Lay Academy Curriculum
The Lay Academy curriculum consists of six core courses: Old Testament , New Testament, Reformed Theology, Worship & Sacraments, Preaching, and Polity & Church History.
The Academy also offers the following courses on a rotating three year basis: Pastoral Care, Christian Education, Missional Theology, Crisis & Celebrations, Spiritual Formation, Boundary Awareness
New Testament Survey
The course provides a general sense of the historical, philosophical, socio-political contexts in which the scriptures of the Second Testament coalesced. It provides students with the resources they need to become familiar with basic exegetical tools and techniques for the interpretation of Second Testament Texts in preaching and teaching. And the course provides students with the opportunity to practice the spiritual discipline of learning and telling scripture by heart.
New Testament Survey Page
Old Testament Survey
The course provides a general survey of the Hebrew Scriptures (Old Testament). It gives students with a basic understanding to the several types of literature in the Hebrew Scriptures, placing them in their historical and literary context. The course also seeks to give students practical assistance in preparing sermons and leading Christian education programs on the Hebrew Scriptures.
This course is designed to give lay people experience, inspiration and methods for preaching in the 21st century. The course covers a six month period of reading, preaching, reflecting and feedback. It includes two 12 hour (day long) retreats, one at the beginning and one at the end of the course. The purpose of the course is to help students become familiar with various methods/styles of preaching, achieve a higher comfort level in preaching and speaking to groups, and develop a preaching style that challenges them.
Presbyterian Polity & History
The course provides basic training in Presbyterianism, beginning with its constitution (Book of Order and Book of Confessions) and offering a brief look at the history of Protestantism and specifically Presbyterianism. Special attention is given to the new form of government (nFOG), which came into effect in July 2011.
Presbyterian Polity & History Page
The purpose of this course is to provide students with the tools to engage in theological reflection and to communicate basic theological concepts to others. The focus of the course is on Reformed Theology.
Reformed Theology Page
Worship & Sacraments
This course introduces students to the history, theology, and practice of Christian worship. It is designed to provide students with the basic knowledge they need to create balanced, appropriate, and engaging worship services.
Worship & Sacraments Page
Every Day Spirituality
This course is a one day retreat designed to help participants discern the type of spiritual paths that work for them. It encourages students to discuss the meaning and purpose of spirituality, determine their own spiritual goals, and discover new ways to achieve those goals. To this end, the participants explore the importance of prayer in various forms, experiment with new styles of prayer, keep a spiritual journal, and learn about and experience new methods and styles of spiritually. Students are encouraged to develop their own personal approach to the life of faith.
In this Course the learner will grow as a caregiver to persons and groups in various life situations and crisis circumstances and develop skills to provide pastoral care. The learner will become more self-aware of how one's personality impacts ministry and the way one's ministry affects persons. The learner will develop self care skills. The learner will be able to identify persons who need referral to other helping agencies.