Certificate Program Educates Churches in Christian Social Thought
This summer, The King’s College is piloting a non-credit certificate program in Christian Social Thought to help pastors and church leaders approach worldview formation, politics, philosophy, and economics from the Christian tradition.
This summer, The King’s College is piloting a non-credit certificate program in Christian Social Thought. The program will ultimately include abbreviated versions of seven of the College’s core courses and will approach worldview formation, politics, philosophy, and economics from the Christian tradition.
Provost Dr. Mark Hijleh says, “Many in the church today are deeply concerned about matters of social justice but are guided in their thinking on these matters by partisan prejudices or secular influences in the media.”
The Christian Social Thought program aims to address this problem by facilitating reflection on “fundamental ideas rather than partisan agendas” so that church leaders and congregations can more thoughtfully engage important social issues, says Hijleh.
A select group of pastors and church leaders is participating in the pilot June 1 through September 30, taking the first two courses in the sequence (Christianity and Society and Foundations of Politics). Other pilots will run in August and October, and the College plans to open the program to the public early in 2022.
Each course includes eight modules of readings and pre-recorded video lectures for self-paced study over eight or sixteen weeks. Students are assessed with regular quizzes and a final exam, and will receive a certificate from the College for each course they successfully complete.
Christianity and Society includes lectures recorded by and readings chosen by Dr. Anthony Bradley, professor of religious studies, exploring Christian worldview in conversation with competing contemporary worldviews and political ideologies. Dr. Harold Kildow, lecturer of politics, wrote the lectures and chose the readings for Foundations of Politics, a study of some of the fundamental questions and texts of political philosophy.
The full seven-course sequence is as follows:
- Foundations of Politics, Philosophy, and Economics: Christianity and Society, Foundations of Politics, Foundations of Philosophy, and Foundations of Economics.
- Applied Politics, Philosophy, and Economics: American Political Thought and Practice, Ethics, and Economic Thought and Practice.
Dr. Matthew Parks, associate professor of politics and the Christian Social Thought program coordinator, says, “This program touches at the heart of the King’s mission of transforming society through the truths of Christianity. It gives pastors and church leaders the opportunity to consider social issues and controversies from the wealth of the Christian tradition and not just the narratives of contemporary culture, and congregations will be the better for it.”
(Feb. 2022 update: The program is not currently accepting applications.)