The Lay Academy of Theology offers non-credit evening classes and other study opportunities led by Beeson faculty for interested laity as well as ministers desiring continuing education.

Evening Courses

Isaiah's Gospel

When Saint Augustine asked his pastor, Ambrose, how to best prepare for his upcoming baptism, Ambrose pointed Augustine to the prophet Isaiah. “No other prophet,” said Ambrose, “prepares one for the gospel like Isaiah.” So Augustine took to reading Isaiah and found the beginning of the book obscure and assumed the rest of the book equally so. Augustine put down Isaiah and said he would return to it later when he understood “the Lord’s style of language” a bit better. We can probably all sympathize with Augustine. The prophets can be challenging to understand and take time and patience to collect their fruit. For early Christians, the prophecy of Isaiah was the fi fth gospel. It occupied a special place as a prophet whose fi nger points to our crucifi ed and risen Messiah. This class, led by Dr. Mark Gignilliat, will engage Isaiah in its canonical context as Christian Scripture.

Mark Gignilliat (B.A., Bob Jones University; M.Div., Reformed
Theological Seminary; Ph.D., University of St. Andrews, Scotland) is
professor of divinity, teaching Hebrew and Old Testament.  


Six Monday nights from 6-8 p.m., beginning on
Sept. 27, 2021.
Cost:  $89 if attending on campus; $69 if participating virtually.
Discounted rates expire on Sept. 20—$115/$95 thereafter.

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Revelation: The Last Book of The Bible

Revelation is among the most difficult books of the Bible to interpret. Yet, it has exercised a tremendous influence on the Christian imagination, including not only theology, but also politics, the visual arts and music. This class will examine the context in which John’s Apocalypse came into being and to which it sought to speak. Dr. Piotr Małysz will lead this study into some of the theological ideas and images put forth by John that brought comfort to the early church, struggling both with its own identity and its place in a world riven by exploitation and violence. We will seek to learn in our own context how likewise to be a church in truth, that is, how to live in expectation of the Lord.

Piotr Malysz (B.A., Adam Mickiewicz University, Poznan, Poland;
M.Div., Concordia Theological Seminary, Fort Wayne, IN; Th.D., Harvard University) is associate professor of divinity, teaching church history and doctrine.


Six Wednesday nights, 6-8 p.m., beginning on Sept. 29, 2021.
Cost:  $89 if attending on campus; $69 if participating virtually.
Discounted rates expire on Sept. 22—$115/$95 thereafter.

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Weekday Seminars

Stay in the Story: Understanding the Whole Counsel
of God (Part 1)

Everybody has a story, but only one story redeems our story. In this six-week course, we want to embrace God’s salvation history, the truest of true stories, and understand the meta-narrative that shapes our Christian identity and worldview. Dr. Douglas Webster will begin this study by focusing on the first five books of the Bible, the Pentateuch, also known as the Books of Moses. Our aim is to take the whole counsel of God seriously. To do this, we will begin at the beginning. The Bible is not a huge undifferentiated mass of ancient material designed to feed our historical curiosity, to make us feel better about ourselves or to send us off on a guilt trip. Nor is it an archeological guidebook, a moralistic manual, a motivational self-help book or a collection of inspiration devotional thoughts. The Bible is God’s breathed out revelation, telling the story of redemption from its ancient roots to its future consummation. It is helpful to see how the whole Bible focuses on Jesus Christ and how each biblical book contributes to telling the story of redemption. Join us for a helpful and encouraging study of Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy.

Douglas D. Webster (B.A., M.A., Wheaton College; Ph.D.
University of St. Michael’s College, Toronto School of Theology) is
professor of divinity, teaching pastoral theology and preaching.


Six Tuesday afternoons, 3-5 p.m., beginning Sept. 28, 2021
Cost:  $89 if attending on campus; $69 if participating virtually.
Discounted rates expire on Sept. 21—$115/$95 thereafter.

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The Westminster Confession

The Westminster Confession of Faith is the supreme monument of English theology and remains the foundation for many Protestant churches to the present time. This course will look at the Confession, consider its enduring merits and suggest how it can be made relevant for the needs of the church today. Come join Dr. Gerald Bray as he offers another exciting study focusing on this important statement from church history.

Gerald Bray
Gerald Bray (B.A., McGill University; M.Litt., D.Litt., University de Paris - Sorbonne) is research professor, teaching church history, historical theology and Latin, and is director of Research with The Latimer Trust in London..


Six Wednesday afternoons, 1-3 p.m., beginning Sept. 29, 2021
Cost:  $89 if attending on campus; $69 if participating virtually.
Discounted rates expire on Sept. 22—$115/$95 thereafter.

Register Online

Registration Options

There are three ways to register:

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