The Course of Study
The Mississippi Conference of
The United Methodist Church
A Syllabus for:
COS 122 “Theological Heritage I: Introduction”
Instructors: Rev. Chris Cumbest
Rev. Sheila Cumbest
23 Crossgates Dr.
Brandon, MS 39042
Introduction and Objectives:
The hope is that this course will continue, expand, and broaden your thinking theologically. Sometimes persons have not been challenged or taken advantage of the opportunities to expand their thinking theologically. As pastor, you will be expected to be the “resident theologian”, in other words, to have the answers. In this course, we do expect that you will gain a good foundation from which to teach and help others explore the depth of scripture in a Wesleyan perspective. We also hope that this will give some basic tools for theological reflection that will be a life-long journey.
1. Examine their understanding of faith, sin, salvation, grace and the place of
doctrine in the life of the church.
2. Use and understand classical theological terms and themes.
3. Help students to gain a clear understanding of the essentials of United
Methodist Doctrine and Wesleyan theology.
4. Critically consider the sources of theological reflection, including scripture,
tradition, experience and reason.
5. Help students further integrate Wesleyan theology and methodology into their
6. Engage in theological reflection and dialogue on contemporary issues related
to pastoral ministry.
7. Develop tools for a life-long process of thinking theologically from a Wesleyan
Ken Collins, The Theology of John Wesley: Holy Love and the Shape of Grace
Kenneth L. Carder, Living Our Beliefs: The United Methodist Way
Reference:2012 Book of Discipline
Ted Campbell, Methodist Doctrine: The Essentials
Justo Gonzalez & Zaida Perez, An Introduction to ChristianTheology
Scott J. Jones, United Methodist Doctrine,The Extreme Center
Instructions and Assignments:
1.Read the two required texts plus the Historical Statement and Parts I, II, III, and IV in the Book of Discipline before the first class session. Engage the texts as you read and reflect, being open to new ideas and insights, but noting the concepts you might not understand or that you might disagree with, always asking “why?”. Be prepared to dialogue in class concerning your struggles as we engage the texts and move toward the fulfillment of our course objectives.
2.Pre-Course Assignment: In Carder’s book Living Our Beliefs, there are Opportunities for Reflection at the end of each chapter. Pick at least 2 of the questions in each of the first 5 chapters, reflect upon them with some degree of substance and mail to the above addressed postmarked no later than Jan 2 or email them by same date. Your reflection papers should be typed and double spaced, 12pt. Times New Roman font. These reflections will provide direction for class instruction and discussion.
3.Likewise, pick at least 2 of the Opportunities for Reflection in each of the last 6 chapters of Carder’s book, chapters 6 - 11, and write your reflections upon these questions. This paper may be given to the instructor at the first weekend session.
4.There will be one or two short exams. They will be short-answer exams exploring one’s knowledge of terms and concepts in Collins’ book, The Theology of John Wesley: Holy Love and the Shape of Grace.
5.A theological reflection paper due the last weekend session of class. This paper should be approximately 3 to 4 pages, typed, double-spaced, with endnotes. The paper should be a reflection from a Wesleyan perspective of some issue raised in practical ministry, preferably an issue you have encountered. A final “answer” is not as necessary as thinking theologically through the issue using Wesleyan theology and United Methodist doctrine. You may want to discuss the focus of the paper with the instructor before undertaking the actual writing of the paper.