Winter courses offer concentrated exposure to subject matter

Communications Staff — November 17, 2010

For December 2010 and January 2011, students at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary will have the opportunity to gain course credit between the fall and spring semesters.

This winter more than 20 one-week course options, commonly referred to as J-terms, will be available. The one-week courses give students the chance to concentrate on one subject area rather than divide their attention across several areas of study like during the full-length semesters.

“Some courses – such as the languages – are simply too demanding to be compressed into a one-week format. Other courses need time to percolate in the student’s mind and heart, and so are best taken in a full term. But some courses are ideal for studying in an all-day,¬†concentrated form that allows the student to focus on one subject for an entire week,” Donald Whitney, associate professor of biblical spirituality and senior associate dean of the School of Theology at Southern, said.

One course that might stand out to students this winter term is a Christian philosophy elective taught by Paul Helm, teaching fellow at Regent College in Vancouver and visiting professor at Southern Seminary. The course, titled “Head & Heart,” will deal with the relationship between faith and reason by looking at the thought of monumental figures in church history such as Augustine of Hippo, Anselm of Canterbury, John Calvin and Jonathan Edwards.

“Professor Helm is a retired professor of philosophy at King’s College in the University of London where he held one of the most prestigious chairs in the United Kingdom. It is an extraordinary privilege to have someone of that international and philosophical stature who is also a committed evangelical Baptist teaching at our institution,” James Parker III, professor of worldview and culture and associate dean of worldview and culture, said.

Courses will take place Dec. 13-18 as well as after the new year, beginning the week of Jan. 3-7 and ending Jan. 18-21. Course options include one-week classes in Old and New Testament, hermeneutics, church history, systematic theology, biblical counseling, missiology and family ministry.

The SBTS Web site provides a list of the winter courses at

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