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: “The Gospel of Mark.”
About The Gospel of Mark
During this term, Pittsburgh Theological Seminary students will be learning about Mark’s Gospel with Dr. Tucker Ferda in the class “The Gospel of Mark.” This course fulfills a Biblical Narrative and Theology Elective for students in the Master of Divinity (MDiv) degree and is open to students in the Master of Arts in Pastoral Studies (MAPS) and Master of Theology (MTS) degree programs.
This course will study the Gospel of Mark: its background, narrative structure and techniques, theological concerns, and significance for our situation. The course will emphasize careful reading and seek to place Mark’s themes in conversation with the larger canonical witness.
During this course, students will grow in knowledge of the content, form, and historical background of the Gospel of Mark. They will come to better understand the history of interpretation of Mark and modern critical approaches to the Gospel. In addition, they will learn to integrate the interpretation of Mark with the larger canonical witness and contemporary theological questions. Finally, the course aims to foster students’ love for the witness of Mark in the life of the Church today.
Assignments include short reflections on readings and questions from fellow students, a brief class presentation, and a final research essay. Required reading will come from the Gospel of Mark itself, along with supplemental scholarly materials.
About the Instructor
Dr. Tucker Ferda is associate professor of New Testament at PTS. He earned his Ph.D. in New Testament from the University of Pittsburgh, where he also served as teaching fellow. In 2015, he was named one of only three Society of Biblical Literature Regional Scholars, an award which “recognizes and promotes outstanding entry-level scholars.” Dr. Ferda has expertise in a wide range of areas in biblical studies, including the Gospels, the life of Jesus, the Old Testament in the New, the history of biblical interpretation, Hellenistic Jewish literature, the Dead Sea Scrolls, and biblical theology.