2016-17 Courses

Speaker: Josh Brockway

Speaker: Josh Brockway

Speaker: Joshua Brockway
9 a.m.-Noon CDT
Course Registration

Vital congregations are communities where the expectations are known and valued.  Through our Congregational Ethics polity, the Church of the Brethren has named the key areas of appropriate conduct for our congregations so as to support vibrant and healthy communities of faith. Participants in this webinar will explore the key aspects of our polity through case studies and discussion. This webinar will be helpful for congregations and leaders studying Ethics for Congregations as was recommended by Annual Conference to begin in 2016.

* CEU: .3 credit, $10

— to be rescheduled in the Spring of 2017 —

Speaker: Steve Schweitzer

The book of Chronicles contains an alternative vision of Israel’s past, one that promotes innovation while remaining faithful to the people’s heritage. While the book of Kings explains why the people ended up in exile (“how we got into this mess”), the book of Chronicles was written after the exile in the midst of significant cultural shifts to provide a way forward (“where we go from here”). Schweitzer proposes that Chronicles is highly relevant to the Church as it attempts to imagine its future. Participants will explore several central themes in the book and think together about how Chronicles might help the Church to be faithful in the midst of cultural change, and to consider worship and seeking God as the core message for those who participate in God’s Kingdom.

* CEU: .3 credit, $10

Speakers: Frank Ramirez
9 a.m.-Noon CST
Course Registration

Our history defines us… but what if we have it wrong? Most Brethren don’t know the real answers to important questions such as: Who founded the Church of the Brethren? (It wasn’t Alexander Mack.) Who was the first woman to preach among the Brethren? (It wasn’t Sarah Major.) Were the early Brethren all German, singing hymns in German? What really happened at early Brethren Love Feasts? Which Brethren historian was wrong about the past, yet correct about the future? Join us for this fascinating course as Frank Ramirez examines key points in Brethren history, illuminates this webinar with little known stories, and gives us a fresh perspective on how our past can help inform us in the midst of challenges that we Brethren face today.

* CEU: .3 credit, $10

Speaker: Dan Ulrich
9 a.m.-Noon CST
Course Registration

How can followers of Jesus bear faithful witness to God’s reign in the twenty-first-century? Whereas Christians in the US are experiencing losses of privilege, power, and popularity, persecution threatens Christians in many other parts of the world. This workshop will explore how the Gospel of Mark challenged its earliest audiences to be faithful through their experiences of marginality and suffering. We will study the anointing of Jesus (Mark 14:1-11) and other key passages in order to envision life-giving ministries for our own times and contexts

* CEU: .3 credit, $10

Speaker: Steve Crain

Speaker: Steve Crain

Speaker: Steve Crain
9 a.m.-Noon CST
Course Registration

Paul said in Galatians, “I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me” (Gal 2:19-20). Our goal is to explore the depths of what Paul means, interpreting the passage in its context, pondering how spiritual teachers have understood it, and opening our hearts to its meaning for us, here and now. Christ our new identity, Christ our new life: let’s strive together to be renewed in this fundamental truth.

* CEU: .3 credit, $10

Speaker: Rhonda Pittman-Gingrich
9 a.m.-Noon CDT
Course Registration

Sunday school is not obsolete; however, given the reality of declining attendance patterns, it cannot be a stand-alone enterprise when it comes to nurturing the spiritual lives of our children, youth, or adults. We must create communities of practice that nurture and trans/form faith in holistic ways across the lifespan. Participants will explore various ideas and resources to undergird a more holistic approach to faith formation, including lessons from scripture and the concept of spiritual styles.

* CEU: .3 credit, $10

*Some Ventures courses offer Continuing Education Units (CEU) credit. CEUs for sessions are approved and granted by the Brethren Academy for Ministerial Leadership, a ministry training partnership of Bethany Theological Seminary and the Church of the Brethren.

Register for 16-17 Courses

 

Previous Courses

About the Courses

Equipping lay people of all ages and education levels with skills and understandings for faithful and dynamic Christian living, action, and leadership with special emphasis on small congregations.

Registering online is the preferred method.  All course times are Central Time. There is no charge for courses; however, a suggested donation is invited.

Ventures courses, while not for college credit, offer high-quality instruction. The goal of the program is to empower lay people, especially in smaller congregations, to more effectively carry out the work of discipleship, following in Jesus’ footsteps to transform ourselves and the world. You are invited to journey with others on this new pathway sponsored by McPherson College.

Technology Requirements for Live Courses: If you can surf the web, you will be able to participate in our online courses! For the best experience, we recommend that you have a computer with high-speed internet connection and external powered speakers. We encourage several people to share a computer to participate in a course together! No camera or microphone needed for most courses.