Instructor Highlight: Jason Fout

fout_jasonThe Reverend Dr. Jason Fout has shared his research and wisdom with ChurchNext in two courses: as part of our series on The Book of Common Prayer in partnership with Bexley-Seabury, Jason taught us about the history of our professions and beliefs in Creeds and Commitments of the Prayer Book; in a fascinating course called Who Is Jesus? he explored the various ways we might get in touch with who Jesus was and is.

Jason also gave a fascinating talk at this year’s Consortium of Endowed Episcopal Parishes (CEEP) conference on his research and experiences in the Diocese of London, and the ways that Bexley-Seabury and the folks in London have been working to create a “seminary without walls.” Here at ChurchNext, we of course love their mission of deepening Christian formation in innovative ways, unbounded by place or even time.

Jason joined the faculty of Bexley Hall in 2009. Before that, he and his family and lived in the UK for four years, where he was completing his PhD at the University of Cambridge. He is from the Diocese of Chicago and was ordained there in 2001, after having attended seminary at Seabury-Western Theological Seminary. His dissertation was on the glory of God and its relation to human agency at Cambridge, under the supervision of Professor David F. Ford and the late Professor Daniel W. Hardy. His research interests include contemporary Anglican theology, as well as the history of Anglican theology and constructive theology in the areas of Christology, political theology and theological anthropology. He also has a growing interest in the practice of Scriptural Reasoning, in urban studies, particularly related to the New Urbanism, and theological readings of the built environment.

He is an avid cook, a keen road cyclist and a longsuffering fan of the Chicago Cubs and English Test Cricket. We’re grateful to have partnered with Jason and look forward to his next project.

Latest course in our Introducing the Book of Common Prayer series: Crossing Thresholds with Roger Ferlo and Suzann Holding

Crossing Thresholds is an insightful and helpful reminder that life is a journey and that God — and our church — are with us every step of the way.  We are born, perhaps we fall in love, we sin, we get sick, we die, we return to God.  And in all of these, there are powerful words and actions to commemorate, to honor, to recognize, and to invite God’s blessing and presence.ferlo and holding

The Prayer Book serves as an invaluable resource for marking important milestones like baptism, marriage, reconciliation, marriage, sickness, and death – referred to as the ‘Pastoral Offices.’  In this course Roger Ferlo lectures on baptism and matrimony, explaining the theological foundations of these important rites.  Suzann Holding walks us through confession, prayer for the sick, and the practical theology surrounding end of life issues and liturgies.  You’ll leave this course with an enriched understanding of both the purpose and the content of these holy rites.

Click here to register or for more information.

This course is the seventh in an 8-part series called Introducing the Book of Common Prayer. The next course will be launching in the coming weeks, so stay tuned. This series is brought to us by our partners at Bexley Seabury Federation, an Episcopal center for learning and development. Bexley offers online and in-person classes for everyone at its Chicago, IL and Columbus, OH campuses. For more information visit www.bexleyseabury.edu.

Latest Course In Our Introducing the Book of Common Prayer Series: Praying the Collects with Ellen Wondra

When the disciples asked Jesus how to pray, they got the Our Father. When people asked the assemblers of The Book of Common Prayer how to pray, they got something nearly as memorable: the Collects.  We are excited to launch the latest course in our series on The Book of Common Prayer:  Praying the Collects is a thoughtful introduction to a meaningful facet of prayer life.

Collects are short prayers and a distinctive part of Anglican worship, liturgy, and theology.  Episcopalians have long subscribed to the conviction of lex orandi, lex credendi or “praying shapes believing.” This means that the way we pray carries great significance.

In this class, scholar, writer, and seminary dean Ellen Wondra helps us understand the wondraCollects, delving into the structure and theology behind these amazing prayers. We will explore:

  • The Purpose and Structure of Collects
  • The Collect of the Day – Part I
  • The Collect of the Day – Part II
  • A Symphony of Collects

Click here to learn more or to register.

This course is the sixth in an 8-part series called Introducing the Book of Common Prayer. The next two courses will be launching in the coming weeks, so stay tuned. This series is brought to us by our partners at Bexley Seabury Federation, an Episcopal center for learning and development. Bexley offers online and in-person classes for everyone at its Chicago, IL and Columbus, OH campuses. For more information visit www.bexleyseabury.edu.

Latest in our Introducing The Book of Common Prayer series: Creeds and Commitments

In Creeds and Commitments, the Rev. Dr. Jason Fout invites us to think a bit about the beliefs and doubts that inform our Church and our own faith journeys.  What is a creed? Why do statements of faith matter? How and where do we find these in the Book of Common Prayer?

Jason begins by asking us to consider what we mean by belief and why it matters; he then delves into the history of the Apostles’ and Nicene Creeds as well as some other key fouthistorical commitments.  He closes by inviting us to examine what we believe about belief itself; he reminds us that belief is a matter of commitment and, like any other significant commitment, necessarily involves doubt.  These doubts and beliefs are what make our Church — and our very selves — what they are today.

This course is the fifth in an 8-part series called Introducing the Book of Common Prayer. The next three courses will be launching in the coming weeks, so stay tuned. This series is brought to us by our partners at Bexley Seabury Federation, an Episcopal center for learning and development. Bexley offers online and in-person classes for everyone at its Chicago, IL and Columbus, OH campuses. For more information visit www.bexleyseabury.edu.

Next course in our Introducing the Prayer Book series: Scripture and The Prayer Book with Roger Ferlo

Someone once described The Book of Common Prayer as “the Bible rearranged for worship;” in Scripture and The Prayer Book, Roger Ferlo, President of Bexley Seabury Theological Federationshows how that can be a very accurate characterization.

Our latest course in the eight-part “Introducing the Book of Common Prayer” series we’re producing in partnership with Bexley-Seabury, Scripture ferloand the Prayer Book helps us understand how the language and actions of the Book of Common Prayer are the language and actions of Holy Scripture.  From the rubrics of the Prayer Book to the lectionaries, the Psalms, and the Canticles, worshipping with the Book of Common Prayer means enacting the two great commandments: to love God with all our heart, soul, and mind, and to love our neighbors as ourselves.

Join us to explore how the Prayer Book helps us proclaim, read, do, and pray the Holy Scriptures.  Click here for more information or to register.

This course is the fourth in an 8-part series called Introducing the Book of Common Prayer. The next four courses will be launching in the coming weeks, so stay tuned. This series is brought to us by our partners at Bexley Seabury Federation, an Episcopal center for learning and development. Bexley offers online and in-person classes for everyone at its Chicago, IL and Columbus, OH campuses. For more information visit www.bexleyseabury.edu.

Part 2 of The Book of Common Prayer: Spirituality of the Prayer Book

What is the Spirituality of the Book of Common Prayer?  How does it inform people’s lives and beliefs as members of the worldwide Anglican Communion, as Christians in general?  Whether you’re a lifelong Episcopalian, a newcomer to the denomination, or a member of another faith tradition, you’ll find much of interest and much worthy of thought in this new course. Click here to learn more and sign up for this course.

After all, when the crafters of the Book of Common Prayer (BCP) set out to assemble an accessible guide to prayer and liturgy they were also intentional about putting together a resource that could shape disciples for a lifetime. Karl Ruttan

In this course, spiritual director, teacher, and writer Karl Ruttan shows us how the Book of Common Prayer can be used to deepen our spiritual lives. It’s called ‘The Spirituality of the Book of Common Prayer.’  Karl begins by telling us how the BCP serves as a handbook for holiness.  He then walks us through its origins in Benedictine spirituality. He also shows us how to use the Daily Offices, or daily prayer liturgies for morning and evening prayer. Karl ends by showing us how we might use the Baptismal Covenant as a foundation for a rule of life.

This course is the second in an 8-part series called Introducing the Book of Common Prayer. The next six courses will be launching in the coming weeks, so stay tuned. This series is brought to us by our partners at Bexley Seabury Theological Federation, an Episcopal center for learning and development. Bexley offers online and in-person classes for everyone at its Chicago, IL and Columbus, OH campuses. For more information visit www.bexleyseabury.edu.

Join us!

Big News! Part 1 of series on The Book of Common Prayer begins today

An American Prayer Book, A Global Prayer Book, taught by Tom Ferguson of Bexley Hall Seabury Western Theological Federation, is the first in an 8-part series on The Book of Common Prayer and launches today!ferguson

This course is a fascinating exploration of what “The Book of Common Prayer” literally means and why that matters.  That is, why is it “the” Book of Common Prayer?  What do we mean when we call it “common”?  What did its status as “book”  signify in the early days of the Anglican Church and why does it matter today?  What exactly does “prayer” look like?

After taking this course, you’ll have some answers to these sorts of questions; if they’d never occurred to you before, you’ll probably be left wondering why.  Tom Ferguson’s fascinating, engaging talks on each component of the BCP’s title will challenge you to think more deeply about the church’s history, present, and future.  To register or to learn more, click here.

This course is the first in an 8-part series called Introducing the Book of Common Prayer. The next seven courses will be launching in the coming weeks, so stay tuned. This series is brought to us by our partners at Bexley Seabury Federation, an Episcopal center for learning and development. Bexley offers online and in-person classes for everyone at its Chicago, IL and Columbus, OH campuses. For more information visit www.bexleyseabury.edu.

New Course: Who is Jesus?

Jason FoutJesus wrote no books, built no empires, nor left us so much as an image of himself – yet his life has impacted the world more than any other.

Who is Jesus? Ask ten people and you may get 11 answers… In this thought-provoking course theologian and seminary instructor Jason Fout persuasively argues that the best way to begin is through the resurrection.

Who was this man and how can we best get to know him?

In this course author, priest, and teacher Jason Fout suggests four helpful lenses in which to view Christ:

  • Resurrection
  • Teaching
  • Atonement
  • Incarnation

This class is appropriate for people who are new to the Christian faith as well as seasoned believers who are looking for new insights into this engaging topic.

Find out more about this course, Who is Jesus.

Announcing The Big Class with Bishop Michael Curry

Bishop Curry photoFOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Jim Naughton
 
“THE BIG CLASS” with BISHOP MICHAEL CURRY, FREE TO ALL
Open, online course, discussion, January 27-February 3 

DETROIT, December 5, 2013—Early next year, anyone with Internet access and a computer or tablet can get free instruction on how to become a crazy Christian.

From January 27 through February 3, the Rt. Rev. Michael Curry, Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of North Carolina, will teach The Big Class, a program of ChurchNextThe course will expand on Crazy Christians:  A Call to Follow Jesus published by Church Publishing Inc. The book is based on  “We Need Some Crazy Christians,” a widely acclaimed sermon the bishop preached at the Episcopal Church’s General Convention in 2012.

Bishop Curry will moderate the course and answer online questions during the week of The Big Class. Participants can take the course anytime during the week at www.churchnext.tv. No special software is required.

“We thought about putting a warning label on this course: Danger, Your Life Will Be Transformed,’” said the Rev. Chris Yaw, founder of ChurchNext, a producer of online Christian learning.  “In a world that constantly sanitizes Jesus’ radical message, Bishop Curry’s clarion call to deeper discipleship has changed lives. We pray all who take this course will experience God’s transforming power.”

The Big Class is a worldwide online course for all who want to go further in their walk with Christ, and is free to everyone, everywhere thanks to the support of Bexley SeaburyChurch Publishing Inc., the Episcopal Diocese of North Carolina and Forward Movement.Special materials will be available for congregations and adult education classes who desire to take the class together as part of their Epiphany season study.

In his book, Bishop Curry writes, “We need some crazy Christians. Sane, sanitized Christianity is killing us.  That may have worked once upon a time, but it won’t carry the Gospel anymore. We need some crazy Christians like Mary Magdalene and Harriet Beecher Stowe.  Christians crazy enough to believe that God is real and that Jesus lives. Crazy enough to follow the radical way of the Gospel. Crazy enough to believe that the love of God is greater than all the powers of evil and death.”

“It’s exciting to see all the new ways technology is being leveraged to help folks go into a deeper awareness of and relationship with the living God,” said Bishop Curry. “Online education is an excellent example of it. It allows folks to learn, to interact, exchange ideas and, ultimately, to share what they learn with others. The process is exactly what we as Christians are called to do; an online classroom just gives us one more way to do it.”

Visit churchnextblog.wordpress.com/the-big-class/ to learn more about The Big Class.

ChurchNext creates online Christian learning experiences to invigorate lives and congregations. Along with our partner, Forward Movement, we are devoted to helping people grow in their Christian faith, improve their lives, and better the world. Learn more at www.churchnext.tv.