Certificate in Biblical Studies: Bible, Power, and Justice

This certificate provides an in-depth introduction and analyses of sacred texts and interpretive traditions covering both Hebrew Bible and the New Testament, as well as extracanonical texts and oral traditions. The focus of this certificate is to expose participants to the rich history and diversity of marginalized communities’ engagement with the Bible, particularly tracing themes around race, class, sex, power and alterity. The certificate examines the role of sacred texts as a means of identity formation, site of contestation, and foundation for social change and transformation.


BI 02 Into to Hebrew Bible/OT: Race, Class and the Bible

(3 credits)

This course examines and wrestles with contested texts, histories and interpretive traditions in Hebrew Bible/Old Testament, with a particular focus on race, class, and identity. These themes are examined in their historical contexts, and placed into conversation with contemporary faith communities and issues.

Offered in Spring 2023 – January 23 to April 21

BI 03  Intro to NT: Gender, Sexuality and the Bible (3 credits)


This course examines the history and development of the New Testament corpus, with particular attention paid to themes around women, gender, and sexuality across biblical texts. These texts and themes will be placed in conversation with the larger Greco-Roman world, rabbinic teachings, and extracanonical texts and traditions. We will then examine how these relate to contemporary faith communities.

BI 04  Social Justice and The Bible: A History of Biblical Interpretation in Contemporary Applications

This course is designed to be an immersive experience with diverse faith communities and how they practically engage the Bible and its interpretive traditions in their particular culture and community. This course will take place in various geographic locales so participants can gain personal experience engaging with other faith communities and the issues and struggles they face.

BI 05  Extracanonical Literature: Bible and Contemporary Politics

This course examines a variety of extracanonical literature that were influential in ancient Israel, the intertestamental period, the New Testament, and in the early Church. Issues around inclusion, identity formation, heresy/orthodoxy, and marginalized communities will be traced throughout these extracanonical traditions, and placed into conversation with their canonical counterparts. Finally we will explore how issues raised in extracanonical texts reflect on debates in contemporary sociopolitical discussions and church dynamics.

BI 06  Advanced Biblical Studies and Hermeneutics: Reading Bible from the Margins

This course will look at biblical texts utilized and interpreted by diverse faith communities across time, and look at how scripture has served as both empowerment to those marginalized, and a call to action for those pursuing justice. We will examine various hermeneutical strategies employed by diverse faith communities in wrestling with biblical texts, and their interpretive legacies. We will then explore how to articulate and employ ethical hermeneutical frameworks that can guide contemporary interpreters of the Bible.


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