Course Syllabus

Fall 2018


BL250 – James

Thursdays, 6:00pm to 9:30pm

Instructor: Sean Henschel, M.A.T.S

Phone: (619)249-6257


Our Mission:

The Branch College of Ministry exists to develop, equip, and inspire Christian leaders for excellence in ministry to the church.


Course Description:

This course will expositionally examine the book of James while giving emphasis to its historical setting, exegesis, and pastoral application.  James is a book often forgot about or cast in the shadows of the Pauline corpus, however, this book is a vital piece of the New Testament canon offering a unique contribution as well as practical and pastoral theology for all generations. 


Student Outcomes:

After taking this course students will know or be able to do the following:

1. Describe the intended author, audience, setting, purpose, and historical setting of James. 

2. Outline the logical flow and main points of each chapter.

3. Apply the Theocentric method to each chapter.

4. Informative research on a topic, theme, or exposition in James.


Program Learning Outcomes

This course, when combined with other courses, fulfills the Program Learning Outcomes 1, 2, and 3:

1. Successfully utilize various methods of Biblical Interpretation.

2. Accurately teach sound biblical principles.

3. Provide efficacious pastoral care and counsel.


Institutional Learning Outcomes

This course, when combined with other courses, fulfills the Institutional Learning Outcomes 1, 2, and 4:

1. Demonstrate clear, effective communication of significant material.

2. Conduct competent academic research within a given discipline or field.

4. Possess the knowledge and skill required to succeed in leadership roles and in service to the community.


Required Textbooks:

Moo, Douglas J. The Letter of James, The Pillar New Testament Commentary. Grand Rapids: William B.

                Eerdmans Publishing Company, 2000. 


Suggested Secondary Texts:

Barnes, Albert.  Notes on the New Testament: Explanatory and Practical, James, Peter, John, and Jude.             

Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1962. 


Blomberg, Craig L. and Mariam J. Kamell. James, Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament. Grand    

Rapids: Zondervan, 2008.


McCartney, Dan. G. James, Baker Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament. Grand Rapids: Baker      

Academic, 2009.


Davids, Peter H. The Epistle of James: A Commentary on the Greek Text. Grand Rapids/Cambridge:

William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1982.


Dibelius, Martin. James. Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1988. 


Heil, John Paul. The Letter of James. Eugene: Cascade Books, 2012. 


Hiebert, D. Edmond. James. Chicago: Moody Press, 1992. 


Martin, Ralph P. James, Word Biblical Commentary, Vol. 48. Waco: Word Books Publisher, 1988.


Mayor, Joseph B. The Epistle of St. James, Classic Commentary Library. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1954.


McKnight, Scot. The Letter of James, The New International Commentary on the New Testament. Grand

Rapids: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 2011. 


Motyer, J.A. The Message of James. Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press, 1985. 


Picirilli, Harrison. The Randall House Bible Commentary: James, 1, 2, Peter and Jude, 1st ed. Nashville:

Randall House Publications, 1992. 


Richardson, Kurt A. James, The New American Commentary, Vol. 36. Nashville: B & H Publishing Group,



Vlachos, Christ A. James, B & H Exegetical Guide to the Greek New Testament. Nashville: B & H

Academic, 2013. 


Witherington III, Ben. Letters And Homilies for Jewish Christians: A Socio-Rhetorical Commentary on

Hebrews, James, and Jude. Downers Grove: IVP Academic, 2007.  


Course Requirements:

1. Readings (15%): Students will be expected to read through the Book of James twice and complete the assigned reading from a James commentary by Douglas Moo.  These readings will be important for class discussion and self-study of the text. See schedule below for due dates.  Reading grades will be based on three areas: (1) the percentage read (both from the book of and the commentary on James); (2) a summary sentence for each verse (based on a combined reading of the book and the commentary on James); and (3) three further academic questions you still have regarding the reading assignment as a whole. 


2. Theocentric Method (15%): Students will engage each chapter of James (5 total) using the Theocentric method of study. See below for chapter due dates.  See Populi for Theocentric Method Template.


3. Chapter Outlines (20%): For each chapter of James (5 total) students will submit a chapter outline detailing important factors.  See the Chapter Summary Template on Populi for requirements. 


4. Research Paper (30%): By class 10 of the course, students will turn in an eight to ten-page paper (plus cover page and bibliography) on a topic, theme, or exposition of their choice on the Book of James. The objective: to foster expanded reading and detailed interaction with a passage in order to give explanations that are both informed and useful for ministry. Note the following due dates:

·         Due class 4, students will submit a Topic Approval.

·         Due class 6, students will submit a Bibliography (15 sources). 

·         Due class 9, student will submit an Outline of their Research Paper.

·         Due class 10, students will submit their Research Paper.

*Grading of the Research Paper will follow the Grading Rubric, attached at the end of this syllabus.

*All submissions must be in accordance with Turabian standards.  Each submission must include a cover page. 

*Must use at least 5 sources from your Bibliography. 


5. Presentation (15%): Students will teach from a designated passage of James as assigned by the professor. The students are to prepare their text to instruct God’s people using the best practices of speech delivery.  PowerPoints, notecards and handouts may be used.  See the Presentation Grading rubric at the end of this syllabus. 


6. Attendance (5%): You will be given credit for coming to class and penalized for missing class. You are expected to come prepared to participate in an informed manner.  




Value of Assignments                                                    Grading Scale

    Reading, Discussion                      15%                        96-100       A            77-79    C+      60-62         D-

    Theocentric                                    15%                        92-95          A-          73-76    C        below 60    F

    Chapter Outline                             20%                        88-91          B+         70-72    C-

    Research Paper                              30%                        84-87          B           67-69    D+

    Presentation                                   15%                        80-83          B-          63-66    D

    Attendance                                        5%



Class Schedule:


Class #



Research Paper

Class 1



Introduction to James

-The author, audience, setting, purpose, and historical context


Read the Syllabus.


Class 2


James 1:1-18

Read James 1

Moo, 47-80


Class 3


James 1:19-27

Read James 1

Moo, 80-97

Theocentric, James 1


Class  4


James 2:1-13

Read James 2

Moo, 98-118

Chapter Outline, James 1

Topic Approval

Class 5


James 2:14-26

Read James 2

Moo, 118-144

Theocentric, James 2


Class 6


James 3:1-12

Read James 3

Moo, 145-167

Chapter Outline, James 2

Bibliography Due – 15 Sources

Class 7


James 3:13-18


Read James 3

Moo, 167-178

Theocentric, James 3


Class 8


James 4:1-17

Read James 4 (2x)

Moo, 179-208

Chapter Outline, James 3

Theocentric, James 4


Class 9


James 5:1-11

Read James 5

Moo, 209-234

Chapter Outline, James 4

Outline Due

Class 10


James 5:12-20

Read James 5

Moo, 234-251

Theocentric, James 5

Paper Due

Class 11


Theology of James

Chapter Outline, James 5


Class 12






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