Home » RTS Jackson » Tips for RTS Students: Managing Your Course Syllabi

Tips for RTS Students: Managing Your Course Syllabi

Charlie Wingard

Charlie Wingard

Associate Professor of Practical Theology at Reformed Theological Seminary Jackson and Senior Pastor of First Presbyterian Church, Yazoo City, Mississippi

View Full Profile →

Archives

Pages

 

Course syllabi in a moment. But first a word about calendars.

Calendars do more than remind you about upcoming events. They are an essential part of planning and the effective use of time.

At RTS, I want you to learn how to make your calendar an ally in completing your studies.

A good place to begin is your course syllabi. When you access a syllabus for the first time, review it carefully. Then go to your calendar.

  • Add each class session to your calendar. For example, my Communications 1 class meets on these dates:  8/29, 9/5, 9/12, 9/19, 9/26, 10/10, 10/30-11/1, 11/28
  • Add all work due on the date it’s due.
  • Think carefully about the amount of reading required. In addition to selections from other books, you will read in Comm 1 these books in their entirety:
    Chappell, Bryan. Christ-Centered Preaching: Redeeming the expository sermon.
    Grimké, Francis J. Meditations on Preaching.
    Johnson, Dennis E. Him We Proclaim: Preaching Christ from All the Scriptures.
    Still, William. The Work of the Pastor
    Witmer, Timothy Z. The Shepherd Leader: Achieving Effective Shepherding in Your Church.
  • If you find the amount of required reading challenging, do this: Build into your calendar a daily reading schedule. Break down your readings into manageable portions. Do this for all your readings in every course. Each day have a reading goal and meet it. I follow this practice.Each year I like to read one or two lengthy works in theology. This year, I’m rereading Calvin’s Institutues. Last year it was few of John Owen’s works. For twenty minutes, I read a small number of pages five days a week and easily meet my reading goals.
  • If you already have your syllabus, start reading now! Read as much as you can before the semester begins.
  • Use fall break as a reading and writing week. A seminary semester is fifteen weeks of intensive work. Keep the Sabbath. Build in times of rest and refreshment. But a nine-day break from your studies in the middle of the semester may not be the optimal use of your time.
  • Don’t wait until classes start to work on assignments. Think about term papers and book reviews. In this course, students submit a 10-page term paper on Him We Proclaim. Each semester, I will have several students who turn their term papers and book reviews before classes start. I grade and return promptly.

Get off to a good start this semester. Well before your first class, coordinate your syllabi and calendar.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: