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A. REGULATIONS FOR THE COURSE OF INSTRUCTION AT BLACKFRIARS; CAMPION HALL; HARRIS MANCHESTER COLLEGE; MANSFIELD COLLEGE; REGENT'S PARK COLLEGE; RIPON COLLEGE, CUDDESDON; ST BENET'S HALL; ST STEPHEN'S HOUSE; AND WYCLIFFE HALL.
- A.1 Course requirements Candidates must take at least twelve papers. In Part 1 candidates must take all four papers. In Part 2 they must take at least: one paper from section B; either C1 or C4; and one paper from section D. Candidates, including those who take E9 twice, may take a maximum of four papers from section E. Only one paper may be taken from section F. The B.Th. Supervisory Committee may dispense a candidate from individual compulsory papers on the basis of previous academic work, but not from the total number of papers required. Details of which subjects may or must be taken by two short essays or one long essay in place of written examination papers are given in the syllabus in section B below.
- A.2 Examinations Candidates will be examined at the end of each academic year of their course of study. Examination will be held in April or May, beginning on the Monday of the second week of Trinity Term, and in September or October, at the end of the second week before Michaelmas Full Term. Every candidate shall send through his or her college an entry form, showing the subject he or she intends to take in that year, to the Examination Schools, High Street, Oxford OX1 4BG, by noon on Friday of the second week of Hilary Term for the May examination, and by noon on Friday of the seventh week of Trinity Term for the Autumn examination. All entries shall be accompanied by certification of college approval and by the examination fee prescribed in the appropriate regulation. The examiners may examine the candidate viva voce, no candidate who has passed in a subject may sit that examination again. A candidate who has failed in more than two subjects in an examination shall be deemed to have failed in all the subjects offered at that examination. A candidate may offer at a subsequent examination a subject or subjects in which he or she has failed. Normally only one resit will be allowed in each subject, provided that the B.Th. Supervisory Committee shall have power in exceptional circumstances and on submission of a case by a candidate's college to approve a second resit.
- A.3 Long Essays Approval for the subjects proposed for long essays must be obtained from the B.Th. Supervisory Committee by completing a Long Essay Title Form and submitting it to the Supervisory Committee by noon on the Friday of: Week Four of Michaelmas Term, Week Four of Hilary Term, or Week Six of Trinity Term. A proposed title must cover a theme within the rubric of the paper. Candidates are advised to seek approval for titles as early as practicable in advance of the examination. After the Long Essay Title Form is returned with dated approval, it must be retained for submission with the completed work. Long essays must be entirely the candidate’s own work. Candidates may receive tutorial guidance in the early stages of composition, and tutors may read and comment on a first draft. Candidates must submit two copies of each essay (marked A and B), which must be printed on a single side of paper. Each copy must have a standard title sheet, indicating essay title and candidate number (but not name or college) and word count (including footnotes but not bibliography). Candidates must also submit the approved Long Essay Title Form, with its final section now completed to confirm that the essay is entirely the candidate’s own work and that a course of instruction covering the syllabus has been satisfactorily completed. These documents must be placed together in a sealed envelope, marked with the number and title of the paper and the candidate’s examination number and addressed to the Chair of Examiners, Bachelor of Theology, Examination Schools, High Street, Oxford OX1 4BG. Long essays must be submitted by noon on the first Monday of Trinity Full Term for the Trinity Term examination, or the second Monday before Michaelmas Full Term for the Long Vacation examination. Note. All communications for the Supervisory Committee for the Degree of Bachelor of Theology should be addressed to the Secretary of the B.Th. Supervisory Committee, whose address may be obtained from each college's B.Th. course director or from the Theology and Religion Faculty Centre, 34 St Giles', Oxford OX1 3LD.
B. THE SYLLABUS
† assessed by three-hour written examination
‡ assessed in Part I by two essays of 2,500 words (± 10%), whose titles are to be drawn from a list agreed by tutors and approved by the Supervisory Committee; and in Part II by a long essay of 5,000 words (± 10%), the title of which must be submitted to the Supervisory Committee for approval. Candidates must sign a declaration supported by their society that they have attended an appropriate course of instruction and have adequately covered the syllabus of the paper or, where specified, of the option(s) selected.
§ assessed by other means, as noted in the rubric.
Note that most papers may be examined by more than one means.
Full-time candidates must attempt all Part 1 papers in their first year. They may attempt Part 2 papers at any examination session following the first Trinity Term. Part-time candidates must attempt all Part 1 papers in their first two years. They may attempt Part 2 papers at any examination session after their first year, provided they have completed Part 1 or are completing it in the same session. Any candidate who withdraws from a Part I paper must also withdraw from all Part II papers entered in the same session.
Part 1 papers will be assessed at first year level, and will be given reduced weighting in considering a candidate's degree classification or certificate award.
In all written examinations candidates will be provided with a copy of the New Revised Standard Version with the Apocrypha (Anglicized Edition), except when they are answering questions on Hebrew or Greek texts. Those who wish to answer questions on Hebrew or Greek texts must specify this on their entry forms. The texts used in these cases will be: The Greek New Testament (United Bible Societies, 4th edn. 1993); Biblia Hebraica Stuttgartensia (Stuttgart, 1977).
This part addresses fundamental issues of Biblical Study, Christian Thought and Christian Ministry, laying a foundation for further study.
SECTION A. FOUNDATION STUDIES
- †A.1 — Old Testament A Candidates will study the Pentateuch and the Prophetic Books, with particular reference to Genesis, Deuteronomy and Isaiah. They will study specific texts: either Genesis 1-3, 15-17, Deuteronomy 5-7, 12, 15-16 and Isaiah 5-11, 49-53 in English; or Genesis 1-4 or Jonah in Hebrew. Candidates who wish to prepare for assessment in Hebrew must enter for the written examination with texts in Hebrew. However, in the examination itself they may transfer to texts in English without penalty.
- † A.2 — New Testament A Candidates will study Matthew and 1 Corinthians, and may also study Mark, addressing such issues as methodology in New Testament study, the person and ministry of Jesus, the context and theology of the authors, and ecclesiological issues. They will also study in detail either Matthew 9-10, 26-8 (with the option of Markan parallels) and 1 Corinthians 7-11 in English, or Matthew 9-10 in Greek, or 1 Corinthians 7-8 in Greek. Candidates who wish to prepare for assessment in Greek must enter for the written examination with texts in Greek. However, in the examination itself they may transfer to texts in English without penalty.
‡ A.3 — Christian Life and Thought
Foundation studies in this discipline can take different routes:
- Either ‡ A.3.A — Foundations of Christian Thought Candidates will study some of the foundational issues involved in the study of Christian theology including faith, revelation, Scripture, authority, tradition, development, religious language, and the relationship of Christian theology to other disciplines.
Or ‡ A.3.B — Development of Christian Life and Thought
Candidates will study the development of Christian life and thought in its cultural and historical context, including issues of authority, spirituality and ministry within Christian communities; and sources and forms of theological reflection and conflict. They should demonstrate some awareness of primary sources (in translation).
- Candidates will study the following foundational period:
- (a) First to fifth centuries.
- They may also study one of the following periods:
- (b) Sixth to eleventh centuries;
- (c) Eleventh to fourteenth centuries;
- (d) Fifteenth and sixteenth centuries.
- Candidates must specify the period within which the subject of their essay falls on their examination entrance forms; they cannot subsequently be assessed on these periods in Paper C.2.
- ‡ A.4 — Christian Witness and the Contemporary World Candidates will study the relationship between Christian faith and contemporary culture, including religious and secular understandings of society, environment, personhood, and faith. Candidates will be expected to reflect on the practice of mission and pastoral care.
SECTION B. BIBLICAL STUDIES
- †‡ B.1 — Old Testament B
- Candidates will study the Historical Books (Joshua, Judges, 1 and 2 Samuel, 1 and 2 Kings, 1 and 2 Chronicles, Ezra, Nehemiah) and the other Writings (Psalms, Proverbs, Job, Ecclesiastes, Song of Songs, Lamentations, Ruth, Esther, Daniel).
They will also study at least one of the following set texts:
- (i) 2 Samuel 1-12 or 2 Kings 17-25 in English;
- (ii) Psalms 42-49, 84-89 or Job 1–5, 38–42 in English;
- (iii) 2 Kings 21-23 in Hebrew;
- (iv) Ruth in Hebrew.
- Candidates who wish to prepare for assessment in Hebrew must enter for the written examination with texts in Hebrew. However, in the examination itself they may transfer to texts in English without penalty.
- †‡ B.2 — New Testament B Candidates will study issues of New Testament theology, ethics and interpretation, and at least two of the following books: John, Romans, Hebrews. They may also study the Pastoral Epistles and Revelation. They will study in detail texts from John 1-6, 9-12, 17-20, Romans 1-12, and Hebrews in English; and they may study John 1-3, 6, 17 and/or Romans 5-8 in Greek. Candidates being assessed by long essay may write on any New Testament text (except those texts listed in the rubric for paper A.2), so long as they have adequately covered the syllabus of the paper in their course of instruction. Candidates who wish to prepare for assessment in Greek must enter for the written examination with texts in Greek. However, in the examination itself they may transfer to texts in English without penalty.
- †‡ B.3 — Biblical Interpretation Candidates will study Part A or Part B or both. Part A: Candidates will study: central themes in both testaments such as God, creation, the people of God, redemption, messiah, community, worship, hope; and the methodological issues of constructing biblical theology. Part B: Candidates will study the history and practice of biblical interpretation, including major contemporary trends.
SECTION C. DOCTRINE AND HISTORY
- †‡ C.1 — Christian Doctrine Candidates will study the central doctrines of the Christian church, as set out in the historic creeds and formulae, including critical reflection on traditional and recent expositions of these doctrines and engagement with contemporary theological discussion.
- †‡ C.2 — Church History Candidates will study the development of Christian life and thought in its cultural and historical context, including issues of authority, spirituality, and ministry within Christian communities; and sources and forms of theological reflection and conflict. They should demonstrate some awareness of primary sources (in translation).
Candidates must specify one period for assessment by written exam or long essay, which must not be one on which they were assessed in Paper A.3.B:
- (a) First to fifth centuries;
- (b) Sixth to eleventh centuries;
- (c) Eleventh to fourteenth centuries;
- (d) Fifteenth and sixteenth centuries;
- (e) Seventeenth and eighteenth centuries;
- (f) Nineteenth and twentieth centuries.
- †‡ C.3 — Ecclesiology Candidates will study the theology of the church, including ministry and the sacraments, in its historical development and contemporary practice.
- †‡ C.4 — Study of Theology (Candidates who have taken A.3.A may not take this paper.) Candidates will study some of the major issues involved in the study of Christian theology, including faith, revelation, reason, Scripture, authority, tradition, development, religious language, and the relationship of Christian thought to other disciplines and other religions.
SECTION D. PRACTICAL THEOLOGY
- § D.1 — Mission and Ministry This paper will be assessed by an essay of 5,000 words (± 10%), which must be based on a supervised placement of at least twenty-one days in a church or secular setting in which the candidate shares in the experiences of those involved, and must be accompanied by a declaration supported by the student’s society that the placement has been undertaken. The essay may be accompanied by additional documentation on the nature of the placement that would not otherwise be available to the examiner, which must not exceed ten A4 pages in total and must not identify the candidate. The essay should contain theological reflection on the placement with the help of the candidate’s study of issues of mission and ministry and, as appropriate, of contributory disciplines.
§ D.2 — Christian Ethics
This paper consists of two parts, (a) and (b):
- (a) Ethics and Faith (three hour examination or long essay) Candidates will study the foundations of Christian moral thought and practice; contemporary moral and social problems; and the relation of Christian moral life to faith, witness, and worship. This part of the paper will be assessed either by a long essay of 4,000 words (± 10%), the title of which must be submitted for approval to the Supervisory Committee, or by a three-hour written examination.
- (b) Ethics and Ministry (two hour examination) This part of the paper will be assessed by a two-hour written examination. Candidates should demonstrate ethical and pastoral competence in analysis of, reflection on, and response to a particular situation. This will be a situation relating to sexuality, marriage, and the family, unless the Supervisory Committee gives notice otherwise.
- †‡ D.3 — Christian Worship Candidates will study the history and theology of Christian initiation, the Eucharist, the daily worship; the place of prayer in worship; non-verbal aspects of liturgy and their cultural factors; relevant insights from the human sciences; word and sacrament, liturgical symbolism, and the place of preaching; worship and the Church's mission; other forms of corporate worship.
- †‡ D.4 — Christian Spirituality Candidates will study the history and theology of Christian spirituality including major traditions and figures; and the relationship of spirituality to: scripture, liturgy, hymnody, doctrine, and current trends.
SECTION E. OTHER SUBJECTS
- †‡ E.1 — Christian Mission Candidates will study the following: the biblical and theological foundations of mission; the relationship of the Church to the missio Dei; factors in the contemporary world affecting mission, such as industrialisation, urbanisation, secularism, pluralism, and new forms of imperialism. These subjects may be focused through the study of: the history of Christian mission; the distinction between mission and evangelism; the encounter with other faiths; issues of contextualisation; apologetics; liberation movements; and the work of significant missiologists.
- †‡ E.2 — Christian Faith and Other Religions Candidates will study methodology in the study of religion; Christian approaches to other religions; and one religion other than Christianity, chosen from (and to be specified on the entry form): Hinduism, Buddhism, post-Biblical Judaism, Islam, or a religion proposed by the candidate and approved by the Supervisory Committee.
- †‡ E.3 — Christian Faith and Philosophy Candidates will study the relationship between Christianity and the Western philosophical tradition. They will also study relevant issues including: the relation between reason and revelation; the existence of God; the problem of evil; non-objective theism; religious language; religious experience; resurrection and the immortality of the soul.
- †‡ E.4 — Christian Faith and Science Candidates will study the relationship between Christian theology and the development of modern science, including: methodology and epistemology in science and theology; the origin of the universe and humanity; the quantum world; the biosphere and ecosystems; and ethical issues of scientific research and development.
- †‡ E.5 — Christian Faith and Social Sciences Candidates will study the relationship between Christian theology and the social sciences, including such areas as methodology in both disciplines; sociological and anthropological interpretations of religion; theological and sociological understandings of social phenomena; sociological understandings of religious organisation; and theological critiques of social sciences.
- †‡ E.6 — Christian Faith and Psychology Candidates will study the contribution of psychological theory to pastoral theology and pastoral care, in areas such as: developmental theory and the life cycle; human sexuality; love and attachment; and mental health. They will also study: major psychological theories and their critique of religious systems; the counselling movement; the role of the pastor; the nature of pastoral ministry in relation to birth, marriage, and death.
- †‡ E.7 — Canon Law Candidates will study the sources, history, and theology of Western canon law or the Eastern canonical tradition or both (to be specified on the entry form); and current systems of canons, e.g. the Roman Catholic Code of Canon Law and the Canons of the Church of England, including an introduction to comparative issues.
- ‡ E.8 — Confessional Study Candidates will study the tradition of a Christian denomination as expressed in its formularies, liturgy, spirituality, and ethics.
- § †‡ E.9 —Translation Paper
- Candidates may propose texts for approval by the Supervisory Committee, from which passages will be set for translation and comment in a three-hour written examination. The texts must be in a language relevant to theological study, such as Biblical Hebrew, New Testament Greek or Ecclesiastical Latin. A candidate may offer Paper E.9 twice, so as to be examined on texts in two different languages.
SECTION F. DISSERTATION OR PROJECT
Candidates may either write a dissertation or undertake a project capable of suitable assessment. In either case, it is expected that no college-assessed formative pieces of work will be required.
- § F.1 — Dissertation Candidates may propose a topic for approval by the Supervisory Committee, a topic which will involve some research and/or interdisciplinary study leading to the composition of a dissertation of 10,000 words (± 10%). The proposal should include the title, a brief description of the subject and approach envisaged, and a preliminary bibliography.
- § F.2 — Project Candidates may propose a project for approval by the Supervisory Committee. The proposal should include the title, a brief description of the subject and approach envisaged, a preliminary bibliography and details of the proposed assessment method.