There are many dimensions to human existence, including spiritual. At the heart of learning is the question of meaning and the relationship between what we know and how we live. In the Biblical Studies department students take up these questions by exploring the rich theology and practice of the Christian faith.
By engaging with the Biblical Studies courses students:
- Come to understand Christianity’s historical, intellectual and spiritual basis
- Develop the ability to crticially analyze contemporary cultural dilemmas
- Are provided the tools needed to understand and apply the Christian worldview to their lives
- Are encouraged to become agents of change in their communities
- Are encouraged to take ownership of their faith intellectually and spiritually
- Develop, defend, and present a thesis investigating a current world issue from a sociological and biblical perspective for Senior Symposium and Synthesis
The Association of Christian Schools International presented BTA with its Exemplary School Programs Award for the Senior Symposium and Synthesis.
Courses: The Life and Teachings of Jesus (Grade 6) | Old Testament I: Creation, Covenant, Exodus, and Law (Grade 7) | Old Testament II: Kingship, Temple, Prophets and Exile (Grade 8) | Foundations of the Biblical Story (Grade 9) | Christian Belief in Context (Grade 10) | The Christian Life (Grade 11) | Senior Synthesis: Christianity and Culture (Grade 12)
In The Life and Teachings of Jesus students learn to read the entire Bible as a single narrative, which culminates in the life and redeeming work of Jesus. Significant Old Testament events are reviewed to set the stage for the coming of Jesus. Jesus’ life, teachings, death and resurrection are then examined as students learn to read the Bible in its original context and begin to see its relevance for their lives.
- 13th Disciple Project: Students journal about their “travels” with the disciples as they spread the Gospel
- The Temple: Students study the Temple as a working city, uncovering its historical importance
- Dramatic Recreations: Students present sections of the Gospels through dramatic performance
Old Testament I is an introductory survey of the Old Testament, starting with Genesis and ending with the entrance of the Israelites into the Promised Land. Beginning with the Creation account, students study the power and majesty of God as the Creator and how humankind was made in His divine image. Through studying the Old Testament covenants as well as God’s saving act through the Exodus, God’s care for his creation is made visible. Throughout the course, students will be encouraged to see themselves in the personalities and events encountered and will be challenged to become better people of God.
- Ten Plagues Project: Students bring to life the epic battle between God and Pharaoh
- Tabernacle Model: Students work together to create a classroom display of the tabernacle
- Simple Pentateuch: In this final project of the course students create a visual summary of five books of Moses
Old Testament II provides a survey of the Old Testament, from the conquest of Canaan to the writings of the prophets. The course emphasizes literacy of Old Testament stories and characters while also highlighting the faithful nature of God, even when His people are unfaithful. Students examine the major theological movements of this period including the establishment of the kingship, the Temple as the dwelling place of God, and the significance of the exile. Students will also be introduced to several major and minor prophets, thereby gaining an understanding of the role of a prophet among the Israelites.
- Reflective Papers: Student relate their reading and class discussions to their lives
- Summative Paper: Students write a paper that highlights what they’ve learned in this course
Foundations to the Biblical Story presents the entire narrative arch of the Bible, from its beginnings in Adam and Eve and the call of Abraham to spread of the Christian church throughout the Roman Empire. Special focus is given to the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus as the climax of this history. The book of Acts is also closely studied, as students are encouraged to learn from the experiences of the first Christians. Students will also explore basic issues of biblical hermeneutics and work to acquire the discipline of focused Bible reading and exegesis.
- Greco-Roman Context Project: Students prepare a presentation on a select aspect of the world in which Jesus lived
- Analytical Paper: Students examine the influence of the Old Testament on the New Testament
The purpose of Christian Belief in Context is to examine orthodox Christian belief in the context of historical and contemporary worldviews. This course begins by tracing out the biblical worldview as it develops through the Old and New Testaments. The historical developments of Christianity through the first five centuries are then explored. Ultimately, students come to understand the parameters of Christian orthodoxy as expressed through the biblical witness and the early church councils and creeds. With a firm understanding of Christian belief in hand, this course examines the worldviews of major world religions along with the modern atheist belief system. The apologetic and theological work of C.S. Lewis is then examined so to understand Christianity as a credible, coherent belief-system in the midst of an unbelieving world.
- Exegesis Paper: Students examine the original, intended meaning of a New Testament passage so to uncover its relevance for today.
- Heresy Project: Students present the boundaries of orthodoxy in a creative, visual manner
In The Christian Life, the Christian worldview is brought into dialogue with all aspects of human life and culture. The class begins by exploring the question “Why Do I Believe?” After this examination of apologetical options, the course presents opportunities for strengthening one’s faith through the study and practice of Christian spiritual disciplines. The primary goal of this course, however, is to take a reasoned and enriched faith and explore how it interacts with all aspects of human life. Students examine various philosophical ethical systems along with the biblical witness to determine how to choose what is right and good. Christian service is presented as the pursuit of justice in partnership with the proclamation of God’s Word. Ultimately, Christianity is investigated as a way of life rather than simply an intellectual system.
- Personal Apologia: Students defend their own reasons for belief, Christian or otherwise
- Spiritual Discipline Projects: Including Prayer, Meditation, Solitude, and Simplicity
- Hospitality Project: Faith is put into action as students create and complete service projects
- Ethical Debates: In teams, students debate the Christian response to various ethical dilemmas
Senior Synthesis: Christianity and Culture is the capstone course of the Bible Department and, in some ways, of the entire Boston Trinity Academy curriculum. In this course, students develop a research question on a topic pertaining to the relationship between Christianity and modern culture. Working in conjunction with his/her teacher, each student will research, write, edit, and rewrite their paper according to standards that drive scholarly research.
Throughout this course students periodically present their research in class presentations, both to educate their peers on the particulars of their question and to get feedback to strengthen their arguments. Students are continually challenged to improve the quality and breadth of their research, the structure of their paper, the soundness of their argument, the depth of their Christian perspective, and their ability to respond to probing questions about their topic.
At the end of the semester, each student will present his or her argument at the Boston Trinity Academy Senior Symposium. These presentations occur before a panel of professionals from Boston-area prep-schools and universities. After a five-minute presentation of their findings, students are required to defend their thesis by answering questions posed by their panel. This event draws the entire Boston Trinity Academy community together to support and learn from each student as they consider how the Christian faith interacts with a contemporary issue.