Houston Baptist University Catalog

Apologetics (APOL) Course Descriptions


APOL 3301 Worldview Apologetics: Testing Everything with C.S. Lewis & Francis Schaeffer
PREREQ: Junior/Senior Standing or Instructor's Approval
The course begins with a focused, in-depth reading of Lewis and Schaeffer. Then it examines thinkers who serve as models of how to extend and apply, or revise and modify, their apologetics arguments, and may include works by Nancy Pearcey, Alvin Plantinga, Herman Dooyeweerd, J. Richard Pearcey, Albert Wolters, Mark Noll, George Marsden, Gene Edward Veith, and many others, enriched by shorter readings such as articles, book excerpts, and primary source documents.

APOL 3302 Worldview Apologetics: Surviving and Thriving at the University
PREREQ: Junior/Senior Standing or Instructor's Approval
This course provides students with tools to analyze the prevailing secular theories across a variety of fields, to think critically about underlying assumptions, and to argue persuasively for a credible Christian perspective. The course gives a worldview introduction to several subject areas, which may include math, english, science, business, political philosophy, the arts & humanities. Readings include books specific to each of the subject areas, enriched by shorter readings such as articles, book excerpts, and primary source documents.

APOL 3381 SPEC TOPIC/INDEPENDENT STUDY
For course description and prerequisite(s) for this course, please contact the Dean of the School of Christian Thought.

APOL 4381 SPEC TOPICS/INDEPENDENT STUDY
For course description and prerequisite(s) for this course, please contact the Dean of the School of Christian Thought.

APOL 5050, Spiritual Formation I
One part of a four-course series to facilitate students' intellectual and spiritual formation as apologists and foster prayer and mutual support and encouragement. Students will participate in a weekly group discussion, facilitated by the SF instructor, on topics such as current issues in apologetics, faculty and student research, graduate student life, prayer, spiritual reading, and the spiritual disciplines. Part of the four-semester sequence of Spiritual Formation courses. Students must take all four courses but may do so in any order. Courses are pass/fail based on participation.

APOL 5060, Spiritual Formation II
One part of a four-course series to facilitate students' intellectual and spiritual formation as apologists and foster prayer and mutual support and encouragement. Students will participate in a weekly group discussion, facilitated by the SF instructor, on topics such as current issues in apologetics, faculty and student research, graduate student life, prayer, spiritual reading, and the spiritual disciplines. Part of the four-semester sequence of Spiritual Formation courses. Students must take all four courses but may do so in any order. Courses are pass/fail based on participation

APOL 5281 INDEPENDENT STUDY/SPEC TOPICS
For course description and prerequisite(s) for this course, please contact the Dean of the School of Christian Thought.

APOL 5310, Apologetics Research and Writing
A practical course designed to develop graduate-level writing and reading skills and introduce students to writing in the discipline of apologetics. The course will focus on developing a robust drafting, writing and revision process; using primary and secondary source materials; writing with clarity and correctness; and writing for both academic and popular audiences. Readings will introduce students to both philosophical and cultural apologetics.

APOL 5320 Philosophy of Religion: Faith & Reason
This course will deal with basic issues in philosophy of religion, such as: theistic arguments, the problem of evil, the relationship between faith and reason, miracles, and life after death. Also offered as PHIL 5320.

APOL 5330, Ancient Philosophy and Culture
Christianity was shaped by Jewish, Roman, and Greek cultural forces. This class will examine the Classical heritage of the Faith. Class will survey ancient philosophy, theater, and poetry. Course will survey texts such as Theogony, Odyssey, Bacchae, Frogs, Republic, Aeneid, and Metamorphosis to examine the rooots of contemporary Western Christian faith.

APOL 5340 Medieval Philosophy & Culture
A survey of the ideas, cultural developments, and literature of Medieval Europe, from the Fall of Rome to the beginning of the Renaissance. The course will cover topics such as the medieval Christian contribution to science, philosophy, art, and education; the rise of Islam and the Christian response; and the integration of faith and reason as expressed in medieval literature, art, and philosophy.

APOL 5350 Modern and Postmodern Culture
An exploration of ideas and cultural developments from the 16th Century to the present, focusing especially on the tension between reason and faith, the cultural consequences of modernity, and the apologetics challenges and opportunities of the present day. Students will read philosophical, cultural, and literary texts by a range of authors, including some non-Christians. Apologetics topics include issues such as doubt and suffering; pro-life issues; sexuality and marriage; and the integration of reason and imagination into apologetics.

APOL 5360 Film, the Visual Arts, and Apologetics
An exploration of the potential of film and visual art for use in apologetics, focusing on the principles of interpreting artworks, especially with regard to discerning the worldviews embodied in particular artworks and using artworks to foster dialogue on apologetics issues.

APOL 5370, C. S. Lewis and Imaginative Apologetics
C. S. Lewis is the most influential public apologist of the 20th century, and his influence continues to grow. This course wil explore Lewis's thought as expressed in his fiction, poetry, apologetics, and/or academic works, and assess his contribution to the work of imaginative apologetics.

APOL 5380 Mere Christian Theology and Apologetics Implications
An examination of the rational coherence of core Christian doctrines, including the Trinity, the Incarnation, and the Resurrection. Other topics may include Christian Exclusivism, Substitutionary Atonement, Heaven and Hell, etc.

APOL 5381 SPEC TOP/INDEPENDENT STUDY
For course description and prerequisite(s) for this course, please contact the Dean of the School of Christian Thought.

APOL 6050 Spiritual Formation III
One part of a four-course series to facilitate students' intellectual and spiritual formation as apologists and foster prayer and mutual support and encouragement. Students will participate in a weekly group discussion, facilitated by the SF instructor, on topics such as current issues in apologetics, faculty and student research, graduate student life, prayer, spiritual reading, and the spiritual disciplines. Part of the four-semester sequence of Spiritual Formation courses. Students must take all four courses but may do so in any order. Courses are pass/fail based on participation

APOL 6060 Spiritual Formation IV
One part of a four-course series to facilitate students' intellectual and spiritual formation as apologists and foster prayer and mutual support and encouragement. Students will participate in a weekly group discussion, facilitated by the SF instructor, on topics such as current issues in apologetics, faculty and student research, graduate student life, prayer, spiritual reading, and the spiritual disciplines. Part of the four-semester sequence of Spiritual Formation courses. Students must take all four courses but may do so in any order. Courses are pass/fail based on participation

APOL 6310 Apologetics Communication
A practical course designed to develop techniques used in interpersonal, group, public, social media and other mass communication settings. The focus will be on developing individual ability to communicate Christian thought for effective engagement with culture.

APOL 6320 Science and Faith
This course will explore the history of the relationsip between science and religion, including the alleged hostility between the two. It will examine various accounts of the compatibility between the two and ways they can be understood as mutually enriching. Other topics in the philosophy of science and how they interact with theism may be considered. Also offered as PHIL 6320.

APOL 6330 World Religions
A course exploring world religions and the Christian response to them. Particular emphasis will be on the way in which one can engage participants in non-Christian religions and communicate Christian thought in various cultures.

APOL 6340 Eastern Philosophy and Culture
A course exploring Eastern philosophy and culture and the Christian response to them. Particular emphasis will be on the way in which one can engage participants in non-Christian religions and communicate Christian thought in various cultures.

APOL 6370 Literature and Apologetics
An exploration of the use of literature in apologetics, focusing on the theory and practice of imagination as a mode of knowing and communicating truth. Theoretical perspectives will include those of C.S. Lewis, George MacDonald, and J.R.R. Tolkien. Other materials will include a range of classic and contemporary texts that explore theological themes in both fictional and non-fictional modes, by Christian and even occasionally by non-Christian authors.

APOL 6375 Creative Writing and Apologetics
Prerequisites: none.
This course is an exploration of the practice of creative writing as a mode of cultural apologetics. Students will read and analyze classic and contemporary texts with regard to genre, form, style, and technique, and will write and workshop their own creative pieces, including poetry, fiction, and literary nonfiction, culminating in a critical reflection and portfolio. The course will also include theoretical perspectives on creative writing as a mode of imaginative apologetics. Other topics that may be covered include publication options, multi-media creative writing, and writing for children and young adults.

APOL 6380 Scripture and Apologetics Implications
A survey and evaluation of contemporary methods of biblical criticism and their implications for the authority of scripture, the historical reliability of scriptural narratives, and the doctrine of inspiration.

APOL 6390 Thesis
This course, which should be taken in the final semester of the program as a culminating project, focuses on independent research and writing to produce a thesis. The course is designed for students who intend to go on to a doctoral program or do academic research and publication in the field of apologetics.