2016-2017 Undergraduate Catalog

School of Theology, Philosophy, and Ministry

Bastian School of Theology, Philosophy, and Ministry

Professor—Brian Hartley

Associate Professors— Christina Smerick (Department Chair)

Assistant Professors—Lori Gaffner, Benjamin Wayman

Instructor—John Brittingham

The twenty-first century has brought with it an increased need for understanding the role of faith and faith traditions in a rapidly shrinking world. Finding ways of articulating the complexities of religion and carrying on constructive dialogue, while both understanding and embracing one’s core beliefs, lies at the heart of a Greenville College education. The Bastian School of Theology, Philosophy, and Ministry seeks to meet these challenges and to prepare students for a life of intelligent service to God, the Christian community, and the world at large. The school embraces a holistic approach summed up in the phrase that, “All truth is God’s truth.” Believing that there is an essential unity in all knowledge, the school is at the center of the College’s understanding of the Christian liberal arts. Providing the setting in which students ask the most basic, fundamental, and important questions facing human beings, the department invites all students, majors and non-majors, to approach life thoughtfully, and thereby, to develop a habit of thinking beneath the surface, with a deep contextualized understanding of their faith.

Courses offered by the Bastian School of Theology, Philosophy, and Ministry seek to develop in the student a college level understanding of the Christian faith, the ability to look at life in depth rather than superficially, a Christian approach to the pressing problems of the day and skill in carrying one’s faith into the world. Courses in Greek are offered to aid the student in studying the New Testament.

Many students have chosen a vocation that lies in the pastoral ministry, college/university teaching, missionary work, Christian education, or socially oriented religious service. The School offers a four-year curriculum for those who wish to pursue one of these goals and encourages these students to attend seminary for additional professional training. The pre-seminary student is advised to major in philosophy or religion with a strong emphasis in other academic areas in such fields as English, history, psychology, or sociology. Students who wish to obtain a double major will be assigned an advisor from both the School and and from their second major.

Members of the Free Methodist Church who do not plan on graduate professional training for the ministry may qualify for annual conference membership and ordination through the Track II outlined in the Free Methodist Book of Discipline.