Catholic Institute of West Africa

Biblical Theology

Biblical Theology

Brief Profile of the Biblical Theology Department, CIWA

The Biblical Theology Department of the Catholic Institute of West Africa, Port Harcourt, was one of the first three Departments that began with the Institute from its inception on 8th December 1981 at Ozoba. From onset the Department has been blessed with well qualified and seasoned lecturers who have continued to produce graduates with Masters (MTh), Licentiate (STL) and Doctoral (PhD) degrees. Those graduates in turn have distinguished themselves in Church and society. Among them today are three Bishops.

To oversee the academic matters of the Department, the Biblical Department has had four Heads – Justin S. Ukpong, Kris Owan, Teresa Okure, SHCJ and the current HOD Emmanuel O. Nwaoru.

Coincidentally, two of the HODs, Rev. Fr. Justin Ukpong (late) and Sr. Teresa Okure, SHCJ, became the first two Professors of the Institute in 1999.

Composition of the Department in the current (2015/2016) Academic Year

The Department has a Professor in Residence, Sr. Prof. Teresa Okure, SHCJ and five full-time lecturers – Rev. Fr. Prof. Emmanuel O. Nwaoru, Rev. Fr. Dr. Anthony Umoren, MSP, Rev. Fr. Dr. Luke Ijezie, Rev. Fr. Dr. Ignatius Obinwa and Rev. Fr. Dr. Peter Onwuka and candidates pursuing various programmes – Propaedeutic, Masters, Licentiate and Doctorate.

Biblical Theology Courses

In keeping with Sapientia Christiana the Department offers courses in the following Stress Areas:

  1. Introductory courses in Methodology
  2. OT Textual Study – Exegesis
  3. OT Thematic Study – Theology
  4. NT Textual Study – Exegesis
  5. NT Thematic Study – Theology
  6. Intertestamental Period
  7. The Bible and First World Cultures

Courses in these areas help students to acquire mastery of basic exegetical and methodological skills needed in handling Biblical text, knowledge of contemporary interpretative methodologies applied in reading the Bible in context, and major research tools available in all these areas.

This warrants that students in the Department begin with Beginners Course in the first year (Propaedeutic Year) in Old Testament Hebrew Morphology (BIB 4010) and New Testament Greek Morphology (BIB 4030). Here they are introduced gradually to paradigms, while they learn easy translations from the Hebrew and Greek Bible.

The major courses are offered in the following areas:

  1. Biblical Languages
  • Old Testament Hebrew Syntax and Lexis
  • New Testament Greek Syntax and Lexis
  • Biblical Aramaic

Here the student acquires the ability for syntactical analysis of chosen Biblical texts as well as for reading and translating the same. There is also introductory study of Textual Criticism of both testaments. Doctoral candidates are expected to demonstrate high proficiency in the knowledge of Biblical Hebrew and Greek and a good working knowledge of Biblical Aramaic (BIB 6032).

Outside the major courses students are also expected to take Elective and Faculty courses which they may choose from or outside the Biblical Department.

  1. Biblical Methodologies

The student studies the basic characteristics, strengths, and weaknesses of the major methodologies applied in contemporary Biblical studies, Old and New Testaments, particularly

  • the Historical Critical (diachronic) method and its different components: Source, Form, Redaction, Literary, Textual, religionsgeschichtliche, etc. criticisms
  • Synchronic and Contextual Approaches; Liberative and Inculturation Hermeneutics; Biblical interpretation in Africa
  • Women’s Hermeneutics (feminist, mujerista, womanist and African women’s hermeneutics).
  1. Exegesis (OT and NT)

The student is introduced to the process of interpreting or explaining select Biblical texts and passages from Biblical books, using major research tools and methodologies.

  1. Biblical Themes and Cultures (OT and NT)

Select Biblical themes are treated as courses or Seminars, especially those relevant to the African context. They cover among others:

  • The Old Testament Covenants (particularly the Sinai Covenant) and the monarchy in their Biblical and extra-Biblical contexts, and relevance for Africa
  • Prophetic Literature and related issues, e.g., “pure” religion, social justice, etc. in Africa
  • Parables of Jesus and the Sermon on the Mount in their Biblical and contemporary African contexts
  • Contemporary Issues in Biblical Miracles & Faith Healing in African context
  • New Testament Attitude towards cultures (OT, Jewish, Gentile), with a focus on African cultures
  • Biblical and Contemporary Issues in Sex and Gender and Cultural Hermeneutics

List of Courses offered at Masters / Licentiate Level

LAN 4010       NT Greek I & II

BIB 5011        –           Contemporary Orientations in Biblical Studies

BIB 5021/2     –           OT Syntax & Lexis

BIB 5041/2     –           NT Greek Syntax & Lexis

BIB 5051        –           Introduction to Wisdom Literature

BIB 5091                    Introduction to Intertestamental Literature

BIB 5131        –           Hosea: Exegesis and Hermeneutics

BIB 5151                    The Psalms: From Messianism to Christology

BIB 5211                    Exodus and Sinai Covenant

BIB     5241                The “Ish Elohim” in the Book of Kings

BIB 5321                    1 Corinthians: Exegesis and Hermeneutics

BIB 5321                    Romans: Exegesis & Hermeneutics

BIB 5351                    Letter to the Hebrews: Exegesis and Hermeneutics

BIB 5421 (Fac)           Sex & Gender in the Bible & Extra Biblical Cultures

BIB 5511 (Sem)           Creation and Recreation

BIB 5521 (Sem)           Social Issues in the Prophets

BIB 5541 (Sem)          The NT and Gentile Cultures

BIB 5541 (Sem)          Jesus, Women and the Church in the NT

BIB 5132        –           Jeremiah: Exegesis and Hermeneutics

BIB 5132        –           Isaiah 1-39: Exegesis and Hermeneutics

BIB 5232                    Genesis 1-11: Exegesis and Hermeneutics

BIB 5242        –           Selected Themes in Sam / Kings

BIB 5242        –           Deuteronomic History and Theology

BIB 5312        –           Mark’s Gospel: Exegesis and Hermeneutics

BIB 5312                    John’s Gospel: Exegesis and Hermeneutics

BIB 5322                    Colossians: Exegesis and Hermeneutics

BIB 5332        –           Acts of the Apostles: Exegesis and Hermeneutics

BIB 5342        –           Selected themes in Revelation

BIB 5432 (Fac)           The Parables of Jesus in Contemporary African Setting

BIB 5432 (Fac)           Gospel Miracles & Faith Healing

BIB 5542 (Sem)          Salvific Universality of Christ in Ephesians/Colossians

BIB 5542 (Sem)          Biblical Interpretations in Africa

BIB 5542 (Sem)          Contemporary Issues in Feminist Hermeneutics


List of Courses offered at Doctorate Level

  1. Methodology

BIB 6011                    Methods, Theories and Philosophical Orientations in Biblical Studies II

BIB 6021                    History of Exegesis and Exegetical Methodologies

  1. Exegesis

BIB 6111                    The Pentateuch

BIB 6121                    The Historical Books

BIB 6131                    Prophetic Literature

BIB 6311                    The Canonical Gospels

BIB 6321                    Acts of the Apostles

BIB 6331                    The Pauline Letters

BIB 6142                    Wisdom Literature

BIB 6152                    The Writings

BIB 6332 (Sem)          Salvific Universality of Christ in Ephesians/Colossians

BIB 6342                    The Catholic Epistles

BIB 6352                    The Letter to the Hebrews

BIB 6362                    The Book of Revelation


  1. Biblical Themes


BIB 6211 (Sem)          Creation and Recreation

BIB 6221                    The Patriarchs and their Covenants

BIB 6231                    OT Institutions

BIB 6241 (Sem)          Messianism

BIB 6411                    The Evangelists and their Traditions

BIB 6421                    NT Theology

BIB 6431 (Sem)          NT Institutions and Ministries

BIB 6441                    The Church and Churches in the NT

BIB 6252 (Sem)          The Problem of Evil

BIB 6262 (Sem)          Religion and Society

BIB 6272                    Jewish Feasts and Worship

BIB 6282                    The OT and other Religions

BIB 6292                    Women in the OT

BIB 6452 (Sem)          Christology and Soteriology

BIB 6462                    NT Ethics

BIB 6472 (Sem)          The Kingdom of God

BIB 6482                    Mission in the NT

BIB 6492                    Covenant in the NT


  1. Intertestamental Literature


BIB 6511                    Introduction to the Intertestamental Era

BIB 6521 (Sem)          Judaism

BIB 6541                    Graeco-Roman World

BIB 6551                    Apocryphal and Pseudepigraphal Writings

BIB 6571                    Jewish Historians and Philosophers

BIB 6532 (Sem)          Hellenism

BIB 6562                    Qumran

BIB 6582                    Rabbinic Exegesis

BIB 6592 (Sem)          Apocalypticism


  1. The Bible and First World Cultures


BIB 6611                    Greek Philosophers and the Bible

BIB 6621 (Sem)          The Mystery Religions

BIB 6631                    Gnosticism

BIB 6642                    NT Apocalypticism

BIB 6652 (Sem)          NT Apocryphal Literature

BIB 6662 (Sem)          Hermetic Literature


List of Courses offered at Bachelors Level


ELC 151/2                  NT Greek I & II

RES 251/2                   -Biblical Hebrew I & II

RES 211                      -Introduction to Old Testament

RES 241                      – Introduction to the Bible (Sacred Scripture)

RES 301          –           -Introduction to New Testament

RES. 311                     -Introduction to Wisdom Literature

RES 411                      -The Gospel and Letters of John

RES 429                      -History and Religion of Israel

RES. 212                     -The Pentateuch

RES 216                      -NT Studies: The Synoptic Gospels

RES 312                      -The Pauline Epistles

RES 412                      -Religion and Prophecy in Israel

RES 414                      – Letter to the Hebrews and the General Epistles

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