VST Academy 2018

About VST Academy at Faith Lutheran Church

Faith Lutheran in Bellingham has a lively history of engaging the Word–through liturgy and preaching, communal gatherings and meals, bible study, involvement in the neighborhood, and through offering continuing education for lay people to help equip them for discipleship outside the walls of the church.

After several years of hosting visiting scholars and faculty members from Seattle University, Pacific Lutheran University and Vancouver School of Theology, Faith has now become a site for the Vancouver School of Theology Academy, which offers a series of public lectures and daytime workshops on theological topics designed to get participants thinking and acting for the good of God’s world.

We are grateful to VST for this opportunity. These have been exciting times when the conversation is animated, insightful, and continues long after the event. This fall the following mini-courses will be offered (and may also be taken for credit toward a Certificate in Christian Studies at VST):

Do Justice, Love Mercy

September 28-29: The Rev. Dr. Patricia Dutcher-Walls, Dean, Professor of Hebrew Bible will be speaking on the theme of "Do Justice, Love Mercy"–asking how people of faith address social justice issues in their local communities and in the world, using the book of Amos to explore a Biblical and prophetic basis for involvement in social justice concerns.

What Does It Mean To Be Wise?

October 18–19: (Thursday night and Friday): Rabbi Laura Kaplan-Duhan, Director, Inter-religious Studies and Professor of Jewish Studies will speak about “What Does It Mean to Be Wise?”–claiming that Biblical Wisdom Literature offers surprisingly modern answers and inviting participants to a study of its views of creation, ecology, money, gender, sexuality and responsibility.

Theology for Non-Theologians

November 9-10: The Rev. Dr. Richard Topping, Principal and Professor of Studies in the Reformed Tradition will be teaching part one of the two part “Theology for Non-Theologians”–an introduction to the basic talking points of the Christian faith and their relevance for the world now. The Trinity, creation, Jesus Christ and salvation, the Holy Spirit, the church - and what we can hope for-are some of the topics of conversation.

At A Time Like This, Who Needs Another Apocalypse? The Book of Revelation and Christian Identity”

November 30-December 1: Dr. Harry Maier, Professor, New Testament and Early Christian Studies will finish up the series with “At A Time Like This, Who Needs Another Apocalypse? The Book of Revelation and Christian Identity”—while many ignore or dismiss the Book of Revelation as a violent book contrary to Jesus’ message of love, popular culture places its ideas and expectations front and center. In this final course in the series participants are invited to consider Revelation as a part of the Bible that we should not ignore, but rather embrace, for its call to thoughtful and provocative Christian discipleship.

About the Day

We begin the Saturday events with worship -- starting the day with music and prayer -- which helps facilitate the process of building relationships between participants. An intentional space, “The Gathering Room” has been curated for these events with comfortable seating, up-to date audio-visual technology, and an area for coffee and tea pots, and snacks. Hospitality is simple but generous at Faith. Lunch in the social hall consists of hearty home-made soups and bread and is included in the $35 registration fee.

Because of the variety of people–from within the congregation, but also from the surrounding area–these events have become far more than academic learning sessions. New relationships are formed. New ideas for ministry are hatched. New ways of being in the neighborhood have come about.


For more information, please contact Faith Lutheran (office@faithlutheran.org) or the Vancouver School of Theology (www.vst.edu).