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May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. The one who calls you is faithful and he will do it (1 Thessalonians 5:23-24, NIV).
Free Methodist Church of North America Ministerial Credentialing Services Indianapolis, Indiana JT/XL Ministerial Training Program (Revised 2009)
An Approved Course in Wesleyan TheologyThis uniform course in Wesleyan Theology has been approved by the Board of Bishops of the Free Methodist Church for the preparation of ministerial candidates and lay ministers, and for the validation of incoming ordained pastoral transfers, for ministry in the Free Methodist Church. The course may also be taught in the local church to instruct lay people in Wesleyan Theology.
AcknowledgementsThe Ministerial Credentialing Services wishes to acknowledge and thank the special committee appointed to prepare this uniform course in Wesleyan Theology for their valuable contribution to the denomination and to the deeper spiritual and experiential understanding of all present and future pastors and lay people, with regard to our common Wesleyan doctrinal heritage. The members of this committee are Dr. C. Wesley King, retired missionary teacher and current Director of the Faculdade de Teologia, New York and Florida extension seminaries, Dr. Wayne McCown, former Dean and Professor at Northeastern Seminary in Rochester, NY., now retired and Dr. Darold L. Hill, former Wabash Conference Superintendent and pastor of the Spring Arbor Free Methodist Church, now retired. This edition was revised and edited by Darold Hill in 2009. The committee is grateful to Douglas R. Cullum, Professor of Wesleyan Theology at Northeastern Seminary, for the material on Biblical Foundations of Wesleyan Theology, which he taught at the Lakeland, FL Bible Conference in January 2001, parts of which are incorporated into this course.
Requirements for Instructors of Wesleyan TheologyInstructors: Instructors for teaching Wesleyan Theology shall be approved by the denominational Ministerial Credentialing Services and shall follow the course guidelines and expect the student(s) to fulfill all the requirements of the course.
Instructions to Conference Ministerial Education and Guidance BoardsConference Ministerial and Educational Guidance boards should use the course as a guide to evaluate whether or not persons seeking ministry in the Free Methodist Church have a clear understanding of the major differences between Calvinism and Wesleyan-Arminianism as well as the major doctrinal emphases of Wesleyan Theology such as prevenient grace, justification and sanctification. This may be accomplished in the interview process with the candidate. (See MEG Board Manual) This uniform course in Wesleyan Theology is meant to serve as a template for evaluating those who have previously studied Wesleyan Theology and are transferring into the Free Methodist Church.
Table of ContentsSubject A Word to the Instructor Course Description Post-Class Session Requirements Glossary of Terms Form Suggested Class Schedule Self-Directed Project Form Select Bibliography The Lessons Historical and Theological Background for Wesleys Thought Lesson 1 From the Early Church to Arminius Lesson 2 From Arminius to John Wesley Lesson 3 The Life of John Wesley, Factors in the Development of His Theology Lesson 4 Theological Characteristics of Calvinism, Arminianism, Wesleyanism Lesson 5 Wesleyan Influence on Classical Theology The Soteriological Heart of Wesleys Thought Lesson 6 Gods Existence and Attributes Lesson 7 In the Image of God Lesson 8 Gods All-Encompassing Grace The Ordo Salutis (Order of Salvation) Lesson 9 From Slumber to Awakening Lesson 10 Convincing Grace Lesson 11 Pardon and the New Birth Lesson 12 Assurance of Salvation Lesson 13 Holiness of Heart and Life Lesson 14 Holiness The Process of Sanctification Lesson 15 Christian Perfection Lesson 16 Sanctification Growth and Maturity Lesson 17 The Means of Grace/the Sacraments Lesson 18 Influence of Wesleys Theology on Discipleship Structures Lesson 19 The Legacy of John Wesley The Appendices Appendix A Introduction to the Life of John Wesley Appendix B Chronology of Principle Events in John Wesleys Life Appendix C Chronology of John Wesleys Hymns Chronology of Charles Wesleys Hymns Appendix D Selections from the Book of Discipline Appendix E Major Views on Sanctification Appendix F Regeneration and Entire Sanctification 91 99 101 103 106 108 110 Page 3 4 5 7 8 9 11
13 15 20 28 31
34 37 39 42 43 45 47 51 54 61 65 73 79 81 88
A Word to the InstructorHow to use this syllabus on Wesleyan Theology and the Companion Volume containing sample Wesley texts 1. Read the opening part of the Syllabus (pages 4-13) very carefully and familiarize yourself with the Course Purpose and Course Requirements. 2. Do all of the readings required of the students, found on pages 4-5, and make sure you have a good working knowledge of their contents and of Wesleys theological thought. 3. Browse through the rest of the syllabus, lesson by lesson, giving careful attention to: The background readings including the required Wesley sermons The teaching outline Accompanying Wesley hymns Reflective Questions in each lesson. 4. Most of the Teaching Outlines are drawn from one or more of Wesleys sermons found under the heading Background Sermon(s) with the exception of the outlines for Lessons 15, which are based on Wynkoops book.
5. Use the sample Wesley texts, found in the Companion Volume, to illustrate Wesleys teaching as you teach each lesson. For example, the sample Wesley texts, or quotations, in the companion volume for lesson 7 titled In the Image of God, correspond to the same lesson 7 and title in the Syllabus. 6. Take time for discussion in each lesson. Stimulate discussion by using the reflective questions, or others of your choosing. 7. Read or sing a stanza of the hymn or hymns that accompany the theme of the lesson under study. (See the Daily Class Format on page 8 and Appendix C.) 8. Take time to emphasize the major differences between Calvinism and WesleyanArminianism, Holiness of Heart and Life and Christian Perfection. 9. Include the appended material found in the back of the syllabus with the pertinent lessons. 10. Appendix A, Introduction to John Wesley is the full text of the first part of the Teaching Outline in Lesson 3. 11. Each student must have her/his project approved by you (see forms on pages 9-10) before returning home. 12. Remind the students that all requirements (readings and written) must be finished and sent to you no later than one (1) month following the close of class when grades are to be reported to Ministerial Credentialing Services. 13. Be alert to the teachable, or experiential moment when a student may want to give her/his testimony about what God has done in their lives, or seek prayer to enter into the experience of heart purity and sanctification. 3
Course DescriptionCourse Purpose and Objectives The primary purpose of this course is to provide the student with an understanding of the major theological/philosophical differences between Calvinism and Wesleyan-Arminianism. It will focus on the history and theology of John Wesley and the early Methodists. The course will center on the Wesley brothers theology of salvation, particularly their understanding of Christian Perfection and personal holiness, as expressed in Johns sermons and in Charles hymns. An understanding of the Wesleyan quadrilateral provides a perspective for understanding Wesleyan thought. The course is intended to sharpen the distinctions between Calvinist and Wesleyan theologies and bring the student to an understanding of the implications of both theologies particularly as it impacts the biblical message of holiness. A secondary purpose of this course is to assist the student in an appreciation of the field of Wesley Studies and its present-day interpreters. Daily Class Format Each morning a student may be invited to share a brief devotional (5 minutes) from a Biblical text relating to holiness. Each afternoon session may begin with a student sharing some practical insight from one of Wesleys Journals. Class Description An introductory course to the historical development and the theological significance of John Wesleys contribution to evangelical Christianity. The student will wrestle with the five points of classical Calvinism and their impact on shaping the Wesleyan understanding of sanctification. The Wesleyan quadrilateral as a source of the development of Wesleys theology will be studied. With Wesleys emphasis on personal experience, the class is not exclusively cognitive, but will also include experience-oriented times, including singing of the hymns of the Wesley brothers, testimonials, prayer and conclude with the John Wesley Covenant Service and communion. Course Requirements The J-term course is structured as an intensive, 2-credit course concentrated course with pre-course required readings, in-class participation and discussion and post-course assignments. Ordination in the Free Methodist Church requires 3 credits of Wesleyan Theology. The additional credit is fulfilled through a Self-Directed Study Project. Pre-Course Readings The following readings should be completed before beginning the week of intensive classes and the student prepared to discuss elements in the following books, before coming to class. Readings unfinished before the course should be completed in the evenings, during the week of classes, so that the student will not get behind in the completion of all the course requirements. Mildred Bangs Wynkoop, Foundations of Wesleyan Arminian Theology, 128 pages Kenneth Collins, The Scripture Way of Salvation, Chapter 6, Sanctificati