Course Description

Does theology sometimes seem complicated, dry and abstract to you? It shouldn't be that way, if it is done properly. This course will help you learn to build your theology on the certain foundation of the Scriptures, but also with pathos and practical application. As an introduction to theology, this course teaches the purpose and importance of doing theology, the different sources of revelation, the meaning of inspiration, the proper interpretation of Scripture, and the key distinctive emphases of reformed theology. It is based on the DVD lessons of Dr. Richard L. Pratt, Jr.

Dr. Richard L. Pratt, Jr.

Dr. Pratt is the president and founder of Third Millennium Ministries. He received his M.Div. from Union Theological Seminary and his Th.D. in Old Testament Studies from Harvard University. He formerly chaired the Old Testament department at Reformed Theological Seminary in Orlando, Florida. Then he transitioned in 2006 from his teaching role at RTS to work full time with Third Millennium Ministries. Among his published books are: Every Thought Captive, Pray With Your Eyes Open, He Gave Us Stories, and Designed For Dignity.

Goals and Objectives


In this course, we would like to accomplish the following:

1. We hope you will develop a new love for theology, and that you will become excited about doing theology that flows from the Scriptures and changes your heart and life.

2. We hope you will learn the proper nature and purpose of theology.

3. We hope you make changes in your life as a response to the teachings of this course. It should change the way you do theology and help you analyze contemporary theological expressions.


When you have done the following, it will show that the goals are met:

1. Use the written elements of the course to express your own thoughts and attitudes regarding theology.

2. Obtain satisfactory grades on the automatically graded elements of the course, demonstrating that you can do the following: a) identify key reasons to study theology, b) distinguish the significance of orthodoxy, orthopraxis, and orthopathos in the task of theology, c) identify the key thoughts of important theologians, d) distinguish the different kinds of revelation and their importance in doing theology, e) distinguish different views of inspiration and of the proper interpretation of Scripture, and f) identify the key distinctive emphases of reformed theology.

3. Answer the application questions in the study guides, in which you express how you have applied the teachings of the course to your own life.


The course is based on materials taught by Dr. Richard L. Pratt, Jr., produced and distributed by Third Millennium Ministries.


Birmingham Theological Seminary offers one hour of credit for this course, as part of the program leading to a Certificate in Christian Ministry.

Thematic Outline of the Course

Lessons Based on the Video Lectures:

1. What is Theology?
2. Exploring Christian Theology
3. Relying on Revelation
4. Authority and Theology

Required Additional Reading

Charles Hodge, Systematic Theology, Volume 1, chapters 1, 2, 5, and 6.
James P. Boice, Abstract of Systematic Theology, chapters 1-3


You should begin with the following for each lesson:

1. Read the "Preparation" document and complete any activity mentioned there in preparation for the lesson.
2. Read the instructions for the lesson.

3. Watch all the videos (or listen to the audio, or read the text version).
4. Complete the study guide for each section of the videos.

While they are not required, and while they will not be graded, we recommend that you do the following for each lesson to prepare for the acummulative test and to get the maximum benefit from the lesson:

1. Take the quiz on each section of the videos.
2. If there are any, watch the videos of class discussion forums.
3. Browse through the glossary of the lesson.

The accumulative test

Take the accumulative test on each lesson. This is required and will give you the grade for the lesson.

Required Additional Reading

After completing the lessons based on the video lectures, there is a final lesson based on required additional reading. The student should do the reading, complete the study guides, and take the corresponding test based on the reading.

Estimated Time for Study

While each student is different, we estimate that each lesson may take around 10 hours to do the required assignments, if the student is already familiar with how to use these courses.


You may see your grades at any time by clicking on the link. (It is in the left margin in the computer version, and at the bottom in other versions.) 

1) Each accumulative test is worth 100 points and the test on the required reading is worth 100 points.

2) The quizzes on each section of the lessons are graded (10 points for each) so that you can evaluate your learning, but they will not be included in the official course grade. They are only for the purpose of practicing and learning.

3) The final grade for the course will be calculated by taking the appropriate percentages from each accumulative test and from the test on required reading, to make a total of 100%.

The evaluation scale has the following meaning:

90-100%: Excellent (A)
80-89%: Good (B)
75-79%: Average (C)
0-75%: Insufficient (F)

Include Other People

We highly recommend that you involve other people in your studies, in order to avoid isolating yourself. You may choose to form a study group with other students that are in the same program, or in a similar program of studies. You could share what you are learning, encourage one another, and pray for each other. It would also be a great idea to form a mentoring relationship with your pastor or with another person you respect, to make yourself accountable to him. You could meet once a week to share what you are learning and pray together.

Last modified: Tuesday, 11 February 2014, 4:53 PM