The School of Theology. Sewanee: The University of the South

CHHT 532 United Methodist History, Doctrine, and Polity I

Staff [3]

To examine the formative events, persons, issues, and movements in the Methodist traditions that originated and developed in England and America: This will include an appreciation of the social, cultural and religious contexts that have made Methodism a part of the global and ecumenical Christian community. We shall also consider the various historical influences that have shaped the Christian witness of Methodist clergy and laity in the ministry and mission of the church.

To seek an understanding of United Methodist doctrine and theology: We shall begin with John Wesley and the sources on which he drew in the Anglican, Puritan, and Pietist traditions. We shall then proceed to the primacy, universality, and transforming power of grace that governs personal and social responsibility in the United Methodist tradition, and examine the extent to which this draws from and provides a distinctive contribution to contemporary theological perspectives.

To explore the development of United Methodist polity from a historical and theological perspective, and its implications for the mission and ministry of the Church of today: This will require a detailed examination of the nature and purpose of connectionalism and itinerancy for ministry. An understanding of the annual conference as the basic unit of The United Methodist Church will also lead us to examine the concomitant structural expressions of ordained and lay ministry.