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

Suffering Christians in 1 Peter

Have you ever wondered how Christians survive in a world hostile to Christian faith? Is God sovereign when a secular government rules the nation? How should Christians respond to religious persecution and oppression? 1 Peter is addressed to believers in this precise context. Come join Dr. Sydney Park and discover how the Apostle Peter encourages marginalized and suffering believers to remain faithful to Christ and to be faithful witnesses in an unbelieving world.

Sydney Park (B.A., University of Chicago; M.Div., Fuller Theological Seminary; Th.M., Trinity Evangelical Divinity School; Ph.D., University of Aberdeen) is associate professor of divinity, teaching in the areas of Greek and New Testament.

Schedule

Six Monday nights, 6-8, beginning on Feb. 20, 2023.
Cost: $89 if attending on campus; $69 if participating virtually.
Discounted rates expire on Feb. 13—$115/$95 thereafter.

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Christians, the State, and Political Power

This class will examine how Christians have related to the state and to political power from the beginning of Christianity’s spread across the Mediterranean to the present day. Dr. Piotr Malysz will focus specifically on how Christians have understood their place in the world, and how they have critiqued, warned against, and embraced temporal authority. In doing so, the question will be asked if there actually is a theology of the political and of the secular, with a view to better understanding our task as believers and citizens in today’s world. 

Piotr Małysz (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.

Schedule

Six Tuesday nights, 6-8, beginning on Feb. 21, 2023.
Cost:  $89 if attending on campus; $69 if participating virtually.
Discounted rates expire on Feb. 14—$115/$95 thereafter.

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Weekday Seminars

The Thirty-Nine Articles of Religion

This course, under the leadership of Dr. Gerald Bray, will look in depth at the Thirty-nine Articles of Religion, which continue to form the doctrinal basis of the Episcopal and Anglican Churches worldwide. The study will demonstrate how these fit together as a theological system, how they relate to other Christian traditions, and what they left out—and why.

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, 1:30-3:30, beginning on Jan. 26, 2023.
Cost:  $89 if attending on campus; $69 if participating virtually.
Discounted rates expire on Jan. 19—$115/$95 thereafter.

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Thinking about God

This class focuses on the identity and the attributes of the God we know and worship. Each session, led by Dr. Ken Mathews, describes and explains the chief characteristics of God. You can expect to study key biblical passages in the Old Testament and in the New Testament, which will lead you to experience more powerfully and personally our Triune God. As you know more about the unsearchable treasures of God, your prayers and worship will be richer and fuller. The educator and pastor Walter Chalmers Smith (1824-1908) captured in verse the beauty of God in this famous line:

“Immortal, invisible, God only wise,
in light inaccessible hid from our eyes,
most blessed, most glorious, the Ancient of Days,
almighty, victorious, thy great name we praise.”

Engaging the God that Smith envisioned will be the fruit of this study.

Ken Mathews (B.A., Dallas Baptist University; Th.M., Dallas Theological Seminary; M.A., Ph.D., University of Michigan) is a recently retired professor of Beeson, having taught Hebrew and the Old Testament.

Schedule

Six Tuesday afternoons, 2-4, beginning Feb. 21, 2022.
Cost:  $89 if attending on campus; $69 if participating virtually.
Discounted rates expire on Feb. 14—$115/$95 thereafter.

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Paul the Missionary: Acts 13-28

In this class, Dr. Frank Thielman will help us think through the life and ministry of the apostle Paul as Luke describes them in Acts 13–28.  We will not only try to understand the challenges Paul faced as a church planter in the eastern Mediterranean world of the mid-first century Roman Empire, but we will also think about the implications of Luke’s account for the church today.  Paul’s faithfulness in the face of persecution, and his good judgment amid puzzling cultural challenges to the gospel have much to teach us about how to interact with our own world and engage in effective evangelism today.

Frank Thielman (B.A., Wheaton College; B.A., M.A., University of Cambridge; Ph.D., Duke University) is professor of divinity, teaching Greek and New Testament.

Schedule

Six Wednesday afternoons, 2-4, beginning on Feb. 22, 2023.
Cost:  $89 if attending on campus; $69 if participating virtually.
Discounted rates expire on Feb. 15—$115/$95 thereafter.

Register Online

Registration Options

There are three ways to register:

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