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Durham University

Postgraduate Module Handbook 2022/2023

Archive Module Description

This page is for the academic year 2021-22. The current handbook year is 2022-23

Department: Theology, Ministry and Mission

THMN45730: Advanced New Testament Studies

Type Open Level 4 Credits 30 Availability Available in 2021/22


  • None


  • None

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • None


  • To enable students to explore in depth - and with some independence - selected New Testament text(s) and/or theme(s) within the context of contemporary biblical and theological scholarship and the New Testament as a whole.
  • To enable students to analyse critically the ways in which New Testament text(s) and/or theme(s) can be used to address contemporary situations.
  • To illustrate ways in which New Testament text(s) and/or theme(s) can be communicated.


  • This module will involve
  • Exploration of text(s) and/or theme(s) from the New Testament, including within the context of the New Testament and Christian Scripture as a whole.
  • Examination of selected text(s) and/or theme(s) (these may vary from year to year) in greater detail, and how they can be used to address contemporary situations.
  • Study of the critical, hermeneutical and theological processes by which we reflect on these text(s) and/or theme(s) in contemporary contexts.
  • The focal text(s) and/or theme(s) for a specific year will be advertised to students at the point of signing up for the module.

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • Demonstrate in depth knowledge of specific themes and/or texts within the New Testament and interpret them within their context with reference to the methodologies and findings of current scholarship.
Subject-specific Skills:
  • Interpret New Testament themes and/or texts through the employment of exegetical processes that draw upon historical, theological, and other contemporary modes of inquiry.
  • Demonstrate the capacity to exercise independence in analysing and engaging critically with New Testament texts in relation to contemporary issues for contemporary audiences.
Key Skills:
  • Carry out systematic and creative research into complex issues and communicate their findings with clarity, sensitivity, fairness and imagination to specialist and non-specialist audiences.
  • Demonstrate initiative, self-direction and independence in tackling and solving problems, and in planning and implementing tasks.
  • Exercise their independent learning skills to pursue further professional development or academic study.

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

  • Lectures provide content, a conceptual framework and a survey of approaches within New Testament studies and hermeneutics 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 reading contexts, and to engage with teaching staff and peers in debate and reflection.
  • Guided reading in conjunction with lectures and seminars encourages independent learning and underpins the knowledge and understanding gained in lectures and seminars.

Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
Lectures 8 block or weekly 1.5 hours 12
Seminars 8 block or weekly 1.5 hours 12
Student presentations 6 1 hour 6
Preparation & Reading 270
Total 300

Summative Assessment

Component: Essay Component Weighting: 100%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Essay 5,000 words 100%

Formative Assessment:

Two components: a presentation on a theme or question related to one of the focal New Testament texts; a 2,500 word written commentary (exegetical essay) on a selected passage in a focal New Testament text.

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