MG 8398 01

Bachelor of Arts in Theology

 

Bachelor of Arts in Theology

 

Course Description

 

The Bachelor of Arts in Theology (BA) is a degree offered by the University of Oxford, an undergraduate degree in Theology offered by the University of Oxford, providing a solid and rigorous training in the academic theological disciplines. It may be taken over three years, or for those taking it as a second Bachelor’s degree, over two years. Three-year ordinands taking this route will spend the third year pursuing a more vocational course of study.

 

Each candidate is required to attend course in and to be assessed in eight subjects for the Final Honour School of Theology. Candidates also taking the Preliminary Examination must be assessed in a further three subjects.

 

Entrance Requirements

 

For students taking the BA in Theology as a first degree, the entrance requirements are those of the Theology Faculty for the BA: currently three A grades at A level (or equivalent).

 

Those applying to take the BA in Theology as a second Bachelor’s degree, including three-year ordinands, must have obtained at least an upper second (or equivalent) in their first degree.

 

Teaching and Learning

 

Teaching and learning for the BA take place through a combination of Faculty lectures (some of which are designated as ‘core lectures’) and tutorials in the college and the wider University. On average, students can expect approximately half their papers to be taught by tutors in the college, and half by tutors in other colleges. Certain papers are taught by Faculty class rather than tutorial. In their third year, ordinands undertake the final year course, taught primarily through lectures and seminars in college.

 

Assessment

 

For the Final Honour School, all papers are externally assessed by three-hour examinations in the Trinity Term of the final year of the degree, unless an external essay is being offered either in place of or in addition to, one of the papers.

 

In addition to formal assessment, formative assessment occurs through regular feedback from tutors, and a termly academic report (read out during Principal’s Collections at the end of term). At the beginning of each term, there will normally be a written ‘collection’ (internal college examination) on the paper studied the previous term.

Languages

 

All Senior Status BA students are required to be assessed in a biblical language (Hebrew or Greek) in one of the biblical papers in Finals. Teaching is provided via Faculty classes in Michaelmas and Hilary Terms of the first year.

 

 

 

Course Outline

 

Papers required of ordinands in italics (Track III is not available to ordinands)

 

TRACK I

(i)                  Paper 1 (God and Israel in the Old Testament)

(ii)                Paper 2 (The Gospels and Jesus)

(iii)               Paper 3 (Pauline Literature)

(iv)              Paper 4 (Development of Doctrine in the Early Church to AD 451)

(v)                Paper 5 (God, Christ and Salvation)

(vi)              Another Biblical paper chosen from Papers 22-26 or 29

(vii)             One further paper (for ordinands this must normally be a Church History paper chosen from Papers 7, 8 or 9)

(viii)           One further paper

TRACK II

(i)                  Paper 1 (God and Israel in the Old Testament)

(ii)                Paper 2 (The Gospels and Jesus)

(iii)               Paper 4 (Development of Doctrine in the Early Church to AD 451)

(iv)              Paper 5 (God, Christ and Salvation)

(v)                One paper chosen from Papers 7 (Western Christianity 1050-1350), 8 (Western Christianity 1500-1619) or 9 (Christian Life and Thought in Europe etc./Issues in Theology 1789-1921)

(vi)              Paper 10 (Further Studies in History and Doctrine: ‘Special Theologian’)

(vii)             One further paper (for ordinands this must normally be Paper 3 [Pauline Literature])

(viii)           One further paper

TRACK III

(i)                  Paper 1 (God and Israel in the Old Testament)

(ii)                Paper 2 (The Gospels and Jesus)

(iii)               Paper 4 (Development of Doctrine in the Early Church to AD 451)

(iv)              Paper 5 (God, Christ and Salvation)

(v)                Paper 13 (The Nature of Religion)

(vi)              Paper 14 (Judaism I) or 16 (Islam I) or 18 (Buddhism I) or 20 (Hinduism I)

(vii)             Paper 15 (Judaism II) or 17 (Islam II) or 19 (Buddhism II) or 21 (Hinduism II)

(viii)           One further paper

 

An extended essay (of 10,000-15,000 words) may be offered either in place of choice viii in each track, or in addition to the eight papers.

 

 

Course Description

The Bachelor of Arts in Theology is an undergraduate degree in Theology offered by the University of Oxford. It provides a solid foundation in Christian Theology, and enables students to specialise in Biblical Studies, History and Doctrine, or Study of Religion/Non-Christian Religions. The course it taught by lectures and tutorials.

Those taking the degree in three years sit the Preliminary examination after the second term, and are examined in three subjects. Those taking the BA in Theology as a second undergraduate degree (including three-year ordinands who have at least a 2.1 in their first degree) may apply to take the degree in two years as Senior Status students. All students take the Final Honour School of Theology, for which they must attend courses and be assessed in eight subjects.

Ordinands taking ‘Schools’ will pursue a more vocational course in their third year.

Entrance Requirements

For three-year students, the entrance requirements are those of the Theology Faculty for the BA: currently three A grades at A level (or equivalent).

Those applying to take the BA in Theology as a second Bachelor’s degree must have obtained at least an upper second (or equivalent) in their first degree.

Teaching Methods

Teaching and learning take place through a combination of lectures (some of which are designated as ‘core lectures’) and tutorials in the House and the wider University. On average, students can expect half their papers to be taught by tutors in the House, and half by tutors in other colleges.

For most papers students write 6-8 essays (of c. 3,000 words each) for tutorial discussion with a specialist tutor. Certain papers are taught by Faculty class rather than tutorial.

Assessment

For Prelims, all papers are externally assessed by three-hour examinations in the Hilary Term of the first year. For the Final Honour School, all papers are externally assessed by three-hour examinations in the Trinity Term of the final year of the degree, unless an external essay is being offered either in place of or in addition to, one of the papers.

Final classifications are awarded according to usual university grading - firsts, upper seconds, lower seconds, thirds (and fail).

Languages

All BA students are required to be assessed in a biblical language at some stage during their course.

Course Structure

Preliminary Examination (taken by graduate students taking the degree in 3 years):

At least three of the following:

  1. The Christian Doctrine of Creation
  2. The Study of Old Testament set texts
  3. The Study of a New Testament set text
  4. The History of the Church from Nero to Constantine
  5. Introduction to Study of Religions
  6. Introduction to Philosophy
  7. New Testament Greek
  8. Biblical Hebrew
  9. Classical Arabic
  10. Pali

Single School candidates must offer at least one of papers 7, 8, 9 and 10. At St Stephen's House, students also normally take paper 3.

Final Honour School (taken as the final two years of a three year degree or as the whole of a two year degree)

TRACK I

  1. Paper 1 (God and Israel in the Old Testament)
  2. Paper 2 (The Gospels and Jesus)
  3. Paper 3 (Pauline Literature)
  4. Paper 4 (Development of Doctrine in the Early Church to AD 451)
  5. Paper 5 (God, Christ and Salvation)
  6. Another Biblical paper chosen from Papers 22-26 or 29
  7. One further paper (for ordinands this must normally be a Church History paper chosen from Papers 7, 8 or 9)
  8. One further paper

TRACK II

  1. Paper 1 (God and Israel in the Old Testament)
  2. Paper 2 (The Gospels and Jesus)
  3. Paper 4 (Development of Doctrine in the Early Church to AD 451)
  4. Paper 5 (God, Christ and Salvation)
  5. One paper chosen from Papers 7 (Western Christianity 1050-1350), 8 (Western Christianity 1500-1619) or 9 (Christian Life and Thought in Europe etc./Issues in Theology 1789-1921)
  6. Paper 10 (Further Studies in History and Doctrine: ‘Special Theologian’)
  7. One further paper
  8. One further paper (for ordinands this must normally be Paper 3 [Pauline Literature])

TRACK III (Track III is not offered to SSH ordinands)

  1. Paper 1 (God and Israel in the Old Testament)
  2. Paper 2 (The Gospels and Jesus)
  3. Paper 4 (Development of Doctrine in the Early Church to AD 451)
  4. Paper 5 (God, Christ and Salvation)
  5. Paper 13 (The Nature of Religion)
  6. Two papers on EITHER Judaism (Papers 14 and 15) OR Islam (papers 16 and 17) OR Buddhism (Papers 18 and 19) OR Hinduism (Papers 20 and 21)
  7. One further paper

An extended essay (of c. 10,000 words) may be offered either in place of choice viii in each track, or in addition to the eight papers (for ordinands taking Track II, this will be in addition to the eight papers).

Reading List (Three Year Students):

Books to Buy (for first year of course):

  • New Revised Standard Version of the Bible (Anglicised version; preferably with the Apocrypha/ Deuterocanonical books)
  • M Hooker, St Mark (Black’s NT Commentaries; A & Black, London 1991)
  • Either Weingreen or Duff depending on whether you intend to study Hebrew or Greek:
  • J Duff, Wenham’s Elements of New Testament Greek (CUP 2005)
  • J Weingreen, Practical Grammar of Classical Hebrew (2nd ed., OUP 1959)
  • Those taking Hebrew will also need:
    Biblia Hebraïca Stuttgartensia (Stuttgart 1977)
    Greek New Testaments are normally provided free by the Bible Society.

Other Suggested Introductory Reading:

  • D Brown, Introduction to Theology (Blackwells, Oxford 1989)
  • or D Ford, Theology: A Very Short Introduction (OUP, Oxford 1999)

Reading List (Ordinands and Second BAs):

Books to Buy (for first year of course):

  • New Revised Standard Version of the Bible (Anglicised version; preferably with the Apocrypha/ Deuterocanonical books)
  • J.N.D. Kelly, Early Christian Doctrines (5th Edition, Continuum, London, 1977)
    (either Weingreen or Duff depending on whether you intend to study Hebrew or Greek):
  • J Duff, Wenham’s Elements of New Testament Greek (CUP 2005)
  • J Weingreen, Practical Grammar of Classical Hebrew (2nd ed., OUP 1959)
  • Those taking Hebrew will also need:
    Biblia Hebraïca Stuffartensia (Stuggart 1977)
    Greek New Testaments are normally provided free by the Bible Society.

For those taking Track 1 (and for all ordinands):

  • Kurt Aland (ed.), Synopsis Quattuor Evangeliorum (Greek or Greek/English edition; Stuttgart 1985): this synopsis is expensive, but will not be needed until later on in the first year, so you may be able to obtain this with a book grant after arriving at college.  The Bible Society sometimes offer reduced rates.

Other Suggested Reading for the Final Honour School:

You will find yourselves using these books throughout your course, and, hopefully, beyond. Although they are available in libraries, you might like to know of them in advance, in case relatives or friends wish to buy you books as gifts. Other relevant books will depend upon options chosen within the syllabus.

  • John Barton and John Muddiman (eds), The Oxford Bible Commentary (OUP 2001).
  • Raymond E. Brown, Introduction to the New Testament (Doubleday 1997)
  • David F. Ford (ed.), The Modern Theologians (2nd edition, Blackwells 1997)
  • Luke T. Johnson, The Writings of the New Testament (new edition SCM 1999)
  • John Rogerson and Philip Davies, The Old Testament World (CUP 1989)
  • W H C Frend, The Early Church (rev. ed., SCM, London 2003)

Commentaries on Set Texts:

  • Daniel J. Harrington, The Gospel of Matthew (Sacra Pagina, Liturgical Press 1991)
  • Francis J. Moloney, The Gospel of John (Sacra Pagina, Liturgical Press 1998)

For those taking Track 1 (and for all ordinands):

  • Brendan Byrne, Romans (Sacra Pagina, Liturgical Press 1996)
  • R.F. Collins, First Corinthians (Sacra Pagina, Liturgical Press 1999)
  • J D G Dunn, Galatians (BNTC, A & C Black 1993)

Page last updated: 21/04/2017, at 09:40

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