BUILDING SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY
Throughout the history of the church, faithful Christians have used systematic theology to communicate the teachings of our faith. For many, it has proven to be a helpful tool for expressing ideas clearly, and for organizing them in ways that increase our understanding of Scripture. This course analyzes the steps of building systematic theology, especially the formation of technical terms, theological propositions, and doctrinal statements. It examines the legitimacy of systematic theology, the place of human logic in the process, and the dangers and benefits of this tool. This course is based on the lecture series, Building Systematic Theology, produced by Third Millennium Ministries and presented by Dr. Richard L. Pratt, Jr.
Dr. Richard L. Pratt, Jr.
Dr. Pratt is the president and founder of Third Millennium Ministries. He received his M.Div. from Union Theological Seminary and his Th.D. in Old Testament Studies from Harvard University. He formerly chaired the Old Testament department at Reformed Theological Seminary in Orlando, Florida. Then he transitioned in 2006 from his teaching role at RTS to work full time with Third Millennium Ministries. Among his published books are: Every Thought Captive, Pray With Your Eyes Open, He Gave Us Stories, and Designed For Dignity
Goals and Objectives
In this course, we would like to accomplish the following:
1. We hope you will understand the process of developing systematic theology, including the proper use of human logic, the proper use of the Scriptures, and the proper method of defining technical terms, making theological propositions, and designing doctrinal statements.
2. We hope you will develop a greater appreciation for systematic theology, and that you will become aware of its benefits and dangers.
3. We hope you make changes in your life as a response to the teachings of this course. It should help you formulate, evaluate, and use systematic theology properly.
When you have done the following, it will show that the goals are met:
1. Obtain satisfactory grades on the tests, demonstrating that you can do the following: a) explain the process of developing systematic theology, b) define some key terms of systematic theology, c) identify the proper use of logic in the process of systematic theology, d) identify the proper use of the Scriptures in the process of systematic theology, and e) identify the benefits and dangers of systematic theology.
2. Complete the study guides and other assignments of the course, expressing your attitude regarding systematic theology, and showing how you have assimilated the teachings of the course and applied them to your own life, especially that you can formulate, evaluate and use systematic theology properly.
Thematic Outline of the Course
1. What is Systematic Theology?
2. Technical Terms in Systematics
3. Propositions in Systematics
4. Doctrines in Systematics
Explanation of Assignments
The Multimedia Lessons
1. Study the lessons, watching the video, listening to the audio, or reading the text.
2. Complete the study guides for each lesson. These study guides will prepare you for the online quizzes and help you apply the teachings of the lesson to your own life. (For those students associated with a particular institution wishing to track the completion of the completion of the Study Guides, a drop box has been provided at the end of the course.)
3. Take the online quizzes on each section of the lessons. The quizzes may be taken as many times as you want, but you must wait five days between each attempt, and the official grade will be from the first attempt.
4. Optional: We recommend that you look through the glossaries and use the learning games to become familiar with special names and technical terms used in the lessons.
5. Take the cumulative test for each complete lesson. You may take the test again as many times as you want for review, but you must wait five days between each attempt, and the official grade is from the first attempt.
6. When you have finished all the lessons on the multimedia lectures, take the final exam on the lectures.
1. Complete the supplementary lessons for each lesson. These lessons give you additional background information and provide other learning aids related to the lessons. You may repeat these lessons as many times as you want, and the official grade will be the highest score out of all the attempts.
2. Complete the questionnaires for the lessons to help assimilate the teachings and apply them to your own life. These are not quizzes. The answers are more subjective. The grade is for completing the assignment.
3. There is a final lesson based on additional readings. These are optional readings designed to supplement the main lesson materials. The student should do the reading, complete the study guides, and take the corresponding quizzes and cumulative test based on the reading. These are graded as extra credit. (For those students associated with a particular institution wishing to track the completion of the Reading Study Guides, a drop box has been provided at the end of the course.)
We recommend that you work on these reading assignments and quizzes during the entire course, instead of waiting until you finish all the lessons based on the video lectures. For each lesson, do the percentage of the work on them that corresponds to the number of lessons in the course.
Some institutions may require you to do one or more of the following optional assignments. If so, read the instructions in lesson 1 and follow the specific guidelines given in the instructions for each lesson.
1. The Written project
2. Essay Questions
3. Journal Questions
4. Optional Additional Reading
The final grade will be calculated as follows:
1) The quizzes on the lectures are each worth 10 points.
2) Each cumulative test is worth 30 points.
3) Each supplementary lesson is worth 10 points.
4) Each questionnaire is worth 10 points.
5) The final exam on the lectures is worth 100 points.
6) Each quiz on the reading assignments is worth 10 points (extra credit).
7) The cumulative test on the additional reading is worth 30 points (extra credit).
The final grade of the course will be calculated by adding the corresponding percentages of all assignments and tests, making a total of 100% possible.
A total course score above 70% is considered passing.
Greek and Hebrew
Some lessons in our courses make reference to words in Greek or Hebrew. If you have not studied these languages, you might want to at least become familiar with the alphabets.
For the Greek alphabet, see:
For the Hebrew alphabet, see: