NEW ORLEANS (BP)–Beginning next summer, students at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary will be able to complete academic requirements for a biblical language in one summer, including an optional class on location in a country where the language is spoken.
Students may choose to devote up to six weeks of their summer, with one-week breaks between the two-week sessions, for up to 10 hours of language study to fulfill requirements of Greek or Hebrew study, components required for several master of divinity track degrees.
Each two-week session is progressive, culminating in a trip to Greece or a Middle Eastern nation where students can study in the cultural context of the original Old and New Testament languages. The overseas travel component will incur additional costs.
Students may opt to take the introductory, intermediate and advanced exegesis classes in a series or individually, based on their needs. The classes have been structured to be ministry-friendly, in that students will have weekend breaks for Sunday activities with the exception of one Sunday devoted to the overseas trip option.
The newly integrated structure of the Summer Language Institute in part is a result of a recent sabbatical trip to Greece taken by Gerald Stevens, professor of New Testament and Greek at NOBTS and author of a New Testament Greek textbook used in seminaries to teach the fundamentals of the biblical language spoken during the first century. Stevens felt that immersion in the local culture would accelerate language learning and offer exciting live experiences to enrich the students’ study of God’s Word.
There’s something about being on-site in a culture that seems to stimulate learning, he said. He explained that the typical overseas exegesis class would include walking on-site in a New Testament location, such as Corinth, the context of 1 and 2 Corinthians. Daily study would include going to area museums and archaeological sites, debriefing the field trips and applying the translated passages to the setting.
“Just being in the setting that Paul writes about helps the Word come to life,” Stevens said. “The Summer Language Institute is all about strengthening the student’s grip on God’s Word.”
The upcoming Summer Language Institute will focus on Greek study, beginning June 2, 2003, with the overseas component ending July 26. Hebrew will be the focus of the 2004 Summer Language Institute, with tentative dates set from May 31 through July 24.
More information can be obtained by contacting Stevens by phone at (504) 282-4455, ext. 3734, or by e-mail at [email protected]. For more information about the seminary’s degree programs, contact the Office of Student Enlistment at 1-800-662-8701, ext. 3303, or e-mail at [email protected].
(BP) photo posted in the BP Photo Library at http://www.bpnews.net. Photo title: PROF IN THESSALONICA.