theological inheritance which can be adapted and applied in a creative manner to a variety of different contexts. The module will survey the major loci of Christian doctrine, structured around the Apostles’ Creed, and pay attention to both the tradition and application of those doctrines.

Module 10

Level 5: Philosophy of Religion (Option)

Many of the world’s major religions claim to believe in a God. In this module the student will engage with the perennial question of whether such a divine being really does exist or not, using the logical tools and analytic skills from philosophy. Central arguments both for and against the existence of God are examined, along with different overall frameworks in approaching this fundamental question.

Module 11

Level 5: Spirituality and Worship (Option)

vThroughout the history of the Christian church, patterns of spirituality have had both important commonalities and significant differences. This module will explore the nature and varieties of Christian spirituality, with special emphasis on the place and practice of worship. The study is set in the context of other religious traditions as well as secular perspectives, engaging with contemporary understandings of spirituality. Students will evaluate the orientational and formative aspects of worship, assessing the relationship between worship and spirituality.

Module 12

Level 5: Thinking and Singing: An Introduction to the Wisdom and Lyrical Books of the Old Testament (Option)

This module provides an introduction to the books of Job, Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, and Song of Songs. These books differ noticeably in content and style from all the other books of the Old Testament and even from one another. They are the principal representatives in the Old Testament of what is now known as wisdom and lyrical literature. “Wisdom” applies to Job, Proverbs, and Ecclesiastes, and “lyrical” relates to Psalms and Song of Songs.

Module 13

Level 5: New Testament Greek Texts (Option)

This module aims to help second–year students acquire proficiency in Koine Greek and to read key NT Texts in Greek with confidence. Students will develop their knowledge acquired in the Introduction to Biblical Languages, acquiring further elements of essential Greek grammar and vocabulary. As their proficiency develops, students will engage in detail with the Greek text, reading and translating from Greek set texts and grasping how the Greek is used.

Module 14

Level 5: Christianity in Ireland since the 16th Century (Option)

This module provides an overview of the religious history of Christianity in Ireland from the sixteenth century to the late nineteenth century, through the study of select figures, movements, and events. This module aims to provide a carefully–sequenced learning experience, characterised by both breadth and depth, in order to cultivate a more historically–informed and sophisticated understanding of how religion has shaped modern Irish Christianity.

Module 15

Level 5: Life together – the Church as a community (Option)

This module is primarily concerned with the internal life of the church, both as an informal fellowship and, to varying degrees, as a well–structured institution. Both aspects have Biblical roots and a range of historical expressions. This module will enable students to appreciate the variety of legitimate ways of ‘being church’ and, in particular, to explore the theology and practice of pastoral care and discipleship.

Module 16

Level 5: The Major World Religions (Option)

The module surveys the four main non–Christian religions and their interaction with each other and with the contemporary western world. Students will develop a sympathetic and critical understanding of the significance of religion as a world–wide phenomenon and of the place of individual religions in the contemporary world. They will be able to outline the basic teachings of the four major non–Christian world religions. Students will also be able to assess non–Christian religions from the perspective of the majority religious culture in the UK and Ireland. Students will be enabled to wrestle with the lived tension between making universal truth claims and living in peaceful harmony.

Module 17

Level 6: Advanced Hebrew (Conditional)

This module is designed to enable students to develop their knowledge of biblical Hebrew, building upon their prior knowledge of the language. It will enable students to consolidate their grasp of Biblical Hebrew grammar and to sharpen their reading and writing skills.

Module 18

Level 6: Prophetic Texts (Option)

The aim of the module is to introduce students to the study of Old Testament prophetic texts. This module looks at the Old Testament prophetic books of Isaiah and Jeremiah from a historical, literary, and theological perspective. It explores the interpretative issues arising from them. It will attempt to situate the prophetic oracles in their presumed original historical context, as well as in their current literary and canonical contexts.

Module 19

Level 6: Christianity in the 16th Century (Option)

This module aims to provide a carefully–sequenced learning experience, characterised by both breadth and depth, in order to cultivate a more historically–informed and sophisticated understanding of how the phenomena of the sixteenth century European Reformations have shaped modern Christianity. This module consists of an overview of the religious history of the European Reformations in the sixteenth century through the study of select figures, movements, and events.

Module 20

Level 6: Trends in Modern Theology (Option)

This module is principally concerned with some of the main developments in Protestant and Roman Catholic theology during the twentieth and twenty–first century. The course will explore the literature and ideas of important modern theologians and theological trends and movements, particularly those relevant to the study of modern Protestant and Roman Catholic Trinitarian theology.

Module 21

Level 6: Reconciliation Studies (Option)

Rooted within the Biblical mandate of reconciliation (2 Corinthians 5: 11–21), this module seeks to develop a fuller understanding of theoretical and practical approaches to reconciliation. It explores the key challenges in transforming personal, social and structural relationships that have been damaged or destroyed by conflict. The module draws on South Africa as its primary case study but also engages with other post–conflict societies including Northern Ireland, Rwanda, and Nigeria. This will create a fuller, more systematic understanding of the principles and complex dynamics involved in transforming the social and structural relationships that have been damaged or destroyed by violence and conflict.

Module 22

Level 6: Extended Essay (Option)

The extended essay provides an opportunity for students to produce an extended piece of original research (8,000 words) that will utilise the knowledge and skills accumulated through their earlier studies. Students are able to explore a theological topic in significant depth, under the guidance of an experienced supervisor. Topics may come from any theological discipline or be open to analysis from within any theological discipline.

Module 23

Level 6: Advanced Greek (Conditional)

This module aims to complete students’ understanding of elementary Greek grammar, to lay a foundation for advanced analysis of Greek texts, and to engage in detailed exegesis of select Greek texts. Students will further enhance their skills and tools for translation, analysis and exegesis of Greek already acquired at level 5.

Module 24

Level 6: The Gospel of John (Option)

This module aims to enable students to engage comprehensively with John’s Gospel as a complex narrative; to understand, interact with and evaluate approaches to this Gospel in the history of interpretation; and to consider the place of John’s Gospel in New Testament theology and its relevance for contemporary readers.

Module 25

Level 6: The Church in the Contemporary World (Option)

This module seeks to reflect on the way in which the Christian church, both locally and globally, relates to its culture and context. The lectures and tutorials will deal with contemporary challenges to the mission and ministry of the church and the various models of cultural engagement pursued by the church. Students will study one local Christian initiative that works for the benefit of its community. Students will be expected to show flexibility and initiative as they participate in the module and as they investigate the relationships between churches, mission, ministries and local communities.

 

Admissions Requirements

Please check you meet all the entry requirements for this programme before you submit an application.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Frequently Asked Questions

We do not take applications through UCAS. Applications are made to the Admissions Officer at Union Theological College.

Applications must be submitted directly to the College. Details of the process can be found at How to Apply: BA (Hons) Theology – Admissions 2022.

There are no subject requirements for the BA (Hons) Theology.

The course will be delivered in-person at Union Theological College in Belfast. Learning and teaching will be delivered through a high-quality, research-informed curriculum using a combination of lectures, tutorials and independent study. 

You will be taught, assessed and supported by an experienced and dedicated faculty and adjunct faculty who are experts in their fields.

The course can be taken part-time, over six years. It cannot be taken online or at a distance.

Each module will have clearly defined learning outcomes, with teaching and assessment methods chosen to enable students to demonstrate achievement and skills. Assessments methods will include essays, presentations and written exams.

Interested in this course?

If you require any further information or advice about this course, please get in touch.