Published on August 20, 2014 by Mary Wimberley  

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.

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. 

Samford is a leading Christian university offering undergraduate programs grounded in the liberal arts with an array of nationally recognized graduate and professional schools. Founded in 1841, Samford is the 87th-oldest institution of higher learning in the United States. The Wall Street Journal ranks Samford 1st nationally for student engagement and U.S. News & World Report ranks Samford 37th in the nation for best undergraduate teaching and 97th nationally for best value. Samford enrolls 5,758 students from 48 states and 22 countries in its 10 academic schools: arts, arts and sciences, business, divinity, education, health professions, law, nursing, pharmacy and public health. Samford fields 17 athletic teams that compete in the tradition-rich Southern Conference, and ranks 3rd nationally for its Graduation Success Rate among all NCAA Division I schools.