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Bible

The Bible Department at The Stony Brook School instructs students in the Christian faith and scriptures. Drawing on a rich array of pedagogical tools and methods, students of all backgrounds learn to engage scripture academically and are encouraged to apply their understanding to the contexts of corporate worship and personal devotion. The Bible Department seeks also to cultivate in students deep understanding of God and of themselves--their relation to God, the world, and their vocations. With this in mind we hope to foster in students moral, intellectual, and spiritual virtues both through the learning and mastery of content and personal and collective reflection on the scriptures.
 
  • Bible 7

    Required for all 7th Graders
    Bible 7 emphasizes the development of God’s relationship with his people in a semester-long survey of the Old Testament. This course traces three main Biblical themes: Creation, Rebellion and Redemption. Students will read Genesis and Exodus as they discuss Creation, The Fall (Adam/Eve and Cain/Abel), God’s covenant with Abraham, and God’s use of Moses to redeem the children of Israel from slavery in Egypt. Students will also engage in character studies of key individuals and learn about the prophetic and thematic elements of the Old Testament, which foreshadow the hope of a coming Messiah who will deliver God’s people. The course seeks to develop the following skills: close reading of scripture, understanding narrative, foundations of biblical literacy, and scripture memorization.
     
     
  • Bible 8

    Required for all 8th Graders
    Bible 8 is a semester-length course that begins with an overview of the Old Testament and New Testament canon. A careful reading of the Gospel of Mark follows this study. The goal of which is to understand the life, teachings, and final purpose of Jesus Christ. To that end, some reading will also be done in the other synoptic gospels in order to illuminate the truth of Christ in different ways. Additionally, learning how to do basic hermeneutics and word studies will give students an introduction to the real work of biblical scholarship. Students will end their semester with “The Progress of Redemption,” a creative and scholarly final project where they trace God’s revelation of redeeming love throughout the entirety of Scripture. The course will develop the following skills: close reading of scripture, understanding basic hermeneutics, continued biblical literacy, and scripture memorization.
     

  • College-Level History of Philosophy+++++

    Prerequisites: B+ in Humanities 10 or European History or B in AP European History
    This elective course focuses on the history of metaphysics and epistemology from the Pre-Socratics to the present. Students engage the great philosophers by reading primary sources, discussing their ideas, writing and presenting papers, and engaging in debates. The course investigates topics of God’s existence and nature, the nature of reality, the nature of human beings, and freedom and determinism. The course culminates with students writing a Medieval disputatio on the key questions we have studied throughout the year. For an extra fee, students may receive college credit for their work in this course through Molloy College. (3 credits)
     
  • Faith and Culture in the 21st Century

    Required for all 12th Graders
    This senior level discussion based seminar serves as the capstone of the Bible curriculum. It is designed to integrate with humanities coursework by examining human life within a broad historical and cultural context. In particular, Christian theology is investigated through an in-depth scriptural study of the Gospel of John and comparative study of the major religions of the world. In keeping with our mission, students will engage in a scholarly examination of the person and work of Jesus Christ. Through this course, The Stony Brook School seeks to challenge students to understand the multivalent reasons why human beings believe the things they do, and thus to become more thoughtful about how they approach answering the significant questions of life (Why am I here?, Is there a purpose to life?, What does it mean to be human?, Is it reasonable to have faith in God?, How do I know right and wrong?). Major assessments include the following: a paper in which students articulate their reasoned worldview, a paper in which students describe their understanding of the Christian faith, a group presentation on a major world religion, and the memorization of John’s Prologue (John 1:1-18). As a part of the course, students are required to take the companion Faith and Culture Service Project Mini-Course and complete 10 additional hours of community service. The course will develop the following skills: writing, research, hermeneutics, public speaking, debate, critical reasoning, and memorization. (1 credit)
     
  • Faith and Culture in the 21st Century

    Required for all students during Senior year
    This discussion-based seminar serves as the capstone of the Bible curriculum. It is designed to integrate with humanities coursework by examining human life within a broad historical and cultural context. In particular, Christian theology is investigated through an in-depth scriptural study of the Gospel of John and comparative study of the major religions of the world. In keeping with our mission, students will engage in a scholarly examination of the person and work of Jesus Christ. Through this course, The Stony Brook School seeks to challenge students to understand the multivalent reasons why human beings believe the things they do, and thus to become more thoughtful about how they approach answering the significant questions of life (Why am I here?, Is there a purpose to life?, What does it mean to be human?, Is it reasonable to have faith in God?, How do I know right and wrong?). Major assessments include the following: a paper in which students articulate their reasoned worldview, a paper in which students describe their understanding of the Christian faith, a group presentation on a major world religion, and the memorization of John’s Prologue (John 1:1-18). As a part of the course, students are required to take a companion service mini-course and complete 10 additional hours of community service. The course will develop the following skills: writing, research, hermeneutics, public speaking, debate, critical reasoning, and memorization. (3 credits)
     
  • Faith and Culture: Biblical Studies

    Required during 11th or 12th grade
    Faith and Culture is a discussion-based seminar that serves as the capstone Bible curriculum. It is designed to integrate with humanities coursework by examining human life within a broad historical and cultural context. The course will develop the following skills: writing, research, hermeneutics, public speaking, debate, critical reasoning, and memorization. In this trimester students will investigate Christian theology through an in-depth study of the Gospel of John. The culminating assessment of this trimester is a term paper in which students demonstrate understanding of John’s Gospel and defend whether or not John has successfully argued his mission to show that Jesus is the Messiah and that one might have life in his name (John 20:31). (1 credit)
     
  • Faith and Culture: Philosophy

    Required during 11th or 12th grade
    Faith and Culture is a discussion-based seminar that serves as the capstone Bible curriculum. It is designed to integrate with humanities coursework by examining human life within a broad historical and cultural context. The course will develop the following skills: writing, research, hermeneutics, public speaking, debate, critical reasoning, and memorization. This trimester section challenges students to understand the multivalent reasons why human beings believe the things they do, and thus to become more thoughtful about how they approach answering the significant questions of life (Why am I here?, Is there a purpose to life?, What does it mean to be human?, Is it reasonable to have faith in God?, How do I know right and wrong?). The culminating assessment is a worldview paper in which students articulate and defend their reasoned and informed answers to these questions. (1 credit)
     
  • Faith and Culture: World Religions

    Required during 11th or 12th grade
    Faith and Culture is a discussion-based seminar that serves as the capstone Bible curriculum. It is designed to integrate with humanities coursework by examining human life within a broad historical and cultural context. The course will develop the following skills: writing, research, hermeneutics, public speaking, debate, critical reasoning, and memorization. This trimester focuses on an exploration and comparison of the major world religions, including Hinduism, Buddhism, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. The major assessment of this trimester is a group presentation on a particular religion.  (1 credit)
  • Health

    This course encourages students to care for themselves and others in accordance with Christian theological and ethical principles. Students learn the basics of proper nutrition, exercise, and disease and suicide prevention. Working together, students create accountability structures aimed at preventing physical, verbal, and cyber-bullying and substance abuse. Students pick an area of health care that most interests them and do a poster project for a health fair at the end of the mini-course.
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  • New Testament

    Required for all 8th graders
    This course in New Testament will introduce students to the Gospels, the epistles, and Revelation. Students will be challenged to examine the accounts the New Testament provides of Jesus Christ and the claims that he is the fulfillment of Old Testament prophecies and the Savior of the world. Students will continue to grow in their interpretive skill set of careful and critical reading of texts and formulating reasoned positions based upon their reading.
     
  • Old Testament I

    Required for all 7th graders
    This introductory course in Old Testament will explore the major stories, characters and themes from Genesis through Chronicles, or Creation to Exile. Through both the close reading of texts and careful interaction with the broader plotlines of scripture, students will develop skills of textual interpretation and critical thinking.
     
  • Old Testament II

    Required for all 7th graders
    This introductory course will pick up where Old Testament I ends and include study of wisdom literature and the prophets. 
  • Philosophy Honors: Artificial Intelligence

    Prerequisite: B+ in Humanities 9 or 10 and B+ in English 9 or 10 or B in English 9 or 10 Honors
    Open to sophomores and above, this course will explore metaphysical, ethical, religious, political, and economic issues related to recent advances in artificial intelligence. What is artificial intelligence? Is strong artificial intelligence possible? What, if anything, is the metaphysical difference between intelligent machines and humans? Can robots be moral? How should robots be designed to promote the common good? What might the economic and societal impacts be of automating industries that have primarily been the domain of humans? We will explore these questions and many more in this discussion- and project-based class. (½ credit)
     
     
  • Theology

    Open to 10th-12th graders
    In Theology (theology = study of God), students will lay a basic theological understanding of the Old and New Testament Scriptures while going into the specifics of deeper, sometimes troubling questions such as free will vs. God's sovereignty, the judgment of God vs. the grace of God, the historicity of the Scriptures, and the Scriptures’ view of sexuality, among others. The goal is not necessarily to answer every question, but to look at many of the potential answers and arrive at reasoned conclusions. Readings will come from modern and classic theologians. Students will leave the course with a good grasp on theological terminology and an understanding of key issues, while developing their own views on big questions. Students who receive their textbooks from BOCES are required to purchase their own textbooks for this course because it contains religious content. (½ credit)
     
     
  • Theology

    Open to 10th-12th graders
    In Theology (theology = study of God), students will lay a basic theological understanding of the Old and New Testament Scriptures while going into the specifics of deeper, sometimes troubling questions such as free will vs. God's sovereignty, the judgment of God vs. the grace of God, the historicity of the Scriptures, and the Scriptures’ view of sexuality, among others.  The goal is not necessarily to answer every question, but to look at many of the potential answers and arrive at reasoned conclusions. Readings will come from modern and classic theologians. Students will leave the course with a good grasp on theological terminology and an understanding of key issues, while developing their own views on big questions. (1 credit)
  • Theology Honors

    Open to 10th-12th graders with a B+ in previous English course
    In Theology (theology = study of God), students will lay a basic theological understanding of the Old and New Testament Scriptures while going into the specifics of deeper, sometimes troubling questions such as free will vs. God's sovereignty, the judgment of God vs. the grace of God, the historicity of the Scriptures, and the Scriptures’ view of sexuality, among others. The goal is not necessarily to answer every question, but to look at many of the potential answers and arrive at reasoned conclusions. Readings will come from modern and classic theologians. Students will leave the course with a good grasp on theological terminology and an understanding of key issues, while developing their own views on big questions. Honors students will have more difficult assignments and higher expectations than regular students. Students who receive their textbooks from BOCES are required to purchase their own textbooks for this course because it contains religious content. (½ credit)
     
     
  • Theology Honors

    Open to 10th-12th graders with a B+ in previous English course
    In Theology (theology = study of God), students will lay a basic theological understanding of the Old and New Testament Scriptures while going into the specifics of deeper, sometimes troubling questions such as free will vs. God's sovereignty, the judgment of God vs. the grace of God, the historicity of the Scriptures, and the Scriptures’ view of sexuality, among others.  The goal is not necessarily to answer every question, but to look at many of the potential answers and arrive at reasoned conclusions. Readings will come from modern and classic theologians. Students will leave the course with a good grasp on theological terminology and an understanding of key issues, while developing their own views on big questions. Honors students will have more difficult assignments and higher expectations than regular students. (1 credit)
  • Photo of Mark Tietjen
    Dr. Mark A Tietjen PhD
    Bible, Chapel and Religious Life, Mini-Courses
    Chaplain and Grace Palmer Johnston Chair of Bible
    Baylor University - Ph.D.
    Baylor University - MA
    Princeton Theological Seminary - Th.M.
    Princeton Theological Seminary - M.Div.
    Palm Beach Atlantic University - BS
    2015
  • Photo of Ron Fay
    Dr. Ron Fay
    Bible, Mini-Courses
    Bible Faculty
    Undergrad: Calvin College - BS
    Trinity Evangelical Divinity School - M Div
    Trinity Evangelical Divinity School - PhD
    2017
  • Photo of Jason Radcliff
    Dr. Jason Radcliff
    History, Bible, Mini-Courses
    Bible & History Faculty
    Geneva College - B.A.
    Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary - M.A.
    The University of Edinburgh - Ph.D.
    2014
  • Photo of Jeffrey Smith
    Jeffrey Smith
    History, Bible, Mini-Courses
    Bible & History Faculty
    Dartmouth College - BA
    University of Birmingham - MA
    2010
  • Photo of Timothy Stone
    Mr. Timothy J Stone
    Bible, Mini-Courses
    Religion Teacher
    University of St Andrews - Ph.D
    Wheaton College - MA
    Cairn University - B.S.
    2016