Christian Studies Department
Why Choose the Christian Studies Department at Eastern?
Students studying in the Christian Studies Department are afforded the opportunity to collaborate with faculty who have distinguished themselves in their respective areas of expertise. Several have published important books in the fields of theology, biblical studies, philosophy, and practical theology, as well as articles in popular magazines and academic journals. Many are active in projects exploring the key questions of their respective disciplines, as well as how those disciplines might inform the intellectual questions of other fields and illuminate contemporary social problems.
To put it simply: We ask questions that matter. What is true? Good? Beautiful? What is the good life? How should I live? What is happiness? Does God exist? What do I owe my neighbor? Do I have a soul? What should I do with my life? What’s the meaning of love? Of sex? What can I know? Is ethics relative?
In the Department of Christian Studies at Eastern you’ll find a community of teacher-scholars interested in the spiritual development of their students, as well as their existential concerns and professional interests. Professors who want their students to lead lives of depth and conviction in whatever context they find themselves. Consequently, courses are challenging, with high standards of expectation. You’ll learn to read, write, think, reason, speak, research, dialogue with others, and tackle questions which matter to both you and society. Sessons are taught by faculty who love to teach, and it shows. Classes are lively, engaging, rigorous, full of discussion and questions. We want to know what you think, and why. We don’t just lecture and aren’t afraid to ask you hard questions, while letting you ask us hard questions, too.
The Department itself may be described as orthodox, evangelical, ecumenical, and constructively critical. We are orthodox because we affirm the main doctrines of the Christian tradition, as embedded in the Bible and codified in the classical creeds of the Christian Church. We are evangelical because we affirm that God has acted decisively in human history to save us through the life, passion, death and resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth. God invites all human beings to appropriate that salvation through faith in Him, steadfast obedience to His way of life, and active participation in His Body, the Christian Church. We are ecumenical because we affirm that, within the broadly orthodox and evangelical parameters just mentioned, there are many legitimate institutional embodiments of authentic Christianity, including Roman Catholicism, Eastern Orthodoxy, Anglicanism and most Mainline Protestant and Evangelical denominations. Finally, we are constructively critical because we seek to understand, practice and advocate the Christian faith in the light of contemporary thought, science and culture.
What the Christian Studies Department Offers
Christian Studies Department Mission Statement
The mission of the department of Christian Studies is to introduce all Eastern students to the academic study of the Bible, theology and philosophy. To equip our students through teaching, advising and mentoring to engage in lifelong and competent study in these areas. And, to prepare interested students for further academic work in seminary or other graduate programs in related fields, while serving the University and the academy as productive faculty members and scholars.