TeacherDr. T. Cross
SemesterSpringDuration8 Weeks
FrequencyEvery three years
Credits5 ECTSWorkload125-150 Hours
Module formatIntensive
ApplicabilityThis Module seeks to enable the student to grasp one of the more difficult theological topics. It is related to courses in Pentecostal and contemporary theology and the history of doctrine.
Course structureSee module and courses
Contact time35-45 HoursSelf-Study105-125 Hours
Participation requirementSee access to the program
Phase 15025%
Readings & Journal
Readings & Preparation for Discussion Project
Phase 24025%
Leading Discussions
Phase 36050%
Research Paper
Content of the ModuleThis course offers a study of the doctrine of the Trinity. It examines the fundamental, Scriptural data for the doctrine, tracks the formulation and articulation of the doctrine in the history of the Church, and attends to appropriations of the doctrine in contemporary theology.
This course is intended to provide the biblical foundation, the historical framework, and current appropriations of the doctrine of the Trinity. It will also offer the student an understanding of the indispensability of the doctrine of the Trinity with regard to Christian notions of salvation and community.
Learning Objectives

A. General Learning Objectives
This course seeks to:

  1. Ascertain the biblical foundation for the Christian understanding of God as Triune.
  2. Analyze the historical issues and controversies that gave rise to the articulation of the doctrine of the Trinity.
  3. Critically engage the Trinitarian thought of various Church Fathers.
  4. Compare and contrast the appropriation of the doctrine of the Trinity in contemporary theological reflection with the data of Scripture and historical articulations of the doctrine.

B. Specific Behavioral Objectives
As a result of the activities and study in this course, the student should be able to:

  1. Identify and critically assess the biblical data that has grounded the doctrine of the Trinity.
  2. Demonstrate an understanding of the major historical contexts and controversies that gave rise to the formal Christian conception of God as Triune.
  3. Compare and contrast the thought of various historical figures who shaped the formal Christian conception of God as Triune.
  4. Analyze the differences between Eastern and Western Trinitarian formulations, specifically regarding the filioque doctrine.
  5. Discuss and critically evaluate various contemporary expressions of the doctrine of the Trinity.
OutlineA. Biblical Intimations of God as Triune
B. Historical Formulation of the Doctrine of the Trinity (Part I): The Apologists and Clement of Alexandria
C. Historical Formulation of the Doctrine of the Trinity (Part II): Origen to Athanasius
D. Historical Formulation of the Doctrine of the Trinity (Part III): The Cappadocians
E. Historical Formulation of the Doctrine of the Trinity (Part IV): Tertullian to Hilary
F. Historical Formulation of the Doctrine of the Trinity (Part V): Aug to Filioque Controversy
G. Contemporary Appropriations of the Doctrine of the Trinity (Part I): The 19th Century
H. Contemporary Appropriations of the Doctrine of the Trinity (Part II): Karl Barth, Jürgen Moltmann, and others in the 20th Century
ExaminationSee Evaluation
Core LiteratureReading List:
Augustine. De Trinitate. NPNF 1/3.
Badcock, Gary D. “The Anointing of Christ and the filioque Doctrine.” Irish Theological Quarterly 60/4 (1994) 241-58.
Barth, Karl. Church Dogmatics I/1. Trans. by Geoffrey Bromiley. Edinburgh: T&T Clark, 1975 ed.
Boff, Leonardo. Trinity and Society. Trans. by Paul Burns. Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Books, 1988.
Coffey, David M. Deus Trinitas. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1999.
Davis, Stephen, Daniel Kendall, and Gerald O’Collins, eds. The Trinity. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1999.
Fortman, Edmund J. The Triune God: A Historical Study of the Doctrine of the Trinity. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker, 1982.
LaCugna, Catherine Mowry. God For Us: The Trinity and Christian Life. San Francisco, CA: HarperSan Francisco, 1991.
Hill, William. The Three-Personed God: The Trinity as a Mystery of Salvation. Washington, D.C.: Catholic University of America Press, 1982.
Hunt, Anne. The Trinity and the Paschal Mystery—A Development in Recent Catholic Theology. Collegeville, MI: Liturgical Press, 1997.
Johnson, Elizabeth. She Who Is—The Mystery of God in Feminist Theological Discourse. New York: Crossroads, 1994.
Jüngel, Eberhard. The Doctrine of the Trinity—God’s Being is in Becoming. Edinburgh: Scottish Academic Press, 1976.
Marshall, Bruce D. Trinity and Truth. Cambridge, MA: Cambridge University Press, 2000.
McDonnell, Kilian. The Other Hand of God: The Holy Spirit as the Universal Touch and Goal. Collegeville, MN: Liturgical Press, 2003.
Moltmann, Jürgen. The Crucified God: The Cross of Christ as the Foundation and Criticism of Christian Theology. Minneapolis, MI: Fortress, 1993.
_____________. The Trinity and the Kingdom: The Doctrine of God. Minneapolis, MI: Fortress, 1993.
Rahner, Karl. The Trinity. New York: The Crossroad Publishing Co., 1998.
Smail, Thomas A. The Forgotten Father. Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1980.
Vanhoozer, Kevin J, ed. The Trinity in a Pluralistic Age: Theological Essays on Culture and Religion. Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1997.
Volf, Miroslav. After Our Likeness: The Church as the Image of the Trinity. Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1998.
Vondey, Wolfgang. Heribert Mühlen: His Theology and Praxis: A New Profile of the Church. New York: University Press of America, 2004.
Zizioulas, John. Being as Communion: Studies in Personhood and the Church. Crestwood, New York: St. Vladimir’s Press, 1985.
Other information