April 18, 2023 by

Everyone’s a theologian. Everyone? Yes, my friend, everyone! You might think to yourself, “As a mechanical engineering major, theology isn’t my thing,” or, “I am a nursing major… no way I am one of those professional Bible people,” or “hey, hey, hey, I am a second-semester freshman still getting used to daily chapel. How could I be a theologian?” Well, my fellow Cedarville friends (or soon-to-be friends), I am here to tell you that yes, you are in fact a theologian. How could this be? When did this happen? Did I accidentally sign up for this freshman year? To quell these questions and concerns I am here to explain how yes, you are a theologian, and no, this was not anything you signed up for freshman year, or ever for that matter.  

I first heard this statement on the first day of Theology 2 here at Cedarville. This is the last class taken in the University’s Bible minor program, which all students are required to complete. Dr. Ronni Kurtz, my theo professor and someone I have grown to greatly admire, defined theology as “the study of God and all things in relation to God.” That seems nice and all, but you still might be wondering, “what does this have to do with me being a theologian?” No matter your academic major or life circumstance, everyone functions as a theologian passively by experiencing life in this world and receiving the common grace offered by God. Common grace is the general ability given to all that enables the basic understanding and recognition of God through the created world. Christopher Morgan, the author of the class’ textbook, expressed, “All God’s creatures bear witness to their Creator, for they are his creations. He also reveals himself in his caring for and guiding events in his world. In addition, he makes himself known within every human being, writing his law on our hearts and giving each of us a conscience” (35). Romans 1:19-21 explains,


“For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse.


The italicized phrases direct our attention to the fact that God can be clearly perceived by all, and someday, everyone will be held accountable for how they recognized Him. At some point in our lives, we contemplate the existence of heavenly things, and through this make a statement about God. As soon as that thought enters our mind or leaves our lips, we have made a theological statement. Whether you confirm or deny God’s existence is to say something about Him, which is the act of a theologian. Our position as theologians is something unavoidable – indeed, it is instilled into us by nature. This fact is unavoidable, and we are held without an excuse for what we come to believe about God.

College students sitting outside in the grass, with a professor standing at a pulpit in front of them, lecturing. 

Cedarville doesn’t require theology courses within its Bible minor because they want you to switch to a biblical studies major; rather, they recognize that each of their students will function as a theologian, and they desire to cultivate you into one that is faithful in handling the Word of God. I hope I am starting to convince you that in fact, you are a theologian; however, the remainder of this post will provide a snapshot of what is to come when you take Theology 2 here at Cedarville. It is my prayer that as you dip your toe into the pool of theology, you will begin to catch a glimpse of its majestic beauty and grow in your anticipation for this course.


What Do We Learn? 

Diving into the details, when you first look at the syllabus, you will notice an abundance of rather large words that all end in “ology.” Christology, Pneumatology, Ecclesiology; the list seems endless. Though daunting in appearance, these academic terms are just the cover for overwhelmingly glorious truths. 

  • Christology. In the doctrine of Christ, you will discover the majesty of the incarnation, historical debates that secured our faith, and the danger of and how to avoid Christological heresies.  
  • Pneumatology. In the doctrine of the Spirit, we dive into understanding the third person of the Trinity, and how He brings about regeneration and the seal of our salvation.  
  • Soteriology. Looking at the doctrine of salvation, you will learn the trinitarian involvement in the redemption, accomplishment, and application of our salvation, how without union with Christ (my personal favorite doctrine in this class) Christ’s work on the cross would stand void, and the Ordo Salutis 
  • Ecclesiology. The doctrine of the church is a precious gift that enables believers, when covenanted together, to experience means of grace and functions as the most tangible and practical field of theology. 
  • Eschatology. Finally, looking forward, the doctrine of last things showcases the promised hope, restoration, and glory of our heavenly Father, and provides a glimpse of our hearts’ deep longing to see God, which will lead to eternal joy.  

My Favorite Parts

By far what excited me most in Theology 2 was being exposed to a new side of the Bible. Compared to the Old Testament, New Testament, or even The Bible and the Gospel (other Bible minor courses), Theology 2 stands out as it uniquely dives into systematic themes and views of the historic church regarding singular topics. New terms and theories began swimming around in my brain and I began to formulate a more concrete understanding of my faith. Now when you hear the words “eternal relations of origin, ecumenical councils, divine appropriation, begotten and spirited, and hypostatic union,” you might not get excited like I do, at least not yet! This thrill comes from understanding what I thought was impossible. However, there was so much joy to be found through studying the Word of God in this new and deeper way, and if this non-Bible, nursing major can do it, you can too! 

A selfie of blogger, Ellie Kolb and a friend outside, smiling at the camera with other classmates behind them.

The faculty members here at Cedarville invest in the lives of their students like no other. My professor’s desire for me to know and understand the Word was deeply reflected in how he taught and in his actions. After almost every class, a small group of us would gather around the back of the class and discuss life, random doctrinal questions, or ask for further explanation on what we just learned. Our professor not only eagerly yearned for us to understand and practice theology rightly, but he also cared deeply for us as individuals. One of my favorite classes was spent beneath a large shady tree on an October afternoon. What joy and delight we experienced as we laughed, conversed, and understood our God in a deeper way! 


Why Does This Matter Anyway? 

In case you haven’t noticed by now, because of the mysterious beauty found in God’s word, my amazing professor and his care, and this (thankfully) mandatory class, theology has become my new passion, and it is my great hope that it can become yours too! Studying theology has transformed my life, and it impacts little things I do each day. I hope you can catch a small bug of excitement for, “the study of God and all things in relation to God.” Ultimately, theology should never be done simply to increase knowledge. Theology has implications far beyond that. For theology to be studied rightly, it must lead to doxology. Worship? What does worship have to do with this? Dr. Kurtz has the answers to our questions yet again, 


“God is more than a set of facts to be examined; he is the one who calls forth the cosmos by the word of his power, and he will be not merely examined but exalted. Whereas other fields might call their students to study propositions and weigh them, Christian theology calls its students to do more than weigh truth claims, they are called to worship.” (2) 


As theologians, when we begin to consider the grandeur of our God through His revealed Word, the only right response is to praise Him. Looking back at the topics you will study, notice how each moves your heart toward a position of worship.

  • Christology. Sparks joy through understanding the person of our Savior and the works He accomplished “for us and our salvation.” (Nicene Creed) 
  • Pneumatology. Fosters gratitude through understanding the enabling power the Spirit gives in our daily living, and the work He did so that we could know Him through Scripture. 
  • Soteriology. Reveals utterly undeserving grace, that without, we would be damned to eternal punishment, but rather, have been rescued from and placed within the hand of the God whose own name is Love. 
  • Ecclesiology. Provides our understanding of the family of God and joins us with fellow exiles, to press onward toward our heavenly home whilst here on earth. 
  • Eschatology. Gives the great glimmer of glory yet to come, and the promise of our eternal joy and rest when we see our Father’s face. 

Overwhelmed is an understatement when I read this list. The beauty of Scripture is revealed through theology, and as believers, the inclination of our hearts should be to shout songs of praise and fall to our knees in paralyzed awe. If you are about to take Theology 2 or are a senior in high school planning to move in next fall, I pray that this post excites your heart about the things of God. Theology is for everyone, no matter your major or physical location. My fellow theologian, do not neglect to delight in doctrine; let it be the fuel of your worship as you run this race, growing more into the likeness of this incomprehensible God who we must faithfully commit to studying.


Kurtz, Ronni. Fruitful Theology: How the Life of the Mind Leads to the Life of the Soul. Nashville, B&H Publishing, 2022.  

Morgan, Christopher W. Christian Theology: The Biblical Story And Our Faith. Nashville, B&H Academic, 2020.

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