Lutherans and Old Catholics share many commonalities and beliefs. Central to Lutheranism is Martin Luther, who began the protest against the Roman Catholic Church almost 500 years ago, by nailing the 95 Theses to the door of the Castle Church in Wittenberg. For those who desire to learn more about Lutherans, this program offers a thoughtful approach to who Lutherans are and what Lutherans believe.
These classes may be taken individually or as a collection of classes. For anyone without a college degree, a Certificate of Completion will be issued after finishing any one of the classes. When the entire program is completed, the learner will receive a Diploma of Lutheran Studies. For those who possess a Bachelor’s Degree, completion of this program will lead to a Master of Theology (ThM) Degree. There will be an expectation that learners are capable of expressing themselves through articulate writing, using proper sources and style. TH L06 will be required and expected of all Distance Learners. The cost for each course is listed below. For learners wanting to pay for the entire Program at once, the discounted price will be $650, a $70 savings.
Program Content – 36 credits
TH L06 – Introduction to Distance Learning and Student Expectations – 3 credits - $60
This course is a general introduction to the opportunities and challenges of learning without being in a traditional classroom. In order to be successful in this type of format, it is important that a student is capable of fully articulating subject matter in writing; embracing the need for proper citation of quoted works, to avoid plagiarism.
TH L01 – Life of Luther and Reformation History – 3 credits - $60
Critical to understanding why Luther proceeded the way he did, one must understand the history of the reformation. It was not Luther’s intent to start a new religious group, but rather to reconcile with Rome. The Holy See was not interested in reconciliation, but merely silencing Luther. This course looks at the decision that Luther made as a youth and how his religious life guided his understanding of Scripture, leading to the beginning of the Evangelical Church. The specific question that needs to be answered here is, “What is your response to the Lutheran Reformation and how does it affect you?”
TH L03 - Book of Concord – 12 credits - $240
There is no work more critical to the understanding of Lutheran Theology than the Book of Concord. Lutherans are a confessional church, which embrace not only the ancient creedal confessions, but the following documents contained in the Book of Concord as well.
Augsburg Confession (unaltered)
Apology to the Augsburg Confession
The Smalcald Articles
Treatise on the Power and Primacy of the Pope
The Small Catechism
The Large Catechism
The Formula of Concord
TH L05 – The Theology of Luther – 3 credits - $60
What did Luther visualize? How did Luther evolve over time? While this cannot be a completely thorough analysis, the information presented, through Althaus’ book (as well as other contributors) does begin to touch on this highly complicated person and theology.
TH L04 - Preparation of a Sermon / Homily – 3 credits - $60
This course examines how to develop a preaching theme and delivery, through an exegetical examination of Scripture; additionally, how to incorporate Lutheran teaching within that Sermon / Homily.
TH L02 – Understanding the various Lutheran Denominations – 3 credits - $60
One Lutheran is not necessarily the same as another Lutheran. If that seems confusing, the learner is not alone. At latest count, there are 50 different Lutheran Synods / sub-groupings, with each one being different than the other. Their orthodoxy runs from the ultra conservative to the very liberal. This course will introduce the student to the various shades of Lutheranism and what makes them different. The key question to be answered is “What is the state of Lutheranism today and where do you ‘stand’?”
TH L08 – Luther and Romans – 3 Credits - $60
This class looks at how the Paul’s letter to the Romans transformed Luther’s thinking and how Luther developed the Scriptural theology of Justification by Faith, which is central to Lutheran’s beliefs.
TH L07 – Preparing for the Lutheran World – 6 credits - $120
This class will look at answering the questions printed below in sufficient detail to demonstrate adequate knowledge, without turning each question into a major project. Use of previously learned material, with sufficient citations will prove sufficient for answering these topics.
-A Lutheran understanding of Law and Gospel
-A Lutheran understanding of Baptism
-A Lutheran understanding of Holy Communion
-A Lutheran understanding of the Priesthood of all believers.
-Theology of the Cross
- Simul justus et pecator
-Discuss in depth one article from the Apology to the Augsburg Confession
Book Listing (All materials can be purchased used for less than $100 and feel free to use older used editions of any of the listed books.)
* Althaus, Paul., The Theology of Martin Luther, (Translated by Robert Schultz), Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1963.
* Bainton, Roland H., Here I Stand: A Life of Martin Luther, Nashville: Abingdon Press, 1978.
* Braaten, Carl E., Principles of Lutheran Theology: Second Edition, Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2007.
* Gonzalez, Justo L., The Story of Christianity: The Reformation to the Present Day: Volume II, Revised and Updated, New York: Harper-Collins, 2010.
* Lull, Timothy F., Martin Luther’s Basic Theological Writings: Second Edition, Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2005.
* Mueller, J. Theodore, Commentary on Romans: Martin Luther, Grand Rapids: Kregel Publications [Zondervan], 2003.
* Schwarz, Hans, True Faith in the True God: An Introduction to Luther’s Life and Thought, Minneapolis: Augsburg, 1996.
* Tappert, Theodore G., The Book of Concord: Confessions of the Evangelical Lutheran Church, Philadelphia, Fortress Press: 1959.