Sacramentum Title

Is Jesus calling you…

…to go deeper?

Sacramentum is an experience of sacred community exploring Jesus and his teachings. It’s a fully online course taught in real time, designed to help you go deeper into the mystery of Christ through the lens of the Episcopal tradition. This course is offered every Lent (the 40 days before Easter) as a way for us to learn and relearn about Jesus in preparation for the Easter feast.

Here’s information from last year’s course:

This weekly, 7-session course (Feb 11-Mar 25, 2018) is designed for people those who want a deeper understanding of the Christian faith, long-time believers looking to broaden their learning as well as those preparing for baptism, confirmation, reception into the Episcopal Church, reaffirmation of baptismal vows. It’s taught in English and it’s open to anyone in the world.

This course is meant to work in conjunction with church leaders in parishes who are looking for a substantial preparation experience for their students. The exercises and assignments in Sacramentum are intended to draw students closer to their local church community. Our intent is to partner and walk alongside those charged with the weighty responsibility of sacramental preparation and inquirer instruction.

Classes are taught live by an impressive cadre of instructors drawn from many areas in the Episcopal Church. Students begin their work as soon as they register, then will meet on Sunday evenings for 7 weeks around Lent. Each class is 90 min, includes preparation and homework, and is designed for those for whom traditional courses of this kind are unavailable or inconvenient. It costs $99. Scholarships are available. Students take the course individually or as part of a group.

Sacramentum 2018 – Dates and Topics

Sunday, Feb 11, 7-830p EST – Relationships
This introductory class will ask who is Jesus? and who are we? – as we get to know one another through small group exercises and hear some great words from Lisa Kimball.
Sunday, Feb 18, 7-830p EST – Belonging
Christ calls us not only to belong to him, but to other believers in a local faith community. This class will explore belonging through the lens of the Baptismal covenant and the Book of Common Prayer. Our presenter is Wendy Claire Barrie.
Sunday, Feb 25, 7-830p EST – Scripture
Scripture lies at the heart of Christianity, its interpretation is as varied as humanity. This class explores faithful reading, interpretation, and application. Our presenter is Scott Gunn.
Sunday, Mar 4, 7-830p EST – Prayer
How do we talk with God – both individually and corporately? Not only will we learn how to pray, but we’ll  look at spiritual disciplines, sacraments, and liturgy. Our presenters are Samantha Haycock and Deon Johnson.
Sunday, Mar 11, 7-830p EST – Politics
Humans are political beings whose beliefs motivate their actions. This class will look at how knowing Jesus informs our actions. It will address social justice and Christian responsibility. Our presenter is Heidi Kim.
Sunday, Mar 18, 7-830p EST – Story
Who we are is related to what we were. This class explores the history and heritage of the Episcopal Church and its place in the wider Anglican Communion. It is led by Thomas Ferguson and Ian Douglas.
Sunday, Mar 25, 7-830p EST – Wayfinding
The constant companion on the Christian journey is discernment: what does our baptism call us to be and do? How do we sense God’s leading? How does our faith inform our decision-making? This class is taught by John Lewis and Malcolm McLaurin.Our Faculty and Advisory Board
Our Guides

S Stonesifer New
Sarah Stonesifer describes herself as “a life-long connector and helper, known for sharing information and making lives better through technology.” With formal education in cinema studies, art history and library science, she works as the Digital Missioner for Virginia Theological Seminary in Alexandria, VA.

M McLaurin New
Malcolm McLaurin is a Canon for Youth and Young Adult Ministries in the Episcopal Diocese of Olympia. He has worked to help young people learn about faith in the Diocese of California and as a chaplain at the University of Arkansas, where he earned a B.A. in English. Malcolm is recognized as a leader in youth and young adult ministry in the Episcopal Church. Malcolm will be present at each class session as a co-facilitator.

L Brignac Cartoon
Elizabeth Brignac, MA is a Senior Course Designer and hails from Cary, NC. She has always enjoyed learning about the world through writing about it. She writes and produces many of our courses at ChurchNext and is an active member of The Church of the Holy Family in Chapel Hill, NC. Liz is working behind the scenes on this course as a senior writer and course producer.

Our Faculty

L Kimball New
Lisa Kimball loves to connect people with God. In addition to her work on the faculty of Virginia Theological Seminary in Alexandria, VA, she is a sought after teacher, preacher, and presenter. She has helps people and congregations better understand and teach the Christian faith.

WC Barrie New
Wendy Claire Barrie has helped a lot of people grow in their faith, especially at home. She is a parent, writer, manager of children and youth programs at Trinity Wall Street, and popular blogger.

S Gunn new
Scott Gunn cares deeply for scripture. As Executive Director the publishing house Forward Movement, he has spent much of his career helping people open and engage with the Bible.

S Haycock New
Samantha Haycock loves to help people pray. She has is the chaplain at St. Martin’s, the Episcopal Center at the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville. Her joy is to help people connect with God in prayer and spiritual exercises.

D Johnson New
Deon Johnson’s passion is liturgy. He is an Episcopal priest and rector of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Brighton, Michigan. He has a national reputation as a gifted liturgist and has organized large groups of Christians in worship and prayer.

H Kim New
Heidi Kim cares a lot about diversity and human dignity. She is the Staff Officer for Racial Reconciliation for the Episcopal Church. She is in demand as a speaker, preacher, and facilitator and makes her home in Seattle, WA.

T Ferguson New
Tom Ferguson knows much about the Episcopal Church. He is the rector of St. John’s Episcopal Church, Sandwich, MA and an adjunct professor of Seabury Western Theological Federation. He is a speaker, author, and popular blogger known as the Crusty Old Dean.

I Douglas new.jpeg
Ian Douglas is a gifted reconciler. He has is an author, teacher, and the 15th Bishop Diocesan of The Episcopal Church in Connecticut where he has served on a diverse table of Christian leaders called the Anglican Consultative Council.

J Lewis New
John Lewis is passionate about discernment. He holds several degrees in theology and law as a faculty member of the Seminary of the Southwest in Austin, TX.

Our Advisory Board

Bill Campbell – Executive Director, FORMA
Ian Douglas – Bishop, Episcopal Church in Connecticut
Scott Gunn – Executive Director, Forward Movement
Samantha Haycock – Board Member, FORMA
Heidi Kim – The Episcopal Church
Lisa Kimball – Center for the Ministry of Teaching, Virginia Theological Seminary
Deon Johnson – Rector, St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, Brighton, MI
Nurya Love Parish – Grow Christians
Bishop Kirk Smith – Bishop, Episcopal Diocese of Arizona
Eric Travis – Episcopal Diocese of Michigan
Malcolm McLaurin – Youth and Young Adult Minister – St. Mark’s Cathedral, Seattle, WA
Chris Yaw – Founder, ChurchNext, Detroit, MI

For Groups
Do you have a small group of people that would like to take this course together? No problem. Two or more people, gathered in the same place at the same time can take this course together. Each student needs to register individually for the course.

Pedagogy and Learning Objectives 
Sacramentum is a new way to help form candidates for baptism, confirmation, reception into the Episcopal Church, reaffirmation of baptismal vows, and others interested in going deeper in one’s understanding of Jesus.

Ideally, everyone should be able to learn about the Christian faith in this manner in person from teachers as gifted and knowledgeable as those who teach this course and be surrounded with mentors and students who can enrich and enliven the learning experience. However, that is not the case. Too many of our catechumens and inquirers experience less than stellar instruction and orientation to the Christian faith. Sacramentum seeks to improve that.

We understand that the most successful learning of this kind involves deep and real relationship. However, we don’t believe online learning is void of this. We believe sacred community can be created as well as inspired by the pedagogy Sacramentum upholds. Please view the Course Path for details.

Sacramentum works toward seven learning outcomes. Students who successfully complete this course should: 1) Feel more love and peace in their lives, 2) Feel encouraged to know Jesus better and share his love with others, 3) Feel more confident in their knowledge of Jesus and his teachings, 4) Be able to pray with others, 5) Be able to explain their beliefs to others, 6) Make at least one nurturing relationship with a fellow student, 7) Feel more confident in their knowledge of the Episcopal Church.

A typical class begins with a welcome from our guides then a breakout into small groups as students share their lives, studies, hopes and prayers with other members of their group. Students come back together for an instructor presentation, then break into their groups again. A final reflection paper must be submitted for successful completion of the course.

Sacramentum features:

Small groups – Each student is assigned to a small group of 3-5 other students who are matched not by geography, gender, age, or race, but by the spiritual maturity and understanding. Through these groups, students will be encouraged to talk, pray, study, and get to know one another. The course is open to existing groups who sit in on the course together, in one location, and engage in conversation, study and prayer together.

In-depth Presentations – Our presenters are not simply knowledgeable in their field, but they possess an ability to communicate. Presentations are designed to be as interactive as possible, including questions and discussions.

Rigor – This course may be simple, but it is not easy. Students can expect 10+ hours in class and 20+ hours of homework, which may include attendance at church services, reports and papers.

Creating Cultures of Respect
This course carries expectations of respect, inclusion, and sensitivity, especially in areas of difference such as race, gender, age, and sexual preference. Students, who participate in small or large group discussions, are expected to treat others with kindness, respect, and the love of Christ. We expect students to report any contrary behavior to course leaders and to help the group provide a safe and respectful culture of healthy engagement for all.


What do I get when I’m finished?
You will earn a Sacramentum Certificate of Completion

What if I miss a class?
You can only miss one class in order to earn your certificate. Classes are recorded and are available for students to view.

What if I have to drop out? 
Our cancellation policy is 100% refund up to February 10. Refunds are then pro-rated from February 11 – March 25.

Who’s behind this?
Sacramentum is a production of ChurchNext and its partners, which include the Center for the Ministry of Teaching at Virginia Theological Seminary, FORMA, and Forward Movement. See our Advisory Board for more details.

How can I promote this?
Here’s a link to the course.
Also, here are links to bulletin inserts and posters.