Paul Corinthian Correspondence: Struggles in Leadership, Ministry & Theology, with Dr. Efrain Agosto

20140612_211643The following blog is written by HSP 2014 student:

Ramona Acevedo

McCormick Theological Seminary


This class has much to offer students that would like to study the Pauline Letters and the praxis theology that are in his letters.   There were several objectives for the class.   However, two objectives that were prominent for this class: a) was the importance of acquiring a better understanding of the Apostle Paul, his life, ministry, theology and b) understanding the importance of knowing the world in which the Apostle Paul ministered in the Greco-Roman urban center of the city of Corinth.  An overall significant aspect of the class was the impact for the church today, especially the Latino/a Church; because we believe that these themes found in the Corinthian Correspondence also affect the Latino/a Church today.

The class is composed of six students: three students at the doctorate level (Julio, Samuel, and Mauricio) and two at a Masters (Teresa and Ramona) Rosie as an entering PhD student, and of course our professor, Dr. Efrain Agosto.   As students, we came to the class with knowledge about the letters, but we also left with more than what we came in with.   The everyday class interaction was awesome.   The lectures were open to critique and dialogue that enhanced the learning environment.   The small group work demonstrated that much of our beliefs were similar and those that were different were discussed to understand the context in which they were used.   Several authors were consulted, but it was the Bible and Dr.  Agosto’s knowledge and experiences that proved most fruitful.   Dr. Agosto used Greek terminology to express what Paul’s intention was in certain chapters and verses.    Mauricio also provided clarification on biblical text because he had a Greek Bible.

Apart from the small group work, we had presentations from the doctorate students that researched specific themes (The Collection Money for Jerusalem, Corinthian Women Prophets, and Paul’s Theological Connections in 1 Corinthians).   These presentations provided an understanding of issues that were controversial then and now.   After each presentation, Dr. Agosto provided more information and discussion followed.   We never left the class without our concerns and questions being answered.

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