Bryn Athyn College’s Master of Arts in Religious Studies
The Master’s of Arts in Religious Studies or MARS program was instituted by Bryn Athyn College in 1996 in order to provide advanced education for lay people in New Church thought and scholarship. In the two decades of its existence it has graduated forty students with more on the way! For each student the program culminates in a thesis with a New Church focus. This form of research is vital for the students in the program; it is also vital to the Church. The program is building a storehouse of knowledge developing the New Church perspective and world view. Developing our world view is our gift to humanity. Doing this work of taking what the Lord has given us and then shaping it is such a way that it might provide both a new way to understand world events and new ways to act in the world. The MARS program was developed to serve this vital use, and going forward we hope to implement to additional tracks within the program: one will be focused on “Death and Dying” and the other on “Philosophy.”
These programs have been approved by the BAC Curriculum Committee and listed below are the courses MARS is offering during the Winter and Spring terms in 2018. We will be adding additional courses as interest, resources and funding permit. Please note that the MARS program is available as synchronistic distance courses. Students can link doctrinal courses with their own areas of interest. Courses are offered at Bryn Athyn College and simultaneously on Skype. Flexible dates and times accommodate a busy workday. Auditors are welcome at a reduced cost.
The courses listed below are those planned for the 2017-18 school year:
Beginning week of January 2nd 2018
Church History 587. Divine Presence over Five Dispensations
A study of how the Lord addressed the changing spiritual needs of humanity in the five churches described in Heavenly Doctrine. Demonstrates why the New Church is the “crown” of the churches.
Seminar. 5 sessions
Staff Rev. Stephen Cole
Beginning week of February 5th
Theology 513. Transitions, Perspectives of Death and Resurrection
This course explores the role of society in the death experience, the psychological states leading to and from death, and the New Church teaching on the resuscitation process.
Seminar. 3 sessions
Drs. Jane Hogan, Erica Hyatt and Andrew Dibb
Theology 522: The Doctrine of Life April 2 May 4
The nature and practice of religion, the foundation of the Ten Commandments, and the role of human choice.5 sessions, 1.5 credits – Rev. Grant Odhner
Religious Studies 550: Swedenborg’s Life and Times
The Swedish context for Swedenborg’s intellectual and spiritual development, call, and revelatory works. Examines the geography, history, culture, and society of Sweden in Swedenborg’s time.
Seminar. 10 Sessions
Dr. Jane Hogan
Theology 501: Heavenly Doctrines as Systematic Theology.
An introduction to important perspectives on general theology and the Heavenly Doctrines by studying the core teachings and the interrelationship of major New Church doctrines.
Seminar. 10 Sessions
Rev. P.A. Rogers