Posted by Mary Wimberley on 2014-08-20

Registration is open for study opportunities offered this fall by the Lay Academy of Theology at Samford University’s Beeson Divinity School. The non-credit evening courses and afternoon seminars are designed to interest laity as well as ministers.

Aside from interesting and enlightening course content, the professors who teach the classes are a big draw, says Beeson director of operations James Pounds.

“I received numerous requests for each of these professors to offer a class and am grateful that all of them were agreeable,” said Pounds.  “Our patrons certainly come for the subject matter, but they are also greatly drawn to the expertise of those teaching the classes.”

Evening courses meet one night a week, 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., for six weeks. These topics, leaders and dates are:

Reading with the Dead: A History of Biblical Interpretation, an exploration of ancient and modern biblical interpreters taught by Beeson Hebrew and Old Testament professor Mark Gignilliat. Meets six Monday nights starting on September 29.

Outposts of Hope: First Peter’s Christ for Culture Strategy, a look at the meaning of First Peter for today’s disciples led by Beeson pastoral theology and preaching professor Douglas D. Webster. Meets six Tuesday nights beginning on September 30.

From Medieval Church to Reformation, an introduction to the fascinating and complex history of the church taught by Beeson history and doctrine professor Carl Beckwith. Meets six Thursday nights beginning on October 2.

Two weekday seminars will meet in the afternoons. These topics, leaders and dates are:

Moses’ Last Words, a study of Moses’ sermons and how they affect Christians’ spiritual trek today led by Beeson Old Testament and Hebrew professor Kenneth A. Mathews. Meets six Tuesdays, 1 p.m. to 3 p.m., beginning September 30.

An Introduction to the History of Christian Theology, a unique approach to a holistic understanding of the development of theology taught by Beeson church history, historical theology and Latin professor Gerald Bray. Meets daily January 26-January 30, 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p .m.

All courses and seminars are $89 for early registration or $115 within a week of the start date. For online registration or information on any Lay Academy of Theology program, check the website at or contact the office at (205) 726-2731 or 800-888-8266, extension 2731.

Due in large part to the popularity of the professors, Pounds notes that registration is already very strong for all of this fall’s offerings.

The Lay Academy of Theology also sponsors the popular Boot Camp for Christian Writers series taught by authors Denise George and Carolyn Tomlin. Upcoming programs will be held on October 11 and October 13. Cost for each is $149 in advance or $175 within a week of the session. For information and registration go to or call (205) 726-2731.