Courses for the Master of Divinity and Master of Arts in Intellectual Leadership are delivered in fall, spring, and summer 15-week semesters. Students are allotted the first month of the semester to read at home and prepare for the usual 1-week (or occasional 2-week) intensive that happens in Redding in October, February, and June. Students have a full semester timeframe in which to complete their assignments from home. Though most classes are offered in an Intensive format, selected courses are delivered on-line.
“Probably the most widespread and persistent problem to be found among Christians is the problem of retarded spiritual progress. Why, after years of Christian profession, do so many persons find themselves no further along than when they first believed?… The causes of retarded growth are many. It would not be accurate to ascribe the trouble to one single fault. One there is, however, which is so universal that it may easily be the main cause: failure to give time to the cultivation of the knowledge of God…”
— A.W. Tozer
Seminary courses at A.W. Tozer Theological Seminary are designed to help students make spiritual progress by increasing their knowledge of God. At Tozer, students are trained to relate to the living God humbly and personally while yet studying divine revelation. No one can study God per se. God is not an object to be studied. God is God!
Tozer students are guided into rigorous thoughtful study of that which God has revealed. God has revealed Himself supremely in Jesus Christ who poured out the Holy Spirit, reliably in the Scriptures, His Word; mysteriously in His image in the humanity of each person; magnificently in creation.
In every course, students at A.W. Tozer Theological Seminary are taught to think critically while honoring the authority of Scripture and revering the living God.
Complete Course List (PDF)
Course Listing by Subject
Biblical Interpretation (3) - A foundational course that serves as a prerequisite to all other courses in Bible. The course is designed to teach students to read the Bible inductively, listening to Scripture itself. Students are introduced to the historical-grammatical method, critical tools, and the core principles of biblical hermeneutics. Students are also given a panoramic picture of the full biblical narrative from Genesis to Revelation.
Pursuing Wisdom (3) - intermediate-level overview of the historical and poetic books of the Old Testament and also the New Testament book of James. The course focuses on literary genres, history, culture, chronology, geography, and theological themes. Special attention will be paid to the idea of pursuing wisdom more than money.
Biblical Theology (3) - A study of the theological themes and ethics of the Old and New Testaments, the development of Old Testament themes in the New Testament, the canonicity and unity of Scripture, and an abbreviated analysis of the continuity and discontinuity of the two Testaments.
Tozer in Israel (4) - A specialty course in which students study for three weeks on-site in Israel and optionally Jordan. The course is offered in conjunction with Jerusalem University College and usually takes place in May and June. Topics covered may include geography of the Bible, the history of Israel, Old Testament themes in the New Testament, the life of Jesus, and theological issues in Scripture. Extra course fees and transportation required.
Principles of Counseling (3) - An overview of the theory, models and practice of Christian counseling, including a study of the counseling process with its structure and skills and inherent theological basis.
Marriage and Family Counseling (3) - A consideration of the concerns in premarital, marital and re-marital counseling. Topics include forgiveness, restoration, confession, repentance, the mystery of becoming one flesh, church expectations for Christian couples, children, family dysfunctions, co-dependency, domestic abuse, divorce, remarriage, and blended families. Students will be challenged to contrast and compare various counseling models in light of Scripture.
Counseling the Addicted (3) - A study in the development of addictive behavior and the various addictions, including alcohol, drugs and sex. Consideration is given to the role of the church and pastoral counselor in intervention and assistance, including ministry to the family, use of community resources, and the ministry of recovery.
Counseling Adolescents and Their Families (3) - A developmental-behavioral approach to guiding youth through the teenage years. The course integrates Christian perspectives on the human person with clinical strategies and processes, and pastoral care responsibilities. Attention is given to the role of the family of origin as a resource in dealing with adolescents.
Preaching the Word (3) - A practical study in the art and science of sermon preparation, giving specific attention to sermon components, sermon delivery, and the responsibility of the preacher to handle the Word accurately. Students will be given the opportunity to increase their self-awareness as they develop preaching skills. They will also be equipped with regard to finding ways to manage themselves when responding to praise and criticism from a congregant.
Rhetoric in Christian Leadership (3) - This course explores the art of persuasion and communication from biblical, philosophical, theoretical, and practical points of view. Attention will be given to effective written, oral, and electronic media communication. Students will also address the relationship between language, truth, and meaning from classical and postmodern perspectives.
Evangelistic Preaching (3) - A focus study on how to preach evangelistically, using language unchurched people can understand while yet still preaching God’s Word. The premise behind this course is that the standard lecture format of most preaching is inadequate in contemporary Western culture. This course seeks to assist church communicators in gaining the attention of hearers and enhancing their knowledge retention through the use of multi-sensory methods.
A Life of Prayer (3) - The course develops a biblical and theological foundation for personal and corporate prayer, exploring various practices of prayer in church history. Students will be guided in praying the Scriptures, echoing classic prayers of other Christians, and seeking God through deeper listening in prayer.
Spiritual Formation and Discipleship (3) - This course has to do with abiding in Christ, practicing the presence of God. It addresses central issues of spiritual development such as family background, stages of faith, past experiences in church, and expectations of God. The course is designed to foster spiritual growth and equip students to help others receive from God and grow in their capacity to love Him.
Small Groups and Congregational Health (3) - Examines both the theory and practice of small groups. Develops a biblical and sociological rationale for working with people in groups. Special focus on using groups for evangelism, inductive Bible studies, adult laity care ministries, recovery/healing groups, and discipleship. Current models of groups and leadership training components are examined, along with implementation issues and the administration of small groups within local church or parachurch settings. Fulfills Leadership Core requirement.
Youth Ministry and Culture (3) - This course uses an inter-disciplinary approach to focus on the values, fashions, norms, influences and issues of contemporary adolescent culture. Students explore why teenagers act the way they do and discuss ways to reach young people with the gospel. Special emphasis is given to at-risk teens.
Youth Ministry Leadership (3) - A survey of the basic issues of leading an effective transformative youth ministry, including connecting with students and their parents, working as part of a staff team, recruiting and training volunteers, planning and organizing events and activities.
Ministry to Seniors (3) - This course explores a theology of aging and models of ministry for discipling older Christians. Students review the physical, social, emotional, intellectual, and spiritual needs of seniors. Special attention is paid to the growing demographic of aging people, many of whom seek to minister to the needs of others. Other topics highlighted are death and dying, elder abuse, senior evangelism, and coping with loss.
Lifelong Learning for Leadership (3) - This entry-level course provides an orientation and introduction to academia, library usage, scholarly research, distance learning, working smart (as opposed to just working hard), reading for meaning (as opposed to reading laboriously without remembering what you read), asking wise questions, adjusting intellectually to new paradigms of thought even while embracing orthodoxy, developing habits of praying through course study, participating in study groups, accessing student services, and staying in God's Word during the years of earning a graduate degree and beyond.
Christianity at Home and Work (3) - This is the Capstone course for M.Div. students. Students are challenged to synthesize all their learning, writing a summary paper on how their formal training can play out evangelistically at home and work. Students are challenged to think in terms of helping every person they know become a devout, or more devout, follower of Christ. Students are required to explain how their Bible training, theology, and ministry skills can be exercised in the private and public sphere. Each student will defend his or her paper before a small panel of professors.
Writing for Publication (3) - This entry-level course is Tozeresque. A.W. Tozer is known for his writing that flowed from his prayer life and study. Students in this course are encouraged to pray about their projects, ponder and muse unhurriedly, crystallize their ides, ground their thinking in theology, and write with proper grammar and structure. This is a course on clarity. It focuses on helping students to follow wise procedures, network well, and make the time to write for publication. Students are required to produce an original draft of an article, chapter, poem, or book proposal.
A.B. Simpson and A.W. Tozer Studies (3) - This course focuses on the history, hymnody, theology, writings, and legacy of A.B. Simpson and A.W. Tozer. Attention will be given to their place in evangelicalism and their overall contributions to the Church. Students will compare and contrast the ministry of the two men and ponder ways to build upon their thought.
Seminar: Interdisciplinary Course (3) - This is a specialty course that focuses on the nexus of two disciplines such as Science and Biblical Studies or Theology and Medicine or Ministry and Business. It is offered infrequently as an elective course that is dependent on the professor's expertise.
Personal Health of the Leader (3) - This entry-level course addresses the spiritual, psychological, emotional, and relational aspects of being a leader. It addresses issues of diet, exercise, sleep, time and energy management, and the danger zones that often lead ministry leaders to burnout or moral failure. The course also deals with the complexities of church family life, the great need for self-awareness, the discipline of staying mindful of other people's expectations, and honoring wise boundaries in relationships.
Seminar: World Religions (3) - An introduction to a world religion that has influenced world affairs and presented major challenges to world evangelism. The course offers a brief overview of a religion other than Christianity such as Judaism, Islam, Hinduism or Buddhism. It also touches on the reality of religious diversity in a flat world.
Self Awareness & Intercultural Sensibilities (3) - This course introduces the principles and processes of intercultural communication, particularly with regard to sharing the gospel. Emphasis is placed on the Church's responsibility to approach intercultural issues in a Christ-like way that is rooted in the truth of Scripture. Special attention will also be given to an in-depth analysis of the concept of diversity.
Anthropology for Ministry (3) - This course offers an exploration of anthropological concepts and their relevance to ministry. Students will compare and contrast various cultures in accordance with the professor's expertise.
Urban Ministry (3) - An application of the biblical mission of church multiplication in an urban culture and an analysis of the theological and sociological issues affecting that mission. This course studies the challenges of working in an urban setting, the need for holistic and compassion ministries that address the welfare of the city.
Leadership Strategies for Cultural Transformation (3) - This course synthesizes leadership, ethics, sociology, and theology. The premise of the course is that the rate of disciple-making is related to the plausibility structures of the culture. Students explore the idea of Christians having Kingdom civic responsibilities and talk about ways for a critical mass of people to reform a culture.
Alliance Ministry (3) - A study of ministry from the perspective of The Christian and Missionary Alliance. Students explore the history, values, governing structures, and contemporary challenges in the denomination. Special attention is given to the Fourfold Gospel and requirements for CMA ordinands.
Pastoral Leadership (3) - This course is meant for training pastors to administer the sacraments, officiate weddings, do baby dedications and funerals, live as a public person, oversee a process of church discipline, and lead a congregation as a church family, not a business. The focus of the course is on spiritual leadership.
Catalytic Leadership: Stimulating People to Good Deeds (3) - Explores the role of a leader in terms of aiming to help people do good deeds. The course is designed to teach students how to cast vision, run effective meetings, develop organization charts, and et up functional systems and structures in the church. Students will be apprised of conflict management and negotiation skills as they reflect upon ways to become a better direction setter, change agent, and coach.
Politics, Legalities, and Money (3) - An introduction to the reality of city policies, legal obligations, and financial responsibilities within the context of the church. Students will be challenged with case studies that focus on true stories of real problems church leaders typically face.
Church Planting (3) - This course introduces students to the complexities and issues that arise in church planting. It is a practical course that teachers students the basic principles of church planting.
Leading Transition Churches (3) - This course focuses on the dynamics of declining congregations and leadership strategies for achieving a turnaround.
New Testament Greek 1 (3) - An introduction to New Testament Greek for ministry leaders. Consideration is also given to literature, history and theological themes in the New Testament.
New Testament Studies (3) - Studies in the authorship, history, culture, chronology, geography and themes of the New Testament. Special attention is given to the role of the New Testament in personal spiritual formation and public ministry.
New Testament Greek 2 (3) - A continuation of New Testament Greek 2, this course develops language skills of translation of a passage or group of passages in the New Testament. Attention is also given to hermeneutical method in New Testament interpretation.
Gospels and Johannine Literature (3) - A comprehensive survey of the compilation and theological themes of the Gospels and Johannine literature. The course focuses particularly on life of Jesus, highlighting the differences between the Synoptics and the Gospel of John, and studying certain portions in-depth.
Acts and Pauline Epistles (3) - This course looks at Paul's epistles alongside Luke's narrative of Acts. The course deals not only with theological themes, but also with historical, geographical and literary backgrounds.
New Testament Book Study/English (3) - An exegetical study of a book or group of books using the English text. Focus will be given to exegetical method and interpretive options in the light of the history of exegesis.
New Testament Book Study/Greek (3) - An exegetical study of a book or group of books using the Greek text. Focus will be given to exegetical method and interpretive options in the light of the history of exegesis.
Biblical Hebrew 1 (3) - An introduction to Hebrew language for ministry leaders. Consideration is also given to literature, history, and theological themes of the Old Testament.
Old Testament Studies (3) - The course offers a basic introduction to the literature, history, culture, chronology, geography and theological themes of the Old Testament. Special attention will be given to the role of the Old Testament in personal spiritual formation and public ministry.
Biblical Hebrew 2 (3) - A continuation of Biblical Hebrew 1, this course develops language skills for translation in a book or group of Old Testament books. Attention is also given to responsible interpretation of the Old Testament.
Pentateuch (3) - An overview of the literature, history, culture, chronology, geography, and theological themes of the first five book of the Old Testament. Special attention will be given to the status of the Pentateuch in the Old Testament and church history, and to its application in the life of the contemporary church.
Kings and Prophets (3) - This course surveys both the kings of Israel and Judah as well as the major and minor prophets God sent them. Consideration will be given to the role of Old Testament history in spiritual formation and contemporary ministry leadership.
Old Testament Book Study/English (3) - An exegetical study of an Old Testament book or collection of books using the English test. Focus will be given to exegetical method and interpretive options in the light of the history of exegesis.
Old Testament Book Study/Hebrew (3) - An exegetical study of an Old Testament book or collection of books using the Hebrew text. Focus will be given to exegetical method and interpretive options in the light of the history of exegesis.
The Authority of Scripture and Epistemology (3) - This entry-level course is foundational for students. The course focuses on the reasons for the reliability of Scripture and the core question of how anyone can know if something or anything is true. The course introduces students to debates on the veracity of Scripture, the history of how the Bible has been regarded, and the difference between terms such as inerrancy and infallibility.
Events in Church History (3) - This entry-level course offers students a sweeping overview of church history. It focuses on major events such as the Council of Nicea, the Council of Chalcedon, the Great Schism, the Reformation, and other major events that give students some perspective on why the Church today is the way it is.
Theology of Money (3) - This entry-level course introduces students to theological thinking and the difference between God and Mammon. The course deals specifically with the subject of idolatry. The course is highly practical, grounded in both the Old Testament and New Testament. It is designed to help students see the importance and power of money in proportion to the infinite power of God.
Theology 1: God, Revelation, and Humanity (3) - This entry-level course introduces students to basic vocabulary, systematic theological reflection and the importance of theological method. It deals with major Christian doctrines such as creation, the concept of divine revelation, the Trinity, the image of God in humanity, and the holiness of God Himself. This course is foundational to virtually every other course.
Theology 2: Christ, the Spirit, and the Church (3) - This course introduces students to the basic tenets of orthodoxy with regard to Christology, pneumatology, and ecclesiology. The course focuses especially on the incarnation and atonement, the headship of Christ, and the increasing contemporary interest in the Holy Spirit. It also deals with topics such as the sacraments, spiritual gifts, and church government. This course is critical for students who serve as pastors or church elders.
Intellectual Leadership: Developing a Christian Mind (3) - This course introduces students to a Christian worldview, teaching them how to think Christianly. It is designed for students in both paid and unpaid ministry. A key theme in the course is that of having the right theology of theology. Students engage questions such as: How interdisciplinary is the best theology? Is theology the queen of sciences? Is theology a science at all, or rather a matter of personal piety and values? How relevant is theology to practitioners and professionals who aren't scholars? This is a course for anyone interested in having the mind of Christ, renewing their mind, and taking every thought captive to Christ. For M.A. in Intellectual Leadership students, this is the capstone course.
Church and Society (3) - This course deals with the nature and mission of the Church within the context of society and world. Students are challenged to grapple with specific ethical issues as they attempt to discern the kind of relationship the local church should have with the surrounding community. Issues such as the tax status of the church, public prayer, public education, patriotism, and marriage will be discussed.
Suffering and Healing (3) - This course focuses on the problem of evil, particularly the problem of suffering. Students grapple with the Scriptures as they are challenged to develop a theology of suffering to refer to as they serve in ministry. Students are likewise challenged to consider how much emphasis Christians globally put on healing. Students are exposed to testimonies of God's healing and biblical teachings on healing. Throughout the course students are posed with the question of how to reconcile a theology of healing with a theology of suffering.
Christian Apologetics (3) - A survey of the apologetic methods and approaches. Particular attention is given to the role of apologetics in preaching and personal evangelism.
Theology of Missions (3) - This course develops a biblical and theological approach to missions as rooted in the nature and character of God.
Theology Seminar: Life and Thought (3) - This is a seminar course, a specialty theology class that focuses on the life and thought of any theologian such as Saint Augustine, Martin Luther, C.S. Lewis, Bonhoeffer, etc. Attention is also given to the theology, writings, and legacy of the theologian.
Course Format - Tozer Classes in Redding, CA
You can live anywhere and earn a degree from A.W. Tozer Theological Seminary. Tozer's main campus is in the mountainous, beautiful city of Redding, California—150 miles north of Sacramento. When you come to Redding, you will see that, by God's Providence, the River of Sacrament (the Sacramento River) runs through the city. There is something very special happening in Redding—a spiritual vitality—in the churches and at A.W. Tozer Theological Seminary.