Skip to main content

Course Number: SS 669
Course Title: Paul’s Pastoral Letters: 1 and 2 Timothy and Titus
Term: Summer 2014

Professor

Father William C. Mills

EMAIL: wmills@holyapostles.edu

1. COURSE DESCRIPTION

This course is an in depth look at Paul’s Pastoral Letters (1 and 2 Timothy and Titus). These letters are essential for understanding Apostle Paul’s message to the Church, both in the first century and today.  Students will study themes regarding Church and community life, the issue of ministry of the bishop, presbyter, and deacon as a variety of other practical and pastoral issues. Questions regarding the historical, geographical, social, religious and cultural background and context will also be considered.

This course is not designed to give easy answers to questions of personal faith, although it should provide considerable foundation of historical, literary, and theological data which will enable the earnest student to arrive at a more mature personal faith. The professor will endeavor to provide an atmosphere of freedom and intellectual honesty in which maturation in faith and understanding is possible. The student's effort to develop his/her own personal religious faith, of course, is a task in which he/she will be engaged, hopefully, for the rest of his/her life.

Furthermore, since this course is being offered at a Roman Catholic Seminary and College emphasis will be placed on the “pastoral and practical” implications of the Synoptic gospels. In other words, when engaging the reading, course notes, and conducting research, always keep in mind how the gospels can impact your preaching, teaching, and pastoral care, especially within your parish setting.

I always encourage my students to actually use their course work in their local parish. Many students are active in adult education, Bible studies, retreat leaders, permanent deacons, members of religious orders, or in other parochial responsibilities. The course materials and student work are geared for pastoral and practical usage. This does not mean the other courses at HACS are not pastoral or practical, but it does mean that the student always maintain a pastoral and practical approach to the Scriptures as they study and reflect on them throughout the course and for the rest of their life. As members of the body of Christ we are called to encourage and inspire one another and spread the good news of the Gospel.

2. COURSE SCHEDULE

Week 1 Overview of Class, read syllabi, Paul’s Mission and Ministry Part 1

Week 2 Background on Paul’s Mission and Ministry Part 2

Week 3 Paul and Timothy

Week 4 Read 1 Timothy Chapter 1 and corresponding pages in text/ Listen to CD Series

Week 5 Read 1 Timothy Chapter 2   and corresponding pages in text/ Listen to CD Series

Week 6 Read 1 Timothy Chapter 3-4 and corresponding pages in text/ Listen to CD Series

Week 7 Read 1 Timothy Chapter 5-6 and corresponding pages in text/ Listen to CD Series

Week 8 Read 2 Timothy Chapter 1-2 and corresponding pages in text/ Listen to CD Series

Week 9 Read 2 Timothy Chapter 3-4 and corresponding pages in text/ Listen to CD Series

Week 10 Read Titus Chapter 1 and corresponding pages in text/ Listen to CD Series

Week 11 Read Titus Chapter 2 and corresponding pages in text/ Listen to CD Series

Week 12 Read Titus Chapter 3 and corresponding pages in text/ Listen to CD Series

Week 13 Finish up papers and projects

Week 14 Finish up papers and projects

Week 15 Finish up papers and projects

3. COURSE OBJECTIVES

At the conclusion of the term the student should be able to:

  • Explain the major themes and literary structure of Paul’s Prison Letters.
  • To be well acquainted with the cultural, religious, and socio-political background, as well as geography, from which Paul’s epistles were formed and shaped.

Be able to convey this new course information to others in a very practical and pastoral manner, through their teaching preaching, and pastoral care.

4. COURSE REQUIREMENTS:

  1. Students are responsible for all the assigned readings, including the secondary course material.
  2. Students will be responsible for all course work in the class including the three papers. For more information see below.

5. GRADING:

  1. Grading will be assessed through the three writing assignments
  2. Final grade will be determined in the following manner:
  • Written Assignment #1: 33%
  • Written Assignment #2: 33
  • Written Assignment #3: 34%

Total 100 %

GRADING SCALE:

A 94-100; A- 90-93; B+ 87-89; B 84-86; B- 80-83; C+ 77-79; C 74-76; C- 70-73 60-69; F 59 and below

6. WRITING ASSIGNMENT

The purpose of the short papers is for the student to engage the course material in an in depth manner. Furthermore, we need to remember that while we are studying Paul’s epistles which were written nearly 2,000 years ago, the meaning and message is as important today as it was then! The early evangelists were interested with issues regarding their faith community, and therefore, were encouraged to provide guidance and direction in community life especially in terms of living the gospel during a time of great persecution and maintaining faith in times of doubt and distress. Please use either MLA or Chicago Manual of Style for grammar, style, and citations.

Written Assignment #1 Cultural, Social, Religious, and Political Background of the Apostle Paul and His World

The purpose of this assignment is for the student to have a basic knowledge of some aspect of the cultural, social, and political background of the Jewish/Roman World of the Apostle Paul. The student is asked to write a 5-6 page paper on any one of the following possible topics, the student of course may choose his/her own topic but please check with the instructor before proceeding. Topics can include: the role, use, and purpose of slavery;  letter writing and communication in the ancient world, marriage and family life, transportation and communication, flower and fauna, coins and money, Roman-Greco political structures in the Mediterranean, major pagan religious institutions and the use of temples and cults, and military organization and structure.

Written Assignment #2  Paul’s Pastoral Letters for Catechesis and Teaching

The purpose of the second written assignment is for the student to understand the catechetical and teaching importance of Paul’s Pastoral Letters. The student is asked to choose from among the various topics listed below (or if the student has an alternative topic that is fine too). Rather than write a traditional research paper you are asked to present the material in a way that enhances and fosters teaching and catechesis in a parish setting. For example the student may choose to create a 6-7 week adult Bible study based on the topic, 2) create a series of 6-7 Sunday bulletin inserts that are formatted around your specific topic, 3) create a blog with 6-7 blog postings based on your topic. You are encouraged to include pictures, charts, graphs, and or a Power-Point presentation to enhance your work—the more creative you are the better!

My hope is that your reading and research will be used to further “advance the gospel” in your local parish and faith community. There are numerous topics available, I only ask that you first contact me before you begin your research/reading. You may also consult with your parish priest for some thoughts and ideas, he might help you find a topic that would be beneficial to your congregation. Below are some ideas for your project. If you have other ideas let me know before you do this assignment.

Sample Topics:

  1. Paul’s use of “team ministry” (i.e Timothy, Ephrasas, and others that he mentions in his letters).
  2. Paul’s use of metaphors
  3. False Apostles vs. True Apostles
  4. Paul’s use of rhetoric and is letters
  5. Any other topic of students’ choice

Written Assignment #3: Exegetical Paper—Student’s Choice of Topic

The Greek word “exegesis” means to take apart, to dissect. When students dissect a frog in biology class they open up the frog and look at all the organs and parts of the body. We do the same with Scripture. When reading we read not just for information but how the particular passage is connected to the rest of the chapter as well as the larger context within Scripture. The student will choose a passage from any of the Pastoral Letters and dissect it the best you can. Choose a short passage, a few verses perhaps and imagine that you are explaining the passage to a fellow parishioner or student. Focus on particular words or images that stand out or which you think are important. You are more than welcome to draw upon the writings of the saints and some of the early Church Fathers but please keep long quotations to a minimum. The purpose for this particular assignment is for the student to dissect and understand a specific passage in Paul’s letters. Make sure to make connections with other parts of Paul’s writings as well. Please limit your work to 5-6 pages.

7. REQUIRED COURSE MATERIALS

  • Father George Montague First and Second Timothy, Titus Catholic Commentary on Sacred Scripture (Baker Academic, 2012) ISBN  978-0-8010-3581  $25.95
  • Father Thomas Stegman, SJ Learning From the Apostle Paul 5 CD Set with PDF Study Guide from Now You Know Media www.nowyouknowmedia.com $35.95

Note: Some students may want to purchase single commentaries on each of the Pastoral Letters and Fr. Mills can make recommendations for you if you are interested in doing such. However, the extra volumes are not necessary for the course.

8. ADDITIONAL INTERNET SITES FOR BIBLE STUDY

9. DISABILITIES ACCOMMODATIONS POLICY

Holy Apostles College & Seminary is committed to the goal of achieving equal educational opportunities and full participation in higher education for persons with disabilities who qualify for admission to the College. Students enrolled in online courses who have documented disabilities requiring special accommodations should contact Bob Mish, the Director of Online Student Affairs, at rmish@holyapostles.edu or 860-632-3015. In all cases, reasonable accommodations will be made to ensure that all students with disabilities have access to course materials in a mode in which they can receive them. Students who have technological limitations (e.g., slow Internet connection speeds in convents) are asked to notify their instructors the first week of class for alternative means of delivery.

10. ACADEMIC HONESTY POLICY

Students at Holy Apostles College & Seminary are expected to practice academic honesty.

Avoiding Plagiarism

In its broadest sense, plagiarism is using someone else's work or ideas, presented or claimed as your own.  At this stage in your academic career, you should be fully conscious of what it means to plagiarize. This is an inherently unethical activity because it entails the uncredited use of someone else's expression of ideas for another's personal advancement; that is, it entails the use of a person merely as a means to another person’s ends.

Students, where applicable:

  • Should identify the title, author, page number/webpage address, and publication date of works when directly quoting small portions of texts, articles, interviews, or websites.
  • Students should not copy more than two paragraphs from any source as a major component of papers or projects.
  • Should appropriately identify the source of information when paraphrasing (restating) ideas from texts, interviews, articles, or websites.
  • Should follow the Holy Apostles College & Seminary Stylesheet (available on the Online Writing Lab’s website at http://www.holyapostles.edu/owl/resources).

Consequences of Academic Dishonesty:

Because of the nature of this class, academic dishonesty is taken very seriously.  Students participating in academic dishonesty may be removed from the course and from the program.

11. ATTENDANCE POLICY

Even though you are not required to be logged in at any precise time or day, you are expected to login several times during each week. Because this class is being taught entirely in a technology-mediated forum, it is important to actively participate each week in the course. In a traditional classroom setting for a 3-credit course, students would be required, per the federal standards, to be in class three 50-minute sessions (or 2.5 hours a week) and prepare for class discussions six 50-minute sessions (or 5 hours) a week. Expect to devote at least nine 50-minute sessions (or 7.5 quality hours) a week to this course. A failure on the student’s part to actively participate in the life of the course may result in a reduction of the final grade.

12. INCOMPLETE POLICY

An Incomplete is a temporary grade assigned at the discretion of the faculty member. It is typically allowed in situations in which the student has satisfactorily completed major components of the course and has the ability to finish the remaining work without re-enrolling, but has encountered extenuating circumstances, such as illness, that prevent his or her doing so prior to the last day of class. NOTE; THE EXTENSION REQUEST MUST BE SUBMITTED TO HOLY APOSTLES BEFORE THE END OF THE SEMESTER – NO EXCEPTIONS.

To request an incomplete, distance-learning students must first download a copy of the Incomplete Request Form. This document is located within the Shared folder of the Files tab in Populi. Secondly, students must fill in any necessary information directly within the PDF document. Lastly, students must send their form to their professor via email for approval. “Approval” should be understood as the professor responding to the student’s email in favor of granting the “Incomplete” status of the student.

Students receiving an Incomplete must submit the missing course work by the end of the sixth week following the semester in which they were enrolled. An incomplete grade (I) automatically turns into the grade of “F” if the course work is not completed.

Students who have completed little or no work are ineligible for an incomplete. Students who feel they are in danger of failing the course due to an inability to complete course assignments should withdraw from the course.

A “W” (Withdrawal) will appear on the student’s permanent record for any course dropped after the end of the first week of a semester to the end of the third week. A “WF” (Withdrawal/Fail) will appear on the student’s permanent record for any course dropped after the end of the third week of a semester and on or before the Friday before the last week of the semester.

13. ABOUT YOUR PROFESSOR

If you want to read more information about my background and ministry you can visit my website at www.williamcmills.com. Again, welcome to the class and I hope we have a good semester together!

(860) 632-3010