|Term||Bible & Doctrine||Character||Church||World|
|Term||Bible & Doctrine||Character||Church||World|
|Fall, Begin 2011|
|Winter, Begin 2011|
|Spring, Begin 2012|
Foundation Course Descriptions
Bible & Doctrine: Reading God’s Story: Introducing Exposition and Biblical Theology
This course will help you get a handle on the basics of understanding and teaching from the text of the Bible itself and seeing how the Bible as a whole fits together.
The course starts by working through the what and why questions of exposition. It then shows you how to bridge the gap between what the text meant then and what it means now. The course then asks the question more peculiar to the living word of God – what is the text trying to do? Having laid down these basics the course moves on to looking at Biblical Theology – how the story of the Bible fits together.
- What does it say?
- Why does it say it?
- So what does it mean for us?
- What is it trying to do?
- The story of promise
- The promise of a people who know God
- The promise of a place of blessing
- The promise of a king and a kingdom
- The promise of blessing to the nations
Bible & Doctrine: Applying Exposition and Biblical Theology
Building on the frame work set out in ‘Reading God’s Story: Introducing Exposition and Biblical Theology’ this course helps you put into practice what you have learned, using Mark 4:1-20, Isaiah 1 and Exodus 5:1-6:13.
Bible & Doctrine: The Real God for the Real World
This course works through key aspects of Biblical doctrine. But rather than looking at them in a theological vacuum you will work through them in relation to the areas of life that they most heavily impact. For instance in looking at the doctrine of the Trinity you will examine how it relates to the fragmentation we experience in the world.
The course also looks at how the doctrine of the Creator God impacts and shapes our view of the material world. Other titles include: The person of Christ in a hurting world; The sacrifice of Christ in a guilty world; The justice of Christ in a self-justifying world and The hope of the Spirit in a hopeless world.
- The triune God in a fragmented world
- The sovereign God in an anxious world
- The creator God in a material world
- The person of Christ in a hurting world
- The sacrifice of Christ in a guilty world
- The reign of Christ in a rebellious world
- The justice of Christ in a self-justifying world
- The life of the Spirit in a powerless world
- The hope of the Spirit in a hopeless world
Character: Gospel Living
Starting from the position that all life is for the Glory of God, this course looks at what it means to live a life for that glory. It will mean loving God and loving others, shaped by the cross and looking to the future glory that we will share with Jesus. Having laid this foundation the course then examines how this impacts daily issues such as decisions, friendship and possessions.
- A life for God
- A love for God
- Looking back: to the cross
- Looking around: at the Christian community
- Looking forward: to eternity
- Living now: decisions
- Living now: friendships
- Living now: horizons
- Living now: possessions
Character: Gospel Relationships
How the gospel impacts every area of life and our relationships.
In this course you will look at everyday situations and issues from anger and conflict to marriage and singleness. Each time the course examines how the gospel that you’ve been looking at in ‘Gospel Living’ shapes and impacts our response to these situations and issues. It looks at how the heart shapes how we act and so seeks to engage us at that level, asking the question of ‘why’ so that the gospel can impact the very center of the issue.
- Fearing people
- Gifts and service
Character: Gospel Change
Bridging the gap between what we are and what we ought to be is one of God‘s great interests, and it ought to be ours as well. Therefore it is critical that we understand how change takes place in our own lives and in the lives of those around us.
This course looks at how the Gospel helps us to change. You will look at issues around repentance, faith, the head and heart and how the Bible, prayer and community relate to Gospel change. You will also take an in-depth look at the issue of holiness – what it is and how it expresses itself in relationships, conversation and thankfulness.
- The dynamics of gospel change
- Gospel change and repentance
- Gospel change and faith
- Head and heart in Christian experience
- The means of grace: the Bible, prayer, and community
- Holiness: its nature
- Holiness: relationships
- Holiness: conversations
- Holiness: thankfulness
Church: Missional Community Life
It’s all about Mission… and this course shows you how.
This course starts by arguing for why we are in a ‘missionary’ context. It then goes on to explain what it means for us to be a people on mission, or ‘missional’, and the difference between this and traditional approaches to small groups. Having set this basis for life, the course looks at the practical outliving of this mindset – how to engage the culture around, living normal life infused with the gospel, understanding the ‘rhythms’ of life around us and how the gospel shapes those rhythms. The course rounds off looking at how this missional life impacts everyday activities like hospitality and the stewardship of time and money.
- Missional context
- Missional community
- Missional engagement
- Missional intentionality
- Missional rhythms
- Missional hospitality
- Missional stewardship of time
- Missional stewardship of money
- Missional grace
Appendix: Forming a missional community
Church: Engaging Globally
This course lays out the principals, the history and the practical application of churches-based global engagement.
In this course you will work through from the Bible why it is essential for a church that reflects God’s character to engage with his global mission. Having laid this foundation the course will then take you through how churches have done this in the past, the present shape of ‘world missions’ before taking you through how you might engage with what God is doing throughout the world.
- God‘s love for the whole world
- The local church brings God‘s gospel to the world
- Planting and partnership in the New Testament
- A brief history of ‘missions’
- Missions movements in the twentieth century
- From global mission agencies to local churches
- Working with what is already in place
- Starting from scratch
- Global mission and our local church
Church: Keeping it Missional
It’s all about Mission. And this course looks at how everyday activities of the church can be kept all about mission.
In this course you will look at how to keep the following all about mission: Sunday gatherings and prayer meetings, Bible studies, preaching, visiting, pastoral care and even business meetings.
- Keeping it missional
- Sunday gatherings and prayer meetings
- Bible studies
- Business meetings
- Pastoral care
- Marriage preparation
- Baptism and communion
Traditionally apologetics has been the attempt to show the Christian faith to be rational. However this makes the mistake of thinking that the rejection of Christianity stems from a rational argument. The Bible teaches that the problem is not primarily rational, but the human heart. The heart needs something more than arguments to change it.
In this course you will examine what role role apologetics has in commending the Christian faith.
- Presuppositional apologetics
- Relational apologetics
- Defeater beliefs
- Question 1: The proof for God
- Question 2: Other religions
- Question 3: Suffering
- Question 4: Truth and freedom
- Question 5: Hell
- Question 6: Science and miracles
This course looks at the issue of the impact of God’s people upon the world, and the responsibility of God’s people for the world.
Working from the premise that the ‘gospel’ is the whole counsel of God, the first unit works through what the message is that we seek to proclaim. Building upon that the course looks at who we are to be as messengers before moving on to practical issues of building relationships and proclaiming this message. Key to this course is also the life that we live as we proclaim. You will be taken through the importance of the Christian community to evangelism, especially in light of 1 Peter 3:15.
- The message
- The messenger
- Building relationships
- Talking about God
- Presenting the gospel
- Introducing to Christian community
- Living to provoke questions
- Answering questions
- Casual conversations about Jesus
This course helps you understand ‘culture’ and engage with it from a gospel perspective.
Too often Christians take one of two approaches to the culture around them. Either they dismiss it all without consideration, or they imbibe it without question. Both may be done with a desire to be on mission where we are. One to remain distinctive, the other to be relevant and engaging. This course helps examine what culture is, what story it is telling and how to engage critically, but not dismissively, and to celebrate without syncretism. In doing this you will look at the principles behind the concept of culture, how it is developing in our age, and using case examples of a film, songs and a book, how to engage with it from a Biblical position.
- Christ and culture: Niebuhr and now
- A biblical history of culture
- Recent cultural shifts
- Lifestyles of the…
- Assessing artifacts
- Film: Juno
- Songs: Ben Folds
- Television: The West Wing
- Novel: The Secret Scripture
Bible & Doctrine: The Bible in Missional Perspective
This course takes a look at how we know what we know about God and how that revelation fits together in the Biblical narrative.
You will examine how the ‘end’ of the story in the book of Revelation, reveals to us what the whole story is about, and flowing from that you will then be taken to the revelation we find in Jesus, ‘the man’. The rest of the course is taken up with the story from beginning to end, culminating in the continuing story that we live today as God’s people.
- The Bible — how we know and what we know
- The encapsulating vision — the end justifies the means
- The final revelation — the man
- The story begins — creation
- The plot thickens — fall and fall out
- The characters revealed — one man and a people
- The method established — a people
- Failure and remedy — one man for a people
- The story continues — a people
Advanced Courses Descriptions
Bible & Doctrine: Bible Teaching in a Mission Context
This course works through principles of giving a talk, leading a Bible study and communicating through storytelling.
In this course you will look at the principles of giving a talk. Drawing on the 3 core aspects of making it clear, real and felt, the first 3 units look at 3 good examples of these aspects – namely John Stott, Tim Keller and C. J. Mahaney. The course then turns to examine how to prepare for and lead an interactive Bible Study. Finally you will work through the idea of ‘storytelling’, how to prepare and teach the Bible through storytelling. This course is rounded off by looking at the importance of community in the learning process.
- Make it clear — learning from John Stott
- Make it real — learning from Tim Keller
- Make it felt — learning from C. J. Mahaney
- Preparing interactive Bible studies
- Leading interactive Bible studies
- Introducing storytelling
- Preparing stories
- Teaching the Bible through storytelling
- Learning in community
Bible & Doctrine: 2000 Years of the Great Commission
This course looks at the history of the church over the past 2000 years. Henry Ford once famously asserted that, ‘History is bunk’. But while such negativity reveals much about the ambitions of the great industrialist, it offers little insight into the nature and purpose of historical study. But the gospel teaches us that God has revealed not only his character, but also his will and purpose for his creation. History must be understood as His-story.
In this course you will look at key elements of church history including the early church, the Reformation, the Anabaptists and the modern missionary movement. The final unit looks at the modern era.
- The early church
- The medieval period
- The Reformation
- The Anabaptists
- The Puritans
- The Great Awakening
- The modern mission movement
- The modern era
Character: Living the Cross and Resurrection
We often talk about the centrality of the cross. But what does it really mean to live with the cross as central? Does it impact the whole of our lives? And where does the Resurrection fit into this?
This course looks at the two key aspects of the Christian faith – the Cross and Resurrection. It looks at how these two elements shape how the whole of life is lived – suffering and glory, the power to be weak. In this course you will look at how the Resurrection tells us so much about life and finally you will look at how the hope of the Cross and Resurrection give us the opportunity to be truly adventurous…
- Humble confidence
- The way of the cross
- The value of Christ
- Hiddenness and glory
- Suffering and glory
- Power to be weak
- Life to die
- Resurrection promise
- Adventurous hope
Character: Pastoral Care Part One
This course seeks to look at how Christians can and should be involved in pastoral care.
The western society has so professionalized counseling that many feel inadequate to care for others when they are facing ‘deeper’ issues. This course looks to examine what responsibilities Christians have to each other in pastoral care and how the Christian Community is integral to this process. You will work through other secular models of counseling and compare them to a Biblical understanding of the problem and change.
- Pastoral care and the Christian
- Pastoral care and the Christian community, Part 1
- Pastoral care and the Christian community, Part 2
- Pastoral care and secular counseling models, Part 1
- Pastoral care and secular counseling models, Part 2
- A biblical understanding of the problem, Part 1
- A biblical understanding of the problem, Part 2
- A biblical understanding of change, Part 1
- A biblical understanding of change, Part 2
Character: Pastoral Care Part Two
Building on the first part of this course, Part 2 looks at the Biblical process of change followed by particular pastoral issues, such as depression, addictive behavior, self-esteem, fear of others and anger.
- A Biblical Process of Change, Part 1
- A Biblical Process of Change, Part 2
- A Biblical Process of Change, Part 3
- Issues in Pastoral Care: Depression, Part 1
- Issues in Pastoral Care: Depression, Part 2
- Issues in Pastoral Care: Addictive Behavior
- Issues in Pastoral Care: Self-Esteem & Guilt
- Issues in Pastoral Care: The Fear of Others
- Issues in Pastoral Care: Anger
Church: Missional Church and Church Planting
A look at the issues of church planting, examining the relationship between the church and mission.
The course starts by examining what exactly the church is. Building on this foundation you will then look at how mission is part of the DNA of the church. Having discovered the ‘why’ of church planting the course will then take you through the ‘how’ of church planting, looking at different models, methods and practice.
- Ecclesiology, Part 1
- Ecclesiology, Part 2
- Missional ecclesiology, Part 1
- Missional ecclesiology, Part 2
- Church-planting: strategy
- Church-planting: method
- Church-planting: models, Part 1
- Church-planting: models, Part 2
- Church-planting: practice
Church: Gospel-Centered Leadership
Leadership – every church needs it, but it often looks so different from church to church. This course takes a look at what the Bible does and doesn’t say about leadership.
Building on the examples of leadership in the Bible this course works through what it means to be a leader in God’s church. You will look at the all-important aspect of being a servant, and how this impacts many of the ways we often approach leadership. You will look at the importance of being an example to others and also engage important questions of decision making and authority.
- A biblical theology of leadership, Part 1
- A biblical theology of leadership, Part 2
Church: Beyond the Church Plant
Churches are increasingly looking to plant churches. But are we looking to plant churches that will plant churches? When does a church stop being a planted church and become a planter?
This course looks at how to make a planted church a planting church. With practical guidance and Biblical principles this course takes you through how to build reproduction into your church – reproducing spirituality, churches, leaders and structures.
- Looking beyond the church plant
- Natural multiplication
- Organic growth
- Decentralized systems
- Planting movements
- Reproducing spirituality
- Reproducing churches
- Reproducing leaders
- Reproducing structures
World: Engaging with Context
There is a lot of talk at the moment about ‘contextualization’. This course looks at the question of engaging with the world around us in more detail.
Building from the Biblical understanding of culture since the fall and looking at the question of what it means to ‘contextualize’ this course examines the key question in regards to popular culture, the ‘city’, rural and urban contexts. Finally this course examines the question of if and how to work with other groups that differ from us on fundamental issues for a common cause.
- Understanding the culture: the origins of culture
- Understanding the culture: interpreting culture since the Fall
- Understanding your context
- Contextualization, Part 1
- Contextualization, Part 2
- A theology of the city
- Urban and rural contexts
- Engaging with popular culture
World: Engaging with the Urban Poor
“God chooses the poor, the broken, the messy, the marginalized. And he does so to demonstrate that salvation is all of his grace.” This course looks at how we can and should be engaging the marginalized around us.
The Evangelical church in the west is not known for its strong engagement with the marginalized. This course seeks to address that issue. Looking at the trend in the UK and the USA you will examine who exactly the ‘marginalized’ are, what it is we need to do and how Gospel Community is integral to this. You will examine how to evangelize the heart, engaging the ‘story’ that you hear and relating it to the Gospel Story and then how we can be communities where the marginalized find a home.
- The challenge of the urban poor
- The culture of the urban poor
- Evangelizing hearts
- Interpreting life
- Proclaiming freedom
- Communities of inclusion
- Communities of grace
- Communities of welcome
- Discipling the poor
World: Engaging with the City
Social Involvement can be a difficult ground to tread. How much involvement should we have trying to change things on earth? Will it not detract from evangelism? What does it mean to be a good citizen?
This course looks at what the Bible has to say about the city and caring for others (social involvement). It also examines the relationship between this involvement and evangelism. Looking at the practical side, in this course you will go through how to engage socially and what this means for political, economic and cultural renewal.
- A vision for the city
- A vision for social involvement
- Evangelism and social involvement
- Models of social involvement
- Principles of social involvement
- The desire of the nations: A look at Oliver O’Donovan’s book ‘Desire of the Nations: Rediscovering the Roots or Political Theology’
- Political renewal
- Economic renewal
- Cultural renewal