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GOE Prep: Christian Theology

Seminary of the Southwest faculty-recommended resources to aid in answering GOE open resources questions.

Christian Theology

  1. To display an accurate knowledge of the basic theological concepts and doctrines of the Christian faith.
  2. To demonstrate an understanding of the historical, conceptual, methodological and doctrinal issues behind the formation of basic theological ideas in the history of Christian thought.
  3. To illustrate how theological ideas can make a difference in living out the Church’s mission in the contemporary world.

Source: General Board of Examining Chaplains website


Note from Dr. Baker

The last several years of Christian Theology questions on the GOE have followed a pattern: They have named a controversy and asked the test taker to stake a claim within it.  “Offer a theology of…” Sometimes they have named this as an article for a parish newsletter, sometimes it’s been simply about making the claim without any further context.

They ask you to:

  1. Take a theological position on the question in a way that shows understanding of the theological (and especially Anglican theological) tradition. This includes careful definition of terms.
  2. Cite sources (often Anglican ones) in a way that is consistent with the thinker and relevant to your response.
  3. Demonstrate the pastoral sensitivity of your answer.

This year’s may not follow that pattern exactly—so be sure to read carefully and answer only what they’re asking. But it’s a pretty good bet that it won’t wander too far from this pattern.

-Dr. Anthony D. Baker, Clinton S. Quin Professor of Systematic Theology at Seminary of the Southwest.


Classical Texts on Trinity

Augustine, Sermon 2 and Sermon 67.

Gregory of Nyssa, To Ablablius.

Classical Texts on Christology

Athanasius, Orations against the Arians III

Maximus, On the Two Wills of Christ in On the Cosmic Mystery

Classical Texts on Spirit

Gregory of Nazianzus, Oration 31