Durham University
Programme and Module Handbook

Undergraduate Programme and Module Handbook 2017-2018 (archived)

Module TMMC2031: Topics in Christian Doctrine

Department: Theology, Ministry and Mission

TMMC2031: Topics in Christian Doctrine

Type Tied Level 2 Credits 20 Availability Available in 2017/18 Module Cap None. Location Durham


  • None


  • None

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • None


  • To enable students to explore one or more major area of doctrine in relation to its biblical foundations, historical expressions and systematic connections.
  • To nurture students’ ability to read, analyse and evaluate primary theological, historical and philosophical sources.
  • To enable students develop critical awareness of theological norms and methods.
  • To enable students to develop the theological resources to respond to contemporary issues and problems.
  • To enable students to integrate critical doctrinal thinking further into their own spiritual formation and ministerial development.


  • This module will explore one or more major areas of doctrine (for example, doctrine of God, creation, Trinity, Christology, soteriology, pneumatology, anthropology, eschatology, ecclesiology, social and political theology etc.), and will include:
  • Exploration of the doctrine’s biblical foundations.
  • Study of primary theological texts (in translation where not originally in English) and other sources (eg. art, liturgy, hymnody or material evidence) related to the doctrine.
  • Consideration of the doctrine’s connection to the wider pattern of Christian doctrine.
  • Attention to the relationships between this doctrine and contemporary Christian practice and experience.

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • Give a detailed account and analysis of one or more areas of Christian doctrine and their development in historical and contemporary contexts.
  • Discuss intelligently some key questions and issues in contemporary Christian thought about these areas of doctrine.
Subject-specific Skills:
  • Critically analyse aspects of the relationship of Christian doctrine to experience and practice in the context of discipleship, mission and ministry, engaging with the questions to which this gives rise.
Key Skills:
  • Identify, gather and evaluate source materials for a range of purposes.
  • Undertake a critical analysis of information and arguments, communicating the results effectively, showing critical awareness of their own beliefs, commitments and prejudices.
  • Take responsibility for a task that involves independent inquiry; the management of time, resources and use of IT; meeting deadlines, evaluating the task and learning from it.

Modes of Teaching, Learning and Assessment and how these contribute to the learning outcomes of the module

  • Teaching methods to be specified by each TEI, selecting from the following:
  • Lectures provide content, a conceptual framework and a survey of approaches within a subject area that enable students to locate their learning in a wider context, to make connections with other disciplines, and to evaluate and apply their learning to different contexts.
  • Seminars offer students an opportunity to present, evaluate and apply their knowledge to specific contexts, and to engage with teaching staff and peers in debate and reflection. Guided reading in conjunction with lectures encourages independent learning and underpins the knowledge and understanding gained in lectures and seminars.
  • Small group learning creates an environment where students learn to articulate their knowledge and understanding effectively and in a way that is relevant to the group and its context.
  • Tutorials enhance learning by offering feedback and encouraging students to reflect on their own response to the knowledge and skills they have acquired.
  • Placements and/or work-based learning ensures that students make habitual connections between knowledge, understanding, skills, professional practice and the reality of a specific context, under the supervision of an experienced practitioner.
  • Programmed online learning materials guide students through knowledge content, its wider framework and different approaches to its application.
  • Virtual discussion forums offer students the opportunity to articulate the knowledge and understanding they have acquired to others and to engage in informed debate.

Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
Lectures 16 1.75 hours 28
Personal Study 172
Total 200

Summative Assessment

Component: Essay Component Weighting: 50%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Essay 2,500 words 100%
Component: Structured Assessed Conversation Component Weighting: 50%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Written rationale/commentary 1,500 words 60%
Conversation 15 minutes 40%

Formative Assessment:

Students will be expected to demonstrate engagement with the subject matter and the learning outcomes throughout the module by suitable formative assessments that encourage integrative and reflective skills.

Attendance at all activities marked with this symbol will be monitored. Students who fail to attend these activities, or to complete the summative or formative assessment specified above, will be subject to the procedures defined in the University's General Regulation V, and may be required to leave the University