THE5200EN - Issues in a Theology of Resilience

Course description

This course provides an in-depth theological study by researching, analyzing, defending, and critically reviewing the spiritual, physical, emotional, cognitive and creative, as well as the social and systemic aspects of resilience with a focus on key Old and New Testament characters. Spiritual aspects of resilience are covered in the life of Nehemiah. Physical aspects of resilience are addressed in the life of Elijah. Emotional aspects of resilience are dealt with in the life of David. Cognitive and creative aspects of resilience are touched upon in the life of Joseph. Social and systemic aspects of resilience are analyzed in a community of resilient disciples and several resilient women in the Bible. Strength in weakness is found in the resilient life of Paul. Jesus emerges as our model for resilience and endurance. Bonhoeffer’s work on grace and discipleship is discussed, as is his thinking on the sermon of the mount and the messengers. Frankl’s contemporary experiences in a concentration camp are studied along with his pioneering work in Logotherapy. The course concludes with how to build a more resilient life. Frankl lays out his case for tragic optimism, cautioning us that “the world is in a bad state, but everything will become still worse unless each of us does his best.” Also, how to find meaning and remain optimistic in the face of suffering, guilt or death--is reflected upon in Frankl’s challenge to join a minority of “saints”. Finally, Bonhoeffer summarizes his thoughts on the people of God as well as the life of discipleship.

How this course benefits students

This course assumes a basic knowledge of the theology of resilience and examines case studies on key Old and New Testament accounts. It provides necessary skills and a conceptual framework for understanding and evaluating the theology of resilience as it pertains to creation care and ecological stewardship with the natural-, social-, built-, and virtual environments, and entering into a constructive, missional dialogue with it.

Why this course is important

The missional perspective in the theology of resilience is one in which the reign of God is realized within the framework of creation care on earth through Old and New Testament accounts, and how they helped to shape and transform the God's people during times of extreme adversity with key Old and New Testament messages. This course teaches the practical process of living a theology of resilience while exercising creation care through good ecological stewardship with the natural-, social-, built-, and virtual-environments in everyday reality and practice within the body of Christ.

Credit hours
3 hours
Subject area
Environmental Theology
Educational level
Learning type
Upcoming terms
* Schedule subject to change. Please contact the Registrar's office with schedule questions.
Dr. Stephen Latham, Professor of Environmental Mission

How this course relates to missional core values

Biblically based

The scriptures, in this course focusing on the New Testament, are the foundation for both faith and practice. The student not only studies the text to memorize basic bible truths and learn systematic theology, but rather studies the text to learn how it speaks to him/her within their cultural context to inform their ministry and missional practices according to the theology of resilience and creation care. A missional perspective of the Bible provides the theological framework for missional and ministry practice in light of the cultural context of both the scripture and community cultural groups. This course and program builds on the implications of a theology of mission through a theology of resilience and creation care.

Missionally driven

This course is driven by the concept that Christian believers should become part of the Mission Dei — the mission of God in this world, which seeks to join in with God where He is at work — in homes and communities — so that we may see the spiritual transformation of people and communities through a theology of resilience and creation care. Students taking this course value a missiological understanding of the Mission Dei (the mission of God) that enables believers to discern where God is at work among people in the community and join in God’s mission in the world. This course and program identifies implications of the Mission Dei in relation to missional and ministry practice as it pertains to a theology of resilience and creation care.

Contextually informed

Through various resources, students conduct research to be exposed to demographic and sociographic data for their local communities to enable them to develop missional approaches for their local contexts according to a theology of resilience and creation care. The student values various forms of cultural research that inform both the student’s understanding of the sociocultural contexts within their communities and their missional and ministry practice. This course and program incorporates contextual information as foundational for the delivery of missionally-driven implementation according to the theology of resilience and creation care.

Interculturally focused

This course celebrates the cultural diversity that exists in this world as a reflection of the creative nature of the image of God in humanity. We desire that all people would have a personal relationship with God through Jesus Christ. We desire that Christian believers learn how to express their faith in their own social context in culturally-appropriate ways, as informed by a theology of resilience and creation care. We value embracing diverse cultures and fostering authentic, culturally-appropriate faith expressions among each cultural group. This course and program embraces culturally-appropriate missional and ministry practice according to a theology of resilience and creation care.

Practically minded

This course calls upon the student to engage individuals, families, groups, organizations and/or communities of the people of God in the theology of resilience and creation care. It also advances biblical righteousness, redemption and reconciliation in support of a theology of resilience and creation care. Finally, it calls upon the student to evaluate the biblical and ethical dimensions of a theology of resilience and creation care.

Experientially transformed

Integrated throughout this course is an experiential orientation including “field practice” where concepts that are discussed in class are lived out in the real world according to a theology of resilience and creation care. Reflection, integration and collaboration flow out of the relationships that are formed between students and faculty. This experiential learning has transformative power to equip students with ministry and missional skills. We value theological and missional reflection conducted within a community of missional and ministry practice that informs and interprets those experiences. This course and program interprets missional and ministry practice by reflecting biblically, theologically and missionally on a theology of resilience and creation care.