The “Inside the PTS Curriculum” series gives you an inside look at what students are learning in their courses at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary. Each article focuses on one class, its subject matter, what students can expect to learn, the required texts, and the kinds of assignments students can expect. We’ll let you know whether the course is required or available for the Master of Divinity (MDiv), the Master of Arts in Pastoral Studies (MAPS), or Master of Theological Studies (MTS). Each article will include the professor’s bio.
This week’s course is: “Evangelicalism and Pentecostalism in the US.”
About Evangelicalism and Pentecostalism in the US
During this term, Pittsburgh Theological Seminary students will be learning about the evangelical and Pentecostal traditions in America with Dr. Charles Cotherman in the class “Evangelicalism and Pentecostalism in the US.” This course is open for students in the Master of Divinity (MDiv), the Master of Arts in Pastoral Studies (MAPS), and the Master of Theology (MTS) degree programs.
This course will detail the emergence and expansion of evangelical and Pentecostal Christianity in the United States from the late 17th century until today. Special attention will be given to the exploration of major themes within the movement(s) including, but not limited to, renewal and revival, social and political engagement, theological convictions and controversies, tensions related to racial and ethnic diversity, and institutional development and withdrawal.
By the end of the course, students will be able to identify key figures and events within American evangelicalism and Pentecostalism. Students will develop an awareness of how these movements have been shaped by the socio-cultural contexts in which they were embedded. Students will further develop their ability to exhibit a critically informed awareness of diverse theological perspectives and traditions, be able to fairly represent views other than their own, and understand the importance of generosity toward those with whom they disagree, while articulating thoughtful and historically informed reasons for their own views.
Assignments include class participation, two brief in-class presentations, a book review, a presentation, and a research paper.
Required texts for the course are Mark A. Noll’s A History of Christianity in the United States and Canada and Frances Fitzgerald’s The Evangelicals: The Struggle to Shape America.
About the Instructor
Dr. Charles Cotherman is a PTS graduate (M.Div., 2012) who holds a Ph.D. in Religious Studies (University of Virginia, 2017). He is the pastor of a church he planted—Oil City Vineyard Church—in Oil City, Pa., where he lives with his wife, Aimee (also a PTS grad), and their three children. He is passionate about God’s big call for people to serve in small towns and rural areas.