Ministry Training Academy

The Ministry Training Academy of the International Churches of Christ

Class Syllabus by Steve Kinnard

This course is an overview of the life, ministry, and teaching of Jesus of Nazareth. In this course, the student will develop a deeper appreciation of Jesus’ life, a greater understanding of his ministry, and a fuller comprehension of his teaching.

Sample course notes for first class and second class


This study of the life and teaching of Jesus the Messiah will equip the student to understand and communicate the Lordship of Jesus. The course uses a three-pronged approach to the Gospels. 

  • First, we will read and compare the four gospels side-by-side building a mosaic of the life and teachings of Jesus the Messiah. The course will use Orville E. Daniel’s A Harmony of the Four Gospels, The New International Version (Second Edition) as a text to work through the life and ministry of Jesus. 
  • Second, as we read, we will notice how the gospel writers portray Jesus as King, Christ, Messiah, and Lord. 
  • Third, as we read, we will place a special emphasis on a spiritual reading of the text verses an informational reading of the text. We want the course to be both practical and academic.


1. Required Textbook Reading and Log
See assigned reading listed in Course Schedule below. Students are to keep a reading log (which is to include text book name, pages read, and dates read) for each week and e-mail it to the instructor (at placing “Life of Jesus” in the subject
line) by midnight on the Saturday of the last (the 7th) week of class. 

2. Discussion Assignments 

Students will be given discussion questions at the beginning of each week for which he or she is to post on Angel totaling at least four double-spaced (unless single-spacing is requested) pages (approximately 1000 words using 12-point font with 1 inch margins, so 1 page of typed text equals about 250 words.) These will be due at midnight on Wednesday of that corresponding week. 

3. Discussion Responses (fulfills Course Objectives 1 thru 4 above):
Students are to briefly respond to, interact with, and constructively engage in dialog with one other student the same-week as the Wednesday discussion-question-postings on Angel. The responses are to contribute ideas that help to inform and enrich the postings he or she interacts with. These will be due at midnight on Saturday of that same corresponding week and should be approximately 500 words in length. 

4. Read the Response.
Students must read the responses given to their comments each weak.

5. Exegesis Paper 

Following the suggested exegesis sequential guidelines listed below, write at least a 15 page exegesis paper (not including the pagination for the bibliography) on one pericope in one of the gospels and e-mail it to the instructor (at putting “Life of Jesus” in the subject line) by midnight Saturday of the last (7th) week of class: 

Exegesis sequential guidelines: 

1. Study the passage: 

A. Read the passage carefully in at least 4 different English versions. If you understand Greek, then translate the passage from Greek to English.
B. Look at the context. What is going on before and after the passage?
C. Determine the literary genre of the passage and consider the ramifications of this type of literary genre on the interpretation of the passage. 

D. Look at the structure of the passage. What are its stages of argument?
E. Look at words and phrases. Are there any that are hard to understand?
F. Do the different English translations suggest any places where there might be difficulty about the meaning?
G. Use an English or Greek Concordance to look up several interesting or difficult words. Do a detailed study of these words in the gospel you are considering. Determine how these words are used in other places within that gospel then determine the best meaning on the words in your chosen passage.
H. Study parallel biblical passages to determine how they may contribute to the exegesis of your present passage. 

2. Learn from outside sources:
Read at least 6 scholarly Bible commentaries and 4 scholarly journals
on the passage and glean from them any important information you discover for use in your paper. Note these sources in your bibliography and, if used in your paper, footnote (or endnote) them appropriately. 

3. Write according to the following:
A. Write the paper, paying attention to spelling, grammar, and style according to Hacker, D. (2009), A Pocket Style Manual (5th ed.) Boston, MA: Bedfords/St. Martin’s (online guide is at and click on “Social Sciences” for APA).
B. Begin with an introductory paragraph or two in which you situate the passage in its context and deal with any necessary preliminary issues. In this introduction state the thesis of your paper (i.e. the main point of the passage) in one or two sentences and include the conclusions you have come to and will explain in the body of the 

C. The body of the paper should contain a verse-by-verse explanation of what you conclude the passage means. Include comments on specific words and phrases; but don't get lost in the forest by spending all your time on the trees: Make sure you help the reader see how the text is moving along, commenting on the transitions between verses and so on. As you comment on the text, be sure to indicate and cite other views of significant points that you have uncovered in your study and explain why you have chosen the view you have and have rejected other views. In the paper, make sure you critically interact in detail with those other views.
D. Include a conclusion that briefly summarizes what you discovered as the key point of the passage.
E. Include a final section in your paper in which you spell out the passage’s significance for (1) your thinking about the issue or about your faith in
general, (2) what change you may need to make in your personal life as a
result of your study, (3) how it applies to your church, and (4) how this
passage can be applied as a guide or an evangelistic tool for society and
the world today.
F. Include a bibliography of all the sources (not just the ones used) you consulted for the paper. 

Course Schedule:

Week 1: Introduction to the Life and Teaching of Jesus. The Birth-Infancy Narratives. Read: Daniel’s Harmony, Parts 1–3 

Stein’s Jesus the Messiah, Chapters 1-5
Bailey’s Jesus Through Middle Eastern Eyes, Chapters 1-4 

Week 2: The Early Ministry of Jesus. Miracles. Sermon on the Mount. 

Read: Daniel’s Harmony Parts 4-6:54 (stop at part 6 section 54) 

Stein’s Jesus the Messiah, Chapters 6-7
Bailey’s Jesus Through Middle Eastern Eyes, Chapters 5-13 

Week 3: The Teaching Ministry of Jesus: Great Themes: Authority, Discipleship, Loving God and Loving Neighbor. Also, Jesus and Women. 

Read: Daniel’s Part 6:55-7 (begin at part 6 section 55)
Stein’s Jesus the Messiah, Chapters 8-9
Bailey’s Jesus Through Middle Eastern Eyes, Chapters 14-20 

Week 4: The Teaching Ministry of Jesus: The Parables. 

Read: Daniel’s Harmony Part 8 

Bailey’s Jesus Through Middle Eastern Eyes, Chapters 21-32 

Week 5: Jesus Prepares his Disciples for the Ministry and the Cross. 

Read: Daniel’s Harmony Part 9

Stein’s Jesus the Messiah, Chapters 10-12 

Week 6: The Passion Narrative.
Read: Daniel’s Harmony, Parts 10-12 

Stein’s Jesus the Messiah, Chapters 13-18
Scot McKnight’s The King Jesus Gospel, Chapters 1-2 

Week 7: The Resurrection and the Great Commission. 

Read: Daniel’s Harmony, Part 13

Stein’s Jesus the Messiah, Chapter 19
Scot McKnight’s The King Jesus Gospel, Chapters 3-10