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

A Season In the Writings: Psalms, Proverbs, Job and The Little Scroll (Ruth, Song of Solomon, Ecclesiastes, Lamentations and Esther)

The Writings of the Old Testament focus on life on the ground for believers. In light of the Law and the Prophets, how then shall we live together and in this world? This course, led by Dr. Mark Gignilliat, will engage some of the central books of the Writings, whose force feels as if they were written yesterday. This promises to be a very rich time of study.

Mark Gignilliat (B.A., Bob Jones University; M.Div., Reformed Theological Seminary; Ph.D., University of St. Andrews, Scotland) teaches in the areas of Hebrew and Old Testament.

Schedule

Six Monday nights, 6-8, beginning on Sept. 26, 2022.
Cost: $89 if attending on campus; $69 if participating virtually.
Discounted rates expire on Sept. 19—$115/$95 thereafter.

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The Gospel of John

“In the beginning was the Word” (John 1:1); “Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again” (John 3:3); “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty” (John 6:35); “I am the resurrection and the life” (John 11:25); “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (14:6); “Thomas said to him, ‘My Lord and my God!’” (John 20:28). The list could go on. Many of the most memorable verses from the New Testament come from the Gospel of John. As Christians, the Gospel of John has a special place in our experience of the living Jesus. Ironically, perhaps the most disputed text of the heretics of the first four centuries of the Christian era was also John. The heretics believed that this Gospel provided the best proof of their teaching. And the orthodox Fathers of those centuries said the complete opposite: it is the Gospel of John amongst all the Gospels that permits us most clearly to see the divinity of Jesus!  Come join Dr. Osvaldo Padilla and explore The Gospel of John. He plans to help unpack many of the questions posed by this Gospel: what does it mean that Jesus is the “the Word”? What is eternal life and how does it relate to the kingdom of God often found in Matthew, Mark and Luke but not in John? Why does John not report the Last Supper in the way the other Gospels do? What is the meaning of Jesus’ death and resurrection in the Gospel of John?  Placing the Gospel of John in its original historical setting and at the same time in the trajectory of the early church promises a biblical feast!

Osvaldo Padilla (B.A., Moody Bible Institute; M.A., Trinity Evangelical Divinity School; Ph.D., King’s College, University of Aberdeen) is professor of divinity, teaching New Testament and Greek.

Schedule

Six Wednesday nights, 6-8, beginning on Sept. 28, 2022.
Cost:  $89 if attending on campus; $69 if participating virtually.
Discounted rates expire on Sept. 21—$115/$95 thereafter.

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Weekday Seminars

Praying the Psalms, Jesus’ Prayer Book

We embrace the Psalms because they are God’s answer to us and our answer to God. The Psalms hold up both sides of the conversation. We hear the voice of God in the Psalms, and we discover our own voice—God’s will and our will in dialogue. The Psalms are instruments of grace, tools of being and becoming, that guide us in true spirituality. By praying the Psalms, we learn what it is to be both human and holy in the presence of God. Their rhythmic arrangement, juxtaposing praise and pain, hate and love, saves us from shallow optimism and ornamental spirituality. Dr. Doug Webster will be leading this class and helping us recognize that through the Psalms we gain a true understanding of ourselves and enter solidarity with the Body of Christ. To make the Psalms our own, we learn to pray the Psalms on behalf of others—the global church and the household of faith. We pray the Psalms in the light of Christ and in sync with our personal experience.

Doug 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 Christian preaching.

Schedule

Six Wednesday afternoons, 2-4, beginning on Sept. 28, 2022.
Cost:  $89 if attending on campus; $69 if participating virtually.
Discounted rates expire on Sept. 21—$115/$95 thereafter.

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Reading the Bible with the Early Christians

This course offers an outstanding opportunity to explore how the early Christians understood the Bible.  During this six week study, you can expect to explore its authority in the Church and the various ways in which its message was interpreted. You can also look forward a deep examination of certain key Biblical passages to see how their principles worked out in practice. This promises to be another edifying class with Dr. Gerald Bray.

Gerald Bray (B.A., McGill University; M.Litt., D.Litt., University de Paris – Sorbonne) is research professor of divinity, teaching church history and theology.

Schedule

Six Thursday afternoons, 2-4, beginning Sept. 29, 2022
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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