The Ultimate Theology Comprehensive Exam

Something a bit lighter for Friday afternoon…may you not face these questions if you are facing comprehensive exams or ordination. Have a great weekend! 🙂


The Ultimate Comprehensive Exam in Theology (may also be used as a General Ordination Exam)

1. Summarize Thomas Aquinas’ Summa Theologiae in three succinct sentences. You may use your Bible.

2. Irenaeus, Pope Clement VII and Martin Luther King, Jr. were not contemporaries. Had they known each other, how might the history of the Reformation have turned out differently?

3. Devise an ethical system that would satisfy Anabaptists, Episcopalians, Lutherans, Roman Catholics, Fundamentalists, and the entire population of Ancient Rome, ca. 3rd century BC.

4. Memorize the Greek NT according to the NA27 and the Textus Receptus texts, recite both, and provide an apologetic for the superiority of one version over the other.

5. Imagine you have the stigmata. Would it affect your productivity in sermon preparation?  Would you still be admitted into fine restaurants? Would it be covered by your medical insurance, or should it constitute a pre-existent condition?

6. What would it mean to be eternal, co-eternal, and non-existent all at once?

7. St. Thomas Aquinas and St. Augustine of Hippo decide to rob a bank. The note to the teller is 1,200 pages long, not counting footnotes, complete with a promise of damnation if the teller does not accept immediate Baptism.  In the middle of the heist, they engage in an extended debate as to whether or not the money really exists.  Are they committing a mortal or a venial sin?

8. Speculate on what the current status of salvation history might have been if Abraham had just stayed in Ur.  You have 2 pages.

9. Define God. Use examples if necessary.

10. Provide a compelling resolution to the infralapsarian/supralapsarian debate. You may use your Bible, but not Karl Barth’s Church Dogmatics.

Bonus question

11. Hymns or choruses? Provide an answer that will persuade all parties and all generations.


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