Monday, June 6, 2016

Reformed Scholasticism Course to be Offered in August

Synod of Dortrecht, 1618-19
Subject to sufficient enrollment, Associate Professor of Systematic Theology Dr. Ryan McGraw is planning to offer a special course late this summer entitled "An Introduction to Reformed Scholasticism."

The course would be held Aug. 16-19, just prior to the start of the Fall Semester at Greenville Seminary. This course is necessary for Th.M. students pursuing studies in the 16th through 18th centuries, Dr. McGraw said. It can also count for elective credit for M.Div. and B.Div. students. The course is open to auditors as well.

"This material covers the foundational period of Reformed systematic theology and is vital to understanding our Reformed confessions," Dr. McGraw said. "It will also greatly sharpen the research and writing skills of all students, since the course devotes a significant amount of time to these subjects."

Students interested in this course should contact Dr. Ryan McGraw at or as soon as possible. A course syllabus and course outline are available upon request. The grade for this 2 credit-hour course will be based exclusively on a required research paper.

"The lecture material, coupled with the required reading assignments, is designed to equip students with the resources needed to study and to write about Reformed Scholasticism," said Dr. McGraw. "In pursuit of the course thesis, the lecture material covers the Research Methodology of Reformed Scholasticism, the Nature of Reformed Scholasticism (definitions and method), the Character of Reformed Scholasticism (international character and emphases), and the Content of Reformed Scholasticism."

Course Description

This course introduces students to the theological method of historic Reformed orthodoxy and to research methodology. This was the most important period in history for the formulation and codification of Reformed theology. Studying it will better enable students to ground contemporary Reformed theology on a classic foundation. The course invites students into the subject through primary source reading, research, and writing, with heavy emphasis on Latin authors and texts in systematic theology. The course aims to train students to study Reformed scholasticism in its historical context and to express themselves well in writing on this topic.

Course Thesis Statement

A contextual study of Reformed Scholasticism is vital for understanding and developing Reformed systematic theology.

Course Objectives

  • To understand the significance of Reformed Scholastic theology for historical and contemporary theology.
  • To learn proper historiography and research methods.
  • To put proper methodology into practice through writing a major paper in historical theology.
  • To appreciate the value of a contextually oriented historical theology.
  • To distinguish and to separate historical theology from contemporary uses.
  • To develop the skill of learning from historical theology in order to make contemporary applications.
  • To recover Reformed theological method and not merely Reformed theological content.
  • To understand the content of the Westminster Standards in their international seventeenth century theological context.