About the Divisions
Semlink divides its courses into the three academic divisions established by Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary. This page describes the central thrust of each of the divisions and provides links to the courses available in each area.
The division of Biblical Studies includes courses dealing with Old Testament and New Testament studies.
The division of Christian Thought includes courses in theology, ethics, apologetics, church history and missions.
The division of the Ministry of the Church includes courses in educational ministries, evangelism, ministry, pastoral care and counseling, and youth ministry.
At Gordon-Conwell, the Bible is at the center of our entire instructional program. The Christian Ministry Division attempts to train students to apply the Word of God through counseling, instructing, and preaching. The Christian Thought Division attempts to prepare students to think biblically about the issues of life, aided by historical perspective and systematic reflection. The Division of Biblical Studies attempts to prepare students to interpret the Bible accurately.
The Bible has been and will continue to be the central focus of our institution. We do not believe anything will ever be more relevant than the "entire counsel of God" contained in the Holy Scriptures. For this reason, we endeavor to produce lifelong students and ministers of God's Word, and emphasize competence in interpreting the original Hebrew and Greek texts of the Bible.
The study of church history supports and illuminates all other disciplines within the seminary curriculum. It alerts the student to the historical process through which doctrines and institutions have evolved into their present shapes, illustrates the outworking of biblical and theological norms in the laboratory of the church's experience, broadens the student's grasp of the scope of mission and ministry in the modern church and fosters a sense of identity with the student's ecclesiastical background. Since Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary is rooted in a tradition which is reformational and evangelical, the church history curriculum is focused on the unitive stream of Protestant renewal extending from the Reformation to the present era, but also offers courses related to the larger life of the church. Candidates for the pastoral ministry should have a general overview of the course of church history from the Apostolic Fathers to the present, including an examination of the American religious context within which most of them will labor.
Christian theology is a study of the truth of God revealed in Scripture with special emphasis upon the structural relationships between the various elements of Christian doctrine. Each tenet is considered in terms of its biblical foundations and in the light of the centuries of experience of the Christian church. Contemporary theology courses emphasize recent theologians and trends, while other courses deal with particular doctrines and movements, with the philosophical presuppositions and implications of the Christian faith and with the apologetic vindication of that faith.
Courses in world missions fulfill two purposes. First, they introduce the student to contemporary efforts in completing Christ's commission to take the gospel to every national, ethinic, racial and linguistic group in the world. Second, courses equip students with the knowledge, skills and attitudes required for effective intercultural mission service. Various courses consider the history, current developments and future strategy of the world mission of the church. Attention is given as well to the great evangelistic and missions movement occurring in our day and the responsibilities that this unprecedented opportunity affords.
The Division of the Ministry of the Church seeks to integrate and apply the total content of the seminary curriculum in such a way as to equip students for their private and public leadership in Christian service, particularly in pastoral ministry. The division provides resources and perspectives for the normal, denominational, pastoral and parish duties of the pastor with a lively recognition of the widening demands made upon the clergy. Special attention is given to the contemporary emphasis on intra-personal and inter-personal relationships, and pastoral counseling training is therefore provided. Teaching the student to explore and express the rigorous demands of worship and preaching, to use the modern communication media of radio and television and to employ the tools and techniques of modern Christian education is an important function of the division.