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Frequently Asked Questions
What can I do with a Pre-Seminary major?
Besides the obvious answer of continue study at a theological seminary, the pre-seminary major offers a smorgasbord of the liberal arts and the social sciences, enabling one to be well-prepared for work in social services, missions, law, or graduate studies in a variety of fields. Seminary training may range from 2 to 4 years, and can equip one for ordained or lay ministry in a variety of settings. In the United Methodist Church, for instance, one may become a permanent deacon, serving in music, youth, missions, ministry with the poor, or church administration. Ministry as an elder entails preaching and administering the sacraments in a congregation or appointment beyond the local church.
What is the difference between "Introduction to Bible" and "Seminar in Faith and Fiction"?
Introductory classes are like safari tours. You get to see a lot of sights and cover a lot of territory, all from the comfort of your tour bus (well, okay, it's a wooden desk in a classroom, but use your imagination!). So, in Intro. to Bible--or Christian Faith, or World Religions, or Ethics, or Philosophy, all of which are lower-division courses satisfying part of the ACR requirements that all TWC students are required to take for graduation--you get a broad overview of the major issues and questions in the field of religion and philosophy. For instance, in R 101, Intro. to the Bible, you study the stories of the Bible, tracing their background in history, archaeology, and interpretation. Courses in history and religion at TWC, as at all colleges related to the United Methodist Church or those of many other denominations, follow a "higher critical" approach. That is, we examine the Bible, or religious matters in general, from an academic perspective. That means we think along with the best scholarship available in arriving at a clear picture of the text from its ancient context to its modern interpretations.
Introductory classes usually have 20-30 students and proceed by lecture and discussion. Textbooks, videos, and other forms of media serve as maps in touring a massive territory. In the end, you have a broad working knowledge of the field, and are prepared for further study, either in an "upper-division" class or, most importantly, as a lifelong learner.
An upper-division course, such as Dr. Robert's "Faith and Fiction," usually has only a dozen or so students, whether majors or students simply curious about the topic. Upper division courses feature more reading, but more student-professor interaction, too. There are lively discussions that yield a deeper understanding of, in this case, the relationship between theology and literature.