BIB3120EN - Pauline Theology & Missional Practice

Course description

An examination of Paul’s theology and role as apostolic missionary through a consideration of his message, the task, the methods and tactics he employed, and his missional goals. Particular attention will be paid to the missional intent of Paul’s theology with an emphasis on its Christ-centered and Spirit-powered nature, as well as a consideration of important practical matters, including how he financed his missional enterprise, his response to suffering, and his urban focus.

How this course benefits students

The bachelor level course is intended to help the student understand the theology as well as the realities, strategies and methods Paul employed in his mission. The Master’s course assumes some of this know-ledge but seeks to extend the students’ understanding by grappling with the collaborative nature of Paul’s missionary work and also engaging key contemporary issues debated by interpreters and miss-iologists alike, including for example, whether the Apostle Paul expected his early Christian comm- unities to evangelize.

Why this course is important

When most Christians think of Paul, they usually regard him as a letter-writer, pastor or a theologian—rarely is Paul considered from the perspective of missionary. In recent years, however, New Testament interpreters have begun to address this neglected dimension to Paul’s ministry making this a vital contemporary topic to explore. But Paul was not a missionary in our twenty-first century understanding; rather, he was an apostolic missionary whose theology was nothing less than an out-working of the mission of God whom he loved and served.

Credit hours
3 hours
Subject area
Biblical Studies
Educational level
Learning type
Upcoming terms*
  • 2022-02 (Oct. 24, 2022 - Dec. 18, 2022)
* Schedule subject to change. Please contact the Registrar's office with schedule questions.
Dr. Fergus J. King, Professor of New Testament Mission

How this course relates to missional core values

Biblically based

Texts from all thirteen of Paul’s letters will be examined in constructing his missional theology.

Missionally driven

As a class focused on missional methods from the Pauline literature, it will be inherently driven by missiology, both in terms of the subject matter and in the way it informs how we should pursue missions today

Contextually informed

We will study how and why the gospel was contextualized by Paul, discern ways to carry on this pattern of contextualization today, and consider further the various ways that we read, interpret, and explain the Pauline literature in light of our own contexts, backgrounds, traditions.

Interculturally focused

It is remarkable that Paul was a (Hellenistic) Jew and a Roman citizen who could converse in Aramaic, Hebrew and koinē Greek. This made Paul uniquely ‘qualified’ to be able to take and unpack ideas that were often Jewish in thought and origin and make them readily accessible to a Gentile audience.

Practically minded

Learning the message, methods, practices, and behaviors of Paul is expressly done for the purpose of considering how precisely these are to be applied in our own lives and missionary endeavors.

Experientially transformed

Paul did not only want his communities to preach the Gospel, but to also become the gospel, through incarnational Christ-centered lives that would change the world around them. This is my goal for every student taking this course.