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Course Title: Christology
Instructor: Brian Neese
Curriculum: 6 units, plus Syllabus and Final Exam
Time Required: 5-6 weeks
Textbooks: None.
Prerequisites: None. All students may enroll in this class
CEU Eligibility: Students who pass an exam will earn 2 CEUs
Course Fee: $20.00
Start Date: No waiting...Enroll now and start learning today!

What This Course Will Do for You

Enrich your understanding of the essence and nature of Jesus Christ in this wonderfully illuminating course taught by theology scholar Brian Neese. During this six week course, you will gain thought-provoking insights into the single most important person that forever changed the world – Jesus Christ.

Christology is the study of the person of Jesus Christ, with a particular focus on His nature and essence. Christology seeks to understand not just what Jesus did, but who He was and is. It examines the nature of Jesus Christ and accepted theories surrounding this as well as other relevant questions raised in the this course.

The Bible gives us a comprehensive account of Jesus Christ, his life, teachings, and sacrifice. Christian theology looks at the implications of these events and tries to understand the meaning of the life, person, being, and nature of Jesus Christ.

By experiencing the incarnate God in Jesus Christ, mankind and the Church gain a better understanding of creation, salvation, God, man's role on earth, and other topics through the presence of Jesus Christ. Christology looks at these implications and attempts to correctly place doctrine in line with this radical and important event.

(Source: Wikipedia)
Lesson Plan
Syllabus
Getting Started (Course Syllabus)
Unit 1
Foundation of Jesus Christ in the Scriptures - Examines the New Testament's account of Christ and what it has to say regarding Him.
Unit 2
The Incarnate God, St. Athanasius and the Council of Nicaea - We will look at the first attempts to analyze the incarnate God.
Unit 3
The Chalcedonian Definition - The standard definition that becomes definitive for Christ, that He is two unmixed natures in one, will be examined.
Unit 4
St. Anselm and St. Aquinas - These two theologians' answers to why salvation came in the form of an incarnate God will be analyzed.
Unit 5
Barth and Balthasar, The 20th Century - The two Christologies of these two huge names in theology will be examined.
Unit 6
20th Century: Christ, Kenosis, and Suffering - From violence to genocide in the aftermath of World War II, theology examines kenosis and suffering in relationship to Christ.
Unit 7
Final Exam

How to Participate in this Course

Enroll and start learning today! All course materials will be available when you start the class, so you don't have to wait for weekly lessons and you can truly learn at your own pace. You don't have to be online at any set time; study at your leisure from the comfort or your home or office.

The course curriculum will include tutorial lessons, suggested readings, and optional homework activities. If you are taking the class for enjoyment or self-enrichment, homework is optional but participation is encouraged. Students who approach online learning as an adventure and actively participate will derive the most benefit and enjoyment from online learning. Homework projects, if completed satisfactorily, will earn Extra Credit points which will be added to your Final Exam score and may increase the overall grade you earn in the course.

The Student Handbook provides useful information on how to make the most of your online learning experience at KSURF's Virtual University. Refer to this guide for helpful tips on how to access classrooms, post homework, and answers to most frequently asked questions.

About the Author/Instructor

Brian Neese obtained his Bachelor of Arts in Philosopy from American Public University. He will receive his Master of Theology in Systematic and Philosophical Theology from the University of Wales, Lampeter in July, 2010. Philosophy and theology, particularly Christian philosophy is where Brianís interests are found, especially in the topic of Christian love, Kierkegaard, and other related topics.

Brian is also a freelance writer. He developed his Christology course as a way to connect his academic background to his writing interests. The course is also representative of his faith, where he enjoys learning more about Godís Word and in subjects of theology. Outside of his writing and academic endeavors, he enjoys reading, music, sports, and writing for pleasure. During his college years, Brian worked at a daycare center, which he still enjoys visiting and being involved in instilling Godís gift in children.

Brian lives in Rockford, Illinois, where he spends his days writing and spending time with his girlfriend Cortney and their loved ones. His first course at KSURF is Christology, and he is developing several others online courses for the future.

A Closer Look at this Course

Unit 1 - Foundation of Jesus Christ in the Scriptures

We will examine the New Testament's account of Christ and what it has to say regarding Him. This first lesson will look at the foundation of Jesus Christ in the Bible, which serves as the background of what is known as Christology. This lesson will:

  • Introduce the subject of Christology and its implications
  • Discuss Jesus Christ in the Gospels
  • Analyze the terms: "Christ," "Son of God," "Son of Man," "Lord"
  • Explore the significance of these terms in the Bible
  • Examine the significance of the emphases on the person of Jesus in relationship to Christology

Unit 2 - The Incarnate God, St. Athanasius, the Council of Nicaea

We'll explore early attempts to analyze the incarnate God. This lesson looks at the beginnings of theological discussions on Christology and the incarnate God. The Christology from St. Athanasius and from the Council of Nicaea helped shaped the preliminary distinctions within the topic of Christology, which will pave the way into the major Chalcedonian definition of the next lesson. This lesson will:

  • Look at the earliest conceptions of Christology within Christian theology
  • Examine the Arian Controversy
  • Examine the Christology of St. Athanasius
  • Analyze the contrasting Christologies of St. Athanasius and the Council of Nicaea to Arius

Unit 3 - The Chalcedonian Definition

The standard view of Christ — that He is two unmixed natures in one, will be examined. We'll take a look at the monumental Chalcedonian definition, which helped establish the answers to the questions that we have been dealing with in the two previous lessons. We will also look at the implications of the Chalcedonian definition. This lesson will:

  • Look at the developments that lead to the Chalcedonian definition
  • Examine the two answers to the continued debates in Christology
  • Examine the Chalcedonian definition, in relationship to the human and divine natures of Christ
  • Analyze the implications of the Chalcedonian definition in Christology

Unit 4 - St. Anselm and St. Aquinas

These two theologians' answers to why salvation came in the form of an incarnate God will be analyzed. This unit explores the Christologies presented by St. Anselm and St. Aquinas. Their views will be analyzed as they relate to views on atonement, penal substitution, and even aesthetics under the larger subject of Christology. This lesson will:

  • Examine the shift in focus in Christology in this period
  • Analyze the Christology presented by St. Anselm
  • Analyze the Christology presented by St. Aquinas
  • Look at the many themes within these two theologians' work on Christology

Unit 5 - Barth and Balthasar, The 20th Century

The Christologies of these two renowned theologians will be examined. This lesson will primarily look at the Christologies presented by Karl Barth and Hans Urs von Balthasar, two theologians in the 20th century. This lesson will:

  • Examine the shift in focus in Christology in this period
  • Analyze the Christology presented by Barth
  • Analyze the Christology presented by Balthasar
  • Look at the many themes within these two theologians' work on Christology

Unit 6 - 20th Century: Christ, Kenosis, and Suffering

From violence to genocide in the aftermath of World War II, theology examines kenosis and suffering in relationship to Christ. This lesson will look at the topic of kenosis as it relates to Christ and Christology. Additionally, we will examine issues that have been approached by theologians in response to the "emptiness," or dereliction, of Christ on the cross. This lesson will:

  • Examine the topic of kenosis in this period
  • Analyze topics relating to Christ on the cross in Christology