Courses for the Master's of Biblical Studies Students.
For more information about acceptance into the Master's Program:

Contact the Sunset Extension School for the required materials (800-687-2121).

Feel free to preview the course requirements by looking at each course.


An introduction to Graduate Studies for incoming Graduate Students

This course will focus on the theological foundation for Christian Counseling. Specifically a Biblical framework will be studied in order to assist church members who struggle with life and mental health areas of Depression, Anxiety, Anger, Forgiveness, Guilt, Marital Difficulties and Cognitive Distortions. The therapeutic model that will be presented will be a Cognitive Model, which has its roots in Rational Emotive Psychotherapy. This course will prepare a minister to have greater understanding, compassion and tools to assist church members who struggle with life and mental health problems.

This course is designed to address issues in the following areas of theology: eschatology, ecclesiology, and theology proper (Trinity). We will be addressing various issues within each of these areas at the professor’s discretion and identifying which ones, and to what extent, they have had, or are having, within the Churches of Christ.

This course is designed to investigate Christian evidences beyond the historical evidences of Christ and the early church. The course will include an overview of the nature of Christian apologetics, Archeology and the Bible, the evidences of intelligent design and the Creator from the sciences, and the use of Christian evidences in postmodern generations. This course is certainly not a complete review or compilation of all evidences within these areas, but is designed to open some doors of investigation by presenting some evidences and reviewing beginning materials. Overall, the intention of this course is to provide further confidence in the Word of God from a scientific point of view.

It is believed that spiritual formation is desired by God, expected of His offspring and that the provisions that promote spiritual living have intentionally been made available by the Spirit of God----who superintends and harvests the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5).

Readings in Theology: Christian Spirituality will examine five classic works of Christian Spirituality from ancient, medieval, reformation, and modern periods of church history.  Students will read the assigned texts, participate in discussion concerning their reading, and write a reflective critical essay.

This will be a three hour Master’s level course to see how Paul, by inspiration, presents the centrality of Christ and the glory of His church. This thematic study will be anchored in the text of Ephesians.

In the book of Acts, we see missional is what the church was, not what they went to do or practice from time to time. Thus, “mission” shifts from naming a function of the church to describing its essential nature. Remember the literal meaning of the Great Commission is, “As you are going in your world, make disciple” (Matthew 28:18-20). This is the missional lifestyle, which is what we see exemplified in Acts: Going and sharing the Gospel.
Each assignment in this course is designed to contribute to enhancing and expanding your knowledge and skills as a minister to lead the church in a missional way as exemplified in Acts.

This three-hour graduate-level course focuses on the biblical understanding of the nature and purpose of Christian ministry in one’s own sense of calling and function in two areas: (1) the church as the corporate body of Christ and (2) your own individual life.

Theology of Biblical Leadership is a short course designed to be a “first taste” of graduate work through Sunset Graduate School.  Students may audit the course, take it for credit, or decide after the seminar to finish the required coursework for credit.   Audit students may choose to purchase the books or simply attend the class.  Credit student must attend class, read the three required texts, and complete the assignments by the end of the term. 

The material will address the need for leadership in the church, with a particular focus upon the local congregation.  Emphasis will be placed upon the leadership of Christ as a model for all believers, along will examinations of other great leaders in the Bible.  The course is designed to be practical in nature, presenting applicable real-world strategies developed from broad leadership principles.

Family Ministry 513 is an introductory guided study of Family Ministry and a prerequisite to Family Ministry Project 514. FM513 begins with the study of System Theory as it relates to Family Ministry and proceeds to a practical study of Family Ministry itself as it is applied in a ministry setting.


Family and Family Ministry will be studied from a Systems perspective. The student will understand and explain the theory of seeing family from a Systems perspective and  will then consider how family ministry is implemented. This course will guide the student, through reading and research, to a familiarization with family functioning and development.  The family will be understood as the vehicle for the passing of generational faith and Family Ministry as a tool for the strengthening of the family to achieve this purpose.

MBS514 is to be preceded by the MBS513 Family Ministry course. MBS514 is intended to be a project course in which the student chooses a project in keeping with the Family Ministry paradigm. This project is intended to be planned and implemented in a ministry setting. It is not intended to be a theoretical but practical application of concepts learned in MSB513.

This In-Ministry course is designed to be a course which emphasizes the practical aspects of Homiletics, including sermon construction and sermon delivery.

It is assumed that you will have studied basic Homiletics at the undergraduate level and that the student's basic Bible knowledge is in place.  I also understand that many of you will have had extensive preaching experience and can do your craft very well.  The purpose of this course is to find ways to refine and polish the basic skills that you already have.  If needed, this course will also seek to find appropriate and sensitive ways to point out areas in which you may need to improve in order to more effectively communicate with your hearers.  The purpose of this class is to provide feedback...not to criticize.

Through reading, research and writing the student will explore the dynamics of the Theology of Christian Worship and form or confirm a settled commitment "to worship God in spirit and truth."  A Study Guide will introduce the major topics of the course and at the core of the course, guided by an informed knowledge of the Scriptures, will be the Text Book, Christian Worship: Its Theology and Practice, and collateral reading, The Worship Architect: The Blueprint for Designing Culturally Relevant and Biblically Faithfully Services.  Other assignments will help crystallize the student's understanding of Christian Worship and its integral role in growing churches.  Books can be ordered through the Extension School.  (Since this is an In-Ministry course, books will be your "teachers." Each book will make a positive contribution to the course objectives. Remember, there may be things in these books with which you may not totally agree. Throw out the "bones" and keep the meat. As a graduate student you are expected to be discerning in these matters. The value of each book should soon become clear.) 

This three-hour graduate-level course will focus on Hermeneutics: The branch of knowledge that deals with techniques of interpreting and applying ancient writings (specifically the Bible) to today.

Through reading, research and writing the student will explore the dynamics of the Theology of Missions.  An introductory article on the Great Commission will set the stage of the course, followed by assignments on the Text Book and Collateral Readings.  Further assignments in the second part of the course will help crystallize the student’s understanding of the imperative work of missions.

This course will examine early Restoration History, particularly the lives of Alexander Campbell and Barton W. Stone.  Selected readings will guide the student in reflecting on the origins of the Movement.  Students will be equipped to better understand the evolution that the Restoration Movement has undergone through the past two-hundred years, and how the founders’ actions and views have impacted present day churches.


This course is the thesis.  All assignments, readings, and revisions are to be negotiated with your assigned thesis supervisor.

Please feel free to contact me with any questions.

Kerry W. Williams- Dean of the Graduate School