Re: [asa] Luther Rice University Masters degrees (was: The image of God)

From: John Burgeson (ASA member) <>
Date: Tue Oct 13 2009 - 10:57:34 EDT

Bernie commented, in part: "But when we write research papers, we can
use whatever resources we want, and have to go looking for them. But
the essays only respond to the questions asked, so if you don't want
the student to think of certain things, you don't ask along those

I compare that to Iliff, a "liberal" Methodist seminary in Denver. In
the last class I took, the instructor was Bill Dean, one time
associate with Paul Tillich and a "kind of" process theologian,
although he rejected that label.

The class was designed to make the students (about 30) examine their
OWN theologies (not Bill's). There were students who were
fundamentalists, as well as students who were Unitarians. One was even
a Wiccan!

From the beginning Bill told the class: "Your final grade will mostly
depend on a final essay. It will be 15 pages long; no more, no less. I
will stop reading it after page 15. On page one you will explain what
you believe. On pages 2-15 you will explain why you believe it,
engaging the views of at least five of the theologians we study this
semester, and anyone else you wish to engage.

Some one asked "What do you believe?" His answer was to the point. "If
you say, however eloquently, that you believe as I do and can't
explain reasons, you will flunk. If you say you believe something
else, and explain so with passion and thought, you will get an "A." As
far as what I think, that is not the subject of this course nor will
it be."

Several of us looked up Dean's papers (he has published a lot). I did
so out of curiosity as I was only auditing the course. My wife wrote
her paper espousing reformed/Presbyterian theology (and received an

I found that course to be one of the most refreshing and interesting I
have ever attended.

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Received on Tue, 13 Oct 2009 09:57:34 -0500

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