In the introductory courses, the students are taught the academic approaches and
research methodologies and read widely in both the primary and secondary sources
(classical rabbinic sources and academic literature). They are exposed to the application of a critical approach to the texts, they are taught scholarly tools, and they practice using them. In the advanced courses, the students deepen their knowledge of the critical approaches and of the various methodologies widely used in the field. The students are required to demonstrate their ability to apply these approaches in seminar papers related to the fields they are studying. The courses deal with a wide range of subjects, including the concepts and beliefs of the Sages, the development of the Halakhah over the ages (from the period of the Second Temple and the sectarian halakhah to our day), the broad expanse of the Halakhah (prayer, holidays, dietary laws, marital law, and matters related to monetary, civil and criminal law), and topics in Mishpat Ivri (Jewish Law, principally, in the fields of marital, monetary, civil and criminal law).
The Talmud Department offers a unique B.A. program to rabbis and other alumnae of
post-high school yeshivot. The program allows them to complete their degrees in two
years. The department also offers an innovative, one-year M.A. without a thesis),
which takes place once a week (and obviates the need for a summer semester by using
online learning). The program is designed for teachers who already possess an
undergraduate Judaic studies degree; however, it is also open to those possessing
undergraduate degrees in other fields, who are required to complete certain basic
courses in the field. Likewise, the department offers an array of programs in the Oral Torah track leading to a B.A. to those students lacking background in the field
and also various programs in concert with other departments.