Systematic Theology

Systematic Theology


The candidate must earn at least 24 credits in the program, twelve of which must be in Systematic Theology courses. A maximum of nine credits may be earned via a thesis (up to three credits) or via guided research (up to six credits). Each credit is earned by 45 hours of active learning.  

Introduction to the Systematic Theology Focus Area STM Degree 

The foundation of the STM degree with a focus in Systematic Theology consists of courses that examine the teachings of sacred Scripture on the basis of the passages in which they are revealed. Attention is also given to the habitus practicus and historical development of theology. Students increase their appreciation for every teaching of God’s Word and further develop their ability to teach, defend, and distinguish doctrinal principles and practical applications. The program enriches students with the study of systematic theology and with resources for serious investigation, evaluation, confession, and articulation of Christian doctrine.   

Goals (Knowledge, Skills, Attitude) 

By the end of this program the student will have done the following:

Systematic Theology as Habitus Practicus

  • Cultivated a deeper appreciation for every teaching revealed in the sacred Scriptures.
  • Articulated the practical value for the doctrines of Scripture, with a focus on two to three doctrines.
  • Demonstrated his ability and resolve to teach, defend, and model the truths of God’s Word.

Systematic Theology as Topical Exegesis

  • Recommitted himself to a continuing study of Scripture as the inspired word of God and the only foundation for Christian teaching and living.
  • Demonstrated a growing mastery of the distinction between law and gospel.
  • Distinguished between timeless principles and practical applications.
  • Identified examples of the proper use and potential abuses of human reason in theological study.

Systematic Theology as Historical Development

  • Traced the development of Christian doctrine, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, in the early church.
  • Identified ancient heresies—as well as their modern manifestations—that have caused divisions within the body of Christ.
  • Examined how orthodox Lutheran theologians reclaimed and organized the true teachings of Scripture, with a focus on two to three doctrines.
  • Compared and contrasted confessional Lutheran doctrine with various contemporary Christian and non-Christian systems of religious thought. 


Core courses

  • ST5004 The Proper Distinction of Law and Gospel (3 cr)
  • ST5031 The Doctrine of the Word (1 cr)

Other courses

  • ST5065 The Bondage of the Will (2 cr)
  • ST5046 Understanding Futurism and Dispensationalism (2 cr)
  • ST5069 Fan God’s Gift into Flame (1 cr)
  • ST5039 The Priesthood of All Believers: Our Calling and Our Challenge (1 cr)

Ways to Earn Credits (prioritized) 

  1. On-campus Summer Quarter Courses
  2. Online Courses (Summer, Fall, Spring)
  3. Guided Research (e.g., annotated bibliography, scholarly essay, ministry project)
  4. Thesis
  5. Satellite Summer Quarter Courses