Course Descriptions


The following is a listing of courses and abridged descriptions of all Union University of California master level courses available at the time of publication. Please note that the academic programs are under continuous review and evaluation. To ensure students a progressive and challenging curriculum, Union University of California reserves the right to make changes at any time, with or without notice and in its sole and absolute discretion, to course structure and lecture delivery format, and to revise or delete courses as deemed necessary.

BBL-501 Introduction to the Old Testament (3 credits)

The purpose for this course is to help students to be aware of the major issues raised in the careful study of the Old Testament in the modern world. In order to better understand the material in the Old Testament, it is important to know the historical background, context, time period being addressed, authorship, and issues that are considered. For many of these questions, there are different points of view suggested by different scholars. It is important to know why scholars differ and to be able to explain this for our lessons or Bible studies

BBL-502 Introduction to the New Testament (3 credits)

This course will provide an introduction to the historical development of the literature of the New Testament and the social world of the earliest Christians. We will examine the texts of the New Testament in the social, political, and religious context of the Roman Empire. You will be required to read critically the texts as historical documents to investigate issues of central concern to the understanding of the origins of Christianity. Although we will study the theological concerns of first and second century Christians, this course will not address contemporary issues of theology and Christian faith.

BBL-503 Biblical Hermeneutics (3 credits)

Through a survey of the history of biblical interpretation, the principles of biblical hermeneutics will be defined and illustrated. The aim is to assist the student in gaining an appreciation for exegetical method, to develop an awareness of interpretive principles, and to see how these principles and skills may be used in teaching and preaching. Prerequisites: BBL 501; BBL 502

CED-501 Christian Education (3 credits)

This course is designed to help students (1) identify the needs and challenges of education in the Church, (2) understand the importance of theological and biblical foundation of Christian education, (3) survey main topics of Christian Education as: definition, goals, materials, human resource, place, time, and methods,…(4) discuss theories, methodologies, and new approaches in Christian Education. Prerequisites: BBL 501; BBL 502

CHH-501 History of Christianity I (3 credits)

An introduction to the development of Christianity from the Apostolic period to the Reformation. Emphasis is placed on central figures, movements and theological issues with special attention given to their importance for Christianity today. The students will gain insight from the lives of Christian leaders throughout history, who have been instrumental in transformative change.

CHH-502 History of Christianity II (3 credits)

This course is a continuation of CHH501, from the Reformation to present time. Prerequisites: CHH 501

CSL-502 Principles of Christian Counseling (3 credits)

An introduction of professional methods of pastoral care and counseling, the course will highlight the particular types of caring and counseling that are normative in ministry. Case studies of pastoral counseling with persons will be presented. Prerequisites: BBL 501; BBL 502

EDU-502 Philosophy of Education (3 credits)

This course introduces major philosophical thoughts in human history and its implications in education. Both traditional and contemporary philosophies will be presented to show how current educational theory and practice have been shaped throughout history. Its emphasis on a Christian point of view will help Christian educators to think more deeply, systematically and Christianly in their teaching ministry of congregations.

EDU-503 Teaching and Learning: Foundational Issues in Education (3 credits)

This course is designed to provide students with foundational knowledge and skills in the subject of teaching and learning, especially focusing on helping them identify and develop their own learning and teaching styles.

ETH-501 Ministerial Ethics (3 credits)

This course provide opportunities for students to look at their calling, personality, character, and their relations to the church, other believers, other ministers, and believers of other denominations. The course will help students to have a clear understanding of ministry and its responsibilities. It will also help students cope with contemporary ethical issues on biblical and theological foundations. Prerequisites: BBL 501; BBL 502

EVG-501 Evangelism in Context (3 credits)

This course is designed to help students develop a special sensitivity to the religious/spiritual background and cultural context of the people being evangelized. The course also aims to develop students for effective leadership in evangelism that is informed by critical engagement with the nature of the gospel, Christian life and thought, and the cultures of the contemporary world.

IND-501 Independent Study (3 credits)

A course in which the student designs a learning project which is approved and supervised by a professor. The study in an approved topic in Biblical studies, theology, or practical ministry consists of large assignments of supervised reading, regular consultation with the supervisory professor, and written analysis of reading, as assigned by the professor. Offered upon request. Prerequisites: Dependent upon the nature of the independent study approved.

INT-599 Internship

Internship is based on the action/reflection model of education. Under the guidance of a skilled supervisor, the student proposes to grow in self-understanding while acquiring professional skills in a practical setting. The student should be involved in a variety of experiences that enable him or her to be directly active in ministry. In tandem with a certified supervisor, the student will learn to reflect theologically on the meaning of those experiences within the context of a Christian community. Through the internship experience, the student should improve relational skills, gain awareness of the nature of the role of supervision in any form of ministry, and learn to integrate education and experiential events into a holistic and comprehensive understanding of Christian faith. Internship will be divided into three parts. Students will complete each part in one module.

LDR-501 Organizational Leadership (3 credits)

This course is about being a leader. The course is designed to focus on learning about personal leadership skills within the context of an organization. It assumes a personal interest in the subject. The purpose in learning about leaders and leadership is to enable each student to become a better leader. The objective of Organizational Leadership is to provide a forum for the development of strategies, skills, and techniques that promote successful leadership within organizations.

LDR-502 Servant Leadership (3 credits)

This Servant Leadership course will focus on the acquisition and execution of the most critical competencies of leading by serving first, advanced empathy, persuasion, foresight, humility, collaboration, and the ethical use of power, among other skills.

LDR-503 Foundations of Personal Leadership (3 credits)

This course explores intellectual, spiritual, emotional, social, physical and professional elements necessary to develop into a Christian leader of transformational influence. Learners in this course will examine their well-being practices in this holistic model. They will be introduced to essential leadership practices. They will learn to self-correct discovered areas of needed personal and leadership development. They will develop a personal leadership development plan based on the mission statement they create for their lives.

LDR-505 Servant Leader as a Transformational Agent (3 credits)

This course focuses on the person of the leader and explores the paradoxical concept of servant-leadership, modeled by Jesus, within the broader context of the abundance of leadership theories. It is based on the practices of servant -leadership from a transformational perspective. Servant -Leadership does not mean working harder; rather it means the empowerment of others, especially in the area of personal and organizational transformational change. This is an intensely practical leadership course, and the skills taught are trans-cultural, appropriate for any generation, culture or useful project that empowers people to serve in an area of genuine need, especially to the least privileged in society.

LDR-506 Emotional Intelligence in Leadership (3 credits)

In this course you will learn how to become more self-aware. In doing so, you will become more aware of the people you lead and how to motivate them for a stronger commitment to service. You will learn how identify your emotions, manage them so that you will have a positive impact on those you lead. You will discover how to achieve balance amid the sacrifices of ministry. Finally, you will learn how to face and deal with conflict effectively.

LDR-507 Christian Character in Leadership (3 credits)

In this course the student will learn basic character qualities to develop in order to be a Christian leader who can bring the healing, compassion, justice and hope of Jesus Christ into the ministries in which they serve Him. A simple definition of character is the identifying marks of a person’s life. Developing noble character is an inside job, the result of what we have become in the depths of our being. This course will empower students to shape the choices and behaviors required to put on the character of Christ in the realms of values, ethics, humanity, courage, and transcendence.

MIN-501 Doing Ministry in Context (3 credits)

The course is to help students do ministry effectively in their contexts. Psychological, social, cultural, political, historical aspects that affect the ministry to the people will be considered.

MIN-503 Pastoral Ministry (3 credits)

The course is to help students understanding the essentials of what a pastor is to be and to do. God’s calling, prayer, worship, preaching, outreach, discipleship, and other aspects of shepherding God’s flock are examined. Prerequisites: BBL 501; BBL 502

MIN-504 Church Renewal (3 credits)

In this course the student will learn how to identify the signs of a dying church. Students will explore the theory behind the church renewal. The student will create an incarnational project that involves either building an online presence or a small group and managing its progress into spiritual vitality. The student will lead the small group through the assigned projects. The class outline covers The Five Pillars of Renewal. Many of the issues that will be studied will be applicable to the small group. The student will discover what works and what does not work. The student will then assess their experience in the small group and report them to the entire class.

MIN-505 Building Healthy Churches (3 credits)

In this course the student will learn what constitutes a healthy church and discover how to build personal skills and a community ethos that will support a healthy community of faith. Students will study devotion, hospitality, discipleship, productive conflict, ethics and leadership. Based on these subjects they will develop their own personal ethical statement in regards to community life and their own best practices for leadership in church life.

MIN-506 Cause Collaboration (3 credits)

This is an innovative and inter-disciplinary course designed in cooperation with leading experts in collaborative partnerships for Christian mission. Students will discover the theological basis and necessity of collaborating with other Christians to fulfill God’s mission on earth. Students will learn how to apply the principles and processes of collaborative partnerships to address complex community, organizational, and social issues, accomplish challenging goals, and bring big missional dreams to reality. By the end of this course students will have created a plan to collaborate in an area of need within their community or ministry.

MIN-507 Understanding Vocation in A Changing World (3 credits)

This course will focus on understanding one’s true overarching primary vocation in life, as it connects to the purposes of God in this world, in order to steward God’s earth and His peoples. One’s vocation influences what one does with one’s life. The concepts of career are continually changing, but work/life planning continues to be important personally and professionally. Students will have the opportunity to use various self-assessment tools to evaluate their own working history, strengths, preferences, interests, skills, values and career anchors. Students will also apply this work by designing a career–related program for an organizational setting.

MIN-511 Church Planting (3 credits)

This course provides an introduction and systematic overview of the process of church planting and consequent congregational development and nurture. Included are biblical and theological rationales for church planting as an evangelistic strategy from a missiological and contextually sensitive perspective, as well as an introduction to specific tools, methods, and resources needed for the effective development of new congregations.

MIN-512 The Arts of Biblical Mentoring (3 credits)

This course assists students in developing a biblical and theological framework for personal development in a mentored relationship. The student learns how to grow in the context of community as well as develop a strategy for mentoring others. The focus will be on the process and practice of leadership development both for individuals and groups of people within organizations and communities for future sustainability. Models, systems, and programs will be created. Mentoring and empowerment concepts will lead to real life applications of these skills.

PRC-501 Homiletics (3 credits)

This course examines the application of the principles of Rhetoric to the practice of public preaching. Students will learn to analyze, classify, prepare, compose, and deliver sermons and other religious messages. Topics include the historical development of preaching, various theories regarding preaching, and well known or respected preachers in Christianity throughout history. Prerequisites: BBL 501; BBL 502; THL 501; THL 502

RES-501 Research and Writing for Theological Education (3 credits)

The course presents the student with an overview of the general approaches to research methodology. The student learns to investigate the quantitative, qualitative, and mixed methodology approaches to rigorous scholarly inquiry in their field. Emphasis is placed on reliability, validity, dependability and ethical considerations for developing relevant, appropriate, and professional research methodologies.

SFM-501 Spiritual Life Practices (3 credits)

This course is designed to introduce students to spiritual growth resources and spiritually reflective processes. The emphasis will be on developing a deeper inner life through increased understanding of the theological, biblical, and historical basis of spiritual formation practices. This class will major on the avenues of study, small group discussions, field trips, art projects, and hands on exercises.

THL-501 Systematic Theology I (3 credits)

This is the first part of two sequence courses. In this course, attention is given to the doctrines of revelation, God, Trinity, Creation, Humanity, and sin. The purpose of the course is to explore the biblical foundations of these doctrines, to understand them in the context of their historical development, and to understand their implications for the life of the Christian believer as well as for the contemporary problems of church and society.

THL-502 Systematic Theology II (3 credits)

This is the second part of two sequence courses. In this course, attention is given to the doctrines of salvation in Christ, the Holy Spirit, the church, sacraments and eschatology. The purpose of the course is to explore the biblical foundations of these doctrines, to understand them in the context of their historical development, and to understand their implications for the life of the Christian believer as well as for the contemporary problems of church and society. Prerequisites: THL 501

THL-513 Perspectives on World Christian Mission (3 credits)

This course provides an integrated survey of the crucial issues involved in the world Christian mission from the perspectives of biblical foundation, historical development, cultural anthropology, strategic approach, and current idea and practice of mission. Emphasis will be placed on the biblical foundation and nature of mission of the church with particular reference to the Kingdom of God and culture. Prerequisites: THL-501, THL-502

THL-514 Theology of Work (3 credits)

A study of the role of “work” as seen from Biblical perspectives, as God-given form of worship in creating, redeeming and sustaining all things under the “Creation Mandate” and in partnership with God himself.. Prerequisites: THL-501, THL-502

THL-515 Fundamentals for Doing Theology (3 credits)

This course re-examines foundations and methods of doing Christian theology. It will also provide the student with opportunities to learn how to build or re-build a Christian perspective that is relevant for his/her contexts. Prerequisites: THL 501; THL 502