Issues in Sexual Ethics and Bioethics

Dennis Hollinger
Instructor: Dennis Hollinger
Code: ET681
Section: HA
Prerequisites: None
Location: Hamilton & Charlotte, Digital Live
Schedule: Weekends: Fri 6:00–9:30pm, Sat 8:30am–4:30pm
Dates: Jan 29–30, Feb 26–27, Mar 26–27

Course Description

The complexities of our contemporary world raise ethical questions that the Church and Christians are often not equipped to tackle. This course will explore some of those issues in the areas of sexual ethics and bioethics, in light of God’s Word and a Christian worldview. Among the issues to be addressed are: a theology of sexuality, premarital sex, same sex relations, transgender, reproductive technologies, abortion, stem cell research, bio-technologies, treatment termination, and euthanasia. Attention is given to how the Church and Christians can address these issues in congregations and Christian organizations, as well as secular, pluralistic contexts. (This course meets the ethics requirement for various degrees or can serve as an elective.)

Course Objectives

  1. To gain a descriptive understanding of the issues.
  2. To learn to apply biblical and theological (i.e. Christian worldview) thinking to the issues.
  3. To develop spiritually-informed, discerning wisdom in seeking the ethically good amidst moral ambiguities and complexities.
  4. To develop sensitivity in our pastoral responses to people grappling with these issues.
  5. To develop appropriate responses to our culture as it faces these ethical issues.
  6. To gain perspective for applying Christian ethics to professional settings.

Selected Reading List

  1. Beilby, James and Eddy, Paul eds. Understanding Transgender Identities: Four Views. Grand Rapids: Baker, 2019.(ISBN 978-1-5409-6244-7)
  2. Duff, Nancy J. Making Faithful Decisions at the End of Life. Louisville: Westminster John Knox Press, 2018. (ISBN 978-0-664-26319-5)
  3. Hill, Wesley. Washed and Waiting: Reflections On Christian Faithfulness and Homosexuality. Grand Rapids, Mich.: Zondervan, 2010. (ISBN 978-0-3103-3003-5)
  4. Hollinger, Dennis P. The Meaning of Sex: Christian Ethics and the Moral Life. Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 2009. (ISBN 978-0-8010-3571-5)
  5. Meilaender, Gilbert. Bioethics: A Primer for Christians. 3rd edition. Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 2013. (ISBN 978-0-8028-2909-2)
  6. Vandrunen, David. Bioethics and the Christian Life: A Guide to Making Difficult Decisions. Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2009. (ISBN 1-4335-0144-9)

Apply by January 15th

Accepting applications for Spring 2021 degree programs through December 15, 2020. Applications for individual courses accepted through January 15, 2021.
Detailed Application Dates & Deadlines


The following tuition rates are for new students enrolling (without a declared degree) in one of our online courses.

*Tuition rates for students enrolled in a declared degree program may vary by campus. See tuition & fees for more information.


$ 350

No Additional Student Service Fees

Best for: Personal Enrichment

Participation: Auditors are restricted to non-participating member status in classes. In other words, auditors may not:

  • Participate in class discussion (except as authorized by the instructor according to the terms included in the course syllabus)
  • Submit written work
  • Sit for exams for the purpose of receiving an evaluation.

Credit/Grading: Auditors do not receive graduate credit nor a grade. Your Gordon-Conwell transcripts will note "AU" in place of a grade reflecting that you audited a course.

Application Requirements:

  • Online application.
  • No additional materials required.

Special Non-Degree Student

$ 1650

24% Discount off standard tuition; Student service fees apply.

Best for: Students who desire structured feedback or anticipate enrolling in a future degree program.

Participation: Special Non-Degree Students are fully enrolled students expected to participate in all elements of a course as outlined in the course syllabus.

Credit/Grading: Your Gordon-Conwell transcript will reflect a letter grade, and course credit may be applied toward a future degree program. If you are new to graduate-level coursework and nervous about grading, you may elect to take the course for Pass/Fail. Rather than receive a grade, your transcript will only reflect whether or not you received a passing grade. Degree programs allow a limited number of pass/fail courses.

Application Requirements:

  • Online application.
  • Undergraduate transcript(s).
  • Reference required if undergradute GPA is under 3.0.

Have Questions?

Someone from our friendly admissions team would be happy to reach out to you.

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.