A special six-week summer intensive course with Professor Eric Sias

After 2020, a strange and insidious blight exploded within the church in the United States: conspiracy theories. Social unrest, political division, and racial tensions fueled this unstoppable fire. What’s more, many church leaders were unprepared and unfit to respond to the growing problem within their congregations. This course seeks to respond to this problem. Conspiracy theories commonly use the Bible and biblical themes to formulate interpretations that demonize what they perceive as the other. This course will contribute to the conversation of biblical exegesis within our current political climate and expose the inconsistent, libelous, and violent foundations of biblically-based conspiracy theories as a form of deconstruction. Only by exposing the supposed biblical and societal foundations of many common tropes and theories within the conspiratorial worldview can we, as church leaders, deconstruct the danger of this societal contagion. Though it does not require it as a prerequisite, the course is a loose continuation of White Supremacy & the Bible.

This course has three parts:

  1. Survey of the origins of Satan
  2. Survey of the conspiracy theory phenomenon in the United States
  3. Application of contemporary church context


Elaine Pagels. The Origin of Satan: How Christians Demonized Jews, Pagans, and Heretics (New York: Vintage Books, 1995). ISBN 978-0-679-73118-4

Rob Brotherton. Suspicious Minds: Why We Believe Conspiracy Theories (Dublin: Bloomsbury Sigma, 2015). ISBN 978-1-47291563-4


Students will be graded on one 1-page book review and one 10-page paper on a topic relevant to the course (the professor must approve all topics). All students of every program are encouraged to attend, especially those seeking ordination. Auditors are also welcome to join the class. Much of the course structure will depend on student participation. However, auditors are welcome to sit back and listen to professor/student engagement.

Meeting Times

Course will meet six times (6/7/23–7/12/23) at 5:00–7:10 pm. This course will be a hybrid format for anyone interested in attending in person.

Cost and Credit

Auditors are welcome! You may enroll in the course as an auditor by submitting the form below and paying the $120 audit fee. All auditors may receive a transcript that documents their participation in the the course.

Enrolled students can take the course for 1.5 or 3.0 units. If you would like to enroll for credit, please contact the admissions office at admissions@bst.edu or (510) 841-1905 ext. 248.


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Begin your application by completing our Audit Form.

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For questions, please contact the Admissions Office at admissions@bst.edu or (510) 841-1905 ext 229.