The J-Term runs from January 8-29 and provides students the opportunity to focus on just one course. Students are not required to take a course in order to maintain full-time status in their program, and most programs do not require core courses during the J-Term (see exception below, under Program Notes). There are no online courses offered during the J-Term.
Courses are offered in a variety of schedules and times in the J-Term. Please pay close attention to the schedule. Because it is a complex schedule, you may view it as a PDF chart. Drop dates/refund info is here.
Each afternoon class will begin at 1:35, allowing opportunity to attend the January Series. The January Series will be available for viewing in the Seminary each day.
Before proceeding with registration, read this page carefully. You will be responsible for the information here. Online registration for the J-Term will open on Wednesday, November 6, at 7:00 a.m. Registration will close on Monday, November 25 at 11:59 p.m. If you fail to register by the November 25 deadline, you will incur a $50 late registration fee.
You will not be able to register if you have a balance on your account. You will either need to pay the bill in full, or make payment arrangements with the Financial Services office. The Registrar’s Office cannot open registration for you if you have a balance.
To view the schedule, click here.
To register, go to Portals/Students/Register.
Once you are initially registered, you may change, add, or drop courses online without penalty until the first drop date in the chart mentioned above.
If you need technical assistance in accessing the schedule, contact Seminary IT. If you have questions regarding course eligibility or other non-technical matters, please contact The Registrar’s Office.
Course descriptions can be found here: Course Descriptions
A list of electives available this year can be found here.
Registration of Papers, Independent Studies, and Theses
Students should download the appropriate form from the right column of the Registrar’s page. When the form is completed, submit it to Denise Mokma, in the Academic Office. All independent studies, major papers and theses must be registered by Friday, December 13, 2013 at 4:30 pm to avoid a $50 late fee. Though the forms are not due until December, you should make arrangement with a supervising professor well before that time.
- First year residential MDiv students are required to take the course Introduction to Missional Ministry (311B) for 2 credits
- Mentoring Groups do not meet during J-Term.
- Students in the MA: Pastoral Care program should take the course Pastoral Care as Dying and Rising with Christ (684B or BT), as it is a core course in your program, and is offered only every other year.
- The course Minister in Literature (546B or BT) will meet an Admission requirement in Literature. It must be taken for credit in order to do so.
- PhD students are required to take the Teaching Seminar (903P) taught by Dr. Ronald Feenstra.
You can find the description for most courses offered during the J-Term on the Course Descriptions page:
Please note that the course Biblical Study Tour to Turkey and Greece (534B or BT) involves travel to Turkey and Greece. Students should contact Dr. Jeff Weima if interested. Students also need to register for the course online.
Please note that the course Seeds of Justice, Harvest of Shalom (529B or BT) involves travel to Mexico. Students should contact Dr. Avila if interested. Students also need to register for the course online.
A couple of the electives offered in the J-Term are unique to this term. They are described here:
Women in the History of American Christianity (550B or BT), taught by Dr. Kristin DuMez, Associate Professor of History, Calvin College.
With a focus on Protestant women, this course will tell the story of Christian women in America and locate women at the heart of American religious history. The course will highlight key women in the history of American Christianity, examine issues relating to women’s ordination and church leadership, and consider the different ways in which women have read, interpreted, and responded to the Scriptures over the course of American history. In addition, it will explore the intersection of gender and religion more broadly – investigating, for example, notions of “muscular Christianity” and the purported “feminization of religion” in different periods in American history. By contextualizing questions of women’s religious experience and authority in various historical and cultural settings, the course will not only open an intriguing and at times inspiring window onto the past, but it will also provide fresh insight into contemporary questions pertaining to women and Christianity in America.
Evangelistic Preaching (670B or BT), taught by Ron Van der Spoel, Vice President of Open Doors and Instructor at the Evangelical Theological Faculty in Leuven, Belgium.
Secular culture has become so predominant that many contemporary people carry little memory of God or church. They have heard that their grandparents once has some sort of relationship with the church, but the Christian faith is largely outside their experience. Is connecting with them possible? This course will explore the challenges and opportunities of preaching to “the grandchildren of the prodigal son.” The course will attempt to explore and develop ways of connecting the biblical story to the life stories of those who see themselves outside it and the role of the pastor, congregation, and God in making this attempt.
Skill Development courses are designed to help you develop and hone skills for your studies and for ministry. Occasionally, you may be urged or required to take a Skill Development course to help you in your studies at CTS.
Generally, it is intended that students audit the Skill Development (SD) courses. For MDiv and MTS students, some SD courses may be taken for one credit. Two SD courses will equal one General Elective in your program.
MA: Worship students are required to take four SD courses as part of their program. Please refer to the Degree Program page on the web site to determine which courses qualify: MA degree programs.
All students, including ThM students, pay just $60 to audit Skill Development courses.
The Skill Development courses offered in the J-Term are:
Teaching Skills in Intergenerational Worship Ministry—A Course for Pastors, Worship Leaders, Church Education Staff, Youth Ministry (482B or BT), taught by Dr. John Witvliet.
Fruitful worship ministry invites our attention not merely on what happens in our preaching, praying, singing, baptizing, and communing–but also (perhaps most especially!) on how we prepare people to participate in these actions. Equipping people of all kinds–seekers and life-long believers, children and older adults–to participate in worship is one of the great joys and challenges of worship ministry.
While some of this happens in formal settings or in corporate worship itself, much of this equipping, discipling, and teaching happens in a thousand informal settings all week long. This course seminar will focus on this crucial pedagogical work in both formal and informal settings, reflecting on the deep connections between a CTS education and our life-long calling to serve as teachers of all of God’s children.
Issues in Pastoral Care and Leadership (488B or BT) – facilitated by Prof. Nydam, and including lectures by visiting professors with expertise in pastoral care.
This course will develop students’ skills in navigating difficult pastoral care or leadership issues in the church today. This is a one-credit course designed to help students fulfill their program requirements. Prof. Nydam is organizing and leading the course with the assistance of Prof. Feenstra. The course will be offered in the mornings during the week of January 13-17. The majority of the course will consist of experts in pastoral care who will come to share their areas of expertise. Topics will include “Rejection in Pastoral Care,” ”From Exclusion to Embrace: Ministering to and with Asian Americans,” and more. Students will be asked to do a variety of readings in advance of each class session. Students will be assessed on the basis of written reflections on these presentations, to be submitted by the end of J-Term.
Greek Review (491B) and Hebrew Review (490B) are also offered during the J-Term. Some students may be required to take these courses, either for audit or credit. Others may choose to audit one or both courses. These courses cannot be used for credit in your program.
Spiritual Formation for Revitalization (483B or BT) – taught by Pastor Keith Doornbos. This course is part of the Renewal Lab.
Students have the opportunity to take this course alongside approximately 15 local pastors. The course will meet from 8:30 – 4:30 on January 8, 9, and 10. If you register for the class for audit or credit, and participate fully, you are invited to attend the closing banquet on Friday evening, free of charge. Spouses may also attend the banquet.
This course will examine how making more and better disciples is linked to congregational renewal. Key New Testament texts that give content to the practice of nurturing authentic followers of Jesus will be examined. Critical factors in spiritual formation will be studied with particular emphasis on naming those practices that move people from the early stage of exploring Christ, to a deepening stage of growing in Christ, to a more mature stage of being close to Christ, to the ultimate goal of becoming fully Christ-centered. Various assessment tools will be taught that assist pastoral leaders to identify the “discipleship temperature” of their congregation. Collaboratively, participants will design a process for deepening spiritual formation in their local contexts.