Theophilus Cohort

Theophilus Cohort

2 Years | 26 Credits

Theophilus is a cohort at Western Seminary that offers flexible, face-to-face ministry training in a condensed discussion-based format. The 26 credits of courses you complete (coming to class just once a month for two years) apply to the Master of Divinity, MA (Biblical and Theological Studies), MA in Ministry and Leadership, or MA in Global Leadership degrees. 

The biblical character Theophilus is somewhat of a mystery. We don't know where he was from or what he did, and he is only mentioned twice in the New Testament (Luke 1:3; Acts 1:1). We do know that Luke wrote to Theophilus so that he might have certainty of the things he had been taught (Luke 1:4) and we know that his name means "lover or friend of God."

At Western Seminary, we believe in the goal of training God-lovers. The Theophilus Cohort accomplishes this in the following ways.

  • Ecclesial | Courses are geared toward church leadership roles
  • Dialogical | Discuss and participate in small, seminar-style courses
  • Condense | Meet just one Friday a month
  • Present | Engage fully in on-site learning at our Portland campus
  • Core | Complete 26 core credits toward a master's degree

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Josh Matthews

Josh Mathews, PhD

Todd Miles

Todd Miles, PhD

Daniel K. Eng

Daniel K. Eng, DMin, PhD

Jan Verbruggen

Jan Verbruggen, PhD

Special Guests

Michael Lawrence

Michael Lawrence

Evan Burns

E.D. Burns


Year One

Fall BT501 Hermeneutics Miles
Fall BT502 Biblical Theology Mathews
Spring BL501 Genesis to Song of Solomon Mathews
Summer BL502 Interpreting the Prophets and Gospels Verbruggen/Eng

Note: MF501 - Introduction to Theological Study and Ministry Formation (Ron Marrs) is also required in a student's first year of the cohort.

Year Two

Fall BL503 Acts to Revelation Eng
Spring TH501 Theology I Lister
Summer TH502 Theology II Lister

Year Three (possible)

Fall TH503 Theology III Miles/Lawrence
Spring CS502 Growing in Prayer and Other Key Disciplines Burns
Spring ML506 Ministerial Ethics Mathews
Summer CH501 Wisdom from Church History Miles/Lawrence
Summer ML508 Preaching Gospel-Centered Messages Miles/Lawrence

Can I become a Theophilus student if I've already started my degree?

Yes, you can request to join the cohort even if you've already started your degree.

What degree do these classes apply to?

These classes apply to these master's degree programs at Western Seminary:

How would I complete my degree if I did the cohort?

You may complete the remainder of your chosen degree through hybrid courses, other residential classes, or online courses. In the event that we add a third year to the cohort schedule, you will complete a total of 36 credits with your Theophilus Cohort.

How is the Theophilus Cohort different from the other programs?

The cohort is not a degree program itself, but a scheduling and learning option that allows you to complete a core set of courses that are applicable to several master's degree programs. It involves a seminar format, meets only once a month, and builds community with a constant set of classmates.

Why is the third year listed as "possible"?

We are only asking you for a two-year commitment, but if there is enough student interest we will continue into a third year as a cohort.

Need More Info?

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