Is your Bible Study group or adult Sunday School class ready to take their biblical study to a deeper level? Ready to step away from a published guide to do their own research and interpretation? Ready to be open to new understandings that can be applied within their own context? This course might be just what you need!
In this Advanced Lay Servant course, participants will gain an understanding of biblical interpretation and why it is important, develop skills in interpreting the Bible message, practice biblical interpretation in a group setting, and explore the use of relevant study resources.
The course will use the book Biblical Interpretation: A Roadmap*, which asks key questions about scripture, readers of the Bible, and how those two interact. It covers both the interpretation method and gives examples of its application.
Participants will work daily through private journals, discussion board questions, and video lectures to cover the ten contact hours of engagement with the course leader, and will have many opportunities to connect with and learn from each other. If you have any questions or are unable to post fully through the course, please email the course instructor.
* PLEASE NOTE: The required book for this course is a 235-page college-level textbook. Don’t let it intimidate you! The instructor will make the content more understandable in the course itself, but does strongly recommend that you purchase and read the book in advance in order to have a more enjoyable course experience. If your current schedule doesn’t allow you to read the book in advance, please register for a future offering of the course.
This course has been approved by Discipleship Ministries (formerly the General Board of Discipleship) as an advanced course in Lay Servant Ministries and qualifies for 10 contact hours for Lay Speakers.
This course is eligible for 1.0 CEU.
About the Instructor
Beth Perry was ordained in the United Methodist Church but now has Privilege of Call in the United Church of Christ. She graduated from Princeton Theological Seminary in 1994 and has a Bachelor’s degree in Business from Elizabethtown College. In addition to 20 years of pastoral and chaplaincy experience, she teaches religion, philosophy, critical thinking, sociology, and general education courses for the University of Phoenix in New Jersey and Mercy College. She has been active in Safe Sanctuary/Safe church training for a decade or more, and a consultant for more than 150 congregations working to reduce the risk of abuse in the church. She also leads workshops and retreats on Spiritual Gifts, meditation, and mysticism. Her courses, Rediscovering Our Spiritual Gifts, Leading Bible Study: Biblical Interpretation, and Teach Adults are approved as advanced courses in Lay Servant Ministries and Rediscovering Our Spiritual Gifts meets one requirement towards lay speaker status.
Past Students Said…
“Wow, what a great course. Following the guidelines provided can make scripture study have so much more meaning and have much more richness and depth. I give the course 5 stars. But a word of caution: it is intense, lots of reading and thinking.” — Art Hupka
“I liked the questioning atmosphere that made us look for clues from text and related readings in commentaries and dictionaries.”
“This course really went above the expectations I had for this course. I have a much better understanding of how to interpret scripture and why other views are not always in agreement.”
“I am always up for a challenge, and just reading the text book was a big one. However, taking the time to research and truly understand and compare what the scripture was saying then to what it is saying now was awesomely challenging.”
“I learned a great deal that I had not known before about specific methods and tools for bible interpretation.”
“I just finished this course. I loved the way we were encouraged to look at many different resources and not just use our favorite.” — Sharon Hoffman
“If I had bought the book and tried to read it before I signed up for this class, I would have skipped this class. That would have been a huge mistake on my part. I would have missed out on a lot of interesting new ways of looking at scripture. … Now, when I go back and read it again I can understand what they are saying better. Thank you for helping us see scripture in a new light and giving us new ideas to build on for the future.” — Boyd Thrash