One of the aims of the College is to make training and education accessible across a variety of different levels. The Scottish Baptist Learning Communities, in partnership with the Baptist Union of Scotland, is our grassroots initiative to provide learning opportunities to as many people as possible in churches across Scotland.

Starting in September 2020, we’re running a series entitled “What are they saying about…” which is a series of four 1 hour sessions over the course of a month on specific themes that will engage our minds and open up discussion. These sessions are aimed at those with no prior theological education (although not excluding those who do!) and are suited for a broad audience. The classes are non-validated so there’s no assignments or exams but simply an opportunity to think through and talk about some of the important issues of the Christian faith guided by knowledgeable facilitators from the Scottish Baptist College, the Baptist Union of Scotland, and other expert voices.

These will mainly be held in the evening though we’ll rotate the evenings that they are held on (isn’t annoying when every church event is a Wednesday evening?!) We want to make sure that these are accessible to as many people as possible.

We’ll run sessions in Autumn and Spring with the first learning communities beginning in October and November 2020.

The cost of a 4-week block is £30 and to register for the current sessions you can go to Eventbrite here.

The first series is “What are they saying about…Reading the Bible as Story” beginning on Sunday October 4th at 8pm.

What are they saying about: ‘Reading the Bible as Story’?

We know that the Bible contains lots of stories – many of them are very well-known, like the Good Samaritan or the confrontation between David and Goliath. We may also have heard people describe the Bible as part of God’s big story. But, what would it mean to read the Bible as story?

In these sessions, we’ll be looking at how ‘Reading the Bible as Story’ significantly dictates how we approach the task. What does it mean that there’s a beginning, middle and end? How slow or fast should we read, in order to observe individual characters develop and plot-lines repeat themselves? What perspective do we need in order to allow the story to draw us in? In what ways is an ancient, Jewish story different to modern, western works of literature – and, how can we best know and respect what the original authors expected of us as readers?

One thing’s for certain, how we approach a narrative has a huge impact on how it reveals its meaning and the kind of response it stirs.

Scholars are increasingly talking about ‘Reading the Bible as Story’. What are they saying? And, why might this be important?

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In November we’ll be running a second series on “What are they saying about…Christianity and Creation Care”.

What are they saying about: ‘Christianity and Creation Care’?

Climate change (or climate chaos) is never far away from the front pages of the newspapers and issues of the environment are widely discussed. Whether it is renewable energy or plastic use, there’s a sense that we need to act soon or it might be too late. But what role might our faith play in helping us to navigate conversations around the environment?

Over a period of four weeks this course will explore creation, the environment, and Christianity through multiple lenses. We’ll discuss the doctrine of creation and the Christian mandate for creation care; we’ll think about creation through a biblical lens to discover what the Bible says about God’s purposes for creation; we’ll consider how our communal worship shapes our attitude to environment; and finally we’ll think about how we live out the Christian faith wisely in relation to the creation.  

Taught jointly by the core team at the Scottish Baptist College (Ian Birch, Lina Toth, Andrew Clarke, and Graham Meiklejohn) each week there will be a different voice bringing insight from their own perspective and understanding of creation care and the Christian faith. 

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